Hunter x Hunter: The Truth is There

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As they finally came to a stop, Recette took a bit of a breath, before giving the area a look. Compared to the dim outdoors and Muyomi's den, it was a bit...clean. To the point of being a bit off putting. Looking up at the window, and the silhouettes beyond, Recette felt hairs prick up on the back of her neck at the sensation of being watched from above. That said, despite what she knew of Agesis, or perhaps because of what little she did know, she was already a off balance.

Turning to Kyoko, she asked, "Er, is that them up there?"
 

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Kyoko turns to face Recette proudly, "Yup. They like to stay up there, but that is definitely them. Sorry that you can't get closer, but Mom and Dad don't usually talk directly to anyone. I think Muyomi is the only person who ever got to see them face to face." Kyoko turns to look at Muyomi, but Muyomi seems distraught by the statement, so Kyoko just refocuses her attention on Recette. Placing her arm around Recette's waist, Kyoko smiles, waiting to be addressed by her parents.

After fiddling with a few instruments, the voice of the mother fills the room. You can tell that Kyoko is related since the voices have a striking similarity, even though it isn't quite as spooky as that of the twins. "Hello, you must be the special friend we heard about. I'm happy to see that Kyoko has finally picked a suitable life partner. We were always so worried that she would end up with Muyomi." The father coughs, gesturing to the mother to get to the point. "So, ummm, anyways. I'm sure that you have plenty of questions about everything that is going on, and I certainly want to talk about your reward for aiding Kyoko in such an exceptional fashion. Is there anything you'd like dear?"
 

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Kyoko hasn't even seen her parents!? Recette was surprised that she was still getting surprised at these things.

Reciprocating Kyoko's closeness, Recette raised a hand, intended for Kyoko's shoulder, but it instead found its way onto her head.

Curtly, she answered, "I thought I explained it to your employee, but no thank you." Taking a breath, she glanced over to Kyoko and Muyomi for a moment, before daring, "Unless we could meet face to face and have a normal conversation..."
 

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The wife speaks apologetically, "I understand your concerns, but I'm afraid that isn't possible at the moment." The father speaks curtly into the mic, "We both have contracted a very serious illness, and have set ourselves into quarantine to avoid exposing others." The mother continues, "Although I'm sad that I can't do anything for my sweet Kyoko's first love, I'll respect your wishes. However, if I could be so brazen, I would like to ask for the opportunity to gain your trust."
 

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Recalling what the employee said about what the 'Halo' company did, Recette furrowed her brow, before letting out a sigh, and shaking her head.

Bringing her fingers up to massage the bridge of her nose, Recette said, "Your employee didn't get it either. There are more reasons to turn down a reward than 'trust'. Not only do I not want your group tied up in any future business I may or may not be involved in, I don't want or need anything, and I still don't think I did anything worth getting any kind of a reward for. Kyoko and my License were more than enough of a reward." Stopping herself, Recette blinked at her own wording, but correcting it would only make it awkward.
 

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The mother sighs audibly, "Well, if you feel that way, then I could hardly push the issue further. But, surely you wanted something out of this meeting? It is rare for both me and my husband to have the time to make a personal audience. Or would you prefer that we simply left you all to your own devices? If you are antsy to leave, we could provide transportation right away."
 

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"I do have a question..."

Slipping away from Kyoko, Recette removed her hand from herh ead, before taking a breath. Planting her feet, she began, "Why? Why this 16 year Agesis experiment? Why your kids? What's the point of all this?"

Stopping, for a moment, she took a breath, before continuing, "That's more than a question but I just don't get it. Is a Hunter License really that important? Couldn't you have put all these resources into...being better parents!?"

Biting back her tongue, she caught her frustration, but it was too late.
 

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The father speaks harshly, but succinctly, "Of course it wouldn't have been worthwhile for a single hunter's exam license. The mere fact that they are our children practically guarantees that they would be capable of passing the hunter's exam. Both me and my wife have a hunter's exam license. However, the problem lies in something more universal. For so many, no matter how much one tries, the hunter exam is an impossibility. No amount of hard work can compensate for a lack of natural talent. This becomes even more clear as one reaches beyond the Hunter's exam, and truly begins life as a Hunter. Agesis seeks to level the playing field by guaranteeing that children will be born with the baseline necessary for greatness." The mother interjects, "There is nothing parents want more than securing a future of success for their children." The father continues, "However, we couldn't possibly run such a risky experiment on someone else's children. And so, we decided to use our own as the proof of concept. We needed to show the world what was possible. And so, we gave Kyoko the world's first taste of genetic engineering. Had she been born an only child, she would have been the world's first perfect child. And yet, even with an imperfect treatment, she was still leaps and bounds above the other candidates. While our way of raising Kyoko may have been unorthodox, she has grown up happy and successful."
 

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Recette winced, her fingernails digging into her palm as she tightened her fist. "You're wrong..."

Raising her fist, she grabbed her wrist with her other hand, steadying herself. Taking a breath, she said, "I don't think that's enough. Just being born. Well, maybe it is for some people, but not Kyoko. She's strong and fast and smart. She had all the training and resources you could give her, but there are some things you could never train her for." Nostrils flaring, she cried, "Kyoko would have destroyed herself before she even got to the Exam because of you! And if I wasn't there, she would have! Me! I'm as normal as they come but I still managed to become a Hunter without any of Kyoko's strength or speed or training or resources. I got a lot of help, sure, but...it wasn't random. They were helping me because of me! I'm still not sure if they were right to but I'm not going to look that gift horse in the mouth because I have things I want to do."

Mind racing, she took a breath, before continuing, "I don't know what you count as 'success' but... I know Kyoko would succeed at anything she wanted to do, but I think all she wants is to be with her sister. Hunters are Hunter's because they're trying to, well, hunt something, right? You should know! You're trying to get the things you want, but have you ever really considered what your kids want? Or are they just...numbers on a spreadsheet to show some investor!?"
 

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The father slams his palms onto a nearby desk, the microphone rattles before his rage-filled voice begins to steam, "Of course I've considered what my children want. That is why I stay out of their lives!" The mother places a hand on the father's back, taking the mic back, "Dear, I hope you understand that we think of Kyoko and Muyomi as more than an experiment. The data they provide is important, but there isn't a parent in the world that doesn't feel love for their children. The way that parents raise their children is where we diverge. Recette. This may get awfully personal, but it is simply difficult to explain this to a child without referencing their own parents. Recette, I believe that because you were raised by your father and were socialized with other children, you inevitably came to share a set of cultural values without ever choosing them for yourself. Because as a child everyone seeks love and approval, they end up picking up values unwittingly. As adults, we've already developed a sense of the world, and it becomes near impossible to change. When both me and my husband grew up, we were spellbound by the previous violent realities of our abusive parents. As much as we've done to escape: becoming hunters, forming a medical company, stopping wars before they start, saving countless lives... we still found ourselves spellbound to what we've grown up with. I knew as much when Muyomi came to visit us... We cannot be allowed to intervene in their lives. They need to be able to decide for themselves what to make of the world. We don't want ourselves nor anyone else to place thoughts in their heads about the correct way to live. But, now they are of the age where I trust them to introduce themselves to new ideas. Recette, you come from a culture, but Kyoko and Muyomi are culturally pure. Since you've been dating, haven't you noticed Kyoko express ideas that you found yourself hung up on, even though there wasn't a logical basis for your reaction?"
 

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"Well, that's...there was...that's not the point!"

"Justify it all you want, but to me all it sounds like is that you've gotten what you need out of them and are just throwing them away! I mean, if you didn't want to intervene in their lives then...then maybe you shouldn't have been involved with them from the start!" Lowering her head, she paused for a moment before shaking it, saying, "You don't...you can't just...it doesn't work like that."

"You've already...what's the word. 'Show by example'? No, but...it's just that, you've already put an idea of how the way they should live their lives in their heads. Not on purpose, I guess, but that doesn't mean it's not because of you."
 

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The father speaks coldly into the mic, "Well, if you've got us pegged, why not just have nothing to do with us then? If you want an apology, you won't find one here. Muyomi turned out to be an expert hacker, and Kyoko is a hunter. Our method of parenting worked."
 

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Under the father's harsh words, Recette became defiant, straightening her back and crossing her arms over her chest. "I don't know about what you did with Muyomi. Not like it matters, since you don't pay attention to her anyway. But Kyoko didn't become a Hunter because she wanted to! She did it because she wanted Muyomi. She's wanted other things, sure but..."

Turning to Kyoko, Recette asked, "Er, did you ever really want to be a Hunter?"
 

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Kyoko seems startled, coming out of a rare moment of truly concentrated thought. Kyoko looks down, "I didn't at first. I just wanted to fight. I wanted to fight, come home to my sister, and then just stay with her forever and just forget about the rest of the world. But, then I met you, and it changed."
 

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Knocked off guard, Recette gawked for a moment, before turning a robust shade of red.

"Oh, uh, erm..." Recette stammered, before clearing her throat. Gaze hardening as she imagined the father's face, Recette continued, "Well, if you thinking making Kyoko do something she never really cared for instead of actually thinking about what she wants is good parenting then I don't know what to tell you. And Muyomi's doing amazing things with her hacking but she has to work around the restrictions you've put on her. Do you even know what she's accomplished? You know more about what little I've done than all the great things she's done!"

"The point is...if they're successful...no, they will be successful. But it won't be because of you."
 

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The father gives a big, hearty laugh at the display, "Recette, it looks like you've won over Kyoko fair and square. I can't say that I understand what you think we've done with these children, but I'll trust that you'll become a big part of their future. Unfortunately, we've exhausted our time together. This won't be the last conversation you'll have with us mind you, but there are plenty of other people in need of our research." The mother calls out endearingly, "Kyoko, Muyomi, whenever you are ready to leave the island, just head to the port. You'll have to follow the standard protocol, but after that you'll be able to go wherever you want."

The clear screen is replaced by a white panel that folds over it, and the audio feed goes quiet. Both of the twins seem quiet and reflective. Kyoko has a soft smile on her face, looking towards Recette's hand. Muyomi, on the other hand, has a rather difficult to decode expression. Even despite the words of their mother, neither of them had yet considered heading to the port.
 

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Recette blinked, stunned as the metaphorical rug had been ripped from under her.

Looking between Kyoko and Muyomi, she blathered, "Wh-what just happened?" A healthy dose of self-awareness overcoming her, she grimaced, before the color red returned to her face. "A-aside from all the...embarrassing things I think I said..."
 

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Muyomi shakes her head, "Trust me, you aren't alone. This put a lot of things into perspective for me. And well, you did say some pretty embarrassing things."
 

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"Auuugh..." Recette pouted, before stating, "Your parents are...weird. Let's go."

Looking over to Muyomi, she said, "Do you think we can get help getting all your stuff packed up?"
 

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Muyomi shakes her head, "I'll have to leave it all behind. We can probably get away with taking the clothes, but the rest is too trackable. In fact, just to be safe, I'd like to get all new clothes once we hit land and burn what we have. Then I'll need to build a credible identity for me and Kyoko..." At this point Muyomi is just thinking out loud, rambling about her personal checklist. Meanwhile, Kyoko tugs her along back towards Muyomi's room. Cheerfully, "Recette, its late. Want to sleep in then leave in the morning?"
 
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