A/N: Hello to all I have now returned with my next chapter of "Second Chance". Here, the history lesson continues and our duo face the Parma workers' council. This is a short chapter because there wasn't much I had planned here but, it is important. On a bit of good news, I might have found a new beta reader with my new friend Chronic Guardian who should begin editing next chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gunslinger Girl
It was a rainy spring day in Parma, Italy. Most people were inside the building and the streets were barren. Among those inside were the Parma Workers' Council who were holding a routine meeting. However, a car with an ex-CIA agent and a not-so routine blonde were watching the building they were in and preparing to shut it down.
"Sir, how much long do we have to wait?" asked Elsa wanting to go into action and please her handler.
"Very soon. If we move too soon we risk compromising our mission." answered James.
"Okay." replied Elsa.
"Good girl. Now, when you go in you're to try and surprise the Red Guard and capture them. Keep deaths to a minimal if at all." explained James.
"Yes sir." said Elsa.
"It's weird. Most people can't stand the rain, but I really enjoy it." said Harrison making small-talk to pass the time.
"I do to sir. It's fresh and reviving. I like to watch it come down." said Elsa.
"That's exactly the same as me." smiled James.
"How lovely." said Elsa smiling which felt so different.
"So, how are your classes?" asked James clearly grasping at straws.
"They're okay. Rico and Henrietta struggle at times but, Triela and Claes help them. I don't need help myself sir." answered Elsa.
"It's always good to ask for help when you need it." said James.
"Okay sir." replied Elsa, "I have a question."
"Shoot." said James.
"How were you in school?" asked Elsa nervously.
"I did okay for myself. History and literature were enjoyable, science was fine too. It was math that I struggled with."
"I see." said the little blonde.
"Yeah. Math and me have never gotten along." replied James with a chuckle.
"Speaking of studies, can we continue our history lesson?" asked Elsa.
"Sure but, I am surprised you're asking me to start." answered James, "Elsa is actually asking to start it."
"I enjoy this sir." replied Elsa who was patted warmly on the head by her handler.
"We're on Rome now. I'm sure you probably know a lot about this already." said James.
"Yes but, I would still like to go over it with you." said Elsa.
"According to the Roman foundation myth, Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were also demigods as they claimed descent from the war god Mars." began James.
"The Latin king, who had overthrown their father, ordered them drowned because he feared they'd try to take back the throne." added Elsa.
"Correct, Little Miss Smarty." said James playfully.
"Thank you." replied Elsa her face red.
"Anyway, a she-wolf saved and raised the boys who grew up and founded their own city on seven hills. A fight broke out and Remus was killed by his brother, probably one of the first cases of fratricide in history, who then became the first King of Rome." continued James.
"Sir, I though Cain and Abel was the first case of fratricide in history." replied Elsa.
"This could be. Unfortunately, exact dates are unknown." noted James.
"Rome had Seven Legendary Kings of Rome correct?" asked Elsa unsure.
"Correct." answered James, "Then of course that ended in 509 BC when the Roman Republic was founded."
"The rise of a great power." noted Elsa.
"The new republic consisted of elected officials held in balance by a system of check and balances. It was the inspiration for the governments of many countries including my own." said James.
"I remember reading that." said Elsa.
"The new republic started weak, in the 4th century BC the Eternal City was sacked by the Gauls. However, the Romans took up arms and subdued the peninsula." said James.
"Sort of a precursor to the modern unification of Italy." said Elsa.
"The last major threat came with the Pyrrhic War were Rome and Carthage defeated Greeks in Southern Italy. They were aided by the fact the Greek victories came with heavy losses." continued James.
"Hence the term Pyrrhic victory." noted Elsa.
"With the Greeks gone this led to a rivalry with Carthage and a trio of wars. The First Punic War ended with Rome gaining Sardinia and Sicily, the Second Punic War featured Hannibal and his famous march but, ended in Roman victory and the Third Punic War saw Rome raze Carthage to the ground securing it's position as the major power of the area." explained James.
"It was untouchable." said Elsa.
"Militarily it had no equal but, internal unrest was brewing within Rome." replied James.
"Like Spartacus and his rebellion." said Elsa.
"Correct you are. Rome was in trouble and needed someone to save it. Unto this stage of uncertainty stepped Julius Caesar."
"Why do so many people think Julius Caesar was emperor?" asked Elsa.
"Unfortunately this is a common mistake. Much like the emperors giving a thumbs down; they gave thumbs up for someone to be killed but, a mistranslation led to the popular misconception they gave thumbs down." answered James.
"I see." said Elsa understanding.
"So, Caesar began a brilliant military career bested noted for his conquest of Gaul. Truly, he was one of the greatest generals of history."
"As result of his eminence popularity the government the government feared he would take power but, when they ordered him to return he crossed the Rubicon with his army and took power." continued Elsa.
"As the ruler of Rome, he issued reforms and was popular with common people but, this again worried the established rulers and a conspiracy to assassinate him was put into effect." continued James.
"On 15 March 4 BC he entered the Senate and was brutally stabbed to death by the conspirators including his friend Brutus." added Elsa.
"The popular outcry led to the conspirators being killed and a power vacuum." added James.
"This was resolved when Octavian Caesar took power defeating his foes including Marcus Antony and Cleopatra VII annexing Egypt to Rome. With his rivals gone, Octavian crowned himself first emperor under the new name Augustus. This began the Roman Empire." finished Elsa as the rain died down.
"Very good Elsa. My little history buff." replied James playfully ruffling her hair.
Just then the two heard a noise and ducked. Peering over the bottom of the car windows they saw a group of terrorists heading inside the building they were staking out.
"Is that the last of the terrorists?" asked Elsa.
"Looks like it." answered James, "That means it's go time."
"I'm on it sir." said Elsa quickly pulling out her SIG P229 pistol.
"Remember, keep casualties to a minimum. You're job is to pin them in a position they can't fight and are forced to surrender." reminded James handing her a combat knife, "An old weapon of mine from Kosovo."
"I won't fail you sir." replied Elsa determined.
"I know you won't." replied James.
Elsa then took off for the building. She reached the door and found one guard present a combination of ignorance to their presence and small numbers.
"Easy." said Elsa to herself.
The little blonde then thought of a plan. After a minute of thinking of the best way to dispose of the man she decided to pull a move from Henrietta's book. Taking a deep breath the girl started walking right toward the man.
"Excuse me sir." said Elsa nervous, "I'm lost. Please help. I'm not from this country and lost my mother in a large crowd. I'm really scared."
"This isn't the place for little girls." replied the man.
"Please. I'm frightened and just want to find my mother!" cried Elsa putting on an Academy Award worthy performance.
"Fine. Just stay here and I'll be right back." said the man caving.
The guard turned his back to Elsa to headed inside. However, when he did the blonde pulled out the combat knife and lunged stabbing the man in the back. The guard hacked up a large amount of blood then fell to the ground. To make certain he was dead, Elsa slit his throat cutting both the carotid artery and jugular vain.
"Fool." spat Elsa as she whipped off the blood and headed inside.
Elsa slipped inside the building and followed the sounds of voices as she quietly made her move.
"Signore Harrison will be so proud." said Elsa to herself as she reached the room before kicking the door open, "Freeze terrorists! You'll all under arrest!"
"We are not surrendering to a little girl." said one of the Red Guard as he and the others stood up.
"You don't have a choice. You're going to pay for your terrorism." replied Elsa aiming her gun, "Hands were I can see them."
The terrorists raised the hands above their hands in surrender. Elsa was proud of her success but, before she could call victory she heard people coming up behind her and barely dodged a punch.
"You're not taking anyone." grinned the man that nearly punched her as the other terrorists grabbed their weapons.
"If you want to go, fine by me." snarled Elsa up to proving herself.
Elsa quickly slipped the gun in the her pocket as the man charged. By the way he fought, Elsa knew this guy had to have been a street fighter but, luckily he never faced an Agency girl before. Elsa grabbed his hand and quickly spun his arm around so fast the man torn his rotator cuff. Elsa then killed the man with a stiff knee to the temple.
"You little bitch!" spat one of the terrorists as several of them opened fire forcing Elsa to take cover behind the door of a neighboring apartment.
"At this rate my work will be more difficult then I first thought." said Elsa to herself as the gunfire stopped.
Staying mum, Elsa used her Agency improved hearing to footsteps coming. As she heard them nearing the door she swung it open and came out firing killing several terrorists in the action.
"Crap. I'm supposed to be keeping these guys alive." thought Elsa mentally slapping herself.
Elsa then ducked back behind the door and reloaded. When the terrorists had to reload she jumped out and began firing again but, this time she aimed at the stomach, arms or other places she could disarm the terrorists without killing them.
"One more." grinned Elsa jumping out, "It's all over. Just give up now and save yourself the pain."
"Never!" cried the man charging at Elsa who ducked and stabbed him in the stomach with the combat knife.
"Signore, mission accomplished." radioed Elsa to her handler.
James and the other agents who accompanied the fratello to Parma quickly rounded up the wounded terrorists and put them in custody then seized their weapons and other evidence.
"Elsa, good work. Thanks to you one of these terrorist cells has been shut down. I'm proud." said James approaching his girl.
"Thank you sir." replied Elsa blushing.
"Let's go home." said James and the two got into the man's car and left.
The entire trip back to Rome was relatively quit with James relaxing and Elsa smiling the entire way. When the reached the Agency the parked and headed inside. However, as the headed inside the noticed someone sitting on top of a building near the gun range whom they recognized as Triela. Just then Alfonso walked by.
"Hey Alfonso, what's up with Triela?" asked James.
"Oh right, you two weren't here. Well, our little princess got beat by a Padania on her last mission in Montalcino." answered Alfonso.
"That's not like her." noted Elsa feeling concerned for her sister.
"I'll say. She's taking it really hard." replied Alfonso as Elsa began to head toward the girl.
"No Elsa. It's best to let her be alone for now. You can talk to her when she's feeling better." said James stopping the blonde.
A/N: We'll end there for now. This was a little short but, not every chapter will be a novel. One of the Red Guard workers' councils are now gone, you know they won't like this, and Triela has been beaten by Pinocchio. Next time, the Red Guard react and Elsa talks to Triela and Claes in her quest to make amends. Please review.