"Finish the mission. Destroy Zalem!"

Those were the last words Gelda, my mentor... my mother... ever said to me. Using the full strength of her berserker body, she hurled me to safety before losing her balance. I scrambled back towards her as soon as I landed, momentarily forgetting that another bladed ring could come shooting towards me at any second, but she lost her grip and fell before I could reach her.

Even as she fell, Mother never took her eyes off me. I glimpsed something shining in them that I had never seen before.

It was the same look that Hugo gave me three centuries later as he tumbled towards certain death.

"I love you."

Mother knew and so did I. But throughout all our time together, we never said those simple words.

I made sure they were the last words Hugo ever heard.