Memories Upon Broken Glass

It was a beautiful day out in the city of Rome. Amidst the crowd of people walking down the streets were two individuals, one, a black haired man who looked to be in his late 20's, and the other was a girl who appeared to be about 12.

Her long brunette hair bounced with every silent step she took. It was a day off for her, allowing her the luxury of walking about the city, with her "brother" of course.

Yes, they were a fratello of the Social Welfare Agency. It was something she took pride in. She was happy to "clean up the streets." The prospect of killing people didn't put her off. As she said, "Death is a natural part of life; I just speed up the process."

She tuned out as her "brother" told another one of his lame jokes. "You're so annoying Brother," she said a little coldly, "sometimes; I wish I were hanging out with the other cyborgs."

"Oh come on, Adrianna. I'm just trying to lighten the mood." He ruffled her hair a little. "You're always so serious."

"Well if your jokes weren't so lame..."

"Hey! The one about the priest and the rabbi in the bar is pure gold."

"If you insist..." It wasn't that she hated her handler, quite the opposite. She just perferred the company of herself to anyone else.

Now, if by some small chance, she was unable to occupy herself, she would seek out the company of one of her collogues, usually Claes or her roommate. Maybe it was because they both reminded her of herself.

"So Adrie, did you do anything interesting yesterday after training?"

"Claes lent me a novel, American. It's called Tom Sawyer. It's supposed to be a classic. It's pretty good so far."

"Well if you like that, you should read Huckleberry Finn. It's kinda like a sequel."

"Sure, why not."

The two continued to walk down the sidewalk in silence. Adrianna thought about the man that she chose to call "brother." Why can't I bring myself to talk with him, or anyone else for that matter? She let out a small sigh as she continued to walk.

Finally, she decided to speak up. "Um, Brother, do you think we could get some ice cream?"

A smile graced the man's face. "I was wondering when you were going to ask me that. Sure, why not? There's an ice cream parlor up the street, your favorite if I remember correctly." She nodded slightly, signalling that he was, in fact, correct. "See, who knows ya babe?"

Adrianna rolled her eyes and said, "Remember what I said about your jokes? It still holds true."

The man laughed at the girl's choice of words as they made their way to the ice cream parlor.

The parlor was fairly devoid of customers as the fratello walked up to the counter. "Hello, I'll take a strawberry flavored cone, and my adorable little sister will have a mint cone. Am I right Adrie?" The man asked as he looked down at his "sister."

"Yes," she said simply as she nodded.

The cones came quickly and the two found a table to sit down at. Adrianna looked across the table to her appointed brother and handler as he gave her the mint flavored ice cream he ordered for her. "Here you go Adrie, enjoy."

"Thank you," she responded courteously as she accepted the minty treat, licking a bit up and drifting off amongst her thoughts again. Mint has always been my favorite flavor, but why? Even before I tasted ice cream for the first time, I've liked mint more than any other flavor, but how is that possible.

The thoughts confused her. Even stranger was the fact that such a revelation was coming just now. I just don't understand, she thought bitterly.

Adrianna was snapped out of her thoughts by the voice of someone talking to her, someone who wasn't whom she expected it to be.

"Annabelle, is that you?" the girl asked as she looked into Adrianna's emerald green eyes. "It is, it is! Wow, I thought you died!"

Adrianna looked confused as the girl stared happily at her. "I'm sorry," she said with a hint of confusion in her voice, "I think you're mistaken."

She tired to go back to her ice cream but the blonde haired girl just wouldn't let her. "Don't you remember me? We were best friends. In fact, we met several years ago in this very same ice cream parlor." The girl looked wild, her blue eyes wide and ready to bleed tears as her mother tried to settle her down. Her handler was probably trying too for all she knew, but she wasn't paying attention to him.

Adrianna was sick of hearing the girl's delusional ramblings. "You've got the wrong person!" she snapped back. "I don't know you!"

She wend to get up as she felt a hand on her shoulder. "Please, you've got to remember."

Adrianna lost control. Grabbing the hand that held her back, she spun around and twisted it, snapping the poor girl's arm in a sickening direction. "Adrianna! No!" Her handler ordered, but she didn't listen as she pulled out her HK MK23 Mod 0 and pressed it against the girl's forehead.

"Remember this," she said flatly as she pulled the trigger.

Adrianna woke in a cold sweat. It was just a dream, she reassured herself.

She climbed down from the top bunk quietly as so not to wake her roommate and quietly left the room. The only sound was her soft footsteps as she made the short walk to the washroom.

The cold splash of water to her face was to help shake off the uneasy feelings she had, along with the sweat, but from the sound of her shaky breath, it didn't seem to be helping much. "What was all of that about?" she asked herself quietly as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. "It seemed so real. And that girl, I've never met her, but she seems familiar. Maybe I should tell Brother about it."

Her face suddenly too on a look of surprise. "I'm supposed to go around town with Brother today on my day off... just like in my dream."

Her mind started racing. Brother told me never to hurt innocent people. What if I'm being warned that I'll do something wrong? While she didn't know a lot about psychology, her handler knew quite a bit, and was always passing on his knowledge to her.

Adrianna took a deep, calming breath that settled her nerves. "I need to sleep. I can clear everything up tomorrow." She exited the washroom to go back to sleep.

The car ride into rome was exceptionally quiet as Adrianna stared out the window.

"So waht do you want to do today?"

Adrianna snapped her head in her handler's direction. "Huh, did you say something?" she asked absently.

Her handler frowned. "Is something wrong Adrianna? You don't seem like yourself."

Tears started to swell up in the girl's green eyes. "I-I had a bad dream."

The man looked at his "sister" with concern. "Don't worry kid. It's just a dream. No need to worry," he reassured her.

"But I did something bad. I hurt an innocent girl. She said she knew me, and she seemed familiar, but I wouldn't listen to her. I'm afraid that I'll hurt her today." The last of her confident exterior shattered and the tears started flowing down her face.

"Don't worry, things will be fine. While dreams can possess an extent of extra sensory perception, I think there is another reason for your dream."

Adrianna wiped away the tears in her eyes. "What's that?" she asked sullenly.
"I think your memories are trying to resurface," her "brother" explained.

"Is that why she called me Annabelle?"

The man looked surprised. "Y-yeah, it must be," he replied hesitantly. "Let's get some ice cream, alright? Is mint okay?"

"S-sure, it's my favorite."

The man laughed. "Who knows ya babe?"

Adrianna groaned. "Not this again."

Much like in her dream, few customers were in the ice cream parlor. Adrianna was hesitant to enter but followed her handler anyway. The pair walked right up to the counter. "Hello Ma'am. I'll take a strawberry ice cream cone and my little sister will have a mint ice cream cone."

"one strawberry and one mint coming up," the woman behind the counter confirmed cheerily.

After receiving their cones, the pair sat down at a table. "Are you feeling any better?" her handler and brother asked.

"A little," Adrianna replied, "thanks."

"That's what brothers are for."

The bell at the door chimed and Adrianna glanced over. Her eyes widened in fright as she turned and stared intently at her ice cream. "That's the girl from my dream," she whispered hastily to her handler.

"Stay calm," he whispered back. "I have faith that you'll be good."

She listened in as the girl and her mother walked up to the counter. "One mint ice cream cone please," the mother ordered.

"My what a popular flavor today. One mint coming up," the woman behind the counter replied.

The two sat at a table near the fratello. The girl looked over at Adrianna before looking at her mother. "That girl," she said softly, "she looks like Annabelle, doesn't she?"

The mother looked over much more subtle then her daughter. "Yes, Cynthia, I suppose she does."

"What a strange coincidence." The girl looked sadly at her ice cream. "Mint was always her favorite. If she were here, I'm sure she'd enjoy this." The girl seemed to break down a little. "She was my best friend."

The girl, Cynthia's words rang out in Adrianna's head. Best... friend. An image appeared in her mind, one of two girls in the very same parlor she was in right now.

"Mint huh? That's unusual," the one girl stated.

"Yup, it's my favorite," the other responded happily.

"I've never met anyone who liked such a strange flavor. My name is Cynthia. Let's be friends 'kay?"

"Sure! My name is Annabelle. It's nice to meet you." The two girls giggled and continued to talk, their friendship growing.

Adrianna smiled warmly at the memory. How comforting.

"One year to the day," the girl said sullenly. "It's hard to believe she's been gone so long."

"She's in a better place now," her mother added. "May she rest in piece." The girl nodded at her mother's statement as she stood up, still grasping the icy treat bought in remembrance of her dead friend and walked out of the parlor, her mother in tow.

The scene she had just watched washed over Adrianna like waves washing ashore. "I used to be that girl's best friend," she mused, looking heavenward for a second. "But I'm not Annabell anymore. I'm Adrianna now. I have a duty to the Social Welfare Agency," she looked into her handler's brown eyes, "and to you. And I wouldn't give that up for the world."