Chapter 11 – V
“A scheme bigger than world domination? What is there after the world belongs to you?” Nat scratched her head.
“I don’t know.” I shrug.
“But I think Viola has a point,” Van replied, “Nebula Corporation even has their own special elite military force. They have more than enough firepower to dominate the world by energy market supplies and by force, even without the power of a Zodiac Angel in their grasp.”
“So why would they want our powers then!?” Nat ruffled her hair in frustration.
“That’s what we are supposed to find out,” I replied and closed the document since we’re done with it.
I opened the next folder: Research Design.
This project will be studied through the means of scientific experimentation. The main research team comprises of:
- Prof. Albert Gregory – Head of the Applied Science Department
- Asst. Prof. Rokishi Vossler – Chief Assistance of the Head of Applied Science Department
- Dr. Wesker Kraine – Assistance Researcher
- Dr. Lyra Hikari – Assistance Researcher
A test subject was successfully captured by the Nebula Elite Forces (NEF). (More information in the ‘Sample Profile’)
The test subject’s DNA will be extracted and studied to locate the source of the subject’s supernatural powers. After that, the means to harness such powers will be decided.
“Uh… If they want DNA, can’t they just stick a syringe and take out blood sample?” Nat wondered.
“It might be more complicated than that,” Van suggested, “These powers are ours and ours alone. If they can simply transfer our powers through simple blood transfusion, then they wouldn’t have to go through this whole mess.”
That’s a good point.
“Aaaahhh!!! These science craps are driving me crazy!” Nat screeched.
“Well, if you want, you can just sit at the couch. I’ll call you when I found something interesting,” I suggested.
“Nah. I’d felt even more left out that way,” Nat sighed, banging her head on the table a couple of times to make herself awake and alert.
“Well then. Bear with me a little longer.” I pat her shoulder then move the cursor to the ‘Sample Profile’ folder. This is what I’ve been waiting for. As I opened the file, the picture of a purple haired girl was displayed onto the screen along with a brief biography.
Subject Name: VIOLA–ANIMA4932
“Huh!?” Nat and Van’s jaws dropped wide open when they saw a picture of a girl with the name VIOLA labeled on the screen. Both of them slowly turn their head towards me with a surprised look.
“What…the…heck?” Nat whispered.
“I copied this folder because I saw my name on it,” I explained to both of them, “Mom told me that my ‘answers’ are at the laboratory, so I guess this was the ‘answer’ I was looking for.”
“Wait wait wait. That doesn’t make sense! This experiment took place 20 years ago! How can you be that girl on the screen when you’re not even supposed to be born yet!” Nat exclaimed.
“That’s what I wanna know too. And hopefully we’ll get an answer to that question.”
I scroll the screen further down. The rest of the files are medical records of the ‘VIOLA’ on the screen. The height and weight slightly differ from my current numbers, but the rest are all the same with me – blood group, purple hair from birth, and many other traits. Unfortunately, that is all the information in that folder. There is absolutely zero information about this girl’s background.
“Man, that didn’t answer much of our questions. Most of what we saw is what we already know. Like the researchers’ names,” Van sighed.
She’s right. I have to admit that this was very disappointing. I still don’t know much about who I am even after opening more than half of the files. The next file will be the last. After a deep breath, my index finger taps the cursor on the last folder. Hopefully, this folder will finally answer at least half of my questions. Unfortunately, a big disappointment strikes us when we realized that there is no document file saved in this folder at all, aside from a video clip file.
“A video clip? What’s a video clip doing here?” Nat muttered.
“Maybe this could be the actual footage of the experiment there,” Van suggested, “This is an experiment log folder after all. They might decide to save time on logging by recording a footage instead.”
Well, if that is true, then there’s little need to open it. I’ve seen it way more than I wanted to.
“Wait. Look at the name. It said, ‘To Viola’,” Nat read the name of the video clip.
To me? Or to the Viola who was experimented?
“What are you waiting for, Viola? Open it!” Nat cried.
What could this video be about? To be honest, I am not ready to watch that nightmare while I am fully awake.
But there’s really no other choice for us now, do we?
My finger taps the computer’s mouse nervously and clip starts playing. My eyes widen as a familiar face appears on the screen. A girl with long dark orange hair is looking at the camera with a troubled face.
I know this girl.
“If you’ve found this video, Viola, then chances are very well that I’m already dead. I have to record this video in case I am not there to convey this message.”
Tears inevitably well up when I heard her voice. She looks a lot younger than how I remember her, but this is definitely, without a doubt, the Lyra Hikari who raised me up.
I miss her so much.
“Before anything else, I would like to use this chance to apologize to you,” mom said, sobbing, “I am sorry I betrayed you. I don’t deserve to be your friend after all I’ve done to you. It was only because of me that you are suffering in this state.”
Betrayed me? What did she do to betray me?
“If I have to repent for what I’ve done with death, then so be it. But first, at least let me make things right. Since you are watching this clip, you must have already read the Theory Concept of the Reunion Project because this clip is programmed to not be shown on screen unless all the other files are already opened.”
We have indeed already read the Theory Concept – the overall description of this project. She was well prepared.
“Listen to me carefully, Viola. Your powers were extracted and implanted onto another test subject. However, the results of the extraction process yielded a surprising result. You were t—–.”
Suddenly, the lights are cut and the computer screen goes out.
“COME FREAKIN’ ON!!!! You gotta be kidding me!” Nat punched the wall next to me out of frustration. Thank goodness she didn’t crack a hole on it. But to be honest, this is indeed frustrating. I mean, of all the other times the lights can go out, it has to be during the most crucial moment. The whole building became pitch black. I looked out of the window up at the sky. It appears that another solar eclipse has occurred.
“It’s the eclipse again,” I told the girls then get back to my seat.
“Calm down Nat. Once the lights come back, we’ll continue watching the clip,” said Van. Even though she tries to keep her cool, it is easy to tell from her voice and shaky hands that she is desperately trying her best to hide her excitement.
“I KNOW! But man! Aren’t you frustrated when it goes out during the most important part!?” Nat grumbled.
Aren’t you overreacting a little, Nat?
I’m the one who’s supposed to be even more frustrated than you.
Anyway, regarding that video before it was cut, mom said my powers were extracted and implanted onto another test subject. That subject must be ‘VIOLA ANIMUS’ – the test subject in another glass tube right next to the one that confined me. As I piece all the information we’ve collected so far, my mind derives an obvious conclusion that surprisingly did not occurred to me before at all:
It is very possible that VIOLA ANIMUS and the bloody murderer are the same person!
When you assume that he was implanted with my Zodiac Angel powers, everything makes much more sense. He has the exact same reflex that I do, and his sword wave attack was even similar to my wave attack. That would also explain how he could seal Zubenes with the Zodiac Seal – a technique accessible only to Zodiac Angels. However, that still did not exactly explain why mom referred to herself as my ‘friend’, or how I even existed 20 years ago.
“You don’t seem very surprised, Viola,” Van noted, “She didn’t refer to herself as a mother, but as a ‘friend’. You already knew that she’s not your biological mother, didn’t you?”
She’s pretty sharp. But admittedly, I didn’t show any sign of surprise to her indeed.
“Mom told me she is not my real mother before she died,” I replied, “I didn’t think it was important to what we were discussing two days ago, so I didn’t tell you girls about it.”
“…Wow. That must be hard on you. To learn that your only family is fraud before she dies,” Nat muttered worriedly.
“It was hell,” I replied, “I was so angry and scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
The tears finally trail its way down both of my cheeks after being held for so long. I try my best to not sniffle.
“I was thrown into a world with no family – no one to trust. My only clue was the laboratory so I told myself that all there is to do is go to that laboratory and then I will finally know what the hell is going on. Every time I stopped to take a rest, my heart hurts. I miss her. I miss mom so much.”
After holding it for so long, I finally lost and let out a sniffle.
“Even though she’s not my mom, she was the one who raised me. We laughed and cried together for all I’ve known. Then she died right in front of my eyes and there was nothing I could do. I was mad at my powerlessness. So I just keep pushing forward. When I walk, my mind stops thinking about her and the pain eased. I…I just didn’t know what to do.”
All of the sudden, I heard a sniffle right next to me. Nat is wiping her tears.
“I…I can’t believe…you…went through all that…alone.” The girl starts sobbing and in a second it turned into a cry.
“W…Woah hey, I’m the one who’s supposed to cry, not you.” I wipe my tears and pat on Nat’s shoulders.
“Y…Yeah…b…but…waaaaahhhhhh!!!!!” Nat cries out like a little girl. I’m glad she empathized my pain, but I can’t help giggling at her adorableness.
“Well, Viola, now you have us,” said Van. My head turns to her only to realize that she is also wiping her tears. Knowing her so far, I didn’t expect her to be the type to cry this easily. “It’s been only two days, but we are in this together now. Don’t shoulder the burden on yourself.”
“Yeah. Thanks. Van. Nat.”
I smile at both of them. Like she said, it’s been only two days. But something deep inside told me that these girls are truly worthy of my trust.
The tears that they shed for me were genuine.
All of the sudden, a loud explosion can be heard from outside of the library’s window. The three of us jumped in surprise. This room was supposed to be completely soundproof. But since it leaked into this room, it means that the explosion must have been an extremely severe one.
“What the heck was that just now?” Nat wipes her tears and walks to the window, “W…Wha…? What’s that?”
Van and I walk to the window and look at the sky in curiosity.
“What…in the world…?” Van’s jaw dropped wide open.
The solar eclipse has passed. But a mysterious a cluster of dark fog, resembling a huge dimensional hole, has formed on the gloomy sky above the center of Grand Central.