“Kohta…I’m sorry,” Lucy whispered, plummeting limply off the bridge into the bay. Cheers from the soldiers echoed in her ears while excruciating pain wracked her wounded body. The cool night air whipped her face as the approaching water loomed. Yet, in spite of her pain, a profound sense of relief came over her while bullets whizzed by her head. Peace…I’ll finally find peace, she thought. Darkness took her when she plunged into the briny deep.
“You can’t die yet,” a familiar icy voice echoed in the darkness. “There are too many humans still left to kill.”
“No,” Lucy returned. “I’m done...let me die in peace.”
“You don’t have a say in this,” the voice retorted. “You have to go back and finish what you started. They have to die...all of them, starting with that boy.”
Lucy’s heart sank as she cried, “Never! I’ll never kill him!”
The voice laughed scornfully. “You’re such a fool!” the voice mocked, “You still don’t understand. I’m not asking your permission. He’ll die with the rest of his filthy species.”
Lucy suddenly found herself face to face with her dark diclonius alter ego again. She looked into Lucy face with the most hateful grin saying, “You’re mine. You’re done when I say you’re done. That boy must die along with all his friends...especially that girl. Remember when you saw them together at the festival...how betrayed you felt? He will do that to you again and again. Kill him before he can hurt you again.”
Lucy regressed to that night at the festival eight years previously. Young Lucy stared at a girl hugging Kohta. “But why,” she whimpered as feelings of betrayal rose.
Seconds later, a man knocked her down, growling, “Stupid kid, you’re in the way!”
“I see...Kohta already has someone,” young Lucy cried as the icy fingers of betrayal gripped her brain with cruel, sadistic pleasure, her words echoing down the halls of her tortured mind.
A phantasm of Kohta floated in her mind, saying callously, “That’s right. There’s no way I’d ever fall for a girl with horns sticking out of her head.”
“Then Kohta, why did you,” young Lucy whimpered.
“It’s like I told you at the zoo. I like looking at weird looking animals,” the Kohta phantasm said, his tone filled with disgust for her and a sadistic smile on his face.
Young Lucy collapsed and wept until blood began dripping in front of her. When she looked up, Kohta’s head was missing with blood spurting from the severed neck. The phantasm stood there with his hands on his hips and moved in on her, raving in Tomoo’s voice, “You’re not human, freak! This world was made for humans.” Young Lucy jumped up and staggered back as the headless specter advanced on her. She stumbled and as the thing finished speaking, it dropped her dead puppy at in front of her. She cowered, covering her eyes and sobbing until it had gone, leaving the dead puppy at her feet. When she sat up, another voice came to her.
She looked and the girl who’d betrayed her at the orphanage stood there with her hands covering her face. “Stupid girl,” the new phantasm railed. “You had faith in humans. But humans don’t have to tell the truth to you.” At that, the girl removed her hands from her face, revealing gaping hole where her eye had been and a cruel grin on her face. Young Lucy’s despair deepened into an abyss as her mouth hung open in utter horror...sobs bubbling up uncontrollably.
“No more...I can’t take it anymore!” young Lucy wept. “No friends, no home...I have nothing now! I’m completely alone!” She puked from the stress of the loss, weeping hysterically. At that point, a figure with a bandaged head and one eye uncovered touched her, stroking her back gently. Young Lucy felt the contact and turned to the bandaged figure, backing away quickly, expecting another assault.
“You should have figured it out by now,” the figure cooed, kneeling in front of her. “This world wasn’t made for people like me.”
With tears streaming, young Lucy asked, “So what should I do about it?”
“It’s so simple,” the figure said as the bandages fell away from her head, revealing young Lucy’s face staring back at her with a cold sinister smile. “All you have to do is remake the world. And I have more than enough power to make that dream come true.” The figure reached out. “Choose...between cold shoulders, hateful glances, and a life in the gutter, or....”
Meanwhile, as young Lucy lay in the street, she heard a malicious man ranting, “Get out of the way, you dumb brat! I’m sick of you street trash! Go sleep in a dumpster or something!”
Another bystander said, “Look at that girl!”
Yet another said, “She’s so strung out on drugs she’s talking to herself.”
“...or would you like to make this a home for yourself?” the figure asked.
“Kohta,” young Lucy whimpered, tears dripping.
“I told you to get off the street!” the man demanded as she got up. Seconds later, she took her hat off, revealing her horns. “Huh? What are those things?” the man asked, startled by the horns.
“Goodbye Kohta,” young Lucy wept. “I really liked you.” At that, she took the figure’s hand. Seconds later, as her hat fell to the ground, the man and all the bystanders were ripped to pieces by young Lucy’s vectors in an explosion of blood and body parts. Her eyes were cold and filled with hate as she set out to kill all of humanity, starting with the girl who was with Kohta. Lucy drifted back to the present, seeing Dark Lucy staring into her face.
“Yes,” Lucy hissed at Dark Lucy. “I remember it. But now I see things differently. There’s only one left that I need to kill now and that’s you...you bitch! You ruined my life more than the humans ever could!” She lashed out with her fist and Dark Lucy easily caught it with a laugh.
“Stupid bitch...you really think you can kill me?” Dark Lucy growled. “I’m your power! Look at what I gave you...a chance to remake the world where you wouldn’t be hated, shunned, and tormented. Without me, you’re nothing but a helpless little girl with horns. I guess I’ll have to teach you a lesson to make you behave.” Vectors sprung from dark Lucy’s back and pummeled Lucy savagely. While being mercilessly beaten by her dark side, Lucy saw a flickering black flame within the head of her adversary. In seconds, she noticed the longer her adversary beat her, the weaker the flame became.
Lucy curled into a fetal position only to have her alter ego’s vectors pry her out of that position, pulling her arms and legs until she was screaming in agony while hanging in the air. “Had enough yet, Lucy?” Dark Lucy asked sadistically. “Are you ready to behave now or do I have to pull your arms and legs off like I did to Nana?”
Lucy’s mind jumped to that moment when she stood over Nana in the cemetery. “Does it hurt now?” she asked Nana icily, slowly ripping her leg off with her vectors as Nana screamed, blood gushing from her severed limbs.
Lucy screamed as her dark ego pulled her arms until she heard them pop out of socket. “Are you ready to behave yet?” Dark Lucy asked frigidly.
Then, in the moment of her greatest pain, Lucy became aware that she too had vectors...that they were not the exclusive domain of her dark diclonius self. A soft voice whispered in her ear, “Don’t submit to her, Lucy. Take my power and free yourself of her. She’s done nothing but corrupt you. Let me show you the true power that lurks within you. You can be free of this darkness and torment. Let the white fire free you, Lucy. Follow Kohta to your freedom.” She felt a mysterious love in the voice she’d never encountered before...a love that went contrary to everything Dark Lucy stood for.
“Yes,” Lucy replied through the agony of her torment. “Help me be free of her, whoever you are!”
“Splendid!” the voice replied. “Embrace the white fire and follow Kohta to your freedom.”
In the self-same moment, Kohta’s face floated before her eyes, saying, “I love you...please come back.” Her eyes grew wide as a white flame appeared in her mind, giving her strength and power she never knew she possessed. The white flame first flickered, and then blazed, chasing away the shadowy demons of her mind and giving her a singleness of purpose...to protect the only one she cared about at all costs...Kohta.
“What?” Dark Lucy cried in surprise when Lucy abruptly stopped crying and stared down at her with as much hate for her as she had for humanity. She saw the blazing white flame in Lucy’s eyes and sensed another diclonius power emerging from Lucy. Lucy’s vectors sprang from her back, six of them with a ten-meter reach. They sliced through her dark ego’s vectors instantly, releasing her. Dark Lucy cried out in pain at having her vectors severed by this new power. “How’s this possible?” she hissed, backing away.
Lucy crashed down and lashed out, roaring, “I don’t need you anymore! It’s my life and you’re no longer going to dictate it for me. I decide who lives, and who dies, not you! You’re no different from those worthless human shits who tortured and hated me. Die for what you’ve done to me, you bitch!” Lucy’s new vectors reached out and tore Dark Lucy apart in seconds. Her torso ripped in three pieces as her arms and legs went flying while her head sprang from its place like a spring-loaded toy. Blood gushed as the parts flew in every direction. Her head fell at Lucy’s feet.
Dark Lucy’s head glared at Lucy, hissing, “Seems I’ve underestimated you, Lucy. You’ve power even I was unaware of. But make no mistake. You may have destroyed this body but know that you’ll never be free of me. You’ve a killer instinct that can never be vanquished and I’m that instinct. One day you will understand why you can never live among the humans. You’ll never fit in with them, never. They will always hunt and persecute you because of what you are.”
“Silence, you bitch!” Lucy snapped, crushing the head with her vectors with a sickening crunch, extinguishing the flickering dark flame there. “My killing days are done! I only hope one day Kohta can forgive me.” Darkness swallowed her as peace came to her.
Suddenly, Lucy began choking, feeling water in her ears, nose, and mouth. Desperation filled her as she tried to flail her arms and legs in order to escape the watery doom crushing her. Yet, her arms and legs refused to move and she kept sinking, bubbles of air rushing past her face. Air blew out her mouth in great bubbles, only to have the burning seawater replace it. The last thought she had was the kiss and embrace she shared with Kohta on the stone stairs...the warmth and love she felt from it. In that moment, she knew where the white flame had come from. It was that very warmth and love for Kohta that awakened the new power in her and spawned the powerful flame that had defeated her dark ego. Darkness took her yet again as time suspended. She floated in the void, curled into a fetal ball. Soft noises echoed in her ears as she began to enjoy the weightlessness and peace of the void. Her dark ego wasn’t there to torment her, neither were the faces and voices of those she’d slain. She felt warm and wanted in the void. Finally, a place I can find peace, she thought. I feel so good.
Yet, she felt a prick of regret as she remembered Kohta. While floating in the void, his face kept returning to her until tears began to flow. How could I have hurt you like that again, she wept. Her peace vanished as she became incredibly cold and wet. The noise rose in her ears, becoming a gurgling roar, and she felt like she was suffocating. In moments, she felt something solid underneath her as she heaved, spewing water and blood. Water washed about her as the roar became clearer. Lucy coughed and spewed more water and blood until the darkness faded away and consciousness returned. A wave crashed, washing around her as she opened her eyes, finding herself lying on her side in the surf on a deserted beach. A gurgling gasp escaped her lips as her eyes focused on the full moon hanging over the bay.
“I’m alive,” Lucy wondered as the waves licked at her like a faithful dog. “How?” In seconds, the pain of her wounds returned and she clenched her eyes shut, tears flowing. The bullet wounds burned like fire in the seawater. “Why am I still alive?” she hissed in blazing pain, suddenly remembering what her dark ego told her before she destroyed it and her anger surged. Her strength grew with the anger as she pushed herself to a sitting position to get a good look around. Her teeth clamped together as a hiss escaped her lips from the pain. Her mind suddenly flashed back to the bridge...the ambush.
Thirty soldiers surrounded her on the bridge with machine guns. The leader of the SAT team shouted, “Open fire!” Bullets whizzed by her head as Lucy’s killer instinct took over. Her vectors pounded the pavement, leaving handprints in the pavement as she flew into the closest line. Upon landing inside the line of soldiers, her vectors ripped them to pieces in seconds. “Kill her!” the leader shouted as blood sprayed on his face from a soldier three meters away ripped apart. Lucy turned to him and jumped, again leaving two handprints in the bloody pavement. As she came down, a stray bullet knocked her other horn off. She saw stars and landed roughly at the leader’s feet. A smile came over his face until her vectors punched into his chest, removing his heart. It floated in front of him as a look of shock crossed his face at seeing his own heart floating there, still beating.
“This is the end,” Lucy hissed. Before he collapsed, her vectors split him down the middle from head to crotch in an explosion of blood. The flaming kiss of hot lead abruptly ripped through her side, and then her legs and arms. A shriek rose from her as she jerked from simultaneous hits. In desperation, she made one last jump over the side of the bridge to escape the soldiers, her vectors leaving two more prints in the bloody pavement. As she flew through the air, more bullets graced her with their stinging kiss until she began to fall limply toward the bay, having lost control of her vectors due to the pain. “Kohta...I’m sorry,” she whispered, plummeting toward the water as the remaining members of the SAT team cheered.
Lousy, worthless human scum! Lucy thought after remembering the ambush. They’ll pay for that, even if I have to go back to that island and destroy every last one on them. I’m not doing this shit any more. They want a war; they got it. I’ll destroy all of them just to be rid of them!
“Stop it! Stop it...no more, please...no more!” little Kohta’s voice echoed in her mind. Her eyes grew wide, tears forming.
“I can’t let you go knowing you’ll kill people,” Kohta’s voice echoed in her head. “There’s too much in my life I already regret. Besides, I loved that lonely little girl I played with all those years ago and Nyu...she’s like no one I’ve ever met before.”
“Kohta,” Lucy cried as she collapsed on the sand, the surf still washing around her. Tears gushed forth as she wept, her blood staining the sand and water crimson from the wounds she took in the ambush. “I love you, Kohta. Please forgive me.”
An eerily familiar soft voice whispered in her ear, “Get up, Lucy. You must go home to Kohta. Get up. Don’t let it end here on this bloody beach.” Lucy raised her head and looked around, hearing the deep sound of rotor blades in the distance. “Get up, Lucy!” the voice urged. “They’re still looking for you...hide, quick!” Lucy’s eyes narrowed and she dragged herself across the narrow beach to the cover of the trees twenty yards away, using her vectors to help her move and erase her trail in the sand. The pain of movement set her nerves on fire. She stifled the shriek that lingered in her throat until she dragged herself into the dense undergrowth just off the beach. Branches of scrub trees and briars ripped at her, drawing blood, as she found a hollow in the center of the thicket, obviously a place where some animal had taken refuge. In seconds, she pulled the growth back and concealing her tracks with her vectors. When the shriek finally came out, it was no more than a low moan as tears streamed down her cheeks.
“Kohta,” Lucy moaned, curling into a fetal position. Blood oozed and stained her sanctuary as the helicopter came closer and closer. Her heart began to pound with the thumping of the helicopter blades.
“Sir, we have something here!” a soldier called out on the beach. Lucy froze, eyes wide with fear, and prepared to kill any who approached her sanctuary.
“What is it?” the squad leader asked.
“Blood, sir; someone wounded came ashore here,” the soldier replied. Lucy’s vectors floated menacingly around her as she heard the soldiers. Her heart hammered in her chest, making her light-headed.
“We have tracks heading in this direction,” another soldier commented as the helicopter hovered over the beach at a hundred feet...its spotlight shining down on the soldiers.
“Let’s go!” the squad leader barked. “She can’t have gotten far!” The soldiers raced up the beach followed by the helicopter...away from Lucy’s position. Only when the soldiers had gone did Lucy relax.
In seconds, a terrible wave of nausea hit her...complicating her situation. Her belly cramped and her head spun and throbbed painfully. “Go home, Lucy,” the voice echoed in her mind. She suddenly vomited blood and water...her whole body wracked by the intense pain of the spasm. Every nerve blazed and her wounds felt like fire. When the vomiting died down, the agonizing pain dulled her senses. A wave of intolerable dizziness slammed her and she managed to push away from the puddle of bloody puke before collapsing.
“Oh, Kohta,” she moaned before passing out, her head swirling as if caught in a tornado. As darkness took her, the haunting tune of Lilium echoed in her mind, mixed with the sounds of the crashing surf.
Kohta wandered the empty streets well after midnight in shock...his blank expression a testament to the cruelty of Fate. Tears dripped down his cheeks and on his white shirt as he plodded down to the beach where he first met Nyu. He stopped at the base of the stairs and looked into the crashing surf...seeing Nyu’s nude form standing there. His hand rose to his mouth as the phantom vanished in the mists that were rolling in. “Nyu,” he moaned, walking out onto the beach, heading north, stuffing his hands in his hip pockets. His mind and emotions warred with each other, ripping what was left of him to pieces. “Why?” he whimpered, sullenly trudging up the beach, dragging his feet in the sand. No one answered...only the surf. Two miles up the beach, he turned and walked out into the surf. The desolation of his soul was complete as he stopped knee deep in the water. “What point is there?” he cried, tears suddenly gushing forth. He fell to his knees and let loose a wail that rivaled that of any banshee from the pits of hell. His wail echoed through the night until he was spent, weeping uncontrollably as the surf battered him.
“What’s the matter with you, stupid kid?” a gruff voice called out from the shore. Kohta cast a hateful, desolate glance in the man’s direction, seeing a man in a heavy leather jacket, jeans, and combat boots. “Wait a minute...you’re that brat who likes that fuckin’ bitch with the horns!” the man hissed, pulling his heavy caliber pistol.
Kohta heard the action of the weapon and growled, “You’re too late. They killed her.”
The man splashed into the surf and pointed the gun at the back of Kohta’s head, hissing, “What are you saying, you stupid shit? You’d better not be lying.”
Kohta rose to his feet and turned to the man with the gun. He pushed his head to the barrel of the pistol and said, “Go ahead...do it. I know you want to. You did that first time we met on this beach and you still want to. Just tell me your name before you pull the trigger.” His action surprised the man as he saw the look of utter desolation on Kohta’s face...a look of such complete loss that life itself didn’t even matter anymore. “Do it!” Kohta demanded.
“The name’s Bandoh...you shit,” Bandoh cursed. “I’ve hunted that bitch girlfriend of yours since that first night I found you with her. I’ve got a score to settle and now you’re saying that someone else beat me to her?”
Tears drained down Kohta’s cheeks as he remembered the terrible event. Standing on a bluff overlooking the 787 bridge, Kohta’s heart sank into the abyss of despair as he watched Lucy slaughter a dozen of the soldiers. Pieces of the men flew in all directions as she dispatched them with cruel efficiency. “No!” Kohta choked as he saw her jerk from the bullets hitting her. As she flew over the side, he dropped to his knees, tears gushing when he saw her go limp and fall into the bay beyond his sight. “Nyu!” Kohta wailed, grasping his head with his hands and bowing his face to the pavement, bawling in excruciating grief.
When the flashback ended, he looked down the barrel of Bandoh’s pistol and clenched his fists, crying, “Yes...they did. I saw it! Thirty of your soldier buddies gunned her down on the 787 bridge not five miles from here just two hours ago. Now either kill me or leave me alone with my grief!”
Bandoh’s face hardened and he smacked Kohta across the face with the barrel of his pistol, drawing blood. Kohta felt the unforgiving metal connect with his skull, making him see stars as he crashed into the surf with a shriek. “Son of a bitch!” Bandoh cursed. “I don’t believe it! I won’t believe it until I see her corpse and have her eyes and arms! But you obviously believe she’s dead. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be so eager to die.” Kohta looked up at Bandoh as he said, “As much as I would love to kill your sorry ass, I won’t. Seeing you like this is much better than killing you could ever be. But make no mistake, if I find out you lied to me, I’ll be back and I’ll take my time with you.” With that, Bandoh holstered his weapon and walked away, leaving Kohta lying in the surf with his desolation and a nasty gash across the left side of his head.
Kohta pushed himself to his knees as a large wave hammered him, rolling him ashore. His head stung from the seawater soaking his wound as he laid there on the sand with the waves rolling up around him. “Nyu,” he moaned, not caring if he ever moved from that spot again.
For an hour, he laid there in the surf, consumed with his grief and the trauma of what he’d seen a few hours previously when he learned who Nyu really was. “Kohta! Kohta!” voices echoed over the beach. They were faint and Kohta thought he was hallucinating because of his mental state. But the voices grew louder, “Kohta!” Soon, he was able to distinguish three different voices calling his name. But he didn’t reply. He didn’t want to be found.
“Kohta!” Yuka’s voice cried out upon seeing him lying in the edge of the water. She came running, her denim skirt floating as she ran. Mayu and Nana followed closely, Mayu in her school uniform and Nana wearing shorts, a tank top, and Professor Kurama’s coat.
“Kohta!” Yuka cried, dropping to her knees in the sand next to him. She rolled him over and saw the gash on his head and the worst look on his face she’d ever seen. “Kohta, what’s wrong? What happened?”
Mayu and Nana watched as Yuka helped him sit up, seeing tears streaming from Kohta’s eyes. “Kohta, please tell me what happened,” Yuka insisted, “and why you are way out here this time of night? And where is Nyu? I thought she was with you.”
Kohta’s eyes grew wide as tears gushed. “Nyu’s gone...gone,” he whispered, trying to keep all his faculties together.
“What do you mean?” Yuka asked crossly.
Kohta suddenly pushed her away and shrieked, “I mean she’s dead...that’s what! Now leave me alone!”
Yuka was stunned as she fell on her butt from Kohta’s shove. Mayu and Nana gasped, feeling an acute sense of loss at the news. Tears welled up in Mayu and Nana’s eyes as they felt for Kohta. He sat there, weeping hysterically, hands in the sand. In moments, Mayu and Nana huddled around him and put their arms around Kohta from either side, trying to help him in his time of need. He weakly tried to push them away, but gave up, crying, “They killed her! I saw it...the soldiers! They killed her!”
Yuka saw his emotional state and felt a surge of both pity for Kohta and happiness that Nyu was gone. Now Kohta would be hers and hers alone. Yet, when she saw how Mayu and Nana tried to help Kohta, her jealousy flared again. However, within seconds, his grief reached her and tears welled up. She choked and reached out, embracing him, saying softly with tears, “I’m so sorry, Kohta. I know how much you liked Nyu. But you can’t stop living because she’s gone. She wouldn’t want to see you like this. Please, we need you at Kaeda House. Come home. Besides, you’re drenched and hurt and it’s getting cold out here. You’ll get sick like the last time. Please, come on.” She coaxed him to his feet with Mayu and Nana’s assistance. “That’s right. Come on...let’s go home,” Yuka cooed.
“Yes,” Nana agreed. “Let’s go home. It’s not the same without you there, Kohta.” With the sympathy of the three girls surrounding him, he succumbed and allowed them to take him back to the Kaeda House.
Meanwhile, at the Diclonius Research Institute, Chief Kakuzawa was wroth at the news he had just heard. “What do you mean you lost the body?” he roared into the phone. “I told you to bring the head and torso back! Scour the whole bay and shore! Lucy must be found...dead or alive! Keep searching!” He slammed the phone down and hissed, “The fools...morons...incompetent human scum! Why do I put up with them?” A thought hit him that made his face twist into a wicked grin as he looked out of the large window behind his desk. The lights of Kamakura twinkled in the distance. “Lucy is stronger and more resilient than I anticipated. Seems I’ve underestimated her. But I know her weakness now. She will come to me, given the proper persuasion.” Kakuzawa looked down on his desk at a picture of Kohta. An evil gleam twinkled in his eye as he scanned the picture. “Once I have you, my pathetic Cro-Magnon boy, Lucy will be mine again and I can purge this failed species and claim my birthright as leader of the new humanity.” A wicked laugh rolled out of his mouth and echoed around his office.