Note: I have so much to apologize for the very late update!! I'm really sorry! But I didn't give up on this!! Thank you so much to the people reviewing and still reading my story! I hope you like the new chapter!

Mechanical Hearts

Chapter 5: A falling Star

Otaru rubbed and rubbed again the small piece of glass between his hands against the ropes that tightly held his ankles together. His arms were weak, shaking weak, but he had no intention of stopping what he was doing until he could finally be freed, even daring to make much more effort than what his limbs could handle.

He needed to escape that place whatever it cost him. Suddenly, a shadow moved from the only door of the room he was in. His eyes flickered, focusing on the shadow crossing the space in between.

Otaru tensed, that was no Lucas' men, that silhouette approaching was too small, too thin to be a beast. He stood still, waiting for whoever was coming, sure it couldn't be worse than what he had already been through. The silhouette was now standing in front of the young man, dark eyes glowing showing an expression of pity and deep inside worry for his condition.

A marionette.

Otaru scanned the girl attentively through his sore eyes. She stood majestically looking at him a minute before crouching on the floor in front of him. She was dressed in a tight spandex long-armed and long-legged bodysuit which glittered in the faint light with millions of what seemed like very tiny white diamonds. Otaru thought it looked like she was wearing a night sky full of stars.

She looked at him, a pale white face with dark blue eyes, long and straight black hair pulled up and tied in a high pony tail behind her head. Though she looked beautiful, her expression was hard to read. She demonstrated sad eyes but her mouth was pressed in a thin line, full of determination.

Something was telling Otaru that marionette was made to be a queen but somehow, the vestiges of brown dust on her cheeks and hands full of small white scars of many sizes and shapes, life had turned her into a mere servant.

"I'm sorry I didn't come sooner." Her voice spoke and like he had guessed it would be, a firm clear voice. But yet, a woman's voice ringing distantly in his ears, sore from, what he could feel now as she spoke, the beatings he'd taken. "I had to find an opening so I could come here talk to you."

"I don't understand…" Otaru whispered, looking for some air deep in his lugs, he noticed how hard it was for him to speak, his stomach contracted, hurting.

"My name is Star." The girl spoke now placing her right hand on top of Otaru's that he realized hadn't stop trying to cut the ropes holding his feet. Otaru paused what he was doing at her warm touch and listened. "I'm Lucas' marionette." Otaru's body stiffened, his eyes turned suspicious but before he could reply, Star interrupted him with her voice.

"Don't worry, I want to help you. I can't stand what he is doing to you but I'm only one in comparison with his troops. I'm so sorry for what they have done to you…" Her eyes looked away as if not bearing to look at his face no more. She continued.

"Every since I was awake, Lucas has been my master. At first we had fun, he treated me good although I've always noticed by the way he sometimes acted I was nothing but a tool to him, I always knew he didn't love me… Man to woman… the way he sometimes was so cold… but I was fine with that as long as he, well, needed me. Over the years it started getting worse though… He wanted power, he was blind with it and I didn't follow him, all I wanted was for him to be happy with me. My heart was never meant to be evil. And I know his isn't too…"

Star paused to sigh heavily, fighting the sudden urge to cry as she remembered something tormenting her mind.

"But it is way out of my control now. It's not his fault that I can't be the way he wanted me to, you know, a ruthless fighting machine that followed his orders. It's something within me…Usually marionettes are what their masters make of them, but I have MY feelings, I developed my own personality… Some even called me a new race of marionettes… independent, with the ability to be free from their masters, although I never really wanted to be away from Lucas." Otaru listened attentively with extra strength to hear her. He realized he couldn't help but feel sorry for the girl in front of him, he could tell she had been through a lot in the hands of that monster she called master.

"Star…" Otaru whispered again.

"It's alright, you don't have to sympathize with me… I'm only here to help you not to bother you with my story." She looked up at him, showing a tiny smile.

"Do you know anything about Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry?" Otaru managed to ask, pausing to take a painful breath.

"I know three men went to give them a message tonight and only two of them came back. They were saying the one who didn't come back died but managed to get one of the three hurt…" Star paused to examine Otaru's expression. If he was in pain already, he now felt like screaming in horror. He shook his head and continued slashing the ropes for freedom with a new source of strength.

One of them got hurt…

"Do you know who was it?" Otaru sobbed, not noticing the warm water falling silently from his eyes.

"I… I'm sorry I shouldn't have told you…"

"Do you know?" Otaru looked up to glare at the girl, with gritted teeth.

"I think I heard, the blue-haired one… She barged towards them and caught the man who didn't come back, he was armed…" Otaru could have guessed it, he let out a faint cry of despair.

"Get me out of here. Right now." His hands tightly gripped her collar and shook her threateningly.

"I have to ask you to be a little patient please." She spoke. "Now is not a good time. I will come back and the next time is to take you out of here I promise."

"No… I need to go now." Otaru placed a hand on the wall for support of getting up. Star reached for his shoulders and pulled him down.

"You're going to have to trust me, please. If you want to leave this place alive." Her eyes were serious, Otaru had no choice. He sighed in defeat and sat back down again, eyes closed while dropping his head down almost to his chest.

I'm so tired, so sick of being here, I need them all so much. I don't know how much I can take.

But it was better have him alive than doing something stupid like taking everything to waste now and leave the three girls alone in that crazy world. Before he could find the strength to complain, Star held his chin up with one hand and with a finger softly opened his mouth pulling his lower lip down and helped him drink a glass of water she had brought him. Realizing what she was doing, Otaru eagerly took the glass of water in his hands and drank it down at once, parched. It was only then he noticed how dry his lips felt finally touching some water.

It was as if he had another layer of skin in his mouth since it took him some seconds to actually feel the water on his lips.

"Act like you were still tied…" Star said before getting up to leave.

"Thank you…" Otaru stretched to catch her wrist on his hand so she turned to him. "Really."

"I've heard about you through Lucas. Your marionettes are very lucky to have you." She gave him a warm smile and silently walked out of the room.

Come on, don't give up… Wherever they are… They won't too. Lime, I know you'll be fine. You're the strongest. I miss you all so much.

I'm get out of here soon. They won't get hurt anymore because of me.

"Lorelei…" Cherry pleaded as she looked at the marionette sleeping peacefully down on the floor of the silent room. They had returned to the Castle after the events on the bridge. After what Lime had done she collapsed to the side sparkling. Cherry and Bloodberry had to carry her carefully back to Lorelei's Castle where the best builders of Japoness fixed some circuits that got loose inside Lime and repaired the shotgun's damages and wounds. "Will she be alright?"

"Lime has been through what it's called a circuit meltdown. It happens when a marionette is exposed to a huge charge of emotions causing her circuits to over-heat and meltdown. The only wires that do so are the ones closer to the heart, the maiden's circuit, which makes the marionette not think clearly and act completely lost and out of their conscious. Lime… killed that man as if she wasn't the one really doing it. She lost control of her feelings." Lorelei explained. "She has been taken care of now, she should be fine. She just needs to rest for a while to get fully recovered. Marionettes are run by such a complicated and very delicate system… You are all so amazing and unique."

"I feel so useless Lorelei." Bloodberry's hands were shaking. "I can't save Otaru, I can't protect Lime… If something happens to Cherry too, I don't know what to do…" Her eyes filled with anger tears.

"Bloodberry." Lorelei grabbed her hand and placed it in between hers to calm it down. "You can't put it all on your shoulders. You're doing the best you can."

"Yeah right." Blodberry spat sarcastically.

"Bloodberry… We're together in this… The three of us and we need to take care of each others. Wherever he is, we'll find Otaru and he will be so proud of our team work." Cherry spoke while imagining the four of them reunited again happily. "Don't blame yourself for everything that has happened. We need you so much."

"You know Cherry…" Bloodberry sighed. "I think he has always liked her the way we wanted him to like us."

"Otaru…" Lime mumbled through her deep sleep. The three girls that stood at the door turned their heads in her direction carrying with it a worried expression on their eyes. Those were difficult times to go through.