Author’s Note: I need to apologize for those that might be waiting (if there ever is….) for the battle parts that SHOULD ensue here. Unfortunately, I am not a martial arts writer, and even if I try, it’ll suck anyways……. So forgive me, please! ^-^
It was over before any of them could ever imagine. Surprisingly, and probably luckily, Takatori Kenichi didn’t hire as many mercenaries as they anticipated he had. Maybe the man was over confident about his clever maze, or that weird-looking machine he tried to turn on before Farfarello smashed it into pieces. When asked later, the Madman admitted that he had another fetish aside from hurting God, and that is destroying machines.
Which explained the numerous broken TV, monitors, and other electronic equipments that was forced to be replaced in Schwartz’s home every two weeks.
But what followed was not what they had expected, and certainly not what they had hoped. Both Schuldich and Crawford screamed when they saw their loved ones’ condition. Nagi was just finished being prepared for transfusion of Takatori’s brain cells, and Omi had cut the cords connecting the two just in time. In rage, Takatori attempted to attack them with his invention, only to have it smashed by Farfarello with a couple of somersaults, and Takatori was captured by Youji’s piano wires.
The other room was less exciting, but more tragic, per se. The scientists fled when they saw the guards being killed by a bullet to the head and two claws slashing through, leaving Aya lying on the experimenting bed, half of his body hanging on the edge. Blood was spurting out through the forceful removal of the cords and wires, and his eyes were empty and lifeless.
Schuldich tried to reach Aya mentally, but he came back with no response. With Nagi in arms, Crawford hurried over and asked Schuldich to try on the boy, and again with the same result. It was as if the two was dead, yet there were still vital signs left in their body. Barely.
“Aya? Aya!!” Schuldich ran down the hall, calling and looking for the boy. He was sweating with worries, and his mind was filled with panic. It was when he opened a door quickly that he relaxed, and sighed.
There he was, curling up next to the bed, carefully not touching the tubes and wires attached to a small body on the bed, sleeping peacefully. His arms wrapped around his legs that folded against his chest, and rested his chin on them. He was pale, but an angelic, innocent face replaced the serious, cold, calculating one that others were so used to before. His long crimson hair fell into his face, went down his shoulders and down his back.
He looked….. like a lost child.
Schuldich sighed, and went over to the boy. He took a glance at the small body attached to at least a dozen tubes and machines, and sighed even more. Crawford was out looking for a cure….. again…… and Farfarello was out looking for food. He had to take care of the two boys, and really, he felt wary…. Not that he didn’t want to, but the situation had made even him depressed.
In fact, all of them were, and it had been three years after the fateful battle already…..
After they rescued Aya and Nagi out of the “Hell Hole”, as they named it afterwards to avoid using the name Takatori, they moved to a mansion in Ireland, which Farfarello bought with his first pay check as a Schwartz. With Omi’s help, they erased all records of Aya and Schwartz, and created new identities in Ireland. The only people that knew their whereabouts were Manx and the ex-Weiss members, who sometimes would come and visit them.
And they didn’t move without a reason.
Nagi never woke up from the damage, and many doctors had pronounced the boy “brain dead.” Crawford refused to believe such diagnosis, and continued to search around the world for any cure that could wake the boy up. He believed that Nagi was just asleep, not knowing the nightmare was over, and it was safe for him to wake up.
Farfarello said Crawford’s crazy, and Schuldich couldn’t find any objections to that statement.
As for Aya….. Well, he was better, but not far off. When he first woke up, he started screaming, crying, and kicking. It took Balinese and Siberian to hold the boy down, and a strong sedative to put him back to sleep. But they soon learned that Aya couldn’t read. He couldn’t write, and he couldn’t understand what people were talking about. His eyes were as clear as a baby’s, which goes for his brain as well. It took them four months to teach the boy how to walk and eat proper food, and many everyday life survival skills.
Three years had passed, and Aya’s intelligence only increased a little, which he knew how to make gestures to get what he want. Like a two year-old, no older than three.
Which was why they had to move the two away from Japan. With the Japanese society, Crawford and Schuldich weren’t sure how they could hide the two without causing a public riot. People’s curiosity would kill them, and Nagi and Aya, literally.
So they moved to Ireland where their neighbor was an hour drive away from them, and all they had to do was to use Crawford’s last name as their “family name”, and tell the government that they were a family.
Yeah, a mix-raced family. Right. Well, with the help of Omi’s hacking skill, and the perfect act performed by Crawford and Schuldich, if they wanted to say that Farfarello was a Martian, nobody would doubt them.
Scary, wasn’t it?
“Schu,” a voice snapped Schuldich from his thoughts, and he turned, raising an eyebrow.
“What’s up, Farf? You got what you need?”
Farfarello nodded, and turned to head to the kitchen, “Brad’s back, and the kittens are here.”
“Huh,” Schuldich snickered, and picked up the sleeping Aya, “Let me guess, there’s no way to cure Nagi.”
“Guess I’m right.”
“No it’s not,” Crawford’s voice intruded as the two arrived in the large living room, where Omi, Ken and Yohji were there sipping tea. Unlike the usual looks they had on whenever they came over—sad, pained, and a bit of jealousy, they were cheerful, happy and excited.
For what? Schuldich mused, sitting down at the sofa across the Weiss kittens, shifting Aya in his arms so the boy could rest more comfortably. “What do you mean it’s not?”
“We think we might have something that could help,” Omi said, putting down his cup and smiled happily. “Even though it was not tested, but the theory works, and that alone was exciting enough.”
Schuldich frowned slightly, and looked over at Crawford, who had his head lowered his head so no one could see his expression. Schuldich sighed. Well, he didn’t want to read the man’s thought, since that’s virtually impossible anyway…… so he focused back to Omi, who had been babbling for a while already.
“….. and so if we can get into Nagi-kun’s mind like ‘he’ did, with the screen, we may know what’s wrong. To fix it, Schuldich-san’s power could be handy here, and the rest is up to God.”
Surprisingly, Farfarello made no noise about the word ‘God’ this time.
Crawford stood up, and nodded, “You have one week.”
“What!?” Omi cried, “One week’s too short!!”
“One week, or you’re out.” the Oracle said coldly, and turned to leave.
“Okay, perhaps you should fill me in now,” Schuldich waited until Brad disappeared into Nagi’s room, “What do you mean, my powers help and getting into Nagi’s mind and all that? I’m confused.”
Youji rolled his eyes, “You weren’t listening, were ya?” he mocked, and pointed at a laid out blue-print of a complicated machine flow chart. “Basically, we went back and revisited the ‘Hell Hole’, and managed to salvage some of the equipment that hadn’t been destroyed by your insane Irishman. It took Omi and the entire Weiss network to figure out how to work them, but eventually, they figured out something. Now it’s just the matter of control and safe-guarding.”
“So I’m the guard?” Schuldich asked, raising his eyebrow as he studied the flow chart. He gave up within the first couple of glances, since technology was never his strong point. “Would it be safe?”
Omi shook his head sadly, as he finished another one of numerous phone calls he had been making ever since Crawford left with a near-impossible deadline. “Unfortunately, there was no way of testing this equipment. So whether it’ll work or not…. There is no guarantee.”
Well, better try than leave the boy for dead, it seems, thought Schuldich bitterly, and turned to look at the direction where Crawford disappeared into. The Oracle had become more and more distant from the rest of them, and even though Schuldich could try to read into the other’s mind, his own depression and fatigue made the desire to do so even more less than ever. Hell, when even Farfarello was affected by both him and Crawford, it’s bad.
The boy in his arms sneezed slightly, shifted and drifted deeper into sleep. Schuldich smiled softly, an unconscious move he had grown accustomed to, and got up. “Just tell me what you need and what you want me to do,” he said before going back to the room he shared with Aya.
Seeing how they’re once again deserted, Ken laid down on the large couch, “You know, they need to learn how to treat guests,” he stretched, and jumped up, “I’m going back to ‘my’ room.”
Youji smirked, “At least they have the courtesy to spare rooms for us, so be glad. They are sociopaths like us, after all.”
—To be Continued