Authors note- I was shooting for a Christmas in July update but yeah that didn't work. Anyway here is the next chapter and let me say thanks to all of guys over at the cyborg central forum for answering my questions and reading little snippets for me. You guys are great.

Chapter 31- Happy Holidays

It's about dam time I got a real one. Triela smiled as she examined her new found profile in Hilda's full length mirror. Hehehehe you can't call me a child any more Claes. Clad in brand new lacy undergarments, much better than the old fashioned crap dumped on her by a German stick in the mud. Triela pulled her hair up in an impromptu bun attempting to strike a pose in the mirror, leaning over and thrusting her chest out. I didn't know this would be a side effect of coming off the conditioning meds but I'm not complaining, soon I won't have to fake it anymore. She continued to strut in front of the mirror before a fit of giggles tore Triela from her daydream.

"Playing dress up Triela," Claes said trying to stifle her laughter.

"No!" Triela shrieked bolting up right her disheveled hair falling down in a tangled mess.

"Could have fooled me, who would have thought that you secretly wanted to be a fashion model," Claes chided as Triela slowly turned a lovely shade of red. "Or are you just practicing for Victor."

"What! You take that back," Triela yelled.

"The lady doth protests too much, methinks." Claes said before another round of giggles racked her body.

"You're lucky it's a holiday." Triela growled stomping over to Claes who now stood nearly eye to eye with her much to Triela's surprise.

"You say that every time." Claes grinned knowing her longtime friend and confidant was blowing smoke as usual, "consider it payback for looking after your bears all the time."

"Did you enjoy reading your Index about Rail guns," Angelica called out entering the room.

She wouldn't. Claes face paled slowly turning to face Angelica. "Why would I be reading about a Rail gun?"

Angelica smiled, "I'm not sure but weren't you trying to learn about the intricacies of Acceleration or was it the fascinating number zero."

"I always thought you into the classics, since when did you get into the hard sciences." Triela asked thankful for Angelica's intervention.

Oh my god this is priceless, you really didn't know about Claes's dirty little secret.

"I never took you for one of those pocket protector types. That works for me and I'll make sure you get enough exercise so you don't go to pot like those doctors." Triela said poking Claes in the side before walking out of the room. "Oh and please don't give Beatrice any ideas, I don't need her trying anything you are reading about."

The second Triela left the room Angelica fell to the floor laughing. "Oh this is priceless,"

"How do you know about that," Claes shot back at the laughing girl. "You really weren't the most coherent at the time.

"From sensory overload apparently now that are brains are finally adjusting properly, I can remember everything clearly." Angelica replied from the floor.

"What is it going to cost me," Claes asked morosely.

Giving her sister a sly grin Angelica replied, "For what?"

"You know darn well what," Claes shot back.

"I'm sorry I don't know what," Angelica replied.

"Argh, look if keep your mouth shut about my manga and light novels then I'll give you a favor," Claes said scowling. If they every found out about my manga Triela will never let me live down.

"Ok, I'll keep your little obsession a secret for now," Angelica replied before skipping out of the room.

"Crap," Claes scowled.

Section Break

A rather bemused group of girls stood before the large imposing stone structure as the last rays of twilight were squelched by the encroaching darkness. Yet in defiance of the bitter cold and darkness the building was radiating a heavenly glow cutting through the darkness, a refuge from the bitter cold. Henrietta paused for a moment catching a glimpse of the aura borealis dancing over the trees like a distant forest fire.

"I've never been to church before what's it like," Rico asked tugging at her collar as they entered the church vestibule. Unlike the other girls, Rico was less than pleased at her attire she wanted to wear a suit, but since Triela couldn't wear one she couldn't either. I hate skirts, even with the tights it's still freezing. Ugh and why did Henrietta have to tie my tie in a bow, I feel like I'm in a school uniform.

"Religion is the opiate of the masses," Claes replied slipping into her teacher mode. "And has been used to validate and or justify humanities actions since its inception." Claes explained. Were you real or just a memory Raballo? "But Christianity has been around for two millennia so it can't be all bad."

They are like tourists looking at a grand cathedral. Hilda smiled at the girl's amusement. Or staking out a target. Hilda frowned as Beatrice began to take a critical eye at several spots around the church.

"Relax Beatrice, nothing is going to happen. Church's are a safe haven for people, and it's not like anyone here in the middle of nowhere would even recognize us." Triela said before leading them into the church.

"But everyone is staring at us," Henrietta said surprisingly self conscious in a bright red Santa Claes inspired dress complete with a matching hat.

"It's a small town and those old busy bodies don't have anything better to do," Urd replied ushering them to two small pews at the front of the church.

"They are just jealous of how cute you all look," Mara added. I bet those old perves are interested in something else though. Seriously you're gonna do that in a church.

"We can always claim sanctuary if need be, and Triela put your jacket back on before you give the altar boys a free show." Claes added.

Triela grinned as she sat up taller clad in a tight fitting long sleeve black V-neck shirt, the movement highlighted her developing chest. Her actions did not go unnoticed as an altar boy gaze lingered on her setting her stomach a flutter once more. The small talk ended as the music began to play, signaling the start of the service as the priests processed down the main isle.

God if you are real please keep Jose safe.

Peace and love, that's all well and good but turning the other cheek isn't going to keep my sisters from vivisection or save our family.

If you are so loving, then why did this happen to me.

How can we be created in your image when, scientists created us in a laboratory?

They could probably get more people to come if they gave out better tasting wafers.

With all the art it's like going to a museum.

The newly fallen snow left a fluffy white blanket across the ground as more continued to fall as the girls left the church braving the bitter cold once more. With the snow continuing to fall heavily from the sky the congregation quickly made their exit to hunker down for the oncoming winter storm.

"Triela what does it feel like when the boys are looking at you," Angelica asked quietly as they left the church.

Stunned by her sisters question she took a moment before replying. "I don't know it's hard to explain." Triela replied.

"It must be good right since you seem to enjoy it," Angelica said.

Her face lit up like a certain reindeer Henrietta read about earlier. "It makes me all tingly inside, like when Victor praises me but better." Triela replied. "Do the boys make you feel like that to?" Triela asked looking over to her sister. You'll have no trouble attracting their attention in that. I don't know how you can walk in those though.

"I don't know but those guys make me feel dirty," Angelica said with a slight nod of her head towards a group of young men in black suits as she tried to tug her jacket down covering the small gap on her thighs between her jacket and white thigh high boots.

"I guess that's the price we pay being attractive women," Triela replied quoting one of the few female members of the Special Forces team she worked with on occasion.

"I guess but that still doesn't make me feel any better," Angelica replied.

Section Break

"Ugh, what hit me," Bernardo groaned slowly coming around. Staring at a black dress draped over the back of a chair Bernardo shot up. What the hell did I do last night? An image of a seductive woman in the black dress came into his mind along with a painful migraine. Shit, I have got to find the others. Bernardo barely had his pants on when the door to the bathroom slowly swung open.

"I wouldn't try anything Mr. Esposito," Cornelia said stepping out from the bathroom.

"You're one to talk," Bernardo shot back gearing for a fight. "What did you do to me?"

"I didn't want it to have to come to this but you recovered a bit faster than expected." Cornelia replied.

"Fuck, roofies, now I owe Priscilla one hundred euros," Bernardo groaned.

Cornelia raised an eyebrow surprised at how calm her captive was. "If you are expecting the cavalry then you are mistaken. Your friends managed to escape our grasp and vanished into the night."

Never big on subterfuge Bernardo decided to get some answers. "Who are you and what do you want with me?"

"It's seems Beatrice was right about you after all," Cornelia chuckled.

"What did you do to Beatrice, if you so much as touch her, they'll never find the body," Bernardo growled ready to strike.

"I did nothing to her except listen when she warned me about her crazy uncle," Cornelia replied. "They are quite an eclectic group and I must say you trained those girls well,"

"Where are they, and who are you?" Bernardo demanded.

"No idea, but it's much better that way considering who is after them," Cornelia replied. "As for me I represent and interested third party."

Dam it! Looks like you are truly on your own now ladies.

Section Break

"Wow look at all the lights it's so pretty." Henrietta said, mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of lights glistening on the vibrant green pine tree, standing in the corner of the living room.

"Who are these for," Rico asked, eyeing the small pile of brightly wrapped packages arranged under the tree.

"You and your sisters," Hilda replied smiling as the girls faces lit up with joy.

"Wow I've never gotten a Christmas present before," a wide eyed Rico replied.

"I guess Santa was considered a little superfluous by your previous employer." Mara quipped.

"I hear how kids wise up to the Santa Claus routine but pretend otherwise because the goods seem connected to keeping their parents' fantasies flowing. I've seen the parents trying to pretend for the same reason - not because otherwise the gifts stop, but to maintain the innocence a little longer - even when both sides know the other side knows." Claes quipped. "We lost our innocence a long time ago."

"It's never too late to be a kid now open up," Urd exclaimed thrusting a package into her arms.

Claes slowly opened the gift while the murder midgets tore into their gifts with reckless abandon. "A taser," Claes commented eying the gun like device.

"Well I know that you are not as comfortable as the others with firearms and we thought you could use some extra protection," Mara said jumping in while her Hilda looked ready to explode.

"You just wanted to see her use it on someone," Urd quipped.

Peering over Claes's shoulder Angelica jumped in. "No biri biri moments ok,"

"You'll be the first one," Claes growled.

Gifts forgotten Henrietta ran off for her camera snapping a few pictures before sitting down in the pile fiddling with her camera.

"What cha got there," Triela asked.

"Lenses," Henrietta replied attaching a larger one before peering through her camera again. She enjoyed peering around the room snapping a few pictures until a series of loud pops sent everyone diving for cover.

"What the hell," Urd yelled.

"False alarm," Triela called out from behind a chair as the acrid smell of gun powder permeated the room.

"Beatrice I swear I didn't eat any of your cookies," Henreitta yelled out.

"Hehehehehehe, Beatrice want big boom," Beatrice giggled madly holding a long string of Chinese fire crackers.

Smacking her face with her hand Claes let out a long groan. "Beatrice, I thought we told you not to act like Bernardo."

"I didn't," Beatrice smiled. "He would never set off fireworks inside."

"Beatrice do I need to confiscate those as well," Triela said stomping over.

"No, my precious," Beatrice cried wrapping her arms around a cornucopia of fireworks.

"Urd, I thought I told you to get them normal gifts," Hilda yelled.

Urd shrugged. "I did. I got her something she would enjoy," Urd replied.

"Beatrice take them outside or else," Triela said glaring at her collection of noise makers.

'You're no fun, stupid rules." Beatrice muttered gathering her collection of fireworks. "Bernardo said rules were meant to be broken,"

"Oww, hey what are you doing! What the hell mom," Urd and Mara yelled as Hilda drug them from the room by their ears.

"What the hell is wrong with you two," Hilda yelled.

"What we got them presents that they would enjoy," an exasperated Urd replied.

"I didn't mean, tasers, and explosives," Hilda shot back.

"Mom, just look at them," Mara said pushing the door open.

The sight before her was one that was being repeated all across the country if not the world. Six young girls were spread around the Christmas tree giddy with excitement as they played with their new gifts. Their pursuers forgotten, altered memories out of mind, and mutilated bodies all forgotten as they reveled in their presents. Gifts they received that for the first time in their life had nothing to do with the successful completion of secret government missions, or training for those missions. Rico was happily engrossed in her new PSPvita and the Triela sitting before her was a far cry from the bloodied warrior she had come to know. There she was decorating a Steiff Bear with white ribbons and a black cape, while Angelica played hair dresser. Angelica was engrossed in turning Triela's blond waterfall into some semblance of a bun and ponytail.

"Oh all right, I get it," Hilda relented. "However in the future you need to run these sorts of things by me,"

"What why," Urd asked.

"Because I know my daughters to well and I found that little gift of yours for Triela," Hilda said leveling a stern glare on her daughters.

"Oh crap," the pair replied.

Section Break

"God Dam it Elenora you don't know what you're doing," Ferro growled feeling the cold hard touch of steel against her back.

"I know exactly what I'm doing. Now are you going to come quietly or are you going to be difficult." Elenora replied.

Ferro tensed waiting for the right moment when a distant glare caught her eyes and she relaxed. "All right you win," Ferro sighed.

"Glad you've seen it my way." Elenora replied as she led Ferro away to a waiting sedan.

"Moving up in the world you traitor," Ferro remarked eying the brand new Alfa Romeo 159 with Pietro behind the wheel.

"Watch your head," Elenora said helping Ferro into the back of the car.

"They got you to," Priscilla said as Ferro sat down next to her.

"Yeah, I knew there was a reason I never liked section 1," Ferro remarked.

"They tried to snipe you too," Priscilla asked as Ferro nodded affirmatively. A heavy silence settled over the car as they began the long trip back to Rome.

"So are you going to make us disappear now," Ferro quipped.

"Make sure you use good quality cement, none of that cheap government stuff. They have been cutting too many corners recently," Priscilla added.

"Look I'm sorry but it had to be done," Elenora pleaded.

"Yeah so they could get a shiny new car," Ferro said.

"Good god woman shut the hell up you are worse than my ex wife," Pietro yelled.

"I can see why she left him," Priscilla added.

"Argh did they give everyone over at section 2 training on how to be a smart ass or does just come naturally to you people." Pietro groaned. "Look if Elenora didn't arrest you when you did."

"Then we would still be free to put a stop to this madness," Priscilla yelled.

"No, you're skull would have been blown apart like a grapefruit. Whoever is pulling the strings wants everyone from section 1 who was not already on the take eliminated. They would have done the same with the handlers but that reporter friend of yours put an end to that, by exposing them." Elenora shot back.

"Then the sniper," Ferro asked.

"Was not our plan," Peitro replied.

"Then what is your plan," Priscilla asked.

"We were hoping you could help with that," Elenora said.

Section Break

A sextuplet of girls was snug in their beds happily clutching their new found gifts, as the stillness of the winter night settled over the Black forest. The beauty of the night sky obliterated as the oncoming storm intensified blanketing countryside in newly fallen snow. The peaceful serenity was broken by the violent barking of a lone dog angered by some unseen force ready to pounce on the unsuspecting inhabitance.

"Dam it Cerberus, quit it. It's just the freaking wind," Urd groused stumbling in the darkness. "Come on boy you can sleep with me." Taking a hold of him by the collar Urd gave a mighty tug only for Cerberus to remain stead fast as he began growling at the door. A heavy thud sounded against the door making the hairs on Cerberus neck stand straight up.

"Ok, that's not the wind," Urd said instantly awake her body flooding with adrenaline. "Cerberus go get Angelica," Urd ordered grabbing a chair to throw in front of the door.

"Urd what the hell are you doing," Mara asked as Cerberus blew past her. The sound of glass shattering broke the silence the twins making out the faint outline of a cylindrical object clatter across the room. Oh shit. Both women dove for cover as a blinding flash shattered the darkness as door gave way.

"You remember how to use one of these," Mara called out as front door was blown in. Mara joined her sister around the corner handing her one of the spare HK416's the girls left out after target practice.

"Yeah who could forget that bitch of a drill instructor we had," Urd replied cocking the weapon and flipping off the safety.

"Time to finally prove Belldandy wrong then," Mara added.

"Agreed, I'll take the front, you check the back," Urd said taking cover.

Well fuck, Victor is so getting put in a wedding dress for this. A short burst from Mara sent the men diving for cover. The assailants quickly recovered shattering wood as their bullets riddled the fine wood trim.

"Aaacckkk, Bad Cerberus, no jumping on the bed," Angelica screamed before being pulled out the door by the overly enthusiastic dog.

"Angelica what's going on," Henrietta asked rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

"Not a clue," Angelica replied.

"Get down," Triela yelled diving over top of them bullets flying over their heads. A pair of gun shots rang out followed by a large meaty thud.

Rico looked over at them still dazed and confused. "Um what's going on? Why are you guys in my dream." Bursts of assault weapons fire cut through the darkness as Rico woke up. "This isn't a dream is it?" Rico asked as the rest of the girls joined them in the hallway.

"No we have an unknown number of assailants attacking the house. Grab what you can and return fire. Just keep them out of the house for now. Let's move." Triela ordered. The girls ran for their arsenal, while Triela ripped the dead man's weapon from his cooling body. Beatrice stood next to her ready to drown her enemies in a firestorm of metal from her twin micro uzi's.

"Do you remember all of those things Bernardo told you not to do?" Triela asked looking around the corner to observe the first floor. Receiving a nod in response as the sound of gunfire continued to fill the house. "Good, now the C4 is in my backpack at the bottom of the closet in my room, go have fun."

Beatrice scampered back down the hallway a smile that promised only death and destruction. Hehehehe, nine grenades and nine kilos of C4, Beatrice May Hopkins here we come.

"Beatrice just what the hell do you think you're doing," Claes asked throwing off the covers from her shared bed with Triela.

"Doing everything Bernardo told me not to do. We are under attack and Triela said it was ok." Beatrice replied.

"Good call," Claes replied hastily getting dressed.

"Dam it how many of these guys are there," Urd cursed as several more men managed to make it by her and into house. Hoping to buy enough time for the girls to wake up, Urd moved to fire off another burst only for a loud click to echo in the darkness. "Fuck," Urd cursed throwing the weapon at the men trying to maneuver through the destroyed foyer.

"Grenade!" Triela called out as she vaulted down the stairs executing a near perfect bicycle kick launching the grenade back toward its owners. The assailants had little time to react as the device exploded in their mist shredding the men, turning the front porch into shattered mess of blood and splinters.

Urd let out a whistle of relief as they bought some time to regroup before whoever was after them sent in another wave. "Nice moves, you got anymore."

"Plenty, grab Hilda and get out of here," Triela replied taking up a position by the door.

"Not without you," Urd shot back.

Triela pulled the taller woman down looking her directly in the eye. "I'm not losing anymore of my family, now get out of here!" Triela yelled.

"And where am I supposed to go? We are surrounded." Urd shot back.

"Get everyone else to the cars and I will create an opening," Triela said.

"How we don't even know what we are up against?" Urd asked.

"I'm kinda hoping Beatrice can solve that problem. I gave her all of the C4 and grenades. Now get moving," Triela replied.

"Stop you are just wasting your bullets," Mara called out over the cracking from Henreitta's P90 as she fired into the darkness.

"No they are still coming," Henrietta replied quickly swapping magazines. If this goes on to long we are screwed.

"But we can't see anything just wait for them to get closer," Mara replied.

As if acting on instinct Henrietta jumped outside firing a quick burst along the side of the house. "Just because you can't see them doesn't mean I can't hear them."

Well shit and here I thought that would only be useful for ease dropping. "Any idea who these jackasses are," Mara asked.

"The Italian government or Padania I guess," Henrietta replied.

The Italians would never be able to operate out in the open like this in another country and it's too well coordinated to be a terrorist group like Padania. This is has to be a group based in Germany but who.

Crack, slide, crack, slide, repeated unabated as Rico took aim at anything that moved even her advanced eyes struggling to make out targets in the swirling, snowy, darkness. The element of surprise lost both sides struggled to gain the upper hand as the battle lengthened minute by minute. A large object slowly began to materialize on the driveway approaching the house her shots pinging off the surface little more than BB's.

"Shit, what I wouldn't give for a RT-20 right now," Rico cursed ducking as window exploded in a hail of machinegun fire. "Beatrice, please tell me Bernardo taught you how to take down an up armored Humvee."

"No, but I do know how to liquidate the biggest safe on the market, that should be able to do something to it." Beatrice replied adding a large dollop of C4 to her improvised device.

"Well whatever you do, do it soon, they are using it for cover," Rico replied in between firing off a few more shots.

"I'm not sure the geometry will work perfectly but at the very least it should give everyone in range a good shock." Beatrice said after a few moments. Plus we'll see what this new plastic explosive can really do.

"Now what," Rico asked.

Pushing the large cone towards Rico, "Stuff this in the wheel well, light it and run like hell," Beatrice explained.

"Um Beatrice, why me and how long will I have," Rico asked as they moved to the ground floor the sound of gunfire intensifying.

"You were always the fastest out of all of us and fifteen seconds is more than enough time to get clear," Beatrice replied.

"They seem to be pulling back," Mara commented as their attackers hovered by the tree line according to Henrietta.

"Good, do we have a clear path to the car," Claes asked.

"As long as the snow keeps blowing we should be alright, but if they are using IR goggles we could be in trouble." Henrietta replied.

"We'll just have to take the chance. Henrietta go suit up you'll be slowed down to much in the cold by that," Claes ordered.

"Can you drive in this," Claes asked.

"Please this is where I learned to drive. I can get us out of here blind folded." Mara shot back.

"Good go get Urd, and Hilda, I'll watch the back," Claes said.

"But what if they try again," Mara asked.

"These," Claes said holding up several grenades. "I'll just pretend they are baseballs."

"What the hell, why is my house a war zone," Hilda asked stumbling down the stairs in the darkness. Shock flooded her system as her world erupted with a deafening roar as her legs failed her.

"Grandma," Triela cried out catching Hilda before she tumbled to the ground.

"What happened, why do my legs feel like they are on fire, and is it just me or is it warm in here." Hilda asked with a slurred voice.

"Damit! Urd get over here, Mom is going into shock," Mara yelled tearing a mangled curtain into strips.

"Come on you gotta stay with me Grandma. Don't go to sleep," Triela screamed.

"But, I'm so sleepy. I'll just take a little nap and then I'll make breakfast for you. There are some forgotten cookies in the upper stove if you're hungry." Hilda said as her eyes slowly closed.

"No, grandma,"

"Dam it,"

"Son of a bitch,"

"Cover me," Rico yelled out leaping down from a second floor window cradling a small package like a football. Darting through a wild hailstorm of bullets Rico slid under the front bumper slamming to a stop on the opposite wheel. This better work. Rico jammed a white hot magnesium road flare into Beatrice's surprise before scrambling out from under the massive all terrain vehicle. Shit! Precious seconds were lost as her feet struggled for purchase on the frozen ground. Rico barely cleared the massive vehicle, when the dark of night erupted in flame as Beatrice's little gift detonated sending flames out from underneath the hummer. Henrietta watched in horror as Rico's body was flung through the air careening into a small snow drift by the old barn.

"Rico," Henrietta screamed dashing through the chaos to her sister.

"Angelica, Beatrice, get my family out of here," Triela said her head held low, her bangs covering the hatred burning in her eyes. They will pay. I am going to destroy them!

"What about you," Angelica asked the screams of the attacking force echoing in the darkness.

"Someone, I believe my mother, sacrificed herself for me so that I could stay alive. Another person I loved dearly sacrificed himself so that I might truly live. My grandmother was cut down trying to help my sisters remain free. Everyone one in my family has sacrificed themselves so that I could remain free and now it's my turn to do what I can so that my sisters can live the life they deserve." Triela said picking up their discarded rifles. "Now go! I'll keep them busy while you get the hell out of here."

"Triela," Angelica screamed as her first friend at the agency disappeared into the night.

"Come on this is nothing for Triela. These guys have nothing on Pinochio and she ripped his throat out barehanded. Blind and in the dark they are just toys for the princess to play with." Beatrice replied pulling Angelica towards the car.

You're wrong Beatrice, you on that long term mission up north at the time. She might have won but it was a very near thing against a well trained and educated enemy our bodies are not the ultimate weapons you think they are.

The sounds of battle now emanated from the house the occasional muzzle flash illuminating a window. Hilda was laid across the back seat with Urd and Claes while Mara took the wheel. "Good now when we round the house, give them everything you have left Beatrice," Urd said the engine roaring to life despite the bitter cold.

"Rogger," Beatrice chimed hanging out the window while Angelica held her tight. As if reenacting the American cluster bombing of some Middle East battleground the night was awash with explosion as grenades and other improvised explosives lit up the night as a lone car crashed through the explosions.

Bouncing over the frozen ground Angelica slammed hard into the seat, as Beatrice kicked like a mule propelling her out of the car, rolling to a stop against a rapidly cooling body. Sorry Triela, but you said I didn't have to follow the rules anymore. Plus Bernardo always said not to leave anyone behind and this isn't a Tomino epic.

Spent shell casings littered the floor as the walls were torn to shreds by errant rounds firing blindly in the dark as the combatants dove for cover in the dimly lit house. The staccato like cracks of automatic fire suddenly stopped as a loud click echoed into the night. Shit! Triela dove into the kitchen milliseconds before the living room and Christmas tree were shredded by high power AP rounds. Looks like this is it. Surrounded cornered Triela pressed her back against the wall as she pulled her trusty HKP7s for one last round. Her attention focused on the dim shapes moving just beyond the shredded kitchen door Triela failed to notice the dark blurr before it slammed her through the door into the old root cellar as the house exploded around her. Dam it not like this. The pitch black forest night was marred by one last flash of light as the old Hartman homestead exploded. Nothing was left untouched as the blast leveled anything still standing while splinters of sharp metal tore through the trees lining the old glade.

Henrietta could only watch in horror from the safety of the trees as their home for the last month was vaporized before her eyes. Smoke billowed from the rapidly cooling ruins as the blizzard intensified leaving a pristine white blanket as it nothing had ever happened. "Triela!" the distraught girl screamed clutching her remaining sister as if her life depended on it.

"Dam it!" Henrietta screamed slamming her tiny fists into a tree. Her rage continued unabated as the nearby forest was reduced to splinters.

"Ugh" Rico groaned curling into a ball struggling to remain war in the freezing night as snow nearly covered her again.

"No Rico, I so sorry, I can't lose you to," Henrietta cried pulling Rico into a hug trying to share her body heat with Rico. "I don't know what to do, but we can't stay here." Henrietta said slinging Rico into a firemans carry as they plunged into the darkness. I'm sorry Triela but I can't leave Rico alone just yet.

Authors note- I know it's a bit of a cliff hanger, but you guys will live right, or at the very least not kill me. Well this ends Gunslinger girl Great escape, however we are far from the end of the story. My original idea was always for a three parter, beginning with Gunslinger girl great escape. Stay tuned for the next arc Gunslinger Girl World Tour. I have the ground work laid out for most of it but I would like to try and get a few updates out on my other stories first so we will see where my muse takes me. Again you guys have been great and any comments and criticisms are welcome.