Chapter 12

Chapter 12

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 12

 

 

            “We’re leaving?” asked Topaz.

            “Yes,” said Ash. “We’ll meet your brother first in Sector Two and then travel to Sector Three from there.”

            “That’s where Adam is, right?”

            “So the rumors claim. Hopefully we meet him on good terms.”

            Topaz and Ash descended to the main floor. Topaz was surprised at how nonchalant she felt in the tower now. She wasn’t nearly as cautious as her usual self. Even around the mischievously grinning Ash she felt at ease. Perhaps the hope of change had found a place in her heart for her new allies.

            As they were heading for the main lobby Topaz swallowed. “You think he’d hurt us? Adam, I mean.”

            Ash shrugged. “He’s supposedly killed every homunculi he’s seen. On the surface we’re not so different,” answered Ash.

            “If he’s killed them all, where do all the rumors come from?”

            “Humans. Maybe. But I’m sure living homunculi have gotten a glimpse. Rumors always exaggerate the truth.”

            “Yeah, you’re right.”

            They continued on their way towards the main exit. As they were about to exit, the automated doors opened with a big homunculus escorting what seemed to be a girl covered in a dark raincoat with her hood on. She was facing down but Topaz caught a glimpse of what seemed to be a blindfold wrapped around her eyes. The girl looked to be more of a prisoner than a guest. Not to mention overly dressed. Topaz had never seen a homunculus who showed so little skin. Hardly any wore much more than their exoskeleton, most only threw on enough to cover their private areas and whatever trendy trinkets were in style. In fact, Topaz couldn’t even see a glimmer of light from the girl’s exoskeleton.

            Ash caught her gaze as they crossed paths with the hooded girl and warned, “Don’t let your eyes wander to what doesn’t concern you.”

            Topaz felt ice needles in his words and turned around instantly like she got caught doing something really bad. “Who was that?”

            “Asking is just as bad,” added Ash with a smile.

            “I can’t help it. She was so conspicuous. Why was she so covered up and blindfolded?”

            “The Blue Sun has many jobs aside from our little endeavor. He’s the CEO of three of the biggest companies in the Ark, not to mention the Sentinel of the North Tower, and the Red Moon of the Red Eclipse. All kinds of transactions occur here, most of which you will probably not approve of. It comes with power.”

            Topaz took the answer as sufficient fearing to ask for any more details. She knew the world was much bigger than she perceived it. Dustin always told her to minimize her concerns to what she treasured most. He always emphasized that you can never save everyone and that above all else you must always prepare yourself for the worst and move on when you have to. At the moment, all that concerned her was her family. Only problem was, the only family she knew was Dustin. The thought of seeing him soon though eased her mind. She was tired of dealing with big decisions without him by her side.

            The ride home wasn’t going to be too long, a car ride to the train station and forty minutes on a train. After reaching Sector Two she would probably get another car ride to the farm since now she was traveling with someone from the Red Eclipse. The idea of traveling with Ash was surprisingly comforting. It made Topaz feel safe outside the tower. Before she thought the people in the streets would recognize her as a fugitive and rip her limb from limb. That’s how much she thought the Ark hated her in her head. And perhaps she wasn’t so far off.

            When they reached the train it was much more luxurious than her ride there. Instead of shabby looking quarters filled with older looking homunculi in a crowded space she was in her own private cubicle with servants coming in and out bringing top class food. The service wasn’t so different than the short time she spent on the tower but it felt weird being that she was inside a train. The only ones in the cubicle were Ash and herself, so she felt even more at ease knowing there weren’t tons of people near her listening to her breath and glancing at every sudden motion she made.

            “Enjoying the ride?” asked Ash.

            Topaz looked back from the window. “It’s much more relaxing than my ride here.”

            “I bet. So is there anything else you want to know?”

            Topaz thought hard for a second. There were so many things she wanted to know that she didn’t know where to begin. Part of her was frightened that she may hear things she may not like though. She knew nobody in her family had lived an easy life. The fact two of them were living a somewhat glorious life baffled her, but she was scared to know how they even got there. Her main curiosities were focused on Adam whom she thought soon to meet. She wondered if he would look at her as a sister like Dustin saw him as a brother. Sadly all she had to go on was that he was homicidal demon. The troublemaking adventurous boy he was ten years ago was probably no more.

            She took a deep breath and replied, “I think I’ll wait. I can ask all these questions but until I see for myself all they’ll be is rumors. And rumors always exaggerate the truth,” she finished with a smile.

            Ash smiled back at the remark. “True. If you don’t mind, may I ask you a question? I’d like to know more about you.”

            Topaz was taken aback. “Sure…don’t know exactly what you would like to know about me that you don’t already know though. You guys seem to have eyes and ears almost everywhere.”

            “Well, it’s not so much about something I don’t already know, more like a simple curiosity,” he clarified. “Gem’s children, if you include your family, consisted of seven. But you only ever mention six. Or rather you only consider six to be your family. Dustin, Adam, Eve, Solius, Lilith, and you. I can see why you purposely exclude the seventh but I’m curious as to your thoughts on him.”

            Topaz raised an eyebrow. “Him?”

            “Judas. Your oldest sibling, if you consider him family.”

            “Judas?”

            Ash burst out laughing psychotically and Topaz felt instantly uncomfortable. “Is this a joke?” asked Ash with a smile spread wide from cheek to cheek.

            “No…” answered Topaz hesitantly. “Dustin never told me about a seventh sibling.”

            “And here I thought he told you everything. This just opens a whole wardrobe of questions. Just how much exactly do you know about the incident that split your family up?”

            Topaz found herself fidgeting at the question now unsure that she knew everything. The thought that Dustin didn’t tell her everything made her feel both betrayed and angry. “Well, after mother brought me in, our secret started becoming too big to contain and the Ark grew suspicious. Along with that, my brothers and sisters whom kept growing more curious through the years became harder to contain as well until one day Adam fled the house. He said Lilith followed him and Eve went out to look for them along with Solius. They had no idea Ark Hunters were out looking for them that very moment. Dustin grabbed me shortly after and fled through an underground passage in order to keep me safe.”

            After Topaz was done she noticed she was shaking. She was scared that everything she just said might’ve happened completely different, which would mean Dustin had been lying to her this whole time. The thought kept her eyes focused on Ash’s feet instead of his eye.

            “Well, not many know what happened inside the house prior to the incident that caused you all to be scattered, so I can’t argue most of your story,” said Ash. The words brought relief to Topaz and she quickly found her eyes fixated upon his crimson serpent eye. “But,” he continued. Her heart stopped once more. “As far as I’m concerned, the Ark was oblivious of Gem’s family fetish. No one had a clue until one man informed the Ark. That man was your brother, Judas.”

            Questions started running through Topaz faster than she could process. “But why would he turn his own family in? And why would Dustin hide this from me? Wouldn’t he want me to know who’s to blame for all our misfortune?”

            Ash shrugged. “That’s something you’ll need to ask Dustin. My guess is he didn’t want you clouding your mind with thoughts of revenge. That’s a lot of hate for just one man. He’ll probably hate me for letting this one slip.”

            Topaz was running her leg like a motor in her fuming rage. She had so many questions but at the moment they all had to do with whoever this Judas was. Why had Dustin kept such a big secret from her? So what if she sought out revenge, whoever condemned their family to this miserable day-to-day life, deserved the worse. This whole delusion that if she wanted revenge she would have to take down an entire society when in reality all she needed to take down was one man, was the most infuriating epiphany of it all. She hated the Ark for making Dustin so miserable, so much that if she could she would personally execute everybody who supported it, but fear of the hopelessness of that cause always kept her at bay. The only reason she now felt dependent on the Red Eclipse was because she believed it was her only means to happiness and closure to her dark past. With the discovery that one man was the trigger to it all, now she wouldn’t be able to rest until she could personally bring an end to him.

            She looked at Ash with ironclad determination. “If I wanted the Red Eclipse’s aid on a personal request, would you aid me?”

            Ash looked at her questioningly. “That would depend on the nature of that request.”

            “If we do this…if we kill this Judas…Dustin can’t know. Not until the deed is done.”

            Ash shook his head. “Not happening.”

            Topaz jumped up and grabbed Ash. “Why not? Aren’t you guys involved in all sorts of transactions? You told me yourself earlier! You told me you did things I may not approve of, but that’s a lie. Some people in this world deserve the worse. Some people aren’t meant to be happy!”

            Ash pushed her back into her seat. “The Red Eclipse is a well established business. We’re involved in the biggest criminal trades but we do it in tasteful fashion. Even the Ark acquaints itself with us when it benefits them. The thing about Judas is, there is no tasteful way to execute a Knight.”

            Topaz’s jaw dropped. “A traitor like him is a Knight? Is that what the Ark is made up of?”

            “If you betray the right people the rewards can sometimes be handsome. As for Judas’s case, Gem committed multiple treasons. It made him something of a hero.”

            “And not even the Red Eclipse can touch him now?” asked Topaz with disappointment in her voice.

            “We can. It’s simply not wise,” he clarified. The train stopped. “Attacking the Court of Royals is the equivalent of declaring war with the Ark. There will be a time for that, simply not now. But in any case, it seems we’re already here. Ready to see your brother?”

            “I was until just a minute ago.”

 

 

            “Even beneath that raincoat, the posters do you no justice. You truly are a goddess of beauty,” said the Red Moon with his seductively smooth voice.

            Lilith had no idea what kind of man he was but she figured he wasn’t much different from other men in power. If he were anything like Mercury he would be just as money hungry and possessive. From the tone of his voice she could tell he thought highly of himself. Lilith wasn’t nearly as audacious with her tongue when around people she felt could control her and crush her at a whim.

            “You can talk you know,” he urged. “I won’t hurt you, I promise. I’m just a friend looking for a friend.”

            Lilith remained silent. All she wanted to know now was her fate. She despised not knowing what was about to happen next. She never got good surprises.

            “How would you like to see your family?” Family?! Why does everyone suddenly care about that lie from ten years ago? “Once again, you can talk.”

            “I have no family,” said Lilith in a cold an empty voice.

            “Funny, I talked to your sister not long ago and she felt the complete opposite. I’d never seen anyone so eager to rescue people she’d never truly met before.”

            Lilith thought back to the only person who ever called herself sister to her. Eve. But Eve knew her well, at least before the capture. Even though Lilith didn’t value Eve as a sibling anymore she could comprehend how Eve might still delude herself to believe so.

            “Perhaps I have mistaken just how close you all really were?”

            “I haven’t seen anyone who considered themselves my family for ten years. That life we had in the basement was nothing but a hoax. I have no family,” said Lilith with confidence. Something in her just really wanted to set that line straight.

            She could hear the Red Moon pacing around her in circles. “I guess you’re right. But doesn’t it warm your heart to know someone out there cares about you?”

            “Really? Because I thought the last ten years I was getting raped no one cared. Now that I’ve made something of myself and established a good life they want to help? Kind of late, don’t you think?” Lilith replied in anger.

            “So you don’t miss them at all? I mean it’s not as if they could’ve done anything to rescue you. Until now.”

            “Why do you care?” Lilith quickly caught notice of her tongue loosening up in her anger. “Sorry…I got carried away.”

            “No, please continue,” insisted the Red Moon. “I much rather people be themselves when I negotiate. It let’s me know where they truly stand. I must say though, I’m rather startled by your sentiments with your family but seeing as they are of no concern to you I shall move on to my next offer. Freedom.”

            The word freedom almost seemed laughable. For as long as there was order there was no such thing as freedom. And for a human what even classified as freedom. A life of pay as an underground w***e? Lilith would rather keep offering vessels to the Ark living in a life of luxury, any day.

            “I bet I’ll be the happiest w***e on the Ark,” Lilith said bitterly.

            “So you don’t believe me,” said the Red Moon still confident in his voice. “I plan to change this world, Lilith. Create a world where we can coexist alongside humans. I have the means to do it too. But I’ll need your help.”

            Lilith couldn’t contain her laughter this time. “You’re a walking human corpse and you think you can create a world where humans and homunculi coexist? You’re even crazier than the idiot who thinks I’m still her sister.” This time it didn’t register that she was speaking to someone superior to her.

            Lilith heard the footsteps stop and held her breath now starting to regret her words a little. “I take back what I said. The posters make you seem so much more likable than you really are. Anyway, I’d love to fill you in more on my grand plan but I can’t risk information getting out for obvious reasons.”

            “Then do it without me. I doubt I’d be much help anyways,” said Lilith.

            “That’s where you’re wrong. You’re an icon. The homunculi love you, a human. You’re crucial to the bonding of the two species. You signify the only link between the two on a loving ground.”

            “And if you fail? What becomes of me then?”

            “I won’t,” stated the Red Moon.

            “What makes you so sure? Homunculi would become extinct without the constant supply of human vessels. You think humans will gladly offer their babies for your survival?” challenged Lilith.

            “In my world, we won’t need vessels anymore.”

            “What do you mean?”

             “If I tell you anymore you will be stripped of a choice. You already know too much. If I tell you how I will take the world I will buy you from Mercury that same instant. The life you’ve known the past ten years will be behind you. I can guarantee you that it will be for better but ultimately that is for you to decide. If you don’t agree with me now I want you to at least reconsider my offer over night. You’ll have everything you need here and more.”

            “And if I still refuse?”

            “Then you will fall with all those who stand against me when I take the Ark for myself,” he said in his ever so confident voice.

            “Well, at least I get a choice…” said Lilith sarcastically.



© 2012 Cynical_Art


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Added on September 3, 2012
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Author

Cynical_Art
Cynical_Art

New York, NY



About
I am 21 years old, I got my Bachelors in Science Degree when I was 19. My career profession is computer animation (I am an Environment Modeler, for those that follow the profession) but I love to writ.. more..

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