Disclaimer: I don't own Elfen Lied.
Despite being forgiven, Nana runs away from the inn, ashamed at what she has done. The graveyard has been trashed, and the ruckus gets Kakuzawa's attention. After finding out that Nana is still alive, he sends the SAT after her. Is she going to surrender peacefully, or will she have to kill her first human?
A dozen SAT soldiers now surrounded the lone silpelit, though none of them dared to venture within two meters of her.
"Identify yourself!" barked the SAT lieutenant. "Make any wrong move and we won't hesitate to fire!"
Nana struggled to keep herself calm. It wasn't because of the presence of the armed men. It was because of the fact that the situation looked oddly reminiscent of the past, especially of the incident on the bridge with Mariko. Nevertheless, she tried to stand her ground.
"My name is Nana", she firmly stated. "I am silpelit number seven".
The men recoiled and began to nervously mutter amongst themselves. Some of them were the survivors of the bridge incident. The lieutenant remained unfazed, however.
"Sir, she looks to be injured", said one of the SAT soldiers. "She has a bandage on her head".
The leader paid him no mind and continued on with what he was doing.
"We have orders to detain you and return you to the facility", the lieutenant informed. "If you refuse to comply, violent measures will be taken".
"Do you really think that you can defeat me?" Nana asked.
The lieutenant took a few steps forward and bashed Nana across the face with the stock of his submachine gun. She had offered no resistance, and immediately fell on the sand. The excruciating pain in her head shot through her. As for her attacker, he had already lost his composure.
"Yes", the lieutenant said. "I know what you're capable of. I know what every single damn one of you is capable of! I was the one who shot Lucy in the head on the night she escaped, and she still survived. If you're going to make the first move, you better do it now!"
"But I don't want to fight!" she cried. "I've tried to be a good girl and have been trying my best to live peacefully with other people!"
"Get back, sir!" one of the SAT soldiers warned. "Two meters!"
"Shut up!" yelled the lieutenant. "And as for you", he yelled at Nana. "You know too well that there's no place for your kind, except the facility!"
"That's not true!" Nana cried out. "We are capable of living together with other people!"
"And what proof do you have?" the lieutenant countered. "That research director, your so-called "papa", was foolish to nurture filth like you".
With that, he raised his submachine gun.
"It's just unnatural! He already had a biological daughter of your same species. Why the hell did he choose you over her!? I could never understand that bastard!"
"You…" Nana seethed.
Nana snapped. Her rage began to rise, although the pain in her head remained. She was aware of the fact that her injury would hamper her own ability to fight back, so she let her homicidal instincts take over.
"Nobody talks about Papa like that!" Nana screamed.
She immediately lashed a vector at one of the soldiers, grabbing him by the head and shaking him wildly in the air.
"AAAAAH! Help!" cried out the soldier.
"Open fire!" ordered the leader.
All of the soldiers hesitated and continued to murmur in fear.
"I said fire!"
Finally, the squadron complied with the already angry lieutenant and opened fire at the targeted silpelit. Bullets flew in every random direction, but not because they were randomly aimed.
Nana had used her other three vectors to shield herself from the gunfire. When the dust cleared, she stood completely unharmed. Her captive soldier was silenced with intense fear.
"Don't shoot, or he dies", Nana calmly threatened as she placed her hostage in front of her.
"Damn it", the lieutenant gritted his teeth.
He turned to his fellow SAT units for an answer to the dilemma, but they all cowered back in horror. None of them dared to say a word.
"Go back", Nana stated. "Tell whoever sent you that I will never return there. Ever. I have a life to live now".
Using her hostage as a shield, she began to retreat off the beachside towards a nearby alleyway.
The lieutenant could do nothing but watch in frustration. As far as he knew, another one of his men had reached the same bloody fates of other countless SAT units.
"Fine, let her go", he resigned. "Return to the facility".
Nana checked her watch: 8:30 P.M. She still used her vector to hold her hostage in place, although he didn't resist. He was already profusely sweating and whimpering in distress.
"Please!" the captive SAT unit pleaded with Nana. "I don't want to die! Are you the one from the bridge? Have mercy on me! Just please don't kill me!"
"I won't", Nana whispered into his ear. "My argument is not with you".
With that, she released her vector's hold on him.
"Go on and get out of here", she told the soldier. "I trust that you won't go out telling everyone about this".
The SAT unit nervously nodded and ran away.
Nana was greatly weakened. The stressful situation and the mental strength that she used to control her vectors had aggravated the pain in her head injury. She was feeling faint again.
"Papa…" she moaned before collapsing behind a dumpster.
For the last time that evening, she lost complete consciousness.Meanwhile at the Kaede Inn…
"After punching the lights out of that doctor, I made my escape through the window", Bando said. "Of all the most frightening combat experiences that I've survived, castration is the worst!"
The others began to laugh hysterically after he had finally topped off his "war story".
"Haha, nice", Kouta commented. "But if I may ask, how come you're not hunting down any more diclonii?"
"Kouta, my fighting days are over", Bando glumly answered. "The SAT withdrew my clearance ever since this so called "physical condition". Ha!"
With that, he showed them his mechanical right arm.
"Ooh, that's bad", Lucy added.
"Damn right, you ripped it off!" Bando interjected. "As for killing horn-headed freaks, I've given up. It's like trying to kill the inevitable, you know. I've been getting bored lately and the seaside life that I've made isn't really that good. I've been thinking about-"
"Hey", Yuka interrupted. "Doesn't anybody else notice that it's getting a bit drafty in here?"
Yuka was right. The air was beginning to feel cooler than usual. Not to mention, the thermostat didn't seem to be broken.
"Yeah", Mayu agreed. "Kouta-san, did you leave a window open?"
"No, I don't think so", Kouta answered. "I'll go around and check".
He proceeded to the kitchen, the bathhouse, and back to the dining room table.
"I looked around this area, but nothing seems to be left open", Kouta said.
"Check upstairs, then", Yuka suggested. "I don't want to spend unnecessary money on utilities".
Kouta went upstairs and looked around. Yet again, no window or outside crevice was left ajar.
"Where is that draft coming from?" he asked himself. "I've checked everywhere!"
Then he felt that the cool air was blowing from a certain direction.
"Maybe if I follow that wind", he thought.
Kouta tried to feel the direction of the faint breeze, and followed it to its source. In doing so he bumped into a door as he felt around. The draft was coming from inside Nana's room. He didn't want to disturb her sleep, so he opened the door as quietly as possible. To his surprise, Nana was gone! The window was left ajar, and the cool air poured into the room. Her only purple necktie hair ribbon lay on the floor.
Kouta immediately ran downstairs. He had no idea of why she'd run away. Nevertheless, he had to find Nana, again! If he didn't, she could be in grave danger. If she were to be in that grave danger, her injury would prevent her from defending herself. Without her ribbon, she risked discovery. Kouta didn't want to think about the last time she ran off unexpectedly and had that encounter with Mariko. He didn't even want to fathom anything more that could harm Nana.
"Where are you going?" Yuka asked after seeing him hurry.
"I forgot some books back at the university!" Kouta answered. "I'll be right back!"
Yet again, Yuka was suspicious. Kouta was never that concerned about retrieving textbooks that he had forgotten. Usually, he'd try and persuade her to let him copy the assignment off her, not that she liked that. It sounded urgent though. Besides, it would be pointless to try and stop him.
"Baka", she muttered.
"Hey kid", Bando said.
"The name's Yuka", Yuka corrected.
"Mind if I use that computer there, provided it has the internet?" he asked. "It's been a while since I updated myself on some personal business".
Yuka gave him a nod, and he walked off.
Meanwhile, Kouta had already hopped in his car and accelerated away from the Kaede Inn. Although he knew the Kamakura area relatively well, he figured that he could cover more ground this way. That is, if he ever had to cross the entire Kanagawa Prefecture to find her. As little as he knew about her and her past, Nana was still a member of this family. He had to find her, fast.
"Where could she have gone?" he asked himself. "Why?"
Kouta figured that the beachside area would be a logical place to look. According to what Mayu told him in the past, Nana would sometimes stay behind at this beach after school. Even Mayu didn't know the reason why though.
Without further hesitation, Kouta steered down the hillside and arrived at the street parallel to the beachside.
"Nana!" he called out of the car window. "Nana! Damn it, where are you?"
He could hear no response, except for the distant lapping of the waves hitting the beach. The few people that stood on the sidewalk gave him a confused look.
Kouta paid them no mind and kept on driving. Not far from where he stopped though, he saw someone else that caught his attention.
A man was running down the street as if he had just seen a ghost. He seemed to be a soldier because of the body armor he was wearing. Something must have happened.
"Hey!" Kouta called out as he pulled up to him. "Excuse me!"
The SAT soldier saw Kouta, but kept running.
"What!?" asked the soldier, still running.
"I know this may sound ridiculous, but have you seen a girl with horns around here?"
"Yes I have!" the SAT unit said as he pointed to a nearby alleyway. "She's in that alleyway over there! Are you actually looking for her? You're nuts!"
The soldier picked up the pace and kept running. Kouta made a U-turn and drove towards the indicated alleyway. Something bad must have happened to her, but what?
Kouta hit the emergency flashers on the vehicle and got out.
"Nana!" he called out.
Yet again, there was no response. Kouta tried to look into the alleyway, but the night had dampened his vision and that meant that he had to venture further into the potentially dangerous darkness.
Quickly thinking, he dashed back to the car and grabbed a flashlight from the trunk before running back into the alleyway.
"Nana!" he yelled again. "Where are you?!"
The flashlight helped him see into the darkness, but Nana was still not in his view. Only scattered garbage covered the ground. A single dumpster lay at the end of the alleyway. Suddenly, Kouta began to hear distant shallow breathing echoing around him, but he couldn't pinpoint its location. His fear was beginning to rise.
"H-hello?" he stuttered.
He pointed the flashlight in random directions in an attempt to find the possible threat, but found nothing.
"I'm armed!" he growled as he grabbed a rusted metal pipe off the ground.
He listened closer to the breathing and heard it coming from the direction of a nearby dumpster. Kouta stepped forward hesitantly. He took a few more steps towards the container and raised the pipe in his left hand, ready to fight. But no one was inside. He motioned the flashlight towards the gap behind the dumpster, and to his horror, found Nana lying on her side.
"Nana!" he cried out.
Kouta dropped his makeshift weapon and ran to the fallen girl. He could only hope that it wasn't too late. Although he heard her heavy breathing, he pressed the left side of her neck to be sure. To Kouta's relief, she had a steady pulse. He had a lot of questions on his mind, but now was no time to ponder. He had to bring her back.Back at the Kaede Inn…
"Whoa, you guys have the Elfen Lied Fight Game!?" Bando exclaimed. "This game kicks ass!"
"Oh, it's Kouta's game", Yuka explained. "That's what caused the fight between Lucy and Nana".
"Yeah", Mayu agreed.
"Nyuu…" Nyuu sadly uttered.
It looked like Lucy had reverted back to Nyuu again.
"Aww come on!" Bando cheerily said. "That damn thing is in the past! Look at me! I don't have a real right arm and you don't see me complaining!"
"Hmmmm…I guess you're right", Mayu said.
"Besides, this thing has character updates!" he added. "Oh yeah, now they have Bando, Kouta, and Yuka! Not to mention, attack upgrades. Ooh yeah!"
Just then, the front door slid open, and Kouta carried the unconscious Nana inside. Everyone turned around to see who it was.
"Kouta!" Yuka said. "What happened to Nana!?"
"I don't know why, but it looked like she ran away", Kouta explained. "I'm still trying to find out a reason, but now's not the time to ask questions".
"But-", Mayu started.
"She just fell asleep behind a dumpster, that's all", he calmly added. "I'll find out more later in the morning, okay?"
The concerned Yuka and Mayu hesitantly agreed, and Kouta brought Nana back up to her room. She didn't stir anymore and her breathing became less heavy. Finally, Kouta tucked her in bed again and closed the door. He was relieved to see that he had managed to keep her safe, but had he also blown their cover? After seeing that panicked soldier, the possibilities looked grim. So many things had gone unanswered for Kouta, but he came to the conclusion that he could deal with it later. Tomorrow was a Sunday and nobody had classes to attend to. That would be the ideal time to start asking questions. For now, he was off to bed. Bando soon left the inn that evening, and the other three girls also hit the pillows…Next morning…
Nana woke up. The pain in her head was finally left, and the wound seemed to be healing just fine. But when she looked around, she was confused.
"I don't exactly remember where I was before", she recalled. "But it sure wasn't in my room".
Then Kouta entered the room.
"Nana, can I talk to you for a second?" he asked.
Then she remembered. Her eyes dilated in horror. He must have gone out and found her that night behind the dumpster. Just how much anger was he hiding behind that calm voice of his?
"Kouta-san!" Nana cried out as she gripped him in a tight embrace. "I'm so sorry!"
She began to sob uncontrollably and buried her face in Kouta's shirt. Kouta wasn't angry though. He hugged her closer and tried to comfort her.
"Shhhhh", he whispered. "It's okay. Shhhhh, don't cry. I'm not angry with you. Shhhhh…"
Gradually, Nana's sobs dissipated and she looked back at Kouta. She didn't know how he managed to handle the situation with such calmness.
"I just want to know what's wrong", he asked. "Why did you run away?"
"Well", Nana started. "It's just that everyone says that the world has no place for our kind, that it's impossible for us to live along humans. And after seeing…seeing how I nearly killed Lucy…I was almost certain of that…"
She nearly lost her composure again until Kouta spoke again.
"Nana", he started. "I forgive you, Lucy forgives you, and everyone else forgives you. That's all in the past. Everybody makes mistakes and we have to try our best to learn from them, okay?"
"And no matter what everyone else says, the world does have a place for you!" Kouta added. "Whether you are diclonius or human, there's a reason why you're here. There is no way that the 'diclonius species' is the end of humanity! I don't believe it! And there is no way that 'your kind' is of no other use than experimentation! You are part of our family, and if the worst comes to worst, we'll stand by you, no matter what!"
Nana was speechless for a few moments, and then she smiled before hugging Kouta again.
"Arigato, Kouta-san", she said. "Thank you. Thank you for giving me a second chance. But why are you willing to risk so much for me?"
Kouta looked at Nana with a sincere expression before giving his answer.
"Because it is where my true loyalties lie", he said.
Nana blushed, for she was rather surprised and flattered at Kouta's dedication for her own safety. He had become like "Papa" to her, and that was enough of a reason.
"Thank you", she thanked again.
Just then, playful banter began to permeate through the entire inn.
"What's going on?" Kouta asked.
"I don't know", Nana answered. "Let's check it out".
To Kouta's surprise, everyone was back on the Elfen Lied Fight Game, just like day one. Yuka and Mayu were already awake, and rooting for the player of their choice. Even Bando had returned to enjoy it, and he was paired up against Nyuu. Kouta and Nana moved in for a closer look.
"Go Nyuu!" Yuka cheered.
"No, go Bando!" Mayu yelled over Yuka.
"Nyuu!" Nyuu squealed as she hit the controls for a special attack.
"No!" Bando recoiled. "Not the BOOB GRAPPLE attack!" But wait, I'm immune to that! Who said that Bando had boobs? Aww yeah! Eat my six-pack fury, bitch!"
Immediately, he hit the attack button for the MECHANICAL ARM PUNCH attack. Nyuu's character fell, defeated.
"Haha, I win!" Bando exclaimed in victory.
"No!" Nyuu conceded. "Nyuu…"
"Come on!" Mayu encouraged. "Who's next?"
Kouta turn to Nana, and gave a competitive smile.
"You and me, let's go!" he challenged.
Nana smiled back, for she knew that it was all fun and games again.
"You're on, weakling!" she accepted with careful, yet complete confidence.
Thus, ends the final installment of The Fight Game. Thanks to a thoughtful reviewer, I am already working on a follow-up fic for this one. And as stated since the first chapter, I will continue writing Elfen Lied fics, even after my current project is complete. R&R, and be on the lookout for the follow-up fic soon!