Hello, I've decided to finish off the story. It switches between memories and the present time of the story. Enjoy.

Chapter 2: A Path to the Music

"Shitow Haruka – although you would better recall her as Mishima Haruka from your foolish love-sick college days," Makoto continues in a bitterly sarcastic tone.

Startled, I find myself involuntarily looking at Makoto, trying to discern if what he says is true.

He smiles as he adds, "It appears that got your attention. For a moment, I thought it was possible you were going to defy the Foundation's decision."

It was true I was considering it; after all, since the time we parted, I've wanted nothing more than to find peace in my solitary research.

Makoto steps closer to me, the knowing smug widening on his face.

"Oh, and another item to pique your interest, you'll have your very own research subject, your 'sister,' Quon."

He snickers, but continues, "Although the title is off the mark."

Although I hadn't thought it possible, my surprise broadens. Quon? Nii-san's and my mother? I'd never been allowed to even meet her before.

"Well, I see you're speechless; I thought you wouldn't put up a fuss. It's settled then."

Fully grasping the situation, I struggle to suppress my joy and hope as I quietly nod in agreement and leave the room to begin preparations for my coming departure.

Shitow Haruka - Major in the TERRA Intelligence Division. Previously a resident of Tokyo, Japan (AKA Tokyo Jupiter). Mission: CLASSIFIED.

Mission, classified? Possibilities race through my mind; what role does an intelligence officer have in an invasion operation? What kinds of risks will she be facing? Why was she chosen?

My swirling thoughts halt, and I chuckle at my idiocy.

Having at last gathered the resolve, I approach her for the very first time since our earlier parting. She is talking to other TERRA staff, so doesn't notice as I walk toward the group, but memories flood over me, ending with the one in which she tearfully left me. I notice that her appearance has matured and her hair is shorter.

The others to whom she is speaking notice me first, she curiously looks to see where their attention is drawn and a series of emotions cross her face. The others seem to melt away until it is just the two of us.

"Itsuki-kun?" she says, unsure.

"Hello, Haruka, it's wonderful to see you again," I respond.

She smiles happily at first, but it quickly and quietly turns thoughtful.

"It's nice to see you again, too, Itsuki-kun. I didn't know you were here."

"I've come just recently for Mu-related research."

Her face brightens, as she responds, "Music translation?"

I laugh once, and say, "That's an important part. How long have you been here?"

She looks away, seemingly into the distance, as she answers, "I moved here with my sister when my mother remarried. I have a new last name now, Shitow."

Her glance turns to me once more, "I'm in the intelligence division. I bet you would be surprised, considering how clumsy I can be, but I've come a long way."

I smile and say, "I'm sure that you have," but my thought continues, Haruka, toward what end?

Before I can say what I most wanted, she glances quickly at her watch, looks to me again and says, "What a lovely surprise, seeing you again. My break is just about over, so I'll say good bye to you here."

Hardly waiting for my response, she waves as she starts to walk back; I notice her looking out the window in the direction of Tokyo Jupiter as she leaves.

It takes all my effort to remain in my chair, to keep from running to her, my emotions vacillating between anger and despair. Of course, it's simple, she's going to be the one entrusted to find and bring Nii-san out of Tokyo Jupiter here, to our world. Why does it have to be like this? Why is this – why am I – unacceptable, an imitation? Why are two people who are the same so different? Why can't my feelings reach her?

"La la?" I hear a familiar voice say. I look to the doorway and see her standing there, Quon, my precious family.

She steps toward me, a quiet expression upon her face.

I force a smile as I say, "Quon."

As she comes closer, I am surprised when she leans over and embraces me.


She steps back from the embrace and smiles.

Remembering what I had read earlier, I say, "You're going to participate, aren't you, in Operation Overlord?"

She nods her head yes and answers, "It is time for Ollin's song to begin."

So even she…

"But I shall return," she says in a surprisingly resolute manner as she takes hold of my hand.

"It is not just Ollin, but all of us, for whom music remains to be made."

I smile genuinely in return, as I realize that even I have my part to play, a chance to learn, grow, and - perhaps – more, as the melody continues.