Hey it's Preppy here again. I didn't update this for a long time because I was real busy and I was a bit stuck.
Thank God for my beta WinterGuardianAngel24 who had used her 'magic' to make this fic bearable ;) I can't thank you enough.
I hope you enjoy it and please don't forget to review.
Thanks for the alerts, favourites and reviews, they mean a lot to me! =)
Alisha stared out the window of the airplane, watching the passing clouds and landscape. Her mind started traveling to the day that she had escaped from the cells that had held innocent hordes of children captive. But nearly all of them had been able to escape. Afterwards, Alisha had run away with her siblings and had been found by an old man who took them in and nurtured them. He was willing to take them and train them so that in the future they could face their foes, who turned out to be a mutual enemy. It has been 5 years since she was locked away in that dingy prison, afraid, hungry and lonely. Now, after everything she had been through and the support of her family and her master, she felt as though she could do anything. It was just too bad that they had to leave.
"Unfortunately children, it seems that your whereabouts have been located. Though you haven't finished my three year training with me, it is safe to say that you will be sent away to another country where the Crimson Lotus will have much more trouble finding your whereabouts."
Alisha dropped the drink that she had in her hands, not watching as the glass shatter to the ground. She narrowed her eyes and clenched her fist. "You can't master! We haven't finished our training! I have yet to master the weaponry that you have assigned me."
"Alisha, don't." Her brother Damien chastised, holding her back by grabbing her shoulders. "Just don't."
Alisha gritted her teeth and harshly pushed her brother away. "Don't?" She spat incredulously, shoving him away. "So you want to go, do you?" Her blue eyes locked on his and she was surprised that his stoic expression remained. "Do you?"
Damien sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I didn't say I did. But you heard Master. We have been found, but if you want to be killed or sent to the headquarters by the Crimson Lotus, then be my guest and stay. But I won't and neither will Hannah."
Hannah trembled and nestled herself into a cocoon, shaking with fear. "I don't want to go back! They can't take me back!" She cried.
Damien smiled softly and ran a hand through her hair. "We won't Hannah. We'll destroy them if they come near us." His eyes glinted in determination. "Nobody messes with my sisters and gets away with it."
The master sighed and said, "The Crimson Lotus is on our tail. Trust me. They have been keeping tabs on you for the past few years. Apparently it seems there was a traitor in the Night Hawkeye organization and now it has created havoc throughout the system. So you'll have to go, regardless of whether you want to or not." He took a deep breath and gave them a pleading look before adopting a softer tone, "Please listen. I would do anything for you to stay here and protect you. But I can't." He choked on his own emotions.
Hannah was crying now, she didn't like being sent away. She enjoyed this life just as much as her other siblings. Alisha was staring at the ground chewing her cheeks, while Damien was fiddling with his thumbs, embarrassed that old man has showed strong emotions in front of him.
Alisha thought about the situation angrily. Who was this traitor? She'll wring the bastard's neck! She was angry at them for ruining her carefully earned life. Suddenly, a flash of inspiration hit her and she remembered the gemwatches.
"Master!" She suddenly shouted. "The gemwatches! The gemwatches! The gemwat-"
"Take a deep calm breath." The master ordered. "Now slowly and calmly tell me what you mean by the gemwatches."
Alisha swallowed hard and looked around the room, "Okay." She breathed out slowly. "The gemwatches have the property that can physically change your form. So the Crimson Lotus won't recognize us! Isn't that great?"
The Master smiled and sighed, rubbing his temples before he said, "You should know the truth about the creation of the gemwatches. The original creations of the gemwatches, they...well they were part of a study programme hosted by the government in Thensilia, we have been used to make it." He took a deep breath, not daring to look at the children, "I of course being one of the 'great budding scientists' that made these creations come true. I relayed the concept with my partners at work and they loved it. Having been the puppet for the government for years everybody either respected me or feared me.
I was 20 at the time and reckless, I used my powers, which you all know is to enhance anything, at any given time of the day. The gemwatches were made with the power of the children who worked for the government, children like you. Bits and pieces of everybody's power had been used to ensure the creation of the gemwatches. I hadn't felt guilty at the time, it was way before I learned the horror of the Crimson Lotus, the government, and what being part of it did." He paused and this time he dared to look at them. He wasn't surprised that their faces were etched with horror, even though they wanted him to continue.
He smiled weakly at them. "It was one night when I was working late at the laboratory that I heard of it. The law had been changed. You could no longer work in the laboratory for more than 2 years. It was an unwritten contract. But of course the government kept quiet about it. It was all hush-hush with them." He sat up straighter now, more confident, "So a scientist had come out, a new aspiring one. All shiny and glamorous, poor thing didn't know what he was getting himself into. He was ordered to steal my ideas, for you see his power lay in extracting information and memory.
So one night they came into my bedroom and knocked me out cold. I was then driven into a surgery where they painfully tore my ideas out. They didn't even bother numbing my nerves, just forcefully taking them out. It was worse than getting your wisdom tooth extracted." He noted the painful look of the children and smiled to himself, "But enough descriptions of my pain, that wasn't what I wanted to tell you. The reason why the gemwatches can't be used right now is because the government know of it. I was planning on giving it to you after your successful training, but now it's too late."
Hannah stared at him, no doubt reading his mind, "What happened to Mister Scientist Number 2? Did he make it?"
"Barely, he died right after he made it successfully. The Crimson Lotus killed him because he became useless. It was my idea though, so I always told people it was my creation." He stood up and this time his eyes crinkled, "I bet you kids are brimming with questions."
Alisha nodded, "I do have a lot of questions, but the fact remains that we have to go." She exhaled loudly. "You keep saying that we have to leave, but where? Where can we safely go to without running into the enemy?"
Damien nodded his agreement. "Yes, that question has also been bothering me."
Master smiled, "I've been waiting for you to ask that. I did have one place in mind that you could safely go without any run-ins. I have an acquaintance there." He paused dramatically and produced a travel brochure from his back pocket. "Here." He pointed at the map, "Namimori, Japan."
"You have my permission to use the gemwatches just this time. But on one condition."
Alisha shook herself out of her reverie. She looked at herself yet again in her compact mirror. She didn't know what to think of the image the mirror depicted. Her master had truly outdone himself with this piece. She now had a sleek black bob with thick bangs and thick lashes that outlined her hazel brown eyes. She gave a thinned lipped smile as she regarded herself, slowly turning the angle of the mirror. She had to admit, she was impressed.
"Still looking at yourself in the mirror?" Hannah's voice disturbed Alisha who quickly shook herself out of her admiration of her disguise.
"Eh, I..." She didn't want to be seen as vain. "I like the way the gemwatches have changed my appearance." She smiled nervously. She knew she couldn't hide anything away from Hannah. She would always find out by reading her mind or sensing her emotions. Sometimes, especially at these times, she wished her sister didn't have that power.
Hannah smiled knowingly, "Well you've been staring at yourself ever since we've boarded the private jet Master hired for us. Though, I do understand. The gemwatches are an awesome creation on his part."
Alisha grinned at her little sister. Sometimes she'd sound very smart and above her age. "Well...It's awesome but not for free. Remember the condition?"
She studied at her sister. She had changed a great deal as well. Gone was her curly blonde hair, now replaced with black ringlets. Her blue innocent eyes had been substituted with big brown curios orbs.
Hannah shook her head, "I haven't forgotten. How could I? He drilled it into us before we left." She leafed through the magazine she had been reading.
Alisha nodded. She knew that the master had put a great condition on all of them. It wasn't just a free holiday to Namimori. It was more like a mission to stay as far away as possible from the Crimson Lotus and to become more aware of the people around them.
"Hey, how long is Damien going to sleep?" Alisha asked, jerking her thumb towards the slumped figure on a chair that was snoring lightly.
Hannah shrugged, still looking through her magazine (now in the Fashion section). "I don't know. He fell asleep the moment he sat down. He must be knackered." She held up her magazine and pointed at something on a page. "Hey, do you know that the retro style is back on the fashion catwalk?" She tapped a picture of a model posing in leather pants and a biker jacket, pouting with red lipstick, "So cool!"
Alisha rolled her eyes. "I'm not that into fashion Hannah and you know it." She sat up straighter. "By the way Hannah, I've been meaning to ask you. Where's the letter Master gave us. I'm trying to figure out something."
Hannah glanced sideways at her sister. "By 'figuring out' do you mean finding out who is going to adopt us?" She rummaged through her pocket, sighing. "Here, but this'll the 10th time you've read this thing."
Alisha smiled sheepishly, "Well I still haven't figured it out. Master is very good at concealing stuff." She grabbed the letter Hannah offered to her.
I hope you reach your designated destination safely. As you may know I have sent one of my colleagues to take full care and responsibility of you.
I wish you the best of luck and hope that we shall meet again one day.
Your master, S.
Alisha's heart warmed yet again after she finished reading the note. She missed the old man already; his training, his idea of 'discipline', his encouragements, his everything. She felt like he was the only adult and authoritative figure left alive that she trusted and felt safe with.
"I wonder what he is doing right now." Alisha mused aloud, putting her hands on her chin and sitting back on her chair. "And I wonder what this Namimori is like."
Hannah flicked through the last page of the magazine and skimmed through it, her eyes skittering across the page. When she had finished she closed it and looked up at Alisha. "I wonder too, perhaps he's meditating and suppressing his Ki like he always does. And Namimori is probably just an ordinary boring town. That's probably why he chose it. No drama, just a normal civilian town. I doubt anything interesting happens there, or else the Crimson Lotus would instantly know about our location."
Alisha smiled, feeling happier than she had been before. "That's great! It means that we won't attract any special attention."
Hannah laughed. "I hope that everything will be fine."
"I hope so too," Alisha said wistfully. She knew that, thatwas wishful thinking on her part. A permanently peaceful life for the Ferns? Until the Crimson Lotus's presence ceased to exist, they wouldn't experience any sort of peace.
A little while later, Alisha noticed that they were about to land and decided to tell her little sister who was also slumped on the chair by now. "Hey Hannah...Wake Damien up, we're nearly there." She pointed at the window, they were slowly descending. She could see tiny ant like creatures that were in fact humans. Even the cars looked like bugs. Beetles, she thought.
Hannah groggily tried opening her eyes, lazily looking at her sister with one open eye. "Whuh? We're here? That soon? I thought it wasn't until—" The implication of what Alisha had said to her set in, she forcefully rubbed her eyes, "Namimori? We're in Namimori? As in: Japan?"
Alisha laughed, suddenly finding everything amusing. "Yes we are in Japan. Though you have to be quite, you're making quite a racket."
Hannah nodded and hopped out of her seat, "I'll go wake Damien right now."
Alisha smiled, "Okay but hurry up, we're going out in a bit." She watched as her sister ran across the aisle and rushed to her sleeping brother Damien.
They were on solid ground now. Alisha smiled. It felt nice to be breathing fresh air after a long trip. She inhaled the fresh air and the grassland and glanced at her siblings, who were staring into the vast open space, waiting for their chauffeur to arrive. They were late. Really late.
"Think they've forgotten us?" Alisha joked, after standing stock still for 5 minutes. She noticed a smile curve Damien's lips and she glowed. Her brother had changed dramatically after the incident and their kidnap. He had gone from a sweet-natured boy to a more sombre, brooding man who rarely smiled. Alisha felt scared whenever he talked about revenge and killing the people who were involved in her mother's murder.
"I don't know! I hope not!" Hannah said, squinting at the far distance. "I think that's them…don't you?"
Alisha's eyes followed Hannah's and she raised her eyebrows. A car was zooming towards them at a dangerous speed and it was drawing nearer quickly.
"Maybe…"Alisha trailed, still staring.
The car skidded to a stop and two women stepped out. A blue eyed, busty black haired woman with the type of lips people pay to get through surgery. She smacked her lips and her eyes widened when she saw them. The other woman was a small petite brunette and was wearing black-rimmed glasses. She smiled shyly when she caught sight of them and gave a timid wave.
"Children," The woman with her clothes clinging tightly to her said. "Welcome to Namimori! I, along with Jo, or Josephine as she is formally known as, shall escort you to your guardian." Her voice was sugary sweet, as though she was forcing herself to be kind, or forced by another person to act kind. Alisha was willing to bet on the latter.
Josephine nodded and smiled. "Setsuna, the head of the Japanese division of the Night Hawks, is the one who will be taking care of you. I'm sure you three will have a lot of fun here. Setsuna was really excited about meeting you."
Ami blinked. "Oh! I forgot to introduce myself." She smiled. "My name is Ami Anderson or A.A as my colleagues like to call me. I'm vice president of the Japanese division of the Night Hawks. It's nice to meet you." She nudged Josephine who blushed. "Josephine also part of the Night Hawkeye. Her speciality is technology."
Josephine smiled nervously, her car keys jingling, "Let's cut the formality shall we? Just call me Jo." She picked up one of the suitcases, which happened to be the one of Alisha's that was filled with all her favourite weapons. "That's heavy huh? Oh well, let's go...we're very late."
The entire luggage load was booted inside the car. Any innocent bystander would have wondered how such a small vehicle could fit such a large quantity of huge luggage in its trunk. The children climbed inside, feeling astonishment, towards the car. Even Alisha had touched the leather sofa and sank comfortably onto it.
Josephine explained very proudly that this was her latest model that she had created for the organization. She also explained that since her abilities lay in anything technology wise, she had rebooted the car in order to install a dimensional pocket. "Anything can be stored inside it." She told them enthusiastically as they were driving through the highway. "It's one of my best creations too. I called it Venus098."
Alisha head was lulling sideways. It wasn't as though she was bored or anything, but that the excitement of the day was taking its toll on her. She tried her best to stay awake, but the effort was too much and she didn't want to keep listening to Ami's chatter. It didn't take long for her to start dozing. But somehow, it felt like not even five minutes had passed before Hannah was shaking her gently.
"We're here, Jo said so," Hannah informed her sister.
Alisha sat up groggily and rubbed at her eyes, glancing out the window. She saw that her brother, Ami, and Jo had stepped out and quickly followed suit.
"I'm going to go Jo, you take them in." Ami said, looking at the house that stood before them. It appeared to be a modest middle class two story Japanese house. The front garden, from what Alisha could see, was tidy with flowers scattered across the grass.
Jo's eyes widened. "Me? Uh, okay." She ushered the children through the gate and pressed the buzzer, waiting patiently for a reply.
"Who is it?" A cautious tone replied.
"Josephine and the children," Jo replied. She sighed in relief when the door swung open, revealing a tall woman with long auburn hair and cat green eyes smiling at them warmly. She was wearing beige pants with black heels. Alisha guessed that this lady was Setsuna, their guardian.
"So you must be Alisha, Hannah and Damien," She said warmly. "You do not know how long I have been waiting, no longing, to meet you. To think I'd have three children of my own one day?" She shook her head. "I digress. Why don't we go in and talk inside? You poor children must be tired, as I would be if I had to travel from a different continent." She led them inside the house that was now to be their home.
If Alisha hadn't been impressed before, she was now. The interior of the house was very stylish. It was fashionably designed for its designated area. The carpets were plush and soft, the curtains velvet, and the wallpaper was designed in an intricate fashion. Alisha was also quite sure that the furniture was made out of real Oakwood. Overall, it was the type of interior design that was promoted in magazines.
"Like it? I made it so you guys would feel as comfortable as possible." Setsuna smiled as she gracefully put her heels away. "You children can look around all you want later, but now we must sort out a few things that Satsuki had personally requested." She gestured toward the cream leather sofa and requested that they sat down.
They complied and waited. Alisha snuck a glance at her sister and mouthed, "I wonder what it is."
Hannah shook her head and pursed her lips. She didn't feel like being cooperative.
"Ah here it is." They watched as Setsuna produced a paper out of her bag and unfolded and straightened it out. "I have legal parental rights and have been asked to adopt you for safety reasons." She smiled at them. "I'm Setsuna Aoi, the head of the Night Hawks; Japanese division. It is a pleasure to meet you."
Alisha smiled warmly, already feeling safe in this woman's presence. There was something about her that was really different from Master Satsuki. She had an air of authority about her, but it wasn't overwhelming. Alisha decided that she liked this woman and felt that she could trust her.
She looked at her sister who seemed to have read her mind and nodded. She mouthed a 'you're right' at her before she faced their guardian once more.
Setsuna beamed at them, "I have gotten a buffet ready for you, as I'm sure you're tired and hungry. But before that, I have been asked by Satsuki to give this to you." She delved through her bag and produced three more papers. "Here, read this. It is very important." She handed it to them and watched their expression.
Alisha was the first to react. She gasped when she realized that her name had been changed to a Japanese one; Ayano Aoi. She also raised her eyebrows at her backstory. An orphan sheltered by her uncle? She was sure the uncle was Master Satsuki. Along the lines she also noticed that her 'uncle' had died and asked his sister, their aunt, to take full legal care and adopt them.
"Ayano…?" Alisha whispered, unsure of how she felt about it. She craned her neck and looked at Hannah's who hid it quickly and gave a toothy grin.
Setsuna smiled, "Yes. You're Ayano. Damien is Daisuke and Hannah is Honoka. He felt it would be wise to use something that resembles your true name closely, making it easier to remember. I strongly suggest that you forget all about your previous lives and embrace this new chapter. I hope we can get along."
'She made it sound so easy,' Alisha thought bitterly. How could she possibly forget all that had happened to her? Nonetheless, she concealed her own feelings and smiled brightly at her new guardian, really willing to try to embrace her new life.
Who knew? With the help of her new family she could possibly have a brighter future.
A girl could dream after all.
If you had read the old fic, you would notice that I didn't add the acquaintance that happens to be a KHR character. I will not use it until the future for a reason I won't state now. Also Damien's personality had been changed to balance out Alisha's.
The Khr cast will be up in the next chapter. ^^