"You're playing with more fire than you realize!"
"Well, sir. I didn't arrange this demonstration for you to give me negative input. It works quite well. Simply put, it keeps me from having to tame more of these abominations at that."
"Surely you're smart enough to see that there are major cons to that…if your whole intended plan is to destroy aliens, why are you bothering with harnessing mithril radiation to revive them?"
"We can use them while they're alive. And what's more, we can use much more capable aliens than just a speedling. I don't know…an alien dragon perhaps?"
"You're crossing the line, Ladon! The military had all of the greater aliens eradicated years ago. Why would you try to bring them back? I doubt they would obey you."
"They will, I assure you. Siegfried did his job well. He almost succeeded. And as you were saying about cons…"
Ladon snapped his fingers and one of his men in Chaos armor handed him a large object. He held it up for both of Rei's parents to see.
"This was found in Rashid. Can you tell me what this is?"
The mother answered first. "It's an egg…"
"Yes, but can you tell me what it was?"
"An egg cell?"
"Not quite. It WAS Siegfried. Somehow that long-haired brat of yours and her buddies managed to pull this off. Is there anything else she's capable of that you'd like to tell me about?"
"No. She can't do such a thing. Don't you ever talk like she's one of them herself!" The father said.
The mother spoke again. "She should be kept safe somewhere. She's not stupid enough to go wandering through towns and fighting giants."
"On the contrary," Ladon said. "She is out and about. From what information I've gathered, she's with two others. I'd fitted each of my Black Hole Models with high-definition photo capturing devices in their orbital sensors. Observe."
Ladon handed the egg back to the soldier in exchange for a remote. Ladon clicked it toward a large screen and it flipped on. A still image appeared, and an individual was clad in armor while two other people stood on either side. One held a long staff and was cloaked. The other was a female with a black bandana on her head and holding a purple-hued dagger. They were standing within a village area within deep woods.
Ladon spoke. "Can you tell me who the armored one in the middle is? I bet you wouldn't believe that's you're daughter."
The mother objected. "Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot! She doesn't even have access to military grade armor!"
Ladon raised an eyebrow. "Does she not? I'm sure your right. But you may want to look at this."
Ladon clicked a button on his remote and a news ad ran.
"…still searching for the individual. As a reminder the individual is a long, blonde-haired female who appears to be in her mid to late teens. Recent sightings have seen her often wearing the prototype Phoenix armor that was stolen from the General weeks ago after he was reported dead. If anyone…"
Ladon clicked again and the screen displayed a wanted poster with a picture of the same armored individual they had seen in the previous screens. The decription read:
"Dead or alive. Wanted for murder and theft. 25,000,000 will be paid in gold coin by the UBW Government for the apprehension of this individual. Known to possess extraordinary health sapping capabilities and is extremely violent. Travels with two accomplices. Do not approach under any circumstances. If spotted contact local authorities immediately."
"And if that isn't convincing enough…" Ladon said as he clicked the remote again. The same three people as earlier were displayed but this time in broad daylight. They stood on a narrow platform. On the side of the picture a large shoulder guard stuck in slightly. In the middle was none other than Rei, unarmored.
"That's…that's not…you're lying!"
"He isn't lying, dear."
"Wha-? You're going to let yourself be deceived by some photo cropping? That's not Rei! She would NEVER do such things!"
Ladon chuckled. "Well I'm glad that you two have been caught up on the news. Like I told the both of you. I will have Rei, and she is coming right to me."
"Blasphemy! Don't tell me you've been goading her to come here with your Black Hole puppets!"
"Quiet, woman. As far as I know she, just like every other person on the face of this planet, doesn't know where I operate. If I reveal my location to her, then she would know I'm baiting her here."
"I told you! I told Rei to go get help! What makes you think she would have a reason to come here?"
"I can clearly see you aren't as smart as your husband. She seeks the very thing I took from her: you two. That's been the reason behind the crimes over her head. She wants you two, and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Rei is very aware of her power, and she is exploiting that to her advantage. To make matters more interesting, she has managed to recruit two individuals of elite level combat skill and they serve as her guardians. It's all to find her missing parents…and as long as I leave you hanging here, she will come in due time. Just you wait…"
Ladon walked out and the doors sealed behind him.
"You and that bad sense of humor of yours! How could you actually say that was her in those pictures! You know as well as I do that she would never do anything like that!"
Rei's father wasn't laughing or joking. His expression was stern and tense. He stared blankly as if he was lost in deep thought.
"When she had us to guide her, maybe not. But she is on her own now, and that changes everything."
"What do you mean?"
"That she is making decisions for herself, deciphering right and wrong from her own point of view. She's barely an adult and lacks maturity. When we were separated from her she was worried and afraid."
"…how can you tell that?"
"Partly just an instinct from being a parent who is worried about his daughter. The rest…I can sense her feelings. Almost like she's a part of me."
"You're saying you somehow have some kind of empathy link with her?"
"Yes and no. I don't know why that is. I can't see where she is or anything, but it's almost like her own inner feelings are shared with me. It's not perfectly clear, but I can sort of feel her own emotions. It may be for reasons I hope isn't true…"
"…what is she feeling now?"
He hesitated. "I know this isn't what you want to hear, but try to understand this is truth. I can't sense anything other than hatred, and slight paranoia. It's usually a bit faint, but this time it seems clear. And what's more, I see traces of anger toward one person in particular. I'm guessing Ladon. But this is why I know that everything we just saw is true. She knows what she is capable of, and as soon as she realizes that she can strike fear into any and everyone, she will use that to her own advantage. I have a feeling…a very bad feeling. And now my worst fears are beginning to fall into place."
"What? What are you saying?"
"…I know we've talked about this years ago, and I had told you my own suspicions of how she acquired her Soul Eater ability. And because of that, I vowed never to tell her anything. Do you remember?"
"Yes…I remember. But can you refresh my memory as to why you've worked so hard to keep that away from her?"
"As I said…I believe my worst nightmares are coming to pass. I'm afraid Rei may be evolving into something that was already once a planet-wide wake of destruction."
"She's always going to be a sweet girl! Even if she is just extremely temperamental, she won't change!"
"You're as hard-headed and stubborn as always. I know you'll never admit to believing what she might be becoming. But as long as she never learns, she should be fine…under NO circumstances can she be allowed to know who she is…"
"No…surely you don't mean…!?"
"That's exactly what I mean. She is already unafraid to use her own extraordinary power just to get what she wants. If she learns too much about herself, then I'm afraid this whole planet may face the same destruction that once ensued before. I wanted her to stay safe by any means, even if it meant keeping secrets that she would otherwise deserve to know. I can't prevent that anymore, but I can only hope she never learns the truth, or else it may lead to the end of this world…"