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"What is it that you seek?" a voice said in the dark.
Tyne looked around to see if he could see where the voice was coming from but all he could see was the inky black void around him. "Who's there?" Tyne asked.
"I asked you a question first," the voice replied. "What is it that you seek?"
"I'm not sure I understand the question," said Tyne. "That question could be answered from a few different points of view."
"Very true," said the voice. "I suppose I should make my question clearer. What do you want out of this life?"
Tyne frowned, "That isn't any clearer. And that isn't a fair question, I want many things out of life but I suppose I want to be happy if you want to break it down very simply. And if it's not too much of a hassle peace would be nice."
"Ahh but what IS peace and what IS happiness without their opposites to help define them?" answered the voice. "Is your view of what these are also based on your opinions of what you think they should be?"
Tyne's eyes narrowed, "Who is this? You're not part of me...I can't feel you."
Suddenly out of the void appeared a young boy, dressed in deep purple robes, with almost white hair and solid purple eyes. He grinned at Tyne as he stepped closer, "I'm sure you can figure that out."
"Axon," Tyne spat. "What do you want?"
Axon frowned, "Oh, come now, I know you can be nicer than that. I'm not such a bad guy, and I only want simple things."
"Right, simple," Tyne said with a straight face. "Somehow I don't believe you."
"But it's true," Axon said as he started to circle Tyne. "Our views of what good and evil are can be seen as being based solely off of what we perceive. If I was brought up to see that murder was a good thing then wouldn't I have different views on what evil is? You humans all cling to these views you have as if they're something more than yourselves but in reality they don't really matter. No matter what you SEE as good and evil someone always comes along and does what they think is right and then BOOM, you're whole species starts at a near ground level." Axon grinned, "It's not your fault though, not really. It all goes back to when you were given a choice. Eat from the tree and surely die or don't eat from the tree and live in the garden forever. Oops, I guess that choice was botched up. Oh well, let's limp on and try and live with your mistake."
"Freewill is what makes us who and what we are," said Tyne. "Being able to choose is what God wanted for us. But humanity isn't bad as a whole, it just has a few in it that make poorer choices then others and it cost them all."
"Oh, is that so? Then why did the Founders fail?" replied Axon. "You fail to realize that the Founders were not helping humanity, they were just giving the illusion of what life should be like. But the illusionists were beaten at their own game and made the same bad choices that have been made before. By trying to save humanity and introduce good into the world you only gave evil the fuel it needed to consume. But then you stopped." Axon paused for a moment and studied Tyne's blank expression before he continued, "Humanity started off flawless and then they fell, they tried to fix the damage with the Founders and they fell, and after watching a good portion of the last two cycles it is clear to me that humanity has fallen even farther. But as I studied humanity one thing puzzled me for the longest time. You seem to use love as a cover to take away the pain caused by your own short comings, pulling yourselves further into a lie just to block out what the world is."
"Since humans aren't perfect then our choices will follow that but that doesn't mean our view of right and wrong as a whole is skewed," said Tyne. "There are many reasons for wanting to live but together we can give life purpose and become better than we ever were apart."
"Humanity is a monster," said Axon.
"No, humans can be monsters, but when we get together, living and sharing everything then we accomplish so much more," replied Tyne. "We become something almost beautiful."
"Only a cynical man would call what humanity creates beautiful," grumbled Axon. "Humanity has been on a downward slope since its very first choice, and as I've studied it I've realized that I have been given the gifts to heal humanity of all its mistakes; to end the suffering and bring this realm into balance. If the world started with good then it must end with what IT sees as evil. I will suck the life out of this world and bring it to an end, thus completing the cycle and fixing the problem. If good and evil once again become the same thing then this world can start again but without humanity to mess it up this time. I can and will do this."
"Not while I still draw breath you won't," growled Tyne. "Who are you to decide who dies? If you've been watching this world then don't you see what's been happening lately? Through the Clan this world, this universe, has hope."
Axon shook his head, "This universe is a wounded animal and must be allowed to die. Don't worry; I'll remember you when I'm the only one left and thank you for my existence. After all without the blind Founders I wouldn't exist. Your people truly are the end of this world."
Axon suddenly pulled a knife out of his robes and with a grin still on his face he plunged it into Tyne's chest. Tyne screamed and suddenly shot up in bed, sweat dripping down his face, breathing heavily.
"Tyne, are you okay babe?" Rusty asked as he shifted around and half hugged him.
"Nightmare," Tyne said as he tried to calm down. "It was just a nightmare, I'm okay."
Rusty rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and looked Tyne over, "Are you sure?"
"No," Tyne said as he shook his head. "But I hope it was...if not Axon is messing with my mind while I sleep. I'd rather not have to remove myself from active duty because I've become a liability."
"Do you wanna go visit the Medical bay and have your head checked?" Rusty asked, the concern evident in his voice.
Tyne looked over at the clock next to their bed, "It's three in the morning."
"And this could be serious," replied Rusty. "We can get some sleep after."
Tyne sighed as he threw back the covers, "You're right, head now sleep later."
Rusty grinned, "No, Med bay now and sleep later. I can't see how you think we'll do that over getting you checked out and sleep at this hour."
Tyne gave a tired chuckle, "Right. Let's get this over with so we can go back to using each other as pillows."
"Levis died because of me, there is no other way to look at it," Javyk said softly. "And here I've been thinking I know what I'm doing. I've neglected my work and so I am to blame for his death."
"For the last time, it wasn't your fault Javyk," Kendall said sounding a bit frustrated.
"But if I had just worked faster maybe..." Javyk began saying.
"We were working as fast as we could," Kendall interrupted.
Javyk shook his head, "If I was more competent this wouldn't have happened, I wasn't skilled or qualified enough to..."
"Oh come off it," Kendall said interrupting him again. "You're the most skilled person in this entire compound; no one was more qualified to do what you did. It isn't your fault or my fault or anyone else's fault that Levis died. It just happened."
Kendall almost growled, "No, there is no but! I've been trying to tell you this for the last few hours now, but you're not listening to me! It's as if I'm talking to the wall or something!"
"Yeah but you're not listening to what I'm saying either," replied Javyk. "It WAS my fault!"
"No, it wasn't," said Kendall. "Javyk, who do you know that could have done those repairs any faster than you did? You knew exactly what you were doing and did exactly what you needed to do. I've never seen someone work that fast and still have any idea what they were doing. You did the best you could and that's all anyone could ever ask of you."
Javyk looked down at his feet and remained quiet.
Kendall continued, "Javyk, ever since we first met you've made your very take charge attitude very clear to everyone. You always know what should be done or how it could be done better and you can't stand incompetence. Why you chose me to be your assistant is beyond me since sometimes as I feel I'm only barely getting some of the things you're talking about."
"That's only because you don't know the tech, but you're picking up on it really fast," Javyk added. "I choose you because you're amazing. You're just as good as me..."
"Right, that's what you tell me and you did choose me. Ever since you did though I've gotten to know you better than everyone else...well except for maybe Rylan, but I've gotten to see a side of you that I notice you never show to anyone else; I've gotten to see you without your attitude, all of it. I'm not sure if you let me see this just because I've gotten to know you or if it's more than that but the Javyk that I've come to know and care about knows he's the best. Flawed at times but the best in his field of work. Levis didn't die because you weren't good enough and you know that; Levis died because of Axon damaging Ark's core. End of story."
Javyk looked up at Kendall, "I let you see me with my guard down because I love you."
"I love you," Javyk repeated as he looked back down at his feet. "So I let you see me without the attitude. I...I'm not as 'take charge' as I make myself look. I love what I do but I'm always afraid that I'll kill someone with something I've created, that or kill myself. I've done so much damage to myself through simple, stupid mistakes, and I'm afraid all the time that my next mistake will cost me. I was willing to take you as my assistant because if you have help you're less likely to make mistakes but as I got to know you and discover just how...incredible you are I've found that I...I don't worry about myself as much; now I just worry about both of us. I see you as an extension of myself now; I don't expect you to see me the same way but that is how I see you. You have become part of myself and so I love you as much, if not more, then I do myself. But I...I feel that fighting what I appear to be with who I am is what caused me to fail, what caused Levis to end up dying. I always make it look like I know the answer but I feel that if I want to keep up the appearance I have given then I can't love you; I find that harder and harder to do though. And so here I am telling you this, I...I'm not as strong as I try and make myself appear...I..."
"But you are as stubborn as you appear to be," Kendall said, shaking his head. "Javyk, just because you're confused or afraid doesn't mean that Levis died because of you. And besides, if you consider me to be a part of you then wouldn't that imply that I too was responsible for his death?"
Javyk quickly looked up at Kendall, "NO!"
"Then neither are you," replied Kendall. "And now that you've come around I guess that means I can finally tell Matyas to stop asking if the two of us are a couple or not. Apparently we are obvious, according to him."
"What does he know! You were just my assistant," Javyk said, sounding rather defensive.
"That you like to do everything with...including showering?"
"Well, there is that," Javyk mumbled with a smile.
"Are the both of you done shouting at each other yet?" Tyne asked from across the room.
Suddenly Javyk remembered that they were in the Medical bay and not alone. Javyk blushed, "Yes sir."
"Good, because after everything they've done to my head in the last few hours it already hurts," replied Tyne. "Maybe the two of you should either rest or head back to your room and finish talking there."
"I think we'll just rest for a few minutes and then we'll go get some real sleep," said Javyk as he looked up at Kendall for input.
"Yeah, we've been here most of the night," Kendall smiled. "That's not a bad idea."
"You check out fine sir," said one of the Medbots as it came up next to Tyne. "Your brainwaves show that you did have something projected into your head but you are not at any risk. Your attacker was far enough away that he could only project while you were asleep. But I have given you a blocker injection for now, it will last for two days."
"Thank you number two," replied Tyne as he started to get up off of the bed.
"It's a good thing we came down here then, right?" said Rusty.
"It was, but now I want at least another hour of sleep," Tyne said with a yawn. "Don't want to start the day tired."
< You might not have a choice, Tyne. >
Tyne frowned, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Just then Kyle, Tyler, and another young boy with dark blond hair appeared directly in front of the bed Tyne was standing next to.
Tyne jumped a little at their sudden appearance, but before he could say anything Kyle spoke up. "Hi Tyne!" Kyle giggled.
The young boy that was with Kyle and Tyler glanced at Tyne for a second, then rushed forward. "Hi Uncle Tyne! I'm Levi!" he gushed as he wrapped his arms around Tyne.
Tyne quickly looked the boy, Levi, over the best he could, taking in enough to realize who he looked like. As he realized this he looked up and glared at Kyle, "Please tell me that he doesn't belong to you."
Kyle tried his best to look innocent. "Well... he's half Tyler's, someone had to be the other half..."
"Right, and why was there one half of anything to begin with? How did this come about?" Tyne said, sounding a little annoyed.
"Don't be mad Uncle Tyne; they were thinkin' about what a Mikyvis that was born would be like while they were sleeping." Levis stated as he cuddled closer. "They did so good that I kinda didn't wait for them to say it was okay to be alive."
Tyne's face went from annoyed to almost fearful, "You reproduce by THINKING about it?! What the hell!? We don't even know what exactly you can do yet and already you're not only converting people but having children! Out of Socius to boot! I mean...what the hell am I suppose to say to that?"
"That isn't really that strange, Seer. Ferox reproduce in a similar way," said Miah as he walked into the Medical bay, making a beeline for Levi and started looking him over. He ran his hands over Levi's arms, neck, and head before he smiled. "Ark just let me know about you. I'd say you're just as cute as your parents and in perfect health. From what I can feel you feel just like your parents, and them being our only reference point I'd say you check out." Miah then looked over at Tyne, "Reproducing for a Ferox is a matter of just splitting off parts of your own being, mixing it with that of another, and pouring thought and life into it. Though we don't really think of it that way when we're doing it that is what is done. I can't see how that is much different than this."
"I'm not worried about the Ferox ripping the world apart from not knowing what they can do," replied Tyne.
Miah shook his head, "When your ancestors created my people they took that same risk. In this case though, you're not creating what Kyle is, Kyle is creating what he is. You may be the Council Seer but you only really get to watch this happening. Kyle has become something amazing and every facet of what he can do, right down to how he reproduces, is astonishing. Levi is a testament to the care and compassion that Kyle and Tyler have for each other. Children created out of love always feel different than children created just to populate. I was born out of love, Levis was as well; Xedyan was not and you can tell, he feels like his father rather than like both his mother and father. It's not his fault but it makes sense." Miah looked down at Levi again and grinned, "Even though they didn't mean to Kyle and Tyler created Levi out of love and that is something to be cherished, not questioned or frowned on."
"I guess me loving my Kyle-bear did good then, huh?" Tyler giggled. "Levi, why don't you go with your Uncle Miah while Daddy and I talk with Uncle Tyne?"
"Okay Poppa!" Levi replied with a smile. "Daddy, Uncle Tyne needs cuddles from Uncle Rusty. Some bad guy is messin with him."
"Okay Levi." Kyle responded as he tilted his head. "Tyne, can we find a seat and Ty and me will fill you in on what we know?"
"Pick a bed, they make great seats," Tyne said as he sat back down. "The real question is, do I really want to be filled in? As a side note though, why are all three of you naked?"
"Probably developed an allergy to cotton," grinned Rusty as he sat down next to Tyne.
Kyle smiled as he took a seat with Tyler plastered to his side. "I couldn't argue with Levi's logic; the only time he hasn't been all smiles is when he was worried that we didn't want him."
Tyler broke in. "Look at him over there; he's even got Miah smiling!"
"Yeah, he seems really good at that." Kyle replied. "He takes after you on that one." Kyle then turned back to Tyne. "It's kinda weird, but neither one of us knew how we'd have kids. We thought we'd still have them like always, which is gross. When we sleep a part of our heads stays awake, kinda like a guard. Ty and me were just talkin to each other while we waited for our bodies to wake up and we got to thinkin' about what a kid would be like if we had one made with parts of each of us. I think we really started making him when we tried to picture what he'd look like. We talked about what he should know right away and what he needed to wait a few years before it'd work for him; I checked him out while he was eating and it looks like that's what he ended up with. He's got more empath than I do; I think Ty gave him that. He's only got telepath stuff about like Jamie and Jacob until he gets older though and he's only able to teleport on this plane for a couple of years without one of us being with him."
Tyne thought to himself for a second before finally replying, "It's nice to know you're doing your best to be responsible even when you're not really being that responsible. I mean I'm glad you took some precautions but you need to be a little more responsible about having kids; you're not even officially married, you're only engaged. All of this just makes me...uneasy, you need to be more careful about what you think and do. Until you really know what you can do then things like what you and Tyler did can have results like this...or not so good results as well. I just want you to be careful Kyle. I don't say that because I'm worried as the Seer, screw the title; I'm worried because you're family and I love you. You and Tyler mean a lot to me whether I ever tell you that or not and I don't want to see you get hurt for something that, to me, is looking more and more like its my fault."
Kyle moved over and leaned into the side of Tyne not occupied by Rusty. "We love you too bro. Stop thinkin' this is your fault though. I've done a lot of checkin' around in my head and it was gonna happen anyways. You saved my head; It woulda broke cuz' there was no-one who knew how to help it. Every one of the futures where you didn't help me had bad stuff happen because I went nuts. Not just bad for me; bad for everyone."
"I know, I saw pieces of that future too," Tyne said softly as he put an arm around Kyle. "I just feel, though, like you didn't ask for any of this to happen to you and I can't help but feel responsible. I mean, I am responsible for it happening but the alternative was awful. At least this way you are alive and happy. I just want you to be careful, and don't be afraid to ask any of us for help if you feel that some how we're asking too much of you."
Kyle snuggled into Tyne's side as he replied softly. "There's things I know I can do but I'm scared to try them. If you gotta be responsible for something feel responsible for Levi; if it wasn't for you he wouldn't be here now. You saved my life and in a way gave him his."
"But you have no reason to be afraid of something you know you can do," came the reply from the doorway. As everyone turned to see who it was, several people throughout the room gasped in surprise. Standing in the door was a very wet and worn out looking Levis. "It's okay if you want to make Tyne responsible for the good stuff though, it's better for his nerves."
As the rest of the room sat speechless, Levi got up and walked over to Levis, looking him over carefully. "Uncle Levis? Daddy thought you was dead!" Levi stopped just in front of Levis, then softly added "You're hurt Uncle Levis. Can I help you get better? I know how; Daddy and Poppa told me before I was born."
"Uncle, huh? Damn Kyle, you and Tyler have been busy," Levis said as he looked down at Levi and smiled. "I am hurt but I'll be fine. You can't help me sort out myself I'm afraid, not without making it worse. I just have to pull myself together, that's all. You try spending a day trapped inside of Ark; it's no day at the beach."
< It is good to know I am not a beach. I am finding that you actually fixed more than you damaged though so thank you. >
"You're welcome Ark," Levis said as he shook his head. He then looked over at Miah, who was crying now, and grinned, "I told you, you'd get some field experience before all of this was done. I'm sorry you had to go through losing me I..." Levis stopped for a second and closed his eyes, "Okay, I'm going to sit down now...doing too much at once." Levis carefully started for the closest bed as Miah rushed over to help him. Miah shifted into his energy form and helped Levis onto the bed. Levis nodded a few times, making it clear he was talking to Miah in his head. After a few seconds Levis looked back over at Levi and smiled again, "So, they named you after me?"
"Yeah; Daddy was really sad that he wasn't here to save you so he wanted me to be named after you. After they woke up they let me pick my name; I knew how much Daddy loved you as a brother and I thought it was nice that he wanted me to use your name." Levi rambled. "Now I get to cuddle the uncle I'm named after; that is so awesome!"
"I need to be more solid first or you could end up hurting me," Levis said before Levi could continue. "It's kinda odd to have someone named after me though I suppose I could now claim to be the only Ferox that shares a name with someone."
Suddenly Javyk spoke up from the other side of the room, "So, I didn't kill you?"
"The look Kendall seems to be giving you tells me you should already know the answer to that question," replied Levis. "It did feel like what I've heard dying feels like though."
"Right, that's what I meant to say," Javyk said as he looked at Kendall with an apologetic look.
"No, I just transferred all of myself into Ark," said Levis. "I knew that if I could then I'd be able to keep Ark's memory banks active if you couldn't get power restored. It turns out you're extremely good at what you do though and I didn't need to."
Finally Tyne spoke up, "How did you get out, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I...I'd rather not get into that," replied Levis. "I'm actually very surprised that the answer you want didn't come with me, they preferred to stay outside of the Medical bay."
"What?" Tyne said sounding confused.
"You'll understand later Tyne, for now I'd like to just rest a little," Levis said as he laid back onto the bed. "We have a lot to go over, as while I was trapped inside of Ark I did a little digging and found some very helpful stuff."
Kyle tilted his head. "So that's....don't worry Tyne; it's all good."
Suddenly Dmitry and Dominic walked into the Medical bay. They immediately stopped as they quickly realized how many people were there.
"Are we having a party?" asked Dominic as he looked around.
"And didn't invite ME?!" added Dmitry. He pointed over at Levis and continued, "You even invited a dead guy before me?"
Levis grinned at Dmitry's comment, "They didn't think you'd be any fun."
"ME not FUN?!" Dmitry said sounding offended.
Dominic sighed, "Oh brother, here we go..."
"I am the most fun person you're ever going to meet," continued Dmitry. "And if that's not true, I want names and addresses of..."
"He means it's good to see you Levis," interrupted Dominic. "I won't question how you've returned to us; I probably wouldn't be surprised no matter what you told us."
"What exactly are you two down here for?" Tyne asked.
"I wanted to have Dmitry checked out he's ummm...a little sore," Dominic said as he started to blush a little.
Levi sprung up from his perch and almost tackled Dmitry as he slammed into him with a big hug. He quickly bounced over to Dominic and announced as he was giving him a welcome hug "Dmitry! Dominic! You're bigger than the pictures of you in Daddy and Poppa's heads! Ark says I need to watch you making out because it's so interesting! Can we do it soon? Please? Pretty please?"
Dominic instantly turned a deep shade of red, "No, I don't share my personal life with anyone but Dmitry since he's a part of it."
"Hmmm, that sounds kinda..." Dmitry started to say with a grin.
"NO!" Dominic quickly said. "Don't even consider it!"
"Ark told me to...why did Ark say that if I can't do it?" Levi pouted.
"Because she's an evil, sadistic computer with nothing better to do then make my life difficult," mumbled Dominic.
"Ark isn't that bad," said Dmitry. "It does need to mind its own business though. Sorry Levi, Dom says no."
Kyle giggled at the expression on Levi's face. "Sorry Levi; if Dom says no that's it. No cheating by looking in his head either; we all promised Dom that we'd stay outta his head unless he asked us to."
"Okay Daddy." Levi replied. "Dmitry is okay Dominic; you can have the funny doctor bot look at him if you want to though."
"Thanks," Dominic said strangely as he pulled Dmitry away with him.
As they walked away Dmitry finished looking Levi over, "Are you sure Dom, he's really cute. I mean like REALLY cute."
"I noticed," replied Dominic as he picked Dmitry up and placed him on one of the beds near Tyne. "Kyle, your kid needs clothes."
"I told him that too." Kyle giggled. "Ty was the one that agreed to going naked!"
"Cuddles are better with no clothes." Levi stated as he made his way back to Levis and Miah. "Clothes are just to keep ya warm anyway!"
"I disagree," Dominic stated as one of the Medbots started looking Dmitry over. "Clothes have a very long list of uses to them. They provide protection, both from the environment you are in as well as from people that would take advantage of the situation. But my favorite one has to do with what is and is not seen as decent. Proper, civilized, decent; it shows that we don't always think about sex, allowing us to accomplish more. It..."
"Dom, that's enough babe," interrupted Dmitry. "He's not our kid; don't go telling him stuff like that without asking his parents first. I know it bothers you but just let it be."
Dominic frowned but closed his mouth and leaned against Dmitry's bed.
Kyle got up and walked over to Dominic. "It's okay Dom; you put it better than I could. Thanks for helping out; there's a lotta stuff you think about that I don't so it's okay if you think Levi needs to know something for you to tell him."
"I can't promise what I have to say isn't biased though," replied Dominic.
"It might be biased." Tyler replied as he joined them and put a hand on Levi's shoulder. "It'll be the truth though; you're honest and think about what you say."
"Yeah, I like that about him," grinned Dmitry.
"That coming from Dmitry," said Javyk as he got up and started for the door.
Kendall followed after him, "People can always surprise you."
"Javyk," Levis said as he sat up a little. "Those ideas you had before all of this happened, work on them...after you've gotten some sleep."
Javyk paused for a second and then nodded, "Okay."
Kendall and Javyk then left the Medical bay.
"Do I want to know?" asked Tyne.
"I'll explain more later," replied Levis.
"Does our little miracle here check out okay?" Tyler asked with a giggle. "While we're here, do Kyle and me still need checking out too?"
"All three of you are fine from what I can feel," Levis said softly as he closed his eyes. "But if you want the Medbots to check you out anyway, feel free. Miah already uploaded what we know about you to Ark a few hours ago."
Miah gave Levis a strange look, "How did you know that?"
"Because I processed the report," replied Levis. "It kinda itched."
Kyle glanced over at Tyne. "What do you think Tyne? If you're happy that we are okay then I will be too."
"I suppose they would know better than I would," Tyne said, sounding very unsure. "It's up to you Kyle."
"Go spend some time with your new son Kyle," Levis almost whispered. "And check in with a friend of ours on your way out. I need to rest a few hours and for the moment we have time...at least I believe we do."
"Thanks bro." Kyle said as he smiled at Levis. "I'm checking a few futures too; if you are following the one I am right now we've got time for you to get yourself where you can give Miah the hug he deserves." Kyle then turned to Tyne. "Ark has gone over everything Miah gave it and told Mom we were okay; and it looks like the Medbot has passed Levi. Please take a little break from worrying about us and spend time just enjoying being with Rusty. You keep this up and your mind is gonna get as bad as mine was; I don't want you to do that bro."
"Fair enough, I could use some rest," said Tyne.
< I have been asked to also remind you that you have a son that you need to 'hang out with', Tyne. >
Tyne sighed, "That too."
Kyle gave Tyne a quick squeeze then took Tyler's hand. "I'll see you in a little while Tyne." He then made his rounds giving everyone else a hug until he reached Levis.
"Bro; you got a HUGE hug comin' when you're stable! Get some rest please." Kyle giggled. He then took Tyler's and Levi's nearest hand and wandered towards the door. As they got through the doorway, Kyle looked over at an apparently empty corner. "Hey Cris, Jacyb? Thanks for helping Levis guys; take a break while you can."
Levi broke away and hugged the invisible pair. "Yeah, thanks for savin Uncle Levis! You're nice; why you hidin?"
There was a few seconds of silence before finally there was a reply, "You're not exactly catching us in any situation we were prepared for." Suddenly two fifteen year old boys appeared in the corner. The one brown haired boy was smiling while the other had the hood of his coat up keeping his face half hidden. The Hooded Boy looked over at Kyle for a second and then reached up and lowered his hood revealing his overly bright purple eyes.
"We hide because it keeps us safe and unhindered," he said as he studied Kyle. "I'm guessing you know who I am because you've been reading my mind."
"Jacyb, don't get upset with him," the other boy, Cris, warned.
"I'm allowed to get upset when someone reads my mind," replied Jacyb. "The last people to read my mind was the Founder Council. I didn't like it then and I still don't like it now."
Cris just shook his head, "He's still upset about Xanus not telling him about you before she..."
"You're not supposed to tell him that!" interrupted Jacyb. "She already isn't going to be happy with us talking to them, don't make it worse!"
"How could it be any worse?" Cris said to Jacyb. "I'm sure she didn't plan for Axon to do what he has done, I'm sure Kyle has turned out differently then what she expected."
Jacyb sighed, "How many years have I been working on this?"
"I know it took you a long time to get this all going right but plans change sometimes," replied Cris. "I know you know that."
Jacyb looked over at Kyle and Tyler, "You're not catching me at my best. It's been a bad week and you haven't made it any easier for me, though I suppose that isn't your fault."
Kyle nodded. "That's okay Jacyb; it hasn't been good for any of us. I only read your mind when I saw that you were at the Council meeting; if you had been a spy I woulda found some way to get rid of you. We'll respect your wishes if you don't wanna be read, but I can tell you Tyne will insist on it. Have you been watching the same possible future that me and Levis have?"
"I have," replied Jacyb. "But have you? There's a storm coming, you have a good struggle ahead of you. If you fail then the future looks rather bleak. I've been watching those possible futures before you were even a thought in the mind of anyone. I've lived through life, hell, death, and time doing my best to make this world what my people tried so hard to make it but failed due to inaction. I've been shaping your planets future for over sixty thousand years, doing my best to get it to where it is now. Your technology being where it's at now, your Clan coming together with the right resources that they need, Ark finally offering you help, did you think that some of these things just happened? Granted that all I had to do for most of that was to introduce the right element at the right time but other parts of that I had to keep at it, constantly working to keep things on track. You want to know if I've been watching the same possible futures that you have? Ha, I've been watching the possible futures myself as well as sorting through the notes and strings and charts of the Savants to keep on top of this. I KNOW what you will be facing, Kyle, but do you?"
Kyle nodded. "Tyler and I spent a week in a different universe last night and I took a long look at it. I know if I get scared I'll fail. To win, I need to be fast and change as I need to. I also will need all the help I can get. I know that you will play a big part in the outcome; I have already planned out some of my tricks and stored them where Axon can't find them. Can you be ready to back me up?"
"A different universe?" said Cris. "Well, now we know his limits go farther then the Ferox."
"Oh but of course they do, anything Xanus has a hand in always does. But Kyle, I've already been backing you up," grinned Jacyb. "But you already know that. And I'll continue to back you up for as long as you need me to."
"Is Xanus my Grandma?" Levi interrupted.
Jacyb looked down at Levi, "No I wouldn't call her that. She isn't related to you. She's Levis' mother though."
"Although I suppose she is responsible for you in a round about way," added Cris.
Levi tilted his head. "Daddy says Levis is his brother, so that means Levis' Mommy must be my grandma."
"Yes but your father means that in a different way," said Jacyb. "I'm sure that won't add up in your head so you'll probably call her grandma anyway no matter what I say."
Levi giggled. "I think I understand, but I'm gonna call her Grandma anyway. Things will be better soon, I promise. You and Daddy will make them better."
"Your father will be able to do far more than I can," Jacyb replied. "I've already done most of my important work; my part in all of this seems to be changing. I'll help but in a different way then I have in the past."
Levi smiled up at Jacyb. "That just means you're gonna do more. You're gonna be why everything's gonna be good."
"Good comes from the events of others working together, not from one tainted person," said Jacyb. "I haven't been good as a person for a very long time. But thank you anyway."
"Sixty thousand years and he still can't accept being a Moroi," mumbled Cris as he rolled his eyes.
Kyle tilted his head. "Your species does not make you good or bad. My life was saved by someone of the same species as you. You have spent your life working to make things right; if that's not doing good then nothing is. Your actions reveal the true you; if you were not good at heart then you wouldn't be here today."
"You're right, actions do reveal the true you, but what actions of mine would you count?" replied Jacyb. "The ones where I kill to live or the ones I've done to put this all into motion? And you know that I'm not just doing this to do the right thing either, you know I'm getting something out of this."
Kyle nodded. "I know what you're supposed to get, and you're gonna get it. You're not as selfish as you try to believe you are; you are just getting what you want for doing what you know is right. Oh, your SPECIES might require killing to live, but that does not reflect on you as a person. I'm gonna try to figure out a way to help Brant so he ain't gotta feed; if I can do it for him you two are the only other Moroi I would even consider passing it on to. What you do to survive does not reflect you as a person."
Before Jacyb could reply Cris put a finger up to Jacyb's mouth, "Don't argue this again, I know you'll never change your mind Jacyb. You already know that I agree with Kyle, as does Ark. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not true." Cris then looked over at Kyle and smiled, "I'm glad to know you think that way Kyle, and I know for a fact that deep down Jacyb believes that too, he just has so much self loathing that he can't see it sometimes. It is his values though, not his want or greed, that drives him. He wants to see this all turn out well."
Jacyb frowned but let out a sigh, knowing that Cris knew him better than he sometimes knew himself.
"That's what I thought," Cris said as he lowered his hand. "I don't need to remind you that I'm a Moroi too and..."
"Being a Moroi can't be bad since I love you," Jacyb finished.
Kyle smiled at the pair. "I'll see you guys later today; please try to get some rest."
"We'll get some rest when we're finished," Jacyb said as he reached to pull his hood up again. "There are a few things we need to handle before we can rest."
"Okay; we'll see you later then. It's great to have finally been able to talk to you." Kyle said as he took Levi's hand.
Tyler took Levi's other hand. "Let's go find you some clothes munchkin."
Jacyb and Cris watched Kyle, Tyler, and Levi vanish before re-cloaking themselves.
"Xanus isn't going to be too happy about this," Jacyb said as he finished pulling up his hood. "She didn't want us interacting with Kyle."
"I'm sure she already knew that Kyle would find out about us," replied Cris as he stared off down the hallway where Kyle and the others had been. "This is all so confusing at times, I'm surprised I've been able to keep up with all this knowing of things that are known."
Jacyb walked up behind Cris and wrapped his arms around him, "I'm very glad that you make the effort, I don't think I could have lasted all these years without you. If your mother hadn't been able to teach us her ability to hibernate though we probably would have gone on a sun quest a long time ago."
Cris smiled, "I think she knew she was supposed to stay around long enough to teach us. She certainly didn't want to stay around any longer then she had to. I'm glad she did though otherwise we wouldn't be here to see all of this happen."
"None of it would have happened if we weren't here," said Jacyb. "We've spent a long time trying to get this all to go just right. I've worked my ass off for this."
"I know that you aren't just doing this for what you've been promised though," replied Cris. "And Kyle clearly knows that as well."
"Yeah, well I wish he didn't," said Jacyb. "I don't know I just don't like Kyle knowing what's in my head. He's something Xanus threw at me that I didn't expect. Had I known from the start that Kyle was going to become what he has I would have given Xanus what for much earlier in the game."
"That's how she is though," sighed Cris. "All throughout human history she's always been getting involved with whatever she can. I'm actually surprised that you're surprised. I mean look at just a few of the names that she's picked up for herself over the years, everything from Venus to Isis; she's littered human history with her own random appearances and has been engineering parts of the different cycles for what she wants to see done since you first struck a deal with her."
"She just wants to help," Jacyb said as he closed his eyes. "She just doesn't like waiting. I take my time in getting things done. So this time around she's responsible for Kyle."
"Not directly I hope," added Cris. "I only know that she's involved."
"No, she's just been influencing the right people to reproduce," replied Jacyb. "I just don't know how long she's been working on it. I didn't know about it or what Kyle could do until Tyne started helping Kyle sort out his head. I don't think Kyle knew about us until then either."
"We were probably just mixed with the babble in his head until then," said Cris.
"Probably," Jacyb said softly into Cris' ear. "I should go have a word with Xanus soon about all of this."
"You didn't tell him though," said Cris.
Jacyb grinned, "Tell him what?"
"That we know where Axon is," replied Cris.
"We need to get ready first," said Jacyb. "And they all need rest."
"Can we rest too?" asked Cris sounding very hopeful.
"After this is all over we can rest," Jacyb said as he kissed Cris on the cheek. "Right now I need to contact the Interpretation Archive, we have our own help coming our way." Jacyb let go of Cris just long enough to turn him around and grab his hand, "We'll give them two hours."
"Ark, if you would," said Jacyb.
Jacyb and Cris instantly disappeared leaving the hallway empty once again.
Matyas looked over his students and smiled as they worked to fix the problems that Nyo had found outside of the compound. Some of them had done engineering work before but others had never touched a computer before in their life. Either way, all of them were now doing extremely well. Matyas had never really taught this many people before but so far everything was going smoothly. They had just finished getting rid of the room Axon had created and now they were patching the wall.
"Sir?" someone said breaking Matyas out of his daze.
Matyas turned to find a boy about his age dressed in an Archive Composition Team uniform standing next to him holding a handheld. The boy had dirty blond hair, a look of concern, and Matyas lost himself for a moment in the boy's dark brown eyes.
"Sir?" the boy repeated.
"I'm sorry, I was just...what can I do for you...I don't think we've met," Matyas babbled.
"My name is Trevor Custos, I'm a Task Manager for the Archive Composition Team," said the boy.
"Right, the ACT," Matyas replied as he tried to not look directly into the boy's eyes again. "What can I do for you Trevor?"
"I'll be in charge of the ACT Beta Team," said Trevor as he handed Matyas his handheld. "We were asked to reconstruct the defense grid in a few different sections out here to enhance security. You are Master Crafter Matyas Oraculum, aren't you?"
Matyas suddenly remembered what he was outside, all bundled up doing, "Yes, yes, sorry I'm a little tired. My father told me he would be asking Nyo to have you guys help us when you were ready. I just forgot you were coming for a minute there."
"So, what needs to be done to the grid exactly?" asked Trevor.
"Well my Crafters are working on fixing the structural problems but from what Ark said the security grid has been damaged," replied Matyas. "But then the grid is only meant to work within the dome. The Council wants it to extend further than that."
Trevor started to pull things up on his handheld, "How far are we talking?"
"Thirty miles, at least," said Matyas.
"That shouldn't be a problem," Trevor said as he started to enter commands on his handheld. "I'll do a hundred miles just to be safe."
Matyas nodded, "I can agree with that."
"Does this also tie into the work order I have for the Clan Short Compound?" asked Trevor as he looked up from his handheld.
"They want the same system installed up there," said Matyas as he let his mind start to wander a little again. He watched Trevor nod his head and start working with his handheld again. Matyas was lost in watching him, following his every move as he went about his work.
Suddenly Trevor sighed, "Is something on my face or something? You've been staring at me since I got here."
"Sorry, I...I'm just a little distracted," mumbled Matyas as he looked away.
"Yeah, that I noticed," replied Trevor as he handed Matyas his handheld. "You're not the first boy to check me out in my life, or today for that matter. I ran into a Dmitry earlier and he had some creative things to say."
Matyas blushed and started to quickly review what was on the handheld, "I...I wasn't..." Matyas sighed, "Sorry. I don't do it often, but you...you are cute."
Trevor grinned, "Thanks. But I'm on the job, work is work and play is play. Do I have anything else that needs to be added to the list?"
"I...umm yeah," Matyas almost mumbled. "I think you have everything."
"Great, we'll get to work then," Trevor said with a smile as he turned to walk away. As Matyas sighed though Trevor turned back around, "The day is just starting but I get off at six tonight if you're interested, I'll be in the living quarter's second level common room." He then turned away and headed off to where his team was getting their gear ready leaving a speechless Matyas behind.
"I think my boy's got a date," Matyas suddenly heard Cyna say in his ear. "I'd date him too, he's really cute...just don't tell your father I said that."
Matyas blushed, "Pop!"
"Well it had to happen at some point," replied Cyna. "I just wasn't sure if you'd go for a girl or a guy."
"I...I think I like both actually," Matyas mouthed, not wanting to say it out loud. "I've never told anyone else. I never had this happen before though either."
"You're twelve now, those hormones were bound to kick in at some point," said Cyna. "I met your father while at work you know. He was in charge of the project we were working on and we didn't see eye to eye on anything at first. It took us a few months before we were okay working together. Neither of us probably remembers exactly when we became friends but after that it wasn't long until Tyne kissed me, accidentally, but still. Then..."
Matyas rolled his eyes and moaned, "Pop, I really don't want to think about what you and Dad did after that."
"Oh come on, your Dad is extremely good looking," replied Cyna.
"Yeah but he's my Dad, just like your my Pop," said Matyas. "Weren't we talking about me though?"
"We were, sorry," Cyna said. "You know, I think I like Trevor. He's very straight forward."
"I wasn't looking to ask him out though," Matyas said.
"But you were thinking it," replied Cyna. "Your eyes dilated, your heart rate went up, and your little guy..."
"Hey! Maybe we should just change the subject," mumbled Matyas. "Ark, stop letting him watch my vitals!"
< He is just looking out for you. >
"I know," said Matyas.
< I am glad he is not my father though. You had better tell him to stop planning your evening, he is drawing diagrams now. >
"I'm sorry, I haven't gotten to plan this kinda stuff in a really long time," replied Cyna. "Your father and I used to do some very romantic stuff and I was just making a list of things you might want to try."
"Oh," Matyas said softly. "Do you think I should plan...wait what am I saying! Can we have this talk AFTER my first date with him?"
Cyna giggled, "Yeah okay I'll let you get that far before I start suggesting things."
< You should see these diagrams; I believe some of them are things I have saved from when your parents were in the bedroo... >
"Don't tell him that!" shouted Cyna.
Matyas shook his head, "As cute as you and Dad are, Pop, you're right that isn't stuff I want to hear."
"Sorry Mat, I'll just let you get back to work," replied Cyna.
< He is watching your boyfriend now. >
"He's not my boyfriend yet!" protested Matyas.
< Yet. >
"I don't know which one of you is worse!" said Matyas as he reached up and flipped his ear piece off. Matyas looked over at his team to find them all looking at him grinning. "What?"
They just grinned, shook their heads and went back to work.
Devin set his uniforms down on Syris' bed and sighed. It wasn't fun explaining to his father why he was moving into Syris' room. He didn't want to lie to his father so he didn't. His father didn't react badly but he didn't take the news well either. Devin was an only child, being the required one child that two Founders were required to have before they could consider marrying a human. His father didn't want to marry though he just wanted to have a son; but his mother wanted to go on to marry some handsome guy and start a family with him. So when Devin was born he went to his father.
Devin sat down on the edge of the bed and thought about his mother. She was a kind woman but she didn't seem to really care much about him. She certainly didn't want to learn sign language so that they could talk; instead she just kind of talked at Devin rather than talking with him. She tried to be nice to him though.
He was proud to be a Founder though, even if his parents only had him because his mother's first child had to be pure Founder. He did have two other brothers in reality, as his mother did have two more children with the man she did marry. His one brother was ten and the other was eight. Neither one of them really talked to Devin though, they thought he was weird because he couldn't talk; well at least not in the way they were used to talking. Devin sighed as he thought about them. He really wished he could have a better relationship with them, he wanted brothers. At least they came with his mother in this move so he could work on that if he wanted to.
But his father, how was he going to fix that. Devin got the job his father wanted for him, in fact it was better than what his father wanted for him. But his father wasn't happy with what else he picked up with the job. Devin looked around the room he was in, had me made the wrong choice? It was all kind of sudden but he liked how Syris had treated him. He was direct, honest, and seemed to think that Devin was worth something. Syris was definitely different then all the other boys his age, everything around him seemed to say that. Devin took note of the different things that Syris had in his room, everything from the strange looking statues to what could only be called a library of books that looked to be written in Founder. It didn't look like a ten year old lived here at all, it looked like...well it looked like Syris; strange, yet straight forward. Devin liked that but his father had told him he was being a fool for going for the first boy that showed interest in him. Devin sighed again and began looked at everything more closely, trying to do his best to look for some sign that he did the right thing. As he looked at the book shelves though something caught his eye.
Devin got up and walked over to one of the shelves that weren't completely packed with books, there was a gap between several of the books on this shelf. In the gap between the books he found a small wooden box. The box almost looked out of place between the old but decorative looking books; it was very simple and plain. Devin carefully flipped open the lid of the box to find a strange looking flute like instrument inside. He had never seen an instrument like this before but it made him feel better in some way that it was different. Devin grinned, this was again another way Syris was different. He thought the whole thing to be very symbolic. The box seemed very plain but what was found inside was strange and beautiful. Maybe his father was right but Syris wasn't like all the other boys he knew. Syris wasn't from this time period at all, he was from a different time; a time when your word mattered, when what you promised and what you thought were held in high regards. Syris didn't tell him some bull story to hide what he was thinking; he just answered Devin's questions without even knowing what that would get him. Devin ran his fingers over the instrument in the box before him. "Yes," thought Devin. "I think I'm making the right choice."
"I was thinking the same thing," someone said behind him. Devin turned around quickly, almost in a panic, to find Syris standing at the door smiling. "I didn't mean to scare you."
Devin sighed in relief this time and thought, "Sorry, I didn't remember what your voice sounded like when you spoke out loud. Our last conversation was in our heads, you sound a little different out loud."
Syris nodded his head in agreement and walked over to where Devin was standing, "You're right, I do sound different out loud. I'm a little softer in my thoughts then I am in my voice. I can switch to just speaking in your head if you'd rather..."
"No, it's okay," Devin thought. "I want to get used to both so mix it up I guess. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable."
"You're not making me uncomfortable," smiled Syris as he thought his reply. "You're doing pretty well with this telepathy thing."
"Thanks," said Devin. "I...I hope you don't mind that I was looking around a little."
"I don't mind," replied Syris as he looked around Devin to see what he had been looking at. "Ahh, you found my Orisant."
"Your what?" Devin thought as he turned back around to look at the strange instrument.
"It's a Founder wind instrument," said Syris. "It's called an Orisant. They used to be played at the Founder Temples both at sunrise and at sunset. The music was created as it was played by those playing it."
"Does that mean that those playing would share thoughts? Kinda like I'm doing with you?" asked Devin.
"Similar to what you are doing but you'd be reading feelings rather than words," Syris said as he came over and carefully removed the Orisant from its box. "Normally there would be at least three people playing, though you could have more than that but never less than three unless you're playing by yourself. Rylan, Javyk, and I play the Orisant. This is a Soprano Orisant, that's why it's small. I normally play the lighter parts."
"I guess that's something we lost over the years," thought Devin. "I don't think anyone remembers anything about Orisants."
"That happens," replied Syris. "Kinda how the Founder all of you speak now is similar but different from the Founder I speak. I'm just glad that I learned English before actually leaving the Ark Compound or I'd have a heck of a time trying to get my point across."
"What do you mean?" said Devin. "Has it really changed that much?"
"I'll give you an example," said Syris. "The original Founder word for 'home' is 'domus' while the word you guys use now is..."
"Huomue," thought Devin.
"Exactly, and that's not the only word," continued Syris. "I mean a lot of the words are the same but then a ton of the nouns have changed. You wouldn't have any idea what I'm talking about if I was speaking the Founder I know."
"Will you teach me old Founder?" asked Devin. "I mean I know I can't speak it but I'd like to be able to push something into your head that you're more comfortable with."
Syris smiled, "You'd do that for me?"
"Isn't that what people do in relationships?" thought Devin.
"I...I think so," Syris replied sounding unsure of what he was saying. "I mean I don't really know. It feels right."
"Then it probably is," said Devin. "I'm just wondering if maybe we're jumping into this too fast. Well I'm not really wondering it too much but I..."
"Will you teach me sign language?" Syris asked.
Devin grinned, "Yeah, I'd love to."
Syris smiled nervously and then took a few steps toward Devin until he was inches away from him. Syris studied Devin's facial features slowly, carefully looking over every curve, every pore, as if he was trying to memorize Devin's face. Syris then got a little closer, looking deep into his eyes, and Devin could feel Syris' breath on his face. As the seconds passed Syris' breathing became heavier as he kept his eyes locked with Devin's. Devin wasn't sure what he should do but after a few more seconds he decided to back away a little but as he did Syris suddenly moved forward and gently pressed his lips against Devin's.
Jacyb lay on his bed thinking to himself as he stared up at the ceiling. As he lay there, breathing gently, Cris cuddled closer, laying his head on Jacyb's side. Cris started to trace patterns on Jacyb's chest, doing his best to ignore the new scars Jacyb had gained over the last few days.
"Popcorn for your thoughts?" Cris almost whispered as he looked up at Jacyb.
Jacyb grinned, "I haven't heard you use that saying since cycle one."
"I know," smiled Cris. "I remember coming up with it. Remember my father had..."
"A kinda popcorn fetish," Jacyb interjected, completing what Cris was saying. "Oh yeah, I remember. We walked in on him doing some...interesting things with popcorn."
"I think he just mainly liked how it smelled," added Cris. "He just went a little far with it."
"Far...yeah just a little."
"Well, popcorn for your thoughts?" Cris repeated.
"I...I was just thinking of how I'd rather stay here with you, just like this, instead of getting up and dealing with the mess that awaits me," Jacyb said with a sigh.
"You mean us," Cris said firmly. "I'm not going to let you face any of this alone. I know you know some of what awaits us, even if you won't tell me what it is, and I won't let you fight this fight without me."
"I won't lose you Cris, if it doesn't go well I..."
"If it doesn't go well then we'll both be dead anyway," Cris quickly said. "Axon isn't going to show us any mercy just because we're Moroi. We are his enemy and he knows that. So, I'm helping you."
Jacyb sighed, "I suppose I can't argue that."
Suddenly a deer walked through the bedroom door, came right up to Jacyb's bed, and stared at Cris and Jacyb.
"Ummm...is there something we can help you with deer?" Jacyb asked as the deer looked the both of them over.
"I have been asked to inform you that you are out of food," replied the deer.
"I'm not surprised," said Cris. "We don't eat food."
"Wait a minute, we have a replicator in here, how did you run out of food?" asked Jacyb.
"The pink rabbit got into it," said the deer. "It made an awful mess."
Jacyb rolled his eyes, "We'll be leaving soon anyway, do you really need to eat right now?"
"Well, I don't eat but the Creator does," answered the deer. "And yes, right now."
"Right," sighed Jacyb as he started to get up. "Let me just throw something on, I'll be right there."
"And the tree wanted me to tell you that you need more room in your apartment," added the deer.
"The deer lies!" Came a shout from the other room. "I said no such thing!"
"I'm so glad he doesn't belong to us," moaned Jacyb as he forced himself out of bed.
"Don't even joke about that," replied Cris. "But then again I've always wanted kids and the Clan seems to..."
"I will NOT have The Creator and The Shadow living with us longer then the last few hours," Jacyb interrupted as he got dressed.
"Are you sure? The deer is kinda cool," giggled Cris.
"I agree," added the deer.
Jacyb rolled his eyes, "Whatever, come on or we'll be late."
"I didn't know Axon was on a schedule," said the deer. "I will have to check with the mice and see if they know anything about this."
"Right, just get ready deer," replied Jacyb.
"Okay, just give me a second to get dressed," grinned Cris.
Jacyb smiled, "Deer, can we have five more minutes?"
"Fine but remember that we need food," said the deer as it walked out. "They said fend for yourself Tree."
"It's another lie!" Came a cry from the other room.
Cris chuckled and then pulled Jacyb into a kiss. A few seconds later he pulled away, "Five minutes?"
Jacyb grinned and then pushed Cris back onto the bed, "It might be ten."
< You do know that I am waiting as well, right? >
"I can't hear you," replied Jacyb as he took his shirt back off.
< Of course you cannot. Just do not be late, Levis is expecting you. >
Meanwhile in CIC a few boys in Archive Composition Team uniforms rushed around doing their best to avoid those that were supposed to be working there. Each boy seemed to be focused on what they were doing and kept running into each other while dodging the Clan members that were trying to rest in CIC. It didn't take long, though before they were almost knocking each other over, they were trying to work so fast.
"These systems just don't work," one of them finally said out of frustration. "I feel like I'm trying to get Linux to talk to a Windows machine!"
Trevor, who was working at one of the new Ark consoles that had just been put in smiled, "It's probably worse then that Pat. Just keep at it, it will work; Nyo got the first console working without too much trouble."
"Yeah but we're trying to add three more to this grid and I think its more than this system can handle," replied Pat.
"Then slow down a little, figure out what you need, and then go get it," said one of the other boys. "And while you're at it I need a AC to DC adapter that's been converted to work on Geo power."
"And I could use a ham sandwich," added one of the other boys.
"Wait, CIC doesn't have Geothermal power, what do you need an adapter that works with Geothermal power for?" Pat asked as he stopped what he was doing to think.
"Well," grinned the other boy. "I could use another terminal power cell though to go with that adapter."
"Oh, right the power cells use what Ark uses for energy conversion," Pat said, realizing what the other boy needed the adapter for.
Trevor shook his head and grinned as the console he was working on finally connected to the CIC systems without giving him any errors, "See, you're moving too fast guys; this one works now."
"I can't compete with someone that's memorized the terminal handbook by just look at the thing," Pat said as he took his tool belt off. "I'm going down to Ark for that power cell and adapter for Jim."
"And my ham sandwich!" added the other boy.
"I'm not bringing you a ham sandwich!" Pat shouted at him.
"Pat," Trevor said calmly. "Can you please bring Ed a ham sandwich, but get one for yourself while you're at it. You've been working since six this morning and you didn't eat breakfast."
Pat looked annoyed but nodded, "Yes sir, did you want one too?"
"No but I could use Nyo if you find him," replied Trevor as he looked down to see that his terminal was still working but asking him if it could format the CIC system. Trevor frowned, "Ummm, well that's not good; no, you can't format the system."
"Why not! That Mickey Mouse voice is driving me nuts!" shouted one of the other boys.
"I don't want to know!" said Pat. "Ark take me home!"
As Pat vanished one of the other boys let out a cry as one of the CIC terminals started sparking, "Help!"
Trevor jumped up, "Cut power, quickly!"
"I did!" said the boy.
"Well, pull the power cell away from the electrical outlet that the terminal is plugged into," said Trevor as he jumped over one of the terminals to get to where the boy was working.
The boy looked around and quickly realized he had set one of the power cells down where he shouldn't have; he quickly picked up the now smoking power cell and the sparks stopped.
< I will tell Patrick to get two adaptors instead of just one. >
"Thanks Ark," replied Trevor as he took the power cell from the boy. "You gotta be careful, these things explode."
"Sorry," the boy said as he hung his head.
"Go ahead and take a break, I think you need one," Trevor said. "In fact, lets all take a break. Meet back here in thirty minutes." Trevor watched his team shuffle out of CIC before looking down at the power cell he was holding, "You happy now slave driver?"
< I am sorry but you are the only ACT unit I have right now, the others are still in training. There is too much to do and I am used to Nyo being able to work long hours before he would start making mistakes. >
"Yeah but Nyo is like fifty thousand years old and a Vifer to boot, we're only kids," replied Trevor as he set down the power cell and then returned to the computer he was working on. "I agree with them about the Mickey Mouse voice though."
< Do not format their systems please. >
Trevor smiled and then clicked 'No' on the screen, "You're no fun Ark."
"It's always been that way," Cyna replied as he appeared above one of the working Ark consoles.
Trevor looked over at Cyna and shook his head, "Why pink hair, sir?"
Cyna grinned, "Because I'll need my natural hair color later today I think. And you can call me Cyna, sir makes me feel old."
< You are old. In fact if you include your human life then you are older than me. >
"Hey! Take that back!" replied Cyna.
Trevor giggled, "You'd think you guys are married by the way I've seen you act today."
"Wouldn't happen, I'm not into older women," grinned Cyna. "I'm gay you know."
< Older women? I should dump your program for that. >
"You wouldn't!" cried Cyna.
"Wait a minute," frowned Trevor. "Cyna, you're not a program, you're a memory scan."
"Well I...that's what Ark meant to say," replied Cyna.
"No, Ark always knows what it means to say," Trevor said as he gave Cyna his full attention. "What did Ark mean by program?"
"It was nothing, really..." Cyna started to say.
< I gave him memory rewrite permissions and access to the same programming language I use. He is writing himself into more than just a memory scan. I thought that he should, especially if he is on the Founder Council. >
"Does Tyne know about this?" asked Trevor.
"No, and for now I'd like to keep it that way," replied Cyna. "Please."
Trevor sighed, "Yes sir."
"Anyway, I was wondering if you and your team could help me with something," continued Cyna. "I'd like to add more than just these computers."
"We're having trouble with just adding them and you..." Trevor started to say.
"I will help walk you through that," said Cyna. "I watched Nyo do it for the first one."
Trevor grinned, "Well okay then, what extras did you have in mind?"
Tyne sighed to himself as he lay with Rusty next to the pool up at the Clan Short Compound. "This is nice; it's been really quiet here."
"Yeah, after I convinced you to turn off your sub-vocal," grinned Rusty as he slowly drew circles on Tyne's chest with his finger. "I still think you should have gotten a little more rest though."
Tyne shook his head, "I've got too much on my mind to sleep. After what Axon told me I've been looking at as many possible futures as my head will index, but all I can see looks rather dark. I'm having trouble seeing any light ahead."
Rusty propped himself up on one arm and looked down at Tyne, "Babe, you need to stop pushing your mind to do what it can't do. Just let the future happen if you can't see it; no reason stressing over something you can't change."
"I know," replied Tyne. "I'm just looking for some hope, any hope."
Rusty smiled, "You can find hope in a lot of things around here though. This entire family exists because of hopes and dreams."
"Hi Uncle Tyne!" Levi yelled with glee.
"I know that voice without even looking," said Rusty.
Tyne grinned, "It's like they were summoned by what you said."
"What do you mean?" asked Rusty as he leaned in to kiss Tyne.
"Hope," replied Tyne as he leaned up into Rusty's kiss.
After a few seconds Tyne and Rusty broke their kiss and then looked over to see that not just Levi had joined them but Kyle, Tyler, Cory, and Sean were with him as well.
Tyne sighed, "Hey guys, did you come to swim?"
"I don't think they did, babe," Rusty quickly added. "Levi's dressed."
"Yeah; and he's definitely picky when you do get him to put clothes on!" Kyle replied as he gave Levi a quick squeeze.
"I gotta look good Daddy; I'm a Mikyvis!" Levi giggled.
Cory smiled. "You just take after your Daddy when it comes to clothes Levi."
"Uh huh!" Levi replied before turning to Tyne. "Please stop worryin' Uncle Tyne. There's stuff you can't be told about yet that make it so you can't see the real future. Daddy's checked out my seeing and he says I'm really good; since Daddy's got to do somethin' soon I'm gonna be helpin' make sure that if you need to know somethin' you know it."
Both Cory and Sean stared at Kyle, obviously neither happy about the information they just heard.
Kyle responded carefully. "Sorry bros; it's kinda fate and if I say much right now it could make things harder. Levi's gonna keep you updated too as fast as it's safe to say anything."
Tyne shook his head and then got up, straightened his uniform, and zipping it up before he replied, "I only worry because I care, not because I can do anything about it. It just bothers me that just a few days ago I could see the future and now I can't see one hour ahead of us. No Founder likes being uncertain, it makes us feel like we're backed into a corner and we have blinders on."
Rusty got up and put his arms around Tyne, "You're safe though, babe."
"I know I am, at least for the moment I am," said Tyne as he hugged Rusty tightly. "So, Kyle, are you just here to relax a little or is there something we can do for you?"
Kyle walked over and gave both of them a hug. "I wish I could show you the future now, but if you know what's happening, it'll change stuff for the worse. Please trust me bro. There's something that I think we need to do before Ty and I go do what our species was intended for. How fast can we complete the Socius vows?"
"You...you want to get married?" Tyne said sounding shocked. "Like right now? But..." Tyne stopped for a moment seeming to have suddenly lost himself in thought. A few seconds later he nodded, "Okay, when and where. I can perform the ceremony at any time. Just let me know when you have everyone you want present in the same room."
Kyle gave Tyne a shy smile. "Everyone's already there; they're in the Rec Room. They need something happy, you marrying us will help them get over yesterday some. Levi needs parents who follow the rules of their society. We can't expect him to do something we have not done."
Tyler joined the group. "You need something happy to happen, Tyne; this will be good for you to do too."
Tyne nodded, "While I appreciate the sentiment I do hope you're both doing this more for yourselves and your son rather than for us. While marriage is a statement to the world that you are together, the commitment is for the both of you and only you. Just as long as you understand that then we can do this. Also, are the two of you doing your own vows or are you going to be using standard Founder vows?"
"We are doing this for us and our son; but the affect on all of our family out there has been taken into account for the timing." Kyle replied seriously. "We did decide on the customary vows; considering our lifespan they are fitting."
Cory suppressed a giggle as he added "Besides, they want to be able to give Levi some brothers legally I bet!"
"Or have fun trying," added Rusty.
Tyne grinned, "Okay guys, are we doing this in the Rec room then?"
"I think that's the best place." Kyle replied to Tyne. He then turned and stuck his tongue out at Cory. "Cor; at least WE don't keep half the Compound awake when WE make babies!"
As both Cory and Sean turned beet red, Tyler added "At least you try ... a lot!"
"Hey, that's nothing to be ashamed of," Tyne replied with a grin. "Anyway, give me a few minutes and I will meet you guys in the Rec room, I need to dress for the occasion. Speaking of which, what will you guys be wearing?"
Kyle smiled. "How's this?" he asked as both him and Tyler suddenly were clothed in a very formal outfit. Both outfits consisted of gleaming white dress shoes, white dress pants, white dress shirt, and a cloak and tie which both exactly matched the violet of Levi's eyes. On the breast of each cloak was a crest; Kyle's held the Founder crest while Tyler's was the Clan crest.
Tyne paused for a moment and then shook his head, "Again, I'll meet you there. I can't do THAT, I have to do what the rest of us do; you know actually changing my clothes, not think them into existence."
< I think that all of you talk too much. > Before Tyne could reply he suddenly vanished. < There, Tyne is now where he can change into what he should be wearing. The rest of you can go on to the Rec room. >
"That was a bit blunt," said Rusty.
< Yes but none of you have Cyna excitedly chatting in your mind about how their wedding should be set up. I have far too many things to do to have wedding talk taking up my precious CPU cycles. >
"Tell Uncle Cyna to come on down!" Levi giggled. "Him and me can get it all set up while Daddy and Poppa are tellin' everyone what they're doin'!"
"Now you're in trouble!" Sean giggled as they turned to head back out. "Let's warn everyone!"
< He is already waiting in the Rec Room for you Levi. He some how talked poor Trevor, the Archive leader from one of my new ATF teams, into setting up holographic projectors throughout CIC. >
"Well, as 'Hand of the Seer' he does need to keep tabs on everything...." Cory grinned.
Before anyone could reply they found themselves in the Rec Room. Levi glanced around, then ran over to the projection of Cyna and proceeded to compare notes on ideas for the wedding.
"No, 'Hand of the Seer' is my job, he's just Hand of the Seer," grinned Rusty.
"We won't go there...." Sean giggled. "C'mon Rusty; we'll start with your parents."
Fifteen minutes later Tyne stood at the front of the now transformed Rec room in his Council robes. In just those few minutes the room had been practically remodeled to fit what a wedding would need, right up to a small stage, where Tyne was now standing. Tyne looked around the room and smiled as scanned the faces of every kid and adult that had quickly shown up for this event. Some where dressed for the occasion, while others were barely dressed at all, looking like they had just gotten out of bed. Tyne knew most of the faces he scanned while looking over the room but there were still a few he didn't. Regardless they all meant something to Kyle and Tyler. Kyle and Tyler, the two boys standing in front of Tyne, dressed in their pure white suits. They looked so happy, so content; it reminded Tyne so much of how he felt when he married Cyna. Only his father stood where he was standing now. Tyne had to remember, he was the Seer now. His father wouldn't be delivering the opening lines he would. He would be helping declare to the world that these two young boys were joined; joined for all of time. It was time to begin.
Tyne looked out at the audience again and then began, "Good morning, for those of you that don't know me my name is Tyne Oraculum and I am the Seer of the Founder Council. It is my great honor to be standing here before you today. You see we are gathered together here today by the request of Kyle Richardson and Tyler Short to share and bare witness to a promise they intend to make to one another. This is a promise that can not be undone. They wish to be recognized as Socius, the most binding and final steps two people could ever take together. And so if the two of you are ready, you may begin."
Kyle nodded seriously then looked into Tyler's eyes. "Tyler Austin Short, you are the one person that understands me completely, my soul mate. Today, I take you to be my life partner. I promise to respect, challenge, encourage, and stand by you forever. I vow to cherish you, love you, and to nurture that love, for as long as I am able to still draw breath."
Tyler returned the stare into Kyle's eyes as a soft glow of energy began to surround each of the pair. "Kyle Calvin Richardson, you are the one person that understands me completely, my soul mate. Today, I take you to be my life partner. I promise to respect, challenge, encourage, and stand by you forever. I vow to cherish you, love you, and to nurture that love, for as long as I am able to still draw breath."
The halos of energy surrounding the two boys merged as they leaned into each other and sealed the vow with a kiss. As the kiss broke, the combined energy burst across the room, allowing everyone present to feel the love they held for each other.
Tyne smiled and then continued, "Individuality is an important part of a person's life; it gives us purpose and makes us strive. We learn and grow by ourselves and in our culture but alone we easily reach the boundaries of our own humanity, the point where we cannot go any further. But when two individuals choose to join and become one then they, together, reach a turning point. That point notes not only their love for one another but a new experience, a new way of growing and developing, together they learn to be more than they were apart. The Founder Council has recognized that these two individuals before us are ready to take this next step, to become one and continue their path together. And so, by the power that has been given to me by the Founder Council, I now declare them Socius. May their life together be long, complete, and teach us all the value of love."