Dark Angel Chapter 13
Phosys City, Yrrs II
Click-click. Again, there went the noise of boot heels on marble. Mox Garel whipped his head around over his shoulder, certain that this time hed see a Dominion soldier come to tear him a new one. But it was nothing. He sighed deeply and tried to force himself to relax, a task that proved impossible when he regarded the man in front of him.
Grey was sitting in front of a computer monitor, clicking away furiously on a keyboard as he pored over files of every shape and size. Even if the things in the files had meant anything to Mox, which he somehow doubted they would, the Wanderer was going over them far too quickly for him to pick anything up.
You do realize what a precarious position were in, dont you? Mox said, his anxiety over their location overriding his ever-growing fear of this strange man. Breaking into the Magistrates office alone is a capital offense. Looking into his files and the fact that I basically abandoned my post is treason enough that wed never even get a trial.
Grey rolled his eyes at that, but didnt respond. His hands continued flying over the keyboard.
Dont you get it, man?! Mox said as loudly as he dared. Whatever youre trying to accomplish here couldnt possibly be worth the risk of
The young Elosians speech was cut off rather abruptly as Grey reached out with his left hand and grabbed him by the collar. As Mox nearly fell to the floor due to the abrupt movement, the Union spy spoke.
Shut up, Garel. Im almost finished, and if I got us in, I can get at least one of us out.
Moxs mouth opened, but the words he wanted to say went unsaid as he considered the full meaning of the statement.
Thats right, Garel. Now quit pissing me off.
Mox closed his eyes and let out an inaudible sigh as Grey released him. He had no doubt that the Wanderer could follow through on his threat to leave Mox behind, at that. They had gotten in through the air duct system, amazingly enough. It shouldnt have been possible for them to even get on the roof in the first place, but Grey had actually made the motors and fans in the huge air conditioning systems stop momentarily while they entered, with only a wave of his hand.
Whatever this guy is, Mox thought, hes got an incredible amount of control over ether energy. But why is he so concerned about those Unionites?
His internal monologue was cut off rather abruptly as Grey made a strange noise. It was like the spy was choking on something without substance, and Mox was almost concerned as he saw a look of genuine rage pass over the silver-haired mans face.
Shanning. That was the only thing the man said, and whatever reference he was trying to make was lost to Mox. Next thing the pilot knew, Grey had stood up and, with but a flutter of his black cloak, jumped effortlessly back into the still-open ceiling vent.
A moment later, his head poked back out, along with a gloved hand. Hurry up, Garel. We have other places to be now.
Mox only hesitated for a moment before accepting the helping hand up into the vent. I just know that this will be the death of me maybe mom was right about politics. Safer.
HQ, Lyles and Shanning here, ready to land. Terra said over the intercom of the starship. It had been another long trip back to Karonne but thankfully, the number of insults flowing from Zohars mouth had decreased in number somewhat, making the whole ordeal a bit more bearable.
Confirmed, Ms. Terra. Were ready to receive you same docking bay as last time. A voice crackled back.
Well, looks like the place has survived while we were gone. Commented Darrell as they came into atmosphere to view the huge, domed complex. After Dargaards Crown, though, it was no longer nearly as impressive to him.
Whatd you expect, Dar? Zohar said, popping into view beside the young man. We were only gone about two weeks.
Darrell shrugged, and didnt really respond. A lot can happen in two weeks, Zohar he thought, shutting his eyes tightly as he did.
The ship touched down in the docking bay without a single problem Darrell never ceased to marvel at how smoothly Terra could land and they exited shortly afterward. To their surprise, only a few orderlies were on hand to greet them, and Meryl, Cynewulf, and Kyra were nowhere to be found.
Hello again, all three of you. I take it your trip went well? one of the Seekers, a tall woman with blonde hair, asked.
Darrell nodded. Better than we couldve hoped, but wheres Madam Kyra, not to mention our friends?
The woman looked down for a moment at that. I Ive been instructed to bring you to them immediately.
What? Terra said, her eyes widening. Whats happened?
Another of the Seekers spoke up. Its not easy to explain, miss. Please, just come with us.
Excuse me?! Are they okay?!? Terra exclaimed, her powerful gloves creaking slightly as her fists unconsciously clenched.
In a manner of speaking yes, theyre fine. Please, just follow us! the woman said, and, apparently considering the discussion closed, turned to lead them off.
Terra started to say something else, but Darrell restrained her with a touch to the shoulder. This wont get us anywhere, Terra. Lets just follow them.
The young woman looked as if she might protest for a moment, then nodded her head and followed on morosely. Darrell scratched his head as he began to walk, motioning for Zohar to follow with a quick jerk of his head.
They walked through the common areas of the Complex soon enough, noting nothing especially odd, other than a kind of subdued feeling of unease. It was too quiet, and everyone they passed seemed worried about something just beyond view.
It was quite apparent when they passed into what had formerly been the sealed sector, for the entire area was marked by an almost complete absence of vegetation, as well as the occasional crater where some unfortunate Seeker or robot had met his end. After a few minutes, the Seekers leading the trio on stopped before the ruins of the lobby of the Armory. Darrell saw that the portions of the building that had survived had all been rewalled, and a contingent of Seekers guarded new doors into the various areas.
Lot of security, considering youre all military here. Darrell noted curiously.
Just follow us, please. The female Seeker said, a new note of discomfort in her voice as she approached the door to the largest room.
You can see who weve got here, Im sure. She said to one of the guards at the door. Let us through.
The man saluted and stepped aside, but didnt actually defer to open the door. Yes, maam. He mumbled along with it, as if distasteful of the situation.
Whats up with the disrespect? Zohar said quietly to Darrell. The young man shrugged.
Its not to me personally, Finori. The female Seeker said without even turning back around. Its this entire blasted situation. I go no farther than here. She whirled around on her heel. Please enter. Madam Kyra and your friends await.
The trio stepped into the room with more than a bit of trepidation, and were rather shocked by the state of the room. It was apparently a laboratory of some sort, with machinery, computers, and other things of an apparently biological nature strewn about at odd intervals. On the far side of the room, Kyra and Meryl sat, looking over some sort of glass-sealed tube.
Whats going on, Meryl? Terra said as she strode across the curious room, feeling very uncomfortable.
Meryl looked up abruptly at the words, as though she hadnt even noticed the three of them come in. Oh hello, Terra. Whats going on? I she trailed off. It was just as well. Terra lost interest in the conversation when she reached the other end of the room, and took a glimpse into the tube laying horizontally before her.
Zohar, surprisingly seriously, teleported over to the other end of the room and gazed into the tube as well. His already large eyes widened.
What? What is it, everyone? Darrell said as he fairly ran over.
He received no immediate response, but one glimpse into the tube told him all he needed to know.
Cynewulf lay suspended in a solution of some sort, with wires inserted all over the place to monitor his health. But at the same time, it almost didnt seem to be Cynewulf. His right arm was entirely gone, replaced with a huge, silvery prosthetic. At the end, some sort of device resembling a TAG was welded on. His face was similarly disfigured, his left eye and that entire end of his face having been replaced with an optic sensor of some sort. Wires ran from it and the back of his head down into his back, where various other bits of circuitry could be made out in patches.
What what the hell happened to him?! Darrells words were almost a whisper, but the tone was unmistakeably panicked. Who did this?!
Kyra looked up sadly. He did it to himself, with the aid of several robotic implements.
Dear God why? Why would he do this to himself? Terra asked, her hands shaking in revulsion to the horrible sight.
Meryl sighed at that. The weapon. The weapon he thinks can beat the Lavoid everything hes been hinting at, this past month or so all over this.
Darrell blinked. What in the world could he possibly gain by doing this to himself?
I I think its pretty obvious. Zohar said, surprisingly quietly. You guys already knew he wanted to anchor me to a weapon I figured itd be a TAG or something, though I figured itd have to be!
No ones blaming you, Zohar. Darrell returned. He he wants you to anchor to him?
Basically but he knew it wasnt possible for me to link to an organic object. And so
Meryl interrupted him. By running circuitry uplinked to his brain, and having you anchor to THAT, hell get an insane amount of power.
Yes but Zohar trailed off. Meryl looked at him curiously, but Terra soon made her forget the comment.
Nevermind why this happened, or the fact that he did this to himself HOW did this happen? You guys just let him mutilate his own body like this?
We had no way of knowing what he would do, Terra. Kyra said, sadly. He shut most of us out of the lab and, after the favor he did for the entire Complex, we felt we owed it to him to leave him alone.
And I well, its hard to explain exactly what happened between us, Terra. Meryl put in, looking down at the floor.
Make an attempt. The young pilot said, crossing her arms.
I I Meryl sighed. Fine. I didnt want you guys to hear about this but Cynes left me with no choice, it seems.
Hey there, Cyne. Meryl said, walking across the lab to sit next to the huge Seeker. He was poring over some sort of file on a computer weapons schematics, no doubt but he flipped the whole array off as soon as she came within view.
Yes, Meryl? he asked, a bit more irritably than shed expected. Its late, you know.
The term was relative. There was no real day or night in the Seeker Complex, though the majority of people did keep standardized sleep hours.
Yeah, I realize that, but do you? Youve been in here ever since Darrell and Terra left, three days ago. Everyones starting to get just a bit worried, you know?
Cynewulf shrugged, and leaned back in the plastic chair he was sitting in. Im busy. Designs for the new weapon.
Why, Cyne? Seriously, Im confused on that note. Historically, people just let the finori anchor to an existing weapon, not make up a brand-new one.
The burly man sighed. Because people die, Meryl. I cant stand on tradition, not when were dealing with a Class B.
But why are we dealing with a Class B, Cyne? Ive been so confused by all of this, by you how did you even find Darrell and Terra, much less take it upon yourself to ferry them around on their quest?
It wasnt so much them, Meryl I went straight to that planet as soon as I heard where the evacuees from Zion were being taken.
Why, Cyne? Thats all Im asking. What did they have to do with you?
Because Meryl, I cant tell you. Im sorry.
Meryl crossed her arms, outwardly mad with the response but inwardly hurt. Cyne you know you can trust me. I know its been a few years since we last split up, but but I love you. Was that what she wanted to say? She was almost surprised to hear herself think it. Is is it true? Do I love you, Cyne?
She gazed on him for a moment, looking deep into his intensely brown eyes and he tensed. It was barely noticeable, but as he noticed her stare at him, he became uncomfortable. Meryl its not that I dont trust you. I do, I do. But I cant tell you why I want this lavoid dead, beyond the simple reason that I want the whole freakin race dead and I cant tell you why I have to do it this way.
Meryls eyes fell at the words. Im Im sorry to hear that, Cyne. That was all she said. Her mind was a tempest. You dont trust me!! I can tell why dont you trust anyone, Cyne? Were your family were more than that, some of us. Ive known you my entire life what are you hiding from me?
Look, Meryl Im not trying to be rude, but could you head on back? I really need to get back to work.
Meryl could have cried at that, and didnt fully succeed in biting back her emotions. Cyne I-Ill do it if thats what you really want. Do you really want me to leave you alone? Would you really be rid of me so quickly? Do you hate me so much?
The man didnt seem surprised by the sadness in her voice but he didnt react to it, either. Yeah, Meryl, I would. Ive gotta get this thing finished before Darrell and the others get back.
Meryl nodded, and walked out quietly.
And that was the last time I saw him, before Madam Kyra tried to pay him a visit just yesterday. Meryl said. Shed left out a lot the story every bit of her inner thought had been suppressed, to the point that Darrell and Terra were wondering why she hadnt wanted to tell them about the situation.
He was like this when I came to him and appears to have been for nearly two days. The old Seeker said.
Whatre we going to do about him? Zohar said, scratching his head.
There was a message. Kyra said. He asked us to awaken him after youd anchored. Apparently, he realized youd all be back fairly soon.
Zohar nodded, and sighed deeply a most uncharacteristic reaction from the little alien. Very well could you all leave me alone with him for a few minutes, then? This takes a lot of concentration.
Kyra nodded in acquiescence and immediately stood up, leaving the room alongside the others albeit reluctantly.
After they had all left, Zohar pressed his head against the glass, and looked down on the slumbering form of the huge Seeker.
Why didnt you talk to me about this, Cynewulf? Youre going to kill yourself if I do this but youll never forgive me if I dont and then the lavoid will kill all of you. He sighed and looked up at the ceiling. How I long for the days when I didnt care
No matter how long I live the question shall always remain in my mind. Why, Cynewulf? Why? Meryl Sara, memoirs.