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Thread: Dystopian Symphony

  1. #81
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Page 175

    Ch1- Not again (T2)

    Without further delay, Lost Echo is starting right into the action as war is threatening again after a long time ceasefire. Have a nice reading! :)

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    Good and evil, true or false, rise or fall were the foundations of the world only known hanging on a fragile balance between rebirth and nothingness. After the Second Traumatism, nothing was left but chaos. Darkness all around, as if an everlasting night had descended on the universe dimmed into an overwhelming obscurity even concealing the dying stars’ feeble shine in agony. However, the end of the road could be seen from afar, mankind’s hope for renewal, a mass of rock and ice rotating in convoluted circles outside its orbit amidst Jupiter’s remains, named Calisto.
    By the windows a fleet of asteroids sprouted from nowhere, sucked in a supermassive black hole. From the scattering of the ancient solar system was left nothing but a crown of shattered planets gravitating around the Black Sun, a gigantic armoured spaceship.
    “Fall out!” ordered the Almighty One’s shifty voice harshly, so did the soldiers in charge of keeping the prisoner under check. He ordered them to resume their patrol, and turned around only when the last of them had left the room, staring down at the man in front of him:
    - I’d cooperate obediently if I were you.
    A raucous moan resonated from the shadows of a ripped hoodie: “Collaborate my ass” followed by a scream of deep pain when His hand smashed his skull violently into the wall: “Where are they hiding?”

    May 20th, 2055:

    “Act up, never give up~...” while humming Naomi checked her make up and put on electric blue circle lenses. At the wall of the backstage lounge a big LED clock indicated 8pm. “- Guys, are you ready? I want you all on stage in 5 minutes for a last rehearsal before the concert!” the NCL’s manager shouted in the speakers.
    Naomi got used to celebrity but did not like going on stage only to make money even though they had concluded a juicy contract with a worldwide major company. She kept her eyes mid closed, blindfolded by the lights. Her fingers danced on the strings, her voice ascended on higher notes. She felt her heart beat faster as the show was about to begin shortly. A tiny, shiny bug flew weightlessly in front of her eyes, then it vapored in thin air as if it were never born.
    “What was that, an optical delusion?” she wondered, replacing a broken string. She tuned carefully the new chord: “Or bad omen?”

    A little butterfly took flight towards the city’s skyline, crawled through tonight’s traffic jam, landed softly on a wild flower bush, its tiny wings sparkling in the light of dusk.
    - How long will you sit down on the terrace to admire the sea, Marcus?
    - Melancholy, perhaps. That’s how it feels to me Dora.
    - Stop mourning about the past, shouldn’t you?
    - Guess so, Marcus responded, eyes low to conceal his tears. I’m sorry Dora, I’m so sorry... I should have...
    - You should come inside for dinner! Theodora responded harshly arms crossed over her chest. “Oh!” She caught glimpse of something shiny among the roses, a butterfly. The little guy looked like he thrashed about to break free from traitorous thorns when she picked it up between her palms, She felt unexpectedly relaxed for a few seconds, soothed by the sight of its little wings swishing the air. A smile curled her lips as she watched him whirl in the dying sunlight gracefully. Her fingers reached for the thread of blue light fleeting in its trail as if it was going to set off in the time of a blink, with time she learned how to perceive those chords of destiny even without using telekinetic skills. Stupefied she looked up at the tree’s crown then sketched a pale smile:
    - It’s about 8pm; let’s go back inside.
    - You’re being overly romantic sometimes, Dora.

    - This is our last song for tonight, A Lone Bird’s Melody. Thank you for your continued support all this time since the very beginning! Our latest CD’s limited edition is available for sale after the show!
    Naomi adjusted her mike under the assembly’s round of heartfelt applauses. Spotlights set on soft brightness illuminated the stage while steamy clouds of smoke plunged the hall into a blue starry fog. She counted silently one, two, three, four as the mist dissipated. Her nails floated hesitantly on the strings: “All this darkness all around swallows me whole...” Her voice hushed quietly through the speakers like a whisper coming from a past long gone. “All the secrets I’ve been hiding... all the years I’ve been waiting... to see you again...” Her hand slipped off the guitar, her voice faltered on missing words. Her fingers grabbed the mike angrily. Once again, she was losing control, in front of all. Five years were not enough. Breathless, she could hardly hold on the last notes higher and higher, tears flowing down her cheeks. There was no need to hide her sadness anymore. She just wanted to see her brother once in five years, only one more time.
    - You did it again, Nao’ commented Viktor, the recently hired bassist when the band gathered in the backstage lounge after the concert. You sure, it’s fine to play that song knowing in advance it brings back hurtful memories?
    - Watch your mouth Vik, we morally support her but none of us can understand how she feels inside, intervened Melvin, Naomi’s right-hand as co-founder and main guitarist of the Next Century Loners.
    - Geez cut the crap guys! No more fighting allowed between you two! Naomi remarked exasperated. By the way I’m fine Melvin, I have to live on anyway. Thanks for your concern though.
    - You’re very welcome.

    Naomi drove fast across the boulevard by car to a wealthy residential building situated ideally nearby the city heart crowned by a verdant private park. She owned a well-furnished snug flat on the third floor accessible by a glass elevator. Dazed she grabbed a box of pasta in the fridge and poured cold water in a cooking pan then switched on the hi-fi system to play relaxing orchestra music.
    How things have gone wrong so badly?
    She felt relieved that the world had been saved just in time. Yet, it looked like the new world was hanging on a fragile balance, a delusional feeling of safety and comfort. Esteemed economists and politicians independent from the temporary regime established to form a new democratic government in the long term were even worried about the global world expansion: natural resources would soon be lacking to welcome everyone, wars were declared to obtain rights for exploiting arctic snow pits in order to produce water, some developing countries suffered harshly from the global warming always the first victims of major disasters. Ruling over the Federation was the Aftermath Republic, the wealthiest country of the after world influent in both worldwide conflicts and money affairs. There is a place for everyone on Earth if we save on natural resources long enough was their motto, sadly the leading party had their hopes too high even if everyone wanted to believe they were more than simple idealists. Finding safety, guaranteeing prosperity was all people could ever asked for but it was not enough to make them feel happy: they needed something else, something priceless even economical growth and urban development policies could not buy for them.
    Some might say they lived happily in their comfy homes without a worry about their lives endangered anymore, lost in the middle of the ocean, unbeknownst to them, it was just the beginning of the end.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    - Dozing off Livi! Slowpoke, get your ass right there, right now!
    - What’s the matter Sty? You scared me!
    - Breaking news from the Galactic Safety Committee! A fleet of Black Knights is in approach towards Odyssea!
    - War again... An endless circle of destruction and rebirth... why to take arms in order to maintain peace? Zoe Da Livia mumbled between her teeth. Annoyed she hurried through the corridor leading to the assembly room preceded by her comrade the hot-tempered Styx Van Hellson. “They found him.” Styx answered emotionlessly. “You know what it means, right?” Zoe shrugged her shoulders: “We’ll have to fight!”
    - I disagree!
    - Control yourself Lance!
    - Here you go, yet again Styx observed when the two barged in the hall that looked rather like a wild jungle ravaged by a hurricane than a regular council office result of another dispute between their companions, Sylvestre Floralès queen mother of nature and Lancaster Mc Maelstrom weather commander who had the ability to control weather, summon raging storms out of the blue when infuriated as he was now, pointing an accusing finger at Sylvestre:
    - Even trying to negotiate with them is purely reckless! What can we do against a thousands men army armed for war, unless provoking the third greatest loss of humanity? Huh?
    - You know it well! Sylvestre responded. They will...
    - Their goal is clear enough, isn’t it?
    - Come down Lance, Syl, we can’t assert that Chronos is still alive based on mere rumours from their channels! Styx intervened
    - Always late you two! Lancaster admonished them when Styx and Zoe crawled throughout the room among the vegetation. Where’s Judge?
    - God knows, Styx replied coldly. Never there when needed, that’s for sure.
    Unconcerned, Sylvestre snapped her fingers. Around them, wild bushes and climbing plants stopped growing, withered, transformed into a pile of shattered dead leaves before they collapsed to ashes. Then, the companions settled at the four cardinal points around a glassy conference table for their weekly meet-up when all of a sudden a fifth person burst in their conversation, summoned to the audience through a teleportation portal. When the light dissipated, a little fairy going by the name of Faeri Dei stood in the middle of them, her face masked under an auburn veil. She casted her eyes up at the assembly, holding carefully a shiny compass between her hands, wrapped in an eerie silver dress seemingly too large for her:
    - War is knocking at the door, once again.
    Last edited by Seira; 01-02-2016 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #82
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Page 175

    Ch2- Space Slash Format

    Once upon a time, a damsel in distress and her reluctant prince did not live happily ever after.
    Enjoy this week's chapter! :)

    May 20th, 2055:

    Mozart’s Requiem played in the background while Danielle Mc Madonea sat in a long chair on the terrace to drink a cup of her favourite herbal tea, her back resting against a fluffy cushion, her lightless irises fixated on the content of a holographic screen displayed by a pair of thin half-moon glasses she wore for reading since she had started to lose sight gradually from a cerebrovascular accident several years ago.
    Nightfall set ablaze the clouds in a panel of blurred shades at the edge of her eyesight. If only she could turn back time to these days, thought she always when she scrolled backwards her memories library searching in particular for a family portrait in which the three of them were reunited.
    - At the very least, perhaps I should have listened to your advice Mathias, she murmured for herself turning off her electronic optics. You’re no longer visiting me from time to time like you did before Isha, is work really keeping you busy all day long? She inquired without turning around to greet her own daughter.
    - Back then, you denied me the right to live happily ever after like most women aspire to at a certain period of their lives by your selfish prejudices, forced me into assuming a social role that failed to meet my own expectations in order to achieve in your stead the ideal career you never had, why to take back the life you’ve given me!
    - Ungrateful girl, what’s the point in arguing about it over and over as if it will for and ever tear us apart? For all I know, I just attempted to prevent you from following the wrong path.
    - I disagree with you on the fact leading the political opposition is the wrong path to take, Isha objected. My decision had been long and hard even before getting engaged, she added looking at the now meaningless golden jewel pendent at her left ring finger pensively.
    - I doubt so.

    December 21st, 2030:

    On December 21st, winter lurked at the corner waiting to strike on the frozen bystanders muffled in their bold winter coats under the sun barely piercing through the clouds. An icy wind blowing from the north battled the street, tore apart the last autumn leaves from the sycamore trees in its trail. Brilliant, colourful decorations hanged at the trunks, snaked around electric wires, shined at the shops’ frontages, wrapping the city in a soft, eerie, almost magical veil of light but this year none were in the mood for celebrating Christmas. Children strolled down innocently the city heart’s shopping mail from shop to shop with their parents who, as for them, paid attention to their surroundings with carefulness, hurried their offspring through the covered walkways, heading back home faster than usual after their weekly groceries. The official radio broadcasted news nonstop instead of Christmas songs, people walked fast past the office avenue their cell phones plugged to their ears muttering raucously under their scarfs, cars and public transports were riding slow the city’s outskirts, WANTED posters popped amidst the ads panels and the traffic boards: life went on, greyish, stiff, monotonous. A rainy snowstorm started to pour down from the clouds, wrapping the buildings and the urban equipment in a whitish, plain mantel of muddy ice.
    “ - Hurry home before 6pm, right honey? “
    - I’ll get back to you when I’ve arrived at the bus station Mom, murmured Isha looking down at her phone screen when she passed by a group of policemen wearing black raincoats who glared at her wireless headphones suspiciously.
    She rode fast her bike across the academic district from the medicine faculty to the nearest bus station, disturbing the city’s ambient, wintery stiffness, listening to classical music at low volume to stop attracting attention from the militia men in black raincoats rumoured to spy on the citizens from side alleyways. Breathless, she took halt near a bench next to the information board in order to check the departure schedule and sighed heavily with resignation: next was in twenty minutes because of the recent snowfall which had fallen during the night, shutting down most of the urban traffic until the city’s staff men had cleaned up and secured the roads.
    Exhausted, weary of everything for no particular reason, she took a seat on the wet wood, wrapping tightly her scarf around her neck, breathing small clouds of vapour to warm up her hands. She focused her interest on the medicine book borrowed to the library one hour ago for the holidays, checking regularly her watch, almost forgetting the world around her.
    At the second her watch stroke 5 pm, she had never thought a single glance upon your shoulder could turn your life upside down in the blink of an eye and found herself rather amused and frightened by how maliciously the wheel of fate played on her its favourite trick. In the rush of after work activities occurred an unexpected encounter frosted in the coldness of December, at the least proper time, happening most awkwardly along the main street from where the eyes of power were watching out your every movement.
    He sat on the other side of the bench wrapped in a black-grey winter coat, holding a glass of hot wine between his gloved fingers. Golden-brown, rebellious hair strands peeked out from the synthetic fibbers of a greyish cheap beanie, enlightening his forehead like a crown of sunrays. His face seemed to her familiar although she could not recollect his identity. Covered by large sunglasses – by the way, why was he wearing sunglasses at the beginning of winter, wondered she – his eyes looked carefully at his surroundings as if they were searching for someone or, she realized when she saw a squad of policemen in patrol, figuring how much time he needed to run away from the police but it was already too late for him to escape. He turned ostensibly his back on the street his head burrowed in the folds of his large scarf, so that he made one believe he checked distractedly his phone dashboard for new messages, although the uncovered terror in his eyes revealed he was pretending to look with attention at the screen in order to not being recognized by the officers approaching their position.
    - Guess what, who do we have here? inquired mockingly a shifty voice that belonged to their chief of division who eyed on side at Isha, arms crossed over the chest.
    His colleagues nodded, barely concealing their satisfaction. Stern, Isha put a bookmark on the page she was reading, stuffed her book into her backpack and unchained her bike. A slender hand grabbed her shoulder:
    - Aren’t you Isha?
    Pallid, overwhelmed by the fear of being arrested Isha did not turn around, wrapping the lock around the handle.
    - Be careful, a price may have been put on your head.
    She checked the good inflate of her wheels and mounted on her vehicle, keeping her eyelids half-shut:
    - Leave me in peace I have no interest in causing trouble regarding political matters involving governmental affairs.
    - Aw, why are you suddenly so strong-headed? Why don’t you come with us to talk a bit?
    - I did say I have no intention of taking part in the opposition!
    - Quickly said. Come with us.
    The mysterious guy wearing sunglasses, who till then had kept silent the entire time, squeezed angrily his hot wine goblet between his fists so tight that it exploded splattering its red, smelly content on the snow:
    - You dare bothering an innocent woman? He mumbled. What sense of justice is this?
    - Huh, is it me you’re talking to, insolent brat? Has anyone ever taught you to never meddle in someone else’s business? The officer responded in an imperious voice tone to this impertinent youngster who shot glance at him brashly, amazed and angered by his audacity to defy openly a high-ranked officer from the political police.
    “ – What is he thinking about, they will prosecute him for rebellion if he stands up to them any longer!” thought Isha, bewildered by his behaviour.
    Her charming prince wearing dark clothes, standstill, casted his gaze up to look straight at his interlocutor recklessly from the shadows of his sunglasses.
    - Know of your place, young lad, I am the law. Strange that I feel like your face is familiar, who are you?
    - Does it matter to know who I am? Think of me as a casual university student going out after class, that’s all.
    The officer’s gaze drifted from the young man standing in front of him to an advertisement board on which was displayed a research notice picturing a twenty years old law student that strongly resembled him:
    - Is that so?
    - Geez, it can’t be helped. I’ll introduce myself to make things clear between us. If you’re the law I’m the heir of the power.
    - What nonsense is that?
    His interlocutor took off his sunglasses to reveal his olive green eyes:
    - You’ll be greasily rewarded to have captured me alive and your higher-ups will compliment your investigating skills to have found me so fast.
    - What are you talking about?
    - I have to tell them something really important, answered he designating the Wanted poster riveted to the bus coming across the other side of the road. Name: Hitori Kokuboheki. Age: 20. Reward? 100 000$ being dead or alive. This is what the notice says. The one said to be a lazy, careless law student son of the late Prime minister Kokuboheki stands before you and won’t surrender so easily.
    - Stop kidding me!
    Hitori breathed in and out deeply to remain composed but lost his countenance:
    - Do you think I’m kidding? Do you think I would have been selfish enough not to raise my voice when I witness an abusive arrest? My answer is a twice no, I’m not a coward nor an opportunist!
    - Well then the young lady can make her way. But you Hitori Kokuboheki you’re under arrest for being a bothersome troublemaker charged for insubordination and public order hindrance.
    It sent chills down her spine: Isha complied without objection but something went wrong when she rushed aboard her bus, reprobated by the driver for bringing along her bike which she folded in haste and sat down on a free chair in the rear with relief.
    Why was she feeling immensely guilty for escaping safely without rebelling?

    Her family house was a well-furnished, historical two-stairs building built in old stone situated in the very heart of the city, amidst a prominent garden luxuriant even during winter bordered by a row of non-deciduous flower bushes to hide it from bystanders’ view all year long. A small earth path paved with regular flat stones led to the entrance, a tall, engraved wooden door surmounted by a glass gloriette decorated with intertwined Greek caduceus patterns. The keen interest for travelling of its owners made it a comfy, welcoming home filled with a great variety of unusual objects and surprising treasures coming from all around the world, found by chance, discovered, sometimes bought while moving on from country to country. But that evening, Isha passed by them without looking up, put away her coat in the hall’s 19th Victorian style clothing chest, blasted in the living room to say hello and headed right to her bedroom, dropping her head into her pillow to let her tears free.
    She tried to put her thoughts into order but failed, realizing at last she would have been arrested if that young man named Hitori had not intervened to spare her from spending a few years in prison, relieved and scared to be safe and sound for today but this dreadful game of hide and seek with the police would not last forever. She was thankful that he found the bravery to kick against the policemen who were tormenting her but felt a melt of pity and compassion for him who had risked his life for her and was now paying twice the price of his foolhardiness, took in custody for civil disobedience to be incarcerated later after a thorough interrogatory.
    Why, just why it always happened like this?

    May 20th, 2055:

    - Despite your father’s constant reproaches, I’ve been always disapproving your relationship with him for your own sake because staying by the side of a designated outlaw would have continuously put your life in danger.
    - How... how can you say such things without even...
    - I did it for your safety, honey Danielle responded, a faint smirk painted on her face. While you’re here, would you mind serving me another cup of that tea?
    - Sure, Isha responded without a second thought heading to the kitchen.
    “Why am I feeling so tense suddenly?” she wondered, grabbing the half-empty kettle on the counter and a teabag. A shadow took shape in the threshold behind her back while she was looking for sugar in the cupboards. “Who’s there?” she asked without turning around. A wrinkled hand silenced her while slender fingers seized hold of her hips, clawed into her soft skin. She thrashed about to break free from her aggressor, in vain. A disgusting, herbal infusion smelling like humus after the rain filled her mouth till she nearly choked up, disabled her senses, paralyzed her muscles bit by bit, numbed by a strong sedative binding her movements. The ceramic pot she held between her fingers shattered astoundingly in its fall, spilling its content all over the tiling.
    - Sleep well angel, Mommy will take care of everything for you, whispered shifty lips to her ear, the last words she heard before she blacked out

    - Good job Ophideus, remarked the malicious’ voice from the gloom shadows of a tenebrous cloak. I was not expecting less from you anyway.
    - Mission accomplished, eh? Ophideus exclaimed victoriously with a chuckle. So easy, almost too easy, but when she will wake up she will have forgotten everything and everyone she used to know. Holding his queen of heart in hostage will surely make it easier for us to get close to them as soon as they will find out about the matter.
    - But they never will.
    - Of course not.
    The echo of their laughter resonated for long after they left, scaring a group of pigeons who fled away from the balcony’s guardrail in a wing rustle. A cell-phone rang somewhere in the emptiness of the apartment, then the silence came again. Lancaster picked up from the ground a shattered photo frame fallen from the chimney: “Crap!”
    - Apparently, we came too late Styx observed leaned back against the threshold.
    - Damsel in distress, Council of Cosmos to the rescue, I guess.
    Last edited by Seira; 04-21-2015 at 07:25 PM.

  3. #83
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Page 175

    Ch3 - Devil's Trap

    Nota bene, better not make Danielle angry.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    - Ophideus from the Black Knights has returned from the underworld, Faeri declared.
    - You sure Fa, is he not supposed to have died during the Great War? Styx objected.
    Faeri’s predictions, whether they augured good fortune or bad omen, often came true but this time, four sceptical glares were set upon her neck, wondering if her sayings were or were not believable, in one or another case, Ophideus’ return from the dead portended another era of doom, which condemned humanity into exile across the universe all over again.
    - Problem, when he’s gone hunting, he never fails to find and kill mercilessly his target. He has proved to be an obstinate mercenary, harbinger of chaos in the past: never, any of his preys have gotten out alive from his fangs once captured.
    - Ah! So? Styx queried and restrained a noisy yawn, leaning back in his chair.
    - You lazy crow, get hold of yourself! Sylvestre reproached him harshly
    - He has set sail to the human world, back to the year of 2055 exactly.
    - Sheesh!

    May 20th, 2055:

    - Gentlemen, are you from the police?
    Styx and Lancaster stared blankly at the dazed-looking elderly in her late seventies standstill in front of them, wondering how to introduce themselves.
    - Nope, however it would be a long story Madam, Lancaster responded with embarrassment, to their interlocutor who glared at them with suspicion. My name’s Lancaster and my colleague’s Styx.
    - Have a seat and tell me more about what’s going on. I don’t even know why and how you’ve got into my flat in the first place.
    - We’re actively searching for the men who harassed you earlier today around the area Styx intervened. We’ve been summoned here to carry on further investigation if you may forgive our intrusion.
    - If so, I won’t hinder your enquiry any longer. Sadly, I can’t be of any help, I do neither remember anything about their looks nor their circumstances. It feels like I’ve just awakened after a deep slumber as if nothing happened earlier.
    - Did they force you to take any drugs?
    - I can’t remember either.
    - Amnesia pills, Lancaster affirmed arms crossed over his chest. Which means we shall come back to the headquarters to report now Styx, don’t you think?
    - I object, we should go and fetch a certain dull rabbit first.
    - Free beings travel out of this world Sty, he surely have his reasons for not coming back, Lancaster commented whilst he casted a second class memory spell on Danielle Mc Madonea before summoning a time portal towards the fourth millenary: “At your service Madam, have a nice evening!”

    July 13th, 2035:

    - Honey, dinnertime!
    - I don't want to eat, Isha responded from her bedroom upstairs.
    Pissed off by her daughter’s misconduct, Danielle barged in Isha’s room arms crossed over the chest. “Haven’t I told you to get your luggage ready by tomorrow’s morning? We must leave no matter what!” she admonished her offspring with eagerness, eyeing on disapproval at her undone travel bag.
    - I’m not going anywhere!
    - We have to talk!
    - There's nothing to explain.
    - There are plenty of other fishes in the sea. You might as well find a better party once arrived at your new faculty.
    - Be the gentle, high-educated wife of the vicinity's renown surgeon from a wealthy family background? Not for me!
    - He'd make you feel much more happy than this ... this ...
    - "This"?
    - Failure of a would-be minister, clowning around when he should be studying to make a name in politics!
    Isha stood up abruptly:
    - I dare you to insult Hitori in that manner! What has he done wrong to stir up your anger and your contempt whenever I talk about him with you?
    - Don't you answer back to me, insolent! You exactly know what's the problem but you keep ignoring my advice till you'll ruin your career stupidly because of a reckless idiot who is not cut out to become a fine politician devoted to serve his country! Put yourself together, you've already got a long list of pretenders head over heels for you to choose from. What on earth is wrong with you, lucky girl?
    - Like I care for money and fame, only to become someone's caged bird in the end. My heart will belong to the one I truly love, whom I deeply trust and respect for who he is provided that he respects me as well.
    - All that matters to me is your happiness, however this guy's only going to cause you trouble, even to found a family, if he constantly gets in the target line of the current government.
    - Who else has the guts to do so?
    - Come downstairs to eat something at least, the meat's getting cold.
    - Later', I have to work on my PhD's bibliography tonight if you don't mind.
    At eleven when the streetlights were all extinct and the weather had cooled down after a stifling hot summer day, Isha put her work aside and came to the balcony from where she could admire the bay extending beyond the crown of the trees.
    “Bzzt~” Indifferent she let her smartphone keep on vibrating inside her pocket till the screen turned blank after a few seconds. She would have to leave too, sooner or later, better do it here and now, she stated to herself looking with nostalgia at the city below.
    Her dashboard displayed a new text message when she checked her phone back inside: “Things’ alright, dear?”

    - I’ve ... I’ve made my decision ... I ... I should leave town ... by tomorrow...
    Entangled in the blankets, Isha held her pillow close to her chest like a shield, curled up on the bed’s edge: “I’m sorry Hitori ... I’m so sorry!”
    - Knowing you safe and sound overseas is my sole redemption.
    - We never shared anything in common! We never got to live together like any normal couple of our generation! Back then, why have we started dating in the first place, I wonder! she screamed at him, on the verge of crying. Contrite, he kissed her nape with tenderness, his hands caressing lightly her shoulders: “Let... let me go” she stammered between her cries, turning back on his dazzling olive pupils which implored her to stay for the night.
    - If I had to, I’d lay down my life for you.
    - It does not make any sense if we can’t fulfil our engagement.
    - I promise we will, whatever it takes.
    - The members of the government were not that stupid by co-opting Danielle and Mathias Mc Madonea today’s greatest physicians in order to assess their leadership. One issue remains, if you decline their offer, you’re sure to be registered in their records as the first public targets, which forces you into exile to escape the dark pits of jail. As their daughter, I’m also at risk so I’ve made my decision. This is probably the last time we see each other in a while.
    - I swear you’ll be forever safe by my side.
    - Only words.
    Hitori’s grasp around her chest lightened, letting go of her waist. He looked blankly at the ceiling for a few seconds: “Do you consider me as an untrustworthy person that much? If so, have I unnecessarily endured the worst for saving your life when you were in trouble against those policemen, huh?”
    - Egoistic conception of love. You did what was right to do in the context of an unjustified arrest for questionable motives by the police, that’s all. There is no point in arguing over it again and again, Isha whispered eyes low.
    Her face clouded over: “I wish I had not to leave.” She could feel his heart pounding against her nude skin when he wrapped his arms around her breasts. This time, she could no longer fight back, overwhelmed by emotion when he laid his head on her clavicle. She felt her resolve to depart tore up to shreds at the idea of being forced to run away for her life, abandoning cowardly the one she loved so dearly on the side of the road, a path they were meant to follow side by side.
    - Come over there, Hitori whispered compassionately, drawing her close to his torso under the blanket, kissing her on the forehead: “If anything, I can’t afford to live on carelessly if I know my loved ones in danger.” Isha nestled her head in the curve of his throat with a pale smile: “Stop playing the hero you’re not in the end” she responded clung to his shoulder blades, their lips bounded together by a passionate goodnight kiss before they fell asleep in each other’s embrace like young lovebirds going out on a midnight date for the first time long after had rung out the curfew.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55:

    Cries. Shouts. Threats. Around her only obscurity remained behind the bars of a four-wall cage, trapped in the anteroom of hell. All to be heard were soldiers’ footsteps trampling down the basement. The sound of their chatter blasted painfully through her eardrums, from afar their jeering laughter resounded strangely sarcastic in the wholeness of the silence. Dissociated pictures, nameless faces flew before her eyes unsubstantial as if these shards of memories did not belong to her, meaningless, holding them prisoner behind her eyelids before they vanished into void, that fearful numb feeling that paralyzed her body and hindered her soul. However, a recurrent dream resurfaced every time she intended to fall asleep in which she met with a faceless stranger who yelled accusingly at the soldiers who tormented her, himself held prisoner by police officers at gunpoint. Every time she awoke abruptly screaming, cheeks overflowed by remorseful tears unable to recall his name. Every time the memory of him faded in the distance, unreachable. She felt dizzy attempting to put her thoughts into order, gradually lost notion of space and time as if jailed inside the black depths of the underworld: “Who am I? Where am I?” Find the answer to these questions obsessed her mind for some reason provided I seem to be in great danger and so I shall get out by any means she thought for herself, trying to break free from her shackles to no avail.
    - Don’t even try.
    She startled at hearing someone else’s voice for the first time since she had recovered consciousness. “Someone?” Her own resounded so light and feeble, almost extinct after a long and deep slumber. “Welcome aboard to the future, princess.”
    “Eh?” When her eyes accommodated to her surroundings, she could perceive an old man’s silhouette leaned back against the opposite wall. “Shame we can’t even introduce ourselves properly.” She crackled a pale smile: “At least we’re together in trouble.”
    He let out a raucous laugh, pointing a fingertip at the ceiling: “This pit’s the Black Sun.”
    - There’s really no way to escape?
    - Fool, want to die?
    - Not yet, I guess.
    - Then, all we can do is hope for this dumbass to come and rescue us just in time.
    - You must have tight grudges against that person.
    - Back then, he pretty messed up things to a point of no return!
    - That’s how you ended up down there, I suppose?
    - Partly yes. Let’s talk about you, why would they capture and hold a damsel in hostage?
    - God knows, I wonder about it too!
    Her interlocutor shrugged his shoulders: “They must have unreasonable motives.” His eyebrows furrowed over his lightless anthracite irises. He clenched his fists with resignation, looking down at the ground: “Mockery!” he mumbled between his teeth angrily. The silence came again, interspersed by his rowdy snores.
    “Lucky girl, you’ve got to spend the rest of your days with a weirdo as sole company until someone’s going to save you from your misery” Isha remarked with bitter. “Be glad you’re still alive for today!” he retorted while sleeping.

    Once arrived aboard Odyssea, Styx and Lancaster summoned their colleagues for a crisis meeting:
    - The Party has indeed declared war to us. Knowing our strategy, they’re attacking innocent civilians to make diversion but their real goal is quite obvious, find out Odyssea’s location across the universe in order to kill any opposition to their leadership in the egg, Lancaster affirmed.
    - In other words, the thousands of exiled earthlings sheltered on Calisto, including us, are in imminent danger of extinction if we remain obstinately neutral by avoiding battle as much as possible, Styx observed leaned back in his chair.
    - That’s because we cannot sustain another Great War whatsoever, Sylvestre objected.
    - It’s even more troublesome if they modified the past in some way, Zoe added.
    - Humanity will be decimated once again if we don’t intervene, someone observed.
    - Back on radars, you slacker! Styx responded harshly to the newcomer without turning around to greet him. “Styx, you better...” Sylvestre growled between her teeth, interrupted short by Zoe. Lancaster shrugged his shoulders wearily. Faeri remained silent as usual, expressionless. She looked pensively at the stars beyond the panel windows of the council room then the glassware destiny holder between her hands that emitted a faint blue light from time to time.
    - Let’s hope to be awaked soon by the light of dawn.
    Last edited by Seira; 12-21-2015 at 12:26 PM.

  4. #84
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Page 175


    Hi all, Seira's online for a short update about the continuation of the series!

    I'm sorry for appearing and disappearing once in a while, I have been busy on many different levels the past few months - including my studies in college and my first comic project - so I have paused DS for quite a long time.

    But now I am ready to continue writing the story! I am currently working on next chapter in hope I can update more regularly. No big deal or deus ex machina twist, it's all (almost) about family issues thus why I've chosen to title it Mama's Strange Friend. ^^

    To be continued, see you soon! :)
    Last edited by Seira; 11-11-2015 at 09:45 AM.

  5. #85
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    Page 175

    Ch4 - Mama's Strange Friend

    Have a nice ride aboard the feels train!

    May 20th, 2055:

    - Why only me?
    Emotionless in appearance, Alys cried from inside. Between her hands glowed a silver pendulum suspended at a tiny chain. She focused her attention on the Oriental rug that decorated the living room to avoid Hitori’s concerned eyes. She was supposed to feel enthusiastic after this memorable birthday party. But grief overwhelmed every other feeling, stole away the joy of their long-wished reunion.
    - This is a charm to keep you safe while I’m gone.
    Alys looked at it shining in the curve of her palm, conscious that even a priceless jewel from coming times was unable to grant her most ardent desire.
    - Back then, why did you erase my memories from the battle?
    - Although you have endured many hardships, all your actions are emotionally driven. You’ve been growing up under my protection for almost ten years and considered me as your second father. In return I had to erase your memory in order to hurt you less.
    If I took the wrong decision, I deeply apologize.
    - Everyone knew, except me.
    - Come to your senses, you should not be crying Hitori reproached her gently.
    He took her between his arms. She freed herself from his embrace briskly.
    - Protect the widow and the orphan... fight in the name of justice ... spread the word of goodness and wisdom around the world... what for? When the show ends ... the almighty hero... becomes again... the irresponsible man... doesn’t he?
    Speechless Hitori stood up from the couch to admire the ephemeral beauty of nightfall beyond the window:
    - You’re surprisingly a quite good judge of character.
    - I’ve gone through a lot the last fifteen years.
    - You were only ten years old when the Traumatism occurred, you had a life full of hope and opportunities ahead from you, unlike those who had lost everything they possessed and everyone they loved, forced to run away at any cost from their homelands. But, at the age of ten, it is normal to feel profoundly attached to your siblings, which made you believe nothing could ever separate you from your mother and big brother, even a nuclear disaster, yet it happened for real.
    - I knew all this, however it did not alleviate the pain of loss.
    - Well, it can’t be helped unfortunately.
    - If only we could redo the past.
    - You must go on.
    “Easy to say” Alys thought for herself.
    Remorseful at the idea of abandoning his loved ones twice Hitori came outside on the terrace to breath fresh air, what did not succeed to make him feel better. He readjusted his glasses pensive:” Think of it as a farewell. We probably won’t meet ever again”. Reaching eternity implied to make sacrifices in order to alleviate the sorrow of the living you leave behind Faeri said. He knew exactly what she meant. His heart raced inside his chest at the thought of it, at the realization they saw each other for last before his departure from the nowadays world to a distant future.
    He glanced at the silver ornament he wore at his left ring finger:
    - Soon the world you used to know will come to an end.
    Alys shrugged her shoulders:
    - Politicians like to debate about it over and over. It makes no sense to me. What if a meteorite suddenly crashed somewhere on Earth? Or rival countries kept waging war against each other for a mere puddle of fuel? Causing another cycle of disaster? Life would disappear from Earth in seconds, annihilated. Let’s live as long as we can on what’s left of this dying planet, like there was no tomorrow: we’re condemned anyway since we reached a point of no return!
    - It could have been prevented from happening in this period of time.
    - How?
    - You who know everything could not do anything? Do you try to escape your responsibilities once again? Mikael screamed from the threshold.
    Alys assumed he had been eavesdropping their conversation the whole time without interfering. She adjoined him to calm down, however it only made her brother angrier:
    - Do not forget that you are a man before all so you must bear responsibility for your actions, you who pretend to be a supernatural being able to leap through time at will, unable to protect his loved ones!
    Silent, Hitori did not turn around. One could read indifference in his cold gaze while he stared blankly at the rising tide. He then looked at the silvery hourglass tied around his neck. "Already?" he wondered as the last drop of blue meth inside it reached the other side. "It cannot be real ... " He did not believe Faeri's words when she intended to convince him that the Chosen Ones no longer belonged to this lowly world once they endorsed the burden of their abilities.
    - Let's not get too emotional, ok?
    He then summoned a portal floating ten feet off the ground in a swift hand move and took a deep breath: « You’re right Mikael, I probably am a coward, but I shall comply with my duties as guardian of the past, present and future even if it so breaks my heart to depart for last and forever. Because ... "
    - Because you are supposedly some kind of hero able to save the world in the next thousand years! Stop kidding me, you're nothing more than any human being to whom was granted a destiny you were forced to embody against your will!
    - The laws of the space-time continuum are strict. One can only judge on what has been done, not what is to be done. Convince those who can make society change for the greater good accomplish their destiny. You know what it takes when you're faced with the true face of a world decaying over centuries due to atrocities committed by mankind itself!
    - I disagree. There are no chosen ones, there are simply us! Even though we are merely pawns on the universe's exchequer, great people can make great things happen!
    - That's a childish point of view to think you can bring back peace without conflict.
    Mikael's eyes were burning red, drilled on his interlocutor:
    - You still don't get it?
    - Get what?
    - When a disorienting feeling of emptiness engulfs you whole when you're all alone in a foreign society led by an authoritarian oligarchy, there is no longer hope. Fear dictates your choices and actions. You can only wish that a kind soul will come to take you home someday.
    - Do not judge on circumstances too quickly. I did what felt right to my consciousness.
    Mikael flinched involuntarily before Hitori's coldness. It felt like, for once, the man let out his personal concerns before his so called duty and this was rather unexpected from him whose sense of justice prevailed over his heart, putting his life in the line to save everyone and the world around from destruction whatever might happen next.

    July 13th, 2030

    Like thousands of citizens running away from the capital, Ashley and her offspring left home at birdsong without a look back after the newly elected President's speech last night.
    "Ashley!!" That morning the central train station was unusually overcrowded as if people were running across the hall for their lives towards the railways. "Ashley!!" She did not pay attention and kept walking forward, faster and faster, until she almost started to run.
    - Mommy, who is that guy yelling at you? Mikael queried with anxiety.
    - Hurry aboard angel, we're already late!
    - Ashley, wait! Listen to me!
    Ashley took a halt.
    - There is nothing but friendship to unite us. I'm glad we met and became close friends. It proved me that I should not lose trust in men. Sadly, our paths shall part here and now because I want Mikael and Alys to grow up safely outside the capital.
    - Will you be okay travelling on your own by roads and mountains with very young children?
    - I have made my decision long ago. Ever since Fritz and I broke up to be honest.
    - Then, there is nothing I can do to make you stay I guess.
    - Be well and take care, I hope this is only a goodbye, Ashley pronounced in a lighter voice as she jumped inside the train. I wish we'll meet again someday, somehow Hitori.
    Voiceless, the man stood still for a handful of minutes while the train to the south faded in the distance, only then turned around, Meanwhile on the road to the coast, Ashley was curled up in a corner of the cabin, crying her eyes out over their forced separation. But she had no choice. There was something she had not told Hitori. He had a life full of opportunities to look forward to. He could easily find a special someone to share a flat together in the next five years. Her was the mother of two little birds at twenty-five, compelled to run away because she would be soon targeted by authorities for taking part actively in the opposition. She did not want Hitori to get involved in her affairs with the government in power: she knew he would put his life in the game just to save hers. She admired him for his bravery, although she called it recklessness.
    Mikael witnessed the whole scene, puzzled. Ashley swiped away her tears and sketched a faint smile: "No worries honey, Mommy's sad to depart so suddenly."
    - He's strange.
    - Who?
    - That guy.
    Ashley rolled her eyes with reproach: "Don't judge a book by its cover too easily Mikael!"
    - He loves you, right?
    - Why do you ask?
    - If he truly loved you, he would have come with us, no?
    Ashley shook her head: "Love is not an easy question to deal with." She took her son between her arms comfortingly: "You can't understand how it works at your age." Memories of her relationship with Fritz unexpectedly resurfaced. She fought hard to hold them back. Her feelings had been deeply hurt, she no longer planned to get engaged with anyone from now on. She once had stated to herself she would rather live alone for the rest of her life than marrying another man who would let her down for the sake of his career just like Fritz did. She watched over her nestlings tenderly while the countryside unfolded quickly by the window. Her life was going to take a whole another turn outside the city that gave her birth although she did not feel scared. It felt like a new beginning to let go her past and restart a living from scratch.

    May 20th, 2055:

    Later, Alys and Shinichiro reunited online for the first time in three weeks since Shinichiro went on report overseas.
    " - You okay, sweetie?"
    She ducked her head into her pillow to hide her eyes red from crying.
    He sketched a faint smile:
    " - Cheer up, has something happened?"
    - Nothing serious Shin, really...
    His girlfriend intended to smile: " You know me all too well, am I so easy to read?"
    " - You make that grumpy cat expression when something goes wrong."
    Alys laughed at Shinichiro's joke without enthusiasm. At the time she needed most to be comforted, he was away on trip across the world. She regretted that the professional constraints of a reporter's life compelled him to leave home every few months. More than five years of relationship had been meaningless. She utterly wished that she was not going to reproduce the same mistakes as her mother's, getting engaged with a man who was never there, unreachable, only a ghostly silhouette in the distance whom she waited on at home, forced to embrace loneliness as her sole company. This is notably the reason why she never got to meet her father in flesh and blood, which she learned to accept with time.
    - To make my 25th birthday party memorable, Mikael had invited a very special guest to join us. I don't know what to feel about it. I'm thankful for his attention but sad in the meantime.
    " - That idiotic brother of yours is always up for the stupidest things. I hope he did not make you cry again!"
    Alys harboured a pale grin:
    - He cares for me like a mindful big brother watches over his little sister.
    " - What a jerk in my opinion!"
    - I'd rather say he knows how to cheer me up in the hard times.
    " - I am deeply sorry to not be there to wish you happy birthday in person. Be good and if anything drags you down, feel free to call anytime. I wish I would be by your side more often."
    - You applied for it.
    " - I could not let this amazing opportunity to boost my career pass, otherwise I'd still be sitting behind an impersonal desk writing articles for local newspapers on a day to day basis!"
    - I know, Alys nodded.
    " - I gotta go sooner than usual today, see you online tonight. Happy birthday again angel, take care until my return!"
    The screen turned blank. Alys logged off from her voicemail account with a weary sigh, an unpleasant feeling of loss suppressing her joy to have turned 25 a few hours ago. She outstretched a hand outside her blanket to switch off the lights and lied down in bed with the impression they already had had this argument so many times before. She even began to wonder if their relationship could withstand their forced long-time separation. She used to think quite naively they were meant to be heavenly matched. It left her to live with bitter memories of the caring boyfriend he had been at the beginning, always there to give her the support she needed. Maybe it had been all but a teeny love affair and they were unable to admit it. Lonely and sleep-deprived in the lovebirds' flat at midnight, she felt betrayed by the one she loved, abandoned on side of the road to happiness.
    Feeling downhearted brought back sorrowful memories of the hopeless times. Instead of giving in to nostalgia, she got up and walked to the terrace to admire the clear night sky.
    - I can grant your utmost wish, whistled a whiny voice behind her back.
    She startled, caught off guard. She dreaded at the idea someone might have intruded her apartment. No one. She stated to herself she must be hallucinating. A cold breeze sent chills down her spine. She went to the kitchen to pick an instant coffee cup in the fridge. Cappuccino: her favourite one to battle against exhaustion when she had to stay up late past midnight. "Come on girl, there is nothing to worry about!" she admonished herself. "It must be a mere consequence of your wild imagination." Having said that, she dipped into the obscurity of the stairs leading to her bedroom when a sleek-textured material brushed against her shoulders. She cried for help in vain, a sticky liquid filling up her mouth. She used her last strength to fight off the drowsiness that invaded her body bit by bit. She caught glimpse of her aggressor whose face was hidden from view under a black-hooded cape. He harboured a devilish smirk:
    - Want to jump in the future?
    She groped for her bearings, losing her senses one by one. She thrashed about to break free on attempt to defend against her assailant. Her limbs no longer obeyed to her brains. She clung on to the striking pain that irrigated her forearm.
    "What are... your intentions?" she articulated in a weakening voice. Her field of sight narrowed as if the world had been switched off. "You don't need to know anything." someone retorted. She then realised she was deadly trapped, by who, for what motive? She lost consciousness before she could even figure out the answer.
    Last edited by Seira; 02-29-2016 at 10:20 AM.

  6. #86
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Page 175

    Ch5 - Sundown

    Humanoid beings, robots and genetically-modified litchis, welcome to the thirty-first century!

    Tauri 31st, Year 55 - Black Sun

    Only a name: Isha. Maybe hers. She was bothered by the fleet of ladies in waiting and servants who gravitated around her, annoyed by their obsequious attention. Some brushed her hair meticulously; others adjusted her dress to fit perfectly. Such beautiful dress ornamented with gemstones! A masterpiece of lace and velvet, decorated with pearl-black feathers and onyx stones, sewed for a queen. She took a look at her surroundings, mesmerised by the beauty of this place, luxurious museum filled with priceless artworks. Majestic paintings that glorified the conquest of the galaxies by the Empire overloaded the walls. Her feet sunk into the fluffy carpeting weaved of silver and gold wool. Speakers attached to the ceiling played chamber music in the background while maids titivated her to her fingertips.
    But whom she saw in the mirror was an ordinary-looking woman dressed up like a princess from a dystopian fairy-tale. It made her feel uneasy. She whisked away these concerns in a blink. She should not let her guard down. Everyone's gazes were set upon her every action. Moreover Ophideus kept her on watch from the threshold, armed to the teeth, ordered to shoot on sight if she attempted anything to escape the Palace.
    - You may come in, His Highness the Almighty One is waiting for you.

    His reception hall was even more colossal. Its fabulous columns of black marble were imposing. Closely escorted by Ophideus she admired in awe the hangings embroidered with intricate cosmic designs while she crossed the pathway to the throne. The Emperor himself was sitting under a canopy, hidden by a curtain of silk. A satisfied grin curled his lips as they approached:
    - Good job Ophideus!
    The lizard-man nodded with compliance:
    - I just followed through your orders Your Highness.
    - I was expecting no less from you.
    The reptilanoïd dipped into a bow and left the room backwards, then the monarch focused his attention on the goddess of beauty standstill in front of him. Drilled on her forehead his lightless pupils were skimming through her memories from her early childhood to her life in Society, including her years in college. He had not the right to intrude her mind she thought at the realisation his mind-reading abilities allowed him to know everything about her. It no longer mattered to her that much either. She was starting to lose track. It felt like this distant past that kept harassing her was carried away from grasp bit by bit, until it vanished.
    People, whose faces lingered on in her mind, whose names she had forgotten, were waiting for her return. Where to? She reached out to them as their silhouettes disappeared one by one. She was left alone. From now on she was nobody but the sovereign's property. She no longer belonged to anywhere given that she had nowhere to go back to. Her identity, if she ever had any, had been wiped out.
    - I bid you to become mine and only.
    The sound of his reedy voice throughout her mind snapped her back to reality. He held her chin in the curve of his palm. Took by surprise she thrashed about to break free only to realise she had no longer the ability to move. She was trapped. Her arms and legs under someone else's control were no longer responsive. He tightened his grasp. Her lungs gasped for air. She nearly choked up. “There is no escape” he conjured between his teeth chuckling deviously. He drew her closer to him and pressed his lips against hers for a forced kiss, his fingernails clawed into her skin:
    - Outside death awaits the reckless.

    On position near the threshold he had witnessed the whole scene from a distance. He harboured an emotionless face like his colleagues to conceal his true feelings. He pitied her condition. During the time they spent in prison, he got to learn more about Earth and attain a better understanding of its inhabitants. They had fought to save their planet until the end, united in their misfortune. Her had a fulfilled life to look forward to: dreams to accomplish, marriage plans to make after the disaster, a career to take further. She was passionate, courageous and caring. She used to be in a relationship with someone she held in great esteem. Her love for him knew no boundaries despite the fact they were going to be forever separated. He was surprised to find out that Judge was the lucky one. A zero rather than a hero, he remarked. The ways of Fate were so impenetrable: he was definitely not cut out to endorse the charge of Judge.
    Anyway he thought about it, more he thought about it more he felt obligated to help these two thrown across the wild universe without any knowledge of the current going-ons, unaware why and how they got implicated in the raging conflict between the Empire and the Insurrection. He cleared his throat and bowed slightly when Ophideus walked past the door. He should be more careful. He would get arrested and sent back to jail for having these unleashed thoughts.

    Tauri 31st, Year 55 - Somewhere in the universe, far and beyond our galaxy

    A roller coaster of shapes and colours flashed behind her eyelids when she recovered consciousness. Her head ached violently. Dizzy Alys looked at the world around with astonishment when she got accustomed to her surroundings, She was retained in a spacious yet denuded and windowless cabin without any ornaments except an imposing LED screen. She was held prisoner by nerve-stimulating shackles that suppressed her ability to move. It forced her to keep calm and composed even in compromising circumstances for her survival. A scar could be seen on her right elbow where a syringe filled with strong sedatives had pierced deeply her skin to the blood. Her empty stomach craved for food and water. Alys felt extremely exhausted as if she had just run an Olympic marathon. She groped for her bearings inside this unfamiliar environment. Just plain walls of stainless steel built in one piece and a huge LED screen on sleep mode hung at the wall. Suddenly, crackling and drilling sounds awakened brutally the young woman from her state of drowsiness with a start. A humanoid assemble of rusty gears associated with the finest nanotech to this day popped in from nowhere, carrying a tray filled with unknown fruit species and colourful test tubes which Alys stared at with a melt of stupefaction and disgust.
    - Bobbi Bot at your service. He was told to keep an eye on you. Ask him anything you need.
    Alys wondered if she was going to take part in a crazy adventure to save the world again She would like to lead a relatively quiet life far from the major concerns of a decaying society after everything she endured wishing to reach someday happiness. Make a successful career in journalism, marry the one she truly loved to raise a family, enjoy life to the fullest like there was no tomorrow. Reality stroke when a shadowy silhouette wrapped in a dark cloak took shape near Bobbi Bot and switched on the screen in a finger snap. He picked up a pink-reddish coloured litchi from the tray, harbouring a friendly grin:
    - Glad you're awake milady, you've made it to the fourth millenary successfully!
    Puzzled he stared at her from head to toe: “ But choosing you of all candidates, the ways of destiny go beyond understanding!” Clueless about the situation, the concerned had not spurted a word out yet. She began to admit the drug injected inside her body must have seriously altered her ability to reason with lucidity. It seemed that she had been transported to the thirty-first century without her consent. She remembered to have been abducted meanwhile she went back to bed in the middle of the night. Then she recalled to have been tossed in and out an endless tunnel like a bundle of clothes in a washing machine. Thereafter her mind went blank.
    Pensive, the being standstill in front of her was munching on his genetically-modified litchi with content. He had been glaring at her with stupefaction for several minutes, which she found especially ill-mannered. Intrigued she took a closer look at him. His skin looked sunburned as if permanently damaged by long exposure to UV rays. Silver-white strands peeked out from his hood. Slender fingertips peeled another of these pinkish fruits carefully to appreciate their slimy texture. Alys shot glance at him to make her presence known.
    - Why me in that case? she queried.
    He spitted out a few litchi stones:
    - Truth is you have been entitled as the wielder of a special ability out of many people who have once survived a NDE, thus why us Guardians must give you our protection.
    - All right, why don't you set me free to begin with?
    - I shall explain you a few things.
    - It would be very much appreciated if you could tell me where I am and what the current year is.
    - Don't fret too much about it, all things will come in good time.

    - Let's introduce each other to begin with. I go by the name of Taurus, Second Guardian out of twelve. Yours is Alys, right?
    - Even if it were, how did you find out?
    -By skimming through your memories, I was able to carry further investigation about you. You were born somewhere in the Western Hemisphere during the Era of No Return, which is how we nowadays nickname the twenty-first century. You and your companions got accidentally involved in the first Traumatism trying to prevent the explosion of the Shovel of Death from happening. In the end you only made it worst for future generations who had to survive during a never-ending cycle of chemical wars generated by the hands of Pitsbulk's followers later known as the nationalist party! They reigned over the Aftermath Republic for the next forty years before the rebels took them down the throne. During that time they cut their ties from the rest of the world: the country was ostracised by the United Countries Committee from the worldwide union, shattering to pieces the hopes of citizens yearning for democracy. All because of you!
    - We used to think it was the best solution to make society change for the greater good. We were revolted by how turned out the construction of the new world, how the government took advantage of the events to assess their leadership at the risk of compromising people's freedom of speech.
    The promised land they bragged about when the Traumatism occurred, meant to welcome survivors after the tragedy, seemed at first an undersea paradise where one could restart a living from scratch six feet under the surface. Only then, as the years were passing by and society was slowly reconstructing itself, it appeared that appearances had fooled the layman's eye and it became very hard not to get prosecuted by governmental officers who spied on your every movement and your every action in order to kill any form of opposition in the egg. Thus you had to submit wholeheartedly to their authority for your own safety, otherwise be shunned from the community and sent to jail after you had been tried before justice for the supreme crime, acting against the President.
    - I object, it did not allow you to come back to the past on attempt to prevent the first Traumatism from happening. I assume you know the almighty rule that legislates the space-time continuum, don't you?
    - Yeah, I know.
    - To make it short you have been brought here by the whim of destiny, he said.
    - Great! I guess I will have to complete a special mission or something before I can return to my time, won't I?
    - You get it right. Well, except the fact that you will never be the same person again, in many ways.
    - What do you mean?
    - Whenever someone survives a NDE long enough, they no longer belong to the mortal world. Which means you've reached what is called eternity. For the better or for the worst, semi-immortality is not necessarily the afterlife mankind has been longing for.
    - Does it mean... I am dead?
    - Yes, somehow. Better go on and leave your past behind to alleviate the pain of loss.
    Wearing only a soft silk shirt over her bras and light jeans gave her the chills, which alarmed her interlocutor who ordered Bobbi Bot to get her some warm clothes at the laundry.
    - What if I decide for myself that I refuse to get involved in this... intergalactic war?
    - Laughable, you don't have any choice once you've stepped in battle you know. Whether or not you volunteered for it.
    - Heck if I knew that I would lose my life so easily for a cause that greatly overwhelms my understanding!
    Taurus pulled out an heavy sigh: "You whimsy earthlings are quite annoying peeps."
    - What makes you think so?
    - By his deeds this troublemaker of a judge has not redeemed my opinion of you all!
    Bobbi Bot's entrance cut short their argument. He bowed to Taurus with respect:
    - Bobbi Bot has found a wetsuit and fresh pants for the young lady as you ordered him.
    The Guardian did not look away while Alys was dressing up. She blushed of embarrassment. Was it insane curiosity or carefulness? He surely had not been taught how to treat ladies like a gentleman: "Who do you think you are?" she growled between her teeth as he glared at her in an offhand way. "I have been told to keep an eye on you at all times. As a matter of fact, I will ensure that you won't intend anything to escape until we've arrived to destination."
    - Hang on a minute... are we moving?

    - Silly, you've embarked on our spaceship!
    - Wait, where are we going then? Alys exclaimed.
    - Ready for a return to your origins?
    Behind his back the screen lighted up to show a crown of shattered planets revolving around a wide black hole that concealed any ounce of light. Looking closely it appeared to be a gigantic spaceship established at the centre of an ancient galaxy, protected from meteorites and asteroids by a thick magnetic field. "It used to be your so precious solar system." Taurus declared. "And this is the Black Sun, den of the Black Knights who rule over the Confederation".
    Speechless Alys stared at the remains of the Milky Way for a handful of seconds before she burst in tears, unable to believe the impossible. " You asked for explanations, you get it." Taurus commented. "Come to your senses, there is no reason for you to cry!" Alys did not speak as if she had been emptied from inside, lifeless. Then Taurus pointed a fingertip at a conglomerate of gas, rock and ice floating amidst the chaos. It apparently had strong volcano activity at its surface. An unwelcoming territory, Alys thought.
    - Not quite, Taurus retorted arms crossed over the chest.
    Confused Alys raised an eyebrow, caught off guard by his remark.
    - I can read your thoughts, the Guardian replied. Let's get back to topic, shall we? Its name is Calisto, one of late Jupiter's moons that was looked upon as a potential motherland for extra-terrestrial life by scientists a couple of centuries ago. However it has not been proved ever since that Calisto is soon to be inhabitable.
    He made the picture spin to a different angle. A three-floors cruise ship the same size as, if not bigger than the Black Sun stood in the middle of the Jovian system, where was previously located the queen of the planets. Smaller aircrafts popped in and out its holds equipped with long-shot weapons. Taurus nodded at its robust architecture:
    - This is Odyssea.

  7. #87
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    Ch6 - Odyssea

    And 2016 starts with chapter 6, enjoy reading! :)

    Geminorum 1st, Year 55 - Odyssea

    In the depths of Odyssea a few hours after the meeting, bundled inside her Sanctuary the Priestess looked with stupefaction at the compass between her hands, giggling and glowing in the curve of her palm like the bells of war. An unexpected event had just perturbed the course of the space-time continuum, irreversibly modifying the foreseeable future in which Odysseans and Black Knights were coming in agreement for a ceasefire by common consent.
    As far as she could remember she went by the name of Faeri Dei, Priestess of the Temple of Fortune who had been seconded to the Council of Cosmos as God's messenger forty-five years ago. Her very existence was dedicated to execute His will, mission she dutifully accomplished without objection. She never spoke a word too many. She was seen as cold-hearted, emotionless in appearance. The artefact between her hands shined black, sign of bad omen for the coming times like when Earth's destruction by the vessels of darkness triggered the first Great War.
    " The first Great War..." The thought of it sent chills down her spine. It made hurtful memories of her priesthood resurface. She shuddered. Many died from their wounds. Even more lost their loved ones. Fate was merciless. She the most devoted would-be Priestess of the Temple, who was destined to hold a position in the high spheres of heavens, whose faith to God had always been infallible to this point, committed the utmost crime of contradicting his teachings. He held humanity responsible for its own demise. She pitied the wretched devils forced into exile from their homeland. " May the will of Fate prevail over mankind's lowly concerns," he warned her. " Getting a child involved in this mess, what of your so-called righteousness? To give is to give, to take back is to steal!" she retorted. " Shall thee be banished from the Temple if you refuse to cooperate!" he threatened her. " But the price to pay is too high just to restore peace for a short while before the Empire's next attack. Survivors are unable to sustain a fourth Traumatism anyway!" she bit back.
    She was spacing out. Again. God rarely spoke to her ever since. She sighed and brushed off these reflections in the back of her mind. These memories would never let her at ease. They kept resurfacing whenever she questioned her beliefs. Tears filled her eyes to her own surprise: " The will of Fate, empty words!" she uttered between her teeth. In this instant she dreaded as if the representation of God that ornamented the Sanctuary shot glance at her with disapproval. She looked away and lied down on her couch with weariness to sleep for a while. Yes, peace was a cause worth fighting for the sake of the Confederation. The welfare of the universe prevailed over everything else. No more atrocities. No more pain. She woke up to the sound of the Sanctuary's tocsin that announced the coming of the Galactic Safety Committee aboard the Nebulae their long-haul spaceship, which meant something serious enough to irreversibly alter history had occurred. She wondered if it was related to Chronos' disappearance. She dressed up in haste and summoned the Council for an early extraordinary session:
    " Were the omens true, is it already happening?"

    - The Twelve Guardians are moving their pawns forward, Faeri declared.
    - Will they ever take part in war anyway? Styx objected. Their intentions have never been clearly set; their determination to remain obstinately neutral makes me wonder on which side they stand.
    - Who knows, it might be a sneak move from the Empire to spy on us! Lancaster nodded. We cannot afford to put ourselves in danger by engaging in negotiation with them.
    - I get your point but... Faeri looked down at the crystal-clear barometer between her hands: It seems to me that they aren't willing to declare us war this once. The Nebulae is about to enter the Jovian system at any minute now. Should we let them in?
    - They morons come in peace to have talks when it pleases them! Styx exclaimed.
    - They are God's servants Sty, Zoe intervened. Their existence is dedicated to execute His orders. They only come when something serious enough to disrupt the right course of the universe has happened.
    Faeri acquiesced:
    - An unpredictable future is going to unfold surely related to Chronos' disappearance.
    She had a lump in her throat when she continued speaking:
    - They must have tortured him while in jail to know our location and our future plans of attack.
    - Bastards! Styx swore.
    Faeri clenched her fists over her skirts:
    - I understand your anger Styx although shallow words won’t defeat them. We must act instead of sitting there leisurely to watch the universe be shattered to ruins by Ophideus’ troops.
    Zoe stood up abruptly:
    - How to? We’ve already lost most of our driving forces against their over-trained army! Launching the assault will result in our lamentable defeat! They expect us to respond to violence by violence out of revenge. We shall think before we act too brashly!
    - Have you a better strategy to propose? Styx objected. Come on Livi, this is war!
    Faeri interposed herself between the fighters:
    - Zoe, raise the white flag would be equal to declare forfeit! Styx, we have already fought them head-on and lost against their indestructible cannons!
    “ Nebulae to Odyssea, we’ve got a special delivery for you!”
    All six startled. Faeri switched on the call. A hologram of Taurus sprouted out from the Council’s 3D projector: “ Hello there, Priestess!”
    - What’s the matter Taurus?
    “ You already know that Chronos has been captured by the Empire and forced to enrol in their ranks. They have conditioned him to become one of their soldiers. He had to trade his freedom in exchange for survival. They have now a great trump card in their hands. You stand no chance against them if you bluntly open fire. Your utmost objective is the preservation of the universe.”
    - The preservation of the universe? Should not the Empire be defeated first? Styx observed. In some cases, a conflict is inevitable.
    “ Wrong answer, harbinger of death. Odyssea would blow up in seconds and mankind be annihilated under the fire of the Emperor’s artillery.”
    - Are you saying we should just give up and submit?
    “ Not yet.” The Guardian responded, peeling a litchi he swallowed in one bite. “ The Temple was quick in reaction to Chronos’ disappearance. Though, may the hands of Fate have the power to decide, I can’t help but disagree with their choice.”
    - So what I saw in the omens was true? Faeri inquired.
    “ Yes, sadly Chronos has been stripped of his Counsellor status and banished from the heavens. It is unlikely that he will ever be able to get out the Palace unharmed, even if he were, he would no longer be allowed to serve the Temple.”
    Resigned to think their comrade was forever gone, dead or alive, the six Counsellors looked down at the ground. Taurus smirked: “ You should not lose hope too early.”
    - To put it simply, our situation is desperate, Hitori commented. If we stay in retreat, the Empire will rule over the universe until the end of time. If we declare war to them, we’ll lose many of our remaining troops. Civilisations never learn from their scars. I can't help to think we could have prevented the solar system from collapsing long ago.
    Taurus let out a chuckle, amused: “ You said it right Judge, unless destiny chooses one little loony bird graced with heavenly abilities to restore harmony between the worlds.”
    Hitori did not let a hint of emotion pierce through his armour. Not in front of his colleagues. A Counsellor shall not let his personal concerns corrupt his dutiful sense of justice. But he had a bad feeling about this situation not to mention Taurus' sudden familiarity. Taurus grinned:
    " Don't you worry, the little one's doing well!"
    - You, as Guardian, must value tolerance and understanding in your statements, which disavows your unfounded contempt for the human race, Faeri reproached him
    “ This time again, heavens have elected an earthling from the Era of no Return to bear the charge of Seventh Counsellor.”

    - Oh hell ... Styx interjected, nodding in disbelief. One is enough, isn’t he?
    - Styx! Sylvestre mumbled between her teeth.
    - Snap out of your personal grudges against each other you two! Lancaster observed.
    - Who the hell had the awful idea of establishing this messed up system to begin with? We need competent personalities as Counsellors! Styx exclaimed.
    - Don’t judge too fast on circumstances Sty, Zoe admonished him.
    - They caused the demise of their own planet!
    Sylvestre stood up abruptly, infuriated: “ Enough, I have enough of this conversation!”
    She pointed an accusing finger at Styx:
    - Despite the fact their industrial activities exhausted Earth’s resources and destroyed most of the fauna and flora at its surface, despite the fact they mistreated their so-called environment, the responsibility goes to their leaders who did not enact the right policies to slow down the destruction of the planet. Many populations, to whom was granted the status of climatic refugees by the United Countries Committee, have suffered whether they died from starvation and illnesses or endured a life of poverty on exodus to the continents!
    “ Sheesh, here you go again, Styx Van Hellson. You know what, I’m sure that she, even if her character pisses me off greatly, is much more competent than you to save the universe from the Void. Just because she used to live at the time the first Traumatism occurred, and as a consequence, has a reason to believe this world is not completely hopeless yet.”
    Styx was about to respond that it was not a believable motive to prove her worthy of the charge she had been given when the door of the council room slid open and Bobbi Bot entered in a rattle of scrap metal followed a few steps in retreat by a young girl in her mid-twenties according to this time's standards. He nodded at the assembly:
    - Greetings ladies and gentlemen.

    Geminorum 1st, Year 55 - Nebulae

    - Now that you've admitted the unbelievable, a short introductory speech to this time's gears is necessary for you to understand how the current geopolitical pattern of the galaxy works.
    Done in Alys sipped on a tube of vitamin C to keep her senses on alert:
    - That's for sure.
    - The Confederation composed of the Empire and the Insurrection is governing the universe as long as there are no other identified forms of life in other galaxies. Us known as Guardians or else Galactic Safety Committee are in charge of guaranteeing the well-being of the populations who struggle to survive in this tensed era vast wasteland been tarnished by an endless cycle of bloody wars before a ceasefire was established five years ago.
    - I guess that the Empire was victorious and the Insurrection forced to cower in fear before their weaponry after losing many of their troops?
    - You said it. So as to welcome survivors after the disaster was created the colony of Odyssea on stationery inside the ancient Jovian system. Odyssea is led by the Council of Cosmos a corporation of divined beings each given a fragment of the Creation to make possible the rebirth of civilisations: time, life, death, nature, weather, faith and knowledge.
    - What's the point if the solar system has been irreversibly destroyed?
    - Somewhere in the universe there must be a planet suitable to welcome life, at least this is all we can hope for. If there isn't, then Odysseans are condemned to eternal wander across the universe.
    - All because of the Empire?
    - They think themselves as the forgotten souls, the left behind of the Expansion, vengeful spirits abandoned to die in atrocious suffering by their peers, which stirred up their angst and their resentment against the human race.
    - What happened? Alys asked.
    - This part of history that wraps the birth and rise of the Empire, at the time mankind found a new motherland on the planet Mars, has remained uncertain from the twenty-sixth century still to this day. The record of Earth’s decline is a whole another subject I won’t address because I don’t know much about it.
    Alys had nothing to say. She meditated about Taurus’ revelations as an otherworldly view of the solar system shattered to ruins unfolded before her eyes. The galaxy she used to know had been wrecked, diminished, annihilated to an indefinable mass of meteorites, asteroids and burning rocks driven off gravity. Planets no longer existed. Stars in agony breathed their last shine. Desolated land, sight of chaos, eaten away by nothingness as the apocalypse approached, Alys thought. Taurus winked at her:
    - Losing hope too early will let them win. That’s not what you want, right?
    - I don’t even know what is exactly my mission! Alys objected.
    - As I've told you before you have successfully survived a NDE what entitles you as applicant for the charge of Seventh Counsellor wielder of Knowledge due to the sudden disappearance of its previous owner.
    Alys raised an eyebrow:
    - Who decides?
    - You like asking questions, don't you?
    - Would not it be normal in this context?
    - Guess so. Fate it is called or hazard if you prefer.
    Been drawn at random by the godly embodiment of destiny among other nominees certainly more worthy than her to receive such honour made Alys feel illegitimate. She wished she had a normal life, at least as much normal as possible. Meanwhile she was mumbling to herself the Nebulae reached Odyssea's surroundings. Taurus switched on a wristband wrapped around his forearm:
    - Nebulae to Odyssea, we’ve got a special delivery for you!

    Geminorum 1st, Year 55 - Odyssea

    - You don't even come to pay your respects in person and send to us a scrap heap of attendant as your representative instead! Styx shouted.
    " Let's skip formalities, we're running out of time."
    - Uh, hello...
    Bobbi Bot's protégée blushed of embarrassment as she left the shadows of the entryway. The room offered a panoramic view of space beyond its curved windows. The six people that called themselves Council of Cosmos sat around a heptagonal conference table quarrelling. Sylvestre’s fiery glare adjoined Styx to calm down. "Welcome, I guess" he said coldly. Zoe sketched a smile of circumstance:
    - Don't worry about these two, they're constantly fighting over bigger or smaller concerns.
    - Haha... in two hours time my life has been turned upside down: I got abducted, transported here without my consent and entrusted of a divine mission to guarantee the prosperity of the galaxy... Here I am and I don't even know what to expect.
    A blue lightning crossed the room to everyone's stupefaction aimed at Taurus who let out a sarcastic laughter: "Be careful time lawyer, your spade almost ripped me off."
    - Must you defeat me before anything else happens if you are the mastermind of this plan!
    - So Fate has stated, shall its will be executed, Faeri affirmed. You may all come down to your senses and reflect on why a human child has been sent out to help us in our quest.
    Lancaster acquiesced, noting that Faeri usually talked with reason when conflict arose between Counsellors, Zoe and Sylvestre too. Styx shrugged his shoulders, defeated. Hitori’s fingertips were burning blue. Beneath his brash character laid a sensitive man, a part of him he rarely showed, compassionate for his loved ones. His caring personality took over impartiality and broke all masks apart when he stood up:
    - From today on and until she has accomplished her office, I will take responsibility for her doings. If any of you attempts to put her life in danger, they will have to pass over my dead body!
    His heart throbbed with pain as he walked across the room to her, with guiltiness to have dragged his cherished stepdaughter into this tragedy. He wrapped his arms around her chest comfortingly: “ I don’t know why and how you’ve gotten here, I’ll make sure that everything’s going to be alright soon,” he whispered to her ear. The concerned could not hold back her emotion anymore, moved by this unexpected reunion.
    - Let me end today’s session here, it has been a stressful ungodly night for us all, Faeri declared.

    The Galactic Safety Committee and Bobbi Bot seen out, Styx sighed of relief:
    - At least they're gone for good.
    Sylvestre leaned back in her chair, twisting a creeper around her middle finger, her leaf-green irises drilled on his neck: " Better watch your manners out of respect for the committee!" Sullen Styx mumbled an apology. Lancaster refrained from making any comment and so did Zoe shaken by Judge's emotional outburst.
    Everyone dismissed, Faeri summoned a teleportation portal back to the Sanctuary to rest. But something worried her when she lied down on her couch to take a well-deserved nap. If her predictions were coming true, a greater threat than another galactic war weighted on the universe. In last resort the Empire had the strong hand on the exchequer by holding Chronos in hostage. Most importantly, which she omitted to tell the Council, she had witnessed the recreation of the Oblivion dynasty in her dreams. The great Oblivius was about to acquire the legendary power of immortality from the endeavours of a woman. She dreaded at the thought of it that would annihilate the Confederation by causing its downfall.
    " If it were the case, we'd already have been attacked by the Black Knights, no?"
    Last edited by Seira; 01-02-2016 at 05:24 PM.

  8. #88
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    Page 175

    Update - Website

    Good news, good news!
    Getting to work on the website, it will be up by tonight :D
    New chapters will come in good time, for now it needs to be reconstructed ^^

    Edit: The link remains unchanged:
    Last edited by Seira; 02-22-2016 at 09:34 PM. Reason: link added

  9. #89
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    Page 175

    Ch7 - Love Long Distance

    The story resumes after a long break, have a nice reading! :)

    May 21st, 2055:

    Dusk wrapped the camp in a vivid twilight that tainted the sky in purple and red. Refugees were gathered around a bonfire to keep their skeletal frames warm for the long night to come. Done in, Shinichiro let out a noisy yawn and switched on his holopad. He logged in his favourite instant chat host with enthusiasm. No incoming call from Alys however. He stared at its blank dashboard with anxiety. She made the promise to contact him everyday. Did something happen to her? He tried to convince himself there was nothing to worry about but something did not feel right. She was supposed to be having lunch with her colleagues right now. Her profile’s status indicated "No Signal!" She could not be localised by any means either. His hands trembled uncontrollably out of panic. She must have gotten in trouble. If it were true, he would have to go through complicated procedures in order to retrieve her whereabouts. Bradley Strauss, his colleague from Worldwide News, took a peek inside the tent, worried by Shinichiro's sudden unhappiness:
    - Are you okay Shin? Let’s meet up with the locals for dinner, they have cooked a feast to celebrate our departure! Don’t you want to come?
    - I... I have a lot on my plate to finish for tomorrow's edition of the New World Telegraph...
    - C'mon you overwork yourself mate, have a well-deserved break for once in three weeks!
    - Deadline is up by midnight. It's the end of me if I don't complete my report on time.
    - My, my homesickness it is called. Never mind my invitation, I'll let you brood over your concerns while we're having fun!
    Bradley gone partying, Shinichiro tried to contact Alys again. No answer back. The call button turned grey, unresponsive. The young man dealt a violent blow on the pad: "Dammit!"

    Shinichiro ruminated over and over these dark thoughts while jotting down ideas to structure his report appropriately into paragraphs. His eyes were concentrated on the page he was writing as if nothing else mattered. Outside resonated the guttural voices of the natives who sung traditional songs. Shinichiro looked up briefly from his typing software to have an overview of his work so far and switched off his tablet. His mind was unfocused on the purpose of his essay. He worried for Alys much more than he expected to. She had grown up. She was no longer the highly sensitive 15-year old girl he met ten years ago, although she tended to cry easily when she felt upset. But looking at the woman she had become, one could tell she had gone through a lot, which strengthened her will to move forward in life to the next obstacle, even if the scars of the past were still burning red.
    Enduring that much pain in a lapse of few years could have broken apart any human being. Her had embraced loneliness and loss as her everyday burden during the time she lived inside Society's battlements. He admired her for such abnegation and pitied her condition at the same time. He used to love her and care for her like a substitute brother rather than a boyfriend.
    Everything was different from now on. They were engaged to each other by a strong love bound. They were no longer irresponsible teenagers striving to survive in the wilderness. They both had expectations for life and career opportunities. Soon they were going to settle in town once he was back from travel overseas. A smile curled his lips. These past ten years of relationship had been a blast. They had shared good times and gone through hardships side by side. Now was time to set in stone their commitment. He had great plans to make her 25th birthday memorable. Bradley popped in harbouring a wide grin. He held out a plate filled with raw fish snacks:
    - Doing well? Have some traditional foods from the countryside!
    - I am running out of time to send in my report at the due date, apologies for not taking part in the feast like I should; thanks for inquiring though.
    - C'mon bud, it can wait a little while longer, no?
    - It cannot, unless I plan to get myself fired.
    Bradley noticed that Shinichiro's hands were trembling uncontrollably, his fingers clenched into his holopad on sleep mode. He slipped in the tent and sighed:
    - Dude, what's wrong with you tonight?
    At first Shinichiro hesitated to answer directly. He did not like to talk in public about his private concerns, unless with close acquaintances. He wanted Bradley to leave him alone and go enjoy the party. Looking up at his partner he saw consideration in his eyes and averted his gaze from his, embarrassed at the realization he was so easily readable.
    - I... am feeling unsettled about my future, he avowed.
    - You have already earned quite a reputation among the freelance community in the lapse of five years, what more can you ask for?
    - I wish I could reconcile my blooming career and my discontinuous private life for the better. I am on travel here and there every few months so I haven't managed to build anything serious with my soul mate until now and it bothers my mind to think we could have lived together happily ever after like most long-time couples do. I fear we are going to break up or we have already done so.
    - Be ready for that. I used to be in a distanced relationship with a sexy chick who lived overseas, despite of which we trusted each other. We met again once in a while when I was back from report. However, we made promises that we could not keep. One day I came to see her, she had moved on to the city heart where she shared with another guy a snug flat closer to her office.
    - I suppose you never spoke to each other again?
    - Indeed, just because we could not get engaged in the long term.
    - My story is a bit different from yours in the sense we have been dating each other since our fifteenth birthday and I feel like I should not give up yet. Knowing her for that long, I don't think she would run away from home all of a sudden without an explanation.
    - I feel for you lucky man and I hope the best for the two of you.

    Later when everyone was asleep after the celebration, Shinichiro awoke with a start to the vibration of his holopad buzzing for a couple of minutes. Past midnight at the clock. The moon had begun to descend when he crawled discreetly outside the tent. An hologram of Mikael sprouted out from the screen when he pressed the call button. Alys' brother looked spectral: his hair unkempt, his eyes swollen from exhaustion after a rowdy night. He did not make up a smile:
    " Have you got news from Alys?"
    - I have been trying to call her several times since yesterday’s evening but she never replied to any of my queries! Do you have a clue on what is going on?
    " - I don't know. Sure thing is that she is nowhere to be found!"
    - Have you checked the position of her cell phone? Or even tonight's police registries?
    " - Something goes off. I can locate her phone on an unknown network that answers back to my requests with a no signal notification. Data cannot be accessed either."
    - What are your thoughts about the matter?
    " - Let's not jump in unfounded conclusions too quickly."
    - But Mikael ... she might be in danger right now!
    " - Whatever has happened of her, or might happen next, I can safely assume she won't end up getting harmed under any circumstances;"
    - What makes you believe so with that much conviction?
    " - She is blessed to be born under an auspicious star, genuinely loved."
    Shinichiro knew what he meant and acquiesced. So Hitori had returned from the wonders of the space-time continuum. But it made him feel more anxious than relieved. Hitori held between his hands the power to judge space and time: as such he could foresee a world’s tragic decline. Were times to rejoice of the recovery and the victory against the nuclear industry over? Or had they ever occurred? A corrupted world hindered during two decades by a raging war of interests between an authoritarian regime and a worldwide pacifist committee could hardly mend its scars in the lapse of five years.
    - So why has he returned?
    " - In the preliminary years of the fourth millenary, from 3050 and forth, Earth has been irreversibly annihilated and humanity forced into exile across the universe. The death of our planet could have been prevented in the current period of time if the inefficiency of the transitory government had not given political scope for Hellmet Pitsbulk's followers to found the nationalist party."
    - Does not an almighty rule that applies to the course of time say that no one shall alter the past, present and future? Because if Earth is destined to end at the beginning of the next millenary then there is nothing we can do to prevent it from happening anyway: in other words we're condemned.
    " - This is one's pessimistic point of view made into believing our critical lack of resources and our industry portend the premature coming of the apocalypse. On a brighter note, while we're alive, let's make this world a better place to bear with our suffering."
    - If so, what about Alys? Why is he coming back only now to meet again with her?
    " - God knows. He did not tell me more than you already know about his mission to 2055."

    Geminorum 1st, Year 55 - Odyssea

    One could easily lose notion of space and time between Odyssea’s iron walls.
    However, as to replicate day and night, artificial light bulbs paired to intensity potentiometers were attached to the ceiling in order to indicate the hour. Alys rested in a spacious cabin next to Hitori's inside the Council's quarters. She sighed of relief after this tormented night that had brought up a whole new set of events. She was about to set sail on adventure again, against her will nonetheless. But she was not officially accounted yet as Seventh Counsellor. She would have to go through preliminary examinations first to prove her worthy of that charge conducted by the members of the Council themselves. A white and gold jacket and assorted warm clothes on which were embroidered planetary patterns had been carefully folded and placed in a glassy chest of drawers next to her bed.
    She resented accepting it as her new place to live despite of its futuristic appeal. From now on she could not get back to her reality and shuddered. It felt like she had lost her loved ones for the second time. Furthermore she was going to witness their disappearance one by one in fifty years or so what made her feel even more depressed about her condition. She missed Shinichiro's presence by her side to give her support. They were going to be forever separated. They would never be able to meet again although they had yet so much to accomplish. It made her feel guilty to know he was going to suffer. Behind her back the door slid open smoothly:
    - Are you feeling better? A familiar voice inquired.
    The sound of his gentle tone, reassuring, calmed down her torment and swept away her fears for a while. She lied on her back to stretch out her muscles: "Not quite." Worried Hitori walked across the room and sat on the edge of her bed: " I am sorry, it should not have happened that way."
    - Truth be told, I am scared.
    - Anyone would be, he nodded.
    - If only I could go back as if it were a mere delusion born from my wildest imagination.
    - Unfortunately you can't, this is no longer possible to battle in retreat.

    - Your full name and age? Lancaster queried
    - Does it matter for you to know?
    - We ask the questions, you answer them.
    Time-confused Alys stood still in the middle of them under their inquisitive glares. She casted her eyes up defiantly on intent to keep composure in front of her interlocutors:
    - Can you please tell me what is exactly the purpose of my mission?
    - All things in good time, Faeri intervened. First tell us more about you.
    - Well I am Alys Wonderland, freshly 25, born in 2030 during the Era of No Return. I have grown up inside Society's battlements as I struggled to survive separated from my loved ones after the Traumatism.
    - Have you taken part in what we call nowadays the Final Countdown?
    - I am not sure to understand what you’re talking about. What is it you call the Final Countdown?
    - You dare to ask? You’re quite ignorant about many things, don’t you? Styx exclaimed.
    Sylvestre shot glance at him: “Calm down Styx, of course she does not know anything about this part of Earth’s history yet, she has just been transferred to this era of time!”
    - There is no reason for you two to be constantly fighting, if there is any you may deal with your personal grudges against each other in private and not disrupt today’s session, Lancaster admonished the fighters. Let’s get back on track, shall we? The Final Countdown, otherwise known as a major event in Earth’s history, occurred in 2050 when a group of pacifists leapt through time back to July 14th, 2040 to prevent the Shovel of Death’s explosion from happening on attempt to rebuild an agonising planet from its ashes. But their mission failed lamentably even if their intentions were praiseworthy. By modifying the future they made it even worse for future generations who lived under the dictatorship of the nationalist party composed of Hellmet Pitsbulk’s followers during forty years what irremediably affected the balance of the worldwide political pattern.
    Uneasy about the topic, Alys assumed they were testing her honesty given that they, as supernatural beings, must have the ability to read minds. It seemed that, in the world of the fourth millenary, to gather as much valuable information as you could was primordial to survive. She weighted her words before she took the floor:
    - I cannot deny I have. I must say that our motives were all but altruistic. We thought it could solve partly the world’s ongoing crisis at the time. We had not considered yet the consequences of our actions. We might have engaged too brashly in war against the leading classes, revolted against an imperfect system in many ways.
    - Sure you did, Styx nodded.
    - Was it necessary? You admit that you indirectly sacrificed many innocent lives without a second thought, Zoe observed.
    - The world started to recover slowly from its wounds in the beginning years of its rebirth. The past lied behind us; we could only walk forward to learn from our failures. Hope soothed our broken hearts. Did we know that forty years from 2055 we would provoke Earth’s downfall? I don’t think so. We used to think we acted for good.
    - Your reasoning is quite interesting and well developed, which weights in your favour. But, considering the charge bestowed upon you, you’re required to possess a supernatural ability out of this world’s standards. You don’t seem to have any.
    - It has yet to be awakened.
    - Why should we accept you in our ranks, then? Styx asked.
    The question disarmed Alys who had no reason to give for her presence there given that she did not know what her mission consisted in. She noticed that a young girl wearing a silver dress gazed at her with attention. Nervous, she clasped hands in her back and cleared her throat:
    - I don’t know it myself. Having survived from a near death experience has become a part of the woman I am today. I have suffered a lot, much more than a regular human being would thus why I am an emotionally driven person most of the time. My willingness to go forward is my strength, to have gone through many hardships.
    - Styx, I am sure that God always makes decisions with reason and equity, we may have to find out ourselves why he sent to us a mere human being, Faeri intervened.
    The Counsellors agreed, even Styx with unconcealed resentment. His showed contempt for the human race intrigued Alys, which made her want to know more about him despite of his pushing character. The concerned shrugged his shoulders:
    - Sometimes the ways of Fate are unpredictable.

    “ I want to go back now!” Alys thought with bitter while staring at her reflect throughout a daylight mirror. This white and gold uniform weaved of pure gold looked eccentric, heavily embroidered, but fitted her body shape quite well. She buttoned her jacket to the top and combed back her hair in a ponytail, then turned around when Hitori knocked lightly at the door. She rushed to get her last preparations done and wondered how did she know he was coming, an extrasensory intuition maybe. He sketched a gentle smile: "It suits you pretty well." Alys acquiesced, eyes down: " It feels like I'm dressing up though." He let out a burst of laughter and preceded her outside: " Don't you worry, there is a first time to everything."
    Once every week, the Council held a consultative assembly with the citizens of Odyssea for anyone to speak up. Comprehensive communication between the masses and their representatives was the key to maintain harmony inside Odyssea's battlements, as Hitori explained to Alys while they hurried alongside the corridor leading to the lower floors. Most Odysseans lived humbly, worried for the coming times in which an end to their misery could not be seen. The Confederation itself was hardly recovering from the consequences of the Third Great War. The conference took place in an immense auditorium. One by one the Council members seated at their respective chairs feared and admired at the same time by the crowd gathered in the front most terraces. Murmurs spread among the audience when Alys sat down at the farthest end of the stage. To be the center of attention made her blush involuntarily.
    Faeri stood up and cleared her throat:
    - We have a lot to discuss today: shall we begin?

    May 21st, 2055:

    Mikael was reading the latest online edition of the New World Telegraph stretched out on his sofa when the electronic device tied around his wrist he used as regular watch started to giggle vehemently. Its touch screen shined alternatively from bright red to ocean blue. Fritz's custom-made time capsule incorporated in its machinery had stopped working for long. Why did it suddenly go on rampage? The light intensified as he tried to take it off, in vain. If it had willpower of its own, it would not bulge. "What's going on sweetheart, where's this light coming from?" His girlfriend Dyna stood in the doorframe entangled in her pyjamas, half asleep, looking at Mikael with wonder. A blindfolding ray of light surged out of thin air, which opened an interdimensional portal. Inside of it boiled darkness itself in its elemental state. His eyes widened in shock and horror as he felt forcefully and unstoppably attracted by nothingness, then an extraordinary vision of the Milky Way unfolded before him. The view narrowed closer to the solar system, or the remains of a fallen galaxy, dimmed in eternal night. The thought of it sent cold chills down his spine. Amidst the chaos stood a gigantic cruise ship redesigned to travel across time and space at light speed like in science-fiction blockbusters around which gravitated an indefinite mass of asteroids. “Mikael! Hey Mikael!” Dyna’s voice yelling his name snapped him back to reality. A striking pain radiated throughout his forearm due to the explosion of his watch shattered to splinters of plastic and metal. He remembered to have seen a gigantic spaceship lost in the middle of space before he blacked out. He took off the destructed device and came to the couple’s bathroom to bandage carefully his wounded wrist, clueless about what had just happened. He lied down in bed with the feeling something went off with the time capsule he held in the curve of his palm. He would have eventually to ask its inventor for further user instructions, which annoyed him greatly. Fritz Davis was the last person on Earth whom he would ask for help.
    Last edited by Seira; 04-05-2016 at 12:25 PM.

  10. #90
    Senior Member High Poster <3 Seira's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    Page 175

    Ch8 - War Children

    Sometimes the best decision might be the wrong choice, or is there a third way out of an impossible dilemma between the welfare of the universe and a family's destiny?

    Geminorum 1st, Year 55 – Odyssea

    " O Father, what should be done to end these days of misery?"
    A heady scent of freshly burned incense floated in the air. A young nun dressed in a wide silver tunic knelt upon a fluffy carpet, hands joined in prayer: " They are dying by thousands, decimated by starvation and illnesses, chased after by the Empire's vessels..."
    " Heavens have agreed they shall be punished for their incurable greed Priestess."
    " I refuse to think they must be annihilated for the sake of the universe's balance!"
    " Naive child, they condemned themselves to a point of no return by hurting and exhausting the planet that gave them birth."
    " They were desperate in their struggle for survival... barely had peace been concluded between the most influential federations... that a cycle of natural disasters ravaged continents in a lapse of few years."
    " All because of them and their insatiable thirst for expansion. You must bear in mind that they caused their own decline by destroying their motherland. But, if you so wish to save their miserable lives, I will entrust thee with a task."
    " That's... that's not what I meant! I..."
    In his palm shined a flask hung at a chain of pure gold inside which boiled a translucent liquid:
    “ Thee shall travel back to 2010, back to when it all began.”

    Traffic jam roared below. Her auburn hair flew in her trail while Faeri leapt from one building to another at great speed in a graceful choreography. The sun was setting down. For a handful of seconds she admired the late afternoon sky coloured in purple and red. Her fingers clawed into the priceless pendant of crystal hung around her neck. She should not lose sight of her mission's objective. A couple of kilometres away from her position, her eyes caught glimpse of a wealthy mansion built at the heart of the city whose luxurious garden, adorned with flower bushes and fruit trees in abundance, offered a path to the river.
    Crowned by verdant vegetation stood a property of brick and stone amidst this green haven of serenity preserved from the urban hassle by the venerable shadows of a centenary oak. Jazz music played throughout the windows, which added to the calmness of this warm summer evening.
    A woman in her thirties read a book on the terrace, stretched out on a long chair. A little girl burst outside and ran to her mother with enthusiasm: " Mommy, Mommy dinner is ready!" The woman laughed lightly: " Did you prepare it with Daddy?" The child harboured a wide smile: " This is a surprise!" A man, her father, went out the kitchen: " Please behave yourself honey, let your mother in peace when she needs time for herself" he admonished his daughter. Bathed in sunlight, he cuddled a sleeping angel nestled between his arms. The more Faeri dived into their peaceful and carefree world, the more she could not help to empathize with them to whom God had reserved a ruthless destiny: soon he would steal away from them their right to happiness.
    She took flight towards the business district with a lump in her throat conscious she was going to commit an irredeemable act: “ Right must be done, for the better or for the worse!”

    “ Wishing you love and prosperity, and plenty of wonderful moments together!”
    Faeri blinked, awakened abruptly by the sound of the tocsin, entangled in her half-slips. She reminisced the early days of her priesthood with sorrow. Her argument with the Divine brought back regretful memories. She cringed at her forty-five younger self for standing up to God with such disrespect. No one ever dared to contradict his teachings, may they endure eternal banishment from the Temple of Fortune.
    Often at night, these reflections came to harass her in her dreams. She kept remorse at bay until she choked up at the idea she could have prevented the worst from happening. By the window nightfall wrapped skyscrapers in pitch darkness. She faced the country's most valued individual who stared at her with incredulity, holding between his hands the essence of the space-time continuum contained in a flask. The man entrusted with the nation's destiny doubted he held the course of the past, present and future in the curve of his palm. " Guiltiness is a vicious backstabber,” she thought while she rushed to the council room just in time for the session.
    - You seem unwell lately Faeri, is something wrong?
    Faeri startled and looked over her shoulder: Zoe walked towards her direction. Embarrassed the Priestess turned around: " Nothing for you to worry about."
    - Your heart is conflicted, darkening as the threat of war narrows. Moreover there is a great pain you can't get over with.
    -Mind your own business Zoe.
    - I’m just trying to help you!
    - No, thanks: I am fine with my consciousness.
    - Do you? Listen Faeri: whatever displeases you, you should not brood over your concerns alone. You would rather lock yourself in your basement than confide to anyone.
    Faeri kept her eyes half-shut to hide her uneasiness:
    - I am worried about the coming of another Great War, that's all.
    She made the Council’s gate slide open; Zoe grabbed her wrist: " Wait!" Emotionless Faeri broke free from her grasp: " I need to shoulder this burden by myself Zoe. I am sole responsible for the disaster that caused the demise of humanity. I should have followed through God's orders without objection, instead I failed to complete my mission and deserted the Temple."
    - What made you reconsider your vocation?
    - In my right set of mind I could not let a child's life be stolen, even for world's sake!

    - We're encountering a serious issue.
    - I'm barely surprised, Styx observed.
    - Let me explain the situation in further details. Clearly their lack of offensive strategy is a blatant declaration of war. They expect us to avenge Chronos for the dishonour of banishment, only to give the deathblow to the rebellion afterwards. They might even use him as a diversion to lay their hands on us. But this is not the real problem. If it were that simple, we'd already have mobilised enough troops willing to battle. The omens portend the recreation of the Oblivione dynasty from the endeavours of a woman old enough to give birth to an inheritor.
    - To know that sooner or later your predictions always come true worries me Styx intervened. Basically, it means we're doomed. Excuse me while I go to present my sincerest greetings to God in hope for his forgiveness.
    - Faeri you mean, is it by chance related to the incident that occurred yesterday evening? Lancaster queried with anxiety. If that's the case, we must take in action whatever might come to us.
    - The oldie! Styx acquiesced.
    - Styx, her name's Mrs Mc Madonea, Lancaster hissed between his teeth.
    - What are your conclusions about this matter you two? Faeri interrogated.
    - Namely Danielle Heartfield, widow Mc Madonea, 75, lives away from the city in a quiet house of flats. Retired at 60 from the esteemed scientist circles due to the sudden death of her husband Mathias. Entrusted to the care of her only daughter after she almost died subsequently to a cerebrovascular accident from which she will keep irreversible sequels, Lancaster explained.
    - They have been in bad terms for a long time due to old grudges, Styx added. She leads a relatively uninteresting life in appearance. Having introduced her, let us explain what happened yesterday evening according to what we've found out about their circumstances.
    - Like you had predicted Faeri, Ophideus the traitor has returned from the underworld stronger than ever before. He has been sent on mission to the year of 2055 by his higher-ups in order to find and capture a Chosen One, unbeknownst by the concerned, who had been localised somewhere on Earth in possession of the power to rebuild worlds from their ashes. Which undoubtedly sparked the interest of malevolent minds willing to expand the Empire's territory to infinity and further. Their objective is set upon acquiring new lands in order to redeem their influence over the Confederation.
    - It has not been proved there were other forms of life beyond the border, Sylvestre objected
    - They believe so.
    - Rumours saying that there are extra-terrestrial tribes out there are nonsense, given that another planet able to welcome life just like Earth has not yet been discovered. Not to mention human colonies established inside the Milky Way are affected by neutral status under protection of international law: if they overlook pre-existing treaties this is a blatant declaration of war to the Galactic Safety Committee who won't whisk away the matter like casualties this once.
    - War again, Zoe concluded.
    - Basically they used Mrs Mc Madonea as baitfish to trap her daughter into their nets by taking advantage of her vulnerability.
    - I haven't heard of an eighth Chosen One out in the wild, what's so special about her? Faeri queried.
    - They acted fast and found her before us; it is all that simple.
    - This is not what I'm asking for Lancaster. If my interpretation of the omens is right, we'll be encountering great danger soon enough because of our reluctance to attack.
    Lancaster pulled out a heavy sigh:
    - I know right. However, of a kind-hearted soul, they have made a ruthless Empress envied for her incredible powers and her mesmerising beauty: the perfect pawn.
    - And the hapless victim of greater going-ons, Styx added. You already know that the Almighty One's strongest assets are his mind-control abilities, which he uses to erase people's memories in order to keep them under his leadership.
    - One reason to think we should save her whatever it will cost us is that I saw in Lady Danielle's memories a woman of two faces, a headstrong physician who lives up to her ideals and loving spirit who wishes for long to get engaged with the one she loved to found a family despite of her mother's refusal, Lancaster developed hands clasped over the table. Last thing but not least fact, they have quite a complicated family background. One can't bear the sight of the other, although obligated to visit her, because of an old dispute that sealed their irreversible separation.
    - Does it weight in her favour or disfavour? Faeri asked.
    - She was in a love affair with someone Lady Danielle disapproved. It aroused fire between them, not to mention the lovers were forced to break up for that reason. It deeply affected her personality. A pragmatic and composed person, she turned into an emotionally driven character easily manipulated by anyone willing to make use of her sensitivity to better trap her.
    - You quite overstepped your boundaries Lance, didn't you? Styx objected.
    - If it were a teeny adventure, I would not have carried out further investigation about the matter Styx. It appears that we're encountering a much more serious issue.
    - What kind of trouble? I haven't seen that look on your face since Chronos' kidnapping has been officially rededicated by the Black Knights.
    Lancaster leaned back in his chair: " Two birds with one stone, Time and Immortality would be a perfect match for the Empire to take down the Confederation and rule over the space-time continuum."
    - Wait, what? Who was that chick's suitor back then?
    - If the Empire has abducted them, we shall come to their rescue!
    Six looks focused their attention on Hitori. Him usually impartial and collected was overwhelmed by anger and anxiety, as shown by the Judgment boiling red inside its silvery container. Lancaster waved a hand at him with reproach:
    - Calm down your spirits Judge, let’s not jump in conclusions too quickly.
    - What of it? We must move in action, whatever it takes! Is it not the purpose of the Council to maintain international peace and security across and beyond the galaxy?
    - If we trespass on their territory, it will cause a fourth Great War, is that what you want? Mind your brashness, we cannot afford to lose more of our troops! Styx yelled.
    - Have you no sympathy? Have you forgotten what makes you human? Hitori bit back.
    Styx clenched his fists and shot glance at him:
    - When you’ve lost what’s most precious to you, you can no longer trust your own kind!
    Sylvestre interposed herself between the opponents:
    - Whatever happened, seeking for revenge consumes your life force Styx! Why to wallow in a desperate quest for the truth, when you cannot go back in time to change anything?
    - You don't even know what you're talking about! In your lifetime, you’ve endured half the burden I had to shoulder on my own! You don't know me well enough to judge me too quickly on circumstances!
    He did not like to talk about himself nor his past, Alys noted. He lost control when his emotions took over his apparent coldness. " You don't know anything,” he uttered between his teeth. He appeared to be underneath a loving person who cared for his cherished ones. A great pain, what pain, enchained his heart filled with bitter and angst against the human race. There was a traumatic event he was unable to get over with. " Huh?" He took a quick look around at the room with anxiety. His eyes were burning with anger when he stood up from his chair: " Who is the intruder? Who dares to skim through my thoughts?" Lancaster frowned: " It must be the mere fruit of your imagination, or you are a patented paranoiac, be assured there is no one else than the seven of us in this room Styx!" The concerned raised an eyebrow. He shrugged his shoulders, sat down and shot glance at the assembly: " Never mind. I take it that someone must be in possession of extrasensory or advanced mind-control abilities, just my intuition." Having sorted out this issue, the reunion went on about the best strategy to defeat the Empire without causing another worldwide conflict for the sake of the Confederation's welfare. Not everyone was concentrated on following the course of the debate however: unfocused, Alys meditated about the earlier incident that left her puzzled. She might be the one who caused it. She briefly had access to Styx's mind, unable to hold back her curiosity. She saw through the intervention of his memories a latchkey lone wolf traumatized by an arduous adolescence away from home, which outlined that there was more than meets the eye behind his aggressiveness. " Be more careful in the future and learn how to dyke up the source of your newly acquired powers" she thought to herself.
    - Do we all agree on a thoughtful intervention? Lancaster asked. Have you anything to say in regards to the matter, Alys?
    Interrupted in the trail of her thoughts the young woman looked confused, which did not go unnoticed by her interlocutor who crossed arms over his chest:
    - Were you even listening to what's been discussed during today's session?
    - If by thoughtful you mean that we should think twice before we act, it will lead once again to a status quo where both sides expect each other to attack first, in which case a head-on conflict is inevitable, she replied. With the support of the Galactic Safety Committee, we'd be able to mobilise troops from all over the galaxy, willing to revolt against the Empire but outnumbered in men and weaponry to do so. I agree to intervene strategically, nonetheless we should move in action at some point in this cold war between the Black Knights and us. On a different note, we should work together under the same flag to make the universe a better place to live in, you better not forget you're a human being too with his strengths and weaknesses all things considered Styx, despite of the fact you've acquired supernatural status by reaching eternity.
    The concerned clenched his fists out of anger:
    - How dare you...
    Lancaster cut short their dispute, his eyebrows furrowed in disapproval:
    - Beware whom you're talking to, better not say out loud what everyone think inside.

    - Styx might seem to be a blunt individual; he's a loyal comrade during battle though.
    Alys looked up from her meal. A silver-haired young lady holding a plate of synthetic vegetables took a seat in front of her and harboured a friendly smile:
    - If you have any trouble adapting to your new life in these walls, feel free to ask for help. Understanding is the key to overcome culture shock, snatched away by force from your homeland. We all went through the same wonders. You'll get used to it pretty fast if you come to accept it as a new beginning instead of a duty forcefully bestowed upon you.
    - I was far from expecting I would embark on a whole new adventure across space and time a few days ago. I have little knowledge of what's going on, moreover I don't even know what my mission consists in, be it orchestrated by whomever rules heaven up there!
    - In this era of time, it is commonly admitted that nothing happens by chance. Whether or not you're a believer, God is watching over his children with justice and equity from above, seconded by Fate.
    - If so, why has the Council been created?
    - It brings us back to the Era of no Return when Earth started to lack of resources. Solutions found to slow down its downfall were not effective and, in the lapse of one thousand years, the planet ran to its early destruction. Therefore, someone had to prevent this cycle of disaster from happening prior to when our world reached a point of no return. A gentle soul unscathed by the wanders of a decaying society had to endorse this cruel destiny...
    - Indeed, we had to pick up the pieces from the mess caused by the greed of some, which led civilisations to war for a puddle of fuel or a drop of drinkable water! Styx interrupted her. I must admit you're a quite good judge of character, he said to Alys. By the way, we haven't introduced ourselves yet. My name's Styx, and she is Zoe.
    - Nice to meet you I guess, though you quite put me off by your rudeness.
    - Uh, you seem to be an immature crybaby by your annoying character at first glance...
    - Still at it? What of your so-called maturity if I may argue Styx, you still haven't gone through that awkward teenage phase yourself!
    Followed by Hitori, Faeri and Lancaster, Sylvestre barged in the refectory and shot glance at Styx in disapproval when the four of them sat down at the Council's table:
    - Quit fighting, how old are you?
    - Who's the child, huh? She is the one who must grow up, by all meanings!
    - Blame on you for not bearing your load of responsibility.
    - Why do we even argue over this matter if the will of God must prevail?
    Lancaster munched on a piece of meat with weariness:
    - Again and again, you two will never get along... Anyway let's enjoy these peaceful times before another cycle of war restarts, he added. I'm Lancaster, master of storms; Sylvestre controls nature and Faeri is God's messenger. Lastly, you already know Judge.
    - Nice to meet you all.
    Last edited by Seira; 04-26-2017 at 09:56 PM.

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