Yes… I really am back this time 🙂 The end of the new book made me incredibly emotional, and I fell in love with some of the characters so much that I couldn’t not give them a better story than they got in canon. But the Last Guardian renewed my love for this fandom, so expect to see a lot more of me around here 🙂 With that said, this particular fic contains many, many, many spoilers for The Last Guardian, and it set twenty years after the story ends. I hope you enjoy 🙂
“Hey, uh, boss? You’d better come and have a look at this.”
Mayne looked up from the screen in front of him, craning his neck to see into the next room where his assistant was tapping away frantically at an invisible keyboard. The pixie seemed flustered, although that was something of a permanent state when it came to Levy. But the degree of panic that seemed to radiate from the poor thing was a bit higher than normal today, and the centaur decided that at the very least, it would be worth just seeing what the boy had his panties in a bunch for.
“E-yes, what is it Levy? Lose your nose again?” he asked, trying to keep a light air about him as he spun his chair into the next room, letting his hooves drag on the floor. Foaly would hate that. Not as though he had much of a say about it though – paternity leave was a beautiful thing indeed. Four and a half weeks of the technical consultant’s break still stretched ahead of them, and Mayne was in no hurry for his uncle to return. Why would he be? The younger centaur shot Levy a broad grin and gave his chair an extra twirl. While Foaly was out, he was in charge. And in-charge was suiting Mayne just fine.
Levy failed to return Mayne’s grin, his face still scrunched up in that way it always was when he was trying to think too hard and his eyes still fixed on the screen.
“Boss, I’m not joking,” he said, and the centaur was unsure whether it was his words or the quaver in his voice that kept him listening. “Look at these scans. Have you ever seen anything like those levels before?”
Mayne braced a bony elbow on the cluttered desktop before them, leaning over to get a better view of the readout. Several fluctuating red bars blinked back at him. Immediately, he recognized them as the pressure readings from the E6 shuttle port, only miles away from where the two of them sat now. But, he realized, brow furrowing in concentration, Levy was right. These readings were all wrong. There had to be a defect in the sensor. There was no way the newly built station could withstand that much pressure.
“Move over,” he ordered Levy, for once in his life completely serious. Facing the screen straight-on, Mayne typed a series of complicated commands into the system and waited impatiently for the display to switch over to the view from the overhead camera positioned in the port. The new systems were so slow, he lamented inwardly. After the destruction of most of their technical equipment several years ago, they had never quite gotten back up to par with the old gadgets. There were new things to be had, of course, and exciting things. But the LEP’s own technology had not yet begun to scrape the level where it had been before. With Foaly’s efforts concentrated on the repair and reconstruction of the underworld’s roadways and other vital systems, getting the police force back to its old splendor simply hadn’t seemed a priority.
At last, just as Mayne had just about decided that he would rather give the monitor a good swat than wait another second, a dialogue box announced itself with an apologetic ping. Mayne’s brow furrowed, and he leaned in to read the message.
“Camera not operational?” he read aloud. His stomach performed a feat of acrobatics that he had not previously known stomachs could manage while still holding their contents. “How is that possible? We had those things built to withstand everything. Not operational my hoof!”
Hunching over, Mayne began to type rapidly, never taking his eyes from the screen. Levy, who was not at all fond of his temporary boss, never would have admitted it, but in that moment, the young centaur resembled his uncle in both looks and drive. However, he did not seem to be getting the results he was hoping for. After a solid minute of silent working, Mayne grunted in frustration and slammed a fist down on the desk, sending Levy’s half-drained cup of sim-coffee toppling to the floor. The pixie would have protested had Mayne not seemed as though he could snap at any moment. He had never seen the usually lighthearted boy like this before. I must have found something big, he thought absently. Maybe they’ll give me a raise.
“Levy, I need you to get a line through to my uncle,” Mayne told him, turning in his chair. The centaur was wringing his hands, a nervous habit Levy had detected early on in his employment with the LEP technical division. Something must be very wrong.
“Mr. Foaly is on paternity leave for another-” he tried to point out as politely as he could.
“Four and a half weeks, I know. It doesn’t matter – we need him.” Mayne let out a long breath, rubbing at his hands, his gaze darting flightily to the monitor and back. Levy watched him carefully. The kid was nervous. Really, really nervous. And, a voice in the back of his mind told him, this is not someone who would admit to needing his uncle’s help unless he really did need it.
Tech assistant Levy turned on the spot and touched one finger to the call pad, waiting for it to acknowledge his authorization before picking up the communication device, so far behind the tech of the old days, and punching in the code that would reach the only person under the earth that might have a clue what was going on.