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Praying to the Lonely Star
Ethan Villa and the Invasion

"You're sick."

Eagle looked incredulously at the doctor. "You mean worse than we thought?"

The doctor nodded solemnly. "It's a rare disease. Not many people have it. I recommend that you get yourself a trustworthy second in command for the invasion. I don't think you'll be able to survive any longer than three to seven days once the coughing starts. And even that I think will start very soon."

Eagle frowned and glanced at the floor. "I see. How bad are they?"

"Terrible. You will cough blood. The cause is probably the atmosphere, with the pollution and everything. Your mother died because of frail lungs. I wouldn't be surprised if you inherited that weakness, and with how much time you spent around the mechas and the real outside..."

"You don't need to explain." Eagle smiled at the doctor. "Please do me a favor."

"Yes?"

"Don't tell my father or any of the NSX crew members... and especially not Geo."

"But, sir--"

"Promise me. I won't ask anything more from you if you do just that."

The doctor stared at Eagle, anguish torn in his eyes. After only a fleeting moment, he sighed. "I promise. This information is strictly confidential."

"Thank you."

~ + ~

"Good luck, son," said the president, Eagle's father. "This may be the key to cure the pollution."

Eagle smiled. "Goodbye, Father."

"Eagle!" called Geo from the top of the ramp. "We'll miss our launch time!"

Eagle waved to his father and climbed up the ramp. When he reached the inside of the ship, the ramp folded and closed behind them, sealing the NSX closed. Geo, a giant and burly young man, greeted him.

"Are you sure you want to go through this?" he asked, concern yielding in his eyes.

Eagle nodded. "We can't turn back now. Is everybody onboard and accounted for?"

Geo narrowed his eyes. Eagle grinned off any doubt that would be apparent on his face. Geo shook his head and stormed towards the bridge.

"Yes. All the crew members are aboard."

Eagle followed. "Then let's go to Cephiro."

***

"Ethan. Hey, Ethan. Wake up."

Ethan groaned. While his consciousness congregated, he realized that he was not in a bed but instead slumped over a stack of papers with his hand as a substitute pillow. He slowly opened his eyes and was met with a pile of notebooks and textbooks.

"Ethan, wake up."

Ethan pulled his head up from the table and saw Goro standing over him worriedly. Goro sighed.

"Finally," said Goro. "It's almost eleven o'clock."

"In the morning?" asked Ethan. It was rather bright in the kitchen, where he had been doing his homework.

Goro shook his head. "Nighttime, buddy. You've been studying in here since four o'clock. You had to be asleep for at least three hours. You should've came with us to the movie."

Oh, the light's on.

Ethan smiled tiredly and waved a hand. "Nah, I needed to catch up," he said. He knew better than to take advantage of being a new kid at Kemui Koyama, so he had to learn everything that he hadn't learned back in California.

"Catch up on what?" asked Goro. He grabbed an opened textbook and skimmed it over. "You're fairly good at Math, English should be a piece of cake for you, and--" Goro turned the book over and looked at the cover. "--Physics is your best subject! What are you doing, needing to study this?"

"I had homework in that class," said Ethan. He snatched his textbook back. "And I'm not familiar with the Japanese usage of all the terms yet."

"That would explain that dictionary," Goro noted. Ethan nodded and closed his books. "You're going to bed?"

"Might as well," said Ethan. He stuffed the books into his schoolbag, grabbed, and walked out of the kitchen. "Night."

"Night," replied Goro.

As Ethan slugged to his room, he went over the two dreams he had. They were very short, shorter than usual, but he had two in one nap. That was something new. Normally he had only one dream that went on for at least ten minutes before he woke up. And normally, Ethan would merely enjoy the dreams and wake up like he had just finished reading a short scene from a book. In fact, he loved to point out ironies, like how his initials and Eagle's initials were identical and how much alike he was to Eagle.

But for the past few days, ever since after he met Umi and Takao and everybody else, he began to figure out what was going on.

Am I really a reincarnation of Eagle Vision? he thought. Everything matches up... and reincarnation does exist, but...

Even so, at least I know how Eagle died.

But it was eerie. He couldn't remember it, but he knew that his mother had died from lung cancer. Eagle's mother apparently died because she had weak lungs and couldn't survive long in Autozam's atmosphere. Eagle had inherited the lung stability of his mother. Ethan could hardly remember his father, which is why ever since he discovered who Eagle's father was he considered him his own. In both the dreams and real life, Ethan had no clue about the future of both of the men.

Eagle died because of a rare disease, Ethan thought as he walked into his room and toppled on his bed. Will I share that same fate?

***

Dream 1

~ + ~

Dream 2

~ + ~

Dream 3

***

Ethan buried his head into something soft and nuzzled his way deeper into the cushion. From seeing a tinge of red to pure black, he knew that it was morning, but he thought it was too early to be up. Yet out of curiosity, Ethan lifted his head and opened an eye. The clock read six forty five. The sun was up rather early for an autumn morning, unless it was in the afternoon. He would have been asleep for an entire day.

But it was too bright in his room for it to be evening. There was no tints of orange and crimson. It was morning. Sunday morning, if Ethan could remember correctly, so he didn't have to worry about school.

Ethan rolled over to his back and stared at the ceiling. There was no noise in the house, so everybody still must be asleep. Actually, if he knew Goro at all, he would have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning doing playing video games or something. He probably hadn't gone to bed until just one or two hours ago. Ethan's foster mother and father should be awake any moment, though.

Meanwhile, Ethan went over his dreams. He hadn't taken them seriously until Goro mentioned the connection between reincarnates and dreams or until Takao asked him about it.

"Do you believe in reincarnation?" Takao had asked.

"I... I don't know, really."

"It's a simple yes or no question."

Ethan laughed. "Not if you grew up with Catholic beliefs like me. But now... I don't know. I've been having these weird dreams... and..."

"Dreams? Go on."

Ethan hadn't told her much. He only explained how he acted in his dreams and mentioned the name of the world he had been from: Autozam. Takao didn't seem to be satisfied with just that, but after school the next day, yesterday, she hadn't approached Ethan at all. There were glances being thrown between Takao and Takuya, but Ethan didn't ask them anything. Even if he wanted to, Goro and Umi dragged him all over Hokkyokukou, the district in Tokyo where the rich lived to show him around. He had no chance to talk to anybody from his own free will.

But if he was a reincarnation of Eagle Vision, why did Eagle wish to be reincarnated? Ethan assumed that was how reincarnation worked. Goro had mentioned that Aphrodite and Ares were reincarnated to see how being on the mundane plane would affect their relationship. But what was Eagle's purpose, if he had any?

Umi had reappeared again--this time still with the other two girls. It was odd, though. Umi looked younger in the dreams, but not too much younger, and Eagle had to be at least five years older than her at that point.

That was one reason why Ethan was doubting the reincarnation theory. The other reason was that it really had been Umi. It couldn't be some coincidence that the girl in his dreams had the same exact name as the girl who his foster brother and Takuya fancied.

The other two girls were Hikaru Shidou and Fuu Hououji. Hikaru was the girl with the red hair that Ethan had seem so much of before noticing Umi or Fuu in his dreams.

But remember, Ethan, Umi looked like she recognized you when you two first met.

So maybe he was a reincarnation of Eagle? Or maybe it was just some odd coincidence.

But Hikaru seemed to be the more prominent girl in his dreams. Eagle must have been more acquainted with her than any of the other girls. Then again, Eagle did kidnap Hikaru...

Ethan had no idea what happened after that. A moment of nothing, then all of a sudden, Eagle began showing the first signs of the illness he contracted back on Autozam: coughing blood. And Ethan could only imagine Eagle's dismay when he had done it right in front of Geo.

Geo hadn't reacted the way Ethan initially thought he would act. Okay, yes, he did panic, but afterwards, it was almost like Geo promised Eagle to never tell anybody.

Nope, not what Ethan had expected at all. Now he was confused as to why Eagle hadn't wanted to tell Geo.

Ethan's eyes drooped, and once again, he was asleep.

***

Dream

***

"GORO!"

"Sorry, Mom!"

"You are not sorry! Get back over here and clean up this mess!"

"Awwww... but Mom..."

"Are you a high school senior or a little first grader? DO IT NOW!"

Ethan found himself laying on his back, but he refused to open his eyes. Maybe if he went back to sleep now, he could continue that dream with the FTO and GTO. It had been a very exciting scene to watch.

Ignore them, Ethan scolded. Ignore them. Get back to sleep... sleep good...

The last thing Ethan heard was his foster father scolding Goro for disobeying his mother.

***

Dream

***

..........