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Rufus watched me fiddle with the cuffs. "Y'know, when I told you to run away, I thought you'd go farther than sector 7. Like another continent. Ever think of that?"

I peered out the windows. You could see perfectly from inside, but on the outside all you saw was black glass. "All the time."

"Then why here? You should've just killed yourself for all of the stupid things to do."

I didn't cringe at my brothers' bluntness. I returned his gaze. "I'm not stupid. I figured out what the cetra's story meant, didn't I? It didn't take long to realize that story tells you how to get to the Promised Land. Can you undo these for me?"

"The key to freedom." said Rufus as he undid the cuffs. I knew he was talking about both the cuffs and the story. I nodded and rubbed my wrists. "You really should've gone farther away."

"Didn't have the heart to. I've given up running, though I'll never tell the secret."

"I missed you."

I looked up, surprized. My brother and I were close, but we never said anything like that.

"I missed you too. I still miss you, but I can't stay anymore."

"Unless you tell the secret..."

"....Or make up a new one." We laughed. Nothing has changed. We're both the same rebels plotting behind Dad's big, fat, bulging back. Then there was silence. It could never happen. I was an outcast since I help free the cetra.

"They'll be returning soon. It seems they've gotten quicker at guzzling booze."

"Still mess with their minds after their plastered?"

"Yeah." laughed Rufus. "But you'd better go now. Hit me."


"Hit me."

"You weren't captured by aliens or anything, have you? Besides, the last time you tricked me into doing that you told on me and I got grounded."

"That was eight years ago. We need to make it look like you hit me and escaped."

"Alright." The next thing he knew, I socked him with long-awaited satisfaction.

"Hey easy, you're supposed to have hit me, not attempted homicide."

I giggled and we hugged good-bye before I left. I snuck around to the back and jumped down the pothole, grabbed the pipe before I landed, and swung around it until I was on top of it. Within the next few minutes my Father came out with the Turks and they got in the car and drove off. Suddenly they came back and I could hear my Father yelling as Reno opened the door and let him out.

"How can you lose her?" my Father yelled with slurred words.

"I dunno." said Rufus. "The little witch walloped me and escaped."

"Do you want us to start a search for her?" asked Tseng.

"No," was the reply "Let the &*%@$ go. As far as anyone is concerned, I never had, don't have, and never will have a daughter. Understood?"

There was a chorus of "yes sir" as they piled back into the limo and drove off.

I was both hurt and pleased by the words. On one side, my own father had tossed me aside and given up on me but on the other side, I was free . But I still wasn't staying around. Fralin, Tifa, and Rian all stepped outside and Fralin and Tifa began calling for me.

Slowly, I crawled out of the pothole and sat on the ground. Eventually Tifa noticed me and they pulled me into the bar. I glared at Rian the whole time.

"Mysty," he said quietly "I'm sorry. I didn't think about my actions. I thought you were wanted for something like stealing and they'd just put you in jail for a few months. I didn't know you were the President's lost daughter."

I considered his words, then stood up. "C'mon with me outside. I wanna talk with you."

Fralin looked pleased that we were going to talk this out. As soon as we were outside, I covered Rian's mouth and held him against the wall of the bar.

"I'm not falling for your crap. Got it? Now I don't want to see you again around here." I threatened. Suddenly he pulled out a hidden knife and sliced my cheek open.

I backed away and touched my cheek. I pulled my hand away and it was covered in my own blood.

"I don't think you get it." said Rian "This is MY bar now. You are not welcome here anymore."

By now it was totally dark but we were still attacking each other. Rian held me by my shirt and held the knife to my throat. I looked into his eyes, daring him to make a move.

He hesitated. Perfect. He'd send me away to be locked up and try to ruin my life, but he can't put me out of my misery. I swung around and he was knocked backwards in surprize.

I didn't push him that hard, but since he wasn't expecting it, he stumbled backwards quite a distance and fell into the pothole, landing with a nice splash. I walked over and peered into the darkness of the tunnel.

"Mystria?" he called "We were just kidding, right? You can pull me up now."

I didn't say anything. I heard him splash around trying to get out.

"Mysty?" he called.

"Goodbye Rian." I said softly. "You can try to get away with what you want, but you won't succeed. Everyone eventually gets what they deserve." I thought about my father, who was probably back in his office, drinking like the pig he was. "Eventually."

I stepped up and stumbled into the bar after listening to the sewage monsters tear Rian apart. Fralin looked up, concerned that I was alone.

"Where's Rian?" he asked.

"He left." I said "He realized that he was causing too much pain here."

I looked at Tifa. She didn't look like the helpless little girl whom I saved from the slave sellers. She was a lot more independant. She didn't need me anymore. No one did.

"And I realized I was doing the same too. Goodbye my friends." I said.

"What?" asked Fralin.

"You can't leave." pleaded Tifa. "Your Dad isn't looking for you anymore. He said it himself."

"I can't stay anyways." I said "I can't stay with these memories. I need to forget, and you should too. No one can live with these memories. You can do well here by yourself."

I hugged her goodbye, said the same to Fralin.

I looked at the plate that blocked the beautiful night sky, feeling the memories slipping away already. "Forgetting the past has never hurt anybody, and it never will." Tifa nodded.


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