Chapter 6: POWER

It is here in Kyoto, Japan; At the Shugo family cemetery, Sakura Tomanaka and Kayuga Shime visit the final resting place of an old friend. They brought flowers, though it appears they weren't the only ones to do so.

Kenji Shugo: 2006- 2027 "A loving brother and son."

"It's not fair." Kayuga quivered. And had not Sakura been there, she may very well have cried out, but……She did no such thing. So no tears from either were shed, not because they couldn't or didn't want to. They needed to be strong. They needed to grow stronger. Needed to obtain every ounce of power they could scrap up, so that no one else would have to die. They wouldn't have to stand at someone's grave, endlessly wandering……"Why?"

"Why did this happen?"

"Why wasn't I there?"

"Why am I so weak?"

"Why him?"

"Why?!"

Still no tears as the pair departed. Yet and still, their hearts became hardened and defensive. Why bother getting so close to someone in these times? Why bother loving someone in the middle of a war? There was no benefit to it, just pain and heartache. To start every remaining day of your life without the person who started it with you just yesterday. To, at that moment realize the treasure you had…..lost. It hurts to breathe, doesn't it? Hurts to move, hurts to think and even…….even crying hurts. And for the ones who hold back those tears, it hurts even more. Why should they go through such pain again? From now on; to protect themselves and remain sane, comrades would be just that………comrades, and nothing more. A task easier said than done, but….. They left Kenji's grave, hearts as cold as the icy wind that rushed against their faces. There were matters to attend to, places to go, maggots to crush. And they; those maggot-like invaders would be laid to waste to the liking of these fatal females. We leave the two for the moment, as there is no need to expound on the oncoming slaughters.

At A.E.G.I.S Head quarters, Yukino Houjo has become fellow gatekeeper Kimi Sasame's new object of affection. She said nothing as Kimi pinched and stretched her round cheeks back and forth like dough in the hands of a five year old. It had been quite a while since Yukino had been touched so tenderly, and although annoyed to some degree she let this continue. 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes…….

"Wow!" Said Kimi "You're very cute and your face is so round and soft."

It couldn't be helped, Kimi seized Yukino's cheeks once again a continued we're she left off. "I can't believe your actually here Yukino. The others often talked about you, but I didn't think you were real. This is…..oh man, I'm totally excited!"

1 minute, 2 minutes………

"What is your name?" Yukino asked

Kimi stopped her assault, as Yukino had hoped she would.

"I'm sorry, that was rude of me…..heh. My name is Kimi Sasame, nice to meet you Yukino."

"Kime……Sasame?"

"Yep, that's me."

"Kimi Sasame. Age: 13. What is power? What distinguishes those who are powerful from those who are not? I wonder……… People have so many different definitions for power that at the end of the day, the true meaning is lost. Kenji had power. How would you define the power he had? Maybe to you he didn't really have any power; After all…..he's not here anymore. Any power he might have had didn't help him any, did it? I'm the youngest Gatekeeper in Japan. I've been told many times how I'm a lot more mature for my age……most of the time, but lately I haven't been treated like it. Jean doesn't send me out much anymore. I know he's worried about me, but……..I'm stronger than most Gatekeepers, I'm not some burden that needs to be protected. It'll come; the day when I show my power and the true meaning of what power really is will come."

It was about time for Jean to head out to a nearby park, where paranormal frequencies had been detected. After entrusting A.E.G.I.S headquarters to the two gals, Jean takes his leave. Maybe leaving Yukino alone with the likes of Kimi wasn't such a good idea. And maybe that make-up kit Kimi whipped out wouldn't be used for the purpose of altering Yukino's face in some way. As far as Jean was concerned, Yukino gave off the impression that she already wears a fair amount of make-up. Within a minute the idea of coming to Yukino's rescue was quickly dropped and he continued toward the park.

Upon approaching the park entrance, Jean could see that he had been beaten to the punch. The scorched trees and landmasses were painfully vivid, it's a wonder she didn't burn every inch of the park.

"Think you overdid it a little?" he asked

Kayuga ignored this, making her way around and finally past Jean. There wasn't much else he could say to her, Kayuga generally didn't respond well to pep talks. Sakura however was stopped from passing. Jean gently grabbed her arm so that they stood side by side.

"I know it's hard but…….Killing them in anger will only led to roads of darkness. Is that a path you really want to take, Sakura?"

Jean waited, but was unable to get any sort of response from her. He griped her arm just a little bit tighter and staring down at her, asked again….

"Is it?"

A short pause and Sakura raised her head, just enough for her and Jean's eyes to meet. And through those eyes he could see how tired she really was. She was tired of everything; War, fighting, lying, pain, running, just……..tired. If only all of it would stop. That was Sakura's wish; that everything would just stop.

"I don't know anymore." She replied.

"Is that so?…"

"………….."

"What about Sai?"

Sakura paused for a moment but then asked Jean a question of her own.

"How well did you know my brother?"

"I…"

"Sai choose to follow A.E.G.I.S……….to follow you. And it wasn't long before he grew to hate it but……..he never got a chance to choose a different path, did he?"

"………….."

"Sai and Kenji both couldn't accomplish anything with A.E.G.I.S. Kenji couldn't save the world………"

"……………"

"Sai can't protect me anymore, like he promised he would."

After saying this Sakura continued behind Kayuga. Jean released her arm and watched as the two left in search of more invaders to punish.

"I've already failed." Thought Jean. And as they; Sakura and Kayuga vanished from sight, he agonized over what could be done to help them but saw no remedy at this moment and time. So with no answer, Jean retreats back to headquarters.

But now, even as the day draws to its close, somewhere within Japan the Invader King himself makes an uncanny appearance.

"It is indeed a surprise to meet you here." Said he with upmost excitement. "After all these years of hiding and running, you appear now before me?"

The boy said nothing but proceeded to walk towards this powerful god of sorts.

The Invader trembled with urges to kill. The eyes of this boy plagued him to no end, as they always had.

"Revenge?!" He laughed "Have I become your means for revenge?!"

The boy drew closer and said nothing still.

"Come kill me! We both know what happened the last time, come!"

In time the boy came within breaths length of him. His eyes where no longer visible due to the masking of his cap.

Kneeling so as to whisper into the boy's ear the all powerful Invader closed in so that their cheeks nearly touched. And after snickering ever so giddily…….

"KILL ME!!!"