Miho looked back at Dom's condominium and sighed. Why did things have to be so complicated? He had asked her to stay the night and couldn't or wouldn't understand why she had to go.
It should have been simple, after all that had happened. Why didn't he understand that she was more than just a schoolgirl who was left to her own devices? She had taken him. She had OWNED him.
So why did he have to act like that?
The lights finally went off and she turned to walk away. She hoped that she would be able to talk to him tomorrow and that he'd listen.
As she made her way toward the train station her mood brightened and a smile crept across her face. This was the first time that she could ever remember that anyone except Sashi had treated her like she was normal. Maybe there was something there; maybe there was some hope for her and Dom after all. He'd just have to learn that he couldn't push her around when she allowed him to see her when she was feeling tender and vulnerable.
Her phone rang and she frowned as she looked at the caller ID before answering it.
<Hello, who is this? >
<Hi Tohya-chan, it's me, Ashley>
Miho blinked, she had asked Ping to have Ashley call her to set up a meeting. She hadn't expected it this soon though. She decided to play it on through, <I wasn't expecting a call from you tonight. When do you want to meet? >
<How about right now? I can pick you up in about five minutes. >
Miho's eyes narrowed and she felt anger welling up inside her. <How do you know where I am? Have you been following me? >
There was a long silence before Ashley replied, <I mean no offense, and I merely track your signal to the cell tower that your phone is currently using. I know within a few blocks where you must be. >
Miho grinned then; it wasn't a nice grin at all. Ashley had just told her of some more of her capabilities. She was obviously even more advanced than Ping. She would have to see what she and Ping could do about getting some upgrades.
<I'm sorry, Ashley. It's just that I don't like the idea of being followed. It makes me nervous. I'm nearly at the train station. Meet me out front. I assume that you must know what I look like. >
Ashley giggled then, <Of course, silly. We all know you. >
Miho snapped her phone shut. They all know me? How interesting!
They had no problem meeting. Ashley was standing on the roof of the car waiting for Miho as she neared the station. When Miho came up she hopped down and took her by the hands then hugged her. <You have no idea what an honor it is to meet you, Tohya-chan! >
Miho returned the hug and smiled, there were some obvious differences in the earblades when you looked at them closely but otherwise she was exactly like Ping. <Well, it's good to meet you as well, Ashley. Now, where will we go? >
Ashley opened the door and slid across to plug herself into the car. <I thought we might just drive for a bit. This shouldn't take too long as I've already talked to Ed. >
Mho climbed in and shut the door after noting that there was a very unhappy looking man in the back seat. She looked at him and smiled,"So you must be Ed! It's nice to meet you. "
Ed looks back at her and grunted, "Yeah, I suppose someone has to be Ed." He looked out the window and pretended to ignore the two girls.
Ashley grinned and looked at Miho, <He's just mad because I told him that we couldn't kill Dom. >
Miho turned to look at Ed, "Is that true, Ed? You're upset because you and Dom can't pursue your little feud? "
Ed exploded, "He shot me! Shot me twice in the chest and left me to bleed out and be eaten by baby 'zillas'! That goes a little past some of the stunts we've pulled on each other in the past!"
Miho glared, "You want to know something? I don't care! He stuck a gun in my face twice! He tried to kill me too! But we've been able to work things out. He had an implant that was causing him to do those things and I've fixed it!"
Ed's eyes narrowed, "Huh, mind control implants? Even Sony won't do that! Makes me glad I didn't get the job with Sega after all."
Miho stared at him for a moment. Was it really going to be that easy? "Well then, do you want to meet Dom and talk about it?"
Ed looked thoughtful for a moment before he replied, "No, I guess I see now. Better to just let it die down. Give us time, okay?"
Miho snorted and looked toward the front to the front of the car, out of the corner of her eye she could see Ashley smiling. <You speak English, don't you? >
Ashley looked over at her and her smile widened, <Of course I do! Now that we've got that all cleared up and I don't have to punish Ed for being stupid do you want me to take you home? >
Miho looked at Ashley long and hard, did she mean what she thought she meant? Did Ashley control Ed in some manner like she controlled Dom? This was getting really interesting. A thought came to her then; something that she had thought impossible might not be after all.
<Can you take me to see Largo? >
The smile faded from Ashley's face then, her eyes were wide as she looked at Miho, <Are you sure you want to see him? He's not going to be like you remembered. >
Miho took a deep breath and slowly let it out; she really didn't have very good memories about Largo did she? Still, she had to know. She looked into Ashley's eyes and slowly nodded.
Ed leaned forward then and spoke, "It's rude to have a conversation in a language that someone can't understand like that. I know you both speak perfect English. And what's this about Largo?"
Ashley turned in her seat and looked at Ed, "She wants to see Largo. Tonight."
Ed leaned back and smiled, "Sure, we can do that. Let's go."
Ashley looked at Miho and grinned, "Ed has the highest level of access available at this facility. He can take anyone anywhere. He just isn't cleared to know the names of the buildings." She looked back at Ed, "But I know, don't I Ed?"
Ed nodded and grinned back at Ashley, "Between the two of us, we own that place. She and her sisters have the network locked down and they know where everything is. I can take her anyplace that she needs to go. We're a team. Right, doll?"
Ashley giggled, "That's right, big boy."
Miho rolled her eyes, she hoped she never got like that with Dom!
Ashley parked in the Enforcement Barracks lot. Miho and Ed got out but Ashley stayed in the car "I shouldn't go in there, I scare them."
As Ed passed them through security he explained what was going on, "The cyberzombies are afraid of the EVS units. We don't know why. Also, Ashley attacked Largo earlier. I don't know why she did that either. She probably called ahead to make sure that Largo is out of the vat for us and that any technicians will clear the area for us. She's very professional. "
Miho nodded but didn't say anything; her stomach was doing somersaults. What would Largo do when he saw her?
As they passed through the final door Miho saw that familiar profile with it's unruly shock of red hair. She slowly approached him. He was sitting on a small couch playing a game. There was a can of beer balanced on the arm of the couch. She licked her lips and spoke.
Largo paused the game and slowly turned to look at her, he stared into her eyes unblinking.
"Largo, do you know who I am?"
Largo picked up his beer and took a sip, she knew that in the past he would have just guzzled it. Still, he did not reply.
Miho looked at Ed then; she was fighting back the tears. She felt a tightening in her chest as she spoke; "He really is gone, isn't he?"
Ed looked at her and he felt his own eyes tearing. This wasn't how it was suppose to be! He had said his good byes. Why was he feeling the pain all over again?
They both turned to walk away when they heard a familiar voice.
Together they turned and Miho slowly approached him. "What can I do? How can I help?"
Largo looked up at her, "Make it stop. Kill me. Please"
Miho began to weep then, she sat next to Largo and took him into her arms, and "I can't do that I couldn't do that."
Largo leaned his head against her and stared at Ed. Finally Miho regained control of her and stood. "I'm so sorry. I wish it could be different."
Largo nodded slowly, "Not your fault."
Miho smiled at him sadly; "I should be going now."
Largo smiled then, "Please come back. We can play. Maybe."
The trip back to Miho's place was silent, she was sure that Ashley had seen everything through the security cameras. She said her good nights and went straight to her room and went to bed.
As she lay there she first thought that she wished she had stayed at Dom's. She hugged her big cat plushy to her breast.
Then the tears came again and she cried herself to sleep.