Chapter 27: Project IV Survivors Part Ways.
Ellie had healed and she along with Drake flew off to find Luna. Ellie had never flown before, and the second she was lifted away into the air, her normally calm and poised exterior turned into a defenseless and frightened girl on the back of a half dragon. She held back screams, and instead grabbed on tightly to Drake. Shirt 'n' Tie said he'd remain at the camp, to make sure nothing was stolen. Truth was, he really didn't like Drake, as in he REALLY didn't like him. Ellie had some trouble finding Luna, since she had only met her once, and had to remember her unique emotions.
"Where was the last place that you've seen her?" asked Ellie, as Drake came down for a landing.
"Way ahead of you blondie," replied Drake, as he showed her the former headquarters of Will and Toxic. "This used to be her room." Ellie got off, and began to stumble, having to get used to the firm ground now.
"This is her room? There isn't much here." Ellie began to run her hands over the various objects in the room. "Don't you have anything of hers?" she asked, not finding anything.
"Well…." began Drake, as he scratched his head. "I happen to have her dairy."
"WHAT?" asked Ellie in disbelief, "Why do YOU have that, and why didn't you tell me earlier? That's probably filled with her emotions!"
"I didn't think you could read, you know, being blind and all." Drake's answer made Ellie want to strangle the Dragon. "Besides this is personal"
"I don't need to read it, I just need to hold it" she said restraining her voice from escalating to a shout. She was trying so hard not to insult Drake's stupidity.
"You won't read it?" he asked, completely disregarding what he had said earlier.
"I can't read the damn-" began Ellie, before just going along with it. "No, I won't read it."
"Ok…" he said as he handed it to her. Ellie then ran her hands over it, and found a trail.
"Alright, she should be north of here." She was about to begin walking, but Drake had grabbed her from the waist, and began to fly off. Ellie screamed, as her senses were now useless.
Sakura had headed into a city, which was densely populated, yet, everybody had their daily routines. As she walked in, she didn't realize she had walked right into the center of town. Sakura then suddenly became aware of her surroundings as if she had just awoken from a trance of some sort. She seemed startled like a baby deer, looking for hunters.
"Where am I?" she asked out loud. A few passersby looked at her strangely. At first they rolled their eyes, but the look on her face was that of a child who got separated from its parents.
"You're in the town square of Shigai" answered a young man. He walked up to her, to ensure she heard over the city's commotion. "Are you lost? I can show you around if you'd like."
"What are you talking about?" asked Sakura, not looking at the man. In fact, she hadn't even noticed him. "Where am I? Answer me!"
"Jesus, lady, I'm just trying to help! No need to yell at me" replied the man visibly upset, as he turned to leave Sakura alone.
"Why am I here?" Sakura continued. Soon more people began to stare at her. They came attracted like moths to a fire. Was this girl crazy? Was she seeing things? Whatever it was, it was new, and they wanted to feed their curiosity. "How'd I get here? Why won't you talk to me anymore?" From crowd emerged two large men dressed in white, with a bag full of who knows what. They had Shigai Hospital on the back of their uniforms, and approached Sakura with caution.
"Excuse us Miss, are you okay?" asked one of them loudly, but politely. Sakura continued to murmur to herself almost angrily, as if she didn't notice them either. "Alright let's take her in." The two men grabbed Sakura by the arms, and began to drag her to the hospital.
"I know you're here!" she began to shout looking straight through everybody. She began to scream at the sky, fighting tears from her eyes. "Why did you bring me here? Answer me! I swear if you don't I'll kill you! You bastard tell me where I am! Who are you?" Soon they arrived at the Shigai Hospital, and she was restrained by doctors, and placed in solitary confinement. As if she couldn't feel what was going on outside her head, she continued to shout, as the doctors placed her in a strait jacket. She didn't do much to resist, but shouted at the nonexistent voice. Her words became more and more vulgar and desperate for a reply. Then the head doctor of the hospital made his way to his office. His face was covered with a medical mask to restrict from getting sick. He went to the rooms, and began to observe Sakura, as she curled up into a ball in the corner, and began to cry silently. Oblivious to Sakura, next door contained somebody similar to her, in fact somebody who she held as a dear friend.
"Excuse me Doctor," one of the medics called. "Would you like us to sedate the new arrival?"
"Oh, that won't be necessary," he replied, motioning for the medic to see Sakura already calm. The medic nodded as he faced back to the Head Doctor. "I've been waiting for this arrival for some time now. It seems that everything is going according to plan. You are dismissed."
"Alright, I'll be on my way then Dr. Zane" said the young medic as he left. Dr. Zane took off his medical mask, walked to his office and opened his filing cabinet. He extracted the three folders labeled CLASSIFIED and opened up the first one. He was about to write some notes in his journal, but he had a visitor. It was Will.
"Where is he?" he asked, in almost an angry tone. "Where is my son?"
"He has yet to fully recover," replied Dr. Zane nonchalant, as he closed everything on his desk from view of the bald man. "If you would be so kind, as to knock next time you enter my quarters, sir. There are some things in here that need to remain private."
"I don't have to listen to you" said Will defiantly, as he walked closer to Dr. Zane. "I can crush you like a bug, don't test me." Dr. Zane was unfazed, and stood up straight, looking Will dead in the eyes.
"It seems you underestimate me, baldy. If you'd like we can settle this outside, where my experiments won't be disturbed. However, if you decided to interrupt any of them, I'll be forced to kill you, followed by your son. Now if I were you, I'd be walking out the door." Will looked at him in great disbelief. Who did this doctor think he was? Will had just fought and defeated one of the top four agencies along with all four of their top trained Squads in less than a day. Surely this doctor doesn't know who he was speaking to.
"Do you know who I am?" asked Will furiously as he threw his arms up in anger, "Do you know what I've accomplished?"
"I know exactly who you are Will, and what you've 'accomplished'," replied Dr. Zane, adding air quotes around the last word. "I've been studying you and your son longer than you think. I know exactly what you're capable of, but you know nothing about me. You surely don't think that blowing up a building, killing an ancient veteran of war and killing a few soldiers impresses me. You did very little yourself, but had your little army do it for you. So please don't question my intelligence again." Will was extremely angry at the skinny doctor. His eyes began to glow a dull blue color and he pointed a fist at the Doctor, who suddenly was being restrained from the energy Will was emitting.
"Do you want to take that back?" asked Will, giving the fragile doctor another chance to get on his good side. Zane however began to laugh.
Riku and Stacie were left alone in the old headquarter ruins. They had gone back, so they could reconcile with the fact that it was really gone. Riku wasn't affected too badly, but Stacie took it a bit harsher. There was only one thing that was going through her mind at the moment, and eventually she voiced it out.
"Where is my big brother? Where is Kazuya?" she asked, as tears began to stream down her cheeks. Riku turned to her and hugged her tightly. "Why did he leave us?"
"I don't know Stacie," said Riku, he didn't know what to say. If he could answer her questions, he would, but both of them had no clue where their brother/friend was. "I'm sorry Stacie."
"I want him back!" she shouted into Riku's shoulder. "He never even said goodbye!"
"Listen Stacie, whatever happened to him, I'm sure he's ok. Once he manages to get back home, he'll find us. He'll find you. I'm sure he would go to the ends of the earth to get back to you" he said soothingly. Then he added, "I know I would." Stacie's watery blue eyes met with Riku's red.
"I love you Riku," said Stacie, as she lightly kissed his cheek. "I don't know where I would be without you."
"I love you too," replied Riku, stroking her shoulder, as the two walked away from the ruins.
"What are we going to do now?" she asked, not knowing where to go. "We have nowhere to sleep, or stay.
"Don't you know who you're talking too?" asked Riku with a sly smile. He waved his hand, and opened a portal to the Dark Dimension.
"You want to live…there?" she asked. "I thought you didn't age while you were there, I don't want to be young forever."
"We do age, it's just my situation was unique. Now Ghost and I are independent from each other. Demons age much slower than humans do, so while the shard of Ghost was in me, it slowed down my aging. Ghost is always lying about one thing or another, so you have to be careful about listening to what he says. I'm sure he's going to stay my current age for at least ten more years."
"That's kind of confusing," she said. "but I trust you." Riku held her hand, as the two lovers left into a hellish land. They made their way through the dead forest, and into the huge palace that Ghost used to live in. The two of them were surprised to see that Ghost didn't live there anymore; In fact it seems nobody has lived there in years. Stacie then began to laugh, at first it was a chuckle, but it grew to a loud laughter. Riku confused asked what she found funny.
"It's just when I was little fairy tales had a similar ending. 'a knight in shining armor rescues the damsel in distress and they live happily ever after'. Only the kid books usually describe the castle and whatnot as white and bright, while here you are, my dark knight in the shadow palace. It's just so funny."
"Shadow Palace?" asked Riku, with a look of consideration. "I like the sound of that, but I wouldn't call myself a knight."
"Whatever, your my dark hero" Stacie said with another laugh. The massive doors opened with a loudly with a creek, and Stacie and Riku walked into the Shadow Palace.
Three, now known as Kira, was walking with the two vampire children to the market. It has been weeks since they left Squad III, and as he looked back, he was glad he did. He was childish then, but after seeing the horrors of war, he really had felt like a man now. His brother Shini had left him in charge of the two children, as he found a new village they could move to. They wanted to move away from all the bad memories, and start new. The two brothers had searched many places but as they approached a village, the people didn't want the two vampire children to live among them. Shini had almost given up, but he realized, if the smaller villages notice them, a larger, more densely populated city wouldn't as much. In a smaller village, everybody knew each other, but in a metropolis, that would be nearly impossible. As soon as he thought of it, he ran back to the group and told them about it.
"So what do you all think?" he asked.
"I like it!" replied Chaos, eagerly. "Where is it?"
"Well, it has to be a really populated city, where nobody will recognize us," replied Shini. He caught his brother's look of question. "That way we can have a fresh start."
"I see," replied Kira. "What do you think Raven?" The timid girl looked up at the ninja.
"M-me?" she stuttered. Chaos looked at his sister, proud that she was slowly becoming more sociable. "I-I th-think i-it's a g-g-great i-idea."
"Great, then well move to Melan-City" announced Shini.
"Why Melan?" asked Kira. "That place is kind of dangerous for kids, and is you sure that is the best choice?"
"I considered other places, but Melan-City will be the least likely to notice a few more citizens. Every other city I thought of requires some sort of identification, or payment to get in, so we could enter, but the kids can't. Melan-City has many drifters, so we'll blend right in." Kira nodded, and understood his brother's thinking.
"So when are me moving?" asked Chaos.
"Well, we can go whenever you're all ready to go. It will only take a few days to a week to get there." The kids then grabbed each other's hands and began to dance in a circle singing
"We're moving, we're moving!"
Ellie and Drake landed near a cave, which was very dark, and eerie. Drake lit a fire in his palm, while Ellie walked in carelessly.
"Hey, it's dark in there! How are you going to see?" asked Drake, running behind her to keep up. Ellie faced Drake, with a deadpan expression.
"Seriously?" asked Ellie in a slight shout. "you are seriously going to ask me that?" Drake then began to twiddling his thumbs, avoiding looking at Ellie.
"Sorry," he said like a child who was scolded by his parents. "So can you like track my sister or whatever it is you do?"
"Yes, I can sense her," replied Ellie. "She's that way." Suddenly Drake grabbed her hand. "what are you doing?"
"I'm scared of the dark" replied Drake timidly. "It's creepy." Ellie rolled her eyes behind the bandages. They began walking further and further inside the cave, and soon came to a stop. Ellie was about to focus a bit more, but Drake disrupted her concentration. "LUNA!"
"What are you doing?" asked Ellie, as she grabbed her ears. The cave walls made his shout amplified, and echoed back and forth. "Shut up!"
"But I need to find her!" retorted Drake, jumping up and down in a tantrum, shaking Ellie along with him.
"Stop it," said Ellie, trying to free her hand from Drake's. "Ok, fine just give me a second." Drake whined but complied. She focused on the traces, which by now were fading. She found it lead, upward? 'strange' she thought. She then grasped drake tightly "Drake, fly us up."
"K," he replied, jumping straight up and flew. It wasn't more than a minute, before they found themselves in an upper level of the cave. In there were many small, yet deep holes leading to sunlight. Ellie felt the warmness of the beams, distracting her for a moment. They began to walk through, but something caught Ellie's leg.
"What is this?" she asked, not being able to identify the substance. Drake didn't answer but instead ran further into the cave. The strange matter began to make its way up her legs. She tried to brush it off, but once it came in contact with her hands, they began to be devoured too. "Drake, help me!" It was rising more and more rapid, until it was up to her neck, and she couldn't move. Then the matter suddenly came to a halt.
"Ellie!" shouted Drake, "I found Luna!" Ellie could barely breathe, let alone yell. "Ellie! Where are you? There you are!"
"mhmhfm" replied Ellie. Luna was behind him, and saw it wasn't an enemy. Luna then gasped, and forced the matter to disperse and freed Ellie.
"She was over by the end of the cave." Luna waved weakly. Though Ellie couldn't physically see, she could feel that Luna was very sick, most likely from malnutrition. "We need to get her out of here"
"Really?" asked Ellie fed up with his lack of intelligence. "Suddenly the black matter hit Ellie in the stomach weakly. "I'm sorry. I won't talk to him like that again."
Zane sat at his desk, finally ridding himself of Will. He looked at the folders he had left on his desk. It was Sakura's file, filled with all information about her, ranging from hometown birthday and hobbies, to her intelligence level, fighting style and her super powered abilities. He skimmed down and read to himself. He quickly scribbled some notes at the bottom of the page. "It appears that she won't need too much experimenting on." He opened the second CLASSIFIED folder, which turned out to be Four's or according to the file, Elizabeth. She had similar powers to Sakura, but had some unique properties. He had acquired her before Sakura, and was in the room next to her. Dr. Zane then began to write in his journal,
'Day 419; It appears that my experiment with Elizabeth was a success. I was able to use her telekinesis to transfer the messages I gave her to Sakura, even when she was miles away. They are both now in my custody and now I just need to acquire the last few subjects, which shouldn't be too much of a challenge. If all goes well, I will be able to isolate the powers of the subjects for extraction, and infuse it with the last. This shouldn't take too long, as one of them I already know the whereabouts of one of them.' With that he closed the journal and placed it back in his desk, and headed out the door, with a devious smile and an old rusty shovel over his shoulder.
"Where are you headed?" asked a nurse as she saw him leaving the building.
"Oh, I'm just going to see an old friend" he replied as he laughed to himself. "I'll be back in a few days."