Chapter 17 – Picking up the Pieces

Chapter 17 – Picking up the Pieces

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 17 - Picking up the Pieces

Translated by Mecorx and Pixel

Just outside Doyle Village, to my surprise, was the Mayor’s car, which we had left in Healin. The windscreen was completely gone. How did this car get here? I decided to go to the Mayor’s house to find out. Vits’ voice answered when I knocked on the red door. When I looked inside, the Mayor, Fabio, Throp, Keough, and Vits were there. Other than Vits, they were all asleep on the sofa and the floor, like lifeless puppets.

“Evan, I heard you were injured?”

Vits whispered as he lay next to Fabio, trying not to make too much noise.

“Nawww, it’s just a scratch.”

I had always wanted to try saying that just once.

“Show me the scar!”

“That’s not very nice, Vits. So, what about you? How are you feelin’?”

“I’m alright now. But my brother and the others,” Vits looked bored as he looked at Fabio. “They won’t play with me.”

“Let them off. They’ve been through a lot. They’re exhausted.”

“You’re right. It was all for me, anyway.”

He gave a rather grown-up response. It seemed he already knew what was going on. Murmuring that it was all for him again, Vits lay back down and turned again, so he was up against Fabio.

“Oh, hey, Evan.” The Mayor woke up. “How’s the injury?”

“It hurts, but it’s no big deal.”

I told another useless lie. The Mayor nodded slowly while frowning. He showed earnest compassion. I felt guilty. Let’s change the subject.

“Mayor, why’s the car outside?”

“Oh, that. Those Turks drove it here. They left it and took the truck back.”

“Wow. Good service.”

“But we’ve got a bit of trouble. When we used the bomb to rescue Throp, we damaged some medical equipment that was in the building. Although we didn’t know about that, it was still our fault. ‘Cuz they don’t make things like that anymore. It’s a huge loss to the world.

“What does Shin-Ra want you to do?”

“Work in the central square, they said. Constructing the monument.”

The Mayor scowled dramatically. Most people would be glad they got off as lightly as that. But the Mayor, like myself, hated the guys in the square. The Mayor labeled them as dependent people, who lived under the safety of Shin-Ra.

“That’s a tough one.”

“I guess. But we have no choice. We just have to comply. Not to make amends with Shin-Ra, but to the people who need the equipment we broke.”

The Mayor seemed to be trying his best to convince himself.

“Anyway, more importantly, there’s a message from the redhead for you, Evan.”

A message from Reno? That caught me by surprise. My heart was in my mouth.

“I’ll tell you exactly what he said. ‘You betrayed us. Don’t forget’— That’s all.”


Don’t forget, huh. It’s like he’s a street thug.

“Hey, Evan. What the hell were you guys doing there?”

“Uh, well—” The Mayor looked straight in my eyes. “I look like Rufus Shinra, right?”

“Is that so? Well, now that you mention it— I guess you do.”

“In Healin, did you see?”

“That guy in the wheelchair? So that was the Idiot President, huh?”

“He’s alive!?”

Vits jumped up looking surprised.

“Shh! You’ll wake everyone up.”

Vits shrank back as the Mayor scolded him.

“He’s receiving treatment for Geostigma. It seemed they wanted to use me as a stand-in for Rufus, until he’s recovered. Or something along those lines.”

“—What for?”

“I wonder. I have no idea.”

“Were you going to do it?”

“Are you kiddin’!? The negotiations broke down. That was out of the question. It was enough to make me fear for my life. So I was lucky… that you came when you did”

I got that sinking feeling as I spoke. This was the Mayor who took care of me, who I respected and trusted. Right now I’m telling him a bunch of stupid lies. He stared at me dubiously.

“Mayor, I’m—”

“Someday, I’ll kill that President. To avenge my parents.”

Vits suddenly said in a grown-up tone. I was going to tell them the truth, but I didn’t know what Vits and Fabio would think if they knew I was the President’s half-brother. Of course, I couldn’t tell them.

“But, Evan, Mayor, keep this a secret from my brother.”

“I’m listening, Vits.”

Fabio abruptly started to get up

“When you do it, I’m going too. I’m not letting you go alone.”

Who knew the brothers had this strong a grudge against Shin-Ra. I figured it was just like when I would say ‘I’ll do this someday’ or ‘I’ll make them pay’. Of course, I would never do it. But the Brown brothers probably felt differently. Fabio’s ability to take action is genuine. He’s lazy and frivolous, but when push comes to shove, he gets the job done.

“Hey, Evan. Did he tell you the message from the Turks?”

“Yeah, I told him.”

The Mayor said. Fabio nodded, and turned to me with an anxious expression.

“I think you should disappear for a little while. It looks like they’ll let us off, but I don’t think they’ll forgive you, Evan.”


“What were you doing in there?”

“I had some trouble— with Shin-Ra.”

In the end, I couldn’t tell him the truth.

“Then, that’s all the more reason to disappear.”

Said Fabio, getting more and more anxious.


I was sure Shin-Ra wouldn’t do anything, but I couldn’t tell them why. Even if Reno was angry, it wouldn’t become a serious enough problem for Fabio to have to worry. But it might be best if I disappear myself. Not just from Reno, but from everyone. I— needed to start over.

“Hmm, I’ll think about it.”

I felt that I had run out of options. As I left the Mayor’s house, Chico came into the courtyard from the street. Around his right cheek was purple and swollen. It was where my fist landed when we hit each other. When he noticed me, he laughed ostentatiously and went into his own house. I felt contempt from the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t do anything about how he treated me. I just couldn’t stay here. As I looked toward the street, I could see the car with the broken windshield parked there. I retraced my steps, and went back into the Mayor’s house.

“Mayor. The car outside, can I borrow it?”

I tried to say it in a light tone.

“Oh, are you running away? It’s ok, of course, but there’s no windshield. And even if you can deal with that, it’s also pretty low on fuel.”

“I understand. Where can I get my hands on some fuel?”

“I stole some from a WRO truck, along with the battery. I wouldn’t try that again. Well, cars and motorcycles do come and go, so I’m sure you can get your hands on some somewhere. I bet you can get some on the black market, at least. But it’ll cost you.”

“No doubt.”

“By the way, I have no money.”

“Me neither.”

Fabio said with a bitter expression.

“For money— I’ve got some ideas. It’ll work out somehow”

“Have you thought about where you’ll settle down?”

The Mayor asked.

“I’m sure I’ll figure that out, too.”

I wonder how many lies I’ve told today.

“I’m sorry, I can’t protect you.”

The Mayor looked down. I had to go.

“Don’t worry about it— Oh yeah, Mayor, the key.”

“Oh, that’s right. Here.”

The Mayor threw the key. I caught it—

“Thank you. Well, I gotta get goin’.”

I left the Mayor’s house, avoiding eye contact with everyone. With the closed door behind me, I sighed, and hung my head. I want to start over. If only I could start my life over. If I could start my life over, where would I do it from? From when I entered the Mayor’s house? No, not there. I traced my memory. Then, I saw that moment clearly.

At the end of my 16th year. Just before I smashed the cake on the table.

Of course, that was impossible. But there was something else I could do instead, no, something that I had to do.

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