An Old Enemy Returns

Soulimpared: "Welcome back everyone to another exciting chapter of Vandread: Soul, a sort of side story in the same written universe as Vandread: Crimson Tears. Today, we are here with the cast doing a quick Q and A about the recent plot adaptations and the hiatus of the myself. First I would like to say thank you for taking some time to talk with me."

Dita: "Of course, anything for you."

Hibiki: "What the hell does that supposed to mean?"

Soulimpared: "Now, before we continue I would just like to comment that much of the cast was quite angry with me. I think the reasons are obvious but what are your personal feelings? No need to hold back, I can take a hit,"

Dita: "Well, most of us didn't get the memo that we weren't going to appear for another chapter and I guess some of us took offense."

Hibiki: "You can say that again,"

Soulimpared: "Yes, I quite apologize for that. I didn't mean to keep all of you waiting,"

Dita: "The important thing is you came back. I'm having fun doing more work for you guys and I'm sure Hibiki is glad to be back too,"

Soulimpared: "Yes, Hibiki. How are you holding up?"

Hibiki: "What can I say, it was a nice break. Got to see some sights and rest for a little but after the 2 year point I'll admit I got a little worried you weren't coming back and leaving us,"

Soulimpared: "Yeah, I can imagine. But now I'm here and production can continue. Now, what are your thoughts on the new plotline for Vandread: Crimson Tears?"

Hibiki: "The title sucks but what can I do, you're the one who wrote it."

Dita: "Oh come on, it's not bad. I kinda like it."

Soulimpared (Laughs): "But tell me, where you shocked by the new script?"

Hibiki: "Not really. To be honest I forgot about the old script and it was nice seeing a change. Threw me for a loop a couple times but nothing I can't handle,"

Dita: "I really liked the new script. I loved my new role."

Soulimpared: "Glad to hear, what's your take on this side plot? Vandread: Soul?"

Dita: "It's different. I like it that's it's just me and him (points to Hibiki)"

Soulimpared: "Oh really?"

Hibiki: "What she means is… um… yeah it's…"

Dita: "Come on Hibiki, you can't say you didn't like the time alone with me,"

(Studio remains quiet)

Hibiki: "Yeah… sure… whatever.

Soulimpared: "So, on that notion. How are you guys, you know, in real life?"

(They look at each other)

Dita: "Well…"

Hibiki: "We're fine,"

Soulimpared: "Oh come now, I'm sure there's something you're not telling us,"

Dita (blushes): "We uh… decided…"

Hibiki: "Hey, people read this don't they? Why don't we just let them read it? Beats spoiling everything. I worked hard for a good performance,"

Soulimpared: "Quite true, I'll leave it at then. By the way, Meia and Barnette were supposed to be here for this interview weren't they? Where are they?"

Dita: "They had things they had to take care of. I think they might be on their way now. I'm sure they'll be here for the next interview."

Soulimpared: "Thanks, I appreciate your time. Dita, Hibiki."

Dita: "Yes, thanks for talking with us. Come on Hibiki, I thought you were taking me for dinner after this?"

Hibiki: "Yeah, yeah. I remember."

Soulimpared: "There you have it folks. Until next time, stay tuned for another session of Q&A with your writer, Soulimpared. In the meantime, enjoy your next chapter and remember, read and review."

Dita awoke with the sound of water dripping in the distance. She raised her head, her eyes scanning her environment. She could make out walls of hard stone and to her side she could see trees rustling softly out from the small window like construct. Behind her she saw what seemed like a pillar of falling sand. That must be where she fell in from. She stood.

Wait, she stood?

She looked down at her legs and found that they were completely healed. Looking around she noticed candles dancing on pillars as if someone had already been there before. Before her stood an archway, she approached it and caught sight of a shadow moving down the hall.

"Hello?" she called.

The shadow stopped.

"Ah, you're awake," said a voice.

She passed through the archway and through the stone hall where she found a young man sitting between a cluster of candles. He wore barbaric clothes and his skin was colored with paint. He turned to her.

"I was wondering when you would wake. I knew my people would take care of you," he said.

"Who are you?" she said.

"A question of incredible meaning but with very little words. I am Sain, wanderer of this planet. Several of my people found you as you drifted from the sands. It would seem as if you are a victim of this world's natural defense."

"Natural defense?"

"Yes," he said, "Like weather which happens in the heavens. The sands which litter this world's ground also shares weather patterns in the form of sands. The sands run deep within the planet and cause hurricanes underneath. You were unfortunate to fall victim to the moving sands but you were a lucky individual. You survived which means there's more meaning for you."

"I see," she said, "Have you found anyone else?"

"No, just you,"

She was afraid of that. She was in an unknown area and there was no one she could confide in. She needed to find Hibiki. She couldn't leave without him. Without another word she continued down the hall almost forgetting the man she had just talked to.

"Where do you plan to go?" he asked.

"I don't know, I appreciate you helping me. I really do. But I don't have time to stay, I have to find him,"

The man laughed heartily, "Ah, your man. You need to find your man,"

She blushed, "What?"

"I had a woman once before, she died in the plague many years ago. I come here every day to pay the God's homage and to talk to her. I believe the God's have plans for all of us. I'm sure you will find him. And when you do, do not let go. I made the mistake of losing faith once before. I shall never do it again. Hold onto him and never let go. The bond between a man and a woman is something that can never be broken. It was foretold by my ancestors. Love transcends all the forces of the heavens. To reach Godhood is to accept love and to give love in return. With love, even the sharpest sword cannot penetrate your heart. Good luck, girl. Forge your love,"

Dita stood unaware of what to say. Sometimes it was best to keep silent. She turned and headed out.

"What does that mean, a wife?" asked Hibiki.

Cecil smiled, "Our ancestors of Earth believed the bond of man and woman were strong enough to establish an everlasting relationship. Marriage is what they called it and to this day we follow the tradition. I fell in love with Maria when we were young and vowed to protect her. I knew the only way I could always be with her was to marry her and call her my wife,"

"As I am his wife, he is my husband. We stay together, through thick and thin for better or for worse. It's your ultimate commitment to that special person that you love. Partners in crime, so to speak," said Maria.

"Partners?" whispered Hibiki.

"Yes, partners in life," said Cecil.

Hibiki looked away, his cheeks reddening, "So, let's say you wanted to 'marry' someone. Do you just yell out you're now married? Do you make a treaty or something?"

They laughed, "Not quite as bold," began Cecil.

"We searched many planets and artifacts from Earth and it's very simple. You find something that has meaning to both you and your potential partner. And you… oh, tell him Cecil, I always get flustered when I get to this part of the story,"

Her husband laughed, "I found a precious gem one day while mining for resources for the colony. It was so precious I knew this would be a perfect gift. I then found an old book dating back to the time of Earth and I read it for days. It was about the old religions of Earth and there was a passage about marriage. I studied it and rehearsed countless times. Then one day, I was to propose to her."

"Propose?" said Hibiki.

"Yes, propose. It means to ask that person in their hand in marriage. At the time I didn't know what it meant either. All I can remember is being really nervous and I went back and forth whether or not this tradition was just silly and outdated. But one day, I gathered the courage and found my Maria standing in the fields giving orders to the recruits. I got down on one knee, just how the book had told me and I asked her if she would marry me,"

"I was so confused," laughed Maria, "I didn't understand what he meant. He then had to explain to me what was going on and when I finally understood of course I said yes,"

"We've been married ever since. We don't go anywhere without each other," said Cecil.

Hibiki thought for a moment but felt it was useless. Dita was gone, he would give anything to get her back. If she was still with him this idea of marriage wasn't too far fetched.

Suddenly a man entered the tent, he tore off his visor and said: "Sir, we have suspicious activity in the skies. Something's entering the atmosphere,"

Hibiki felt a sick feeling hit his gut, the possibility of the Nirvana finding him without Dita sent chills down his spine. He would have to face the crew, he would have to face his guilt, he would have to face the eyes of death.

Hibiki exited the tent and could see men and women scrambling for weapons. He looked into the now night sky and could see lights falling through the atmosphere like shooting stars. He stood there, trying to recognize the vessels making entry. He was floored when he found the unmistakable ship design to be an old enemy.

The Harvest.

"No, way…" he breathed.

Cecil stood at his side, "Do you know these people?"

"They're not people," he said, "They're something else,"

"You fought them before?"

"Yeah and you're way out of your league,"

"Commander, orders?" said a random colonist.

"According to this young man, we must take up to arms. Men, board your ships and prepare to defend the planet," said Cecil.

"Of course,"

He thought he had gotten rid of them. He thought he sacrificed everything to destroy them. He thought wrong, the war had to continue.