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Chains Of Birth: 02 - "Miss Lindy"

Started by Kokoro, Sep 22, 2021, 05:53

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Kokoro

Chains of Birth (Part I of the "Chains of LIfe" Series)
Chapter Two:  "Miss Lindy"
Setting:  Aboard the Arthra, Room Alpha-Three (A3) aka Fate's quarters
Time:  Thursday, May 20, 2004 @  08:00 hours

"Fate?"  I heard Miss Lindy's sweet voice gently calling my name, as if she was near me.

"Fate??  It's time to wake up."  She said again.

I felt a warm hand brushing my hair back.  As I opened my eyes, I saw a blurry Miss Lindy staring down at me, with her kind eyes looking into mine.  I looked over to my right, then to my left, and realized that Arf wasn't there.

"Relax, Fate, she woke up a couple hours ago, and has been talking to Chrono ever since.  She's very eager to help with your case, Fate, and didn't want to waste any time."  Miss Lindy said, sensing my alarm.

I tossed the cover off of me and slowly sat up.  Mother's lashings still stung three days later.  Miss Lindy was sitting on the edge of the bed and helped me up.  She saw something.

"Fate, I need to see something.  Please stand up."

"Yes Ma'am."

I got up out of the bed and stood in front of her.  She turned me around, and lifted the nightgown Arf had found for me last night.

"Did Percia do this to you?"  She asked.  I heard anger in her voice.

"Y-yes."

"Does this hurt?"  She said and ran her finger along one of the fresh scars.

"Ah!  Y-yes!"

She turned me to face her and she studied my body, lifting the front of the gown slightly.  She lowered my gown and reached at her wrist, and spoke into it.

"Amy, could you please come to Fate's room with a recorder, and please page the senior medical attendant."

"Yes Ma'am."  Miss Amy replied.

"It's alright.  I'll heal soon."  I said.

"No, Fate, this isn't alright."  She sighed.  "Why—"

The door buzzed.

"Come in."  Lindy said firmly.

Miss Amy and a man entered the room. Each one held a recording device.

"Good.  Nice and prompt.  Miss Amy?  Could you please record this?"  Miss Lindy paused as she took off the nightgown and revealed my lacerated body.  "You have some explaining to do, Doctor." She paused again and stepped away from me.  "Please spin around very slowly, Fate."

Amy gasped, and held up the recorder, then positioned herself for the best angle.  I slowly turned, and heard her gasp louder when she saw my back.  When I finished my spin, I crossed my arms over my chest and I could feel myself blushing.

"Fate, why don't you clean up, and get ready for the day.  I suggest that you take a nice relaxing long shower."  Miss Lindy said.  I quickly walked past Amy and the Doctor and into the bathroom.  The door shut behind me.

"Why wasn't I notified about the severity of her injuries?!"  I heard Miss Lindy's angered voice.

"Ma'am, It was extremely busy yesterday.  We had that minor accident in Engineering and when I examined her, she said that she was fine, and—"

"I don't hear any water running, Fate."  Miss Lindy said loudly.

I jumped over to the shower unit and quickly deciphered how to operate it.  I wasn't prepared for the stream of hot water when it hit my body and screamed.

"AHHH!"

A moment later Miss Amy entered and quickly shut the door behind her.  She momentarily looked away and took a deep breath before she looked back at me.

I'm sure the Captain didn't mean this.  Here, I'll give you a sponge bath instead, okay?"

"O-okay."

Miss Amy was very gentle and careful as she dabbed the warm soapy sponge on me and again as she used a fluffy towel when she dried me off.  After she was done with that, she draped a dry towel over my shoulders, and then gave me an end of each side for me to hold closed.  She took another dry towel and wrapped my hair in it on top of my head.
When she opened the door, I saw Miss Lindy sitting on my freshly made bed, typing into a datapad.  I saw that she had also picked out the clothes that I would wear today – A very loose fitting, short-sleeve A-line styled dress with a colorful floral pattern on it.  Next to it was a simple pair of underwear and short socks.  On the nightstand, I saw several rolls of bandages, some kind of cream in a tube and a pair of blunt-tipped scissors.

"Come over here Fate."  Miss Lindy said.

I stood in front of her, and she took the towel I was holding and opened the tube of cream, spread it on both of her hands and gently began spreading it into my lashings on my back.

"Miss Amy, would please assist Fate in dressing herself?"

"Yes, of course."

While Amy dressed me from toes, up, while Miss Lindy applied the warm soothing  cream to my wounds.  Miss Lindy had me face her, as she applied the cream and then several bandages to my chest and stomach, then Miss Amy lifted my arms and lowered the knee length dress onto me.

"This feels weird."  I said.  Miss Lindy and Miss Amy both looked at me.  "My clothes are usually tight against my body."

"Oh, no.  You wouldn't want that.  You don't want to aggravate your wounds like that."  Miss Lindy said, then she looked at Miss Amy.  "I think we'll conduct Fate's interview in here for the next few days."

"Yes Ma'am.  I'm going to grab some of these pillows and pile them on the couch over there and make her a nice back padded seat."

Miss Amy gently picked up the stuffed dog that Nanoha had given me, and gave it to me.

"Why are you giving me this?"

"I have a feeling you'll need it."  She replied and then grabbed some pillows from the bed and brought them over to the couch, while I saw Miss Lindy grab a very think warm blanket out of my closet and set it on the couch next to the pillows Amy was arranging.

After Miss Amy was done, she placed a data recorder on the wall staring at the pillows where I was to sit.  She looked over at me and smiled, then she looked over at Miss Lindy.

"With your permission, ma'am, I have other duties to perform."

"Granted, Amy."

"Yes ma'am."  Amy replied and quietly left the room.

"Ah, Fate, let's sit down and have a chat.  Would you like tea or anything?"

Miss Lindy walked over to one of the book shelves, and opened a small door that I hadn't seen before and pulled out two mugs and a tea pot.  She closed that door, and then opened a larger door, near the bottom of the wall and pulled out a small container with a pour spout on it.

"Um, yes.  I guess."

"Very good.  Please sit down and make yourself as comfortable as you can."

"Why is there a blanket here?  It's pretty warm in here."

"Oh, sometimes during an intense interview, you may feel cold all of a sudden.  The blanket is there for you.  And in some cases, I've found a blanket can be an aid for victims of certain crimes."  She looked back at me and smiled gently.  Then resumed pouring a hot beverage into the two mugs.

I did as she suggested, and sat down into the pillowed fortress of a couch.  I examined the stuffed dog that Nanoha had given me while I waited for Miss Lindy to finish up.  It was a brownish and red colored dog, with some fringe-like hair on the top, with large blue and white rounded eyes, a dark nose, and a floppy tongue hanging out of its mouth.  The tail was mostly stiff, but was very thick padding.  The whole thing was very soft and squishy and bounced back into shape when I let go of it.  I held it up to my cheek and caught the scent of lavender, and immediately felt more calm.

Miss Lindy approached and set down two mugs of steaming green tea, both fixed the way she liked, with tiny sugar cubes and cream, then she took a seat across from me in one of the chairs and crossed her legs.

"Now, Fate.  I hope this won't be too intense for you, but, I will start this off very easy.  Just answer the questions as truthfully as you can.  Feel free to explain anything more if you need to, and be as open with your feelings as you can."

"Yes, Ma'am."  I stared down at the table and picked up my tea. I noticed that a new box of tissues was there now.

"For the record, please state your full name, age, and where you are right now."  Miss Lindy said gently.  I looked up, and noticed a tiny green light was on the data recorder now.

"My name is Fate Testarossa. I'm nine years old, and I'm aboard the Arthra, in my quarters, Alpha-Three?"

"An excellent, full answer.  Yes, you are in room Alpha-Three."

"And who is current guardian?"

"Um, that's you?"

"Yes. For the record, I am Captain Lindy Harlaown, Captain of the Arthra, a L-class patrol ship."

"Who was your previous guardian?"

"My Mother, Percia Testarossa."

"And where is your mother, Fate?"

"She's dead."

"That was excellent, Fate.  Now I'm going to ask some harder questions.  Just be sure to be as clear and honest as you have been, okay?"  She smiled gently.

"Okay, Miss Lindy."

"Before now, where did you live?"

"On Earth."

"And were you alone?

"No.  My companion, Arf, lived with me.  She took care of me."

"Where was your mother, Fate?"

"She was at the Garden of Time."

"Why was she not living with you on Earth?"

"She was sick... And doing research."

"Did you voluntarily come to Earth, Fate?"

"No, my mother sent me."

"For what purpose?"

"To collect the 21 Jewel Seeds for her research."

"I see.  Did you ever return to the Garden of Time while you were on Earth?"

"Yes.  A few times to give my mother the Jewel Seeds I had collected."

Miss Lindy took in a deep breath and steadied herself.

"Fate," she said gently, "What was your mother's reaction... when you would visit her in the Garden of Time?"

I felt my heart start beating harder, and I felt a chill run down my spine. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I opened my eyes, and looked right at her.

"She slapped me, and yelled at me... for not collecting all of the Jewel Seeds.  She got angry...and punished me.

"How did she punish you, Fate?"  Miss Lindy's words were near whispers.

"She whipped me."

I squeezed my eyes shut and felt the pain of the lashings hitting my body as my mind replayed what happened.

"How many times did she whip you like that?"

"Tw—twice, I-I think."  I paused and opened my eyes again. "She knocked me unconscious the last time.  Arf wasn't there when I woke up.  She's always by me, especially around Mother."  I paused again and took a breath. "M-mother told me to get the last seven...and then... she would be happy ... again."

I felt hot tears streaking down my face and a hard lump in my throat.  I couldn't swallow, it hurt too much.  When I reached for my tea, I noticed that I was trembling and I couldn't lift the cup off the table without spilling it.

"Should we take a break, Fate?"  Miss Lindy's voice was filled with concern.

"No.  I can go on ."

I picked up the blanket that was next to me, carelessly covered myself with it, and then I pulled out my arms and hugged it to my chest.

"For the record, the wounds that are currently on your body are the result of that punishment?"

I nodded.

"Please note that I have included a full visual recording of the above mentioned wounds to Miss Testarossa's body."  She paused and looked at me for several seconds before she continued.  "Fate, has your mother ever told you that she loves you?"

"No...."  Fresh tears ran down my face, and lots of them.  My whole body hurt from the inside out.  "Never." I paused and my sobs came spilling out. "She said....that she....hated me.... That ... she's...despised me.... ever since....she ... created me!...SHE...NEVER...EVER....LOVED... ME!!!!!  NOBODY DOES!  AND THEN SHE LEFT ME!  JUST LIKE RYNITH DID!  Everybody....always....leaves....me."

I felt Miss Lindy sit down next to me and she pulled me close to her body and wrapped her arms around me.  I sobbed into her uniform. I couldn't stop crying, no matter how hard I wanted to.  Tears just kept coming.  She just held me for what must have been forever.  She gently stroked my hair and repeated the same phrase over and over again.

"Shhh, it's okay, it's okay, sweetheart."


I woke up still cradled in Miss Lindy's arms.  She was quietly humming some lullaby that I've never heard before.  It was sweet and light, and put me at ease.  Miss Lindy has a wonderful voice.

"Wha—What time is it?"  I said as I noticed the lights were dimmer than they were before.

"It's just before noon.  I turned down the lights so you could relax better." She said softly.  "You cried yourself to sleep.  Are you feeling any better now?"

"A little."  My voice cracked through my dry mouth.

I didn't want to move.  I was felt so safe in Miss Lindy's lap, with her arms around me, and this thick blanket protecting me.

"Are you sure you want to deal with a broken fake, like me, Miss Lindy?"

"Of course I do, Fate-chan.  And remember, that no matter what, you are not a fake."

"But Mother said—"

"Your mother was a very cruel person, and said some very hurtful things to you.  She wanted to break your spirit." Miss Lindy's voice was soft and kind.  It also helped that she was still stroking my hair slowly.  "But Fate, you're too strong to be broken like that.  You have a strength, a determination in the very heart of your soul that keeps you going." She paused. 

"Don't ever loose that strength, Fate."

I slowly sat up and looked at Miss Lindy.

"Is this what love feels like?"

"Yes Fate-chan.  This is only a small bit of the love that I have for you."

"W-why do you love me?"

Miss Lindy smiled and giggled a little bit.

"Oh, sweetheart.  I don't know if I can put that into words right now.  It's what my heart is saying.  I love you and Chrono very, very much."

I looked away.

"You love your son a lot more than me."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because he's your son.  Because you've known him all of his life.  You just met me. I'm a stranger...." My voice softened into a whisper. "I'm a failure."

Miss Lindy gently took my chin and nudge it so that I had to look at her.

"Fate, Yes, you're new here, and I have only just gotten to know you, but love is something that happens to anybody.  It transcends time, and space, across all the infinite dimensions that we live in.  My dear, you don't have to know somebody a long time to love them.  And I know that I'm not the only person who loves you.  Arf certainly loves you.  Nanoha loves you.  There are many people who are here for you, who care about you, and many more yet whom you shall meet as you grow, who will also love you very much.  Do you understand?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Good, never for get that. Oh, and one more thing, Fate."  She paused and smiled at me and kissed my forehead.  "You're most definitely NOT a failure.  Do you know how I know that?"

I shook my head.

"Because, failures, give up.  They quit at the slightest hint of trouble.  Fate, you persevered.  You stood back up, even when your mother knocked you down, and when Nanoha had defeated you.  You still got back up and tried again.  And guess what, Fate-chan?  You have a new home, surrounded by people who genuinely care about you.  All because you got up off the ground, got out of bed.  You're nothing like a failure.
She took me close to her and gave me a long hug.

"How does some lunch sound?"

"Um, okay.  I'll get ready.  I said.
Miss Lindy shook her head.

"No, Fate-chan.  Today is our day, and I'm going to spend it with you."

"But what about your crew, Chrono...?"

"They know what to do in my absence.  Today, I want to get to know my daughter.  I want to know what your favorite colors are, what do you like to do to relax—"

"I don't know."  I replied, probably a bit too soon.

"You don't know what?"

"What I like to do to relax. My life has only been training, and fighting, and doing whatever Mother told me to do."

Miss Lindy studied me for a minute, then smiled.

"Well, then.  I think we'll both figure that out together."

She tapped her bracelet and spoke into it.

"Amy, are you busy?"

"Not at the moment, Ma'am." Miss Amy replied.

"Wonderful.  Is Chrono still working with Arf?

"Yes, I believe so.  I delivered lunch to them not too long ago.  Are you needing some lunch too?"

"Yes, Amy.  I'd like you to bring some soup please, and..."  Miss Lindy looked at me.  "Grilled cheese sandwiches, please."

"Yes Ma'am.  Would you like anything else?"

"And bring us two mugs of hot chocolate."

"Right away. Amy out."

Miss Lindy looked at me as she sat down next to me and smiled again.

"How are you feeling?"

"I'm okay.  I think I can answer some more questions—"

"Nope." Miss Lindy said.  "You've had enough of those questions today.  Right now, I just want to talk with you.  Let's figure out some things you like doing for fun.  Okay?"

"Um, o-okay."

"Have you ever drawn a picture before, or used a coloring book?"

I shook my head.

"Perfect.  I had Amy put some arts and crafts things over here in this drawer.  Here's a pencil, and some crayons.  I want you to draw something for me.  Anything, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Okay?"

"Yes. Miss Lindy."

"Oh, and whenever you're ready, feel free to call me mom if you're comfortable, and we're alone like this.  Okay?  After all, I'm your guardian now....and I've always wanted a daughter."

"O-okay.... M...Mmm...Miss Lindy."

I walked over to the desk and looked at the box of crayons and picked up the pencil then I stared at the sheet of paper laying on the desk.  I could draw what ever I wanted.  But, what do I want to draw, CAN I draw?  I sat down at the desk and I drew a small circle, and then I drew smaller circles in side.  A face started to form.  I drew hair sprouting from the head and then drew a badly shaped body, with arms that were twisted the wrong way waving.  And next to the girl, I tried to draw Arf in a puppy form, but it's paw was raised in the air, and both figures had large smiles.  I picked up the crayons and pulled out some colors, and gave the girl red hair, and she wore a white dress with blue stripes on it, and Arf, was brown and orange, and the sky was a bright blue, and I drew blades of green grass on the bottom of the page.  Over the two figures, I drew a large heart and filled the inside with red, and then I picked up the pink crayon, and toward the edges, I filled the heart in with it.  I heard a knock at the door, and glanced up to see Miss Amy with lunch.

"Thank you, Amy.  Please let know if anything serious occurs on the bridge."

"Yes, Ma'am."  She said, and glanced over at me.  "How are you Fate?"

"I'm okay.  Thank you, Miss Amy."

She smiled and stepped out of the room.  The door quietly slid shut.  Miss Lindy set the tray of food in the center of the table and sat down next to my pillow-fortress.  She looked over at me, and patted the seat next to her.  I walked over and sat down.  The food in front of us smelled so good.  I had never had a grilled cheese sandwich before.  The soup also smelled wonderful, with large wheels of carrots, celery, onions, and chicken dumplings.  There was large glass filled with apple juice.

"Fate-chan," Miss Lindy spoke, "do you know what you would like to do as an adult?"

I shook my head while I was chewing on a dumpling.

"I see.  Do you have any goals?"

"Um.  I guess not going to prison?  My other goal I had won't happen anymore." I said.  I felt a lump forming in my throat.

"Oh?  What was your goal?"

I looked up to see Miss Lindy was smiling with her head slightly tilted to the left.

"To get my mother to smile at me.... like she ....used to."  I paused for a few moments, hearing her words fill my mind, 'You're nothing but a doll' ... 'You're not my Alicia' ... 'Why did I waste my time giving you her precious memories!' ... "But, she never did smile at me.  It was never me she smiled at.  I put my spoon down and stared at it.

"Well, Fate." Miss Lindy said.  "You have another chance, with a new family.  I may not be your birth parent, however, I will do my best to provide for you the happiest life that I can give to you.  Filled with my love."

Miss Lindy walked over to the desk and picked up my drawing and admired it for a few seconds before walking back over to me with it in her hands.  She sat down next to me, put one arm around me and showed me my own creation.

"Fate, this is a wonderful part of you.  Already, I see Arf, and Nanoha, and the feelings of joy and love from them for you.  And if you don't mind, I'd like to keep this, and hang it on my wall, along with some of the other things you make that come from your heart."

I blushed.

G"Why, it's really not that good, it's ugly—"

"Because sweetheart, you made it.  It's a first step on a long journey that we will share together.  And I'm already proud of you, even for this little bit of time we've shared together."

"But what if I go to prison?  Then I'll be taken away.  And—"

"Fate, I'm going to work as hard as ever to make sure that doesn't happen to you.  And my crew will certainly do their part to ensure that you stay here with us.  Now, eat up before the sandwiches get cold."  Miss Lindy said as she ruffled my hair.

"Captain to the Bridge."  Miss Amy called over the speaker.

Miss Lindy sighed, and looked at Fate.

"If you need anything important, feel free to page me."

Miss Lindy turned, and walked out of my room.  I heard the door lock after it shut.
It was my turn to sigh.
I felt a warm hand brushing my hair back.  As I opened my eyes, I saw a blurry Miss Lindy staring down at me, with her kind eyes looking into mine.  I looked over to my right, then to my left, and realized that Arf wasn't there.
"Alone again." I felt a warm hand brushing my hair back.  As I opened my eyes, I saw a blurry Miss Lindy staring down at me, with her kind eyes looking into mine.  I looked over to my right, then to my left, and realized that Arf wasn't there.
-- Kokoro
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Life-long Fan of Fate Testarossa-Harlaown!