+ Figure


D.D. was in a pathetic state. Well, he was being treated well enough; the conditions in the prison weren't exactly squalid, but his mental and emotional state was another story. Xin preferred not to look at him. The young scientist instead leaned with his back against the door to D.D.'s cell as they conversed.

"So, that's really all you can tell me?" Xin asked, finally. He heard D.D. sigh.

"I wouldn't hide anything from you. You're my only hope in getting out of here and setting things righ-…" D.D. began to say, but Xin shushed him.

"Best not to mention anything out loud as of yet, my friend. I'll certainly remember your predicament if things go smoothly with the experiment. And if they don't, well, you'll probably be better off than me at any rate." Xin used a light tone despite the fact that he was talking about what could metaphorically be called the end of the world.

"The council is blind. They throw me in prison for my involvement with codename HIKARU and then look the other way while the Alchemists play God with the Ma-…" again D.D. was cut off as Xin hushed him.

"Please, please. I know the Ma-… the creatures falling to Earth was no accident. This is precisely why I need this information. If what my theory states is true, we may be able to head off the Alchemists before they achieve their goal. You must understand that I'm the only hope for Earth and the rest of the civilized universe. Me… and that girl," Xin said, and he turned his head to look at the slouched figure of D.D. behind the cell barrier. D.D. bowed his head for a moment, then let out another deep sigh. Xin knew he had gotten what he came for before D.D. even spoke.

"She's… not on the island named Hokkaido anymore. She moved to the capital city; Tokyo, right after we left her," D.D. said, after a pause. Xin smiled.

"So that's why we couldn't find her on the island…" the young scientist said. "Thank you, D.D. Don't worry, I just want to speak with her about codename HIKARU. She won't need to fight anymore. The Dual Ribers is meant for someone else…"

"So you are planning on using it on a human subject?" D.D. interjected.

"Hmm… maybe. I'll see what happens when I get there, hm?" Xin said, ambiguously. D.D. clenched his teeth. Too many times his people were willing to alter the fates of the habitants of non-Union planets. Earthlings had already been subject to so many indignities. When would the Union realize they were more than just experiment-fodder? Against the background of millions and millions of stars in the Universe, sometimes it seemed there were too many people that would just ignore one or two of them going out. And yet, on the other hand, how could one weigh the future of the entire Universe against the future of a handful of humanoids? It was this kind of confused rationale that had gotten D.D. into prison in the first place. Although, it had also been this way of thinking that had saved the Earth and probably the rest of the Union. D.D. could never look himself in the mirror and say if he had made the right choice or not. He doubted anyone in the Union could.

"That's the same way of thinking that created those creatures in the first place, Xin. Don't forget that," was all D.D. could say, in the end.

"Sorry, D.D. Morality isn't my thing. Maybe someday I'll have a mental breakdown from all the denial, but until then I think I'm happier this way," Xin said, shrugging languidly. He then stepped away from the cell door. "Bye, D.D. Don't die before I get back. Just keep your mouth shut about all this and they'll probably just forget about you down here."

"Wait! Xin!" D.D. called. There was a bit of desperation in his voice. There was also the hint of a question. Xin knew what question it was. He paused for a very long time. Then bowed his head a little, still faced away from the prisoner.

"Oldina's looking into that. You're probably right about it, but I doubt it will affect my plans much either way. I've told her to contact you somehow if the results are positive," Xin said, distastefully. D.D. had picked up some silly ideas on Earth, in his opinion. Well, whatever. It made D.D. happy, at least. Xin waited for another moment to see if D.D. would say anything else, but he didn't, so the scientist continued on his way.

After the door to the cell block had opened and closed behind Xin, D.D. leaned back against the wall of his cell and let out a deep breath.

"Shiina… Tsubasa. Hold on, just a little while longer before you can have peace. I'm sorry you have to go through these things. If Oldina can find that, then maybe you can have back your happiness. Some of it… tch…" D.D. clenched his teeth again, in pain. Imagining that little girl, and the way she had looked after Hikaru had given the last of her energy to protect her… It haunted all of D.D.'s dreams.

That night, D.D. dreamed about her again.

Yamanaka Ryouji was also dreaming about a girl. Far, far away.

Maetsuki Kumori was dreaming about defeating the Demon Lord to save the imprisoned princess.

Maetsuki Keichi was dreaming about advanced calculus.

And Shiina Tsubasa was dreaming about Hikaru.