Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha's anime is licensed by Geneon Entertainment; its studio is Seven Arcs. Anime is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo. The manga is illustrated by Koji Hasegawa. Characters, Locations, and other intellectual property from the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha universe is to be attributed to the above as warranted.
-Story of the Four Birds-
Immediately after Harp's Demise
District IV Hospital
Hayate blinked, as if making certain this scene was real. The gear, crystals, etc. had all vanished. Instead she found herself standing atop the hospital roof. Suddenly, an urgent thought came over her.
Ame Yagami, upon being officially acknowledged by the TSAB as an individual after the Red Sky Incident's official conclusion, was marked as "Missing – Presumed Dead." The being who called himself "Hark" was labeled an international criminal of the highest caliber and a constant watch was placed out for him, but to date no news has been obtained.
Hayate Yagami was nearly court-marshaled were it not for the timely intervention of Admiral Harlaown and the testimony of those others present. Hinode Seitsu was placed in the critical care unit of District I's high security ward in the hopes of hearing her testimony upon recovery (in addition to the extra information she surely know and its source.) Similarly, "Raven" was placed in another room in the same ward due to her relationship with Harp and several... unusual conditions (not the least of which was the worry she'd turn out to be a living bomb as well). Without Ame, though, communication with her was next to impossible at best.
"Priri" was not placed into the hospital and instead sent to high security prison for questioning. She revealed everything she knew regarding the incident, which was shockingly little. When her linker core began to show erratic behavior and she started to exhibit signs of genetic degeneration, she was sent to the District I hospital as well. After an... incident... she was also placed on suicide watch.
Iriai Seitsu was unofficially adopted by the Takamachi family until Hinode's recovery (should it prove possible.) "Secele" and "Eternity" both went missing, but the remains of "Destiny" were recovered and sent to Research and Development for examination. After seven years, active watch for perpetrators of the Red Sky Incident deteriorated to a passive alert file should any pass through a security checkpoint, much to the Aces' chagrin (particularly Hayate's). After this period, "Raven" also vanished without explanation; there one moment and gone the next. Similarly, Priri was released from the hospital's security ward and moved to more standard care areas after it was determined she was no longer a threat. Iri took to visiting her.
"Of course, nothing's ever that simple."
-Story of the Four Birds-
Present Day, Present Time – Hahahaha!
-District I, Military Hospital
She stands in the hospital, near the edge of the room, trying to reconcile the scene before her with what should be... and what was.
Clean white streets red with fire and blood. Mists of ash – a normally blue sky turned black. Everything tainted by red. False snow...
Not even this room was untouched. The wall before her was gone. The Bureau... it had failed. Blood marked the walls and ran down her shirt in spades... none of it hers...
Gone. Forever. So many lives unknown... and two that were known. Why? They were not just taken, but stolen. Used.
And then the gate appeared. Mammoth. A massive double-doorway, arching up past the clouds and glowing with blue light. Chains hung off it – countless chains – as if tethering it to reality. The clouds parted around it, forming a ring of clear sky. She shook... and then placed the body in her hands aside.
How much was real? It was all real... from the first time it was known, before it even occurred. Everything was gone... she left. She fought...
She died, and was given one last chance.
And she would succeed...
After what felt like an eternity, her eyes opened. They were impossibly heavy, as if invisible rope had tethered them down, and it took far too long to open them even a sliver. The world was blurry and, dim as the room may have been, her eyes throbbed with pain.
Sight... and then sound.
The muffled sounds of a hospital; steady beat of an electrocardiograph, distant voices, constant hum of lights and the periodic drip of an IV.
'I am alive...' It was a thought both disappointing and inspiring. She could not go on,... but she could still live one.
It hurt everywhere, now that she was awake. Her heart burned as if stabbed; everywhere else like fire. Her limbs especially hurt and, opening her eyes, she realized it was a phantom feeling... there were no limbs present to be in pain. Small in comparison to all else, the cold sensation of wet tears made a soothing bomb for her tortured skin. She made no sounds.
"Reckless. Stupid." A voice cut in; harsh, pained. Grief-ridden. It was like listening to herself. "Foolish... idiotic. You want to die that badly?" A pause, and then a quiet statement likely no tmeant for Hinode's ears, "Hypocritical of me, to be sure."
Hinode's eyes found the source at last, a young woman standing in the corner of the room. Ebony hair hung around her head in an untamed mane and slitted red eyes stared at the injured mage in reflection. In one hand was something producing an orange glow, presumably a device. 'Who is this? Why is she here? This is probably the high security ward considering I'm still a criminal, legally speaking... so how is she even here?' Hinode tried to speak, but nothing came out.
"Something like a soul, hm?" The stranger murmured, eyes staring almost through Hinode. Past her. "Mortals are silly, no? It would seem I tried my best to mimic that, now that I look at it objectively... Then again, I was never all that typical." The stranger's eyes flitted over to the door and she continued, addressing Hinode directly, "You won't recover, you know. Your... linker core... has been nearly annihilated. Shalyan is doing its best to both preserve and damn you, it seems... but then again it doesn't truly belong to you. Not even to her." The eyes returned to Hinode and perhaps she might have stiffened or shuttered if she had the capability, "We both know its true wielder... I need it to slay her all the same. Her shadow, and the twisted light that cast it forth."
Hinode tried to speak once more and was rewarded this time with a dry rasp. Her eyes were becoming increasingly clear and now her cold amethyst stare had hardened nearly into flint as she gazed at this stranger. Something entered the blood-filled pools as this occurred. Some emotion Hinode had no hope of understanding or interpreting, only acknowledging. When next the stranger spoke, her voice was even heavier. "Oh I know what you must be thinking. It is the only way to slay either. To pull Shalyan forth though... I ask you, is revenge really all that important? Perhaps the family that lives is more a treasure to be tended than the one that died."
At last, Hinode found it in herself to speak – a single word. "Who?"
She was rewarded with a bitter smile. "Who? Who indeed? It is a question I can never seem to answer. I was not who I was told I am, but neither am I who I thought I was. My name was never mine, and yet the world insists it is... Hinode Seitsu, the Dawn over the Sea, the Sight... I am Wrath, but I am also Solace. I am a wanderer, you see, who has been tethered to a single point. A single being. I am not myself, but you may call my by name all the same... you know me after all." The glowing hand released something, and Hinode's eyes widened in surprise. "But then again, I do not even know myself. Perhaps I never have."
Red eyes drifted away from the door. "We don't have much time so I ask you... do you want to live, or do you want to succeed?" The stranger ('Or was she, really?') had an almost pleading expression on her face... It did not affect Hinode's answer in the slightest.
The red-haired enigma closed her eyes and took a breath. "That is a wish I understand so... don't worry. Sel tyr si vi." Hinode closed her eyes and lost vision of her companion. "Your wait is over..."
"It's not easy, is it? To know everything that's going to happen... maybe that's how she felt. Eb et sollum."
Author's Note (Rim): Yeah... been forever and a day we know.
Author's Note (Tae): Things will hopefully make sense in the sequel (and prequel). In the mean time, care to share conjecture?