I did the best I could, trying to talk to Ryo about things. At first he wouldn’t talk to me, and I just started crying and couldn’t help it. Mom came in and told us something that shocked me. When dad first came to earth, he was a timid young man, practically scared of his own shadow, and he grew into the hero that we’ve always heard about. His shoes don’t seem quite so big to fill anymore, and if anything I feel like I take after him that much more. There was a time when I was a crybaby too.
I also did Razmus’ little test, giving present-day Ryo something to memorize and sending someone else to the ship to ask future Ryo if he remembers it. I used a tanka poem by Ishikawa Takuboku:
(Firmly believing you can’t write characters
except on lined paper, Oh my child’s innocence.)
I sent Glenn up to deal with it, and future Ryo passed the test. I wonder if he understands the poem. And I wish I understood what it meant. That time travel is even possible is something that blows open our conceptions of physics, and it’s frustrating as hell that I have no basis for even guessing at how it all works, beyond science fiction movies. So, I’ve chosen to irrationally believe that time can be changed for the better.
On our last day in Japan I had lunch with Eri and Takeshi, and wound up telling them about the whole superhero thing, albeit not in much detail. It turned out Suzuka had caught some kind of really nasty cold or flu, and somehow because of it she’d decided she didn’t need to see Razmus. Which means something’s up and neither of them is willing to tell me; Suzuka doesn’t generally act that rational unless she’s using her brain to better accomplish something irrational. At her apartment most of her stuff was packed in boxes. So my best guess is she’s moving to America and doesn’t want to tell me. Part of me would like to see a familiar face from home now and then, but Suzuka is like Razmus in that she’s not exactly a source of stability in my life. Suzuka because of her insanity, and Razmus because he’s apparently incapable of letting anything be simple and straightforward, and for his ability to make sensible advice sound like he’s lecturing a child. (And I especially like how he called the Riders “racists.” Him of all people playing the victim card).
Oh, I did actually do a little training with Raz — and as New Hikaru it’s a very different experience by the way — but when he asked about what had gone down the night before I got too depressed to continue. The good news is I didn’t really get rusty, probably partly because I’ve been applying it as a Rider.
So. On our last day Sam decided to be an idiot and show off his powers to the whole neighborhood (man, I’m bitchy today), Jack went and bothered the monk at the Buddhist temple down the street, and Glenn didn’t seem to be able to figure out what he wanted to do. In the evening, we went to the neighborhood’s summer festival. I actually wore a yukata, and Ryo came too. It made me feel a lot better.
And then when we got back to the house, it turned out that Glenn had gotten an emergency call. Mom had dropped him off at the U.S. airforce base, and was to relay a message that we need to call the Super Mentors about Raz’ trial. I did that quietly, on my cell phone from my room — it would be very like Raz to pick up an extension of the house’s phone or creep up behind me. We need the information from his summons to get things moving properly, but at least I got the ball rolling.
I wasn’t in the mood for talking much on the flight back to America. I listened to music and read the rest of that genetics book I bought in Aegis, and tried to think things over some more. Victory Rider is getting slammed in the Japanese press, not that I trust or care about them. I was a bit concerned about PR before — and I think even Raz is starting to understand why it’s important — but with the invasion and war hanging over our heads it suddenly seems pretty trivial. All I could really figure out is that the next bad guy who gets in my way is going to regret it.