Chapter 6

Chapter 6

A Chapter by Cynical_Art

Chapter 6

 

 

            Topaz gazed at the night sky projection in the roof of the Ark. Fake stars illuminated the city from within. She looked at the skyscraper that was the city inside the Ark. The beautiful lights shimmering in the dark blue city. The trains traveling through the clear tunnels interconnecting buildings. The cars rushing through the crowded streets. The people, the homunculi, walking about without a care in the world. Not hiding. Not stealing. Not fighting. Not killing. It was all so unlike the Sectors.

            Watching them live such a carefree life angered Eve. Her entire life had been a fight to survive and these people didn’t have a care in the world about the Sectors. That she was like them disgusted her more than anything. She wanted to rip the exoskeleton right off of her body but Dustin always told her that was her gift. That she could live a normal life if she wanted. Eve didn’t want a normal life though. All she wanted was a peaceful life alongside her brother Dustin.

            Topaz had grown over the years, a trait uncommon to homunculi. She now had the body of a twenty year-old girl. Slim, subtle curves, long legs, and delicate hands. She was beautiful but not provocative. Her exoskeleton remained with the same exterior. Dark and tight around her arms, legs, and encircling her torso with candescent pink lining. Her stomach, pubic area, and thighs, covered with a see-through plastic-like material that homunculi called the shell. Right beneath her shell she had a tiny tight black miniskirt that only went as far as to cover her private area. To a human she might have seemed exposed but homunculi wore little besides their exoskeleton. While she personally preferred to dress human-like, Dustin told her it would only attract unneeded attention.

            She walked through the crowded streets. Topaz was obliviously overcautious. She wasn’t used to walking around so many people nonchalantly. An Ark cop stopped her and asked, “Is someone following you?” but Eve quickly shook her head and quickly scurried away before he could ask any more questions. To everyone but herself, Eve was one of them. No matter how hard she tried though she couldn’t look at herself as one of them.

            Topaz finally made it to a tall dark building with the emblem of a sun. The building was at least one hundred stories high and the tallest building in the perimeter by half its own size. There was a gate before the main entrance that surrounded the tower. Two large homunculi guarded the gate. Topaz quickly noticed a camera with a gun attached on each corner of the gate. If this is the gate I can only imagine what the inside is like.

            Topaz stepped forward hesitantly. “I’m here to meet with the Blue Sun.” Topaz asked.

            “Who’s asking?” one of the guards demanded.

            Topaz reached into a small slit on her skirt and pulled out a coin with a sun on one side and a crescent moon on the other. She flipped it to one of the guards. He inspected the coin and handed it back to her.

            Both guards stepped out of the way. “Come in.”

            She stepped forward as one of them opened the gate and guided her a large parking lot with many smaller places inside and through automated doors entering the tower. Once inside the tower it was everything she imagined. Cameras and armed guards everywhere. Not even a mouse could get by unnoticed. Nothing short of what’s expected in a Sentinel’s Tower.

            Before Topaz could reach the front desk a slim homunculus with a redlined exoskeleton approached her. His hair was crimson and half covering his face leaving only a blood-red serpent eye exposed. The almost psychotic grin on his face made Topaz feel instantly uneasy. Nothing about the man radiated friendliness. Granted, Topaz only trusted one person in the entire world. Anyone whose agenda she didn’t know she couldn’t even bring herself to slightly let her guard down.

            The red homunculus greeted, “Hello, Topaz. We’ve been expecting you. My name is Ash. The Red Moon is this way. Please follow me.”

            Topaz nodded and followed Ash. The air of confidence in just the way Ash practically glided through the floor was intimidating. Topaz was used to people who didn’t know if they would be able to hold on to the life they had tomorrow. There was always fear in the people she knew. Carefree excitement was foreign to her.

            After traveling through two long hallways they finally reached an elevator. Like almost every other entrance to anywhere in the building, two guards stood beside it. The instant they saw Ash they moved out of the way and the elevator doors opened. Topaz and Ash stepped inside. As the doors closed Topaz felt a shiver down her spine. She’d never been in an elevator before let alone with a stranger in such a confined space. Ash clicked on the top floor. One-hundred-and-fifty-eight. The sudden wave of motion made Topaz’s crystal heart freeze.

            Ash patted her on the back. “No need to be so nervous. You’ve never been in a safer place. No one will touch you here.”

            Topaz gave a shy smile but didn’t respond.

            The elevator finally stopped and the door opened to a massive room with a raven black throne and a marble table in front of it. Crystal chandeliers hung on the ceiling and portraits of different homunculi were scattered across the walls in a line. On the throne sat a homunculus with long hair that was light snowy blue on the left and pinkish red on the right, both almost white in complexion. His eye colors matched his hair, blue on the right and red on the left, like all other homunculi only much more vibrant and intense. His exoskeleton was not visible due to the black suit he was wearing. He was wearing the most clothes Topaz had ever seen on a homunculus. A long blazer, white button-down shirt, tie, slacks, and shoes she could only perceive as ridiculous with their pointy tips.

            “Greetings, Topaz. I am the man the Ark knows as the Blue Sun of the North Tower, the Red Moon to those who move in the Ark’s shadow, and Atom to my friends. A pleasure to finally meet you. I’ve heard all about you,” said Atom.

            Topaz cut to the chase, “I was told you could help me find my family.” She didn’t enjoy people knowing more about her than she knew about them. It made her feel vulnerable. She was here for one purpose only. Dustin’s wish to find the rest of their family.

            “A serious girl. To think at first glance I took you for the innocent type. Given your situation though, I’m not surprised you grew up this way. Very well then, I can indeed help you find this pretend family of yours,” he said with what deceivingly seemed like a kind smile.

            “They’re no less real than the families you homunculi have!” Topaz snapped.

            “You call our sad excuse at an attempt at a family, family? It’s nothing but a sick fantasy of those who want to be like the people we enslave. The only thing that makes homunculi a family is the price tag. You’re special though.” Atom stood up and approached Topaz. “You may just be the beginning of a new breed.”

            “This isn’t about me,” Topaz said nervously, increasingly becoming more uncomfortable.

            “Aaah, but it is. You see there’s not a person in this world that helps others out of mere kindness. There is always a price.”

“A price?”

“Yes, a price. In our particular arrangement the price for your family is you.” Topaz took a step back. “Don’t worry, no harm will come of you. We only wish to discover what makes you special, which can wait. I’m a man of my word, and I like to ensure my end of the deal first. After all, no one ever escapes a deal from the Red Moon.” Atom said innocently.

            Topaz was trembling now, completely unaware of just how afraid she was. She wondered how Dustin could send her to this place alone. How he could trust these people who had no problem exposing their own selfish nature behind a smile. If Dustin trusted them though it meant there was a guarantee she wouldn’t be harmed. He would never place her life in any type of danger.

            Atom reached his hand out to Topaz. She looked at it hesitantly but concluded not much harm could come of it. She gave him her hand and he guided her to another room on the floor. This room’s space was much more confined and there were enough chairs for six people spread around a small round table. He sat Topaz on a chair and sat next to her, turning his chair towards her.

            Atom smiled harmlessly again. “So how much exactly do you know?”

            Topaz swallowed. “Only that you will give me information on where to find my family.”

            “I’d thought your brother would’ve been more elaborate,” he said while squinting his blue eye.

            Topaz snapped, “I know you two have been communicating, and that you wanted to meet me in person before you agreed to help. He told me you wanted proof I was real but that you would only believe it if you saw me with your own eyes.”

            Atom laughed. “I think I already learned how to push your buttons.” Topaz scowled. “But anyways, I’ve seen you with my own eyes and I’ve cleared what little doubt I might’ve had. You are the real thing. You exist. So now for my end.” Topaz swallowed not knowing what to expect. Atom got serious and leaned forward towards Topaz. “Where do I begin? I assume you know your sibling’s names?”

            “Of course. Adam, Eve, Solius, and Lilith,” Topaz said proudly.

            “Very well, that simplifies things a bit. So let’s cut to the chase. You’ll never believe this but two of your siblings weren’t even lost or hidden. In fact, they’ve been the new sensation in the Ark as of late. Of course, living in the Sectors, on the human end of things especially, it comes to no surprise that you and Dustin are completely unaware. You practically have zero access to the media. For me though, finding your human siblings was about the easiest job I’ve done since becoming Sentinel.

            Solius the God of Death. That’s the alias for the poster boy of the Reapers, your brother.” Topaz gave a clueless gaze. “A Reaper is a new breed of human soldiers enhanced with artificial limbs that don’t rely on crystal fuel. They’ve only recently started working as a private operation force in the Ark. Their success thus far has gained them popularity and made your brother something of an icon. Quite an achievement for a human in our society.

            “Your sister Lilith doesn’t trail far behind either. The Goddess of Beauty many call her. An alias gained through the popularity of both her twin brother’s rise of fame as well as her own success. They say her vessels are the most beautiful vessels in the entire Ark. Each year the bids go higher on the bodies. The older and more beautiful they get the more people want their frame to belong to their family. As long as she can keep providing vessels she’s about as safe as can be in Sector Five.”

            Topaz let out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad they are both doing well. Dustin warned me that the things I might hear may be disheartening but now I can go back to him with some good news. He was almost certain Solius might’ve been dead.”

            Atom raised an eyebrow. “Doing well? If you knew how Reapers were made you would probably wish he had died instead. And we all know how Sector Five runs things. Only after being raped to the point of insanity could you amount to any worth in the eyes of the Ark. Although I do hear your big sister managed to regain her humanity after striking a rather generous arrangement with the President of Sector Five.”

            Topaz suddenly felt sick to her stomach at the thought of Sector Five. The stories she’d heard from Dustin made her fear for her fragile virginity. If Lilith somehow overcame that though it only showed how powerful of a woman she must be. As for Solius’ case, she rather not know.

“What about Adam and Eve?” Topaz asked glumly. “Dustin told me Messiahs aren’t a part of any society…did the Ark spare them too?”

            Atom leaned back and folded his hands. “The messiahs have managed to even escape my eyes. Not my ears though. Rumors of a blue haired demon that sucks the life out of any homunculi he sees have been whispered. He seems to have fans too. Fans willing to stay quiet for him and cheer him on in the darkness. Understandable, given his outright defiance of the Ark.

            “I’ve also heard whispers of a pink haired maiden who heals the wounds of the injured. Not just human’s, but homunculi’s too. Ironic, given her blue haired counterpart’s actions. Shows that they aren’t in league with one another. Not to mention the rumors are in two different ends of the spectrum. The maiden is rumored to be in the outskirts of Sector Five while the demon in Sector Three. Good luck finding either though. They are either very good at hiding or have some strong faithful supporters.”

            Topaz nodded then swallowed. “What about Gem? My…mother.”

            Atom frowned. “You won’t be so happy for this set of news.”

“My mother,” she demanded.

He took a deep breath. “You’re mother was reported to have committed suicide shortly after her illegal possession of unregistered humans was exposed. Sorry, but she is no longer a part of this world.”

Topaz stared at the floor for about a minute. The thought of her mother never being anything more than a story was disappointing. She wasn’t surprised though. Dustin never sugarcoated things. He always emphasized that she needed to know how the world she lived in worked if she wanted to survive. Dustin had already mentally prepared her for all her family to be dead. The fact that all her brothers and sisters were alive somewhere somehow was enough to keep her spirits up.

            Topaz looked up at Atom and smiled. “Thank you, for everything. At least, now I can finally clear whatever doubts Dustin might’ve had.”

            She attempted to rise but Atom signaled his hand for her to stay. “Where are you going? Our arrangement is far from over,” reminded Atom with a sinister smile.

            Topaz shivered as she remembered the part about his prize. “So what exactly are you going to do to me to get whatever it is you want from me?”

            Atom shook his head and chuckled. “There will be time for that later. I still need to finish my end of the bargain.” Topaz looked at him puzzled once more. “I promised your brother I’d help you find your family to the best of my abilities. I’ve technically only found Solius and Lilith. Unfortunately, they are beyond my reach since I lack the jurisdiction to acquire either one. I can however help you find Adam and Eve.”

            “How?” Topaz asked anxiously.

            Atom stood and walked towards a window staring at the city. “I own the biggest underground organization in the country. I can support you from beneath the Ark’s watch through the Red Eclipse. I can make traveling inside the Sectors significantly easier and offer transportation and whatever tools you may need. My eyes and ears are yours but you’ll have to find your brother and sister yourself. Clearly both are making a strong effort to remain unseen. Perhaps they will show themselves to the only family they have left.”

            “Am I really worth that much?” Topaz asked, standing with uncertain feelings rushing through her. It all seemed too generous for too little a cause. “I can’t help but feel you’re doing too much for us. No one has ever given us this much.”

            Atom turned around smiling innocently with the city shining beautifully behind him. “You’re the key to my new world. You’re worth everything I have and more.”



© 2012 Cynical_Art


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Added on June 22, 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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