Author Notes: I just wanted to try my English skills and since I liked mostly action anime I decided to write fanfiction based Gunslinger Girl.


"I don't need your protection. My bodyguards can handle those petty terrorists of yours with ease."

Jose listened patiently to the twelve years old girl who was targeted by Padania for kidnapping. She was the only daughter of the AWTCorp CEO, the corporation which helped the Social Welfare Agency with artificial bodies. That's why the SWA was really eager to protect this girl. But looking from the other side it could be needless matter since the CEO sent AWTCorp security members in numbers equal of a small army. Henrietta looked at the CEO's daughter who in return looked back. Jose sighed noticing hostility and disgust that the girl showed toward his partner. It looked like the CEO's daughter knew about Henrietta's artificial body which wasn't surprising after all. This work would be hard one.

"Miss Silverlight, I understand that you don't want any interference with your business. But it is our duty to protect you. So, can you please deal with it like reasonable person?"

The CEO's daughter glared at Jose with open annoyance then she looked at Henrietta once more. Both girls stared at each other for some time until Jose's partner turn her head toward him for help. Jose just smiled reassuringly to Henrietta.

Aria Silverlight, twelve years old, the only child of the AWTCorp CEO Alexander Silverlight the former Soviet Union scientist. She was rumored to be adopted to her father's family since the CEO was never officially married but she also could be the daughter from some affair in the past. According to the file Aria had terminal illness from the day she was born and that fact drove her father into implementation of new R&D teams. Byproducts of those efforts were artificial bodies and variety of drugs that Agency used.

Looking at the girl in question Jose couldn't believe that she had terminal illness one time in the past. Except maybe her really odd appearance: white hair, red eyes and pale skin - she didn't stand out from normal girls of her age.

"Mr. Croce?"

Jose and Henrietta turned their full attention to the CEO's daughter. Despite her small stature Aria Silverlight had the sense of authority around her like those in-command of Agency. Additionally, unlike many daughters of men in power, she was quite reasonable and truly respected by her father's subordinates.

"Yes, Miss Silverlight?"

Aria looked right into his eyes which made Jose uneasy. Those red eyes of hers were unnerving even for the specialist like him. They looked like ones of predator searching for its prey.

"I noticed that you're somewhat fond of this girl, Henrietta, as far as I remember right. So I have one particular question for you. Depending on your answer I may reconsider your services."

"I'm listening."

"Why did you approve something unethical like using this girl for killing?"

This question came out of the blue. Jose became quiet: "What kind of answer did this girl expect?" He sensed Henrietta's nervous look at him but couldn't break eye contact with Aria. For CEO's daughter this situation possibly was a game of sorts. But what was the reason for this.

"Time is up. So what is your answer, Mr. Croce?"

"I have no reasonable answer, Miss Silverlight."

Jose answered honestly. He tried to find answer for this question many times in the past by himself but to no avail. So he decided to answer honestly instead of making excuses.

"You are more honest with yourself than I expected from the likes of you."

Aria said with a shadow of smile on her face. She took something out from the desk and slid it to Jose and Henrietta. His partner reacted and get it before it reached his hand. Aria laughed a bit over Henrietta's protective reaction.

"Don't worry girl. It is just your ID badges. Wear it or otherwise Prizraki [1] could eliminate you since you always have weapons. Your ID badges give you Security Private Rank access."

Jose get one ID badge from Henrietta and examined it. Simple plastic with his photo on it and small chip on the other side. It looked like Visa Card of some kind with a small clip on one side. He put it on like it was intended while Henrietta did the same. The most hard part of this job was completed - they were accepted to protect their target.

"We have plenty of time before ceremony. How about Social Welfare Agency shows me how our corporation technologies are used?"

It wasn't request of the spoiled child...


[1] Prizraki - Russian for "Wraiths".