Megaman Starforce: Power of Twilight
Hey all, thank you for the reviews from last chapter; I didn’t like what Sonia went through either, and she’s my favorite SF character. Speaking of, unfortunately, no one guessed why Sonia’s eyes were a different color. A pity really, the bonus chapter would have been Twilight vs Rogue. All one had to do is read my other stories as well to get my theme, and they might have guessed it; I even gave an unintentional clue last chapter.
But it’s in the past now. Find out the answer and more now. On with the show!
Chapter 14: Recovery
Hope sat in one of the private waiting room chairs, a hand running through Amara’s hair as the girl slept; the girl’s head on her lap and a paci in her mouth. The pair had been waiting for news on Sonia for hours with no response. The doors to the waiting room opened, causing the pair to look up. The man that entered was dressed in a full police uniform; he was the chief of police in the state.
Upon spotting Hope and Amara, the Chief made his way over and sat down next to Hope. “Mrs. Kisari.” He said.
“Chief Marko.” She acknowledged. “I have a complaint to file about the officer you put in charge of this operation.”
“Be at ease Mrs. Kisari, officer Decon has been dealt with appropriately.” The Chief said.
“May I enquire how?” Hope asked.
“Despite what happened with Miss. Strumm, it is difficult to fire an Officer who has not committed a crime.” The Chief stated. “So I was forced to give him a choice; retire with full pension or be transferred to Oriko City.”
“Oriko city?” Hope questioned.
“It currently has the highest crime rating in the country, as well as a sixty percent fatality rate for Officers.” The Chief explained. “Departments across the country are about to send units there to help get things under control. Decon wanted no part of that, so his last assignment will be to testify in Sonia’s case.”
“I don’t like it.” Hope stated, running her hand through Amara’s hair.
“I’m not thrilled about it either.” The Chief admitted. “That said, he gave us a rock solid case here and gave us a good push for evidentiary laws to be reinstated. Over the past two years we’ve had over a hundred cases of child abuse thrown out because the evidence we had was ruled out due to current laws.”
“O-One hundred!?” Hope exclaimed, causing Amara to stir. “How could evidence be thrown out for that many cases?”
“The way it was obtained.” The Chief answered. “Warrants need more then motives these days, and…well it’s complicated.”
The Chief let out a sigh as he leaned back. “Evidentiary laws have been a major pain in the backside of law enforcement for some time now. While no one is happy with what happened to Miss. Strumm in order to gain the evidence needed, we can use this case, the lengths we had to go to get the evidence, and the number of case that were thrown out due to the current restrictions on gathering evidence to push for the reinstatement of the necessary evidentiary laws.”
“I see.” Hope stated.
“You got all the bastards, right?” The pair looked down at Amara, who was now staring at the police chief as best she could from Hope’s lap.
“We did, all eleven of them.” The Chief answered. “I checked over the footage from the cameras. The second camera was the only one still recording, and managed to view Miss. Strumm from the open door. It looked like one of the men was forcing an alcoholic beverage down her throat.”
“Why would they do that?” Hope asked.
“To make her death look like a drunken accident.” Amara stated. “She gets drunk, goes on the balcony, believes she can fly, and jumps the railing, or something to that affect. They could be held responsible for negligence, but not for the abuse.”
“Right in one.” The Chief said, a small smile appearing on his face for a moment. “If it wasn’t for that washer’s cart, Miss. Strumm would be dead now. The fact that she’s unharmed from the fall is a miracle in and of itself. Girl has a guardian angel.”
“Better late then never I guess.” Amara mumbled.
“So how is she?” The Chief asked.
“Still waiting to find out.” Hope said with a sigh. “From what I could tell on the ride over, she has vaginal tearing, and was bleeding out of both ends. There was also some sort of clamp in her mouth to keep her jaw from closing as well. Aside from those, there were several bloody finger nail marks on her body.”
“She’s been through hell.” The Chief stated.
“She’s lived in hell ever since she won that contest.” Amara said.
“It’ll all be over soon enough.” Hope stated. “Once the trial is done with, she’ll be able to put this behind her and move on with her life. With help of course.”
“Definitely. Sonia is a strong girl, she’ll get through this.” Amara said.
Before anything else could be said, the doors to the waiting room opened, and a doctor entered. The three stood and met him half way. “I take it you’re here for Miss. Strumm?” he asked.
“Yes. How is she?” Hope asked.
“Well, she’s yet to regain consciousness, but she will live.” The doctor stated, causing sighs of relief. “That said, she’s in rough shape. Miss. Strumm shouldn’t move around for some time, and there is likely going to be bloody urine and feces for a while, but she should physically make a full recovery. This goes without saying, but she will need therapy.”
“We know someone who can help.” Amara stated. “And I can help her too…I’ve been there.”
The doctor looked at her for a moment before Hope spoke up. “Can you give her a full examination as well? She’s been having black outs and her throat has been closing on her several times since we first met her. Signs indicate it’s an allergic reaction, but the only thing on her record is milk, and symptoms of that is solely loss of bladder control.”
“Once she wakes up we can try, though it’s not safe to do all the examinations now in her condition.” The doctor answered.
“Try to keep it to only female doctors and nurses.” Amara said, gaining his attention. “Given what the men charged to care for her did to her, I think she’d be more receptive to women right now.”
“We’ll do what we can.” The doctor promised. “I’d recommend you three going home for the night; it’s not likely she’ll wake up any time soon.”
“My daughter and I shall be staying here.” Hope stated.
“Very well then, I’ll see about getting some cots set up for you.” The doctor said. “Unfortunately, we can’t permit anyone outside of doctors and nurses to see her in her condition. Not tonight anyways.”
“I understand.” Hope said.
Half an hour passed; cots were set up, and pillows and blankets gathered. Amara had fallen asleep shortly after the cots were first set up. Once the cots were set up, Hope checked Amara’s diaper, and upon seeing the state proceeded to change her. Not bothering with pants, she changed Amara into a blue t-shirt and tucked her into her cot.
Taking a seat in on of the chairs in the room, Hope just stared at her daughter. Her mind was going over everything that had happened over the past few years. She had never dreamed her husband would get lost in space, that her daughter would fight off an alien invasion with super powers, or that she would have to deal with such a horrendous incident again with someone she knew and, at the very least, cared about.
A flashing light caught her attention. Turning, she saw it was coming from Amara’s transer. Recognizing the signal, Hope reached into her purse and pulled out her earpiece as well as a handless phone piece, and place each over an ear. Closing her eyes, she spoke up. “I’m ready.”
“Good, we need to talk Hope.” Twilificus stated. Though Hope couldn’t see her floating in front of her, she could hear her with the earpiece. The phone piece was in case anyone walked in on them.
“Did something happen when Amara saved Sonia?” Hope asked softly.
“Yes.” Twi stated. “But I’m not sure what exactly it was.”
“Tell me what happened.” Hope said.
“Well, it happened when we were in wave form, and Amara had just caught Sonia.” Twi began. “When merged, Twilight emits her own unique EM waves, different from myself and the residue Amara emits when we pulse out. However, tonight Amara was emitting her own unique EM waves.”
“Her own waves?” Hope questioned.
“Yes. The best way I can explain it is what you saw at AMAKEN.” Twi stated. “With the brotherband link, you saw Amara’s link was grey in color; that is due to our powers in wave change form. However, tonight Amara was emitting forest green colored EM waves.”
“What does it mean?”
“I don’t know.” Twi admitted. “But that’s not the strangest thing.”
“Sonia was emitting two different colored EM waves herself.”
Twilificus nodded her head, not that Hope saw it. “I don’t know how the girl was emitting two different colored EM waves, or how she was doing it in the first place, but it was clear as day to me there. Sonia was emitting mostly pure white colored waves, but she had an angry red colored set of waves coming from her core. The red waves were more condensed and seemed more…violent. The two seem to be clashing against each other.”
“What does this mean? How is it even possible?”
“Unless Earthlings can generate and emit EM waves at random, the only explanation I can think of is that Sonia has encountered and possibly wave changed with other EM beings. Claud and Cancer prove that we’re not the only EM beings on the planet that can wave change.”
“But that doesn’t make any sense.” Hope stated. “If she wave changed before, why didn’t she run away? Or hurt those monsters?”
“It does seem unlikely now that you say that.” Twi admitted. “She may not know she’s emitting EM waves or have any idea about EM beings and wave changing. Once she’s better, we’ll have to ask her; she’s still a match for Lyra, and we only have a few weeks until she’s recovered.”
“Would she even be able to fight with the condition Sonia’s body is in?” Hope asked.
“Absolutely.” Twi stated firmly. “Lyra’s power is sound, a power as beautiful as it can be deadly. Sound waves can cause chemical reactions in human bodies, as well as affect certain EM waves. With her power in wave form, Lyra could numb Sonia’s physical body, even speed up her natural recovery while at the same time she could destabilize the chemical balance in Twilight’s body and render her immobile.”
“My god.” Hope breathed.
“I’ve been working on developing a counter to this for Amara to use, but the human body has a lot of liquid in it, which can act as a conductor for the molecular vibrations sound generates as well. Add to that, that we’ll be more vulnerable in wave form against Lyra’s powers and…” Twi sighed. “Make no mistake, Lyra will be our toughest opponent to date. If we were going into this without any knowledge of her abilities, I’m fairly certain we would be defeated outright.”
“But Sonia is Amara’s friend! Could Lyra really make her attack Amara? Is their wave change like a possession or something? And is there a chance Lyra might go for someone else?” Hope asked.
Twilificus was silent for a moment. "Without a willingness of the human host, it’s more a battle of wills for the physical aspect. Going from the last few FM-ians, it looks like they entice their hosts with something they truly desire. For Bud it was never being picked on again, and for Tom it was revenge against those he perceived to have betrayed him by stealing his work.
“As for picking someone else, it’s highly unlikely. Sonia’s passion for music as well as the depth of her loneliness waves would empower Lyra’s abilities. Her sound powers being what they are, it’ll only take one shot when none of us expect it to defeat us, and we all can’t be on guard twenty-four seven. No, Sonia will be the one Lyra targets, there’s no question of it.”
“…Right now we’re trying to help Sonia gain what she wants most; freedom from those monsters and making certain they can’t hurt anyone ever again.” Hope stated. “If we manage this before Lyra arrives, Sonia may be able to better help us from the inside.”
“Assuming she doesn’t want those monsters dead by her own hands.” Twi stated.
Hope was silent for a minute. “With what they’ve done to her, they will either spend the rest of their lives in a maximum security prison, or be given a lethal injection. Hopefully this will be done before Lyra shows up.”
“And hopefully Sonia will be in the right state of mind when the time comes.” Twi stated.
“We’ll do everything in our power to ensure she is.” Hope said.
A lot would happen over the next few days. The next morning, Sonia awoke screaming in her bed. Doctors had to sedate her, causing the girl to fall back asleep. The next time she awoke, Sonia began crying, though this time Amara and Hope were in the room and were able to comfort her.
Once Sonia calmed down though, the pair could see how much the previous night’s events took their toll on her. Sonia simply laid in her hospital bed, gazing into space, her eyes appearing hollow while her face was expressionless. Despite the reaction to everything being expected, it still worried the pair.
Doctors came in to check on Sonia’s condition, but Sonia never verbally responded to any questions they asked. She would nod yes or shake her head no, but nothing the doctors or Amara and Hope did could get her to speak. On the plus side, Electopia showed why it was the most advanced nation in the world when it came to medical care, as a number of Sonia’s wounds were well on their way to healing when it came time to change the girl’s bandages.
Several tests were run on Sonia in an effort to determine what was causing the allergic reactions, only for each test to come back negative. To everyone’s surprise, the test results for Sonia’s only known allergy, milk, came back negative as well. The test was run twice more, with same results, before doctors cautiously gave her a small carton of milk. With a hint of a smile, Sonia downed the entire carton, and after hours of observation, showed no negative affects. Doctors deemed it a misdiagnosis on the previous doctor’s part, and okayed Sonia to drink milk again.
Despite the number of positive results the tests done had shown, not everything was good news. The x-rays taken of Sonia first came out darker in color then normal, and very blurry. The test was repeated, but with the same results. Doctors didn’t know what to make of this.
Late the day after her ordeal, Sonia was released from the hospital into Hope’s care. Along the way home, Amara explained to Sonia what to expect over the next few days. Sonia wasn’t to try to move around on her own; she’d be given a bell to ring to get their attention. Someone would be with her at all times. Sonia would be fed, cleaned, and clothed by someone else until her condition improved.
Arriving home, Hope helped both girls up to Amara’s playroom, and changed both girls diapers before shifting them into baby clothes. Slipping a pacifier into each girl’s mouth, she sat them down in front of a tv before making them a late dinner. Considering Sonia’s condition, she stuck with feeding both girls bowls of baby food, following up with bottles of milk. The promise of BBQ when Sonia’s stomach could handle it brought the first real smile to the girl’s face since the incident.
When bedtime came, Hope changed both girls into footed and gloved sleepers before placing them in Amara’s cribs. When Hope left the room, after kissing both girls goodnight on the forehead, Amara explained how they didn’t think Sonia should sleep alone or under-clothed for a while. Sonia had nodded her head in acknowledgement to that notion.
During the course of the night, Sonia did wake up several times, but she calmed down surprisingly quick. Hope did come into the nursery once, and proceeded to feed Sonia a bottle of milk. Hope realized at that point that bottle feeding might not be the best idea, given what had happened the previous night, but Sonia didn’t seem to mind at all, and proceeded to lap up the warm milk before falling asleep. Hope put Sonia back in the crib next to Amara, who had only finished half her bottle before sleep had claimed her again.
When morning came, Hope revealed that she was taking time off work to care for Sonia. The purple haired girl nodded her head in acknowledgement, but said nothing. Both Amara and Sonia were changed into clean diapers and t-shirts before moved to the playroom where breakfast was served. Not knowing what Sonia liked for breakfast, Hope stuck to what she knew, and fed both girls a large bowl of baby food. Both infantile teens ate their bowls without fuss, and were then placed by the pile of stuffed animals while Hope went to do some cleaning around the house, leaving behind a baby monitor.
Despite her best efforts, nothing Amara did could get Sonia to speak, much less crack a smile. Amara reflected that the baby treatment did seem to help comfort Sonia, but the girl still seemed depressed. Unfortunately, the days just after her own incident were rather blurry for Amara, so she couldn’t remember what had been done for her at the time, and thus didn’t know what she could do to help Sonia.
Amara did her best though; she watched Sonia, and when she saw her looking at an out of reach toy or something, Amara would crawl over to it and get it for her. Sonia would nod her head in acknowledgement, but that was it. When Sonia looked over at the television, Amara went to her big girl self, and managed to lift and carry Sonia over to a bean bag chair before putting on a kiddy movie she enjoyed; to her delight, Sonia seemed to like it too.
The next two days continued in similar fashion; wake up, diaper changes, be dressed, eat breakfast, playtime, afternoon bottle and naptime, diaper changes, more playtime, dinner, bathtime, dressed for bed, nighttime bottle and bedtime. During diaper and cloth changes for Sonia, Hope would work on Sonia’s legs, as per doctor’s orders. Sonia cried the first time she had to endure the bicycle petal exercise, but it was necessary to help her recover and get back to moving on her own.
Amara was beginning to feel guilty; she was enjoying all the extra baby time she was getting, but she didn’t like the fact that is was ultimately at Sonia’s expense. Admitting it to Hope in private, her mother suggested she try to come up with a wardrobe for Sonia. Liking the idea immensely, Amara went online, and enlisting the help of Twilificus, managed to come up with several cute outfits for Sonia to wear on a day to day basis once she recovered. It wasn’t much, Amara knew, but it was a start at least.
Finally, several days after the incident, Hope received a phone call from Emily, informing her she had an opening for Sonia if she wanted. Hope agreed to it, and after getting the girls dressed and packing a diaper bag, drove the girls to Emily’s office.
Hope and Amara stood up as Emily came into the empty waiting room. “How is she?” Hope asked.
“Definitely traumatized.” Emily replied, massaging her forehead. “Regression has definitely helped cushion her mentally, but it’s still obvious how much this has affected her. I couldn’t get her to speak a single word.”
“She hasn’t said anything to us either.” Hope stated. “Right baby girl?”
“Yeah.” Amara said with a sigh. “She moves her head to yes and no questions, but that’s it.”
“She wasn’t paying any attention to me at all. She just played with the toys on the floor.” Emily stated.
“It may be because she doesn’t know you as well as we do.” Hope suggested.
“Perhaps.” Emily agreed. “Still, unless she starts talking, I have no way to determine how bad the damage is.”
“The fact that she’s still functioning is a good sign, right?” Hope asked.
As Hope and Emily talked, Amara was looking down at the floor, deep in thought. She really wanted to help Sonia, as she hated seeing the girl as she was now. Wracking her brain, there was only one thing she could think of that could possibly work, but she was hesitant to do it, as it meant going into her own past.
Amara sighed heavily; she felt she owed it to Sonia, having talked her into this. Her sigh caught both women’s attention. “I may have a way to get her to start talking, but it needs to be just the two of us in there.”
“What do you intend to do?” Emily asked.
“For starters, approach her on her level.” Amara said as she removed her vest. Her boots and shorts followed, leaving her in just her blue shirt, diaper, and socks.
“Amara?” Hope asked, concerned about not getting a straight answer.
“You can observe from the window.” Amara said as she started towards the room, only to be stopped by Emily.
“Amara, this is my office, and my practice. It’s supposed to be one on one sessions with Sonia. I can’t let you just go in there and do as you please.” Emily stated.
“I’m just trying to ensure we make some progress.” Amara argued. “You’re way isn’t working for her, but my way should help her at least begin to talk again.” Seeing Emily about to argue, she quickly said, “I’ll be doing this even if I have to wait to get home. I’d think you’d rather be here when it happened then learn about it next session.”
At that point, Emily was forced to concede, though she warned Amara that she would interfere if she felt she needed to. Amara agreed to that, and went on her way. Having been to the therapy room a million times, she knew the way by heart. Arriving at the door, Amara opened it, slipped in, closed it behind her, and got down on all fours.
Sonia was sitting on the floor, legs stretched out, some building blocks between them. The overall jean skirt she had worn in was folded up off to the side, along with her shoes, leaving her clad in only her diaper, socks, and pink t-shirt. Sonia looked up from her blocks, a pacifier in her mouth., and watched as Amara crawled over to her.
Amara sat down on her behind, grabbed a few blocks, and started playing with them herself. Sonia watched her for a minute before turning back to her own blocks. The pair played silently for several minutes.
Finally, Amara spoke. “I was six when it happened.” She started, causing Sonia to look up. “To this day I can’t remember everything, but what I do I’ll never forget.”
Sonia tilted her head to one side, confused by Amara’s words. It looked cute, but Amara pressed on. "I know I told you some of this before, but my daddy was an astronaut and a scientist. He flew on the space Satellite Peace, trying to make friends with aliens. Before that he used to bring me into work with him sometimes. I made friends with a number of the workers there, even formed my first BrotherBand with one.
“Several months after the Satellite vanished, a piece of it turned up in the ocean. The scientists at NAXA brought us back to the work place, explained what they found, and that they were stopping the search for the crew. I had formed a BrotherBand with my father before he left, and it was still active. I tried showing it to the scientists there, to convince them that he was still alive, but they didn’t listen. One of them yelled at me that daddy was never coming back…I couldn’t take it, and ran from the room.”
Sonia turned so she was fully facing Amara; she could see tears forming in the green haired girl’s eyes, and could tell that this story was extremely personal. Amara and her mom had been trying their best to help her, so it was only fair for her to listen.
“I ran through the halls crying…It was my lowest point. I wanted my daddy back, I wanted the happy times we had to happen again.” Amara seemed to be struggling at this point, both with finding the proper words, and with speaking them in the first place. “I had gotten potty trained so he could be proud of me when he left for space. I wanted to be his baby princess again, so he would take care of me.”
Amara shook her head. “My memories are blurry at that point, my thoughts were jumbled too…the man I formed a BrotherBand with found me. I was a mess then, tired out from crying and running…he took me into his room, hugged me to his chest…rubbing my back…”
Sonia’s eyes widened; she had a hunch where Amara was going with this story, and she didn’t like it one bit. She watched as Amara hugged herself, beginning to shake.
“I remember his hand sliding under my shirt…” Amara whispered. “Then…I’m on my back, and he’s tearing off my clothes! I remember trying to get away, but he slammed my head against the bed frame. After that…so much pain…Sniffle…I just wanted to be the baby princess my parents loved to care for…I wanted daddy back…”
Amara looked up at Sonia. “I don’t know exactly what you’ve been through, but I understand the pain. That man…that monster I formed a BrotheBand with…he betrayed me…he raped me. It didn’t just hurt my body, it broke my mind as well. It’s because of him I’ll never be normal…because of him I developed my Multi-Regressional Personality Disorder.”
Wiping her eyes, Amara stated, “You said you wanted to know what caused it…after what happened to you, because…because of me…telling you is the least I could do.”
Amara turned back to her toys while Sonia mulled over Amara’s words. Amara had been raped too? She had developed her mental condition because of it? Amara felt responsible for what she, Sonia, had gone through?
Sonia closed her eyes and suckled on her pacifier. Since she first met Amara, the infantile teen had done her best to help her, and for some reason she couldn’t explain, Sonia felt the need to do the same for Amara. Still, Amara didn’t know everything, heck, even her former manager didn’t know everything about her. Sonia had felt better after telling Amara what she had gone through before, so maybe…
Opening her eyes, Sonia pulled her pacifier from her mouth. “…My Mama was an amazing person.” Sonia said, her voice soft.
Amara looked up; it had been the first time Sonia had spoken since her assault. She shifted her position to face Sonia, showing the girl she had her full attention. Sonia didn’t seem to notice; the girl was staring at the floor.
“She was such a kind hearted and understanding person.” Sonia continued. “Anyone who knew her wouldn’t dream of hurting her. She…She always loved me, no matter what.”
Amara nodded her head, and Sonia continued. “People told her she shouldn’t have me-when she was pregnant I mean. A single parent, low income job, but she didn’t listen to them. She had so many excuses to get rid of me, but she didn’t…she could have gotten an abortion, but she didn’t. She could have set me up for adoption after I was born, but she didn’t. When I couldn’t be potty trained she could have given me away, but she didn’t.”
Sonia looked up and stared Amara in the eye. “The thing that stays with me the most though, is that she was always able to look me in the eyes, and I could see how much she loved me. There was no fear, no far off look…she was able to show me how much she loved me despite the fact that when she looked into my eyes, she could see my blood father’s eyes…the eyes of her rapist.”
Amara couldn’t hold back a gasp. Sonia’s mother had been raped!? Sonia was a product of that rape? Suddenly, several conversations rushed back to Amara, and things started to click.
[i]“About a year later we went back to my home town and played a concert there. On my way out I ran into my aunt, or the woman I considered my aunt. She spat in my face. She said I was a disgrace, singing such filth, that Mama would be so ashamed of me. She said if Mama had just gotten the abortion like the counselors had advised her to, the doctors would have caught her disease early and treated it, and then she’d still be alive. She then said I take after my father and should be…should be what he should be…dead.”
“I think it’s genetics, given how successful my father was.” Sonia’s eyes seemed to dim at that, causing Amara to raise an eyebrow.[/i]
“He was known as the Honeymoon rapist.” Sonia stated, looking down. “Like the name suggests, he targeted honeymoon couples. My mother had just been married a few days before. The night after they arrived, that monster struck; he stabbed my Mama’s husband in the back a dozen times…then he went after Mama…”
Sonia sniffled, and Amara scooted closer to the girl. “After he…finished…Mama’s husband managed to stab that monster in the leg before he died. It stopped him from escaping. That…That monster is in prison now, serving several life sentences. It’s maximum security, so he’ll never get out.”
Looking up, Sonia gave a sad smile. “My Mama was an amazing woman. She knew I was his child, but she never got rid of me. She had so many chances, but she loved me. She loved me…when my very existence was a reminder of what happened to her…what she lost…When Mama died, that word died for me. I…I’ll never call anyone else Mama or any variation of the word again…no one could live up to her, after everything she’s ever done for me.”
Sonia’s voice cracked, and suddenly the girl burst into tears. Amara quickly shifted over to her, and wrapped the crying girl in a hug. Whispering softly into Sonia’s ear, Amara held her tight and rubbed her back as Sonia cried.
Outside the room, Emily and Hope watched the scene before them, having heard the whole thing. Emily turned to Hope. “Did you have any idea of this?” she asked.
Hope shook her head. “None at all. This isn’t listed in the file her manager made either, so he either hid it, or didn’t know himself.”
“To go through what she did, all the while carrying around that knowledge…” Emily shook her head. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. But it looks like Amara may be the key for getting her to open up…”
“Amara has spent most of her life around doctors and psychiatrists. It only makes sense she picks up a few things here and there.” Hope stated. “That said, these two do seem to be closer to each other then what one would expect, given how little time they’ve had to get to know one another.”
“The fact that they’re both infantile might help contribute to that, and possibly even the trauma they’ve both suffered, but even so, I do agree it is strange how close they’ve managed to come in such a short time.” Emily said.
“Should we be worried?” Hope asked.
“As long as they don’t come to depend on one another for every little thing, I don’t think so.” Emily replied after a moment. “Right now though, these two are good for each other it seems.”
“Yes.” Hope said with a smile. “I think you’re right.”
Over the next few days, Sonia began speaking more. After the session it was mostly just yes and no answers, but it soon expanded to other one word answers, and then up to short sentences. During the next session with Emily, Sonia spoke a bit about her first real breakdown after she began singing professionally. It wasn’t anymore then she had told Amara before, but all parties involved were glad the girl was speaking again.
The medicine Sonia was on was working wonders for the girl, and the physical therapy was going well too. She no longer bled when she filled her diaper, and she was now able to crawl around on her own for a fair amount of time before needing to rest. To Sonia’s delight, Hope had moved up from solely baby food to some more solid foods, like apple slices. That meant it wouldn’t be much longer before the BBQ dinner she’d been promised would come up.
At night, Hope had experimented with having Sonia sleep with her in her bed instead of with Amara in her crib. There was a notable difference in Sonia both times as she tried to sleep; it took her longer too get to sleep and she shuffled a lot when she was asleep. Sonia admitted she had more peace of mind sleeping in the barred crib, and though it was not said, her assault had taken place in a big bed like the one Hope had slept in, and that made her uncomfortable. Hope decided to let Sonia continue to sleep with Amara in her crib for the time being.
Amara and Sonia were together almost constantly. Sonia drew comfort from Amara, who was so much like her and Amara found happiness in spending time with Sonia, who was so much like her as well. Both were infantile teens and both had rough pasts. As a result, the pair grew quite close to one another. Hope was a bit concerned about how close, how quickly the pair were becoming, but given the circumstance, as well as the memory of failed relationships Amara had had with others in the past, Hope was content to simply watch.
Nearly a week after Sonia’s assault, Hope received a phone call from the attorney who would be trying Sonia’s case in court. The man needed to speak with the group about the case, as well as the contract Sonia had signed. Setting up a time, Hope got Amara and Sonia dressed and drove over to his office.
It had been five minutes since the trio arrived at the office. Hope was seated in a single seated chair, the diaper bag on her lap. Amara and Sonia were on a two person seat, snuggling up to one another, each with a pacifier in their mouths. Sonia had her head on Amara’s shoulder, and Amara rested her head against Sonia’s.
Amara was dressed in a pink t-shirt and blue overalls with poppers at the crotch. Having had more baby time then she’d had in years, Amara was more open to pleasing her mother’s desire to have her wear pink; she was even back in pink diapers. Sonia wore a pink t-shirt as well, along with a matching colored diaper under her blue jean skirt overalls. All in all, both girls looked adorable.
It would be five more minutes before the office door opened, and a man walked out. He had hazel colored eyes, brown hair, and lightly tanned skin. He had a mole on his left cheek, a small scar on his upper lip, and a prominent nose.
“Kisari and Strumm party?” He asked.
“Yes.” Hope answered standing up. “I’m Hope Kisari. This is my daughter Amara, and this is Sonia Strumm, whom I’m acting as her guardian at this time.”
“Johnathan K. Smile, a pleasure to meet you all.” The man said, taking the time to shake each of their hands. “Why don’t we step into my office and we’ll get this meeting underway.”
“Certainly.” Hope stated before turning to the girls. “Paci’s out.”
Both girls nodded in understanding and let their pacifiers drop from their mouths, hanging from their neck thanks to the ribbons wrapped around them. The trio followed John into his office and took a seat in front of his desk. John sat down behind his desk and faced the trio.
“Alright, I’ll try to keep things simple, but don’t hesitate to ask for clarification on anything.” John started. “I called you all here so I could go over what’s going to happen in regards to the trial, as well as any issues or complications that may come up.”
“Do you expect any?” Hope asked.
“Better to expect them and be pleasantly surprised, then to not and be caught unprepared.” John answered. He turned to Sonia. “How are you feeling Miss. Strumm? I see you’re able to walk on your own power now.”
“Only for short distances.” Sonia replied. “I can’t walk up stairs, so Auntie Hope had to carry me. Besides stairs, I can crawl just about anywhere I need to go back home now.”
“I’m glad to hear you’re recovering so quickly.” John stated. “I noticed you referred to the Kisari resident as home. Do you truly see it as such?”
“It’s been more a home to me then anywhere I’ve been since my mother passed away.” Sonia answered solemnly. Amara took Sonia’s hand and gave it a comforting squeeze, receiving one in return.
“I understand.” John replied. “I see you’re also somewhat regressed now.”
Sonia’s cheeks turned pink. “I was a baby girl for a long time. It wasn’t until after we found out it was the milk I was drinking causing me to wet that I got potty trained and started being a big girl…well a bigger girl…I mean I was always a big girl in public, but at home-”
“I understand.” John interrupted. “You maintained your behavior to what is generally appropriate and expected of a girl your age, back then and now. Correct?”
“Yes sir.” Sonia stated. “I do need diapers now though, and a paci if I get to upset.”
John nodded his head and wrote something down in a folder on his desk. He turned to Hope. “Is there a medical need for her diapers?”
“We believe there is.” Hope stated. “We’re still running tests, but for some reason we haven’t been able to get an accurate results back. I haven’t seen anything like it as a part-time nurse myself, but I’m not an expert in the field either.”
“I see.” John stated, writing once again in the folder. Once done, he placed his pen down and turned his attention to the trio. “Alright then, I called you all here to inform you that the trial will begin in two weeks time.”
“Two weeks!?” Hope exclaimed. “Why so soon? I mean, I’m not complaining but I thought these things took months to do.”
“Indeed it generally does.” John stated. “However, Sonia Strumm is a popular if not controversial name in this day and age. The current district attorney is rushing this trial, hoping that a positive conviction will help with the re-election campaign.”
“And what is their definition of a positive conviction?” Hope asked.
“Given the evidence I’ve seen, it’s a needle with a lethal toxin.” John replied. “This trial isn’t so much whether the defendants will be free or not, but rather will they live and if so, where. The evidence is that damning against them.”
He turned to Sonia. “While the trial is taking place, the accused will be present via holo-panels; they will be kept locked up tight in the maximum security prison they are currently held in, due to their suspected connections to certain criminal organizations.”
Sonia nodded her head in understanding; the fact that they couldn’t pull anything in the courtroom helped put her a bit more at ease. Amara frowned as a thought occurred to her. “Doesn’t the defense need adequate time to build a defense? I know there’s nothing that can protect them given the video evidence, but couldn’t they call for a mistrial or appeal or something due to the rush?”
“We’ve already taken care of that.” John assured them with a smile. “Defense Attorny Roger Fox will be using a variation of the study wave system some schools use to help learn all he needs to about the case, so he will have more then enough time to mount a defense for the group.”
“Nothing can excuse them for what they did.” Amara growled. Sonia nodded her head, but looked downcast.
“Miss. Strumm never fought back.” John stated. “She merely accepted what they did to her. Enjoyment is not that far a stretch from acceptance either.”
“I DIDN’T ENJOY IT!” Sonia screamed, on her feet in an instant. “IF I FOUGHT BACK IT WOULD HAVE GOTTEN WORSE!”
“We understand that Sonia, but that will be the defense’s angle.” John stated calmly. Amara placed Sonia’s paci into the girl’s mouth and pulled her onto her lap, all the while glaring silently at John.
“You could have just told them instead of insinuating it.” Hope stated in disapproval.
“I do apologize, but I needed to see her reaction.” John said. “What’s happened here is a case of conditioning; Sonia learned what was expected of her, and learned from experience what would happen if she tried to fight back. The defense will use her lack of resistance to try and make the jury believe she enjoyed what her manager and his men made her do, possibly even instigated it. As it currently stands, Sonia’s public image works against her.”
Sonia grunted behind her pacifier, and snuggled deeper into Amara’s embrace. Amara held her tighter, still looking displeased at what had just occurred.
“Outbursts like that will hurt the case, but so will your regressional image now.” John stated. "You’re public image as a pop star as well as your songs and interviews depict you as a young teen who can’t wait to experience the physical aspects of full adulthood. While that doesn’t help you in this case, suddenly appearing as the exact opposite, a young girl who wishes she was still a baby, will bring even more speculation to your mental state.
“Thus, it would make it more likely to convince the jury that Sonia was seducing them, which we know she wasn’t, but it would be argued. If it’s successful, it could result in a reduced sentence. I understand the diapers and pacifier is necessary right now, but when the court date comes, you’ll need to wear proper clothes for your age group.”
Sonia nodded her head in understanding when a thought struck her. “They can’t do anything to me because of this, can they?” She asked nervously.
John knew what she meant. “You are currently in therapy of your own accord, and are not a danger to yourself or others. They can not use your regressed state against you in the sense of committing you to some facility against your will.”
Sonia let out a sigh of relief, and John continued. “Now then, I’ll provide you with a list of questions the defense may use to try and, to be vague, make you look bad. I expect the two of you will help Sonia learn to control her outbursts, as they can be used against her. I will be testing you a few days before the trial; I’d normally walk you through it myself, but I’ve got a number of things I need to check on for the trial. It’s also how I came across a problem with your contract.”
“What isn’t wrong with that thing?” Amara asked rhetorically.
“Mr. Golds signed Miss. Strumm up as a guest participant in the National Navi Battle tournament to take place in five days.” John stated. “I looked into the clauses of the illegal contract, and if Miss. Strumm does not participate, then the penalties will take effect, and automatically drain her bank accounts.”
“Even though the contract is illegal?” Hope asked.
“Unfortunately yes.” John stated with a sigh. “Though they can’t throw you in jail if you violate the contract now, with the trial pending and your condition and all, the money will be tricky to get back afterwards. The case about the validity of the contract is being pushed back so the Defense Attorney can focus on the criminal trial.”
“So at this point it’s best to just compete?” Hope asked.
“Yes in the sense to protect her accounts.” John answered. “No in the sense that a public appearance there may help the defense’s opinion on how sever Miss. Strumm’s injuries were or something to that effect. Unless Miss. Strumm suffers an accident, or something happens that can fall under an extreme medical emergency, she would have to compete. It’s actually a cleaver move.”
“Where is it being held?” Hope asked.
“Echo Ridge Middle School.” The group turned to Amara. “I got an invitation to compete in it, as I’m rank 38. I think it’s another ploy by the principle to get me to the school, so I didn’t intend to go.”
“Ploy?” John asked.
“It’s an issue we’ve had with the school principle before any of this came up.” Hope stated. “There’s no relation to this, and we still have investigators looking into it.”
“Well, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the case.” John stated. “I do need to ask, do you intend to apply for full guardianship of Miss. Strumm once the case is over?”
“Only if she wants it.” Hope answered.
“I do.” Sonia said, removing her pacifier from her mouth. Hope smiled at Sonia while Amara hugged her closer.
“Alright then.” John said with a smile. “I’ll keep in touch with you and call if I find anything else. I do want to talk with Sonia about what happened that night, as she will be questioned about it on the stand, but I understand the experience is still to fresh, so I will wait until after the tournament issue is settled. That said, I think that’s everything we can do for today. I thank you for your time.”
“Thank you for your time.” Hope said as she stood up. The girls followed suit and each shook John’s hand before exiting the room.
“Hey Amara? Do you think you could help me practice for the tournament?” Sonia asked.
“Sure.” Amara replied with a smile.
“You two can practice later.” Hope said as she picked Sonia up in her arms. “When we get home it’s nap time for you baby girl.”
“The only butts in this conversation are spanked ones.” Hope stated, causing the girls to clam up. “Come along now, the sooner we get home, the sooner you can get your naptime over with.”
“Oh okay Auntie.” Sonia said with a pout. Amara said nothing, but popped her pacifier back in her mouth and grumbled behind it.
Hope merely smiled and led the way down the stairs. Things weren’t the best they could be, but they were certainly better then what they had been a week earlier.
And that’s a wrap for this chapter. Sorry for the wait all; issues in real life needed dealing with. I will now spell out the answer for the contest regarding Sonia’s eyes.
Sonia’s eyes were a different color because she had a different father then the one in either the game or anime series. Any answer regarding her father, whom is not mentioned at all during either the game or the anime to the best of my knowledge, would have been accepted.
Well, that said, I wish everyone happy holidays, and will see you next time.