|"We are all reaching out to people with a strong sense of duty who we can trust. Someone like you... Christine Barnett."
Gengo recruiting for the Valkyrie Project.
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|The Warriors of Valhalla I|
|Volume 8, Chapter 31|
Chiffon Fairchild IV
The Warriors of Valhalla II
The mystery of Kazuha's death and her Heroic Stigmata unfolds. Gengo and Su-Na recruit for Project Valkyrie.
In 2061, following the death of Kazuha Aoi, Gengo reflects on the death of his oldest grandchild, whose body crystallized following her Nova-Type explosion. He aims to keep the "hyenas" of the Chevalier away from all parts of Kazuha's corpse including the fragments of her Stigmata. He needs a distraction and readies to initiate Project Valkyrie.
In March 2063, Gengo Aoi attends a Chevalier council meeting announcing plans to continue research into the Heroic Stigmata. Afterwards, a disgruntled Gengo meets with Alfred Hughes and the two discuss the skepticism of their colleagues concerning Kazuha's Stigmata. Alfred notes that the United States is pressing for an independent investigation into the matter. Gengo reminds his friend of their promise, that all Stigmata research would be left to him. Alfred reassures Gengo that he has not forgotten, but explains that results must be brought forward in order to prevent any infighting. When he suggests allowing the investigation, Gengo flatly refuses and swears to resign should Hughes give in. Alfred notes that after all these years Gengo still knows how to make people dislike him, which the doctor considers a relief. The Chevalier official asks Gengo to be straight with him regarding the Heroic Stigmata, but Gengo sticks to his report and adds that he is working on a new project to create more stable stigmata. He goes on to coldly declare that he will never allow Chevalier to have his granddaughter's corpse. Alfred concedes, but reminds Gengo to get results quickly.
Back at his own facility, Gengo stares at a massive Stigmata crystal held within a tube and ponders how humans always look for and accept the easiest answer. He asks Kazuha if she agrees, and then apologizes for having been unable to protect even her corpse.
The scene cuts to Gengo on his private jet, accompanied by Su-Na. She inquires about the timing of their trip to England, and guesses it has to do with the L. Bridget family. Gengo replies that it doesn't, and he hopes not to run into him if at all possible. He explains that they're going to someplace they can prepare his top-secret project, as well as where he can treat his bodyguard to some terrible food, to which Su-N laughs. Changing topics, Gengo seriously asks Su-Na how she is feeling, if any complications have arisen from her new Plasma Stigmata. Su-Na affirms that she is fine and jokes that he'll be the one in trouble if the stigmata aren't safe, which amuses Gengo. Sobering, he voices his doubts that things will continue to sail smoothly, since the others aren't as gifted as Su-Na. He explains that research into the Heroic Stigmata is accelerating, meaning something big will be needed to satisfy the Chevalier council, something like a form of stigmata that an average human can use. He expresses excitement over seeing what kind of people are waiting for them at their destination.
Arriving in England, Gengo and Su-Na are greeted by Edward Barnett, a wealthy business man whose company supports the Chevalier. Gengo thanks Edward for meeting him, but Edward states he is happy just to be of service, noting that one of his daughters has recently enlisted to become a Pandora and serve. Gengo thanks him again, and the conversation moves to an offer he presented to another of Edward's daughters. Edward expresses hesitation given the secretive nature of the project, to which Gengo understands but asks if he can speak to the young lady herself. The two are suddenly interrupted by the lady in question, Christine Barnett, who exclaims that she was fine with the idea. Upon seeing him, Christine quickly rushes over to Gengo and states he looks just like he does on television, noting how handsome and rugged he looks. Edward quickly reprimands Christine for acting so familiar, to which she counters that she was just complimenting the professor. Edward apologizes on his daughters behalf but Gengo politely brushes the apology away, although his attempts are hampered somewhat by an annoyed Su-Na. Christine then names herself as one of Gengo's biggest fans, citing his creation of the Pandora as nothing short of amazing. After hearing that she wished to become a Pandora herself, Gengo explains the Valkyrie project and how it will enable people just like Christine to help in the war against the Nova. Edward attempts to ask for more time to consider, but Christine cuts through and simply asks if she will become a Pandora. Smirking, Gengo states she will become a Valkyrie, one that can stand even with Pandora. Christine declares her intentions for joining, surprising Gengo when one turns out to be a desire to show up her younger sister. Recovering, Gengo accepts Christine into the Valkyrie Project. Before she officially joins, Christine asks Gengo for a favor.
Christine desires to see the power of a Pandora up close, so she asks to fight Su-Na, who agrees but sharply offers Christine the chance to back down. Christine can sense the aggression behind Su-Na's true nature but refuses to back down. The two proceed to a boxing ring where Christine readies herself with sparring equipment, while Su-Na leisurely waits. Christine makes the first move and punches an unflinching Su-Na in her face. A surprised Christine takes a good look at her opponent's scarlet red eyes that bear a carnivorous glare. A smiling Su-Na explains that upon implantation, Stigmata drastically increases the body's endurance and sturdiness. Christine immediately draws back and deals a backwards roundhouse kick that strikes Su-Na's Plasma Stigmata-enhanced body. Christine promptly fell with a broken foot and Su-Na menacingly looms over her frightened opponent, sadistically asking if she was mentally prepared to face the Nova.
- Kazuha's body is revealed to not have been destroyed during the 8th Nova Clash. Rather her body crystallized following the Nova-Type explosion, and Gengo has stored it in a secret lab.
- More truths of the Heroic Stigmata and the Heroic Stigmata Implantation Project are revealed.
- The origins and activation of the Valkyrie Project are revealed
- Christine Evora's background is revealed.
- Christine Evora's real name is revealed to be Christine Barnett.