Disclaimer: Namco owns Tales of Symphonia

Even if she couldn't hold him, even she couldn't see him, she'd help him protect everything dear to him.

The blood trickled into the mud, the rain dripping upon her searing skin as she lay motionless on the ground. Her vision cleared, the red haze swimming as she watched the canopy shiver above her.

Lloyd...

Her voice echoed within her mind and she turned her gaze from the sky. Where was her son?

Every muscle twitched, her skin felt stretched over her bones, every raindrop sending a pin prick of pain shooting through her nerves. She wanted to scream and never stop.

But she turned her head to the side, ever so slowly, and she saw him, laying in the mud. A trickle of blood ran down from beneath his hairline. One of his shoes had fallen loose, his tiny white sock getting stained from the mud.

Lloyd...

The claw of a hand uncurled, the long hook like fingers extending toward the small child. Her baby.

Please be alive. Lloyd, my baby, say something! Please!"

She cried in her mind, but even so she saw him stir and a weak whimper escape his quivering mouth. Her hand relaxed slowly into the mud, letting the soft moisture ease the fire in her skin.

He was alive.

She dug her fingers into the slick ground and dragged herself forward. Every nerve screamed and the sound escaped her deformed face as a agonizing roar. Inch by inch she moved closer to her child.

Her chest heaved, her head laying in the mud, the last of her strength ebbing away. She began to reach to her son, but her gnarled hand came into her vision and she let it fall back to the ground. She wouldn't touch her son... not with these hands. Not with the hands that tried to kill him.

A soft, pained whine came from somewhere nearby and she heaved a sigh of relief, knowing Noishe was here, watching for a distance. Watching the monster she was.

You saved him... Noishe, keep him safe. Please keep him safe.

Lloyd's face scrunched up, his small body trembling from the damp and the cold, his small eyes fluttering in effort to escape the darkness that consumed him. The darkness that threatened to consume her.

But he was alive. Kratos had saved their son.

I love you, Lloyd. Grow strong, like your father.

She tried to smile, the action foreign in her features. She couldn't cry, she couldn't...

The exsphere slowly glowed and she stared at the warm light, hearing soft footsteps and a gruff voice. Her vision faded, but she struggled to keep her voice.

Lloyd...my son...take him...

Then she was enveloped into darkness, drawn deeper and deeper, curled and pushed tighter and tighter. She felt nothing, saw nothing...there was nothing, but this sensation of floating. It was peace and hell at the same time. Was this death? Was this it? This suspension?

Then, there was warmth, a voice.

"Ya are old enough to make use of it. But ya must protect it, keep it hidden."

"I will, Dad."

She struggled, fighting to find the source, but there was nothing around her, just the resisting sensation, hovering nowhere.

"Mom... Dad gave me your stone today. He says it'll make me stronger. I don't really understand it, but I'll keep it safe. I promise."

The warmth surrounded her and she closed her eyes, knowing what she must do now. What her purpose was. She'd protect him. Keep him safe. Help him grow strong until the day he no longer needed her. Even if she couldn't hold him, even she couldn't see him, she'd help him protect everything dear to him.

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