Takami grumbled to herself as she rummaged around the open circuit panel, cutting wires and crossing them with others in the hope that she could eventually get through the security door to Minaka's office. It was taking a great deal of time. She was a geneticist, not an electrician. Given how tired she was feeling, she wouldn't have been surprised if it was morning already. Still she persevered with a stubbornness that a life time of dealing with the idiotic man had given her. She had told Natsuo that she was going to have a little 'chat' with the man, and god damn it that's what she was going to do. She didn't care that he locked himself in his office for 'alone time' or whatever it was he did in there, and she didn't care that it would have made much more sense just to wait for him to come out. She was going to bludgeon him senseless with a clipboard and she wouldn't let some stupid door get in her way.
However, if she was being honest, there as a somewhat more practical reason she was doing this: practice. Takami had not been failing to notice that her control in the company had been slipping out of her grasp ever since the bloody Sekirei Plan started. Every time she had tried to get information or get something done normally she was stonewalled by her own staff. So, in order to find out what was really going on, she decided that she needed to add a little skullduggery to her skill set. She had plans to break into Lab 00 to see just what Mr. Black was really up to, but her current experience was telling her that she still needed more work to master this particular skill.
She let out a grunt as she twisted two wires together, and finally there was a fizzling noise followed by a beep and the door slid open. She stretched and cracked her back before she walked into the office, the clipboard of doom clutched in her hands. Minaka's office was huge, taking up most of the top floor with needlessly empty space, and through the massive windows that surrounded it Takami could indeed see the first light of dawn breaking over the city. Her shoulders slumped slightly, but she was still mindful to keep her foot falls silent, a talent she had pick up over the years for all the other times she wanted to bash the man's head in. She found that her target was at his desk, his head buried in his folded arms, taking a nap and yet still in the over the top white suit he always wore.
She crept forward with the intent to give him a painful wake up call to start when he moved slightly. It wasn't a big motion, just a hitch in his shoulders. She paused for a moment before creeping closer. It happened again and she swore she heard a sound coming from him. As she moved around the desk to his side and it continued, she realized that he wasn't asleep. It took her several more seconds to realize what was happening.
Was… was Minaka crying?
Takami simply stood in silence for a few moments. She couldn't even remember the last time she had seen him do that. But why? "Minaka?" she asked softly.
The response was instantaneous. Faster than she would have thought possible, Minaka threw himself away from his desk and away from her voice, tumbling out of his chair and crashing into the ground. He rolled into a sitting positing leaning back from her. "T-Takami?!" he said in shock. His face was flushed and his eyes were wet, but that's not what made Takami step back in surprise. It was the fear that those eyes held. He had never looked at her in fear before, even after she had started casually hitting him whenever he annoyed her. In spite of how she felt about him, she found it to be incredibly unsettling.
It took her moment to find her own voice, the shock of the situation making her forget she was mad at him. "Minaka, what's wrong?"
The man was silent for several seconds before his face softened somewhat. Then his lip started to quiver and he started bawling his eyes out. "Takami!" he cried as he jumped off the ground and at her. The woman was so caught off guard by this she did nothing as he wrapped his arms around her and started crying into her lab coat. "It's horrible! Horrible I tell you!"
"W-what is it!?" She asked, not sure whether to throw him off or hug him back.
"T-They cancelled the next season of Kamin Rider!" He blubbered. "Now who will young c-children look up to uphold justice and defend Japan?!"
Takami went still at hearing this. After giving the statement its due consideration, she decided to go back to her original plan and started belting Minaka with her clipboard. Several brutal seconds later the man was on the ground twitching and she was breathing a bit harder, but she felt better on the inside. I can't believe I used to be engaged to this idiot, she thought to herself. Her previous relationship with Minaka was not something she had ever told anyone, and in fact it was probable that only the two of them knew about it, as well as her children's true parentage. They had plans to get married after they were done at the University, but once the whole Sekirei business started they got side tracked. She never found it a big deal as she was just as obsessive and focused on the aliens as he was, and they would always have time to seal the deal later.
But then Minaka had started to change. Even after his children were born, he became more detached from them, and more obsessed with his delusions of grandeur. It was when he told her just what he planned to do with the Sekirei that she finally had enough and called the engagement off. He didn't even seem to care, claiming to have moved on from such trivial things. Not for the first time, Takami wondered what would have happened to him if they never found the Sekirei. What would have happened to that crazy, brilliant man she fell in love with?
"Whhhyy?" Minaka asked pitifully from the ground, snapping her out of her thoughts.
"Many reasons." She replied glibly. "But at the moment it's the fact that I haven't been told several important bits of information which should be privy to."
"Oh? Like what?" The man said as he bounced to his feet, like he hadn't been pummeled at all.
"How about the fact that our PMC has been denying Church members access to the city?"
"Oh that," Minaka said with a dismissive wave of his hand and he walked back to his desk. "That wasn't worth your time. The Church is a meddlesome influence and probably would have had some 'moral objections' to the Sekirei Plan if they found out. I figured it would be best if I kept them out entirely when I started the Second Stage."
Takami's eyes narrowed at this. "So, this has nothing to do with the fact that one of your participants happens to be a deacon?"
"Of course not. Shirou-kun is just a crazy random happenstance."
Takami didn't take that explanation at face value, but she had more important concerns. "Whatever the reason for it, I want the habit of not telling me about these sorts of things to stop. I am sick of hearing about this sort of thing second and being told 'I don't need to know' things when it comes to the company!"
"But Takami," Minaka said with what he must of thought was a placating smile. "Your work as Head Geneticist keeps you so busy. You can't be bothered with every little detail about the goings on of a multinational company."
"And I'm tired of other people deciding what those details are!" She grit out through her teeth. "And even then, that doesn't explain… well everything about Mr. Black! I don't even know what he does here and I can't even find out why? And why in the hell am I not allowed to know what he's doing in that basement? Because as Head Geneticist I should at least know what's going in my own labs!"
Minaka shrugged. "As for the why, he is a… very private man. He insisted when I first talked about him working with us that the details of his affairs were only known by myself and anyone he saw fit to inform. I saw no reason not to honor his wishes."
"That's bullshit." Takami seethed. "I may not know what Black is doing, but I know it can't be good for the Sekirei." Not that was MBI was doing normally was terribly good for them either but she left that unsaid. "Furthermore, he's taken an unhealthy interest in my son. I need to know what he's doing, and most likely to be able to tell him to stop."
"Oh Takami, Takami, Takami," Minaka said with a wistful shake of his head. "Which one of us is sitting in the fancy chair, hmm? I didn't spend all these years working as head of the company letting my underlings tell me what to do. It would be anarchy, anarchy I say! No, I'm afraid that this matter is closed." He turned his attention to the console on the desk and began typing away. "Now if this nonsense it done, I need to make some alterations to the Third Stage. With all the strange things happening and everyone laying low I'm going to have to get creative."
Takami was silent for several long moments before she leaned forward bracing her hand on his desk as she looked at him. "Either you tell me," she said in a low voice, "Or I walk."
"What?" Minaka said, turning to her in surprise for the second time since she entered the office.
"If you don't tell me everything that's been going on in the company since this stupid plan started, I quit."
Minka stared at her blankly for several long moments as Takami waited for a response. She had escalated things a great deal by threatening her resignation, but it should finally get her what she wanted. Considering how much work she had done with the Sekirei, Minaka would never let her walk away-
"Oh well. It's a shame to lose you."
It took a few seconds for Takami to understand what the man just said. "W-what?"
"I mean, it's not like I want you to leave, but to be honest at this point I don't necessarily need you." He gave an almost theatrical sigh. "Do not feel burdened by your need to leave us. If your work here has left you feeling stifled, then by all means I don't wish to keep you cooped up here. Spread your wings and fly!" He said, spreading his own arms at the same time.
Takami took a step back from him in surprise. That… he wasn't supposed to say that! Did he know she was bluffing and trying to mess with her head? Then again, was she really bluffing? She had many reasons to stay, but the more she thought about it more she realized that the reasons to leave were piling up. For several terrifying seconds she didn't know what to do.
So Takami did the only thing she could think of: she ran. She turned from Minaka and walked briskly away from her desk, her mind buzzing as she tried to think of what she should do next.
She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she never heard Minaka let out a shaky breath as she left the office.
Consciousness came to me slowly, and I shifted around in bed making myself more comfortable. Last night had been a long one for me, and I had spent most of it in my more deranged state. Once I get started with that, it is incredibly hard to get me to stop. Usually all anyone or even myself can do is focus my attention on something until I run out of fuel. So naturally, whenever I have one of my 'Phoenix Events' as they like to call them, I'm pretty much exhausted by the time I snap out of it. It was all I could do when I got back to climb into bed and get as many blankets as possible and pass out. I know people have told me that my body temperature doesn't actually change, but I always feel colder after I expend a great deal of prana.
Lucky for me, in addition to my blankets I also awoke to find a warm body on top of me. I gave a contented sigh as I wrapped my arms around her… only to realize that whoever was on top of me was somewhat taller than my wife. Oh God, who is it this time? I thought to myself as I opened my eyes. I was guessing that another Sekirei had made its way into my bed…
Which is why I felt surprise when I looked down and saw Sakura's sleeping face resting on my chest. I blinked and my eyes darted around the room, but I saw no one else. For a moment I considered discretely sliding out from under her, but her arms were wrapped around my neck such that it was impossible. I suppressed a sigh as I looked down at her, wondering what if anything I should do about the situation. If these were normal circumstances and we were normal people, I probably would have been feeling weirded out by her (quite frankly) inappropriate behavior. But, given all the nonsense that happened between us, both in the past and lately, I had a hard time getting offend about it. Though I suppose if my wife saw this… oh who was I kidding? She probably held the door open for her.
I grimaced as I thought of just how I was going to handle the situation. Not just when she woke up, but in general. Sakura had already admitted how she felt about me, and it wasn't like my feelings for her were strictly platonic either. You don't plunge head first into a hell of evil and darkness to save a woman and not feel anything later just because a few years had passed. Of course that didn't help me figure out what I was supposed to do. If I were younger I probably would have gone with whatever my instincts told me to do, but then again younger me was literally incapable of understanding romance. Such as it was, I had to figure out something. At the very least I was going to have to set up arrangements in the Vatican after all this this was over, and find a place for her in Fuyuki if and when I moved back there.
I gave a small start at this thought. I was already acting like she was going to come with me. I mean, it was a reasonable assumption that Sakura would want to come with me, but it was surprising that I had already accepted it. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn't imagine being without her now that she was awake.
This time I was unable to suppress a sigh. Well, I guess there was no point in denying it anymore. I was officially a harem hero. It was a fact that did not inspire me with any kind of confidence considering all others who held that title were assholes or idiots. Well, at the very least I had a solid library of material of what not to. Bereft of readily available options, I spent several long minutes lying where I was, enjoying the warmth and comfort of the woman on top of me. For her part Sakura remained asleep, occasionally shifting and making small noises.
In spite of myself I felt a small smile play across my lips as I looked down at her face. She was still beautiful, even with the changes. And, as I was noting with the shifting of her body against mine, her body was more curved than anyone who had been in a five year coma had any right to be. Old emotions came to surface as I remember all of the good times we had, and a tingle of joy spread through me at the thought that we could make new ones.
It was then I knew what my first step was. It was a cowardly first step as she was still asleep, but it was still a move in the right direction. I bent my head down and brought it close to her ear and whispered "I love you Sakura."
If I had been forced to admit it, it wasn't a terribly rational thing to say. I had only started to get the hang of romantic emotions during the latter part of the Grail War, and I hadn't seen her in the five years since. And even now it was becoming apparent that she wasn't quite the same person as she was before. However, I wasn't exactly a rational person, and what I felt for the woman was something worth fighting for.
Sakura didn't wake at my words, but I saw a smile form on her face and she nuzzled deeper into my chest. I let out a breath and closed my eyes, deciding to stay in bed just a little while longer-
There was a sound not unlike a clinking of chains and my eyes shot open. I looked around again to find nothing, before a thought occurred to me. I titled my head back and was greeted with the sight of Akitsu kneeling by my head, looking down at me and Sakura with a light blush on her face. "Ah…" I said awkwardly as I looked up at the kimono clad woman. "How long have you been there?"
"Ah," She said. "I was always here." She paused for a moment before continuing. "Mistress will be happy you said that."
There were a few more moments of awkward silence before I decided that I should probably get up now. I doubted I was going to get much sleep having Akitsu hovering around my head. First thing was first though; I had to get Sakura off me. I shifted and tried to put her off to the side, but her arms tightened around my neck. I gave a small smile of amusement before I tried again. Unfortunately, the more I tried, the tighter her grip became. My smile faded around the same time I started having trouble breathing.
Through the choking sounds coming from my throat, I managed to hear Sakura give a sleepy murmur. "Mine."
Even with breakfast filling her belly, Rin was tired. Musubi had cried herself to sleep last night, and so Rin had spent most of it holding the other woman and gently rocking her to calm her down. Homura had stopped by to apologize for his behavior, but it didn't help much. She wished that there was something she could have said to make the Sekirei feel better, but the right words had not come to mind. Were this anyone else, she probably would have bluntly told them that people die pointlessly in the real world and that they needed to learn to get over it. However, she just didn't have the heart to do that with Musubi for some reason. She just took a look into those big sad eyes and…
Rin sighed wearily to herself as she walked down the hall. I really am a terrible magus, aren't I? She thought. Magi were supposed to do anything for the sake of research, including killing all sentimentality they might have had when it came to other beings, but Rin couldn't even stand to make the girl upset. Still, she had been gradually coming to realize that that maybe she shouldn't try to be a perfect magus by the current definition.
At the very least, she hopped that she was being a decent teacher for Sakura. It wasn't like her sister didn't know anything about how magic worked, it was just that she had a very limited education compared to herself. Adding that to the fact that neither knew terribly much about how her Imaginary Numbers element worked meant that most of the few days they had to work together was spent experimenting and investigating just what she could do. And that was to say nothing of her new Disintegration ability. The complete inversion of her sorcery trait was something Rin didn't even know was possible, but they had learned a great deal.
Sakura had already figured out how to use it turn objects to dust, but after experimentation the sisters found that she could be more precise with her control over it. She could break things apart into larger chunks, and if she took her time she could even entirely separate a material into its base elements. However, much more shockingly they found that her trait could even be used on other magic as well. Rin had first realized it when her spells to analyze Sakura's Shadow were breaking down much quicker than they should have. It took several tries on both their parts to get to the bottom of it, but it seemed that the Shadow could separate the base Ether out of spells, causing them to dissipate. Sakura needed practice with it to be sure, as her attempts to remove a small enhancement from a block of wood Rin had Reinforced had ended… messily.
Still, if Sakura ever mastered her new power, that plus her massive prana reserves would turn her into an object of terror for magi everywhere. Any who learned of her existence would probably try to have her killed or capture her for research. Rin wasn't overly concerned about this though. Any magus who wished to try would have to go through Shirou first, and the man had the Church at his back. Well, that and the Executor was probably one of the most dangerous people on the planet at this point. Those two really made an interesting pair…
Rin shook her head before that train of thought could get anywhere. In any case, I should probably find Sakura and see if we can make any more head way with Akitsu's problem, she thought. I could have sworn I saw her go down this hallway earlier.
She stopped her musings when the door to one of the rooms opened up and Shirou walked out, though with some unexpected company. Rin was dimly aware of Akitsu following him, but the reason for that was apparent as Shriou was currently carrying Sakura in a bridle carry, the woman asleep in his arms. "Oh good, maybe you can help me with this." He said as he noticed Rin.
The dark haired woman eyed him suspiciously. "Shirou… why are you carrying my sister around like that?"
The Executor gave her a truly pitiable look. "She won't let go."
Rin just stared at him flatly. "I'm sure you can loosen her grip if you really need to."
"I'm scared to try." He responded before tilting his head back towards Akitsu. "Also, I'm not sure if she'd let me."
"Ah," Akitsu said. "Mistress looks happy where she is."
Rin looked flatly at the kimono clad woman. She knew Akitsu had good reason to be so dedicated to Sakura, but this was just silly. "Why don't you just try waking her up?" Shirou opened his mouth before closing it again and looking off to the side. "You didn't even think of that did you?" Rin said, her voice as flat as her expression. Shirou's embarrassed flush confirmed her suspicions.
Before she could smack him upside the head for being an idiot, she heard a voice from behind her. "So, what are we congregating here for? Is something fun about to happen?" The voice belonged to that drunkard woman who had moved in after she ended up in Shirou's bed. Rin turned and was about to tell her off in annoyance… before she sputtered and went beet red at seeing what the other woman was wearing.
Kazehana's outfit reminded her of those consumes women wore down in Brazil in some festival or another. On her body was little more than a two piece bikini that showed a generous amount of flesh, but coming up from her posterior was a set of massive feathers that splayed out behind her like a peacock. More feathers came off from a tiara on her head, but other than that, there was not a bit of clothes on her. "Wha-What the hell are you wearing?!" Rin shouted.
"Oh, just a little something I found in Uzume's closet." The woman said slyly as she struck a pose. "I heard that Nero-san likes to play dress up every now and then, so I wondered why she should have all the fun!"
"It's completely i-indecent! And impractical! Why would anyone wear such a thing?"
"Ah," Akitsu said. "I like it."
"I wasn't talking to you!" Rin yelled in frustration.
"Oh pooh," Kazehana said with a wave of her hand. "It's clear that you have no sense of adventure when it comes to fashion." She turned her gaze to Shirou (who still held an unconscious Sakura in his arms) and gave him a sultry look. "Now you on the other hand look like a man who appreciates a little adventure."
However, Shirou merely looked at her with an arched eyebrow. "I suppose. That does look good on you." He said, his tone bland and conversational.
This wasn't quite the response Kazehana expected, causing her to blink. A moment later she recomposed herself and her smile returned. "Ah, it's always good to have a man appreciate how I look. Tell me, what do you like the best?" She said in a low tone, framing her arms under her chest so as to emphasis her shamelessly exposed cleavage.
"Well, it shows off your body nicely. Very sexy." Again, Shirou's tone was completely neutral and his calm unaffected. Well, almost, as a moment later his face gave a small wince of pain as Rin noticed Sakura's arms tightening around his neck.
Kazehana was put off by this however, and her expression became sterner. "Honestly, do you have to say it like that? You sound like you're commenting on the weather."
Shirou tilted his head to the side. "Oh? And how do you want me to respond? Blushing and stuttering while I try to hold back a nose bleed?"
"Well… maybe." The woman said, looking a little self-conscious while she glanced off to the side. "Still, most men would be tripping over themselves at the sight of this. Why aren't you?"
There was a long pause where Shirou just looked at her blankly. "Kazehana," he said eventually, "have you met my wife?"
Inside of Matsu's room, many of her computer monitors where displaying some rather… illicit material. It was no secret that the bespectacled woman tended toward the perverted, and given that she was a technical genius much of her time on the internet was spent finding more and more novel forms of pornography. She had a very sizable collection of fetishes stored on her hard drives, and she was always willing (and even a little proud) to show it to anyone who asked (and a few that didn't). She found it incredibly amusing to see the reactions of people not used to such kinky things blush in embarrassment.
However, things were slightly different this time, as her current companion Nero was not at all put off by the images before her, and was instead tapping a pen against her lips as she looked thoughtfully at the monitors. "Done it… done it… done it… did a variation of it… did that one backwards… oh, that looks novel!" She said before picking up a notebook and jotting something down.
Matsu sat off to the side, feeling more than a little intimated by the wife of her Ashikabi. She had thought that the blonde would be at least a little off balance when Matsu sprung the smut on her, but apparently woman was no stranger to it herself, and furthermore had done most of it! Matsu felt like a house cat sitting next to a Bengal tiger. Truly she had a lot to learn from this woman.
It took Matsu a little off guard when Nero suddenly said "I see our newest arrival is finally being a little less coy about what she wants." Matsu was confused for a moment before Nero pointed at a different monitor, one that was connected to one of the various cameras in the house. It showed the rather odd scene of Kazehana in an exotic dancer's outfit speaking with Shirou, who was currently holding Sakura in his arms.
Matsu giggled a little. "So, you think Shirou-tan may get another addition?"
"Perhaps…" Nero said, frowning at the screen. "I haven't decided yet."
Matsu blinked in confusion at this. "Wait, what do you mean?"
The blond raised her eyebrows as she looked at her. "Shirou's passions may burn for many people, but I am his wife. I would like to think that I have some say in his choice of mistresses." She glanced back at the screen. "That woman has been indecisive since the moment she came here. My husband has enough troubles involving relationships at the moment to involve one who isn't truly committed." She caught the look on Matsu's face and guessed what she was thinking. "You need not worry about yourself of course. Even after Shirou told you how you might suffer, you were still willing to bond with him. You committed yourself fully to him, and for that you have my respect."
Matsu felt herself blush slightly at the other woman's praise. It was a strange situation she had found herself in, but she found herself glad that of all the people her Ashikabi could be married to, it was this woman in front of her. Still, she had invited Nero to her room for a reason besides the casual viewing of porn, and the change of subject allowed her to segue nicely. "Ah… Nero-tan, there was something I wanted to talk to you about."
"Hmm? What is it?" Nero asked.
"Well, Matsu was just wondering… how did you first become so close to Shirou-tan?"
Nero blinked, and after a moment's pause she closed the notebook in her lap. "That… is both an easy and difficult question, and while I can sum it up I am not sure I can impress upon you the true weight of the experience. I shall try however. I became close to my now husband soon after he summoned me, during the Grail War."
Matsu tilted her head to the side. "Yes, that is what I thought. This war is another thing which Matsu has been wondering about. None of you who were involved ever seem to talk about it."
"That is with good reason." The woman replied with a frown. "It was a very traumatic experience for everyone involved, if for different reasons. We had to face many unpleasant aspects of the world we live in, as well as some of the more unpleasant parts of ourselves. It is not something I would like to speak of if I can help it."
Matsu grit her teeth in frustration for a moment before she swept her glasses off her face. "Nero, I understand the impact that conflict can have on a person. I participated in a small war myself after all. I don't want to dread up painful memories, but please. I want to understand what happened. I… I want to understand my Ashikabi."
Nero looked at her for several long moments before she gave a small sigh. "Very well."
And so, Nero told Matsu the tale of the Fifth Holy Grail War. About the Servants, the Masters, the prize worth killing for and how it was for naught, all the death and betrayals. Matsu got the feeling that there was a lot she was leaving out, but she got the gist of it. She had to admit, while there were some parallels to the Sekirei Plan, the Grail War was something much more brutal. If anything, from the description Nero gave it sounded more like the battle for Kamikura Island. When the dust had finally settled one only ones not dead, dying or crippled were the four in the inn, and even then that wasn't entirely true.
After Nero had finished, Matsu looked at her incredulously. "Shirou-tan actually saved the world?"
"And put one of the people he cared about most into a coma in the process." Nero replied firmly. "So you can imagine why it is not something he likes to bring up."
"And- and he really killed his own father?"
"To avenge the death of another that was dear to him, among many other reasons." The blond confirmed.
"And you really had a three-way with Shirou and Rin that Sakrua found out about which caused her to go axe crazy?"
For the first time since she had met her, Nero looked at Matsu with a sharp glare. "Please do not insult Sakura by phrasing it in such a manner. She would have never taken such actions if not for the darkness her grandfather had put inside her."
Matsu instinctively leaned back. "Ok, ok!" She said. She had never meant for it to come off that way. Sure, she may have had a healthy love of soap operas, but this particular tale had details a bit too grim for her to enjoy. Not to mention the fact that involved her Ashikabi. "It's just… it's hard to believe that all off you went through something that."
"Like I said, it was an experience which changed us all. Being in constant mortal danger while questioning the motives of everyone you know can be rather trying to say the least. Through the fire of conflict our true selves were revealed to each other, and from that our unbreakable bond was formed." She gave Matsu an uneven look. "Though if you are wondering because you wish to know how you can become close to Shirou yourself, I would suggest a less violent experience to do so."
Matsu looked off to the side awkwardly. She had been hoping for something a bit more applicable to her own situation, but Nero had a point. Still, maybe the plan to separate the Sekirei from MBI could serve as a similar catalyst, if much less severe than his previous experience. Of course, that had fallen a bit by the wayside since those vampires started popping up, but they really should get back to that. "Oh, that reminds me!" Matsu said. "I need to bring Shirou up here at some point to show him my latest findings."
"Findings of what?" Nero asked.
Matsu gestured to the corner of the room, which had a number of strange electronic devices piled in it. "Matsu-tan finally got all the equipment she needed do some more in-depth scans to see what we're implanted with." In truth, she had gotten the part she needed to build small scanner that was effectively a portable MRI machine. It was actually a very impressive bit of technical work (even if she had to turn off anything else electrical in ten feet when she used it), especially as she was more of a software girl than hardware. She should probably look in to patenting it if possible. "I've found some very interesting things."
Matsu moved to a keyboard and typed in several commands, bringing up several images of internal scans of her body, particularly of her spine. "The GPS implant is the base of the neck, but there are more going down the rest of the spine. I had to look deep, and look up some things about anatomy, but I believe that they're connected between the connections of the peripheral and central nervous system."
Nero looked at her blankly for a few seconds before she said "That is… interesting."
Matsu gave a roll of her eyes. Nero was quite intelligent and versed in many fields, but she sometimes forgot that save for a few subjects that knowledge was quite shallow. "It's the place where the brain tells the body what to do. Furthermore, it looks like the implants are capable of receiving transmissions. It's just a guess, but I'm pretty sure that MBI can use these to paralyze the Sekirei on command. Theoretically, it's even possible that they can shut down our automatic functions and kill us outright."
"That is most distressing." Nero said, a frown creasing her face. "We need to think of a way to neutralize the implants as soon as possible."
"Matsu-tan is already working on that." She said with a nod. "However, that was not all I found." She brought up a few more images, this time focusing on bones. "I thought there was something wrong with the imager the first time I saw it, but when it kept popping up I increased the resolution and found this." She zoomed in on one picture to reveal a series of symbols. "It looks to be writing that has laser engraved right onto the bone. As first I thought it was something like a bar code that could be used to identify a Sekirei if… that was all that was left of her." She said with a cough. "But when I looked closer I couldn't make heads or tails of it. Not only that, but I found it in several different places."
She then switched to a shot of her ribs, centered right around where she knew her core was. "The script is particularly dense around the chest. It's… actually quite artful." She said as she looked over the lines and curves of the characters, radiating out from the sternum. "Of course, it doesn't seem to have a logical purpose. And if it is a language, I have no idea which on it is."
"It is ancient Germanic text." Matsu turned to Nero in surprise, but the blonde was not looking at her. She was staring intently at the image on the screen. Her face was one of great concern.
"Really?" Matsu said in confusion. "Why is it there? What's purpose does it serve?"
"I don't know quite what it does, but if it means what I think it does…" She turned to Matsu, her expression serious. "We need to tell the others this. Now."
Homura stood on the top to the Izumo Inn, arms folded across his chest as he stood proudly looking into the rising sun. His new cloak billowed out behind him as he stood resolutely, and when he took off his hat it revealed his eyes blazing with an inner fire.
"Kaho is dead!" He announced to the morning. "She's gone! But's she's right here on my crest, and in my heart!"
His fist thumped his chest. "She lives on as a part of all us Sekirei! We'll take flight and soar! Any darkness that gets in our way, we'll pierce right through to the Heavens! That is our destiny!"
Homura pointed upwards and shouted his challenge. "To any of you who look down on us Sekirei I ask you, JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE!?"
Meanwhile, Rin looked on from down below. "…Well, he's lost it." She turned to Shirou to say something but then stopped when she looked at him. "Shirou… are you crying?"
"Th-they just grow up so fast!" Shirou sniffled as he wiped away his tears.
A/N: It was a toss-up between Homura and Musubi for that omake, but Homura won out in the end.