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179 Leaving The City Part I

    Delta City.

    The Garden, Dream Rise House.

    "Desolate Blood Forest?" Kiba murmured. He has heard about the forest in passing but wasn't aware of the details.

    "I'm sure you know of the balancing act of nature." Eva took a short pause to give him the time to contemplate.

    "Yeah, I know far too much for my liking," Kiba sighed. He understood what balancing act she was referring to here.

    If the nanites originated from the forest then there should be something to balance and neutralize them. Otherwise, the revolutionaries and other adventurers in the core region would have exploded into a blue mushroom cloud.

    After all, the nanites fed on the untapped potential inside the genes. They should effectively target every living being in the vicinity and in turn, the range of explosion would effectively cover the entire Earth.

    But obviously such was not the case. They have their own weakness in the form of a mineral or a material which acted as a balance. This counteracting agent should have a clue on neutralizing the effect of the nanites in the coding region of the genes.

    "I assume this core region is dangerous for you to warn me to not get my hopes high," Kiba said with a smile.

    "It is," Eva nodded her head, "The core region is actually a meteorite from that world."

    "..." Kiba didn't make a remark as some unpleasant memories flooded in his mind.

    "Honestly I don't have much information," Eva added with a bitter smile, "That area is out of my league and I am only able to tell you what I have gathered from trustable sources."

    "It is more than enough," Kiba looked at her image on the screen, "I truly appreciate the help."

    "You should think thrice before you make a decision."

    Eva actually wouldn't have informed him about the forest if she didn't have some confidence in his abilities. She didn't know the limits of his power but she believed he should be powerful enough to escape if the situation turns dangerous.

    "I will," Kiba reassured her.

    "Goodbye," Eva ended the video conference.

    Kiba placed the tablet away and took back the cup of coffee.

    [[Lady Eva has sent some files on the forest.]]

    Kiba silently listened as Claudia informed him of more details.

    [[What would you like to do?]]

    "The forest sounds a better alternative," Kiba stood up from the ground.

    [[Understood. The jet should be ready in a day.]]

    "Good," Kiba gave the cup to the humanoid droid, "In the meantime, I would be gathering more information and tieing up the loose ends."

    -------

    Delta Police Headquarters.

    Emily looked in surprise as the door of her cabin opened and Kiba stepped in.

    "Are you expecting someone else for you to give me such a reaction?" Kiba asked with a smile. He walked forward and took a seat opposite to her.

    "No." Emily shook her head. "Just surprised since you never came here after our awkward police interview."

    "Well, I prefer the luxury of a bed than an uncomfortable desk and chair for our subsequent interviews," Kiba said with a teasing smile.

    "...."

    Eva was stunned by the double-meaning in his words. She felt her face turned a deep shade of red.

    "Agatha was right," Eva said after she regained her composure, "You shamelessness knows no bound."

    Kiba's smile turned stiff while Eva laughed at his reaction.

    "Cough." Kiba made a coughing sound. "Anyways, I came here to ask you something."

    "About what?"

    "Nanites," Kiba looked her in the eyes, "I want to know everything you know about their origins."

    Eva was shocked by his such upfront request. As an investigator and a government official, she couldn't share the confidential details.

    "I know the obligations you have so you can refuse me directly and I would respect your decision," Kiba added in an amicable tone.

    "I..." Eva wasn't expecting such a conversation when he arrived here.

    She wanted to decline but then she thought of how he protected her during the explosions on the street. If not for him, she would have died just like her colleagues and ordinary masses.

    "I will answer you," Eva nodded her head.

    "Thanks."  Kiba took out a green crystalline bead from his pocket and gave it to her.

    "This is...?!" Eva looked in disbelief at the inscription of a human brain on the bead.

    "It should erase the memories of any conversation you want and replace it with anything you desire," Kiba knew she should be aware of its function but he explained nevertheless, "I am not cruel enough to risk your life and career if I have a choice."

    "...." Eva stared at Kiba and wondered just how he could get such a bead. As far as she knew, to make such a bead required the help of a strong psychic mutant.

    Kiba didn't say anything more and she didn't ask. She explained to him everything she knew about the nanites and then discussed the details on replacing her memories.

    Later, she pressed the bead and focused her eyes on the brain inscription.

    Her pupils dilated and she felt her consciousness losing in a whirlpool of memories. She saw the memories of the last few minutes and with just a thought, those memories twisted and blurred into something new.

    Swoosh~!

    The bead turned into green dust and disappeared in the room.

    Eva opened her eyes and saw Kiba next to her. She felt his lips pressing on to hers and they kissed for a long time.

    "I now think the meetings at police headquarters are not so bad," Kiba said after their kiss broke.

    "Y-yes," Eva nodded with her neck and ears flushed.

    "Till next meeting," Kiba walked towards the door but then he stopped with his hand on the knob.

    "?"

    "Why are you risking everything for short-lived glory?" Kiba turned around and asked.

    "What do you mean?" Eva was confused by his words.

    "I'm talking about the investigation which brought you and your team here," Kiba let out a long sigh before continuing, "Almost all your comrades are now dead. Some might have been killed by the terrorists, but even before that many died in the wasteland when the golden lightning phenomenon repeated once again."

    Eva was at loss of words. She didn't know how to answer but deep inside she felt fear. She has always thought she was brave and honest, but after thinking about the fate of her colleagues, her body was drenched in cold sweat.

    Eva wondered if arriving in the city to seek the treasure and decode the mystery of the golden lightning phenomenon was a correct decision.

    When her colleagues died in the wasteland and at the police headquarters, she thought she should continue her investigation to honor their memories.

    Maybe it was the adrenaline or her feelings for her colleagues but she felt more inspired to continue. But when the explosion occurred and she escaped from the clutches of death, she realized she wasn't as fearless as she thought she was.

    "Maybe I'm the strange one here but I don't believe in throwing my life for the sake of others," Kiba said as he arrived in front of her, "We only have one life so live it for yourself and not others."

    Eva raised her head and looked at him. She didn't know how to reply since agreeing with him would mean she was afraid.

    "There is nothing wrong in giving priority to your own life," Kiba placed a hand on her chin, "Nor it is wrong to be afraid of death."

    Eva felt tears forming up in her eyes. She leaped up and hugged him tightly.

    "I don't want to die," Eva said the words she never thought she would ever say.

    She accepted her fears and decided to leave the city no matter what.  She no longer wanted to risk her life for the sake of some glory.

    Thinking back, she realized the glory was truly short lived just like Kiba said. Just how many people remembered the deaths of her comrades?

    Maybe their families would mourn for them for months or years but what the government and ordinary masses?

    "If you know how quickly people forget the dead...you will stop living to impress people," Emily repeated the words he once said to her. Only today did she fully realized their meaning.

    Kiba patted on her back to console her. Inwardly, he sighed in relief.

    "I won't have to kill her," Kiba thought as he helped her regain composure.

    He has never shown compassion to those who have tried to harm him. This was why he didn't bat an eye when he killed Lisa Ray and that too just hours after making love with her.

    The same would have applied to Emily if her investigation risked everything he has built here.

    But after she agreed to share the confidential information despite the risks to her life and career... he knew he would definitely feel bad if he has to kill her in the future.

    "We would meet in the future, right?" Emily asked as she wiped her tears with a tissue.

    "I'm sure we will," Kiba answered with a smile, "Let's commemorate the final meeting in the city."

    "Commemorate?" Emily looked at him in confusion but then she got her answer as his hands wandered over her shirt.

    She didn't resist and leaned on to him more closely. She placed her hands over his cheeks and then pulled him down for a long passionate kiss...

    ----------

    Weisz House, Central District.

    Patrick and Kyla stood at the entrance of a bedroom. They looked on as droids adjusted various medical equipment under the guidance of Zed.

    On the bed, Felicity was in slumber under the effects of sedatives. Her body was covered with a crystalline liquid screen.

    "Finally done," Zed stretched his hands out before sitting down on a chair. He turned his head towards the entrance and signaled Patrick and Kyla to step in.

    "Claudia would be overlooking the arrangements in my absence," Zed explained slowly, "She is as good as me, if not better, so there should be no trouble for the time being."

    "Where are you going exactly and why?" Patrick asked the question which was bothering him from the last hour.

    "I'm going out to meet an acquaintance to get some resources I need for the treatment," Zed lied while skipping the location name.

    "Then let me accompany you," Patrick hurriedly added. He believed his influence as a senator should help in the negotiations.

    "You can't," Zed shook his head before adding some fictional details, "I have to help him in some research and in return, he would offer me the resources."

    "I see," Patrick didn't say anything further.

    He didn't doubt Zed's words just because of his expertise in genetics but also due to the existence of the silver bracelet. He knew the composition of the bracelet and it left him no doubt that Zed has connections for him to have access to such resources.

    "How long it would take for you to return?" Kyla asked. She wanted to see her daughter laughing and playing around as soon as possible.

    "Two months."
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