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Xanus stood in her archive room absorbing information from the day's events so far. She waved her hand every so often and the room would change, but all of what she saw was related to the Clan. As she worked she suddenly felt a presence in the room; she smiled, and then backed out so the entire earth could be seen throughout the room.
"I'm impressed with your progress," Xanus said as she floated over the image of the world. "But while things are looking up there are a few issues that still need to be addressed before you're done."
"I know," came the reply from a hooded man who was leaning against the wall. "You changed my plans though."
"Yes I know, but it wasn't my fault," said Xanus. "I didn't know that Axon would turn against us, he was always so loyal."
"Like anyone that's asked to study evil while they don't understand it he too fell to that temptation," sighed the man. "I don't want to wake my partner but with Axon now against us I don't see any other option."
"Don't worry about waking anyone, I've assigned Levis to help," Xanus said has she waved one of her arms and they suddenly found the room looking like the inside of the AI Division's hospital. "Levis is training someone that will take care of our Axon problem. You just need to finish with the Moroi problem that we seem to have gained."
"Heh, Malvya is causing me more problems then I'd like to admit actually," said the man. "While I was able to get his notes from his room as well as his sealed orders I only have vague ideas of where they lead. I'm having Ark cross reference what I found with the neuro-image that it got from Malvya."
"You always find the answer, I'm sure you'll do just fine," grinned Xanus as she watched everyone run around the hospital in a panic. "It seems someone is doing a lot of damage to the clan today."
The man glared at Xanus from under his hood, "Are you insinuating that I'm doing a bad job?"
"No," replied Xanus as she shook her head. "I am only implying that while you've done a good job at accelerating things we are still running into set backs."
"Ark doesn't have the resources to combat all of the problems we are facing," the man said quickly. "But that's a problem that is being fixed right now. With all of the Founders back in the Ark Compound we'll have the man power to deal with problems like this."
"Let's just hope that your friends hold until then," said Xanus as she watched Kyle, Levis, Tyler, and Sean teleport into the chaos before her.
"What do you mean friends, they don't even know I exist," replied the man. "Besides, I don't think Tyne would like me very much; not in my present state anyway."
Xanus watched silently as Kyle and Levis talked when suddenly a badly injured boy was teleported in next to where Kyle was standing. Kyle then shouted the boy's name and then he and the boy vanished. "It seems Kyle just shifted, hmmm I wonder to where."
"That boy is dangerous you know," added the man as he walked over next to Xanus. "If he isn't careful he could be more deadly then Axon."
"You know better then I do that isn't going to be a problem," Xanus replied as she watched Levis vanish. "He has too much good in him and you know it. This proves it, Levis just used Kyle's bond with his boyfriend to find him."
"Yeah well Levis is also one of the best; anyone else wouldn't have been able to even see that link. He's way over qualified and I'm glad to have his help," said the man.
Xanus grinned as she waved her arm again. Suddenly the room changed and they were hovering above Kyle and Levis in the middle of what looked like a dead forest.
"Where are we now?" asked the man as he looked around. "Well, rather where are they?"
"This is a dimension that was brought to its end for one reason or another and is now going backwards in time until nothing exists and it can start over," said Xanus as she watched Kyle and Levis. "He's using the reverse time to undo the boy's injuries, very clever."
"Did you end this dimension?" asked the man.
"No not this one," replied Xanus. "The Ferox often just clean up the dimensions, we only end them if there is no life left in them. This one ended just a little while ago. Xedyan is assigned to this dimension; he's the one overseeing it's clean up."
"Oh God, I thought that boy was taken out of active duty," the man said with a whine. "Weren't you supposed to make sure he didn't get in my way again?"
"He was only doing his job last time," said Xanus. "Although he has a very bad habit of ignoring orders when it goes against the rules; he's very much like his father Semion."
"You know those rules exist for a reason, and if Semion found out that you were breaking as many of them as you are..."
"I don't need you to tell me what is and isn't right for me to be meddling in," snapped Xanus. "Semion may be one of the other Ferox Councilors but so am I. Besides, I know Velnis will back me up."
"Whatever, I won't complain since helping me goes against those same rules," said the man as he pointed over at Levis and Kyle. "It looks like our boy Xedyan is coming to meet them."
"I can see this being a problem," replied Xanus. "Let's watch for a moment."
Levis sighed, "Great, just what we need."
"Who is that? A friend of yours?" Kyle asked.
"Yes and no," said Levis as he got to his feet. "Its the FDP, Ferox Dimension Patrol. They're going to want to know what we're doing here. This isn't going to be fun to explain; my assignment isn't registered."
"You made Xedyan part of the FDP?" complained the hooded man. "Are you crazy? I thought you said he was just overseeing the reverse of this dimension?"
"Quiet," replied Xanus.
Kyle shook his head. "He's got another think coming if he thinks I'm leaving here before Jamie's okay."
"He won't put anyone in danger, that's not what I'm worried about...hello officer," Levis said as Xedyan got closer. "What can we help you with?"
Xedyan suddenly took a more solid form, looking to be about sixteen, and dressed in white with a purple and black arm band. He looked over Levis, Kyle, and Jamie for a few seconds before replying, "I'm Lieutenant Xedyan of the FDP, I'm just investigating a disturbance in this area as I am the patrol for this dimension."
"I'm afraid we're probably the disturbance that you're talking about Lieutenant," Levis said with a fake smile. "There isn't a problem with us being here is there?"
Xedyan looked at Levis and frowned, "Aren't you Commander Levis of the Ferox Intelligence Core?"
Levis looked a little surprised but nodded, "Yes, I am."
"I'm sorry for interrupting you then sir," replied Xedyan. "I'm sure you're on assignment and can't really talk about it."
"That's correct," Levis said quickly.
"I'm just a little concerned for your companions though sir," Xedyan continued. "One of them is human and the other one is...well I'm not really sure what but this realm is in a reverse time flux right now and it might have bad affects on them."
"That's actually why we're here Lieutenant," said Levis. "We're trying to undo damage that was done to the human. There isn't a problem with us being here is there?"
"Well no sir, not directly," replied Xedyan. "I'll still have to report your visit here to the Ferox Dimension Committee though."
Kyle came over and in an unusually sweet voice introduced himself. "Hello Sir, I am Kyle Richardson; Founder Council Nitor. Is there anything I may assist you with?"
"Well no not directly," said Xedyan with a confused look. "Wait, the Founder Council hasn't been active in over sixty thousand years..." He looked back at Levis, "Your assignment can't be to work with the Founders, we were forbidden to help humanity."
"Oh boy, here he goes," commented the hooded man. "If he..."
"I said quiet," repeated Xanus.
"It's more complex then that Lieutenant," Levis said sternly. "To which I have to order you not to file any report of us being here. I can't have my assignment compromised because of this, it would be risking too much."
"For who? Us or them?" Xedyan said sounding almost offended. "Humanity hurt us every time we've ever tried to help them. I'm sure I don't have to remind you of Greece or Egypt. Or even..."
"Lieutenant, I don't need a history lesion," Levis interrupted. "This isn't the same situation as then nor does it have the same involvement that those operations had. Xanus herself has sanctioned this assignment so that should be enough of that..."
"But its not right! How is that fair to us!" Xedyan shouted. "With all due respect sir Xanus has been asked not to give out these assignments ever again, she's far to trusting of humans and..."
"This assignment is a matter of the Ferox Council and the Ferox Intelligence Core and is none of your direct concern," Levis shouted back. "On top of which you will not file a report of this incident..."
"Th-th-that's it isn't it! Y-y-your assignment isn't on record!" Xedyan stuttered. "I have to report this!"
Kyle squinted his eyes. "I believe you were ordered not to report anything. I am on the same assignment as Levis and I appreciate the compromise of it even less than he does. I would suggest considering your situation carefully before making threats of disobeying an order."
"I have to step in, wait here," Xanus said as she suddenly shifted from the room to the actual dimension.
"And under what authority does a gene stew half breed threaten me?" Xedyan replied darkly. "I won't break laws just to..."
"He acts on my authority!" Xanus said as she Xanus appeared floating next to Kyle. "And that is quite enough from you Xedyan. I shouldn't have to cross dimensions because of you. You were placed here because of last time, let's not repeat that."
"Yes mother," Xedyan muttered as he took a step backwards.
"What Levis is assigned to do has more of an effect on our people then you realize," Xanus continued softly. "And Kyle has more authority then you know. I asked him to do something for me, something that he's been doing very well thus far. As such he is my emissary and holds more authority then Levis does. On top of that Kyle may be different but that gives you no right to denounce him just because you don't know what species he is."
Kyle gave a small smile as he turned to Xanus. "It is a pleasure to see you again Xanus. I apologize for you being interrupted; obviously it has not been disseminated as to how to recognize a Mikyvis**. I do hope my children don't speak of me with others like Xedyan spoke of you."
(** pronounced Mick-eh-vys)
Xedyan glared at Kyle as Xanus turned to face him, "Didn't disrespecting the Ferox Council get you demoted last time young man?"
"B-b-but I d-didn't mean it that way..." replied Xedyan."I was simply talking about what you're...I mean who we're..."
"That's what I thought," said Xanus. "Xedyan, it seems that you still need lessons in respect as well as how to treat other species other than our own. As such I'm reassigning you; you will now report to Commander Levis. I will find someone else to patrol this dimension."
Xedyan's jaw dropped, "But that's not fair!"
"Neither is the way you've treated others," replied Xanus. "I don't want to have to cross dimensions to defend you every time you get yourself in trouble. What would you have done if Kyle and Levis were prompted to attack you? You'd probably find yourself floating in the Never-There until the Council came to get you. This is for your own good. Besides, the skills you do have will benefit Levis and Kyle in the long run."
Kyle looked back at Xedyan. "I think that the infractions you made will be kept between those of us here unless you persist in continuing with your narrow viewpoint. Considering what I know of Levis I can assure you that the ones that you will be interacting with will not stand for narrow-minded viewpoints. I honestly do not wish to have to attack you; but if you persist in the direction you're going in it might end up coming to that."
"Be careful of what pedicles you climb Emissary, I can't reach them all to do what you ask of me," Xedyan said with a frown. "And just because I'm narrow-minded doesn't mean that you need to treat me like a hostile. I can't see me ever liking you but that doesn't mean I want to start a fight."
"I wasn't treating you as a hostile on purpose." Kyle replied. "I was trying to give you some advice to keep you from finding yourself in a situation which would be uncomfortable at the least. I learned early that if you are in a situation like this don't draw any impressions about a person; I wait until I'm in a calmer situation before I decide what I think of someone."
"If you say so Emissary," replied Xedyan. "I'll keep my opinions to myself for now."
"Now, that is better," said Xanus. "I will take my leave now. Levis, keep in mind that there is little more our helper can do so what is left to be done is left for you to do."
"I remember," Levis replied with a grin.
"Kyle, good luck," Xanus said softly to Kyle before turning to Xedyan. "And you behave."
"Yes Councilor," mumbled Xedyan.
"Thank you Xanus." Kyle replied. "Even though I get the feeling the fun's just starting!" He then turned to Xedyan and added "Xedyan, all I ask is you make an attempt to express your opinion in a little nicer way. Your experience and outlook might save some bodies life someday; all it takes is them hearing it without feeling challenged. I still goof sometimes, just like I did earlier talking to you. I'm sorry about that; and I'm not holding your response against you."
As Xanus disappeared Xedyan looked over at Kyle with a blank expression, "Is it possible to talk about something else? I'd rather not continue talking about my flaws, mistakes, and bad choices. I'm not the beloved son or cherished friend, I just exist. If you even knew who I was to those that know me then you'd understand that more. Let's just please talk about something else. Perhaps we should be more concerned with your young friend that we seem to have forgotten."
Xanus reappeared next to the hooded man, "I think that went well."
"Do you now?" the man replied with a grin. "So your solution is to put Xedyan with them? That seems like a bad idea to me."
"Giving them more help will only help you out in the end," replied Xanus.
"I see you managed to mention me as well," continued the man. "Our 'helper', thanks for the title."
"Well that's exactly what you are," said Xanus as she let the room change back into the hospital. "You know as much as I do that I need your help just as much as you need mine."
The man nodded his head, "True enough. So how should I go about tracking our madman, Axon?"
"Go ask the Creator for some help," replied Xanus. "He'll be expecting you. He will be able to give you some insight into the way Axon's mind now works."
"You mean the Shadow will," said the man as he walked to the door. "Thanks for the help; I'll update you as soon as I have something to update you on."
The man left the room and Xanus turned back to watching the hospital. Kyle and Jamie reappeared right were they had left and seconds later Levis and Xedyan appeared in the next room off to the side. Xanus grinned to herself as she watched Levis try and calm a terror stricken Xedyan who wasn't ready to see the carnage that was laid out before him. "It's a cruel world Xedyan, but that's what I'm trying to have changed."
"This can't be good," said an eight year old version of Tyne as he looked around. "We aren't on the surface are we?"
"No, this isn't the surface," said an older version of Tyne that was dressed in black. "Although I've never seen this before I know we aren't outside because we're sitting in a chair." He pointed to the real Tyne, "See."
A third version of Tyne, dressed in white, wrapped his arms around himself and shivered; "Besides this isn't snow, its sleet. You don't get sleet where Ark is at."
"We're still in the Council Chambers," mumbled Tyne. "I'm having a rough day."
"Oh but I love rough days," grinned Black. "I live for the madness!"
"That isn't helping any," White complained. "Tyne why are we here?"
"I...I don't think I'm doing a good job as Seer," replied Tyne. "I was thinking maybe I should step down."
"What? Why?" said little Tyne. "I think you're doing a pretty good job."
"You're kinda biased," sighed Tyne. "I just...I just don't know if I can handle what I've been taking on. I mean, I'm not delegating small groups of Founders like my father did..."
"The group you are in charge of is still small," interjected White.
"No but this group is different," said Tyne. "They aren't constructing some master computer; they're trying to save the world; a world I know very little about outside of the concepts. The evil that they're combating isn't like the Moroi evil I've dealt with. It's global; it's bigger then what I've seen. And on top of that it's costing me again."
"Yes I know! Isn't that great!" smiled Black. "You're actually using me for once and we have real justice!"
"Murder isn't justice!" protested White.
"If used correctly it can be," Black shot back. "Look at what this time period has going for it and tell me that killing someone that deserves it isn't justice."
"It's still murder," replied White. "It shouldn't be up to one person who lives or dies, it shouldn't be up to any person."
"Look at what Tyne just did to those Moroi and tell me he was wrong," said Black. "Anyone willing to hurt others for their own gain deserves to be faced with some form of justice."
White frowned, "Justice sure, but to kill them..."
"What else was he supposed to do with creatures that kill others to live?" asked Black.
"I...I don't have an answer for that," replied White.
"I bet you can't even see their side of things can you?" grinned Black.
"Can you?" said little Tyne.
"None of you can," mumbled Tyne. "You can't see their side of things because I'm not a very objectionable person. I side with what I know and defend it the best I can. I don't ever bother to see the other side of the coin."
"That's why you didn't like Brant when you first met him," said little Tyne.
Tyne nodded, "I can't see past my own prejudice and it blinds me to the truth."
"But isn't that how this world works now?" asked Black.
"Yes but it shouldn't," replied Tyne. "Prejudice never shows much reason and it's because of that that this world is the way it is. Human nature dictates that they hate what they don't understand and I fall right into that with them."
"What makes us so different from the other Founders from our time though?" asked Little Tyne. "They weren't like this."
"I don't know, I seem all to willing to give up some of my Founder upbringing if the situation calls for it," said Tyne. "Yet at the same time I call others out on the same thing."
"I will definitely agree with that," added White.
Little Tyne shot White a mean look, "That doesn't help."
"No, it doesn't but it's the truth," replied White. "Ever since Cyna died I've been ignored more and more. I exist for a reason you know!"
"Yeah and so do I," said little Tyne. "Innocence can't exist in the face of violence and ignorance. You are ignorant to reality because you're blinded by the same truth that Tyne is having trouble seeing. But maybe he's having trouble seeing the truth because the truth isn't what it used to be. Innocence needs truth to survive but it also needs other things, like love. But love can't always live in truth if truth allows for evil to exist."
"I like his line of thinking," said Black.
"You would," spat White.
"He has a point though," Tyne said while staring off into the storm around him. "Or maybe I just like his point better. To get rid of all that's bad in the world we need to be able to adjust our outlook on what is right and what needs to be done."
"Well I don't agree with that," replied White. "That goes against everything we were taught."
"But Founders were flawed in their thinking," came a voice from behind little Tyne. "Just get over it."
All the Tyne's turned to find another boy standing there. He seemed to be covered in black marks all over his body but was clothed in white just like White and little Tyne.
"Who are you?" asked White as he took a few steps away from the boy.
The boy smiled, "Don't you know Dad? Don't you know who I am?"
"You're not Matyas," replied White.
"Oh no, no, no, not that child," said the boy. "I'm what's left after you and your other half came together when Cyna died. I've been here all this time but you've never noticed me. You can call me Reason if you have to give me a name. I am a fallen and broken version of all of you."
"Great," muttered Tyne. "Just what I need, my head is split into another one of me."
"Oh but it's for the better I think you'll see," grinned Reason. "I'm here to offer you perspective, something that you seem to be lacking as of late. You've always had it but never realized it."
"What does he need perspective for if he has us?" White asked sounding slightly offended.
"You're so out dated, you have to work together to make this world better not uphold fallen ideas," replied Reason. "The way I look is the way this world looks, but at the same time I base what I am off of what all of you see as right. It hurts me every time you uphold one of your ideas and it doesn't help the situation any. You have to see things the way this world sees things and THEN react."
"Well at least if you have to have a new split in our head at least it's a split that makes sense," said Little Tyne.
"I agree, what he says makes sense," added Black.
"Yes but to what degree does he makes sense," protested White. "I mean this world is more complex than any of us ever really acknowledge that it is. You don't just flip switches and solve all the problems of the world. This world is full of strange things that we no longer understand but isn't that because the world has fallen from our ideals in the first place?"
"No, our ideals existed after man fell into evil," replied Reason. "The world was dying and to try and save it we came along with the rules that we had and did our best to keep it alive. But our own rules became our downfall; they just aren't flexible enough for what humanity is. We were trying to hold them to almost perfect standards while trying to set the same example. Last I checked nobody is perfect and so we did nothing to try to keep alive what we put in place. You all saw it, what did the Founder Council do to actually try and keep the Moroi at bay? What did they actually do to keep our own people, let alone the rest of the world, from being slaughtered by them? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Their own way of life was just a temporary fix that caused the world to limp on rather then get better. The world still collapsed and humanity has just been repeating itself ever since. If we want to help fix this world we can't hold onto those grand but stale ideas; some of them may work but the rest need to be made flexible or we'll just repeat the same mistakes that we made back then, just like humanity is repeating it's mistakes."
"I...but..." White started to say but stopped. He looked down at his shoes and mumbled, "You have a point. I guess we need to rethink some of our ideals."
"If we're going to do that the first one we probably need to rethink is killing," added Black. "There ARE people out there that deserve to die."
"That kind of thought takes us to a very dark place though," said White.
"No, not if I'm not the only one making that choice," Tyne said as he stood up. "I think I've made up my mind on this. Reason is right but we have to be careful in how we do this, I'll need all of the Council to make that choice. And not just this choice but all our choices. We need to rebuild our ideals to be what we need them to be but be open to change if we need it."
Reason smiled, "Now you're talking!"
"Ark, I need to have a Council meeting as soon as we can," said Tyne. The other Tynes vanished as he walked towards the door.
< That may be a while Tyne, we have new Founders being handled here while Cory and the rest of the Clan is dealing with a very bad situation up where they are at. You are looking at one to two days before even a partial Council can be called. >
"I'll take what you can give me," replied Tyne as he made his way towards the Tech Construction Area. "And ask Cory if he needs anymore help then what little we've given so far, it's about time we started pulling more then our own weight."
Xedyan looked around the waiting room of the hospital and his head began to spin. Never before had he seen so much chaos and hurt, it was almost too much for him to look at, "Levis, where are we? Why, why are all these humans in this much pain?"
"This isn't even the worst," replied Levis as he looked around for where Kyle had gotten to. "The humans that I have been with, as part of being with Kyle, have been attacked and this is the result. You were right when you said that humans have caused us pain in the past for trying to help but this is far worse and for far less of a reason."
"I...I can't look at this," cried Xedyan as he closed his eyes and leaned back against the wall. "The pain in this room...it's so bad I can feel it, I can smell it, I can even taste it. What caused all of this?"
"Someone didn't agree with the way they were saving the world and thought it best to show them what they thought through action," said Levis. "You know how violent humans can get."
"I KNOW but I've never SEEN," moaned Xedyan as he clutched his stomach. "I think I'm going to be sick, Levis I can't stay here."
"You don't have a choice," replied Levis. "We can help them more then some of their own doctors can, we can heal these people but you want to leave because it's too much for you to handle? Get over it, the need of the many out weighs the need of the few."
Xedyan looked up at Levis and realized he was serious, "But how do you expect me to work like this? If I get closer to them I might not be able to hold my solid form."
"I'll ask someone what you can help with then," said Levis as he started to look around again. "If they don't have anything you can handle then you'll have to help without a solid form."
"This isn't fair," replied Xedyan as he slid to the ground.
"Xedyan, life isn't always fair away from the comfort that we come from," Levis replied softly. "There isn't any control among the humans, no control over what does and does not happen. They aren't able to control things like we are; but even with us they still only have so much control because we can't fix this world for them. There is too much work to be done and you can't fix the species, they have to want to get better themselves. That's why the Ark supports these humans, and that's why our mother wants us to get involved. If we don't act now to support them then they might fail and the world will be worse off if they do. They only need help, not for us to do it for them."
"I think you inherited too much of mother's knowledge," mumbled Xedyan. "Which makes me think there is more to what you're doing here then what you've told me; so what is your mission here? Are you here just to train the Mikyvis, Kyle?"
Levis grinned, "I'll admit that Kyle isn't the only reason I've been sent here but I only know half of the task that I've been sent here for; I'll know the rest of my task when it comes along. But you might need to help me finish it, I have a feeling I'll need your help more then either of us know."
"Yeah, you definitely sound like mother," added Xedyan.
"You know, the humans would call us brothers because we have the same mother," said Levis as he offered Xedyan his hand to help him up.
"Xedyan gave Levis a funny look, "Well I always thought humans were strange. Don't they use the term brothers to imply a bond of some sort as well as a genetic similarity?"
"They use it for both and not always together," replied Levis.
Xedyan looked at Levis' offered hand and then back up at Levis, "Levis, I'm not a friendly guy; I don't like humans the way you and mother do. You don't want me as a brother, trust me."
"Yes but I see it this way, I could order you to help me since I out rank you but I'd rather only have to ask you," grinned Levis. "I need your help, and even though you don't like them these people need you too. Help me, please."
Xedyan looked at Levis' hand again for a few seconds and then took it. After Levis helped him to his feet he sighed, "I'll help you where ever you need me? What do you want me to do?"
"We'll help out just around here I think," said Levis. "Do you know how to repair bones and flesh wounds?"
"I'm surprised that Xanus let you take me with you," The Shadow said as he stood next to a hooded figure watching several Moroi in the distance patrolling the outside of a building. "What shall I call you though if you don't want to give me your name, oh Eyes of Xanus?"
"That works," replied the man as he studied the Moroi's patrol patterns. "And Xanus doesn't really know that you're with me, she just said that I could use you to help me out. She didn't say to what extent, but I figured you could use some air and some fun."
"You couldn't do this yourself?" asked the Shadow.
"I tried, but there were too many of them," replied the man. "And the tactics I used for the other Moroi I've had to deal with didn't work with these. So here you are."
"Very well Eyes of Xanus, I like the way you think" said the Shadow. "What is our plan of attack?"
"The only plan I really have is what we're here for, but you already know that," said the man. "But that's what I have you here for; I need your help to...take care of these Moroi. I already tried one attempt but there are about thirty of them and they hit hard. They also have a few Hunters here with them as well."
"Hmmm, well I will not ask what a Hunter is but I am more then willing to play," The Shadow said with a grin. "Anything else we should look out for?"
"Not as far as ground troops go," replied the man. "But the last time I was here I picked up on something else. It's nothing you need to really worry about, just know that if you see a swirling vortex of any kind stay away from it."
"Very well," said the Shadow.
"Alright, let's go," said the man as he started for the building. "Don't hold back."
"With pleasure," the Shadow said with an evil grin. Suddenly the Shadow's face seemed to change and the darkness around him disappeared. "Shadow says to have fun," said the Creator as he took control. "Happy we must make him, happiness is the key." The Creator ran ahead of the hooded man and stopped about twenty feet from the building, just close enough that the Moroi took him as a threat.
"Back off kid, this building is off limits to..." one of the guards started to say but then stopped when a deer suddenly appeared next to the Creator."What the hell?"
"Deer has come to play and he brings friends with him," the Creator said with a grin. The sky then began to grow dark, with what looked like red lightning striking the ground. "Let us play let us pay, pay for that pain you caused the eyes, pain you caused the world!"
Suddenly creatures of every different kind started to drop from the sky, landing all around the Creator. Some of them were just as innocent as the Deer but the rest were creatures that not even the worst nightmare would contain. The three Moroi started to step back but then turned around and ran as the creatures rushed forward. The Creator changed back into the Shadow as he began to cackle to himself and follow after his creations.
"Run while you can little Vampires, Death has come for you and while you run know that tonight hell is unleashed in your honor," shouted the Shadow as one of the demonic looking creatures took hold of one of the screaming Moroi and bit off his head. The hooded man kept his head down and followed behind the Shadow as they started into the building, passing by what was left of the other two guards.
The Deer came up along side the hooded man as they walked through the hallways, "The three Moroi at the entrance have been taken care of Eyes of Xanus, and our forces have begun their invasion of the complex. The Shadow has asked me to keep you up to date on what is happening as the feeds from the others come to him. Please let me know if you need anything, the Creator is standing by if something else needs to be made."
"Thank you Deer," replied the man as more screams could be heard up ahead.
"Five more have been taken care of," added the Deer. "The Shadow has also come across his first Hunter and has eliminated it."
"If he comes across a non-Moroi woman, don't kill her...yet," the man said as he continued deeper into the building. After a few minutes of walking the man came into the main room of the complex. Screams could be heard everywhere, blood was strewn about as if it was part of the decor, and body parts could be seen lying around everywhere. The man saw what he was looking for in the middle of the room and started towards it.
"Eyes of Xanus," said the Deer as they got closer to it. "One of the others has found the vortex thing you told the Shadow about earlier. I see though that you have already seen it. Shadow has left the bunnies to guard it and has moved on to the rest of the complex. It is just ahead here. We have not found the Woman you spoke of yet though. There were four more Hunters though and they have been taken care of."
"Very good, thank you Deer," replied the man as he approached the vortex. Everything around the vortex seemed to be distorted by it, changed by it, yet at the same time oblivious to its existence. The bunnies were in a tight circle around the vortex, a circle that was at least thirty feet from the actual vortex.
One of the white ones came up to the Deer, jumped up onto its back and looked up at the man, "Sir, we won't get any closer then this. No farther will we go, too strange this thing is. It make old young and young old but sometimes kills rather then either one. We lost three of my friends to it already; though not too worry the Creator will bring them back later. But it doesn't like things of this world or our world, be careful Sir."
The man nodded at the bunny and then looked over and began to study the vortex, "I can't believe they actually have one of these here. I thought this is what I felt when I was in here a few days ago but it wasn't this big then. I have work to do to close this; all of you can get back to what you were doing. I will take it from here." The bunnies dispersed at once leaving only the Deer and the hooded man at the vortex.
"I will keep my distance Eyes of Xanus," the Deer said as it took a few steps back. "Good luck mighty Moroi."
"Thanks," mumbled the man as he suddenly seemed to shift, causing his body to become translucent. He reached out towards the vortex and a few minutes later, while the man seemed to fade in and out, the vortex pulled shut. The man instantly became visible again and then slid to his knees breathing hard.
"Are you alright?" asked the Deer as it came up to him and sniffed.
"I...I've never closed one that large before," replied the man as he looked up at the deer.
The Deer looked at him, blinked a few times and then continued, "You seem younger on the outside but you feel older then you were before."
"That will pass in a few minutes," said the man. "It's just the effects of the vortex, don't worry about me."
"If you say so," the Deer said as he started towards one of the doors at the back of the room. "The Shadow has the woman in custody, the rest of the Moroi are dead."
The man slowly got up and then limped after the Deer, "Lead the way. Let's get this finished."
"Slow down Z, slow down!" cried Colin as he held his head. "I can't think that fast, that's too much information!"
Z frowned, "Sorry. I just wanted to catch you up on what you missed before they start..."
"What the heck did you do?!" Javyk said in a panic.
"I reversed the Cleansing that was done to him," replied Z.
Javyk's eyes got even bigger, "Reversed it? Did you wipe out everything he's learned since then?"
"Well yeah, but this way I've brought back the real Colin not some drone of him," argued Z. "He was falsely accused and sentenced for something he didn't do, he didn't deserve what was done to him."
"Z, it sounds like you're getting yourself in trouble again. You know you're suppose to ask before fixing stuff," Colin, who was still holding his head, added. "God Z, you're shoved so much into my head I'm having a hard time sorting it out." He looked around a little, "Are we...we...we're actually IN the Ark? THE Ark? I...Z! Too much! Stop putting more into my head! I..."
Javyk looked at Kendall, "Kyle's going to kill us, all we had to do was watch his brother and keep him safe while he was gone."
Kendall shook his head with a smile, "I think we're safe; Z on the other hand..."
Colin suddenly looked up and over at Javyk and Kendall, "Kyle who?"
"Your brother Kyle," sighed Javyk. "I can't believe we have to go through all of this again."
"You mean he's alive?! I knew it! Where is he? Can I see him?" Colin said excitedly.
Javyk got up from his seat, "Oh we're going to go see your brother alright and Z is coming with..."
"I can't go with you!" Z said sounding almost panicked. "Kyle's with a large group of people!"
"You'll just have to deal with it then," replied Javyk. "You cause a problem, you take responsibility for it. And you most definitely caused a problem."
"Wait, if I'm going to see Kyle I want Dad to be with us," added Colin. "Z do you know where my Dad is?"
"I...I can't go with...oh your father was..." Z paused for a second. "Your father was killed a few months ago Cif."
Colin looked at Z like he had a second head for a few seconds before he finally replied, "What do you mean killed? By who?"
"He was fed to the Moroi that Larry Malvya let into our Compound," Z said softly. "It happened only a few days after you were sentenced to the IA."
"Oh yeah, you are so coming with us now," growled Javyk. "You could have said that with more tact."
Z shot Javyk a mean look, "Like you would have said it any other way?"
"I probably would have waited to say anything until after we got Kyle to help us sort out the first problem you created," replied Javyk. "Whatever, Ark teleport us to Kyle's current location."
"Hey that's not..." Z started to say but suddenly he, Javyk, Kendall, and Colin suddenly found themselves standing in the middle of the AI Hospital's waiting room. People were rushing around everywhere and cries for help were coming from every direction. Z suddenly froze and then let out an ear piercing scream as he quickly collapsed to the ground and curled into a ball, holding his head.
Colin, acting quickly, swooped down and pulled Z into a tight hug. "Concentrate on me, Z! Don't listen to the other future voices!" Colin cried over Z's screaming.
Javyk ignored Z and started to look around for Kyle, "Hmmm, Ark can you tell me exactly where Kyle is at?"
< He is moving from room to room, he should join you there shortly. >
"Hey!" Colin shouted at Javyk. "Take us back! You're going to end up doing permanent damage to Z if you keep him here! He can't be around large amounts of people!"
"I can't say he doesn't deserve at least a little of it," replied Javyk. "It's a learning experience, he did something that isn't reversible and he needs to know that his problems are his own."
"Do you have any idea how much pain this causes him?" shouted Colin.
Before Javyk could answer a very pale young man rushed over and started to quickly look Z over, "What the hell is he screaming for?"
"Its part of what he is, he can't be around large groups of people," replied Colin.
"Well why not?" asked the young man.
"His mind is stuck in the future, so he lives through every possible future," Colin answered quickly. "The noise in his head is so loud it causes him pain!"
"Heck, why didn't you just bubble his thoughts then?" asked the young man as he placed his hands on Z's head. Almost instantly Z stopped screaming and just lay there crying softly to himself.
"Wait, what did you just do?" Colin said in a concerned voice.
"You don't know what it means to bubble someone's thoughts?" the young man said while giving Colin a strange look. "All I did was shut off his minds indexing and re-channel what's in his current mind into the empty space. It'll only last while I keep my hands on his head but we should be able to get him out of here at least."
"Wh...who are you?" whispered Z as he looked up at the young man. "You're not like us..."
"My name is Xedyan," the young man replied looking a little uncomfortable. "I'm a Ferox. I guess you could say that we have something in common; I really don't like large groups of people either. Although for me its large groups of humans since humans are just...well, I'll not get into that here; let's just say that I don't really want to be here."
"I don't think I'm meant to be here," said Z trying to come up with something to relate. All he seemed to be focused on was Xedyan. "Is there a way you can make this permanent? I...this is the first time I haven't seen what was going to happen in about a hundred varieties since...well never...I..."
"Screaming one second, calm the next," mumbled Javyk as he continued to look around the crowded room. "You said your name was Xedyan, right?"
Xedyan looked up at Javyk, "That's right."
"You haven't seen Kyle around, if you know who he is, have you?" asked Javyk.
"I'm sorry to say that I have," replied Xedyan as he looked back down at Z. Z frowned at Xedyan which for some reason caused him to want to rethink what he just said. "Well I mean...I'm only here because of something he did, and since I don't really want to be here...I..."
"You don't like Kyle?" Z asked while staring deep into Xedyan's eyes.
"I...well...no I suppose I don't," said Xedyan as he shifted around a little, feeling that Z was looking at more then just him. "Why are you looking at me that way?"
"You're lost I think," replied Z. "I know, although I've never met him, who Kyle is and what he's done. He's a good person but yet you hate him because he's why you're here? There has to be more to it then that."
"He got me in trouble," said Xedyan.
"That seems kinda childish," Z said as he inched closer to Xedyan so he could stare at him better. "My dad has always said that Ferox are really cool. Aren't Ferox supposed to be understanding, forgiving, and angelic?"
"You've heard some pretty funny stories if you think that," Xedyan replied with a frown. "I can't really see me being any of those. Although humans have often misunderstood us."
Z thought for a few seconds before replying, "Xedyan, do you have any friends?"
"No," mumbled Xedyan.
"Then who do I ask to smack you in the head for talking about yourself like that? Just because you've never seen yourself like that doesn't mean that you aren't or can't be what I described. From what I've heard about half of this 'Clan', which I'll admit is just stuff I've picked up from stuff I've heard a few hundred times in my head, they sure seem to fit that description. So why can't you?"
"I...I don't have an answer for that," Xedyan replied softly.
Z continued to look into Xedyan's eyes, "We'll have to work on that then."
Javyk cleared his throat, "Yeah, sorry to interrupt but do you actually KNOW where Kyle is?"
"I lost track of him once we got back," said Xedyan as he sat there with Z almost in his lap since Z kept inching closer to him.
"Great, then you watch Z since he seems to respond well to you and we'll go find Kyle," replied Javyk as he pushed Colin towards one of the doors. "Kendall suggested starting in the cafeteria and I agree, we'll find you once we find him." Javyk continued to push Colin out the door with Kendall close behind him.
"So, now that they're gone do you wanna tell me what you really are?" asked Xedyan as him and Z continued to stare at each other. "I know you're not human."
Z grinned, "I'm not really sure actually, I'm half Founder and half something else. Actually I'm less then half Founder since my family's bloodline has been somewhat degraded but my father won't tell me what the other half of me is."
"Well whatever your other half is it seems very...familiar," replied Xedyan. "You feel like a mix of two things that shouldn't be mixed. In fact you feel like a Ferox, with a very messed up head."
"My father is a very...fun guy I guess you would call him," said Z. "He likes to have fun in every adult sense of the word. I'm sure I have other siblings out there that I don't even know about. But whoever or whatever my mother was I couldn't live with her so she gave me to my father."
"Isn't it against the Founder rule set to be that liberal with his body?" asked Xedyan.
"My father, being that he was the last of our house before I was born, doesn't really care anymore," Z replied. "The only reason the Founder Committee put up with him was because I was a large asset to the community and they didn't want me to feel abandoned if he was kicked out of the community. He's gotten better over the years though, settling down some. But he's kind of afraid of me so I don't see him often."
"I don't see how you'd be that dangerous," Xedyan said with a frown. "Unless you reversed someone's memory completely but that's the only damage I can see you being able to do."
"I don't really mind it much anymore," said Z. "I get that reaction a lot."
"So why are you here if you can't be around large groups of people?" Xedyan asked.
"I kinda did something I probably shouldn't have and so Javyk brought me with him," replied Z. "I don't blame him for trying to hold me accountable for what I did but he's not very understanding of my situation."
"That or he doesn't care," added Xedyan.
"I don't really know him well enough to tell you with is the case," said Z.
"Probably a little of both, Javyk only seems to have sympathy for those he loves," Levis said as he came up to where Z and Xedyan were sitting. "Look like you made a friend Xedyan."
"I...I guess I have," Xedyan said sounding someone unsure.
Z grinned, "You have." He waved at Levis, "I'm Z, it's nice to meet you."
"My name's Levis," replied Levis. "I was just coming over to check on Xedyan."
"He's doing well," Z answered. "You can't have him back I'm afraid."
"You can keep him for a while," Levis smiled. "I'm busy helping where I can, I'm just glad to see that he is as well; it's good for him."
"Good, I'll think about giving him back in about ninety years or so," said Z.
"Ninety years?!" cried Xedyan.
"Well I'll probably only live that many more years so, yeah that seems about right," Z said while grinning up at Xedyan. "You seem like a nice guy, so why not?"
"I...I don't know what to say to that," mumbled Xedyan.
Levis shook his head, "He just wants you to be..." Levis stopped mid sentence, tilted his head, and frowned, "Something's wrong...I...stay here Xedyan...I have to..." Suddenly Levis gasped, looking utterly shocked and then a second later he vanished.
Xanus smiled as she felt a presence enter her room, "Back so soon?"
"I've dealt with the other Moroi problems that we had," said the hooded man as he stepped out of the shadows of the room. "Only the ones that Sherri Malvya had with her gave me any real problems."
"How were you able to convince the others? There were over three hundred of them," said Xanus as she brought the earth into view again. "I know you're skilled but I didn't think you were that skilled."
"Rather then deal with each group of them I just took away their motivation," grinned the man. "I made it so the shipment of promised goods that the Moroi wanted never showed up making the other Malvya children look like liars."
Xanus frowned, "I take it that the other Malvya children met their end then?"
"They did," replied the man. "After they did the Moroi dispersed. Like I said, only Sherri's Moroi gave me problems. From what I could tell they actually followed her rather then served her. I had to kill them all."
"I won't ask how you took on over thirty Moroi by yourself," said Xanus. "I'm not sure I really want to know."
"You'd be surprised what you can do when you don't see yourself or them like anything less then animals," the man said as he leaned up against the wall.
"You know the Moroi are not as bad as you think they are," Xanus said as she turned to face him. "There is more to them then what they do to survive. They are a very amazing race being both independent of humans yet dependent on them at the same time. You being one of them I was hoping you would see that there is more to them."
The man scowled, "I hate what I am, I always have and I always will. You try being like this for over sixty thousand years, it's not fun. You lose your sense of truth, which was something I never wanted to lose."
"I hate to say it my friend but what you were before is far more flawed then what you became," replied Xanus. "Besides, had you not become a Moroi then you would not have fallen in love."
"That's not fair."
"No but its true," continued Xanus. "You'll find that if you really look at your life you'll come to the same conclusion that most people eventually do. If you could redo your life you wouldn't change a thing because it changes not only the bad things but the good as well. You wouldn't trade the few good things you have would you?"
The man grumbled, "Don't poke holes in my clouded view; I took a lot of care to cloud my thoughts in the first place."
"You'll never change," sighed Xanus.
"Not until this is over," replied the man.
"So what is the problem this time?" asked Xanus.
"Well, although I took care of the Moroi problem your boy Axon hasn't been making it easy for me," said the man. "He's been sending Hunters after me."
"Hunters? More Moroi?"
"I wish. They seem to be some kind of creature, possibly a mix between a Moroi, a Ferox, and something else. They're really strange whatever they are. They seem to be mostly energy but have a lot more solid mass to them then you do," the man said as he pulled open his jacket and pulled up his shirt to reveal scars stretching from one side of his chest to the other. "But I got these from them...three days ago. These should have healed by now but they seem to be reopening as if the skin can't hold together."
"It sounds like he's using Croziks," Xanus said as she came over and placed her hand on the scars causing them to heal. "They're from another plane of existence. Although I have no idea how he brought them here, they can't exist outside of their home realm."
"Well whether it's a Crozik or something else they hurt," replied the man. "I haven't been hurt this bad since...well a long time ago. But regardless, the Hunters aren't my main problem."
"There's more?" Xanus said in a worried tone.
"I'm afraid so," said the man as he tucked his shirt back in. "Sherri had some interesting things at her base of operations, but the most interesting of them was a contained time space rift."
Xanus gasped, "You can't be serious."
"I closed it like you taught me a long time ago," replied the man. "But it looks like she had been feeding it; it was about eight feet by nine feet by four feet."
"Axon is giving his lieutenants some very dangerous weapons," Xanus said softly. "What is he planning, I wonder?"
"Well that's the other problem," the man added.
"I can't find Axon," said the man. "He seems to have disappeared after I took down Sherri but something tells me he's planning a direct attack on our friends."
"You think he would openly attack Clan Short?"
"Either Clan Short or the new Founder Council," replied the man. "I think he'll be doing this one himself, he has no more Malvya's to throw the job to."
"Hmmm, this isn't a good development; we'll have to be on the lookout," Xanus said in thought.
"Should I tell Tyne or Cory?" asked the man.
"You would have to reveal yourself to do that," replied Xanus. "It isn't time for that yet and you know it. Have the Creator keep an eye out for him."
"I'm not setting the Creator lose in the Ark or Clan Compound, they'd pick him out too quickly," protested the man. "It would be easier for me to be there then it would for him to be..." Xanus looked at him and smiled. "...No, I am not walking around those compounds! What if they find me? You already said that I shouldn't reveal myself yet and being that I'm a Moroi...I don't want to get myself killed."
"You have the Ark to protect you, just use one of their own cloaking devices and set it to a frequency that they don't use," said Xanus. "And make sure you block out anyone one that has telepathic skills if they're letting their mind roam a bit."
"This sounds like a bad idea," mumbled the man.
"Do you have a better one?"
The man sighed, "I'll let you know if I come across anything while I'm there."
"You can wake your partner if you'd like," added Xanus. "It sounds like you need to relieve some stress and I know he can help you with that. Besides you might be able to use his help, two sets of eyes are better then one."
"You're evil, you know that," replied the man as he tried to hide his face even further under his hood as he blushed.
"As Axon would say, evil is just a point of view that you disagree with," grinned Xanus. "Good luck."
The man nodded his head and then vanished.
~~~Meanwhile at the Ark Compound~~~
A little boy stood in the middle of the hallway outside of the Medical bay and appeared to be looking around intently. He looked to be no older then nine or ten and was dressed in white. He pulled a red lollipop out of his mouth for a second as he looked around.
Dmitry happened to be walking by and noticed the boy. "Are you lost?" Dmitry asked as he looked the boy over with a grin.
The boy turned towards Dmitry and smiled, "Yeah, just a little. This is a really big place."
"It's easy to get lost the first day or so," said Dmitry. "But after you get a feel for the place it gets easier."
"Yeah I guess it would," replied the boy. "Hey will you show me around? I wouldn't get lost as easily if I knew where everything was."
"Sure, I'm not busy right now," grinned Dmitry. "Ark can you tell Dom that I'm showing someone around and that I'll join him when I'm done?"
< Of course...He says he will meet you at the Clan Compound for Dinner. >
"Okay, where would you like to start?" asked Dmitry as he looked back at the boy.
The boy grinned and put his lollipop back into his mouth, "Can we start at the Core?"
"I don't see why not," smiled Dmitry as he grabbed the boy's hand and pulled him down the hall. "It's kind of a boring room but if you want to see it we can start there. By the way, I'm Dmitry; what's your name?"
The boy's grin got even bigger, "You can call me Axon..."