Chapter 7:



Lucy fell backwards, clutching at her eye in pain. Had the kaijufinder system failed? She had just aimed her phone at the 5th kaiju and pressed the button in the center, next thing she knew her eye was burning in agony. The sounds of the rampaging creature within the city had subsided, was it gone? She looked towards where the beast once stood only to see a barren skyline slowly filling with color. Why did Gabriel deactivate the lockdown function? Something wasn't right, her head was a jumbled mess. How many days had she really missed? Did she defeat the 5th kaiju? Was it really the 202nd one like Gabriel said? She wasn't getting the answers anytime soon, that's for sure.

She made her way back down to her apartment, constantly watching for any sign of Gabriel. Lucy's mother was inside frying a pair of eggs. 

"What were you doing on the roof?" Her mother asked bluntly.

"Why do you ask?"

"You have a strange habit of going upstairs and then showing back up hours later, often being carried back by that Holt kid. It's only reasonable that I worry about you."

"Don't worry, mom." Lucy replied. "I'm, gonna be staying home for a while now. Wait a second, did you just say Holt?"

"Yeah, you don't remember him?" Her mother answered. "He's been dragging you home really late lately, you should thank him."

"You know Gabriel Holt?!"

"Of course I do. He was practically an older brother to you back before the incident 8 years ago. The first time I saw him since was just the other day. He looks almost identically to back before though, it's hard to believe he's 26 now."

"Gabriel's 26?!"

"Yeah, haven't you been hanging out with him? Don't tell me you managed to have attacks consistently enough to forget all of it, I won't believe that for a second. Next you're gonna tell me you missed the giant monster that destroyed half of the city and how everything was repaired overnight."

"I heard about that at least."

"It reminds me of eight years ago." A long pause followed her mother's sorrowful words. "I hope it doesn't happen again."

"I don't think it will."

"Why not?"

"Because." Lucy stopped. "I just think so, I guess."

"That's reassuring." Her mother's voice was laced with sarcasm. "I think you need sleep."

"Yeah, probably."


"Dr. Kennedy" Gabriel said, "is the mk1 ready for operation?"

"Mostly" a woman's voice replied, "it'll need a viable tamer for activation though. We don't have any to spare, at least to my knowledge."

"We have plenty" Gabriel added, "but I have one very particular in mind."

"Very well then, I'm ready when the times comes."

"I have something else I need you to attend to first. Can you deliver this for me?" Gabriel asked.

"Ah, I see." The woman said. "So, that's what you need me for."


Lucy stepped into her room and shut the door behind her. As she lied down on her bed, staring at the ceiling, she pondered what to do next. There was no doubt in her mind that returning to DEED would only lead to more trouble, but they would certainly try to hunt her down if she didn't. More questions danced around her head, however. How did her mom know Gabriel? Moreover, if Gabriel was really that close to her, why didn't she herself remember him?

It seemed like only seconds passed before Lucy heard her mother call to her. "Hey Lucy, we have a guest! If you aren't dressed, I need you to put some clothes on!"

"Don't worry. I'm coming, mom!" Lucy replied. She jumped out of bed and to her door. Though she would have never done so before, Lucy pulled the door open just enough to see who was outside. It was a woman in her early twenties wearing a long, camouflage-patterned coat that draped down to her lower legs. The visitor had vibrant blond hair and dull green eyes and seemed to fade near the pupil. She was sitting at the living-room table across from Lucy's mother, facing towards the door to bedroom. The woman looked familiar, though Lucy couldn't pin down from where.

Lucy pushed the door further open. "Who are you?" She asked coldly.

"That's no way to talk to a family friend, Lucy." Lucy's mother said sarcastically. "I assume you don't remember her either?"

"I should introduce myself" the woman interjected, "My name is Hannah Kennedy, your mother often took care of me when I was younger, you were probably too young at the time to remember."

"How many old friends do you have?" Lucy directed her ire towards her mother.

"You do know that I have a life too" Lucy's mother replied, "much more of one than yourself."

"Look, Mrs. Turner" Hannah added, "there's no reason to get so hearted. I'm sure you can settle this with your daughter later."

"I'm sorry, it's just that Lucy here is barely even around anymore." Mrs. Turner said. "Soon she'll be leaving for college. Speaking of college, I heard you just got a job right after graduation. How is it?"

"It's a lot of work" Hannah replied, "but it's nothing I can't handle. I'm still getting adjusted to the work environment."

"I'd imagine you must be the youngest one there, right?" Mrs. Turner asked. "Most of the time it takes years to get hired for anything research-related these days. Nobody wants to hire someone without a decent resume under their belt."

"I guess." Hannah said. "There were some unique circumstances to my hiring though."

"It's under NDA, right?" Mrs. Turner replied.

"Effectively." Hannah then turned her attention to Lucy. "So, you just graduated, right?"

"Yeah." Lucy replied bluntly.

"What is it that you want to study in college? Assuming you go to college, that is."

"I don't know." Lucy said. "At this point I'll probably just do something in computer engineering." As she spoke, Lucy analyzed the woman's features in more detail. Hannah wasn't wearing makeup of any kind; peculiar for visiting a friend, especially one that you haven't seen in a long time.

"That sounds interesting." Hannah replied. "I work in the computer field as well, though I actually studied for mechanical engineering. My current project involves the research done by your father on neural-machine interfacing, I'm sure you know plenty about it by now."

"Not really." Lucy said. "All I know is that he was basically always gone from home. I rarely got to see him." 

Just then, a thought clicked into Lucy's head. Why would Hannah bring up her work in front of someone who was practically a total stranger? Wasn't she talking about an NDA just a few moments ago? More importantly, what did Lucy's father have to do with this? 

"I'm going to go lie back down, sorry." Lucy said.

"No worries." Hannah added. "By the way, I brought this for you. I heard you were graduating when your mom posted it online." She held out an envelope. 

"Thanks." Lucy walked towards her and took it. "I'll be sure to take a look at it later."

"I certainly hope so." Hannah replied. "Anyway-"

Lucy didn't hear the rest after entering her room and shutting the door behind her. She sat down at her desk and opened the envelope that Hannah had handed her. Inside was a colorful card that read 'congratulations' in printed rainbow text. Lucy studied the letter for several seconds before opening it as a small slip of white paper fell out. As she heard the front door close alongside muffled goodbyes, Lucy picked up the paper and opened it. It read out a message scribbled in dark blue pen:

"Meet me on the roof in 14 hours. DEED is coming for you."