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319 Family Reunion, Tying Up a Loose End Before the Terror Ensues

 Day 48 - 1:02 PM - Military Residences, Bay City, Pasay City, Metro Manila

"Seriously, you don't have to cry like that. You look like a elementary school girl that got bullied by her classmates."

Mark said with a bitter smile while he stood beside the door of the room.

Hearing that, Odelina pouted but she could not refute it either. She was currently sitting on the edge of her bed beside Mei who was hugging her while she wiped the traces of her tears with her reddish eyes.

It took more than fifteen minutes to appease Odelina while Mark and Mei told what really happened. Odelina felt displeased as she worried a lot for the circumstances that was actually under control and it was just everyone was left out and used as tool to start a heinous plan. She also realized why the senator was too early to use what happened to pressure the military. It was because he knew everything that happened from the start as the mastermind.

'At least, the young miss is not really in any trouble.'

Odelina thought as she tried to smile. She also looked towards the two others that her masters brought with them, a fairy and a little girl. Although she was surprised by the existence of the fairy, her distressed heart failed to show that emotion.

THUMP! THUMP!

The door was knocked while they were still in their conversation which made Odelina worried. Her masters said that they will hide themselves for a while and no one else should know they were here. However, Mark only put his index finger over his lips and slowly opened the door while standing behind it.

There, two little girls entered. The older one stood behind the younger and was pushing her to go into the door faster and closed the door.

Iola had Keeper's memories and ability allowing her to know that Mark had appeared because of the [PsyCrystal] on his arm. Knowing that Mark had already returned, she brought Abbygale who was also sad about Mei's abduction. Although she still had the calm expression she always had, her eyes were red from crying too much.

"Gale, look."

Abbygale was looking down at the floor this whole time so Iola had to urge her to look forward. When Abbygale looked towards the bed where Odelina and Mei sat, her calm face turned into surprise and glee as she literally charged forward.

"MAMA!"

Mei immediately caught her. Luckily, the distance of the door and the bed was not far and Abbygale was not able to gather more momentum and speed or it could have hurt both of them. The little girl's face was immediately stained with tears of joy. Abbygale started rubbing her face on Mei's body like a cat while the latter tried to pacify the little girl with a gentle smile on her face.

On the other hand, Iola who was also an accomplice of the plan stood by the door and looked at the person she expected to be here.

"Your Maj- OW!"

Iola tried to bow down and greet Mark in the way that people of Eriellis greeted their king but she was not able to finish as her forehead was flicked without mercy.

"I already told you that you are not Keeper so you don't have to do that."

Iola, who held her forehead with both hands and with teary eyes, looked up to Mark with a pout.

"Who am I?"

Mark lowered his body and asked face to face with Iola.

"Pa... Papa..."

Iola said with embarrassment. It was then that her head was caressed gently. Finally unable to hold back her feelings as a child, she hugged Mark and started to cry.

"Papa... Papa..."

Receiving the embrace, Mark smiled. Although he had Freed's memories and Iola had keeper's, they were still different people and the father and daughter should not become them. It was different from reincarnation. Although the memories were in their mind now, it was not their own at the same time.

Abbygale noticed her older sister hug someone behind and was surprised. She stared at Mark who also turned his head towards her. Abbygale looked at Mark trying to recollect her memories and her eyes grew wider. Mei slowly let the little girl go and allow her to go towards Mark with slow steps as things happening right now registered in her young mind.

"Papa?"

Abbygale spoke with uncertainty and a warm hand was placed unto her head.

"Took you long enough." Mark said with a bitter expression. "You little girls is the one who forced me to be your "Papa" but you forget me?"

They only spent time together for a week at the start of the outbreak and were far apart for more than a month already. Mark could not blame the little girl. Iola was a bit different since her mind became more mature due to Keeper's memories but Abbygale was still a normal little girl in mind and heart.

Feeling the familiar warmth in those hands, tears started to fall even more from Abbygale's eyes as jumped in to join Iola in his embrace.

"Papa!"

The little girl cried and started rubbing her face on Mark's chest as if trying to mark him once more.

On the side, Amihan was teary eyed as she watched the two lonely children reunite with Mark and Mei. Miracle on the other hand seemed to have another thing on mind as she stared at Iola and Abbygale.

Miracle then walked towards Mark and jumped to cling on his neck.

"Father? Papa?"

The [Blood Child Princess] was confused.

"Papa?"

"Papa...?"

Iola and Abbygale noticed Miracle and stared with both askance and confusion.

The three then started to call unto Mark as he was not responding.

"Papa?"

Iola looked at his face trying to ask if something was wrong.

"Papa!"

Abbygale called out as he was not saying anything.

"Papa?"

Miracle looked at the two girls trying to know why they were calling her father "Papa".

Hearing that word being repeated up the nth time, Mark turned to Mei and Odelina who was watching.

"I know that I should be happy about this but..." Mark's face turned serious. "When did my princesses got replaced by aliens?"

The atmosphere in the room froze.

Several seconds later, Odelina could not hold it anymore and started laughing. All her stress and distress was washed away seeing Mark's predicament as he was surrounded by cute "Papa" aliens." Mei smiled with a warm expression but the three girls could not accept being called as aliens making them call out to Mark even more but now with displeased tones.

Luckily, Amihan had contained the sound inside this room or this boisterous event was enough to alert even the floors above and below the room they were currently in.

***

Day 48 - 3:22 PM - Military Laboratories Intensive Care Unit, Bay City, Pasay City, Metro Manila

One of the busiest places in Bay City, the laboratory held the most important things in this settlement. There were infected specimens, research materials, high-end laboratory equipment and the fruits of labor of the scientists working hard in this place.

On the first floor however, there was an area that served as Bay City's only military hospital to treat emergencies. Although they should be kept in a separate building as the laboratory held a lot of secrets and even dangerous chemicals, the building that would serve as the next hospital was still in preparation. Another thing was that a lot of unexpected circumstances could happen due to the presence of Mutagen and that was why the people brought here needed to be near the laboratory as much as possible.

A smaller section of the hospital area was made into an Intensive Care Unit. Now however, there was only one person in the ICU right now.

At this time, a black mist moved across the hallways. The mist was on plain sight and should have been easy to spot because the walls, the floors and the ceilings of the laboratory were all painted in white. There were also people in the hallway. The doctors, scientists, assistants and other personnel were moving back and forth the hallways. Nevertheless, none of them were able to see the mist that was currently invisible. On the cameras installed on the laboratory however, a slight distortion of light was detected but it was not that noticeable.

"Is this the right way?"

Mark whispered to Mei as the two materialized from the mist. Of course, they were still invisible in the eyes of the people around.

"Yes. I've been here several times. It's just that she's placed in the most secure part of the building."

Mei replied.

"Well then, let's go."

POOF!

The two vanished and the mist continued to move in fast speed.

Soon, they managed to find their target destination. The room was being guarded by several people dressed in military fatigues. Looking at these soldiers, they were the elite among the soldiers. In the eyes of the people, it could be said that it was a waste just to make these skilled soldiers guard a room in the ICU but if they knew who was inside, they would shut up immediately.

Since the room was tightly sealed, Mark and Mei waited for a while until a doctor came to check the patient inside. Using the distortion in space, Mark and Mei slipped into the room.

There, they saw the person they were looking for.

"She looked thinner than the last time I saw her."

Mark said while looking at the patient on the bed.

"It's already more than a month after all."

Mei replied as she caressed the patient's hair.

The girl on the bed was no other than Angeline Perez, General Perez's only daughter. To protect her friend, Paula Mae Clarence, from the attack of the unknown when they left Bacoor City Mall, she injured herself severely and ended up in coma despite her wounds already healed from the evolution of her body. Her vital signs were normal but she never woke up.

Up until now, no one was able to pinpoint the cause and the study was still ongoing.

Since she was a good friend that stood to protect Mei back in the mall, Mark would not hesitate to help her either.

Mark touched the unconscious girl's forehead and his hands glowed with milky white light. The moment he entered the room, he knew the problem as his empathic ability detected Angeline's consciousness.

As she was in great pain and shock during the time her body evolved, her consciousness was not able to handle it and entered deep sleep while weakened.

Of course, the milky white light would not be enough to wake her up. It could only nourish her sleeping soul.

Mark then made two crystals appear in front of him. One was an empty [Mental Crystal] and the other was a [Physical Crystal] with a black orb inside. Seeing the crystal, Mei was surprised. She already knew the purpose of the crystals since Mark did not hide it from her and that was why the reason for her surprise was different.

"Gege, isn't that..."

"It is. The crystal that came from Black Devil... Since Angeline seems to always get hurt when protecting someone, I'll give her this one. I already had a lot to choose from after all. I won't mind just giving this."

Mark replied.

The [Physical Crystal] in his hands now contained that black skin transformation that was even able to block bullets. It came from Black Devil, the right hand man of Chameleon who orchestrated Mei's suffering at that time and was also the culprit behind her abduction several years ago which almost took Mark and Mei's lives.

Soon, light enveloped the room when the two crystals entered Angeline's body. The heart rate monitor detected the sudden change in her body and started beeping irregularly.

The sudden light in the room and the change of beeping sound from the heart rate monitor alerted the soldiers guarding outside. Some of them hurriedly stormed into the room while a few immediately left to call a doctor.

Mark and Mei used that opportunity to slip out leaving the panicked soldiers inside.

There was no need to stay here as Mark was sure that the crystals would not do any harm aside from the little suffering as the changes in her body commenced.

Trying this loose end, Mark and Mei smiled at each other. Holding hands together, they vanished from the laboratory in a puff of black mist.

Now that the good thing passed, the terror in Bay City was about to ensue.