This is the canon prequel for DeadRaiser's Dust to Dust and an opposite universe to that of Dead Redemption

Written by Violetofen4.


Hello guys, this is one of my newest works and ideas. I thought it was time to leave the wonderful, glittering and perfect universe of Dead Redemption and get a little more realistic:

Life is not easy, and Richtofen and Kramer both need to see that by now.

Echos are flashes of life that waver in and out of the mind and come out as something brighter than it seems, but in the end, it all comes crumbling down into a pit of darkness.

And darkness you'll see.

Prologue - Richtofen

First, I'm not going to start this off as "Once Upon a Time." There is no princes or fairies or noble kings in the real world.

This is reality. It's not so happy.

Let's start this off about my family.

Where can I begin? My mother's name was Carlene. She had bright green eyes and red hair, which was unusual for Germans of the time. She was the quiet but forgiving kind of person. We were in the middle class but leaned more towards poor than rich. 

My father's name was Aldric, he wasn't as nice. He was stern, and looked more like how I look today. High raised cheekbones, furiously sharp eyes, and chestnut brown hair. He was stern and cold on bad days, but the other time he always spent time with me.

I was born on January 1st, 1911, in the city of Berlin. My name's Edward, Edward Richtofen. I was a bright child, as everyone told me. I started reading at age 3, and by the time I was 4, I was reading Moby Dick. I was marveled by all who knew me.

I had to take care of my younger siblings. They were twins. Antoinette and Elric. I was dearly close to my sister, Elric was spoiled as a rat. I was the only one allowed to go to the park at my age, just to get sunshine really. I'd sit and read a book, or kick a soccer ball around, but really I had no friends.

Not yet.

Prologue - Kramer

I was a child prodigy as my parents told me. I was born on May 23rd, 1911, in the city of B Wismar. We transferred to Berlin when I was two. My family was the rich class, but I certainly was not spoiled.

My mother's name was Mieline, but she was not born German, she was Austrian by birth. My father's name was Alfonzo, and I had a younger sister named Julia.

Of course, I was born smart. I loved books but that wouldn't happen until I was about 10.

I often went down to the park with Julia and my mother often. My father was busy at work. I grew up loving my family and respectful of my friends. 

Most of the time, my only job was to clean the dishes. I started the day I could hold a plate in my hands. Julia dusted the house. We were often very busy.

I became friends with Ludvig Maxis at a very young age. His family was also very wealthy and he was very outgoing. We nicknamed him The Scientist for his love of science. We were all close.

Close enough to be friends.

Chapter 1 - Richtofen

I sat alone at the park. It was sunny, 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and there was no breeze to blow the pages from my book. Every other kid was at the playground.

I was reading Newton's Laws of Motion's History and I was halfway through. I was extremely shy and what you'd call a bookworm. Quiet and nimble, like a mouse, who barely crept away from the shadows unless into the warmth. My mother didn't take me to the park, she told me I was responsible enough to go alone. And that I was.

My mother had several friends who were rich. That's because she was disowned by her wealthy family, but her friends stayed true. My father was often at work, he was a scientist of the time.

"Hey kid!"

Three boys were standing in front of me within seconds. I stared on into my book, ignoring them.

"Why don't you ever play?" one of them sneered. He had blonde hair and blue eyes, and smirked.

"Alois, you're being too headstrong, I bet he's some foreign exchange kid," another boy cruelly joked.

"Am not," I growled back. All three giggled, and I put my book down and glared at them.

"Aww, the pipsqueak is going to fight back! How cute!" the third one whispered. The other two laughed again.

I slapped him across the cheek. He staggered, then glared.

"No one messes with Kramer von Frederick!" he roared back, then balled his hands into fists. Suddenly, I realized how serious this was getting, and dodged his swinging hands. One landed me against my nose. It stung but I gritted my teeth. The other two boys just gasped and pointed. I reached for my book so I could run, but this kid, Kramer, was still trying to get back at me. I kicked him in the shin in self-defense, then burst into a sprint.

Then Kramer's mom came. She grabbed him and calmed him down while I cowered behind the bench.

Yes, the "oh-so-great" Edward Richtofen grew up a coward. Don't laugh, I didn't know better than to back down from fighting.

I just didn't know.

Chapter 2 - Kramer

"I had him mom, I had him!" I snapped. I tried to get out, but the boy was still cowering.

"That's my friend's son, and you shouldn't hit him," my mother replied back, struggling to keep me still.

"You two should go home," she added to Ludvig and Alois. The two boys timidly nodded and began to hurry in the opposite direction.

The boy had fearful green eyes and deep chestnut brown hair. For the first time ever, I calmed down.

"I'm sorry I hit you." I whispered.

He nodded in sorry too, but I don't think he was listening anymore. He hugged his book close to his chest, and began to walk away.

"What were you thinking, Kramer? I'm disappointed in you!" my mother asked me, whirling me around to her gaze.

"He just looked so...annoying," I knew my reply didn't make sense.

My mother sighed, but she wasn't yelling at me.

"Let's go back to the house before you get into anymore trouble."


Another day at the park.

I hadn't seen Richtofen for a long time now. It'd been a year or two and he never returned.

I considered whether or not that was my fault. Alois and Ludvig began to disappear too.

Alone I became, an outcast. But then a new boy started showing up at the park.

He had blonde hair and bright green eyes. Immediately I saw the same features of the shy boy I had seen that year before, but instead he held a sketch pad and a pencil. He was about 4, and his drawings weren't very good, but he was attempting to draw a tree.


He smiled at me. Had he just spoken to me?

"Hi,"I awkwardly replied. He put down his papers and turned to me.

"Sorry for staring, I thought I recognized you for a moment," I stammered in addition.

"Oh, is it because you know my brother?" The small boy asked. He was still smiling, I was expecting hostility.

"Perhaps. I'm Kramer Von Frederick, what's your name?"

"I'm Elric Richtofen, pleasure to meet 'ya!" he squeaked in reply. With his small hands, he picked up his pencil. Immediately I grew fond of this young boy.

"So... Are you the brother of Edward?" I hesitantly asked. Elric bobbed his head in a simple. Response.

"He got in a fight last year and stays insisde all the time. He doesn't like to play, he's a grump and always is looking out for my sister."

I'd met his sister several times in fact. She comes over often to play with Julia. She was a cute girl whose smile would always make you feel warm inside.

"Can you show me your drawings?" I asked, and that he did.

Chapter 3 - Richtofen

5th grade. I was transferred to a new school now because I was being picked on by my teacher roughly. And frankly I was looking forward to my new school.

But then I saw him. It had to be him, after all these tearful years. It was Kramer Von Frederick. He was talking to that rat, Alois Annelis.

"If it isn't the park kid himself?" Alois chortled.

I didn't reply when he blocked my way.

"You not going to talk, bookworm?" Alois persisted. He reached a hand at me to shove me, and I stomped down on his foot. He yelped and called for help. Kramer helplessly looked on as his other friends lunged at me. I fought back uselessly. Before I knew it, I couldn't move, my arms were seized by firm grips. I was face to face with the rat again.

Alois smirked.

"You think you're so tough, don't you, bookworm!?" he taunted. I started feeling sick.

He punched me right in the eye. I screamed and struggled again, but they grabbed me harder in a torment of laughter.

Kramer shoved Alois.

"Hey, back off, you've done enough. He hasn't done anything wrong, so leave the poor kid alone." he argued. Te grip was released, and I fell to the ground, where I scrabbled to collect my fallen, now soggy books.

Alois and his friends glared at us, then left. Kramer grabbed my hand and helped me to my feet. His eyes were dull of sympathy, abut I couldn't speak, my face felt like it was burning.

"I'm sorry I hit you when we were younger, I shouldn't have acted so rash. Lets get you fixed up before class." he suggested.

He got me a warm washcloth and helped me fix my slightly blackened eye.

This was the beginning of our friendship.

Chapter 4 - Kramer

Edward and I grew close. Ludvig remained one of my close friends, and he was kind to my newfound friend as well.

Richtofen was still incredibly shy and under spoken. He rarely said anything and he mainly stuck his nose in a book, a lot like me at home.

Speaking of home, I was there now.

My father was packing his things. He was going on a trip to the office and would be back in the morning, he said, there was an issue with a lab and it needed some backup. Then he was gone.

Patiently I awaited him in the morning, excited to hear the news and see him again.

All day long, he did not return.

I grew anxious over the next two weeks. Where could've he gone? Was he alright?

Knowing my father wouldn't want me to let his absense keep me from working hard, I contiuned my schoolwork diligently.

On the 15th day of his disappearance, I came home to see mom with an opened letter in her hand. Her face was drained of color, her eyes watery and I could see tear lines streaking her face.

"What's happened?" I asked, heading forward. She did not speak a word, nearly passed me the letter and left to her bedroom.

It read:

To the von Frederick family:

We are sad to tell you now that your beloved Alfonse von Frederick has been killed. There was an ambush set up at the lab and there were no survivors. We're sorry for your loss.

I couldn't take reading any more of it. I slammed it onto the kitchen counter and began to stiffly walk to my room. Behind me I slammed my door. My throat welled up with grief to the point I couldn't speak or cry out. There were only tears. I threw myself into my bed and pulled the covers over my head. I didn't want to talk to anyone.

I remained there for hours until Julia asked me if I wanted to play with her.

"Go away!" I snapped, and I heard her leave without question. I buried myself in my tears further, but I no longer had the will to go to school today.

Chapter 5 - Richtofen

Have I mentioned yet that I love books?

Once I start reading, I can never, ever put a book down. I love the action, adventure, or whatever it is. I read from Scientific Theorums to Great Wars, to, well, anything really. The librarians let me check out 5 books at a time because I'm always there.

The library, it's my comfort zone. Silence, no bullying, and nothing but books and relaxation. But today was different. Kramer and I usually read with Ludvig together.

Kramer wasn't here.

I sat for a long time waiting for him, but at the 5-minute mark to the starting bell, I left for class.

"Have you seen Kramer?" Ludvig asked. He sat directly next to me.

"No. He's never absent. Maybe he got sick?" I suggested.

Ludvig shook his head.

"I don't know, perhaps."

"Settle down!" my teacher spoke clear enough. Everyone's attention snapped on her.

I felt uneasy. Maybe she knew what's going on.

"As you all know, there was a massacre at one of the laboratories at the outskirts of our city two weeks ago," she began. She herself looked a little nervous. Alois shrugged and continued passing notes with his friend. Everything inside me burned with anxiety, and I hugged my book to my chest out of pure nervousness.

I didn't sense anything from Ludvig, he just had locked down his thoughts to prepare for the worst.

"One of our students here lost his father in this incident. Kramer von Frederick will be absent for the following next two weeks. We hope he'll recover from losing his kin. 

Now please finish your bellwork and turn it in at the front basket." she concluded. She didn't say another word, just returned to her desk. Something inside me broke, I think it was a nerve, but Ludvig and I exchanged a silent glance of horror. I swallowed and continued my work.

My father was a scientist in a nearby lab to where Kramer's father, Alfonse, had worked. I begin to wonder whether or not the same could've happened to my father.

After school I didn't go to the library. I went straight home and continued reading my books. I wasn't sure what'd happen if I were to try to visit Kramer, I don't know what he's feeling but I do know he must be grieving. My father and mother both return from work.

My mother chats about work and how one man needed amputation, my father talks about dinner. Niether of them mention the mass murder in hopes to keep the table cheery. Elric is drawing something and Antoinette is giggling on the floor with her doll. As usual I'm silent. It doesn't bother my parents in the way it would bother another's. I'm quiet and I like it, then no one can bother me.

No one.

Chapter 6 - Kramer

I was back to school. I was dull. I no longer ate with my mother and sister at dinner, I sat alone and sad in my room. 

Edward was excited to see me at first glance. Ludvig was relieved to see me. Alois no longer bothered me. I was a hollow shell of the person I had once been. Ms. Blumfiele doesn't get on me when I miss assignments, which is everyday. I don't do my homework. I don't have the will to do it anymore.

Edward is no longer quiet. I wonder, in my mind, what made him crack from the quiet and gleeful person he had once been. Had his father been killed, too? No, he hadn't. One thing that makes us different.

One week since my return to school. My A's are now C's. I don't care.

I watch Ludvig and Edward enjoying school. Edward's studying, round-eyed, with Ludvig on Chemicals and Matter. They're both so infatuated with the textbook I can still see fragments of him there. 

"Come study with us, Kramer! You don't want to be behind when we get to college!" Ludvig insists half-jokingly.

"No," I groaned, and continued reading The Wizard of Oz, which only managed to slightly dilute my grieving soul.

Edward frowned. He looked up from his studying, to my surprise.

"Kramer, that's not like you." he growled. 

That's not like you either, I would've replied, but I held my tongue and finished the page.

"Come on, stop loafing and get some work done! If you fail, what will happen when I'm alone in middle grades? Ludvig is transferring and I'll just be victim to Alois' torture and you'll be picked on for having to repeat 5th!" Edward persisted. I thought about it for a moment, shrugged, and began to get up.

"Don't give me that scowl. I didn't do anything to you, I didn't kill anyone, you don't have to act so cruel!"

I stared at him, still remarked by his words. I could see his eyes watering. He was desperate to help me.

"I don't want help, leave me alone!"

I stormed off, gritting my teeth. School was over anyways. I went home and stayed in my room, curled up in my corner and reading my novel still. I bit my lip in nervousness and fury.

Would've my father approved of my behavior? Would he want me to stay in school? 

No, I told myself, I'm just going to drop out.

But then what would happen to Ludvig, Edward, and my sister Julia? I snatch the family portrait hanging on the wall. I felt conflicted and troubled.

I already knew the consequences. I wouldn't have a life, I'd be an outcast. Edward might be seriously injured by Alois and be scarred for life, Ludvig would support him and both would be successful coming out of highschool. I already knew Edward had ADHD, that could contribute to a violent fight with Alois. If I weren't there for him as he is for me, it could end in chaos whether he goes to college or not.

And Julia? Julia is the calmest person I know, even after the loss of my father. She's working hard to get it past her. I marvel at her ability to process her emotions. I can't, and I won't.

Unless I could. I saw the hurt in Edward's face. I felt a bit worried. I had said something totally wrong when all he wanted to do was help me keep going.

And now I knew I had to. For my father.

Chapter 7 - Richtofen

Kramer recovered very quickly.

I was reading the news frequently for news of my father. He was out hunting some recent Russian Spies. The ones that killed Kramer's father were already caught and hanged. There had been another shooting. My father regularly wrote back home, but today at the usual time there was no letter, only a telegram.

I handed it to my mother and headed off to school. It was a warm sunny day, and I caught the bus just on time and hurried to my seat.

Kramer was watching me as if expecting some sad reaction.

"Hi Kramer," I mused, and sat down beside him.

He looked a bit baffled, but still smiled back....halfway.

"You aren't...sad?"

"Why would I be sad?"

Kramer had no reply. I could see him bite his lip.

"It's nothing, nothing. You see, my mother got a telegram a while ago, I was wondering if you got one." Kramer finally said nervously.

"Of course I did, it was addressed to my mother so I gave it to her and headed off for school. She was just opening it when I was out the door." I told him gleefully, but the way Kramer said "telegram" in fear bothered me. It's a telegram. What could possibly go wrong?

We got into class and did our work. Ludvig and Kramer were uneasy about me, I could plainly see their skittish behavior.

"Seriously!" I finally asked, "What is going on!?" They exchanged unwilling glances then turned to me during recess.

"You didn't see the news this morning, did you?" Ludvig started.

"No." I replied.

Another glance. My rage grew. My teacher cut off Kramer when he opened his mouth to speak.

"Edward! You are being checked out! Your mother has come to get you!" Even she sounded grim. I wondered if my mother knew. My two friends watched me from a distance in pity as my mother reached my hand at the end of the playground.

"Mom, why is everyone keeping away from me as if they're scared I'll explode? What's the matter?" I asked her as I got to my seat in the car.

"You are going to have a little time away from school, dear. Something terrible has happened." I could hear the grief in her voice, I was confused but didn't question her. I stared at my hands.

What terrible thing had happened?

I wasn't the only one taken from school in my family. Elric and An were already home, both were soundless and tear-smothered as my own mother. Again, I was in a deep and utter state of confusion.

She sat me down, and handed me the telegram. No words were needed to be said.

I scanned the page from top to bottom. The first words that caught my eye was the name of my father, and malicious. Malicious? I read it over again. Suddenly my head went numb. I dropped the telegram.

My father had stopped writing to me because he was dead.

I felt tortured from inside out, my stomach churned with grief and hatred, I felt something wet all over my reddened face. I think it's tears, but I cannot tell at this point. In my mind I was screaming, but on the outside I was still as a stone. My mother tried to hug me but I grasped my hands on the chair, my face showing no expression.

She coaxed my younger siblings away to their bedrooms.

Hours passed, I remained a stone. I did not eat dinner. I refused to leave the chair. I lost the power over myself to do anything. A around 10, my mother brought me a blanket, obliging to my decision to remain where I sat.

I did not sleep that night.

Chapter 8 - Kramer

Richtofen returns to school. Ludvig and I are extra careful about what we say to him, considering the bright and cheery friend I knew had died on the inside. I considered everything Richtofen had done for me in my situation. Now I felt dearly sorry for him. It was hard to watch your best friend be, well, a rock.

When I mean rock, he never showed any expression. He didn't move, he was stiff, and refused to speak. He didn't read anymore, he kind of sat there sulkingly.

"Edward, do you want to study with us?" I had the courage to ask him one day. No response.

"Do you want to study with us?" I repeated. No response.

"Are you listening?" No response.

I think my heart tore in two. The boy I had began to trust and care about, my best friend, no longer responded to my simple invites.

"Come on, please answer me!" No response.

"I know you're in there! Don't do this to me, don't do this to you!" No response.

Edward's eyes were hazy and dull. He showed absolutely no signs he was even hearing me.

"Edward, how do you think everyone else feels now that your are shutting them out! It's not my fault what happened, I didn't do anything to you! Please answer me!" No response.

"... Fine then, be that way! I won't give up hope, but since you can't even listen to me, I'm leaving, when you're ready to let me back in, let me know!" I snapped sullenly, and stalked over to Ludvig. I could see no emotion from Edward except a single tear roll down his cheek. He did nothing else.


The bell rang. School was out. Richtofen still showed no emotion. I began to follow him through the crowd but lost him.

I grew irritated. Even when I lost my father, I wasn't as shut out and void of feelings. Was I?

Soon enough I realize I lost track of him because he was found by someone else.

"If it isn't bookworm again? I told you not to cross through this path!" It was Alois! I hid around the corner, ready to defend my friend, but to my surprise Edward responded first.

"Shut up blondy, and take your It Club with you!" he snarled. Wait, when did he get so defensive.

"You're in for it!" Alois howled, hurtling himself at Edward. I took a step forward to block it, but my friend rolled to the side in a quick motion, stood back up, and lunged forward to a tree, climbing as quickly as possible. I was marveled at his skill. I had never seen him ever, ever do that before.

He grinned such an evil, wicked grin that I my heart sank. Was he trying to get attention?

"If you can catch me, ladybug!" Edward called back. He was on a thick, high up branch, where he leaned back casually. I stepped out of the shadows.

"Edward, if you aren't careful, you are going to fall and really get hurt!" I yelled at him. Alois questioningly stared at me, then turned to my friend as if flustered my his motives.

"So what!?" Edward retorted.

"I don't think I like this side of you! I'm sorry I would hate to see you more injured than you already are!" I snapped.

Edward again had no answer, then gave in sadly. He reached for a branch to climb back down, but suddenly, one of Alois' friends threw a rock which hit him right in the hand. Both Alois and I gave out a gasp. Desperately, Edward clutched for the branch again but it was too late.

He slipped.

Chapter 9 - Richtofen


Everything hurt. The branches hadn't completely broken my fall. I could smell my own blood, but couldn't move. I couldn't cry for help, or open my eyelids. Someone, two people actually, are partially lifting me to lie me down somewhere safely. I think it is Alois and Kramer.

"What the heck were you thinking, Sven!? You could've killed him!" Alois was for once extremely upset over my condition .

"He is still awake, probably just can't answers us. Get the teacher!" Kramer added. I heard loud footsteps quickly skid across the pavement. Kramer laid me gently in a patch of grass. I would thank him but I felt like the same stone I had at home, but this time not out of grief, but out of pain.

10 minutes pass. I think an ambulance comes, because I'm being lifted up again. My head begins to burn, and from something inside me I only have the strength to moan once.

I was out cold.


People like to think that it is a myth that those in comas can hear everything going around them.

It's true.

As I lay there in the hospital, my soul being tortured further, I listened to my mother and sibling weep over me, believing I would certainly die.

I listened to my teacher pray to be easier on me at school.

Alois promised not to beat me up anymore. Fat chance, he'll stop for a bit then start it up again!

Then finally Kramer came in. I could hear every movement he made. Clearly he walked here from school, which was about 5 miles. I would have congratulated him.

"I'm sorry I was too hard on you," he began tearily, "you're my best friend, Edward, please don't die. Please don't leave me here alone!" My stomach churned with grief and knowingness. I think he began to sit down as if he didn't want to sound as unhappy as he is.

The burning in my head began to ease. I could feel the blood flowing back into my fingers. My ribcage was still shattered though.

At first, my eyes squinted. Kramer was staring out the window mourningly, as if accepting my fate. I didn't have on my glasses, so everything was a little blurry. I blinked a couple times to clarify it. Every color was blinding, and suddenly I wonder how long I had been out.

"I'm not going anywhere, what's the fuss?" I scowled. He turned to me, his face lighting up.

"Everyone's so worried about you! Thank god you're okay!" he shrieked. I slowly sat up, reaching my hand for my glasses but had no returned response.

Kramer retrieved them for me. I put them back on, now everything seemed about right.

"Thanks," I mumbled, "but how long was I out?" I asked.

"A week. Everyone was so-"

"Worried, you already said that. If everyone who fussed over me was an orchestra you'd be the entire trumpet section." I sarcastically cut him off. 

"Well, I'm just glad you're okay."

I was thankful too.

Chapter 10 - Kramer

9th grade already. I couldn't believe how fast time had went by! Ludvig was back for our highschool year. Alois rarely bothered us anymore, especially his groupie Sven.

There were two girls in our class this year.

Lilith Peltz, all the way from Stuttgart, and Adelina Gustaf, from Nordhausen. Lilith clung to Sven like a burr on a wolf's pelt, and Adelina quietly stayed around Alois. I never truly heard her speak to very many people about anything but classwork except to Lilith.

These two girls were confusing in posture but somewhat beautiful. 

Of course, I didn't like them. They were skimpy popular girls in my eyes who only wanted attraction, especially the ditzy blonde Lilith. Edward, Ludvig and I stayed together.

At least until today.

We were in the hallway. Edward was querying a scientific notation with me when Lilith accidently ran right into him.

I turned in startlement, but Edward had already reached down for his books.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Let me help you with that!"

She reached down with her thin fingers and began to pick up his books. Edward didn't acknowledge I was right there. Then suddenly, by mistake, their fingers met on top of the final book left. They both drew back in startlement, faces turning red.

"I'll, um, thanks." he said stubbornly, tripping over his words.

"No problem," she muttered, and began walking away. He stood back up, his face a cherry.

"What was that about?" I said with a laugh.

"I don't..." he left off, and suddenly his eyes turned longing and dreamy, as if he had just glanced into the face of an angel.

"Let's get to class before we're late!"

I didn't say it aloud, of course, but I could see every affection inside him. He wasn't really listening to me anymore, I don't think, I could could plainly see he was falling for this girl.

Chapter 11 - Richtofen

"Oh, I'm sorry! Let me help you with that!"

Lilith and I both unknowingly reached for the same book. I felt her warm fingers meet mine. We both quickly jolted back. I could see her face turning red. I myself grew hot.

"I'll, um, thanks." I was lost for words, tripping over myself as I spoke.

"No problem," she muttered in a mumbling fashion, then began to walk away. I could see how awkwardly she strolled to class. I let out a sigh and got up.

"What was that about?" Kramer said with a laugh. I didn't know whether or not he understood how I was feeling. Everything burned at how awkward my encounter with Lilith had just been.

"I don't..." I don't what? I don't know? I don't care? 

I didn't have a reply.

"Let's get to class before we're late!" he called. I unconsciously nodded and began to follow him. When we entered to class, Lilith looked away at my entry. I sat down in my desk next to Ludvig.

"Ed, you look like you just saw a ghost!" he joked. I lowered my eyes.

"She was sort of like a ghost." I replied softly. Ludvig stared at me with curiosity. I already knew he was in love with Silvine, the twin sister of Sabine LaFranc. 

"She?" Ludvig was instantly interested, turning to me with a sheepish grin again. I rolled my eyes and went back to my book. Ludvig scowled, fixed a tuft of his brown hair sticking out over his eyes, then glanced to the teacher, Mr. Zanys, who was lecturing on something about Hitler.

Kramer smirked at me. I stared at him until he stopped. He looked back at his papers. Finally! I could concentrate!

"And even so, when you all graduate, even people like Edward will be joining the military!" my teacher concluded, pointing at me as if I had done something wrong. All eyes turned on me.

"No sir, my mother has already granted me a scholarship to build up a Doctrine of Human Biology." I kindly responded.

Mr. Zanys was not an easy man to get along with. He retorted rudely and snapped at everyone who dared apposed anything he said. He had a pointy and long nose, and piercing amber-blue eyes which made you shiver when they locked on you. However as a child I was immensely stubborn and defensive of my beliefs. 

"Are you backtalking me? Detention!" he snarled. Alois passed a note to Sven as he smiled at me gloatingly.

"What, he didn't do anything wrong!" Kramer objected. Ludvig shook his head.

"I'm with Kramer on this one, he was only stating facts."

In my mind I was screaming at both of them not to defend me. Just leave it, I wanted to tell them, but my mouth was glued shut from the terror.

Detention? I had a clean record all my life! No detentions, no trouble, not a single bad grade! I did as I was told and didn't fight. I was nearly about to cry.

"All three of you to the principal's office, now!" Mr. Zanys yelled. I picked up my things gingerly, my soul burning inside out as all three of us began to walk down the long hallways.

Finally I had the will to speak.

"What were you two doing? Now we're all going to get in trouble!" 

Kramer stared at me with the bewilderment of a newborn.

"Are you kidding me? I wasn't going to watch that masochistic creep get away with this misdemeanor!" Kramer replied.

Ludvig remained silent.

I was boiling in frustration, both from my incident with Lilith and now with Mr. Zanys. What was wrong with me today? I was bubbling over in a cauldron of humility when I remembered Kramer's mom was the principal, so more than likely I would come out unscathed and Mr. Zanys given a talking to.

Or not, maybe we'll go to the assistant principal, Mrs. Eselkolben, or as she likes to call herself, Madame Gossratt.

Madame Gossratt was a shrewd woman, a whole foot shorter than me (A lot of us students of the time were tall for our age), and had dark brown, frizzy hair that turned blondish at the tips. Her eye color was gray, because it was so dulled out whatever her eyes had been when she was younger had vanished, and her eyelids were masked in the strangest colors.

Unlike many people, Madame Gossratt had her own fashion statement. She had plucked out her eyebrows and glued on trims of peacock feathers. She often pinched her lips to swell them to an unnatural size, and spoke with a bossy, sharp tone that was barely audible over her flapping gums.

Luckily for us, we were taken straight to Kramer's mother, who at first was a bit (amusingly) naggy over why we were sent, then let us speak. Ludvig explained first, and then we all told the rest of our story. We were sent back to class right before the bell rang, so fortunately Mr. Zanys was called out.

"That was lucky," I breathed.

Ludvig smiled. "Yeah," he replied.

Kramer looked a bit worn down, so I gave him his space. I glanced at the clock.

"12:44!? AGH!" I yelped in alarm, grabbing my books tight.

"I'm going to be laaaate!"

I could hear my friends behind me halt in startlement.

"Did he remember we have hall passes to class?" I think that's what Kramer said, but I didn't hear it clearly. I was too much in a hurry.

So many things to do!

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