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"Honey, why is this happening?"

"I don't know, dear. I wish I did."

A man was packing various supplies in a bag. He moved with urgency. His expression was tense. Sweat beaded on the top of his forehead.

Rei ran down the stairs. A bow was slung over her shoulder.

"Dad, will you please tell me what's going on?"

Rei's father continued to pack angrily.

"There is no time right now. Did you grab what I asked?"

"Yes, sir." Rei took her bow and handed it to her father. He condensed it down and into the bag.

There was a sudden banging on the door. They exchanged looks.

"Here." The man handed the bag to Rei's mother. "Take Rei and go."

"That's preposterous! You aren't staying here, are you?!"

He embraced her. "I love you, dear. But this isn't open for discussion. They cannot have Rei under any circumstances. Trust me. I will meet you again. Now go!"

She hesitated, but grabbed Rei's wrist and pulled her toward the back of the house. Not knowing what was going on, Rei resisted.

"Why are we leaving? What's Dad talking about? Who's here for me?!"

"No time! Let's go, Rei!"

The sound of breaking wood echoed through the house. With all her might, Rei's mother pulled her through the back door.


"Don't stop, Rei! Go!"

Rei ran out through the field with her mother. There was distant yelling, and faint flashlight beams flailing through the evening atmosphere. She stopped suddenly and handed Rei the bag.

"I know there is much you don't understand and I know you want answers. But there isn't any time right now. Take this with you. It has everything you need inside."

"What is this?"

"It's an HYD-00-IX. It will help protect you. Take it and run as far as you can."

"But Mom, what about you? You aren't leaving me too, are you?"

"I have no choice. They are too close. Your father's attempt to hold them off will be in vain if they catch you. Go east, and you will find the military's main base. Get help. Now off with you!"

Rei persisted. "But Mom --"

Beams of light began to focus on Rei's mother. She was barely out of light herself. Several men along with a couple leashed panthers were closing in.


She drew a handgun and began to fire. Rei sprinted toward the eastern woods.

Even behind her, Rei could hear the rustling of foliage, and snarling. Panthers. Without slowing down, Rei drew her bow. She loaded an energy arrow and swiftly turned. A panther leaped out of the shrubbery. Rei released her draw and the arrow flew through the creature's head. It dropped dead instantly. More rustling was approaching. One more left. Rei loaded another arrow and shook nervously. The rustling slowed to where it was almost too quiet to hear. She was being stalked. Rei let down and the arrow dissolved. Her arrows radiated a faint green light, and would give her position away. She kept her fingers wrapped around the string and ready to fire at any moment. The panther lunged from behind. Rei could barely swerve out of the way. It caught hold of her leg and she fell over. She kicked at the alien until it let go. Thanks to her shin-high boots, she managed to avoid the panther's teeth. It released her after her heel connected between its eyes. While the creature was stunned Rei grabbed her bow and fled further into the woods. Again she could hear the panther beginning to pursue her. She planted her feet firmly and drew back, waiting for it to spring. As soon as it did, it met an unfortunate end. Rei collapsed and leaned against a tree. She was too tired to do anything else. She unwillingly closed her eyes and fell asleep, hoping she wasn't found.

She awoke in panic. The sun began to peak over the horizon, casting an orange pink glow. Rei looked around. She knew the sun always rose in the east. She also thanked herself for being familiar with her surroundings. She ran west until the forest emptied out into a clearing. On top of the hill lay a small firearm. Several bullet casings lay around it. Rei began to panic and ran into her home. Furniture was destroyed, curtains ripped. Small blood stains lined the floor. She walked upstairs. Her room was mostly intact, except a few things were knocked over. The closet was wide open. She walked back downstairs. It was true. It was all true. Frustrated and afraid, Rei slumped against the wall in front of the stairs. Tears welled in her eyes as she brought her knees to her chest.

"W-why? Why is this happening to me? What did they want? Why am I so important? Why didn't Mom and Dad tell me anything? It should have been just a dream."

She looked into her bag, hoping to find anything that her parents might have left her, giving clues or an explanation. There was only a change of clothing, medicines, energy capsules, and…something else.

She grabbed it and pulled it from the bag. It extended into a weapon. It was a Light Sword. There was a note attached to the cutter's hilt.

"If you're out of energy, let this be a last resort. I'm sorry that I could not teach you any sword technique, but I hope that this will help protect you."

She hugged the cutter. "At least Dad left me with a piece of him…"

There was nothing else that Rei found informative. She began to sulk again.

She suddenly recalled her mother's words:

"Go east, and you will find the military's main base. Get help. Now off with you!"

Rei stood up quickly and ran out of the broken door.

"Thank you very much, Mr. Phillipson. I apologize for you having to bring me all the way out here."

"Don't mention it. I'm more than happy to help. Do your parents know about this?"

"Yes, sir. They…umm…went on a second honeymoon. Dad sent a text telling me to deliver an important letter he had forgotten about and said it was imperative that it gets here as soon as possible."

"I see. I'll wait for you here."

"Thank you, sir, but that won't be necessary. Arrangements have already been made for transportation. Mom is paranoid about things like that."

"Haha. Tell your folks I said hello then. Are you sure? You won't hurt my feelings, I don't mind waiting."

"I'm sure, sir. Thank you again for the ride."

"No problem, Rei. You stay out of trouble, now."

Mr. Phillipson waved and his truck picked itself up and hovered off, leaving Rei alone in front of the military base. Several other hover cars whizzed through the city streets. Countless people were walking along the sidewalks. She looked up at its towering size. Rei took a deep breath and walked inside.

Rei's log

It wasn't a nightmare. When I awoke, everything I had seen the evening before was truth. My parents are gone, and I need help. Thankfully I have arrived at the planet's main military base of operations. I've heard of soldiers in stories being heroes that always fight for justice and always help those in need. The military should be able to help me. My name is Rei. I am writing this on account of what I have been forced to witness. I want to remember every step I took in trying to see my parents again.

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