Chapter NineMature

"Sir, we can't possibly do that so soon during the operation." Ria cried, tears filling in her eyes. "There must be some other way." Oasis raised his hand and she fell silent, watching as he stalked around the table and came within inches of her, leaning casually back on the table.

"This is what is required, Ria" Oasis whispered softly, not even meeting her eyes. Without another word, he pushed himself up off the table and strode towards the door. Ria followed pursuit as Oasis walked steadily through the metallic halls of the lab until they both walked in through mechanic doors and entered a lab filled with high-tech computers and machines. A distant whirring sound was being emitted from behind one of the curtain screens that sectioned off parts of the room.

"Our plans for the Foes have been successful, and their new technology is the strongest yet." Oasis informed Ria, walking around one of the tables and picking up a sheet of blueprints before slowly examining his new plans. "They will be stronger, more reformed and much more difficult to destroy... President Mickael will not know what to expect." He paused, a twinkling in his pitch black eyes. "And nor will his beloved Brotherhood."

Ria's small smirk stretched from ear to ear. Oasis was stronger then ever and all the pain that was caused to her by the Brotherhood would be repayed...

... And this time she would have help.

* * * * *

Ria looked up at her parents as they walked through the busy streets of Yewfneur, glancing at the merchandise in the shop windows as they passed. Her mother looked back and smiled sweetly whilst running her hand over the top of her smooth, black hair. Her father trailed off and walked into one of the elegant shops while Ria and her mother stood outside and watched a street performer show off magic tricks in the middle of the pavement.

After a few moments, Ria's father emerged from the shop holding a brown paper bag in his hand and smiling. "It's a surprise" He answered to the puzzled look on Ria's face.

The afternoon was pleasant and Ria fully enjoyed spending it with her parents who were often out at work when she had came home from school. She walked in between them, her black curls flowing in the summer breeze that manoeuvred its way through the market stalls and shoppers alike.

Ria's parents led her into a quiet café and ordered drinks before taking a seat around one of the small wooden tables that were placed under an awning just outside the shop. Ria's father Brandon placed the small paper bag on the table and pushed it towards her as she slowly removed her jacket and laid it on the back of the chair. She ran her fingers up the bag before peeking into the depths although she could not see anything.

"It's a present from me, sweetheart. Have a look." Brandon encouraged and she walked her hand into the bag until she grasped held of a small box. Sliding it out, she pushed the bag away with her other hand and replaced it with the small box she had withdrawn from it.

The box was small and black with a silver line trailing around it's contours. Slowly and carefully, she pulled on the lid of the box and it came off with ease. Inside, the box was lined with a rich white velvet which Ria stroked softly with her fingers before the sun's rays caught the contents of the box and made it sparkle in the light.

Her father's present was a small and elegant bracelet encrusted with lilac gems and small diamonds. She ran her finger along the ridges caused by the jewels and smiled. Lifting it out the box, the diamonds shone in the light.

Her mother leaned over the table. "Here." She offered. "Let me put it on for you." Ria stretched her hand out on the table, her palms facing upwards as her mother slid the bracelet under and around her wrist before fastening it. The silver stood out slightly against her pale skin and she stared at it in awe.

Ria was so intrigued by the bracelet, she didn't even notice the waiter bringing their drinks to the table and placing them close to her father. It wasn't until her mother pushed a glass of orange juice towards her that she looked away from her bracelet to see her father accepting his own drink and tipping the waiter.

"To Ria." He toasted. "Our little angel on Earth." Ria blushed and the three of them tapped their glasses together in the centre of the table before taking sips of their drinks.

"And a toast to good health for us, for Reece...for everyone." Her mother added and the three of them drained their drinks in the warmth of the summer's afternoon they had encased in memories.

Ria stared at her parent's smiling faces but something seemed to be wrong with them. Their lightly tanned skin was bleached white and something seemed to be playing on their minds. They had stopped their conversation abruptly and they hung their heads; all energy taken from them. She didn't know what was wrong. Just a moment ago, they were toasting to her and now it seemed like the happiness had been a lie.

The world around Ria seemed to stop and her vision was tied to her parents and everything around them was plunged into darkness. She couldn't watch but she didn't know what they were doing. Was it a trick to scare her? All of a sudden, her father's eyes drained of all their rich brown colour and his head dropped and banged loudly against the metal table.

"Father?" Ria questioned, not daring to move from her seat. She glanced up at her mother who looked just as ill as her father had. Their eyes locked and Ria's mother smiled at her before her head also dropped.

The world came flooding back to Ria. There was a faint voice calling in the back of her mind. They... they were dead. But how? They couldn't of just died like that?

"Excuse me, young lady. Are you alright?" Ria was comforted by an elderly lady from the table behind who attempted to get Ria to face her but she was transfixed on to the lifeless bodies of her parents. "What happened to them? Do you know? Miss?" Ria sat on the opposite side of the table, mouth slightly open as she stared out at her parents, like she was expecting them to wake up and scare her.

Ria was wrong. They weren't going to wake up. Ria mumbled to them again. No...no...they couldn't have.

"Mother.... Father?"

* * * * *

Ria looked down at the bracelet on her wrist and pulled it to her lips and kissed it softly. "I said I repay you for what happened that day." She whispered to the bracelet. She paused for a moment, a tear falling down her face.

"I miss you."

The End

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