Meridian Enigma.
Copyright 2014, 2018 by Raymond Johnson. Third edition.
Cover picture provided by Elle Arden.
(www.iStockphoto.com).

Dedicated to everyone at the Steampunk Empire Forums, and the Victorian & Steampunk Name Generator website created by Spencer Rhodes.

"By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox." – Galileo Galilei.

After regretting a choice made in the past, scientist and engineer Minnie Sibyle Lonican decides to create a time machine and travel back to the past in order to make sure she had made the right decision. However her close friend and confidant Fidelia Callere Rothery is having none of it and intends to put a halt the experiment.

This steampunk themed story contains sad moments within its multi-layered plot as well as retro sci-fi.

 

 

Chapter 1 - My Daughter's Birthday

Taking the advice from Dr Green I took constant deep breaths through my mouth, forcing myself to exhale through pursed lips, fighting my urge to push. My head span and I couldn't understand why it was taking so long.

"Just relax and keep breathing," the midwife said looking down at me between glances at my groin that she shared with the doctor.

"And how exactly do I do that?!" I screeched while looking up at her from the bed.

She ignored my words as though I was an insolent child, instead giving me a stern look over the top of her large rimmed glasses.

"Ohhhh!" I moaned as another contraction throbbed my insides like a giant shit wanting to squeeze its way out of a tiny hole.

Sweat poured from my forehead.

"Breathe," Dr Green said calmly.

Giving birth was certainly not the joyous occasion I expected it to be. In fact it was likely due to what I intended to do with the baby that added to my distress. My husband and I had been trying for a baby for years, and were both overjoyed when I discovered I was pregnant. However, he was a soldier and was mortally wounded during the recent uprising in India, leaving me a 26 year old widow without a penny to my name. I wasn't capable of bringing up a child, neither mentally nor financially, and it was the best thing to hand the baby over to a loving couple who would bring that child up as their own. I knew it was the right thing, but I also knew I would likely regret that decision the moment I set my eyes upon my beautiful baby, so I was going to have to force myself to not even glance down.

"Argh!" I screeched.

"It's okay you can push now," the midwife said after what seemed like an absolute age.

I screamed out as I began to squeeze my already exhausted loins as they stretched far beyond their limit.

"I can see the head," Dr Green said calmly with a pair of oversized metal forceps within his hand.

He quickly adjusted his head mirror, then made sure his white coat was securely buttoned, before bowing his head down getting himself ready for the big event.

Two nuns continued to wait patiently, acting calm as though they had witnessed so many births over the years that to them this was just a usual everyday event. The paperwork was already signed and the baby was to be handed over to them the moment it left my body. I wondered if one of them was to act as wet-nurse or if they had someone else standing by.

My groin felt numb while my insides throbbed. Within moments the baby slipped out and Dr Green started fiddling with the umbilical cord. The midwife intentionally leant over obscuring my view as I tried to look down at my baby. The two nuns had already approached, holding their hands at the ready, to take my beautiful child away.

My emotions were all over the place, relieved that my burden was over, yet full of regrets of what might have been.

"It's for the best," one of the nuns repeated knowing from experience what I must have been feeling.

I burst into tears.

 

Chapter 2 - Twenty Years Later

Hurrying as fast as I could down the narrow streets of Leicester Square, with a firm grasp of the folds of my dress to avoid tripping, I headed for the old lamp maker's shop knowing full well that he was due to close at any moment.

"Excusie-scuse!" I called out at the people hanging around the street corner to warn them of my approach.

There was a horseless carriage parked in the street, one of the steam powered kind, looking somewhat like a kettle on wheels. With the crowded pavement and parked vehicle I had to in effect dash into the road to get past. It was a risk to do such a thing, especially with it being such a busy thoroughfare, but I was in such a rush.

My tall heels clip clopped against the cobblestones of the busy road as I ran directly into traffic. The next thing I heard was the sound of a klaxon.

"Watch where you're going?!" A driver wearing a scruffy black cap and goggles called out.

I felt his choice of words totally apt due to the nature of where I was heading. Watch where I was going was exactly correct.

I poked two fingers up at him in response and continued hurrying, round the parked carriage, and back onto the pavement heading into a small arched lane. I could hear Big Ben in the distance chime the hour. The lamp maker's shop was surely about to close.

Once I made it down the far end of the lane I practically forced open the door of the shop as the owner Mr Phillips was in the process of closing up. He had even displayed the closed sign but I was insistent on getting the supplies I needed.

"Hold your horses!" He blurted out as he steadied himself on his feet.

I looked toward him trying to reveal an apologetic look upon my face then smiled brightly.

"I'm sorry but I need these supplies most urgently," I said.

He glanced toward the large grandfather clock in the corner of the shop, which read two minutes past the hour, then turned back to face me.

"Right-o," he said with his usual gravel toned voice, "So I guess you'll be needing some oil, what kind do you need?"

He made his way over to the shop counter. His brown waistcoat was immaculate which was a striking contrast against his ragged trousers. His shirt appeared a little dirty too due to oily stains caused by the constant refilling of lamps.

"Oh I need more than just oil today," I said as I approached the counter, "I've made a list and, if at all possible, I would like the supplies delivered to my home today."

I lifted the hem of my skirt and retrieved the list from the hidden pocket of my petticoat.

"Today?" Mr Phillips said through gritted teeth, "I'm not sure I can make it today, you see I have pre-existing orders to deal with. Maybe I can get round to you on the morrow."

"I'll make it worth your while," I said with a bright smile as I handed him the list, "I really need these items tonight."

He was far too old for me to use my feminine whiles upon him, even if I tried he was experienced enough to see right through them, but by expressing that I'd make it worth his while could imply I would offer him a favour in return.

His eyes glanced up and down the list before giving me a most unusual stare then continued to read. He let out a deep breath.

"Kerosene, no problem," he said in a casual manner, "But what pressing reason requires the need for sixteen gallons?"

"I've lots of lamps," I responded with a smile.

"Black carbon powder," he continued reading the list out loud, "Gear grease, one yard of wick, three pounds of pure beeswax, a sailor's chronograph, fifteen fluid ounces of petroleum gasoline, a spy glass and finally half a pound of gobstoppers."

"Yes," I responded, "Do you have those items in stock?"

He gave me a long hard stare.

"I only have what's here," he said waving his open hand at the items on display scattered around the shop, "And besides not all of those things are easily available."

"Well I'm certain with your contacts and ingenuity you could obtain them," I said giving him the same smile as before.

He removed his tall hat and rubbed his head astonished at what I was suggesting.

"Well certainly not tonight," he replied casually as he rubbed his head.

I paused momentarily wondering if the items could wait after all. Was it purely my impatience that was the drive to gather everything I needed, or was that particular night so important? As I thought about it I realised I was going to have to wait after all, it wasn't as though I had a choice.

"Maybe I am acting just a tad impetuous," I said to Mr Phillips calmly, "But can you obtain everything on the list, by the end of the week perhaps?"

"What do you want all those items for anyway?" He asked before rubbing his chin, "It's an explosive mix. You're not putting together something illegal are you? Such as a bomb perhaps?"

I responded with laughter.

"Oh good heavens," I quickly responded, "What do you take me for?"

I continued to laugh in the hope he would desist in his enquiry. I glanced toward his eyes, he clearly wasn't fooled by my obvious distraction.

"It's a science experiment," I quickly added, "Illegal certainly not, there is no law against what I'm going to attempt because it's never been done before, not successfully anyway. Immoral perhaps just a hint, but it's for the better good I assure you, and no one will get hurt if things go hurt if things go the way they should."

"If they don't go the way they should?" He said, "What'll happen precisely?"

"Then the excitement will likely explode in my face," I responded honestly.

We stared at one another for a few moments.

"Leave the list with me," Mr Phillips said, "I'll see what I can do, I can't promise everything mind, but I should be able to gather most items by the end of the week."

I clenched my fist with happiness.

"Thank you," I said cheerily.

"Now if you excuse me I have today's orders to process and deliver," he said.

I nodded my head and headed over to the shop door.

"Incidentally what are the gobstoppers for?" He asked as I pulled the door open.

I turned back to face him.

"Oh, just something to suck on during the experiment," I replied with a cheeky grin.

 

Chapter 3 - The Experiment Revealed

That evening I rested myself upon the couch, in a half laying half sitting fashion, while thinking about my experiment. The clock on the mantelpiece, above the roaring fire, ticked loudly as it approached seven. I wasn't lying to Mr Phillips when I stated that I had a lot of oil lamps, for they were illuminating the living room in a bright light, giving the room an atmosphere resembling daylight whilst at the same time removing the usual cosy feeling to the room.

I wiggled my bare feet against the fluffy rug pondering if my plan was the right thing after all. In all likelihood the experiment would simply fail to work, as was the case with all the other scientists who attempted it, but I was sure my calculations were correct and I could not see how things would fail. It was also possible of course that the previous scientists who attempted the same thing did in fact succeed, but with so much power at there disposal they probably chose to simply lie about it and fain failure as to avoid humanity destroying itself.

There was a gentle knock against the living room door followed by the sound of someone clearing their throat. It was Perry my butler. I quickly put my shoes back on as it was unseemly for me to reveal my bare feet and ankles in front of him in such a casual manner.

"You may enter!" I called out.

Perry opened the door and entered the room, casually glancing his eyes around, noticing I had every lamp fully lit yet choosing not to give it a mention.

"Miss Fidelia Callere Rothery has arrived and is awaiting your presence in the drawing room," he said with his usual immaculate tone of voice.

I stared at Perry with a puzzled look upon my face.

"Did she say what she wants?" I asked.

"I never deemed a necessity to ask," Perry replied adjusting his white cotton gloves, "As I believe she is here for your planned dinner date."

"But surely that's for Wednesday?" I said.

"Today is Wednesday," he casually responded.

At that precise moment the clock on the mantelpiece started to chime seven causing a sense of panic to shoot down my spine. The new sushi bar down Suchimu Avenue was our planned destination, but I had yet to make a reservation and knew all too well that we would never get a table if we simply turned up. Besides, I wasn't even dressed for dinner and I wasn't one for rushing when it came to selecting the right outfit.

"Blast!" I said jumping to my feet.

"Do you wish for me to explain to Miss Fidelia that you'll be a little late?" Perry asked.

I rested one hand on my forehead and another on my hip whilst deciding what to do. Fedelia had her heart set upon sharing a sushi meal with me and, whatever the outcome of the mess in which I found myself to be, I was going to have to turn her down.

"Oh," I responded, "Um, tell her I'll be..."

"It now appears that there will be no need," Perry said moving to one side of the door to allow Fedelia to enter as she came hurrying up the hallway.

She stormed into the room looking striking wearing her long silk kimono gown embroidered with metallic beads that reflected the light of the multiple lamps. Her stare went right through me while she rested both fists against her hips as though I had done her a great disservice. Her body stood rigid with the only signs of life coming from her gentle breathing and the gradual increase in size of her bust as though she was a steam kettle ready to blow its top.

"I will take my leave," Perry said sensing what was about to happen.

I nodded my response to him as he exited the living room and closed the door. His footsteps down the hall moved far quicker than usual.

"Well!" Fedelia said sharply.

"I didn't forget our dinner date," I said softly while holding my hands out in front of me in a style of submission, "I just forgot what day today was due to being so busy of late."

She continued to keep one fist rested against her hip as she walked over to the window, the curtains of which were drawn. She stared at nothing for a few moments before facing me again.

"How many times has it been now?!" She asked, "Three, four, maybe. Why do you make dinner plans only to never carry them through? I knew this was going to be a mistake, all this time preparing. Do you have any idea how..."

"I love your dress by the way," I snuck in a compliment in the hope of calming her temperament.

She removed her fist from her hip momentarily then placed both of them back into position.

"I've a good mind to leave!" She moaned, "Right now, this very moment. I'm sure I can get dinner somewhere and with far better company!"

I took a deep intake of breath then walked over to her.

"Seriously calm down before you rupture something," I said as I gently rested my hands on her arms to get her to change posture, "It's never been three or four times, you know it, it's only been a couple of times I've forgotten, but I know you'll forgive me because you're such a nice caring friend."

I gave her a gentle closed mouth smile which she appeared to intentionally ignore. She walked away from me, over to the fireplace, holding out her arms to warm them.

"I really did want to share a plate of sushi with you," she said calmly, "I was looking forward to it even though it tastes ghastly."

"I know," I responded, "And we will, soon, I promise, just not tonight. I've just been preoccupied with something."

I walked around the couch then sat myself down kicking off my tight shoes and resting my feet on the warm rug. Fedelia looked directly at the clock on the mantelpiece, stroking her finger across its face as though it was something of extreme significance, most probably imagining the missed opportunity of dinner.

I stared at her back while continuing to admire her choice of outfit. The flickering light from the fire illuminated the smooth texture of her silk dress giving the illusion that it was liquid in constant flux. Her black stockings, containing noticeable seams along their back, drew the eyes to her legs and her clunky red shoes. Over her shoulder hung a small brown leather bag in which she kept her travelling items such as driving gloves and goggles.

Fedelia moved herself away from the fire and sat herself down on the couch opposite me and stretched out her legs scuffing the fluffiness of the rug with her wide heels.

"So what is this thing that occupies your every thought to such an extent that you forget the passing of the days of the week?" She asked calmly.

I hoped she wasn't going to ask as it was something I didn't want other people to know on account that it may sound silly, or to be more accurate on account that I personally may sound silly.

"It's just another experiment I'm working on," I quickly replied, "There are a lot of fine details I need to sort out within my head, that's all."

Fedelia gave me a strange look.

"You're not working on that heated lavatory seat again are you?" She asked.

I quickly shook my head.

"No, no, I gave up on that months ago," I replied, "I've still got the scars on my buttocks from the last time."

"So what are you working on then?" She then asked.

I glanced my eyes toward the fireplace and the burning fire within not being sure whether to tell her. I wondered if I could fool her with a cryptic non-specific response.

"I paid a visit to the lamp shop today and had a long conversation with Mr Phillips requesting certain supplies for my experiment," I said, "He didn't have what I needed right away but he's promised he will by the end of the week, so I've been feeling a little frustrated at having to wait. I'm often impatient and I know it's a weakness I'm going to have to deal with. I should really work at controlling my over impetuousness when it comes to such matters."

"I certainly agree," Fedelia said, "You have the tendency to do things before fully thinking through the consequences."

For a moment I felt pleased that I managed to avoid her question without looking as though I had, but Fedelia wasn't going to be fooled so easily.

"So what does this experiment do?" She asked hunching her shoulders and leaning forward giving me a sly look knowing that I had failed to outwit her.

I closed my eyes in thought.

"You know I won't betray your trust," she said resting her hand against the centre of her chest, "You can tell me."

"It's a personal experiment," I said, "It's not for financial gain you understand, it's something deeply personal to me, and I feel awkward talking about it."

Fedelia stood up and joined me on my couch positioning herself beside me. She sensed the seriousness of my experiment based upon the tone of my voice and body language.

"Please tell me," she said before resting her hand upon my shoulder.

I cleared my throat.

"You'll think it silly," I responded.

"I've a strong feeling this is the one experiment you've been working on that leads to an invention that isn't silly," she said with a smile.

I remained quiet for a few moments while trying to pluck up the courage to tell her. I took a long deep breath.

"I intend to create a time machine and visit my daughter's childhood, to let her know that I still love her and that she's always in my thoughts, and to make sure her adopted parents are taking good care of her," I said bluntly.

Fedelia let out a deep breath then stood up and sat back upon the couch opposite me. Both her hands were in the position of prayer as she thought about what I had told her.

"I understand your need," she said slowly, "The motherly instinct is strong and you have regrets about the choice you made when you gave her up for adoption. So you feel a maternal impulse to see her again and have her as part of your life. But you have to realise there is no way for you to change your decision, you can't get..."

"No, no," I quickly said, "I don't regret my decision. I don't intend to take her back, it would cause a major paradox if I attempted such a thing. I just need to be sure she's all right, she won't even recognise who I am. I could go back to her childhood and check on her from a distance. Then when I'm fully satisfied she's being well looked after I'd return."

From the look on Fedelia's face it was clear she thought I had become truly insane.

"It would be far easier for you to trace her whereabouts then simply ask her about her childhood," she said, "You could even reveal that you're her mother with no fear of a so-called paradox."

I shook my head.

"I've already traced the names of her parents and the location of her childhood home," I said, "But she moved house long ago with no telling what's happened to her. I just need to see her again, to know she's taken care of. As long as I know that then I'll be happy."

"You cannot travel back in time. This is madness," Fedelia said shaking her head while looking at the floor.

I jumped to my feet causing her to look up at me and flinch as she became startled.

"Then our friendship is over, kindly leave!" I said firmly.

Surprisingly she remained sitting unperturbed by my emotional outburst. It was clear she understood my feelings and wasn't going to challenge them.

"I understand your reasoning," she said calmly, "But you need to be rational about this, and as you already stated you need to be less impulsive and think this through."

"Why?!" I shouted down at her as she looked up at me from the couch, "You don't understand anything and have no idea what I'm going through. I gave up the most precious thing in my entire life so I could live a life of luxury. I'm selfish, I'm a horrible human being, and a terrible mother. She needs to know that I exist. I have every right to go back and change things, and even if I can't, if the laws of physics forbid me doing so, then at least my life has some meaning if I attempt..."

I collapsed onto the floor in tears.

 

Chapter 4 - False Promise

It was a strange feeling as I sat slumped in the middle of the fluffy rug while Fedelia stroked my back. We had been friends for many years, ever since I taught her advanced engineering at university during my many years as a teacher, but something seemed to bind us closely together that was beyond mere friendship, even though at times we didn't get along. As of that moment however that bond was stronger than ever, as I needed her emotional support which she appeared more than happy to give.

I looked toward the flickering flames in the fireplace as if trying to dry my tears that coated my face. I sniffed a few times trying to muster up the courage to speak only to mumble incomprehensible gibberish.

"I understand, I really do," Fedelia said softly, "We all have regrets and past mistakes we wish we could change, but all we can do is learn from them. We cannot undo what's already done."

"But I just need to check that she's all right," I whispered between sniffs.

Fedelia let out a breath then leant closer to me pressing her cheek against mine.

"Your daughter's already a grown woman, checking up on her childhood will change nothing," she said softly.

I remained quiet.

Fedelia leant herself back, and repositioned her sitting position upon the fluffy rug, but still made sure to keep her caring hand resting upon my shoulder giving it a gentle stroke using her fingers.

"Way back when I a little kid I had a maid come nanny that used to live with us," Fedelia said, "Her name was Innie and she was way older than me, yet was friendly in a childlike manner, if you know what I mean. She spoke with me rather than down to me. Then one day, after a number of months or so, she simply left for no apparent reason. I blamed myself and thought I had wronged her somehow. I'd give anything to know what happened to her but it's just one of those mysteries that happen in life and there's nothing we can do about it."

"It's not quite the same thing," I whispered as I heaved myself up and took a hobbled step closer to the fire.

The clock was approaching half past eight and I so regretted not going out to dinner. There was a strong sense of embarrassment too within my soul that I had not only forgotten about our dinner arrangement but also that I had broken down in front of Fedelia. She was clearly going to see me in a new light from that moment on.

"Your maid likely found a new position with a higher salary, that's all," I said softly.

Fedelia stood up and took a step closer. I could see her face in the reflection of the mirror above the fireplace.

"My parents dismissed her upon discovering her false identity," Fedelia replied with just a hint of a smirk, "She called herself Innie Cognito. But I'd still love to know what happened to her, she was genuinely a sweet person."

I couldn't help but to let out a small giggle.

"Now promise me you're not going to go through with this experiment," Fedelia said in a serious tone.

I looked away from the mirror and turned to face her before resting both my hands against my heart.

"I promise," I said intentionally lying.

 

Chapter 5 - Back In Time

The ticking of the giant clock, along with the sound of bubbling chemicals within my laboratory, was loud and it was the first time in my life that I felt truly confident that one of my experiments was going to in fact work. This was such a dangerous experiment too with so many potential possibilities of disaster. If by a miracle of a slim chance it did succeed then I would still need to keep my invention secret as to not allow others to abuse it and inadvertently destroy mankind in the process. Time never ran in a straight line, it was curved like the surface of a sphere, in theory the meridian would resolve all paradoxes even before the time travel event took place, but I wasn't fully certain that it worked that way hence it was an enigma.

I walked over to the terminal of flashing lights and adjusted the dial. I was to go back fourteen years, and make my way to my daughter's childhood home, just to keep an eye on her from a distance, then make my return. I made the adjustment on the return dial, setting it to three months, which would force my return no matter what the outcome. I couldn't remain in the past any more than I was able to bring my daughter back to the future, it simply didn't work that way, I was only to observe not interact.

Steam wafted from the transportation panel indicating that it was ready. I calmly walked over to my desk and put a gobstopper into my mouth as I pondered on my thoughts. I wondered what would happen if I bumped into my past self and what she would make of me. The mere fact that I had no memory of that event in the past meant it was something that wasn't going to happen. Thinking in present past tense was throbbing my head.

Suddenly I could hear heavy footsteps rushing down towards my basement laboratory along with the sound of my butler yelling at someone to stop. I wished I had a lock on the door but up until that moment felt there was no need.

I hurried over to the transportation pad knowing full well who was rushing down the steps and wishing for her not to attempt to stop me.

The door flung open and in rushed Fedelia fuming with rage. She hurried over to me before I even had time to react.

"What the hell are you doing?!" She screamed at the top of her voice, "You promised me you'd not attempt this. Why did you lie to me? Why would you do that?!"

I glanced my eyes toward the transportation pad that still wafted with steam, I just needed to take a small step to my right and I'd be away.

"I just need to try it," I responded softly just for the sake of distracting her.

"Well I'm not letting you!" She shouted then slapped my face causing my gobstopper to shoot out onto the floor.

I pressed my hand against my cheek, feeling totally agasp that she had struck me. I felt the urge to cry not with pain but with shock.

"I'm not going to let you do something so idiotic that you'll wind up killing yourself!" She screeched, "Now you end this experiment now, then get yourself up those stairs, or I will be forced to strike you again!"

She raised her hand reminding me of a strict schoolmistress chastising a naughty child. I was more than twice her age and it should have been me that was the responsible one.

"Alright, okay!" I responded holding up my palms.

The moment she lowered her hand I took the opportunity to lurch towards her, pushing her away from me, and forcing her to take a tumble onto the laboratory floor. However, she had managed to grab the hem of my dress preventing me from reaching the transportation pad.

"Get off me!" I moaned loudly, "I can do whatever I like, you're no longer my friend, leave my home. Now!"

Fedelia managed to clamber to her feet while still tugging tightly at my dress. I felt she was going to hit me again and it was very likely we were soon to be having a fist fight which I was certain I wasn't going to win.

As I attempted to pull her hand away from the material of my dress she managed to grab both of my arms, just below the elbows, pushing me backwards. Her face resembled an angry beast with I as her pray.

"You're insane!" She screeched, "You need help!"

With one almighty effort, taking all the strength I could muster within my feeble body, I pushed her from me causing her to tumble backwards against the transportation pad. There was a flash of light and she vanished in a puff of smoke.

 

Chapter 6 - Paradox Resolved

There wasn't even time for me to react with shock, for the three months Fedelia spent in the past was instantaneous from my point of view, and she was back on the transportation pad as quickly as she had left it. The fact that she was still alive proved the experiment was a success.

We both stared at one another while the constant overlapping sounds of the laboratory appeared to grow quiet. Her clothing had changed too and she was wearing a plain back dress rather than the extravagant red one she had been wearing earlier.

"Are you..." I said very slowly, "Are you all right?"

She stepped away from the transportation pad and glanced her eyes around the laboratory before nodding her reply.

"This is the same day, the very same moment in fact, that you left," I said choosing my words carefully, "You're likely disoriented and confused, but that will soon pass."

Fedelia took a large intake of breath.

"The past few months have been very trying to say the least," she responded while still looking confused, "And I've experienced a lot of unusual events that I never thought possible."

I quickly took a step closer to her.

"You were right though," I said calmly while shaking my head, "I should have never created this infernal machine, and I will dismantle this entire experiment before it does any more damage."

"It would be for the best," Fedelia responded, "After all, you did succeed with what you set out achieve, albeit with the wrong traveller but your experiment worked."

She calmly walked over to my desk then leant against it while I stood intrigued as to what she was about to say next.

"Once I arrived in the past I was at a loss as to what to do especially having no idea as to how much time I would be spending there," she said calmly, "So I obtained employment as a maid come nanny, where I was duly sent to a wonderful home looking after a young child. It wasn't long however before I was dismissed for using a false name."

Her story reminded me of something she mentioned days earlier.

"You were Innie?" I asked.

Fedelia nodded.

"I was my maid from my childhood," I said.

I took a large intake of breath and was ready to speak, but the likelihood of such an event caused me to remain silent wondering if the event itself was created by a time paradox repairing itself.

"You still don't understand," Fedelia continued in a soft tone of voice, "I was checking up on your daughter, as for the reason for creating this experiment, and I became a maid to get close to her."

"And was she well looked after?!" I quickly asked with excitement.

Fedelia remained silent waiting for her words to sink into my mind. The moment I realised what she meant I burst into tears and hurried over to her, wrapping my arms tightly around her.

THE END.

 

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