‘Trinity Blood’ by Sunao Yoshida
“Schwarzwind” by Ryuuzaki Kusakurin
DISCLAIMER: The only things that belong to me are my ideas. Not Trinity Blood.
Warnings: Violence, tasteful romance, language, etc.
Characters: Abel Nightroad [Crusnik], Cain Nightroad, Seth Nightroad, Tres Iquis [Gunslinger], Caterina Sforza, Esther Blanchett, León de Garcia [Dandelion], Hugue [Sword Dancer], Walter Wordsworth [The Professor], Kate, Dietrich, Rosen Kreuz Orden, etc.
Theme Songs: Esper [Hitoshi Sakimoto], Bombing Mission [Nobuo Uematsu], Other World [Nobuo Uematsu], Hard EBM [SIN], Headstrong [Trapt], DRESS (Bloody Trinity Mix) [BUCK-TICK], Inner Universe [Origa]
This is an original work of fanfiction, so if you see it elsewhere please notify me.
She was flawless, designed to destroy both Crusnik 01 and Crusnik 02 and then destroy herself if necessary. She could be strong enough to stop the two warring sides and finally bring peace between the Terran and the Methuselah. Most importantly, she was a Crusnik, bound in her cage by the very DNA that ran through her veins.
Born from a modified sample of Crusnik 01’s DNA, this creation would awaken already fused with the nanomachines, literally born from Crusnik 00. Then, he had painstakingly woven the intricate threads of particular Methuselah bloodlines into her. She could easily be mistaken for an Ifrit, a Dyrad, a Mermaid, or even a Ramuh. She was the ultimate life-form on the planet now, though she did have a fatal weakness – she had been born as an Ifrit Methuselah, and so while her power with flame was now unrivalled, she didn’t have the instinctive abilities of thoughtless flight or even the automatic formation of her weapon of blood in Crusnik form. The other reasons it quickly would become apparent that she was not a natural Crusnik were her weapon and her wings.
The teenager, whom the creator had dubbed ‘C45-A’ [C for Crusnik, 45 because she was the 45th experiment, and the A because she was the first generation], posessed four wings, each of which was black tipped with erratic streaks of white. That was the first clue.
The second was her weapon. In all other Crusnik, it was a scythe when activated. Hers was a set of blades that moulded onto her arms, reaching about a metre-and-a-half in front of her usual arm span. They were deadly, but at a price: the dual sword-gauntlets slashed her arms to shreds of torn flesh – in other words, it forced her to feed in order to heal. As a result, she had been pre-programmed to not register her creator as living – thus she could not and would not register him as a possible food source.
That was all about to change. Her current cage was a nutrient-solution tank designed specially for a Crusnik. All 44 of her precursors had been created as Crusniks and had died as failures where she now lived, in plain sight of the entire laboratory area. Her black eyes opened slightly, revealing dull orbs that had lost their sparkle about the time the personality of the girl had been broken and buried. Her only reason to live was to obey her creator’s commands. As long as he lived on, she was fated to be a mere automaton.
C45-A’s eyes snapped open as she processed the downloading command. There were intruders rapidly approaching – one human, one android. Vatican, her brain supplied readily. She was ready to fight, her naked body disconnecting from various wires that had once been used to keep her alive and subservient – before she had been completed. Rising from her lonely throne of liquid, C45-A evaluated her target silently.
“Target acquired. Rewrite resident tactical program from search to mode.” The human-like figure released the safety lock on his guns, but as he took aim, she accelerated into an accurate approximation of the Methuselah ‘haste’ and was away in less time than it took Tres to put pressure on the triggers of his twin weapons.
“Crusnik 45A loading. 40 percent limitation acknowledged.” The cool voice was audible as the naked Methuselah transformed, to Abel’s awe. Wordlessly handing his glasses over to the gunslinger he too released his own winged form, the same cool voice only audible within his own mind.
“A Crusnik…?” When her four wings unfolded, Abel began to realise that even among his own supernatural race, she was extraordinary. Not even his trouble-making sister Seth could manifest that kind of raw power.
Drawing on her natural abilities as an Ifrit, the former Methuselah easily willed flames to spring into existence in a test of power; if Crusnik 02 could be defeated at 40 percent released power, then perhaps Crusnik 01 could be killed at a mere 60 percent. This was, essentially, a test drive; her first foray into battle was only a test of ability and skill.
The battle wore on for several hours, each side having its own advantage and its own disadvantage. The manufactured Crusnik, unused to real combat and even less adapted to the stress of her released form, collapsed first, her stamina waning dangerously.
“Tres, bring her with us, but keep her under,” Abel growled, his Crusnik form receding even as he spoke.
“Affirmative. It is imperative that we find more information regarding this Crusnik. An attempt to locate the creator would be advisable.” Efficient as usual, Tres slung the limp, naked body over his shoulder with almost practiced ease and began to march off to the left.
“I’m innocent! I swear it on Christ’s name!” The creator huddled in a corner, seeming to be terrified not of them, but his own creation. Her limp form had been covered with Tres’ AX-issue coat, and both officers had been assured by both the scientist and their own checks that the prototype Crusnik would not awaken any time soon.
They were wrong.
“Ah…” Everyone jumped back from her as her blue-green eyes cracked open. She caught sight of the man who had made her into the monster she was, and more or less stalked him as a beast might stalk its prey. “You…” Her voice was little more than a hiss as her unrestrained ‘self’ surfaced. “Killer of my brothers. You will die now.” Without another word, the girl slashed forward, severing his throat with barely a second glance.
Looking at each other, the two AX agents were mirror images of each other; in Tres’ case, because he was not programmed to show emotion, in Abel’s case, because he was in shock over the whole incident.
“So, Tres-kun… what do we do with her now?”
“She seems to be fitting in,” Cardinal Sforza murmured, watching her interact with the Professor through her nearest office window.
“Affirmative. C45-A has begun to form relationships with AX officers Crusnik, Dandelion, and the Professor,” Tres reported emotionlessly.
“I highly doubt that she and Hugue would get along,” she sighed. “The man harbours a hate of all Methuselah like no other.” She paused as if to think, and then began speaking again. “Regardless, perhaps we could recruit her to be a part of AX.”
“Negative.” The response was near-instantaneous. “The subject lacks maturity and responsibility, She would become a liability due to her inability to work efficiently.”
“I disagree,” a new arrival commented. It seemed that the man was – for once – serious. He was also bloody. “Your Eminence, Tres-kun,” he offered by way of a greeting.
“Father Nightroad, status report?” There goes the seriousness, Caterina thought, shaking her head.
“Well, you see, I was sparring with our new arrival and ended up destroying my new clothes,” he replied with his normal goofy smile on.
“Back to what you were saying previously, Abel, if you would…”
“Ah! That’s right! I can to tell you that you should think about accepting the girl to AX. Her… latent abilities… they surpass my own.” Caterina’s eyes shot upward at this.
“Are you sure, Abel?”
“Yes. She and I spar daily – she’s rather violent, I’m afraid – but if you would like to watch, you should ask her.”
“Very well. I will speak with her soon. Where would she be right now?”
“Negative,” Tres interjected. “The danger to my lady is too great.”
“If Abel trusts her, then I will as well,” the woman told him. “Now, Abel, lead on.”
“She should be right in here,” Abel announced with a smile, opening the door to the eccentric Professor’s office and quarters. As soon as he opened it, the prototype Crusnik was there, blocking out the doorway, and then she stepped outside into the hallway.
“Father Nightroad, Mother Sforza” she murmured, bowing slightly to both of them.
“How are you this morning?” The girl seemed to consider this before responding.
“I am… rested. Thank you for your concern, Mother. And yourself?”
“She’s quite a bit like Tres,” Caterina murmured to Abel. “A bit tired, though that’s nothing new,” she replied with a smile. “I heard that you were sparring with Abel.”
“Yes – I do enjoy sparring with Abel-niisan. Would you like to watch?”
“That would be wonderful.” Abel-niisan? She shook her head. If she thought of Abel as a brother, at least she’d have someone to talk to.
“Meet me in the main gardens in a half-hour,” the teenager said with another bow. “I will see you there.” With that, she re-entered the Professor’s room and shut the door.
“She seems to get along with you and Walter the best,” the female cardinal remarked. “Though she seems to be protective of the Professor. Perhaps there’s something else going on,” she wondered aloud.
“If you’re talking about the new Crusnik and that fruitcake, then you’re probably right,” the new arrival remarked. “They seem pretty close. She even let him choose her name.”
“Oh no,” she murmured, shaking her hair out of her eyes and resisting the urge to bang her head against either her desk or the wall, whichever was closer. “What did he decide on?”
“No idea. Anyway, I just came to drop these off before I left on my mission,” Leòn yawned. “See you in a few weeks.”
“Mother Sforza, Father Nightroad, this way,” a voice called. The girl seemed… radiant, for lack of a better term. Her skin almost appeared to glow in the sunlight, though she was obviously more used to the moonlight. “Abel-niisan… you may want to release your Crusnik form above ground, since the cardinal cannot fly,” she smiled, a hint of laughter obvious in her voice.
“Very well,” he replied, offering his hand to his boss. “Hold on tight,” he told her. “It’s a long drop.” With that, he led her to a small clearing and in an instant, they were flying down a shaft of dark black rock. Once they landed, the only light that was provided was the lightning from Abel’s Crusnik form and the green fire in the girl’s hand, though it was bright enough that she could easily see the smooth floors and walls.
“Welcome to my haven, Mother Sforza,” her somewhat gravely voice offered.
“Amazing,” the cardinal breathed. “I had no idea that such a network of tunnels existed, especially here, underneath the Vatican.”
“They didn’t until a week ago,” Abel muttered under his breath, barely loud enough for Caterina to hear. Raising his voice to speak to C45-A, he told her, “why don’t you create a seat for the Mother in our sparring room?”
“I will meet you there,” she agreed, and disappeared down the hall of black stone.
“Abel?” she asked, the question on her lips.
“She used the Methuselah ‘haste’,” he sighed. “If she’s going to be in AX, that could be helpful.”
“If she’s going to be in AX, she needs a proper name,” Cardinal Sforza replied with the barest hint of a smile.
“I never thought about that,” he replied sheepishly.
“At least she seems to enjoy your company,” she remarked matter-of-factly. “It’s like you have another sister now. Maybe a daughter.”
“What?!” He seemed shocked.
“Mother Sforza, please stop torturing Abel-niisan,” a voice called out, once again without the deeper undertones only present in her Crusnik form. She ushered them into a dimly-lit room, green flames dancing about a trough of sorts, and a seat carved out of the obsidian stone. “This is the room we spar in. Ready, Abel?”
“Always,” he replied with a smile, handing Cardinal Sforza his glasses.
“Crusnik 45 loading. Limitation at 80% acknowledged.” The cool voice was the first of many surprises to come, she found out. Unlike Abel, the girl had four wings – probably because she was made in part by Cain’s cells. Her auburn hair became a swirling pillar above her head, and her eyes became red, much like her counterpart’s. The four wings were white-tipped and black in colour, accenting her pale skin well, and the barest trace of a scar appeared on her face, down one eye.
And then all hell broke loose.
Her element of choice seemed to be fire instead of Abel’s lightning, though they also seemed to cancel one another out. When Abel swung his scythe, C45-A would parry or dodge, and when she swung her twin blades, Abel had no choice except to dodge. It seemed that they were relatively equal.
Hissing as Abel’s weapon bit into her hand, the girl retaliated, sending flame dancing along the scythe and burning the older Crusnik’s arm. Manoeuvring easily to admire her sudden handiwork, she flapped out of Abel’s reach and tossed a few fireballs in his direction. Shortly afterward, she transformed into her normal state mid-air and flipped downward, landing squarely on both legs, fire still smouldering in her hands. Abel followed suit, and they began to fight hand-to-hand until C45-A managed a kick that sent Abel flying, proving that her confidence was not entirely baseless. And then Abel pulled out his gun with the silver bullets, the one reserved for killing Methuselah.
“Abel!” That shout surprised both Crusnik, and they paused to look at her. “Put the gun away.”
“It’s all right, Mother Sforza,” the female Crusnik replied with a smirk. “Mere bullets can’t hit me,” she laughed, motioning for Abel to continue their sparring practice. Accelerating into the Methuselah ‘haste’, she dodged every bullet shot at her – and even caught some of them.
“Impressive,” Catherina breathed, astounded by the sheer fluidity of their movements. “She’s faster than bullets.” Hearing her, the duo paused once again and walked toward her as if to answer her silent query.
“Mother – are my… abilities… acceptable to you?” Her dark eyes zeroed in on the cardinal’s until she nodded. “As a Nosferti, my abilities as what you would call a ‘vampire’ are far beyond the common Methuselah.”
“I was told that you far surpass Abel,” she agreed. “You seem to be on the same level of power, though, rather than beyond him.” The nameless girl looked away, dark shame etched onto her features.
“Cardinal Sforza… if you truly wish to take me in as an AX officer, I will grant you my greatest strength, only yours to use as you please.”
“I will need to know the extent of your abilities before I can determine that,” she replied, her eyes not leaving the teenager’s.
“Then it is yours,” she whispered, falling to a simple kneeling position. A small device lay in her hand, offered to the cardinal willingly. “Speak the words ‘alar terra’ and I will gain immeasurable power so long as my body can sustain it. Speak the words ‘ignatum mori’ and the power will die down, releasing me to a normal state. If your thoughts goad me to kill, I will do so, though the power is just as easily restrained.” When Catherina looked at her, awed by this supernatural being’s willingness to obey her, C45-A simply bowed her head and waited.
“She wants you to see what she is capable of, I believe,” Abel said, looking at his young charge. When the teenager nodded imperceptibly, she softly spoke the two words.
“Alar terra.” Winged Earth.
Instantly, he Crusnik fell to one knee, bowing before her new ‘master’ as the power rippled through her body, but as she did, it was clear that she was changing, morphing into a new type of being entirely, one beyond the Methuselah, Terran, and Crusnik combined. Ragged black wings burst forth from her back as the cool voice became audible and markings of thorns danced across her skin, as if binding her somehow.
“Crusnik 45 loading. 100 percent activation approved. Nanomachines activate.” She didn’t even both to look up once the change was complete – and then the burst of fiery light flew from her open hand in the form of a chakram, blasting through the Crusnik-Abel’s form near his chest. Abel, on his part, looked surprised, though it didn’t happen again – she was on her feet and parrying the scythe with her bare hands. She seemed to move faster than she had prior to her transformation, even with the benefit of the enhanced ‘haste’ ability, and her flames seemed to leap at the mere thought, responding to her body without any effort on her part. Easily ripping an arm off of the older Crusnik’s body, she tossed it to the side even as he regenerated it. About to deliver another semi-fatal blow, the cool words cut through the darkness as if it were butter.
“Ignatum mori.” Cardinal Sforza stood as the stronger Crusnik narrowly missed Abel’s head, finally falling back to the ground with the barest whisper of a cry. As for Abel… His stomach wound was healing slowly because he chose not to feed on the blood of Methuselah, so he couldn’t revert to his human form – he’d die.
Picking herself up with as much grace as she could manage, the girl moved into a sitting position once again, watching Abel’s arm and wound regenerate with open fascination.
“If you feed off of me, you’ll heal faster,” she offered with a faint smile. Flipping a knife open, she prepared to make a shallow cut along her arm to supply the Crusnik with the blood he so desperately needed-
“Don’t,” Abel growled, straining against his draw to her blood. Unable to revert due to the wound, he hissed in apparent pain.
“Mother Sforza – there is a set of stairs directly to your left, if you could please take them,” she requested lightly, not taking her eyes off of the black-winged priest before her.
“Why didn’t we take them down, then?”
Tossing a smile over her shoulder as she walked towards Abel, she laughed and called to the cardinal.
When she was completely sure that the cardinal was out of earshot, she turned back to the Crusnik and sighed.
“You’re a mess. Look at yourself!” Sweeping her hair away from her throat, she walked towards him once more, not afraid for her life in the face of such danger.
“I said, don’t,” he started, but she cut him off, clearly annoyed.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Abel-niisan. You’re in pain, and since you haven’t fed, it’ll take you days to heal if not weeks. If you’d rather do that, then by all means…” Trailing off, she sat down facing him and poked his leg out of boredom.
“That’s probably a good idea,” he groaned, waving her off as he slumped against a wall, sliding to the floor. Expecting her to leave, he released a few of the barriers of self-control and once again hissed in pain as his stomach wound healed slowly. Then he tasted a drop of blood on his lips. The young Crusnik girl was crouched in front of him, watching in curiosity and amusement as she let blood slowly drip from her cut finger onto his lips.
“Stupid Abel-niisan… You say you’ll resist, but when you get a drop of Methuselah’s blood you heal. And then you want more. I really am surrounded by idiots these days…” With a sigh, she tilted her head to the side and waited for him to give in to the call of her blood.
“Please… forgive me for this,” she whispered, pulling her closer and drawing her onto his lap until his fangs sunk deep into the offered flesh.
“Of course,” she replied gracefully, shifting away once he had gotten enough blood to heal completely. He sunk back towards the wall, reverting to human form as he slumped back.
“How can you not look upon me in disgust?” he asked in wonder. Crusnik or no, not even she should be able to resist revulsion at what he had just done.
“Because, if I was cruel to the man who I thought of as a brother, I’d be no better than the Contra Mundi, would I?”
That being said, she left him alone with only his thoughts.
“What’s wrong?” The Professor had stumbled into the girl outside his rooms, noticing immediately that she was barely able to stand, let alone walk for some reason.
“The Crusnik… it’s taking its toll,” she lied easily. She didn’t want to let anyone know of what she had done – both she and Abel would be looked upon with revulsion. “I overestimated my own strength and underestimated the energy the nanomachines took.” Staggering into his room with his help, he gently set her on the bed and watched her struggle to stay awake, eventually giving up and succumbing to sleep.
Gently brushing the hair out of her face as she slept quietly, he was about to go back to his notes when he saw them. The two puncture marks on the junction of her neck and shoulder were clearly from a vampire – or more accurately, a Crusnik – and since there was only one of those around aside from herself, he knew that Abel had fed from her. Storming out of the room, he resolved to get answers and knocked loudly on Abel’s door.
“Father Wordsworth! Come in,” Abel said with his goofy smile and high-pitched voice reserved for moments that he felt he should be silly rather than serious.
“Father Nightroad,” he sighed in annoyance, letting him know that this was a serious errand. “No… Abel. I found bite marks on the side of our newest addition’s neck. You wouldn’t know anything about that, perchance?”
“She forced it on me, Walter,” he protested. “I could have healed without it, but she insisted,” he continued, still tasting the unique sweetness of her blood in his mouth.
“You’re insufferable,” the man muttered, turning and walking out, leaving the odor of stale pipe smoke in the air well after he left.
“So I’m told,” Abel sighed, collapsing into a chair. “So I’m told.”
It seemed all too often that her dreams had swallowed her up in the past few years of her life, she reflected – she wasn’t angry, it was more of a… melencholy feeling. Yes, melencholy was the word.
Since the day her father had begun sowing the seeds of a new life into her very DNA, she had finally lost herself entirely to those dreams, and now… Now, it was like waking up at last. She had ben in immeasurable pain when she had first become a Crusnik, C45-A dimly recalled. And all her ‘father’ had done was seal her up in a tank, not even relenting when she banged on the walls, as it filled up with the liquid and seeped into her lungs…
She desperately tried to break off of that particular train of thought. She had been drowning – and her father had simply watched her, his cold veneer of uncaringness an scientific detachment only driving her further into her own personal Hell. Starting the day she had first been injected with Crusnik cells, she had ceased to be his daughter and begun to be his latest test subject. The look in his eyes had been maddening, but she had put up with it day after day; who else would feed her, or clothe her? What other Methuselah – or Terran, for that matter – would put up with the half-made creation she had just become? She recalled crying for nights and days on end until the night that he had finally put her into observation with all the others.
Her father, the scientist Marcus Franc, had been creating dozens of others like her at the same time, and after she had ‘drowned’ and allowed to fully release her Crusnik form, she had been placed in a large room with all the others. Through the mental link afforded them as Crusnik, they had created a sense of community here. Here, where their bodies lay waiting in suspended animation; here, where they had been transformed and recreated until they became perfect test subjects. But in the end, they had been given a sense of family. And that was when the disappearances started.
The first, his official designation C26-A – though his real name had been Ben – had been one of a very few who were brought back, new DNA injected into his bloodstream. He had told them not to worry about him even as the foreign genetic material slowly distorted and evetually killed; he’d be fine as long as he knew that they remembered him for the rest of their lifespans.
Another test subject had been human rather than Methuselah, and they all had known his name to be Jean-Paul. His official designation had been C84-A, and he had disappeared one day, never to be returned again.The list could’ve gone on and on in her memories, though she stubbornly had forced them all back, rather than clinging to them when she knew that no good could possibly come of it.
Days later, the experiment had succeeded, and unwittingly she killed all the others – because her father only needed one Crusnik. She had felt them all die, one by one, until it had become too overwhelming and she had activated her Crusnik form to save them – and instead, had accidentially killed them herself in her rush and inexperience. From that day on, Doctor Franc had her put in the same chamber the others had inhabited during hs more grisly experiments; she was rendered immobile and her very soul was seemingly stripped away, leaving her body as a mindless shell – a drone – and forcing her mind to enter the world of dreams for five full years.
She stirred from her healing sleep quietly, roused by the rising of the morning sun. Stretching with a slight yawn, C45-A quickly registered that she was in the Professor’s room; only a few seconds later, he reaised that she was awake.
“Good morning, my dear,” he offered with a smile, chuckling when she buried her head beneath a pillow when he drew the curtains open.
“I don’t know how you Terrans cope with this light,” she complained sleepily. “Night is much better.”
“It’s still good to see you awake again, little one,” he commented with another smile. “Abel did quite the damage to your systems – it took you two days to repair it yourself.”
“Nnnnn…” she groaned in agreement, stretching as she sat up in bed. “By the way… did you choose yet?” the young Crusnik asked, finally awake but not really noticing her attire – or lack thereof.
“Your name? I’d narrowed it down to a few choices, yes,” he replied not only noticing her lack of clothing but blushing as well.
“Let’s hear ’em,” the naked teenager replied, finally noticing her state of undress. “And where did my clothes run off to?”
“They were in shreds from your battle, but there are plenty of garmets in the closet if you would prefer…” The Crusnik sighed, falling back onto the bed dramatically and waited for him to continue. “The names I’ve selected are Rebecca, Sarah, Esther, and Miriam.”
“They’re all from the Bible, you fruitcake,” she replied, adopting Leon’s favoured name for Father Wordsworth. “Find something less religious, please?”
“I had a feeling you might say that,” he huffed with all the dignity of a four-year-old, “so I made a seperate list. How do these sound? I have Apolla, Lucrezia, Vanozza, Tabitha -”
“Vanozza,” she answered, her voice full of sadness even as she let the beautiful name fall from her pale lips. Shaking the red ‘blood’ tears* out of her somber eyes, she whispered names to herself, and it took Father Wordsworth a moment to realise that they were the other children in captivity with her. He knew she was done when she reverently murmured her new name and opened her eyes. “It’s strange,” she commented sadly, “that I can remember my sister’s name and not my own.” She looked completely lost then, naked, shivering, and crying – until the man scooped her up into his arms and sat down with the disraught teen huddled in his lap until she fell asleep.
“Cardinal Sforza, if you still wish to extend the invitation to AX Enforcement, I would be more than willing to accept,” the girl answered. “I have a name now, though if at all possible I do not wish to have my father’s family name.”
“That’s not a problem,” Abel said, speaking out of turn in his overly goofy tone of voice. “You can take on the name Nightroad.”
“That’s settled, then,” the cardinal murmured. “State your full name and desired codename.”
“Vanozza Luciela Nightroad, codename ‘Michelotto’, your Eminence.”
“Very well. As of today, ‘Michelotto’ is one of our ranks. Treat her with dignity and pass on what knowledge you can to her. Dismissed.”
“Thank you, Cardinal Sforza.” Before she could reply, the girl had melted through the walls and disappeared.
Over the next few months, the newest addition to the AX had made a name for herself as an excellent companion and an even better sparring partner. On the one hand, she was infamous for being the more ‘down to earth’ side of the Vatican and that in itself had been enough to attract many nonbelievers to find out what was so interesting about the faith. That as well as her desire to be called ‘Van’ or ‘Luciela’ rather than ‘Vanozza’ had become well-known, and some of the nuns in the Vatican had even taken to calling her ‘Sister Van’.
On the other hand, being an elemental Nosferatu, she could bend reality to her beck and call, and had even joined the Rozen Creuz Orden for long enough to garner whatever information her boss needed. Her skills at magicks alone were estimated to be roughly equal to “The Magician’s” own talents – in her flight away from the RCO she had faced off against none other than Issac von Kämpfer himself and nearly won without the aid of her Crusnik form. All in all, she had proven herself time and time again. Her favourite mission partner was either the boisterous Leon or her brother Abel, though everyone knew that she always would go to Father Wordsworth for everything. There was wide-scale speculation among the clergy as to what exactly their relationship was, and at times, even the Professor wondered.
Only days later, the two were put on an active mission involving a small city on the outskirts of the Empire where the uneasy order between Terrans and Methuselah had finally crumbled apart. Their job was to find the cause without interfering other than to protect the clergy – it was suspected that the RCO was involved – and report on what had happened.
It was also a three-day travel on a public airship, and as many of Van’s partners had found out, the girl didn’t travel well. There were several instances where she had gotten so bored that she had taken to scaring the daylights out of fellow passengers for fun. Each instance had usually resulted in her partner apologising for her antics while she had wandered off to amuse herself with something else – usually that meant making people think that they were on fire, naked, or something of the sort by way of illusion.
The Professor was the next in line to learn this – the hard way.
“I’m bored…” For the hundreth time, Van had sighed and repeated her current mantra. Then she giggled. A moment later, she laughed outright.
“What is it, Vanozza?” She made a face at him, clearly not liking his habit of using her full first name. “Oh for Christ’s sake, Van, stop!” He knew exactly what she was doing – scaring people by floating through walls.
“But I’m boooored,” she whined, protesting with all the grace of a five year old.
“Act your age,” he snapped, immediately regretting it as her face fell. “I’m sorry,” he murmured, knowing that her keen hearing would pick it up as clearly as if he had spoken it.
“Is there anything else I can do, ‘Professor’? Think about it this way. I have wings and the power to destroy the world if I want to – and so I’m trapped like a caged bird on an airship. How would you feel?” He said nothing, just shuffled some papers to the side of their small vanity table. “I’m going to sleep,” she announced, crawling under the covers completely to shield herself from the light streaming in from the window. Muttering another apology, Walter crossed the room and closed the curtains; in turn, Van pulled the blankets off of her head and promptly fell asleep.
While she was sleeping, it struck the male AX officer that she was truly beautiful, something that he hadn’t taken the time to appreciate before. As he watched, her hair slowly began to swirl around her and finally above her, and when wings burst forth from her back, he knew something was terribly wrong.
*Blood tears are the tears of a Crusnik while in Crusnik form – since Van was artificially created, her tears are always like this when she cries.