This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.
To the casual eye, it was simply an oversized cushioned chair with a telephone resting on one arm. But to young Sif, a Goddess First Class on the verge of getting her Unlimited License, it was the symbol of all her hopes and dreams. She circled the seat, running her fingertips along the soft fabric until she’d made a complete circuit. And then she simply stood in front of the chair and stared at it.
“Dear,” said her mentor for the day, “you can go ahead and sit in it. After all, that’s what you’re here for, right?”
Sif nodded rapidly, her long and thick black hair bouncing in rhythm with her head. “Of course, Sempai Belldandy. You’re quite right. I should sit right down and get to work, shouldn’t I?” The young goddess trembled slightly as she turned around and started to lower herself into the cushions; to her credit, she actually made it halfway before her body froze up.
“It’s quite all right,” Belldandy assured her, placing a hand on her student’s shoulder and gently pushing her down the rest of the way. “It doesn’t bite, believe me. Just relax and you’ll do fine, Sif. I have confidence in you.”
“Th-thank you, sempai,” Sif said, trying to control the shakiness of her voice. “It’s just…well, I’m afraid I’ll mess up!”
“You won’t,” Belldandy replied. “Any more than I did the first time I worked on the Goddess Technical Help Line. I was terribly nervous that time, but before long I realized I had nothing to fear. And you’ll do just fine, Sif. I have faith in you.”
“Thank you, sempai!” Sif cried. “I won’t fail you—I swear it!”
* * * * *
“Dis is the worst day of our lives, Otaki.”
“You said it, Tamiya.”
The two ruling members of the Nekomi Tech Motor Club sat in the cluttered confines of their headquarters, their mood as dark as the shadows around them. The other members had long since left for the day, even Morisato and his kid sister. The banners and decorations for their planned victory party hung limply across the walls and ceiling, testament to their bitter defeat earlier that afternoon.
“I know why we lost,” Tamiya grumbled. “It’s ‘cause Belldandy had to go do that mentorin’ thing. We lose our good luck charm, and what happens? Blow a gasket in the first race—the first race! It’s humiliatin’, that’s what it is.”
“Yeah, and to make matters worse, Aoshima and his blasted Four Wheels Club ended up winnin’!” Otaki poured himself a cup of sake and downed it one gulp. “We ain’t gonna be able to hold our heads up for a long, long time.”
“Yeah.” Tamiya pushed his huge body against the sofa cushions. “I’m hungry.”
“So am I. Even though I’ve got the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth.”
“Thai’ll burn that right out, y’know.”
“Sounds good. Lemme grab the phone.” In his slightly inebriated state, Otaki could be forgiven for not quite hitting the right sequence of buttons. Oddly enough, though, his call did go through somewhere.
* * * * *
The first ring almost sent Sif heavenward, no easy feat considering she was already in heaven. She looked around wildly for her sempai, but Belldandy had been called away for a minute and was nowhere to be seen. Sif stared at the still-ringing phone and shuddered. “I can do this,” she told herself repeatedly. “I am a Goddess First Class, Limited. I can do this.”
Taking a deep breath to steady herself, she picked up the receiver and squeaked, “Hello? I…I mean, Goddess Technical Help Line! We’ll be right there in just a moment to request your access grant…I mean to access your grant request…I mean…oh, puckernuts! Hang on a sec and I’ll be right there, OK?”
* * * * *
Tamiya and Otaki sat there, flabbergasted, as the sweet little thing who had only a few minutes ago jumped out of the late afternoon sunbeam and damn near killed herself colliding with the coffee table explained her mission. “So, lemme get dis straight,” Tamiya said slowly. “Yer a goddess?”
“Yup,” Sif declared proudly. “First Class.” She felt it unseemly to mention the ‘limited’ bit.
“An’ you’re gonna grant us a single wish, right?” Otaki said.
“That’s right!” Sif put her hands behind her body and crossed her fingers. Ever since that incident with Belldandy and the mortal boy, every goddess working the help line had been given a strict list of procedures in case of “wanting a goddess like you to stay with me always” wishes. She only wished she could remember what they were.
“But it has to be both of us agreein’?”
“I’m afraid so.”
Tamiya turned toward Otaki. “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?”
“I sure am, man.”
They turned as one toward the young goddess. “WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT!”
* * * * *
“So how did it go?” Keiichi asked. He and Belldandy were strolling down the main walkway of the campus, content to bask in the early evening air and enjoy each other’s company. “Did you enjoy being a mentor?”
“Oh, yes,” Belldandy said with a bright smile. “Sif is such an eager and bright young goddess. I predict great things for her. Do you know, she actually got a request while I was detained elsewhere and took care of it all by herself?”
“She did? Whoa.” Keiichi looked impressed. “She say anything about it?”
“Only that it was a very unusual request, and…” A scream of equal parts pain and panic pierced the peaceful setting; the couple turned in the direction of the noise. Aoshima was racing toward them, his face twisted in fear and his usually-pristine appearance long since disheveled beyond redemption. Every few seconds he seemed to take momentary flight, only to quicken his pace even more upon landing. The source of his discomfort was seen a few seconds later.
At first glance it looked like a nightmare from an erector set. Four tires, engine and transmission built into a strong metal frame. Two beams on either side created a triangular effect, and a metal bar connected the two sides at the top. And dangling from the bar, swinging back and forth like a crazed pendulum was a long metal beam with a thick leather boot at the bottom. The arm rose gracefully into the air, then in a long, perfectly calculated arc descended until the boot collided with Aoshima’s rear end. The impact caused the arm to swing back and repeat the process. And the bizarre contraption followed him everywhere; even more amazingly, he was its sole victim.
Belldandy and Keiichi watched Aoshima run past, followed by the strange machine. “Perhaps we should help?” the goddess asked uncertainly.
Keiichi gave the question a great deal of thought, probably far more than he should have, but after all, it was Aoshima.“Nah, I don't think so,” he finally replied.
“You don't?” Belldandy said in surprise.
Keiichi shook his head. "No, I don't. After all, who are we to interfere with the answer to a prayer?"