Chapter 3

Chapter 3

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 3

 

 

            Eve wiped her tears and went to tend to Dustin who was still kneeling in pain by the wall. She left Solius by himself for now who seemed to be in a state of shock, defeated just lying down on the ground where Adam left him. So many things were happening so fast that Eve didn’t know what she was feeling anymore. Dustin struggled to get up to chase after Adam but let out a grunt of pain and went crashing back towards the floor.

            Since Dustin arrived she always saw him as the order in their family when mother wasn’t around. In the basement it was always him who kept everyone out of trouble or did the best he could. To see him in such a state gave her an uneasy feeling of vulnerability. Their family was falling apart.

            “Don’t move,” Eve said. She’d never seen anyone in so much pain before. Watching Dustin, the strongest of the children reduced to such a defenseless state only made her feel that much weaker.

            “I have to chase after him,” Dustin insisted.

            “Don’t worry, I’ll get him before he causes another fight between mother and Judas.”

            Dustin gripped her forearm and looked deep into her eyes and warned, “Whatever you do, don’t go too far.”

            Eve nodded and ran for the stairs. She opened the door and scanned the hallway, then the kitchen, and then the living room. No one was there; Adam must’ve already gotten outside. She overheard Judas’s voice upstairs. She couldn’t make out what he was saying but it didn’t sound like he was talking to anyone. At least not anyone she could hear. He was probably talking on a COM (communicator). What am I doing? I have to search for Adam.

            Eve left out the front exit. The fresh air was breathtaking. It was the first time stepping outside as far as she could remember. She was finally touching the soft grass she always saw from out the window whenever mother took them upstairs. No matter how much she heeded mother’s warnings, she couldn’t help but feel safe in the soft breeze. She ran around the house in a circle but saw nobody, then she looked straight ahead to the forest in the outskirts of the house. Dustin warned me not to go far, but what if they went inside the forest?

            She drew closer to the forest trying to peek inside. Suddenly she heard the sound of something loud and her initial reaction was to hide behind a tree. She looked towards the direction of the noise and saw four people riding weird vehicles. From the exoskeletons she could already tell they were all homunculi. She’d only just learned about the outside world and its people but she could already identify them instantly for what they were and knew she should stay away from the homunculi who ruled the outside world. She started trembling with fear unable to think of a plan to get back in the house. Worse, Adam and Lilith could be anywhere at this point. What if they found Adam and Lilith before her? She held her breath and stood as still as possible as she watched from afar.

 

 

            Dustin stood up in pain. His ribs must’ve been broken because the pain only got worse. Any other child his age would’ve been in tears, but Dustin had been weathered to be strong from surviving in the Sectors. He started limping towards the stairs. Eve had already taken too long. Either something happened to her or she didn’t heed his warning and stay close by.

            As he was painfully climbing the stairs he looked back at Solius. He was no longer on the floor but was still in a state of shock or disbelief, staring at nothing but the floor. He won’t do anything stupid. He kept climbing until he eventually reached the door.

            Dustin wondered about what the extent of Adam’s Faith was. He knew little of messiahs, only that they used the crystal dust in the air to harness their power. It was similar to how homunculi used their Faith. Only a homunculus harnessed their power from their own crystal, which is why they turned towards technology instead for their source of power.

            Dustin heard voices and opened the door cautiously. As he peeked through he could slightly see Judas speaking to somebody at the front exit. He limped closer to get a better look and instantly his heart froze. Ark Hunters!

            “Where is Gem?” the Hunter officer asked.

            “She walked out not too long ago. Got called in by her Executive,” answered Judas.

            “You do know this is high treason. She’ll be lucky if she doesn’t get executed.”

            “I thought we already negotiated that,” said Judas. “Her safety for the arrest of three humans, two messiahs, and a classified experiment.” Traitor! He sold us out!

            “I said I’d do what I can,” said the officer.

            “Well I suggest you get me a guarantee as soon as possible or this conversation and report never happened.”

            “With what you’ve told me, I don’t think you’re in a position to be making demands, Judas.”

            “You have no proof, Carbon. Without me you got nothing.”

            “Fine, give me a couple minutes and I’ll give you your guarantee.”

            Things are worse than I imagined! There’s no time to look for Eve, Lilith, and Adam. I have to get Solius and get out of here as soon as possible.

            Dustin was swarming with rage. He always knew Judas wasn’t a fan of mother’s decision to adopt those in need but to flat out turn them in was evil. Being her only legal son though, it was understandable where Judas was coming from. For every human she took in, whether they be normal or messiah, she put them at risk. The slightest discovery would lead to an execution of everyone involved. For Judas who held no love for them, that was a needless risk.

Dustin limped back in the hallway towards the basement door. Right as he was about to open the door he caught sight of something in the background near the balcony. Wrapped in sheets on a basket was little Topaz. He looked back the other direction of the hallway at Judas. F**k me and my conscience!

            Dustin limped towards the basket as fast as he could, the pain in his ribs getting worse by the step. He stepped over the basket and saw Topaz sound asleep as if nothing else in the world mattered. He looked at her fragile little body and wondered why anyone would make a baby homunculus. Who would want a baby that would never grow? But if mother loved her, he couldn’t just let her be taken away.

            He stopped second guessing himself and grabbed the basket and rushed for the basement door. He felt a tear in his heart as he consciously abandoned Eve, Lilith, and Adam. He wish he could go back running and grab them too but he wouldn’t even know where to look first. By some miracle it didn’t seem like the Ark Hunters or Judas had caught notice of them yet though, so wherever they were, at least they were safe for now. The only worry in his mind now was that if Eve found them she would lead them back to their doom thinking they were heading towards a safe home.

 

 

            Solius stared emptily at the floor. The person he cared for most in the world had abandoned him. And for what, a hopeless love with a boy she called brother. A boy who by no means was ever her brother or deserved to be called that or be anything more. Adam had taken the most precious thing from Solius for the simple purpose of seeing a world that had no love for him. And the worst part of it all was, Solius could do nothing but watch it happen and accept it.

            Solius couldn’t decide who he hated more. Adam or his own weakness. If he were only stronger, maybe Lilith wouldn’t be with Adam right now. Maybe Lilith would love him for being the protective brother he should’ve been. But he was weak. He wasn’t blessed by the crystals. He wasn’t artificially made to be superior. He was human. He was weak.

            Solius felt a slap on his face that knocked him back to reality. “Snap out of it,” yelled Dustin.

            Solius looked up and saw Dustin carrying Topaz in a basket. Instantly he felt hate for the thing. “Why are you bringing her here? She’s the reason everything is falling apart,” said Solius.

            “Blame whoever you want, but what’s done is done. Adam and Lilith are gone and I don’t know where Eve is anymore either…Right now what’s important is that we remain safe. So get up and follow me!”

            Solius scanned the room. It was empty. The basement was empty. No Adam causing trouble. No Eve brushing her long beautiful pink hair. No Lilith reading her love stories. The world as he knew it was gone in a matter of seconds. And to think that just this morning it was just another regular day.

            “Where are we going? I don’t care about the outside world, I’ll stay here where mother told us to,” said Solius. He refused to follow in Adam’s rebellious footsteps.

            “Mother isn’t here either. I can’t explain right now but it’s no longer safe. The…the Ark knows we’re here. We have to leave while we can,” informed Dustin.

            Solius stood up confused. “The Ark? And mother’s gone too?” Nothing made sense anymore. Why was everyone leaving? Why were they leaving?

            Dustin grabbed his hand and limped to the storage room in the basement. “The Ark, the rulers of this world. The homunculi society.” Dustin knocked a bunch of boxes off to the sides. And beneath was a handle that opened a path. “If we don’t get away, we’ll all be captured and we will wish we were dead.”

            Solius looked down at the dark passage beneath them. “Where does this lead? What is going on? How do they know where we are? Where’s Lilith?!”

            Dustin pushed him into the hole. “Walk forward. I’ll tell you everything as soon as we’re safe.”

            Solius yelled, “I’m not leaving without Lilith!”

            “She’s safe! Now walk!”

            Solius nodded and hopped down. Dustin entered and closed the panel above them as he joined Solius in the darkness. It was pitch black and Solius could only feel the walls beside him. He had no idea where he was going but all he had to go on now was Dustin’s word. As long as he knew Lilith was safe he didn’t care where he was. Suddenly it dawned him. How could Dustin know if Lilith was safe? Earlier he said Lilith was gone, and she’d left with Adam. Adam can’t protect himself let alone Lilith.

            Solius came to a sudden halt and Dustin bumped into him. “Why did you stop walking?” asked Dustin.

            “Where is Lilith?” demanded Solius.

            “She’s safe. I told you I’ll tell you everything once we’re safe.”

            “Earlier you said she was gone. She’s with Adam isn’t she? He can’t protect her. They’re not safe!”

            “Solius calm down!” Dustin urged. “The Ark hasn’t caught anybody yet. They know we’re here because Judas told them but, and as much as it kills me to admit, because of Adam, Lilith is safe. They’ll be searching the house but neither Adam or Lilith seems to be inside anymore. Eve must’ve chased after them too. We’re the only ones still in danger. The quicker we get moving, the sooner we can look for them.”

            “You’re lying to me!” Solius snapped. “I saw it in your eyes when you first told me. When you said they were gone…I won’t let Lilith die!”

            “Solius please! I’m not lying!”

            Solius pushed Dustin down and ran over him back the way they came from. As he scurried back through the narrow tunnel he heard the crying of a baby in the background. He didn’t care though. The only thing important to him was saving Lilith. He climbed up the small latter and slammed the panel open and entered the basement again. Without any second thoughts he rushed up the stairs and slammed the door open. All his determination, all his courage, all his devotion, instantly vanished at the moment.

 

 

            “What’s going on, Adam? Who were those guys?” asked Lilith.

            Adam treaded through the forest hardly taking any consideration to the poor Lilith trailing behind. The further they walked the more she regretted leaving Solius and the rest of their family behind. From the moment they left the house it was almost like he didn’t even care she came along. Just where exactly were they heading?

            “Adam?” Lilith tried to get his attention again.

            “I don’t know!” he yelled back.

            Lilith held back her tears. Now Adam hated her for being annoying. She’d never felt so alone in her whole life. But it was too late to turn back now. She kept following him with her head down to hide her displeasure. The more she whined and asked questions, the more he would hate her. For Lilith, there was nothing worse than being hated by the boy she loved.

            They walked deeper into the forest until their home was out of sight and their legs were growing weary. The gap between Lilith and Adam now must’ve at least been thirty feet, but even Adam was tired now. Lilith crashed into the dirt on the ground and she struggled to regain her breath. She’d never been so exhausted in her life before. Finally, Adam caught sight of her and treaded his way back to where she was and sat beside her. He grabbed her head and put it on his lap and she felt the warm embrace of his body. Suddenly, all the walking and treading along with leaving everyone behind seemed worth it.

            “Sorry. I just didn’t want Dustin or Judas forcing me to come back again. I’m tired of them getting in the way of my plans,” he explained.

            “I understand,” Lilith reassured.

            “We’ll rest here until we regain our energy. I think we’re far enough now.”

            It was perfect. Lilith wished the moment could last forever. Resting her head on Adam’s lap felt like a lifelong achievement. She’d had a crush on Adam for as long as she could remember. Love was something her brothers and sisters probably didn’t think about much, but to Lilith it was very important. Lilith had spend her days in the basement reading stories of princesses falling in love with their shining knights. Mother had always told her, that that was in ancient times and that love bloomed much differently now, but whenever she looked at Adam’s vibrant sapphire eyes and hair she couldn’t help but see her shining knight. He would be the one she lived happily ever after with at the end of her story.

            “Why are your cheeks so red? Are you sick?” asked Adam.

            Lilith blushed more now that she knew she’d been exposed. She tried to cover her face but then gave up and figured this was a good a time as any. “Adam, what do you think of me when you look at me?” she asked.

            Without hesitation he replied, “I love you. You’re my sister. And apparently the only one who understands me. The others just think I’m causing trouble all the time. They don’t even bother to ask me why I do what I do.”

Lilith only heard as far as sister. The word devastated her. She knew they were a family, but thanks to Solius’s denial, she never saw them as the type of family where love was taboo between them. Mother told them that family didn’t love each other that way, and she understood it. The way she loved Solius was not the way she loved Adam. But the way Adam said sister was enough for her to know that in his eyes, he saw her no different than she saw Solius. There was no happily ever after there.

Lilith turned her head over on his lap without saying a word. She no longer loved the moment. She wanted it to be over as soon as possible. Until Adam saw her like she saw him, all of this was worthless. Well, I have an entire world to see to make him change his mind about me. The thought put a faint smile on her face.

            Before Lilith could lose herself to her dreams she heard a group of footsteps approaching them. She quickly stood up and looked at Adam who was as alert as she was. They both hid behind a tree and peaked towards the direction of the sound. The sound drew closer until eventually they caught sight of their pursuers. Two homunculi with masks over their eyes were heading directly at them!



© 2012 Cynical_Art


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Added on June 18, 2012
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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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