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Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Sense of Displacement Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:38 pm|| |
Sense of DisplacementNotes before each episode:Paperinik (Duck Avenger, or better known as PK) and all the official characters and locations of its universe are copyright of Disney. This story and OCs are copyrighted by me. Points of view will change from time to time, they will range from 1º person from some characters to 3º person. Warnings of certain things will be addressed in each chapter. As you can guess, this is not exactly the main continuity.Side note:
The 1º chapter has all the warnings that will, or could happen, at the bottom.Warnings for this chapter:
Adult language to some extent.Notes from this episode: (Totally optional, scroll down if you wish to)
I have to admit I never heard of Paperinik, not until recently at least. I have never been a huge fan of Mickey Mouse or Donald, really, one is the epic, good and nice, the other can be a huge bastord of immense qualities, both good and bad. The thing is, I grew up with Darkwing Duck and Ducktales, so I became attached to the characters of old so to speak. At age 25 I already think like an old man sometimes, so I get to go down memory lane every once in a while. Exploring that memory and searching on the internet I came face first with Paperinik, and man, I went through every page I could until I found all the comics in the blog.
Since I found this quite late I cannot be considered a diehard fan of him, but this alternate timeline for Donald is strangely enthralling, and the problem is that I basically only know what I could download from the blog, because it would have been quite fun and entertaining knowing his past story and what little else is there of his future, since I have found after what one could consider PK3 it was revamped, so the story 'ended'.
Still, as a writer, and having huge loads of imagination always with me (And also summer vacation to help), I couldn't help but create another darn adventure. If you are interested, then come on and see! I have to warn you though, I don't plan of making it the happiest story ever, but while it will be adult and serious, I do hope to get some lighter tones along the way. The start, though, is not exactly shot by any means. As a side note, I write really long chapters most the time, so watch out!
Chapter 1: Warped.Mini note: I have revised this a few times but I am not sure if I have made too many mistakes o3o give me a poke if so.
How odd do you think that it is for a man with no emotions to feel something after having lived around thirty years without having ever felt a thing but loneliness? Probably quite weird, and I have to tell you, I have seen weird, much more than many of you probably know about. Then again...
First things first, let me tell you that I got over talking to myself. Being a superhero is not exactly a business where you have too many friends alongside you, so I suppose talking to your own person is what gets you going. It did the trick for me, for many, many years, but these days there is not really all that big of a need for me to do those things. You should know about my stories after all, or some of you would at least.
But I digress, I am getting off topic. Right now I am in front of Galen Simmons, leader of the Exo Squad that fought during some of the most controversial moments of Evronian infestation on Earth, a squad that was formed thirty years ago and that had been a complete secret until recent times. So many secrets that should be revealed, so many people that would know the truth.
So many questions as to why I and Lyla Lay were in front of a man who should not exist.
I suppose it would be easier to explain from her point of view, but it is not easy to get in the mind of my friend, much less in recent times. It had been a long time ago now, but I still remember about what she told me about when Tyrrel Duckard had betrayed her trust... I still doubt the tale she gave me about how the Raider returned her here when there was a small gap in the microcontraction. That she came here because it was her duty to the time police? Quite absurd! The gaps were so small that no one would risk time traveling in a long time. She came back for other reasons, but I should not press, she was already hurt and I did not want to hurt her further.
After all, what kind of superhero would do that? Not PK, not him, not ever. I would even swear on it, or my name isn't Donald Duck! Besides, if my friends need me, I will be there, always. It was for that reason that I was a bit surprised to hear from Lyla early this week, but it did clear up many things that had been happening as of late; visions you could call them. I think Eidolon told me about that during that time when I was in control of Everett's business come to think of it...
The thing is, this time the visions would stop and this would become permanent, at least that is what Lyla told me. I wonder what happened and how did she know?
*** Duckburg: Monday 26-Febreaury-20XX. Three days ago. Lyla's apartment ***
If it wasn't because of the modifications given to me by the Time Police during my short stay before I moved to this time for the rest of my operative life, I would have been feeling dizzy, probably sleepy before disconnection, one that would be permanent. As it was, I have to admit that 'hunger' was probably something I had yet to get used to. Processing food like a normal human to create a refined fuel for my advanced body was not exactly something unpleasant, but that hunger pains attacked me when I forgot to feed at the supposed intervals was a hassle.
It did make me feel more real however... something I was not sure I wanted, not after a nasty surprise and a heartbreak. However it did show me, it did show me that Odin Eidolon was indeed true on his word, and that we, androids, were getting closer and closer to be equals with the 'real' people. These pains, and not the physical ones, were maybe a price to high to pay... a weaker person would have done something stupid, and they could have hurt others.
And yet I wonder: Was I a strong person? It was not about the strength, but about if I was a person, because anyone else would have done their best to forget, to forgive, or to close that chapter of their life. Me? I could not, not completely at least. It was depressing, even if I always had a smile for everyone out there. But in private?
Turning the light of the bathroom on it would be easy to see that I was not ok. It was still cold outside, so I always had a lot of clothing on me, which made it easy to wear as little synt skin as possible on my person. My blonde hair and my eyes, alongside my white feathers for my face and hands were the only things I had on me. Growing back the rest was easy, disguising myself was simple, but whenever I was alone, and it was most the time now, I just wanted to do anything but feel, anything but remember.
Why did he do it? Could he not live here? Would have it been so hard that he could not accept such fate? I could not answer, I could never. For all the love we could have shared, for everything we knew of each other, I could not understand how someone like him, like us, could not accept such a trivial thing as being unable to go back to a future plagued with dangers instead of protecting the people in here.
Maybe it was not the guilt about not taking him in, about not comforting him and making it all better. Maybe it was because I loved someone else even if I could not get him? At least I could not anymore, not after what happened that day, after I saw how broken he had become. It is not that I had betrayed Tyrrel, it was that I thought that other person could cure me, that I wanted him to do it... that he had been the one to make me feel like a real person and had done everything he could for me since we discovered each other. But I was not the one to break him, for if I had been I would have never forgiven myself.
I had been there when Daisy came to see him at the Duckmall. I was congratulating him in having helped Everett with his daughters. Him being an alien had been slightly surprising, maybe not all that much after all we had been through together, but it was not exactly expected when he had told me. Still, the tale of his departure had not been something I had foresaw, nor what Daisy did to him.
A simple slap, that is all it took.
Many times I had seen breakups, it had not exactly been pleasant in any of those occasions. Seeing Donald broken and crying would have made Angus Fangus happy, heck, he enjoyed breakups for the media coverage, even if he found them banal and 'everyday's business', however I had never been able to go through them with his so called neutrality. When it was the time for me I had been crying, alone, for a while, not even daring calling Donald to help me... why would I call the man I can't have? After what I saw what happened with Daisy, and how Donald changed, I would never do that. He was my friend, even if that hurt more than before.
He kept doing his thing however. Donald took a few weeks to recover, but his time as the Duck Avenger had made him tougher than most, and when he heard of how many innocents had been hurt because the Avenger was not around, he decided to get over it. Well, 'decided' and 'forced' were two very close things right then, his conscience would not let him do anything else after all.
Looking at him made me a bit envious, and also it made me look back with longing. I wonder how things would have happened if it all went as it should have? Tyrrel was right after all, this was an alternate timeline, one of trillions. I could have been back with him and, technically speaking, it would have harmed nobody, in fact it was both against the rules and yet followed them perfectly. This time shouldn't exist, but it also should be protected. I suppose, in the end, I felt at home here, with the people I knew.
Smiling in front of a mirror had been so easy before, simple practice. Machine or not, being a journalist was not easy, even if you are technically made to fit that role. Now, alone, that smile seemed so distant, so alien. Deciding to step in and take that hot shower probably was the better idea instead of looking back.
Admittedly it helped, half an hour under hot water was probably a waste, but it did relax any mind, artificial or not, or maybe it was just suggestion that I was trying to force down my system, who knows for sure? At least it made the prospect of another day where I would have to be with Angus for most the time at Channel 00 less of a pain. There was still time though, and the prospect of it being enough for the stomach to stop aching while drinking something was quite inviting.
Or it would have been if a certain someone hadn't been there when I opened the door to the bathroom, nude.
"Odin Eidolon! What are you doing here?!"
It was not exactly that either of us minded me being 'nude' in every sense, but the more I spent amongst what I considered my people, the less I felt like an android that should not feel embarrassed at what a friend was seeing. Odin, of course, garbed in his usual green, with his long hair, smile and goatee, hadn't changed at all, and that included feeling perfectly fine standing there and smirking like he was not doing anything wrong. Well, technically he wasn't, but you know.
"I wish I could say there is no more problems to resume time travel and that I was dropping by to say hello and have a nice visit" His smirk deflated and he became serious as he moved away from the door for me to join him "But I think you wouldn't like me beating around the bush, so let's talk"
Getting dressed, and slightly reprimanded at my lack of covering for my body, took only a couple of minutes between doing that and preparing some cocoa. One gets to like the stuff even if you weren't initially supposed to. After that, it was time to see what had happened that got Odin into my house.
"So... how are things going?" Weak, I know, but it was the only thing I thought of at the moment, so many others crossing my mind that there was no time for me to really decide on one.
"Pleasingly adequate" Odin was fair but direct, and adequate was not good enough in his eyes, that was known by all "The alternative timeline has changed many things and a lot of our information has been rendered useless. That is one of the reasons why I am here after all"
"Yea, I guessed as much" I took a seat and offered Odin one, as a gentleman he accepted it graciously "What kind of problem have you predicted then? I can guess it is something you have seen, or know beforehand, and that either I or the Duck Avenger can solve"
"Truth is... this one can't be solved"
Few things could really surprise me, many less could induce fear, or at least a sense of unease, after what I had done in my life. That Odin Eidolon basically said that we had lost before we started made it all unnerving, more so than anything the fact that he was serious and relaxed. There was not even a doubt in him, he simply knew that, at best, we could minimize the damage of whatever had happened. I simply was not looking forward to what he had to share.
"The Organization got their leaders free way too fast after we finally managed to get to certain parts of history. The sudden opening of the timelines made us travel quickly to ensure that everything was in order. It gave the men of The Organization the time to go through our defenses and visit past, present and future" Odin wasn't looking at anywhere in particular, his mind probably going through analysis after analysis of variables and solid facts, probably trying to make sure everything he was going to tell me was confirmed. It didn't help me any to relax "However the rifts in time were still too close together, going through the barriers and changing something could destroy entire timelines, dimensions even, and after we had been diversified through other fields to keep the peace we lacked men. That made The Organization bold, they went from other alternate timelines, other dimensions, places still unchecked to them"
"Something went horribly wrong"
Odin nodded at my assumption "A few timelines collapsed, the vibrations of such destruction expanding through time, their remains mingling with nearby alternative timelines or dimensions" With a tired sigh, he finally looked at me "Have you noticed... something this past month? Maybe even longer? Just seconds in space, still images, blinks in reality"
"You can be blunt with that, not like I don't know about them, or about what happened when I got captured" It took only a second to notice the tone I was using, and to notice the facial expression, but for some reason I felt... angry.
"I can understand your unease about it, and it seems you have noticed then" I gave a little nod as I tried to turn a bit more neutral, the reason as to why the anger was... not rational "But you probably saw it as the remains of other timelines finally merged. It probably also became obvious that the population suddenly boomed, right?"
"Yes, around half a billion, mostly the 'vanilla' humans"
"Then let's make it simple: The timeline was one of those that only had what we know as 'vanilla' humans. No alien life yet discovered, no other intelligent species, just vanilla humans" Odin's face became worried as all knew those alternates were the most dangerous. For some reason if only 'vanilla' humans were present, they were much more destructive to everyone and everything "They were supposed to get to space and find other species in the long run, but they had capabilities to create a huge armada of bionic troopers, cyborgs, if certain geniuses weren't convicted by their crimes against humanity. The Organization wanted certain technologies developed there that no one would create here. In this timeline they got them"
"That is admittedly bad" I left what remained of the cocoa as I pondered in worry about what The Organization could want with them "But even then such technologies could be easily detected, and while dangerous the ones equipped with them could also be detained without too much hassle. What happened?"
"Our operatives there became corrupted as far as we heard. There were no reports signaling changes in how story should develop, the androids had either been deactivated, reprogrammed or they decided to turn on us too, and by the time we knew, the cyborgs had been made and a war had basically ravaged the whole world. It was near impossible to salvage it without destroying the timeline first since any other change would create another alternative timeline, but it wouldn't be the one here, which would disturb time even more"
Odin took a moment before he continued, and I could understand why. When The Organization messed something up, they took great lengths to make sure it stayed that way, or at least was very hard to fix. A whole timeline with Earth dying, or dead, was quite bad... having it broken into a million pieces just to 'save' it? IT would be worse, but I could already guess where it was going.
"One of our operatives decided that the risk was not high enough to guarantee the worst outcome possible, so you can guess what was used? Terryl created one of those devices after all" My surprised expression at his words probably told him everything he needed "I am sorry to inform you that Terryl was arrested when we got a chance to do so. What he did was reckless, and sadly he didn't think he was in the wrong until this timeline was destroyed by one of those devices. With how weak the fabric of space and time is, many things that were thought impossible can happen, as you can see"
"..." After a deep breath, I asked something that quite surprised me. I had many things I wanted to ask, but it seems only one was important "How would have it affected time if that device went off here?"
"Probably in the same way, it could probably send you back to a timeline where you could not return here, create a second Duck Avenger, make Everett decide not to come here and instead go directly to his planet before coming back alone to resume his life at the monastery, who knows" Odin gave an uncharacteristic shrug, most probably trying not to think of it "But that would be guessing, and we have real problems now, as not only that timeline was ravaged by the explosion of the device"
"You mean to tell me the other timelines affected weren't directly attacked?" Odin nodded at the question and then I wondered, had I let Terryl done what he wanted... how much destruction would've been on my hands? "And the other timelines are?"
"Two follow the Evronians; One has them as saviors of galaxies, universes even, feeding on feelings but without harming, instead reinforcing them. However in that timeline Earth is populated by evil and the Time Police, as well as the Duck Avenger, are real villains that basically would enslave everything. We are fairly sure that most Mirror Evronians were whipped out, but this timeline had some remains of their civilization appear somewhere"
The idea of good Evronians was quite bizarre. An evil Earth? Well, that was not too hard to imagine, though envisioning Donald as a megalomaniac or an evil monster wasn't exactly pleasant, much less thinking about how I could be.
"On the other timeline the Evronians do not die off to near extinction, but a great deal of their species is destroyed and they need to recover. It has shown that the changes brought here means the 'vanilla' Evronians will come back, rather sooner than latter" Getting up, Odin walked towards the window from which I had seen Donald enter so many times, either to scare me up with a new adventure or simply for a friendly visit. So many good memories that didn't help me relax now "There are others, but they are smaller changes that will affect this timeline. We managed to nullify or at least minimize what happened to other alternates, but this probably will still hurt, and sadly the changes here will be permanent soon"
Finally I exploded "But it was just a small Temporal Annihilator! It shouldn't have done this!"
"And I know you don't like to think about it, much less after Tyrrel tried doing that. You never really enjoyed the idea of taking someone out permanently after all, and destroying many timelines just because they weren't supposed to exist..." Odin shook his head as he turned to me with a tired look in his eyes "And I am sorry to ask you, but you will have to make sure the changes don't harm your timeline, at least not much. It is impossible to prevent all damage by now, but I hope the warning can help you out"
Slumping in defeat was not exactly something I was known for, but the prospect of seeing things from those flashes in time... "So what do I do?"
"The most dangerous and important part is already here: You need to watch out for the humans that were part of the Exo Squad, the first ever project of cybernetic enhancements" Procuring a file from within his green clothing as he approached again, Odin gave me the envelope with the name 'Galen' "This is one of the humans that has remained vanilla. Most of the other survivors have changed and had taken into the species and personas they should have been, however their story and character has been broken or rewritten in most cases. Most of them have also been drawn to Duckburg"
"What is the reason for that? I mean, why would they be attracted here?" Reading the information for a case usually was all but pleasant, this was a tad worse than most though "Many things seem to be attracted to this city no matter what we do"
"Bright planning" Odin's sad smile wasn't exactly reassuring "Scrooge has much of his fortune here, and he is an important man, many villains would want to sack him, as you know. One of the few heroes that travels around the world, The Duck Avenger, of PK for short as you know, has its base of operations here. Not only that, but thanks to him attracting aliens and such, this area has incredible media coverage unlike most of the world. Any evildoer would like this place to make the world recognize him, journalist come here to try and get a piece of the action, and most people either want the cheap prices to live here thanks to the danger or desire to try their luck making a new life for themselves, either good, or bad"
He surprised me by putting a hand on the papers he handed me, making me look at him directly "This man is one of the few that went against the project in this timeline, after the changes. Here the project was made secret, even the attempt to incarcerate the man responsible for this was kept in the dark. We haven't been able to keep track of everyone that got away and on which side they ended, either what we could consider good or bad. Please Lyla, take care"
After he said that, he disappeared, and I was left alone and worried. As I read through the file I just wondered what I would ask him, how I could take time from the office to do so, and how could I tell Donald about this without getting the duck far too worried. After all that happened to him... Donald was not exactly the most stable man on the face of the planet.
*** Duckburg: Today. Outskirts of Town ***
Whatever made her notice and bring me up to speed had my thanks though. Right now I had to focus however. What she told me had been unnerving, and the fact that she had only small details instead of a full story made everything dangerous, and for a long time I have been LOATHING dangerous. I have enough at the mall and a young father as a friend worrying at everything he does while also being my boss. Rupert was really a nervous wreck these days, and he even slept less than me while Stella tried to make sure he stayed healthy and that their kid was taken care off while they were at work.
Aaah... good times when I have to babysit the little one, it makes most bad memories go away, but sometimes I have to admit I envy how I managed (somehow) to help Rupert and Stella have a future I envisioned for me and...
I digress, let's go back to what is important.
Lyla asked Starcorp for a bodyguard for this interview, and, of course, she asked for the one she knew was good for the job: Me. When she basically paid for a whole week she used last three days to fill me in what happened thanks to someone erasing a timeline, what the echo in time and space had done to others, and how their remains would get here.
The sudden change in population was not noticed by anyone but those that knew of the Time Police and had seen it before, as well as the fast images in time. It seems such a thing makes you either immune to having your memory whipped and rewritten, at least to an extent, and it gives you a certain level of awareness that others don't have. Of such things such as good Evronians? Nothing of the short in my memory, nor more Evronians coming back with a vengeance.
So that got us here, to the Galen Farm. The huge man, roughly as tall as Rupert and probably as muscular, if not more, was a normal human, you know, vanilla. He didn't have any marks, his hair was short and black, his eyes brown, his face stoic and, with a white shirt and short pants, he looked almost normal... if you didn't mind the circuitry that seemed to appear at random in his arms and neck, as well as exposed legs and chest, though his head was untouched. He looked like a huge golem, or a monster of shorts, and when Lyla started asking questions, it showed why.
Her first question to him had been why the secret about the story, the answer was simply horrid.
At first it seemed like he wanted to avoid the question. He showed us the ground floor of his house, then the first floor, and then he walked us to the fields where he had planted everything and his first crop was almost ready to mature. He told us how he always wanted to know how it felt to see something grow, to nurture them and to care for them. Being not only the bodyguard, but also the camera for Lyla, I had to be silent, but I wondered how Lyla could keep up with the monotone from the man instead of asking questions. When Galen decided to basically throw his hearth out, it showed that Lyla wasn't simply enduring a tirade, she knew how to get every kind of person to talk.
Once he had explained why he had gotten a farm, alongside the fact that land around such a dangerous city being cheap, he basically told us why the project was secret: To make sure the biologic material used as metallic component adapted to a human body, it had to be implanted when one was still young: A child. Bad acts were common all over the world, but fewer and fewer were made as time went by, though they did not stop, and horrid ones, such as child kidnapping were still present.
Galen didn't know his own name, what he had was the one given to him by the doctor Fran Gelkamore, the leader of the project. He and nearly thirty other children were taken by Fran and his allies from all over the world, the experiment was supposed to bring a new step in human evolution, but development requires sacrifices. He didn't want to give many details when he simply said that only twenty of the thirty 'subjects' reached adulthood, most of them with some problems, some of them broken beyond recognition, either mental or physical, if not both.
In his case Galen was given implants that could make him incredibly strong, fast or resilient, but not all of them could be activated at full force at once, and they could never be completely deactivated either. The brain could not cope up with so much machinery, and part of its functions ceased nearly entirely. Galen could not feel pain, and emotional feelings were practically erased. The only things stimulated by the scientists were anger and sadness: Anger to function as a soldier and sadness when he failed to achieve the doctor's expectations.
It was horrid, and when he revealed that this project was discovered after most of the surviving members of his squad finally got fed up with the good doctor, only to lose most of those he knew as friends as some stayed with Fran, things were too much even for him.
He cried, or at least he shed tears. His expression didn't change, but a few drops went down his cheeks. And that is when we got back to where we are now.
"It was not only that I lost nearly everyone, and that those that managed to get away were given simply some money and thrown out" Galen's voice stayed strong, but without any kind of feeling, sounding guttural and uncaring as I recorded him next to Lyla and her distraught expression "One of the researchers had been a friend of mine while we were there. She was nice, she was caring... it made me think of the future" For a moment it seemed he would sigh, but instead he just dropped his eyes from his farm field before he turned to the camera "In truth he was using me and others to see if she could get some kind of specific reactions from male test subjects. When I discovered that, I broke down, when I did most of the subjects came to help me... I had friends, but suddenly I was alone. I just wanted to flee, I convinced the rest... and in the end it cost us dearly"
Galen turned to the city and looked at it with maybe a bit of disdain "Huge things have been built thanks to the sacrifice of others. Our augmentations will help heal people in the future, but in our escape we did not only lose lives in exchange of showing the world the truth of many horrors" Lifting his shirt, a huge scar could be seen across his right side, a form that looked like the splash of acid or maybe the radius of an explosion. It engulfed most his mid and lower body, and once I looked at it, I could see part of that scar reaching his legs "The female researcher I told you about? She decided that we all were failures. She was so devoted to the good doctor that she took a grenade from one of the mercenary soldier and charged to us during the last moments of the fight. I am not entirely sure of what I did, but I know that I am not dead thanks to my augmentations"
"That is... horrible"
"Horrible?" Was that a chuckle that escaped his mouth when Lyla said that? I was not sure, but I still tensed for a moment as he turned quickly to face her "Horrible was what I was told after I woke up: They only knew of two of my friends, the rest was either dead or they had escaped before the army arrived. I was told that I was cured, but only the vital parts... I have all the functionality in the world in every place, but while I could be with a woman I could never have a family and my organs were in such state that any serious harm could kill me unless I went away from the military, the only thing I knew"
Galen closed on her abruptly and I approached in turn, getting between him and Lyla, which made him stop and seemingly think for a second. Clenching his massive fists, Galen took a moment to breathe before he calmed down.
"Miss Lyla Lay, I don't know what you thought of this story, but it was not as horrid as waking up to be told that being a gardener is the close thing to being a father that you will get. I lost my childhood, I lost most my emotions, and I can't be even properly angry at it because it would throw me into a murdering fit" Turning to his field again, Galen approached his tools and walked away slowly "If you want to continue this interview and know more, come by next time. The army will not tell you anything and I don't give two shits about anything anymore, so I don't mind talking. I recommend that you bring the little duck again though, I could have done something I would regret if he didn't get in the way"
"That went well"
Sarcasm was probably accentuated during the last year, but I couldn't exactly help it, or probably I didn't care to. It was quite the perfect moment for it after all, we had decided to get out of there before Galen lost it, something that looked quite possible by the way, and Lyla drove us a few miles away to stop just shy from the city in a small cafe called 'The Bird and the Song'. The place was small, barely six tables, two pool tables and a couple of old arcades. It was homely, plus the coffee was good.
"Could have been worse I suppose" Lyla paid Song, the young toucan waitress that owned this place thanks to her father (she was a nice kid I guarantee), while still trying to look happy, or at least smile "I can understand how he feels... at least somewhat"
I could tell Lyla was most probably thinking back to Tyrrel, I couldn't help but do the same with Daisy... yet the past was the past. To think that my voice had made so many people laugh with how I sound back in the day, and how many evildoers had cowered in fear with that deep tone I could get while being the Avenger... These days those things were really gone, alongside my monologing when I was alone. I was too serious to crack jokes, and PK limited to tear down on his enemies when it was needed, no speech, no nothing, just do your job.
Sometimes it was just so lonely and sad one just wanted to quit, but let's just not even mention that, because there is ONE that would never quit, ever, if he was still here.
"If I had let Tyrrel do it... what could I gain from it? I wonder about that sometimes, more than Terryl himself" Lyla took a ship from her drink and looked at me, confirming what I had thought "But then I remember that, whatever I do, it would have never been the right thing, and I would have arrested, and even if I didn't, what would I do? Live the rest of my life in the future with him as my only friend? I could never get anything good from that, I would hate myself for allowing him to do it, I would feel alone for what remained of my life, and even if I was so coldhearted to not feel anything... what would I do?" Detached, cold, like a machine, Lyla gave me a look that scared me for a second "I can't have children either, but the more I stay around you, around friends, around people that treat me like a person, the more I want what I can't get"
"Don't say that" Right now it wasn't the best moment to have Lyla get into a depression to say the truth "You told me that time is again allowing for travelers, the future has a lot of great scientists, and from this time you have magic! Things can be done even if you think they can't! Uncle Scrooge even admitted to me that his water company is using small drops of the fountain of youth he found so people can live longer" I gave her a smile as she turned curious at the little tale "What? Do you think Uncle Scrooge can be nearing two hundred little by little and that he should be that healthy? His discovery goes beyond doubling people's lifespan, and he gets even richer in the process! If he can do that, then you can have a kid"
Her curious look drooped as she looked away "But Donald, I am not even a real person... how could I?"
"Lyla" I placed a hand on her shoulder and did the best to offer a smile "What you are made of does not mean whether or not you are a person, just think about that, and remember: Nothing is impossible"
She blushed a bit and nodded, saying nothing as we returned to our drinks. It was in times like this that I liked how no one seemed to care much about what others had to say, whether or not it was important. Everybody was worried about their own things, if they were worried at all. The only people I had ever found that were extremely attentive were only a few friends and family, and of course a few enemies, but few of those remained.
As it stood, in Duckburg everything had turned monotonous after Everett went away: Bands here and there, a few villains giving the normal people a hard time, the law enforces being nearly unable to cope with all of them including the PBI who had to deal with many leftover Evronian equipment even to this day.
During the days when I felt... down when Daisy left, I decided to take some time from work and as the Duck Avenger. It was only two days after I saw how much pain that created for the normal person, and it forcefully brought me away from a depression, but the distraction was all I needed. Probably it is selfish to think that telling her of what I do to this day would make her return to me, but I haven't forgotten about her, and I haven't given up on the feelings. That is what makes my cousin marrying her a nightmare, and that he came with that smirk of his to invite me to the weeding nearly turned me into a murdering machine, and Gladstone knew it.
Really, it is surprising how many things can happen just because sometimes the city needs you more than those dear to you, even if they do not know it... Forgetting that date with Daisy in exchange of saving Everett cost me dearly, but it was a price that needed to be paid.
"I miss those days" Lyla's words brought me back from my introspection. It seemed we both had finished our drinks by now "We had aliens, time travelers and monsters breathing down our neck, but you cracked jokes, I was happy with my work and we both clicked together so well... Why did things turn like this?"
When she looked at me I had to avert my gaze "I am not sure. 'We reap what we sow', Uncle Scrooge always tell me that, and while I did what I had to do, it made me neglect certain things. It had to catch up with me at some point"
There was a few seconds of silence while Song came to pick our cups with a smile "Do you think it was worth it?"
"Would it have been better for us to do any different than we did?" It was easy to guess that I didn't want to give a clear answer.
"No, it probably would have been disastrous, in many ways" A tired sigh and an awkward silence as Lyla stared at the meaningless broadcast of the TV where Angus was spewing some of his usual lies "Donald, I..."
"We interrupt this broadcast for some important information!"
Both Lyla and I turned our heads towards the TV as the ugly face of Angus was exchanged by another one that was maybe not as bad, but it still was not a welcome sight. Morrighan had not exactly been amicable to both of us after Everett went away, but it was supposed to be that way since the latest orders from him were to make sure the business stayed famous and that any badmouth from anyone was discredited, even if it was from me or anyone else.
The voice from the TV continued after Morrighan's face appeared "We have heard the rumor that Everett Ducklair may be returning soon. Any forward information that you are willing to discuss?"
"Yes, but only one" The smug smile on Morrighan had been nearly as bad as that of Angus before, but it seemed to have worsened over the years "Sir Everett has called forward to tell us that he will explain everything that happened once he arrives, but he will only do so under very specific circumstances"
"And what are those terms of his? Furthermore, why a request to let people know about what took place during his disappearance?"
"I am not allowed to say why, I am sorry, but I can tell you the conditions: Having the Duck Avenger and a journalist chosen by him" Morrighan took some papers from somewhere and read "I have dire news to share with Duckburg, and once I have done so I will take a small vacation with what remains of my family. I want a very close friend of mine to see me before I leave as I wish to make amends of how things turned sour during my previous return to the city. I will be waiting today at 10:00 PM" As he put the papers away, Lyla and I exchanged a look.
Seems it was time to change gears.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:40 pm|| |
Second part since I can't put the whole chapter in a single post.
Time flied after the news hit, Lyla probably thought I had either forgotten or let go of the fact that she seemed to want to tell me something, but neither of us wanted too much drama to come into the picture once more, and somehow I knew whatever she wanted to tell me was probably going to make that a reality. Each one of us had our reasons not to talk about it, so we let it go, at least for now, besides...
"Mister Everett will see you now"
We had things to do that required us to have our mind put to THAT. Lyla had called to my boss and told him about the Avenger asking her to be there with him, so he would have 'Donald' taking a rest after the preparation during the last days. After that I took a moment to get my costume and meet Lyla after she had changed into something more formal, though her usual pink dresses hardly seemed formal after getting used to see her with that getup. I wonder why she asked for an hour when she could have changed in no time. Meh, women will be women, and it doesn't matter if they are artificial or not in build, the wardrobe is a killer for most of them.
Still, she managed to get an smile on her, so it was an hour well spent "Gracious of you, Morrighan, how is everything going?"
"As best as it can get I suppose" Morrighan srughed as he showed us around a place that was already familiar for both her and I "Much better now that Everett has appeared once again, the business was getting a bit hectic since people were always fighting to get it from Anymore and my hands. I am not sure why Everett decided to leave us in charge when neither of us has his vision and his mind"
I chuckled at that as I quipped "Modesty coming from you, Morrighan?"
"I am proud of my mind when it is in use for the media, that is my vocation" Morrighan retorted with a deadpan expression "I am not a bureaucrat nor an entrepreneur, that is someone else's job, not mine"
Some chit chat took place between Lyla and the always well dressed Morrighan after that. Me? I was worried about what I would see from Ducklair after so long. I knew he had made modifications to his ship so he would arrive quickly to his planet, and back here if his daughters decided to leave or if problems arose on his return to Corona. That he took so long to return was not good in my book.
Think about it: He knew he was going to either have his daughters ask him (if not order him) to leave them in Corona, or the Coronians would apprehend him and throw him in prison. Everett never thought about having a good end when he told me what he thought would await him at his home planet. The idea was practically to get back in three months, top, once he tried to get his daughters to hear him out and think about what they had done. So long after he left? Something had gone awfully awry and he probably had suffered worse than a simple incarceration. I just knew, I had turned off the part of my brain that was optimistic with these things quite some time ago.
As we approached the sancta sanctorum of Everett, we saw Anymore walking away without his usual pensive or oblivious look, one of sadness and maybe betrayal on his face. Whatever he had learned from his boss, someone that maybe was not a dear friend, but was a good colleague (Even if quite picky and a bit pushy) had not been what he wanted.
Perfect, when I don't want to be right, I seem to be.
"Everett is waiting for you. He is in a bit of a delicate condition and has been here for half a month by now" When Lyla and I send him dirty looks Morrighan just lifted his hands in the air "I cannot tell you more, please go talk to him. Just remember to get the camera online when he asks you to"
We nodded and Lyla took the small camera she had brought with her to run a small checkup. When she gave a little thumbs up Morrighan opened the doors and let us in the room. We hurried in just to make sure Morrighan would walk away so we would get rid of him and relax. It is not that the man was not friendly when he wanted to be, it is that he was not the best company and personal glory was still in his agenda. The idea of him unmasking me was not exactly extravagant if he was too close.
Everett's main chamber, other than the secret floor, remained the same: A huge table in the middle and two massive monitors with many screens on the side for him to watch over his business, or the city if he wanted to. This area had been left empty for a whole year, if not more, since no one fully understood how everything in here worked and how Everett could manage his equipment.
Of course, the figure of Everett had changed little to nothing, he was there, waiting. Something stuck out quite fast though. Everett had been always serious, but most the time he was sporting a smile, and the return should have given him reasons to do exactly that. That he had a huge frown as he sat on his chair, his usual clothing impeccable and his gaze stony, just meant that not only was he all business, but that they were unpleasant.
For starter, he didn't even beat around the bush "Welcome Donald, welcome Lyla, I hope you two have some time for this old duck"
"No need for secrets, I already know miss Lyla knows about you, and when I decided to come back I made sure to get all the information on you back in order, Avenger" The use of my title right now seemed a bit stupid, but it was obvious Everett wanted to make things clear as day since the first moment "Besides, I am going to come clean and rectify many mistakes before I leave again, I think it is not the time to hold back anything"
Everett offered us seats and we took it, though reluctantly as I was to doing so "What do you have to share with us Everett? Why call me here just to let people know what happened? The PBI ended up saying nothing and just ended up telling the people that the investigation was 'inconclusive'"
"That is because I paid Flagstar a visit before leaving" Everett relaxed against his seat while looking at both of us, his expression unchanging "I told her about me and I do believe you did the same with miss Lyla here. Mary Ann is quite a compressible woman, and she understand why I left with my family, or what I thought was my family..."
"What do you mean mister Ducklair?" Lyla placed the camera on the table as she tried to repress obvious dread. After I told her all that I knew, she was not sure she wanted to hear things had gone awry in Corona "And we can start filming as soon as you want"
"Sadly the public should not know the truth, but I can tell them a lot latter on" That said, Everett took his left hand up and removed what had looked like skin, a bionic hand hidden underneath "I am not willing to tell everyone that the saying 'cost me an arm and a leg' became true the moment I stepped on Corona again"
Lyla gasped, I just remained silent to hear Everett's explanation "My daughters turned my powers off, much like you helped me do with them, however when we started recovering it showed that the cryogenic sleep was not going to be enough to hold them, nor was I, not this time" Everett looked in the verge of tears, but he decided to man it up and keep talking "They didn't wish to talk, they just wanted revenge, so they forced me to get to Corona. I never wanted to meet my wife in her state of delusional mind... a state that had worsened as a new queen was elected and our laws were turned harder than titanium" Everett put his 'hand' back on before he went on.
I am not sure we ever shared what went about in his planet, or how it worked, but it had been a long time and I could've forgotten, however it didn't exactly sound pleasant as far as I could tell. Seeing how Everett decided to spread more knowledge it was obvious that he had never told me, but it soon became as obvious that, if he had, I would have wanted to forget it quickly.
"Our leaders, every single person in power, are females. They have greater powers than males in nearly all cases, so it is obvious why my daughters, while being younger and much less trained, are capable of besting me even with the special training I underwent on Earth" Everett took a serious and businesslike position on his seat, his previous look of pain as he looked back turned to an angry glare at nothingness "I always thought that our technology, the development to live in harmony with nature, required the sacrifice of feelings by their part so they could rule with the best interest of all in their mind. As I lived here I found it plausible, but it also showed that such actions had deeper and darker meanings"
"Like in humans, evolution conditioned us, and countless generations with the females as the ruling caste, as devoid of emotions, made every woman wish for power, even if they did not show it when they were young" Closing his eyes, Everett let out a sigh of resignation "And to magnify such a thing, the project designed for the next queen, a machine that would inoculate a young girl with technical information since they were young until adulthood, was born. It would later be enforced into all women, the standard of our species"
"While very close to humans, our women became what the original machines had been: Uncaring and unfeeling. Our planet, our colonies, everything would remain healthy and productive, but it cost us our humanity"
Lyla heard every word, swallowing the information like an sponge and digesting it as best as she could. I was not sure if Everett knew about her, but somehow, while this had hurt him so much, it probably could help Lyla. She still had doubts about her being a real person, sometimes she had shown it, and today had been one of those days I wasn't sure if I could reassure her. She seemed to think being organic was part of what a real person needed, but if Everett was telling the truth, and he had no reason to lie, then she should be able to see my point of view even if she somewhat wanted to doubt it. Sensible or not, Lyla had tried to distance from everything and everyone in more than one occasion, be it for her work in the Time Police or for other reasons. Hopefully that would change soon.
Everett, on the other hand, was trying to be as detached as possible from what he was talking about, and that I could understand. He had done his best to take his daughters away from a society that was turning uncaring and unfeeling. Oh, it was obvious they were advanced, they could self sustain any world they landed on and their technology was also clean and powerful, but the constructions and robots they made, like ONE, were more of a person that half, if not more, of their population. He decided to give his daughters a second chance, show them that he said the truth and let them chose, but it obviously didn't go well.
"I had little chance to talk, when I moved away from my daughters to try and get my wife to hear, I was shot, twice. It was not meant to incapacitate me, so I can guess they either had cruelty behind them or somehow their attacks were made to fail and hit non vital points" Everett rubbed his hand unconsciously as he said that "I was showed no sympathy, in fact I had lacked arm and leg until I returned and found that this world also had prosthetics, though the technology seems to have been forced into secrecy for the longest time"
Finally Lyla decided to ask "What happened then? Why were you treated so... roughly?"
"My wife was not selected to be a queen, but she did get a fair amount of power, something every female craved, and that I defied her was obviously a blow to said power" Everett shook his head before he just turned the chair and jumped off, walking towards the large window right behind him, a few steps away. He was going to come back, but he probably didn't want to be seen right now and the echo in the room was enough for us to hear him clearly as he sniffed under his breath "She cared for our daughters as property, she thought I had robbed her of a precious material, that is what they were to her. I was arrested and put into trial for breaking the laws and for theft of the worst kind, kidnapping was far less important to them as how capable my daughters had been of inheriting the queen status"
"What happened after that, Everett?" I was tempted on getting off the chair and walking to him, but I felt it would do more harm than good "What happened to you? How did you get away?"
"Simple: The legal process was fast, I was basically banished, but there was a problem of course" Taking a remote from his jacket, Everett gave a command that showed both his daughters on the screens at our side "Korinna and Judith. Their mother still wanted to mold them, but she knew, as the other women did, that it could be very, very hard to do so. All the cryogenic stations had been prepared for modification like the machines they now used to basically condition children since they were young, so they had been partially prepared for their life as adults during their time growing in them when I crashed on Earth. My teachings had 'contaminated' them too far though, and the chambers in my ship had not been fully prepared back in the day. They were wildcards, so throwing them in with me was the only sensible option"
"So let me get this straight" Everett turned as I tried my best to remain neutral instead of horrified as I was "You saved your daughters from a life growing up in tubes, or at least you did" He nodded so I went further "The accident made things go out of hand, and I can guess you ended up heavily disturbed not only by that, but also because you decided to leave your adoptive family once you found your real one deep beneath the sea, is that right?"
"Yes... finding my memories cost me part of my mind, and the ones that I learned to call father and mother" Everett turned back to us and now we could see his sullen face "I left them, I felt obliged to help my daughters after what I had done, and I was right in doing so... but my desire to get rich, to give them a bright future, made me distance myself from my new family, to turn my intellect into creation, creation of dangerous weapons! I could not allow that"
"And that is when you left to Dasham-Bul, isn't that right?" As he sat down, Everett did no effort to deny my little accusation "Your daughters' chambers had been repaired and so they would not age, but your mind had been heavily harmed by what you had gone through, both good and bad, the wrong obviously unbalancing the right things you had done. However you probably got one of your devices to tell you about Korinna leaving before her time, and you decided to come back"
"That is correct" Another click and now both screens had Korinna, both how normal she looked on one of them, and her vicious face during our last encounter "Korinna remembered everything, she attacked me with her mind just after I noticed what had happened, so she knew everything, but she could not free her sister. The sensory deprivation from the link of her twin made her bottled feelings surface, and so her anger, hate and sadness turned her against not only me, but everything. Her innate lust for power worsened as she was forced through maturity at a pace no one should experience. A cocktail of feelings that ended up as you very well know"
"Which bring us to the end... They nearly murdered you because you wanted them to have a normal life, only so they would get kicked off their home planet alongside you"
"Everett" My voice almost cracked, it almost turned to my normal tone for a moment, but it was just because of the emotion. I had lost ONE, Daisy and my old way of life because of this?! "That last day cost me more than you can think. I lost my girlfriend because of how many times I helped the city and left our relationship as secondary, if I took it into account at all sometimes with what was happening, I lost her because I valued friendship and my duty to the city more than my duties to her... Not only that, but I lost my friend, ONE, because you basically wanted your little secret base back and ready to take care for your kids even when they basically wanted you dead" Narrowing my eyes, Everett could very easily read in my expression, not needing to prod even my mind, what I wanted to do "Why should I stay civil? Give me a VERY good reason"
"I will leave again and recover ONE so he leads the company"
That caught me off guard, so he went on "I mean it. I made sure to leave the impression I didn't care for ONE, but I do. He was my friend and practically only companion for many years, even if I made sure to stay distant... I didn't erase him, I left him in stasis. Against what I made you believe, I did what I thought was right, and I tried to harm as few people to achieve it as I could"
"And what do you hope to achieve with this?" Granted I wasn't the nicest person of all right then, but you have to give me credit for some patience "And how are you going to tell this to the public? After all you promised to tell the public about your return"
"That is easy: I will make public the fact that my daughters tried to murder me" His face was so devoid of emotion that it made me wonder if he hadn't been subject of the same thing that it was supposed to be forced to the females of his planets. Lyla's horrified face seemed to agree with me "I will show my arm, and if needed I will show my leg, and in case there is someone not happy with it, I will not only erase my Juniper's name from my will and disown her in every way, but I will name Mr. Number ONE as my successor since he had been my right hand man from the start"
"I do know about ONE" Lyla interjected, which made Everett turn back into reality and gain at least an emotive face once again "But how will you get someone like... him to be in your place? No one has seen him or knows of anyone named as you say"
Everett gave a little smirk at that "On the contrary" As he procured a couple of documents "As you can see I do name a certain Number ONE in many of my reports and state that he is privately employed by me as the secondary chief of security. Brigit never asked about him and only received certain information from her chief of intelligence, and since he was technically a mercenary no one will expect that such a secretive person is well known. In my documents it purposely states that Mr. Number ONE has asked to remain anonymous and does not desire to go into the public eye. Someone like Angus Fangus will try to get him to show up, but I believe my little friend can take care of such a bother, and if it is not the case, I believe someone close to the Avenger here probably has enough influence to coerce that walking cactus otherwise"
"So THAT was the reason why you wanted someone approved by him" Lyla showed a deep frown as he glared at Everett, whom lifted his hands in defeat.
"I do not want to lie about any of this, but I am not willing to suffer again trying to do what I think is right. The last time I did that my daughters harmed people, used them, erased memories and nearly burned the city" Lyla turned her gaze sideways and even I had to admit that it was a sound reasoning "This may be utterly wrong, but I will go do what I want this time, instead of what one would think as logic, so I will go visit my adoptive parents. They probably have a good fifty years thanks to a certain property from a certain water company if I am right" His little wink at me was the first show of happiness he really showed "Who knows, they may have even longer than that. But I will nonetheless make a brief visit before going back to the monastery, though I plan to go see them every month if possible"
"Not taking meditation too seriously this time?" Weak joke, but it was a joke nonetheless.
"On the contrary" He smiled in return though "I do want to regain my valance, but I have learned that it cannot be forced like our conditioning did. I will be in touch with my family and will never distance myself from my feelings anymore. Everyone else can do as they please, right or wrong, and so will I. Maybe someday I will manage to help someone in a way that I will make up for the harm I gave to so many people"
"Everyone makes mistakes, Everett" He looked at me as I returned a slight smile "To err is human, to forgive..."
"To forgive is something out of my reach" The sudden cut to my little speech made me worry "And because of that I have to ask you a final favor, Donald, so please, hear me out"
"After the staging of my disappearance, which included the drugging of my pilot and for which I am deeply sorry, my daughters decided to take me away and try to make sure no one would discover about me. Luck would have it otherwise and I was saved by a friend of mine, Mr. Number ONE, to whom I will leave my business so he can care for it. However during those days my daughters' delusion were quite strong, and as I have shown you, the harm they put me through was extensive..."
Lyla tried to retain a serious face as she recorded the whole event, once again asking a question "So what have you decided to do about your daughters? I believe it is only right to ask if you think they are dangerous to the public"
Everett shook his head for a moment "Juniper was the least dangerous of the two, and one figure very well known to the public by now. She would be a fool to try and do something to gain power after what she did, and I have talked with the Duck Avenger here" He gave me a nod and I returned it to the camera "To chose how to care for her. As for Korinna... Well, Juniper decided to come back with me and accept her punishment, her sister decided to leave and I really was in no position to object. I am only sorry to say that I never made her known to the public before, but as you know, back then I had many problems with the media and Korinna's state would have only made things worse since she would have tried to make my life more difficult" Sighing deeply, Everett suddenly looked older than he really was "I suppose she did something even worse after all"
"Speaking of which, what kind of punishment has the Duck Avenger in mind?" Lyla turned to me with an inquisitive face "It is certainly strange that Everett Ducklair has decided to not press charges and, instead, is willing to hear a man that is either called Super Hero or Vigilante in these family matters"
"Everett has his reasons" I shrugged, trying to take importance off it, though really it was impossible "I have dealt with people like his daughters before, and I know of a warden that can make sure to watch over Juniper and evaluate if she has changed. Donald Duck is a good friend of mine as many know, and during his time in Starcorp he has been able to learn much more about people and their behaviors than many would think. I will ask him about having an eye on her at all possible times. Not only that, but I have some friends that could make sure to give the young woman a small push in the right way if it was needed"
"So you think she can reform?"
"As Everett said, it was during the accident when he was with his adoptive parents that he decided to go back to his fiancé and his daughters. His whole empire was built to ensure his daughters would have a bright future... and his wife's poisoning of their minds is what brought them to such extremes as to try and do off with him" I gave a low grunt as I thought about that "They are misguided, really misguided, but if Juniper accepted to be punished by her father, then she still has some hope left, maybe for her sister too"
"Let's indeed hope that she can learn from this, however I am sure the public won't be too happy to have someone dangerous around" And while Lyla was obviously hurt for badmouthing someone, after our lengthy conversation it was obvious Juniper was not someone she wanted to have close unless she got some sense forced in her head "But let's speak about that Mr. Number One mister Ducklair"
"As I said, Mr. One was a private contractor, a mercenary so to speak, that deals in information. He not only worked for me, but has also worked for the Duck Avenger to provide help keeping the city safe. He is not a man that would like to be seen, and given his job that is easy to understand" Everett showed a little smile, fond memories returning to him "While he is in each job for his own reasons, he only does what is right, as the Avenger could easily tell you if you asked him. It has been because he is indeed a good man that I am still here, and I while it may rise controversy, I know he will be the perfect man for the job leading my little empire"
"Then it is true you will return to your roots for a time?"
"Indeed, I will go back to my adoptive parents for a week, then I will visit them every week, or month, if possible. I have many things that I left unfinished... and the later bump with what could have been death has made me realize I need to finish them"
Lyla gave a practiced but forced smile as she got up and offered a handshake to Everett, one he accepted and that I also took part in "I hope we see each other again soon, mister Ducklair"
"I can assure you that it is the opposite for me" Everett gave a little teasing smirk "It is not that I would not like to see any of you again, but I would like to think myself capable of finishing what I started. Hopefully there will be no reason for me to ever come back"
A few more pleasantries and a minor question and the interview was done. Everett asked Lyla to turn the camera off and then he procured a different remote from the one he used previously. This one had a palm print and very small buttons with very clear commands, but I didn't manage to read any of them before Everett placed his hand on the device and pushed a few buttons that did nothing in plain view, but that had me nervous and expecting.
After he had done that Everett simply bid us goodbye, asking us to stay where we were until things were done. He had already explained what would happen and while Lyla probably had found a new dislike for Everett after he basically told us he had erased ONE's memories of him staying, only leaving a virtual copy to tell him what he needed to know after he was left in charge, I thought it was a show of affection like only Everett could show to ONE. He had always been detached as he had said, but it was in those little things that one could see he indeed cared for his creation, even if he had weird ways of showing said affection.
It all was timed so Everett could disguise himself and leave, and luckily the time flew by, so I was not sure how long it took, but when the moment came I was ecstatic.
ONE's face appeared on both of the large sets of screens. It was slowly coming, as he had to form himself, but he was there. First it was just a virtual image of malformed polygons attaching to each other, then it rendered in 3D, slowly growing in quality before dull graphics and color enveloped the figure that slowly turned green. Every second was a wonder as I thought what to say to him as his features turned more 'real', turning from a blatantly obvious 3D render to a figure that could obviously pass for a person if the green coloration all over him was left aside.
When he was fully formed he looked around in curiosity, as if confused, before he eyed Lyla and I before giving a large smile "Hello there partner, it has been a while"
"Yea... too long"
"It seems I can only remember vague pictures of what happened before... I am not entirely sure on what took place in fact" It was one of those few times you could find a logic AI like him worried and confused, but I really didn't care if I had to explain everything to him "I seem to have some memories not related to my own, and an incredible urge to ask you for more information"
A smile broke through my beak as I approached one of the screens "Will you tell me 'I already know' this time?"
ONE smiled in turn "Only if you boast like you usually do"
"Well boys, if you won't be needing me..."
I turned to Lyla as she prepared to go, ONE gave a nod to me, knowing very well what I wanted to say "You have been a great friend Lyla, not only of the Avenger, but of Donald, and ONE here. Wouldn't you want for us both to share the stories together?"
It would have been cruel to leave Lyla out of this, she was already partially down and I didn't want to let her negative mood take a hold of her. Not only that, but she was my friend, she was ONE's friend, even if they didn't manage to talk all that much before he went away for a while. She was important to my life and, knowing what she did about time and how it could be changed, she was also really needed so this all could end well. She should explain the situation to ONE better than I, and even with how serious things had turned lately, we could also share some stories and a good time the first chance we got.
There were some things missing, and tomorrow it would be the time to go for Juniper. She needed to answer to many questions and I was going to make sure to have ONE give me some protection against her powers, only in case. That was in the future, even if it was immediate, because right now it was time to take off that excessive dread I had during the last year.
Time had come to change back to what the Duck Avenger had once been... and finally have a smile back on me.
*** Somewhere in the streets of Duckburg during that same night... ***
I sensed my father would do something like this... the fool. He took a few days to be back on his feet and then he leaves? That is why I have been spying for half a month in this damn rooftop?! Well, it may be true that Corona has changed, now everything was as it should be! But that weak man decided to damn it all for me and my sister?! The worst part is that she felt remorse for what happened to him, TO HIM! Not to us!
That my mind was basically destroying everything in the roof was of no importance, but that my anger showed again was a problem. Mother had wanted us to be perfect, father had destroyed those hopes, not only that but Juniper had decided to go down his road? Well, none of us could use our powers at full force, not after they were done with us in Corona, but I didn't need them to take care of that duck.
"Tomorrow will be a time for change indeed, Duck Avenger"
***Chapter 1 END***
Well, that is the end of the first chapter. I must admit I read the whole 70 or so comics in the blog in a week, and then had time to reread some of them. Having been writing for fifteen years, loving old games, books and comics, made it very easy to get into the mood for PKNA :3 I must admit it has been one of the best things I have found in years, but such a shame it was so 'short', though it indeed was quite an ample experience.
I suppose the idea for this came during the Raider's first appearance, so back in the beginning. I like to play with dimensions and such, so this comic basically made me give a Cheshire cat smirk. Why? Well, it gave a wide berth on what could possibly happen, and when we speak of space time and crap, we basically can make shit up. Literally, I just let the gears grind and say 'Hey, this sounds partially corny and stupid... IT MAY WORK!', so I let it develop for a couple of days.
Sadly it was impossible to give as much development in so little space as one single chapter, unless I forced it down someone's throat. I specialize in long stories, not lone chapters, but this forum is still young and I still fear that half of what was supposed to be the first chapter is still not too much for everyone to consider Too Long; Don't Read (TL;DR).
Not only that, but it involves Original Characters, and I very well know that OCs aren't liked, at all, most the time. I know how it goes, I have been making fanfiction for a long time now, so that is nothing new. I will admit that I could create a story with the characters already in hand from PK, but expanding on the lore was an interesting idea, besides I wanted to give it my personal touch, and I seem to have it for vanilla humans being asses for whatever reason, so it basically happened.
On regard of the maturity of the issue, I thought it would be positive to basically have Daisy b****slap Donald. Do not get me wrong, as far as Disney women go, Daisy is not the worst (Pardon me, but they make most of their girls stereotypical princess in a huge number of cartoons, and I like mine with some guts and brains thank you very much), but while she is in love with Donald, she does not explicitly need him to LIVE. If you harm someone's feelings too long, no matter how much they care or love you, they will end up wanting you far away, and since Paperinik has been going vigilante on her for too many a time, I thought it was only fitting she ended up dumping him. This will be explained latter if this continues for more than one episode.
Regarding Lyla and Donald's relationship, I found it simple: They have been good friends for a long while, and both had a significant other, the difference being Lyla lost hers because he went cucu in the head. It is either never explained how she managed to return to Donald's time or why (Or maybe I missed a huge chunk of information, but I doubt it somehow... though it could happen), but since the Time Police was technically not needed, at least for a LONG time, I thought she probably used the first chance she got to go back to a time she felt like she fitted in, and to someone she loved... That it was mainly Tyrrel or Donald though, it may not be as obvious as it seems, because it is possible Lyla's head is playing with her emotions after all the crap she went through, something that could be easy to understand.
Then we take a turn to face Everett and his family: Donald may be too nice of a guy to want him dead, partly because he was a friend, sometimes, but he did hate him for taking ONE out of commission, seemingly FOREVER. He basically killed one of Donald's friends for god's sake! You think you would let that slide? Well, mix it with his latest date being foiled by the nice Everett and his worries, plus that leading to Daisy's anger exploding, and you can see how he basically wanted to mangle the duck, a feeling that worsened during Everett's story once it was revealed all was for naught. That Everett didn't really erase ONE was something that I found common sense however, since the man can be a dick, but he only tried to do the right thing even if it hurt people.
Other old characters will appear again, and I can't tell who will appear when, but I can say there will be a lot, if not all of them. I would like to expand on the characters that didn't have too much story on their backs, and give more to those I liked, so you can probably expect many to have a comeback sooner or later.
If you want to talk about the new ones though? Wait until the second chapter, if you people like this one enough to ask for it of course o3o I could've perfectly fruked everything up and you may hate me now, so I will wait to see the reaction to this.
Also: When I am serious I ramble, I prefer to be silly or I get nervous x3.*-Future warning system-*Adult language.
To some extent, abundant or heavy.Violence.
To some extent, abundant or heavy.Death
(Possible, but I highly doubt it). This will only be occasional if it happens, and probably not even permanent.Suggestion of adult situations
(Who knows, but it will not be explicit if it happens). VERY occasional if it happens.Adult Situations
(If allowed, because I highly doubt it is. In any case, it is only a possibility, depends on how the story evolves). VERY occasional if it happens.
With how much text I force down your gullet I was wondering if all of you would like different fonts and COLORS to difference whose character is talking. I TRY to make it clear, but I am a very detailed writer MOST the time, and if you haven't noticed it we may have a problem. I am not completely sure that I should, since it could be annoying and unwelcome, so I am basically asking here, which also includes the question on whether or not adult content could be tolerated if ample warning is given (Which I would).
I am not exactly shy of making adult things come to happen, but I know that most forums do have a young audience, so I would prefer to either be told HOW to make sure to warn it enough, or to not write such things at all, at least not in the forum. In any case, that is all I have to ask about right now.
Slightly under 15k words.
Was made in five days.
Posts : 126
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 20
Location : Hitchhiking around the Galaxy
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:24 am|| |
This is seriously good, I have been hoping for such a magnificent story for PK to be posted -especially in English! I look forward to reading the next chapter :'D
There were a word or two missing, and perhaps a misspelled few, but with the depth and well written-ness, I dont think anyone would cafe.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:46 am|| |
Thankyew :3! I will try to keep up the good work and have another chapter in one to two weeks, if the inspiration remains at least. Hope to post again soon :3
Posts : 126
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 20
Location : Hitchhiking around the Galaxy
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:15 pm|| |
I hope you continue soon if you still have the inspiration U u U I really am hooked on this story.
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Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Wed Jul 31, 2013 8:55 am|| |
Truth be told, it has been done for weeks. What is the problem then? There is a scene that I keep repeating, time and time again, because I am not happy with it. It is not that I am blocked in any way, it is simply the fact that I want everything to go as I want to, but while I am content, I am not happy. It should be done by today because I am mighty tired of trying to perfect it x3! At least I hope I can finish it today, I think I have taken too much time as is. Thanks for the reply and the interest :3!
Posts : 126
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 20
Location : Hitchhiking around the Galaxy
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:52 pm|| |
Of course, I understand completely! I know that a little comment can also give a good inspirational-push for someone who may need it U u U
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Join date : 2012-03-14
Location : Finland
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:16 pm|| |
Finding a beta reader might help you past the blockage (or whatever). I often get good ideas while discussing my stories with others, and good feedback is always useful in improving your writing.
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Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Chapter 2 (First part) Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:29 pm|| |
Sense of DisplacementNotes before each episode:
Paperinik (Duck Avenger, or better known as PK) and all the official characters and locations of its universe are copyright of Disney. This story and OCs are copyrighted by me. Points of view will change from time to time, they will range from 1º person from some characters to 3º person. Warnings of certain things will be addressed in each chapter. As you can guess, this is not exactly the main continuity.Warnings for this chapter:Adult Language: To some extent.Notes for this chapter:
I messed up Birgit's name during the last chapter, I will fix it whenever possible (If I get to it someday o3o I am lazy, sorry). This chapter took a hell of a long time because I tried to get the scene with Lyla to be perfect, and I murdered my patience time and time again.
Other than that I am pretty happy with the chapter as I am getting to introduce some original and cannon characters little by little. I do not want to rush this, in fact this story will probably be long as hell, which means that by my standards it will reach five episodes and around 1/8 of a million words before we even get really into the plot, with mostly tidbits of things happening and characters interacting here and there.
So, if you aren't bored by now, get to reading!
(Also I have given you all quite a few references to some things, happy hunting.
Chapter 2: Obvious differences.
It had rained... it had rained for the whole night. Not only was I angry after I had basically 'overheard' what had happened inside the tower, but I had rings under the eyes, even more pronounced now than before, after a whole night of unrest and being wet. It was not fair! I should be ruling alongside my sister, not degraded to be a bum on this backwater planet! It all was said and done however, I could not go back to Corona, none of us three could... and the worst was yet to come, either by one of our hands of because I knew things would get worse.
They could only get worse.
Revenge kept me company however, I wondered time and time again what I should do to get to PK and make him suffer. My father was irrelevant at this point, he had ended up either hating us or at least loathing us to the point of turning his back and calling us his daughters no more. He had lost everything and now he was weaker than before. He was not a threat, just a thing from the past that should be forgotten.
The Avenger, however, had managed to foil me and my sister's plans before, and now he was going to be the caretaker of Juniper. I still couldn't believe that she had so much regret for what we did! The lack of sleep and the anger were clouding my thoughts, but I knew that hers was not a betrayal, it was just the facts this had to work: We shared everything, and Juniper had always been the one to have the most positive feelings of the two. Our biology should make it easier for us to be in tandem, to be perfect to rule, but with our discordance and our negative feelings overflowing each other, it was obvious that could not happen before, and in turn it burned Juniper, making her a wreck.
Paperinik had to go, he would influence Juniper the same way father had, if not worse. She still had sentimentalism for that duck, something I could understand after all. The Avenger may not be Coronian, and may not have the best mind, but he was a great adversary, cunning and did what was best for everyone. Father may say whatever he wants, and we may have indeed caused harm, but if we managed to return to a synchronization, mixed with our maturity, Juniper and I could lead this planet to a marvelous development! In that regard the Avenger had to be praised; he upheld the law and protected the innocent, he tried to do what was the right thing to do, and he had sacrificed much, that I could read from him even with my loss of power.
He still was a menace to my ambition, and as such he would disappear.
That made me return to an unwanted memory, even if it was so close in time. It made me doubt, it made me wonder, and stability was something sorely needed to ensure Juniper would also get it, but her own problems were eating at me and sadness was making me look back to those short days.
I missed Sid and Nancy... was it wrong? It was a very short episode in my life, but then again, my life had been technically short in any case. Was I wrong in what I tried to taught them? Individuality in this world was so different from Corona, feelings running rampant, useless emotions, notions and desires, and yet their father could not notice that I was doing the right thing by trying to make them strong. That makes you wonder: Was my mother right? Was Corona right in what they did?
The answer is yes, logic dictates it is yes, but when I faced her it was obvious that everyone was just a part of a machine for Corona, that it had to run effectively and had to be the right thing for everyone, all the time. There was no 'I' in Corona, and yet the desire of power and personal gain had been so latent there... I would make things right though, I would make a new Corona, one better, that doesn't fall to such extremes as our home planet did! I just needed to know how.
It didn't help that I looked around the flat rooftop I was in, one of many. The locked room that was here had once been full of tools, I didn't know why or who had owned it, but it had been in such a bad state that I had only used it for one week before I cut myself in my right arm. The wound had been infected and I felt weak now, my clothes and my own person being dirty didn't help matters, nor did having to sleep in the open here, on this gray and now desolated roof.
As I embraced myself, what remained of my brown jacket and what remained of my clothes from when I was last on Earth, I gave a pitiful look to the remains of most the roof. It was all broken, cracked and even partially scorched, yesterday I had been so ANGRY! Luckily I had not my full powers of this building would have ended up leveled, with everyone inside, including me. It was also a good thing, because I could tell my head would be able to do a lot of damage in my state as fever ran through my veins right now. Half a month like this, half a month of fear, hiding and near starvation, too scared to do more than just take away some food or water from the people living here, not enough to keep a person in a good condition.
But what could I do? I would never admit to anyone that I was scared, but I was, I didn't knew what my father or the Avenger would do to me if I threatened the city again, and with how bad my health was and how poor control I had on my powers, trying to do anything like I first tried as Profunda would more than likely end in someone dead, or worse than dead... My objective did not need anyone suffering too much, no one but the Avenger at least. I had to remain alive and in hiding, no matter how it hurt, no matter if I was sick.
And, once again, I looked back at Sid and Nancy. Those days had been... happy.
"Seems you had seen better days, miss"
I had been far too distracted, and in my state the voice scared me to the point of turning so fast that my injured body almost fell to the ground as I stumbled. I was still wet, my body not hot enough to dry clothes and all, plush the sweat from the fever didn't make things any easier and my equilibrium was such that to not fall and black out I had been using the small room on the roof as support for the whole night. It had been better than the prospect of taking all the crap out of there and alert anyone that it was being used anyway.
As a young man approached me while offering a hand, I really thought that probably having been bolder would have been a better plan even if I risked discovery. He looked young, probably my physical age anyway, wearing a short shirt and camouflage pants, like those used by the Earth army, or a really close resemblance to them anyway, which included the boots and what seemed to be quite pricey sunglasses. I wondered why the glasses, and why his clothing were like that since even if I was healthy it would be really cold.
He didn't seem to mind anyway, the guy had a small smile on his face, and while he was bald, he had an army cap covering his head and giving his face a slight shadow that didn't allow much to be seen from my position. I could tell he was... what was it called? Of 'dog' heritage or something, at least partially, it could be seen from his black nose and very slight muzzle, though everything else was like the 'normal' humans. Physically speaking he looked toned, but more on the slim side, not exactly strong or anything, just what one could consider nimble and fast.
Thing is that it was easy to read something coming from him. He was not exactly normal.
"Are you ok? You seem to be looking everywhere for... something?" His voice had a gentle tone, worried even "Can I help you?" He even kept his distance and remained close to the stairs that lead to the next floor. Either cautious or unsure if his help was wanted, he wasn't a fool like most in this city "If you want I can leave"
"No, no... I would appreciate some help" But I was sure some acting could get him like it would to most others "I just... have been here for half a month... I am too proud to go begging and to go back to my family, and too ashamed to ask for help"
The man closed in a few feet, going slow as he looked at me, noticing where the jacket had been torn and the large gash that had been left on my arm "I don't care if you are proud or whatever, but that needs treatment and you seem famished and beyond tired and sick. I can give you a hand if you want, but I won't try to force you"
"I... would like that very much" When he nodded and turned I gave a large smirk.
It always was this easy, believe it or not.
His apartment was cozy, maybe not what I would have liked, but cozy. A living room with two sofas, one large and one small in front of a nice flat TV, also with a small table and some chairs on the side, right next to a couple of shelves holding various kinds of dishes and glasses, with some drawers where he said he kept various things like forks and such so as to have things handy when eating. Alongside the kitchen, bedroom and small bathroom, everything was organized to be at hand and to have to move as little as possible. The man was not lazy, but he seemed to prefer to make things quick.
Quickness didn't have anything to do with absent mildness though, because he didn't really want to show me all his house, he simply forgot where he put his first aid kit. We ended up finding it in the kitchen where he said he usually kept the cocoa. At least the kit had many things I would have killed for if the infection got too bad to bear, and it was relaxation, if not a bit painful, to have someone care for the wounds.
That, mixed with how much worry he seemed to show to caring for my wound and getting some medicine for my fever, I had to admit the young man was quite nice. Of course, I hated the fact that I was this weak and depended on him instead of basically controlling his mind. Cruel? May be so, but safety for my plan came first.
And the fact that my whole body hurt when he touched me with the damn cotton didn't help that dark mood.
"I am sorry, but there is little to do" At least he tried to be gentle and was genuinely sorry "The infection is not fatal, or it would not take your arm at least, but it will make it hurt a lot" When he saw my expression he decided to hurry up "But you don't need me to tell you that, still between this and fever you probably should not do anything for a while"
"And what should I do then?" There was a well calculated hint of anger and desperation on my tone "I thank you but I should get going..."
"Where to?" His reaction as he stopped caring for my arm and giving me a glare wasn't the one I had expected to "To the street? Think I am so dim I won't see you'd prefer to have things your way than to accept someone else's help?" Took the words from my mouth even... it was not good "I am sure you could get up and about if you were healthy, but as it stays I won't let you get out of here unless you are recovered. I don't want to impose, but the time is going to get worse, and the supplies in my kit would only help you for a few days, then you'd get back to where you started"
"I don't like being imposed to"
"Nor do I like the idea of sending someone to a possible death" The plan was to plant seeds of pity and compassion, I didn't care how, but it was not turning the way I had wanted "Rain is going to be a common sight, much like cold, even if it should be hotter by now. Your infection hasn't worsened because conditions weren't against your body. Now? Now you seem famished, probably even dehydrated I would dare say. A single meal and some supplies for a few days would only give partial recuperation. Would you prefer to have your pride intact or take heed for once?"
I gave a grunt but nodded. I was unable to give the nudges I wanted to his mind, but it should have been enough to make him comply, pity me or be compassionate, something useful to make him bend to my will. My condition and what happened in our home didn't seem to agree with the idea and his character showed. He was determined and not shy of saying what he thought. It could be a problem.
"It is much better this way, of course I can let you go if you want, with the first aid kit and some food, you just need to ask me to" That I didn't expect, and I gave a genuine look of surprise to him "I still haven't been paid though, so I can only give you a few things until the salary comes around. I won't help you again if you decide to take that path though"
So it was like that, wasn't it? It was not that he had to be right, it was that if someone didn't want his help, he would not give it, ever. He had no reason to, and since I seemed to be screwed up, I understood that very well. I was a stranger and he had decided to give me some proper care and even offer me a place to crash and some food. If I decided to do things my way he would not be happy, no one would be if that was the gratitude you showed after being granted such change, at least not in Earth. The idea of having to accept his hospitality as if I was crippled, instead of being in control, was slightly sickening... and scary.
Finally I let out a sigh in defeat "I suppose I should be grateful... I am just used to do things my way"
"And I can see where it got you" That sudden disdain in his voice made me angry, but because he was right "I do not want to be a prick, but I can see you are a very strong woman, to the point where you seem to think you know what is best even when it is obvious it isn't so, or are you going to tell me finding you in the roof was thanks to the perfect idea gone wrong?" I didn't dignify him with an answer as I looked away "Ok, ok, I am being a dick, but I cannot help but feel angry when someone that seems capable of having a happy life would decide to make things harder on themselves"
"What would you know?"
The anger made me talk, and I noticed it way too late. Worried, I looked at him, wary of the possibility of him throwing me off, though he would have to admit he was being a bit of an asshole and that in my condition it was easy to annoy me. It surprised me to see him take his glasses to show a patch on his left eye, a massive scar being hidden by the cap, the darkness it offered and the glasses, while the other eye was nearly all blue. Some kind of circuitry covered the area that had been previously hidden, probably going all over his head and being prominent around his eyes, even the scar.
"Would you be surprised if I said that I know quite a lot?"
"And didn't it hurt?"
"Not really, or I don't think so, I probably wasn't even five at the time"
Curiosity had taken the best of me. It was a new thing being unable to hear what people thought in this world, and the fact that the man didn't seem to be normal, in fact it didn't took much persuasion to know he was psychic, made it even more interesting. The reason was simple: It was not that I was too weak, it was that he, too, was capable of some mental powers.
I needed to know more.
"You don't seem even hateful of such a thing" Admittedly it was also curious what he had told me about himself, and the fact that he had taken a different path than mine "I would have raged against everything"
"I didn't have much of a reason to" He shrugged like it was nothing. He had made sure to cover himself well after we started talking. On a side note, the distraction was doing wonders to ignore the pain "I was one of the younger ones in the program, and I had the luck to survive. A lot of my friends didn't, and those that did... I am not sure I want to see them again"
"Have you seen how I treated you?" His question made it sound like he hated the answer beforehand, and his face was a huge frown "Every single one of us ended up messed in some way. A psychic needs his feelings, I could not be controlled as easily as the rest, and seeing how others hurt those I considered family made me extremely protective over time. I do not mind beating someone down if it is for a greater good, but I am unable to let someone go if they need care or if I think I can help them" He didn't even give me a tentative look, but it was obvious that his overzealousness, while good for the people, was probably ill received "I would try to be a damn nurse to all those that are on friendly terms with me. Not everyone likes that"
"You don't say" He let a small grunt out and I couldn't help but chuckle "I wouldn't mind learning more about you, if you are going to have me here for some time"
"Maybe latter, for now I would ask you to sleep for a while" When I cocked my head in wonder she lifted his arm to show a clock "We talked too long, and I doubt you are capable of cooking by yourself with how weak you are, besides you told me you didn't sleep at all during the night. I should be back in a few hours from my sift, hopefully my boss won't kill me"
"Oh... then, latter?"
He smiled a bit and nodded as he got up, going away for a moment before bringing me a blanket "Take whatever you want off when I go out, I will let you go around with this on. Believe me, it is very comfortable and with how cold it is going to be for you, you will welcome it"
I accepted it and squeezed the blanket gently. It had been half a month since I had any kind of comfort, and the blanket was almost as good as a home to call my own, even if only temporarily. With a nod he decided to walk towards the door.
"You can use the bathroom, since you already know where it is. I wouldn't recommend it all that much since the simple touch of water may hurt your arm, but cleaning it by yourself in a way that pleases you, as well as taking as much grime off as you can, will be beneficial" He opened the door and turned to give a small wave "By the way, call me Biggs, it was an in joke from some of the guards at the facility, I'll tell you why latter if you still want to talk"
I waved goodbye to him to be polite and, once he went away, I made my way to the bathroom as fast as my constitution would let me. It would probably hurt indeed if simple cotton made me hiss at someone, but I needed to be clean. I would even take on his offer and get comfortable, because I would not be getting up for hours once I lied down.
It had been so long since I had something so simple as a bat and a decent sleep that this was going to be comparable with my dreams of dominance, I was sure of it.
***Ducklair Tower: Secret floor. 10:00***
God, that had been scary. I had all but thought yesterday had been a dream, at least the last parts of the day. Lyla and I had been talking with ONE for a while before we got a knock on the door from Anymore Boring telling us they were about to close for the day. Lyla decided to get home while I went to the secret room. A couple of hours had not been enough to talk about all I wanted to, nor for Lyla, but she could not act suspiciously while *I* could thanks to her employing Donald! I had to remember thanking her again for that latter.
It showed, because ONE decided to say hello to me, shoving the daily tray of donuts he once gave me and that I so cherished. There was a problem with it though: He did that when I was still asleep, making me jump and use the X-Transformer against nearly everything. Luckily ONE doesn't feel pain, can self repair and seems to have a sense for comedy after so long.
Well, a cake to the face can be considered comedy when it is not done by a clown? I wonder.
"I wanted to give that to you latter, but it was either that or risk getting water in the circuitry you left open with the shield" His many faces looked worriedly over the holes done by the fist as I cleaned myself "A shame too, I did give that cake quite a lot of attention, and from me that means a lot"
"Tell me about it, I can taste it through my skin" Which was an exaggeration, but as I cleaned my cap it was obvious I had cake all over my body, even with the costume on "Such a sweet memory, hopefully I won't need to take a shower in warm milk to get it off... speaking of which. Everything is running as it should? It has been a long time since you last used anything here"
"Let me tell you that biologic ones would get a bad case of the gross with what you just said" Well, getting withy in a playful way had been left aside for a long time, I had to practice once again "And to answer your question: Yes, everything seems to be fine, minus a few things, but I will get them in working order soon enough"
"That is good, that is good" I decided to take a slow walk towards where the shower USED to be "It has been a long time and only one night is not enough to get back in gear"
"Yea, getting back as things were will be hard, right Avenger?"
I didn't like his tone, nor did I like how many of his heads popped around me. I had nearly forgotten how inquisitive he was, and the fact that he was a logic AI after all. Many robots, droids and various machines had been both friends and enemies to me, but much like Everett, ONE was sometimes a mystery when it came to who he sided with. Obviously it didn't mean he was an enemy in any of those cases, but on which side of the board we were during many discussions.
And, right now, it was better to be direct "Ok, spill the beans. What do you want to tell me?"
"It is not what I want to tell you" ONE's main screen was eyeing me from the corner of his eye, it was hard to tell, but time with him had made me recognize those few human signs he showed "It is what you haven't told me. After so long you haven't mentioned your nieces once, nor your uncle or any of your friends, and each time we tried to talk about things around the time I was turned off you quickly returned to the other topic, saying it was important to get me up to date" He finally decided to turn 'physically' to face me "There is something eating at you, Avenger, what is it?"
"... Can I take the shower first?"
The shower went by faster than I had anticipated. The water had done nothing to relax me when it came to talking with ONE about what had happened, but as I sat in my usual spot, ONE's face looking at me both with curiosity and apprehension, I didn't know if I could be mad at him for wanting to know or if I should simply spill the guts.
Being a normal duck had seemed so easy once, once...
"Do you really want me to talk about that?"
"I already know about you working at the mall, your friend Lyonard D'Aq and your most recent adventures, as well as what Lyla told us about that time continuum problem" Talking about that brought a faint smile, but once it ended he frowned "What happened BEFORE that?"
Letting out a tired sigh, I just threw my mask and cap away, why? I didn't know, I just wanted to be Donald for a while, costume or not. Or maybe I did know... The costume is why, the Avenger was why. People is used to me helping, people is used to depend on me, but even if they would get used to have less, if any at all, heroes on their side, things would still be too dangerous for the common man.
"Do you remember reading some comics at some point, ONE?"
"Of course I do" A tentative smirk showed on ONE's face "It is hilarious to see comparisons with real life, though a few years back many of the creations and names used today sounded like if people came up with things just for plot convenience. However many situations seem to be present in real life from time to time since humanity, or even aliens, tend to emulate certain behaviors now and then. Why?"
"In comics the good guy always wins and gets the girls. Drama is there, but is minimum, sometimes it doesn't even appear much, or at all" I took one hand to my pocket and got my wallet out. Strange for some, but a super hero may need to buy something on the fly you know? Thing is, I still had a photo of Daisy there "I am not that good. I kept neglecting her time and time again, because I wanted to help people, because I wanted to make a difference. I was no idiot though, I knew I was in front of a cliff and about to fall, but what could I do? When I was with you SOMETIMES I had time for her, it was what saved my feathers more than once. After I lost you? After everything went out the window? Things became harder, much harder, once again... normal hero at the mall, superhero the rest of the time. I was unable to keep everything in order"
The result, what I was going to say, was obvious "She decide to break up with you" It was not a question when it came from ONE, it was simply the truth.
"She came to the mall and slapped me in the face when I was discussing the latest adventure with her. Everett knew his daughters would turn on him, or suspected it, so he asked me to help. I still considered him a friend, somewhat, so I accepted" The memory was somewhat a fond one, because all had gone well THEN, until the next day at least "But Daisy had had enough. I didn't pick her up for our date twice in a row, she was furious after this happened so many times, and she had reasons to berate me for being with someone else. Her assumptions hurt, they hurt A LOT, but I could not talk back. For the next few days I was basically broken"
One heard every word, patiently waiting as I relentlessly kept on, not daring to stop in case I decided to not talk about it ever again "She almost ended engaged with Gladstone" The only pause then was my face of disgust "He thought it was his luck once again, getting Daisy angry at me was a sign that he was the better duck, so he tried to get her for himself. Daisy was not stupid though, Gladstone has never been a man to do one thing for himself, or others, if he was the one to have to DO it. Maybe I am being extremely unfair, but while he is not the worst duck out there, he is certainly not much better than Uncle Scrooge and his darker side"
"She got fed up with his attitude and his dependence on his luck for everything soon enough. Daisy told him to get serious or she would leave him like she did with me" That, when I heard it, had hurt a lot "Gladstone did as almost every time: He resigned himself, thinking it was one of luck's bad swings. Daisy had it then, she was angry at everything, so she decided to move out and ended up getting a job as a reporter. I still think it is a bit of envy at what she thought was my new girlfriend" The memory, and the words that she threw at Lyla, still hurt to this day, more so than the insults she threw at ME.
"My nephews had grown old enough by then, Huey, Dewey and Louie decided to go see the world with her. I think they all thought about that to try and show they had grown to be a lot different from each other, but in the end, while they all had changed a lot from each other over the years, they were still alike in many things, and cared about each other too much to let one of them go alone" The memory of his cards when they weren't around was comforting, but the fact that they were reprimanded by Daisy not wanting any contact with me was a detriment "They seem to be doing quite well, some problems, but I suppose finding weird things and people runs in the family"
"You seem to be taking it quite well" ONE didn't seem too surprised about anything I said, but then again, more 'human' or not, he still was a logical one, beyond belief if I might add "I would have thought you would be... slightly upset at least"
"Have you really heard anything I told you last night?" One offered a slight nod "Then I can't believe you haven't made sure to watch whatever recordings there are of me during the time you were off and after Daisy's little incident" As ONE looked away I had the obvious answer "What? No reproach? No chastisement for how I have been handling things? I thought all those medical reports should probably make you worry, AT LEAST"
"Oh, and it does worry me, Avenger" ONE's face did, indeed, show worry "But I can't argue with logic in this one: Your anger has been redirected in a positive way, crime has decreased and you haven't made a mistake that cost someone's life"
"Yet... but the thing is that you are aware of it and seem to be doing your best to manage your feelings in a way it won't harm the wrong people" I harrumphed at that "I only hope you do understand, Donald; you cannot win every time, I almost lost myself, and that almost meant death"
"And how is that?
"I may not remember the meeting with my creator, and I believe I will not physically see him until much, much latter, but Avenger" Worry, sadness, uncertainty, whatever it was, ONE's face made me cringe "He could really erase me and my master would have been mildly displeased, at best. His first worry were his daughters, always, everything else was secondary"
We didn't talk much after that, it seemed he wanted some time to think and review most the information he had been given and also the one he had missed. I myself had things to do too. Lyla had told me she would go talk with Galen by herself today since I had to meet Juniper as Donald at eleven o clock at the base of the tower. I thought it was not exactly smart to leave her in one of the few that knew about the secret room wait for me in the tower, but really I didn't want to think about sense right then.
Getting away from the tower and showing up in my Starcorp clothing, punctual for once, was not really necessary, but technically I was still appointed as Lyla's bodyguard for a few more days and she had basically asked me to offer support to the Avenger during a small comment on the video before she lend the footage to the studio, or so she had told me while I was coming.
Speaking of the devil.
Lyla smiled from the tower's entrance as I approached, giving her a warmhearted wave as quite a few people wandered around the base of Ducklair tower, some asking questions, other just hearing or talking about whatever rumors circulated after the news aired this morning. Some turned to look at me, many recognizing me from my work at the mall and others probably doing so after yesterday's little play as the Duck Avenger. Seriously, after the many masks I have to wear over my face and the many times people have seen the Duck Avenger in many costumes you'd think they would stop thinking about me as anything but 'The Avenger's friend', except Angus of course.
"Hey Lyla, how are things going?" Luckily playing dumb when everyone expects you to be is easy.
"As you may have noticed, pretty much a bit hectic, but that is all really" Her smile would not give it away, but she was basically telling me she was sorry for something "There is a lot to do and I need to leave now to see if Galen is willing to talk for a while. I'll take it slowly this time, mostly since you will be occupied"
Again, a little bit of acting "Occupied? How?"
"Oh yea, I have to remember being on time is hard with how much you sleep" That smirk she gave was sincere, and the mock befuddled face I gave probably made me smirk only harder "You probably missed the morning news, and didn't even take a glance at yesterday's broadcast either after we were done with Galen" Truthfully, the only one that knew about that would be Song, but I highly doubted the young woman would ever care to say something if she knew "You will learn more in a second, and believe me you don't want to"
"What?" THAT did take me by surprise "What do you me...?"
"Is it true that the Duck Avenger is back in full force?!"
Lyla nodded "Angus"
The less than clean kiwi had left me alone for a long time, barely getting on my case since Everett came back, so those few years of him not nagging me had been one of the few welcoming changes that I would have, and that I would miss now. He hadn't changed much since the last time I saw him: Jacket, hat, stains in his shirt, pants about to burst and that ugly grin when he knew someone didn't want him around.
I disliked him so darn much.
"Donald Duck, the friend of the so called Avenger" One of the cameramen and Angus basically slammed into me with little regard for how much I wanted to punch him "The once caretaker of the Ducklair Tower, errand boy for Chanel 00 and now member of Starcorp for two years. You seem to be everywhere and so does the Avenger"
"I go where I can get some work Angus, and luckily also away from you thanks to this last job" I could hear a lot of snickering or loud laughs from people surrounding us.
Angus didn't seem deterred, or even angry "A shame, seeing how I will be your shadow as much as the Avenger" Angus lifted a hand to signal to the Ducklair Tower's door as someone decided to get out, looking to the ground "I am to assume you have no knowledge about being assigned by the Avenger as the one he trusts to watch over Everett Ducklair's daughter by Everett's own permission?"
And there she was, the same as the last time I saw her: Juniper had that sad or absent face she had sported most the time when she came here, at least a sincere emotion on her. Bags under her eyes, were obvious, even with the sunglasses she was wearing, her form slightly thinner than the last time I saw her. For a woman that seemed to want to conquer the world once, she looked like a normal young woman with her clothes, inconspicuous you could say, if her face wasn't as well known in the city as it was right now.
I didn't knew the pair as well as Everett, though in fact I doubted Everett did know them that well since neither had wanted him to before. Still it was obvious she was a mess, and I was sure that under the sunglasses I would find reddened eyes once she was more or less alone with me. Let me tell you, I wanted no more drama in my life, but it was obvious this was not going to bend to my will. What else is new?
Latter, though, now: Be confused "Is that true?"
I looked at Lyla and she nodded, Fangus looking irritated as the act seemed to go perfectly "Everett did not press charges, and, technically speaking, this all happened outside of Duckburg's jurisdiction. No one was really harmed and Mr. Ducklair paid for all the problems this caused, so with him being the only one to suffer from his daughters' acts, he is free to press charges, or not... The Avenger said you could do a much better job than most people watching over her and seeing if she showed any signs of going back to the ways that made her hurt him"
"Pah!" Angus got himself between us "What work can this duck do that no psychologist could?! Or better yet, a psychiatrists for the daughter of a supposed good guy that seems to have done more harm than good? Money doesn't buy freedom! And it certainly can't make a criminal walk freely on the streets, not PK, not HER!" He pointed at Juniper, still far away and cowering from everyone's gaze "The public needs to know WHY this duck has been named as the one to protect them from a dangerous individual that should be behind bars! Why is it that the Avenger, someone that has been more and more violent lately, giving a simple security guard such a task that could very well spell doom for many a citizen is not a laughing matter!"
"Well, think about it" Lyla was doing her best not to do something she would regret. As human as she was, sometimes she had inhuman patience "He could throw her in prison, or force her into a mental institute, but if the story he told us is true, even only partially, that could be detrimental to her"
"But nothing Fangus, think of the people for once!" Her yell got most murmurs, sneers or laughs to shut up "Mr. Ducklair is the one that has lost part of his body for all of this, the Duck Avenger has volunteered his friend because he knows Donald may be a good influence in someone, unlike you. I have known Donald for a long time now, as do you, you can't tell me he is a bad person"
"What I can tell you is that you have too much confidence in people that should not be doing any of this" Angus grumbled as his feet angrily tapped again and again at the ground. The Kiwi was annoyed so easily sometimes "What if things go wrong?"
"Then that means that we will have someone that knows what has to be done in the right place and the right time" Lyla smirked at Angus's surprised look "Do you think the Avenger picked Donald only because they were friends? You DO know he has helped with many mayor problems and against some very dangerous people, right? He may not be a policeman, but he is very capable of stopping Juniper if something does go wrong while keeping an eye to know if she is sincerely reforming"
"Whatever" Grunting, Angus turned to me again "That still doesn't excuse the fact that a dangerous individual is giving you this task. What are you going to do? And remember, if you do accept, I will make sure to keep an eye on you and your masked friend"
"Always aiming for the truth, eh Angus?" I had to repress a smirk as he gritted his teeth "Then I hope you can keep up. I have gotten in better shape since I work at Starcorp, and you seem to have done the same, as in you are almost perfectly spherical"
People hadn't laughed again since Lyla had lost her patience, even if some chuckles were heard. I had seen a lot of them while I was the Duck Avenger, saving some to both, while others I had helped at the mall or had seen me doing my best. Most did not like the kiwi, but Angus had a knack for getting the truth, even if he had to lie and stab his way around to find it. It was easy to see that some wanted to know, that they were afraid because Juniper had shown she was very capable of doing something horrible, and those people were usually put in the locker thanks to me, my friends or the Avenger. Angus just smirked.
"As you can see, no one is laughing anymore. Tell your friend I will be his shadow, he can't hide behind costumes and masks all his life" Stepping closer, he made me smell him, which was already displeasing, but his obvious determination and anger was doubly so "The same as you. You may be working for Starcorp, but that doesn't make you special, not even if you are a good security guard. If you mess up I will be there and I will ensure that Juniper is shown as the dangerous megalomaniac she is, so better do your best or I will get back to you" Chuckling darkly, he decided to add "Though I doubt I will need to do my best myself"
It was surprising how much Angus had changed in such a short time, though it was probably because of Lyla scolding him at every stupid thing he tried to do. He didn't push you around too much, but he still knew what buttons to press to get you mad, and if you got too mad, you did something stupid. Right now Lyla was with us, so he would not be too bold about it, at least until she disappeared, and yet he was smirking as if he had all he needed.
Angus was a manipulative bastard, he was nice only when needed, though after I revised his files and made sure to get together most of his story, it was easy to see why. While he was never really a good man, at least in the general term, he had done the best for his people, and in turn he had been kicked out, betrayed and basically used by others. That would make everyone cranky, to say the least. Was it enough to excuse him? HELL NO! But it was better to have the knowledge as to WHY he was like that, made it harder to just punch him in the face.
It still was tempting though.
Pushing me as he went, Angus left with his cameraman, seemingly in a hurry to either catch more stories to film or simply to prepare himself to catch me in a compromising position. Not like it was all that hard to get somewhere to film me anyway, everyone that knew me did knew where I usually went.
"The same hardass..." Lyla snickered a bit after saying that low enough to not be heard by almost anyone "Well Donald, I will leave you with Juniper. Good luck and... take care, will you?"
"Will do Lyla" My smile was genuine, but so was my worry "You do the same, that man isn't exactly a pushover you know?"
"Take it easy Donald, I will make sure to watch it around him" She gave a gentle smile as the people dispersed. The show was over, or no one wanted to be around in case Juniper was really dangerous "I have the camera we used yesterday and I know how to operate it even if I have to use it while asking questions, so there won't really be a problem. I'll let him do most of the talking and, at worst, he will hit something that isn't me"
"Not like he would hurt you much" Lyla got a mock offended face at that comment "But still watch it. It only takes a lucky shot for disaster to occur, and I don't want that happening to you"
I wondered if I had seen a blush on her, but as far as I had been with Lyla she had never blushed, not much at least, if ever. She just turned quickly after a nod and left, going for her car and to the city's outskirts in hopes for Galen to be ready. I highly doubted that man even SLEPT after yesterday's little talk, I wouldn't at least if all my life had been like that, but that would be for latter.
I decided to concentrate in the task at hand: Talking with Juniper. As I approached her, Juniper turned to me and managed a weak and quite false smile. It is not that she was unhappy to see me, or at least I hoped she wasn't, but most probably she wasn't exactly... excited to start her new life, much less after our last meeting.
"Doesn't seem you are too excited" It probably didn't help that I was feeling quite cold towards her, but would you blame me?
"I am... not... I suppose" She gave a little shrug as she looked around "I have been... alone, utterly so, since we returned. Our travel home was not happy, our arrival was even worse. Corona has changed so much, so, so much..." Juniper hugged herself as I heard a sob, but no tears appeared, though I caught a glimpse of reddened eyes, as I had thought, from behind her glasses "I thought father was a weak man, a loser, incapable of sacrificing what we thought were useless things such as feelings in exchange of what we thought we wanted"
Juniper hiccupped as she continued, bottled feelings flowing like a torrent now "I thought he just wanted us to grow as he wanted, that Corona's system was right... I didn't think we would return there to find it turned into a dictatorship worse than what I read from Earth's history. The few people with any feelings left, at least not hidden, cower in fear around women, and the armed forces seem like robots, zombies even! It is not right!"
"And what do you think now?" I used a quite unhappy tone, but the reason why, instead of trying to comfort her, would be obvious soon "You hurt your father, you made him, at the very least, disown you, and you three got exiled from your world. Was it worth it?" She turned away from me, about to cry again even if she didn't seem to have tears left "The answer is yes" only to turn back to me fast as lighting "You had to learn, be it right or wrong, best or worse, you learned. Your system was burning to its roots for what your father told me, it was being more and more obvious with time, and he tried to make your mother change, at least he told me about that yesterday. Did it help in any way?"
"No..." She shook her head "Mother was as ambitious as ever, and she was so adamant, she told us so many times, she forced feed us what she thought was right for so long..."
"But it wasn't, was it?" I took Juniper's hand to make her move and stop hiding at the tower's entrance "It shows now, years after you left, that Corona fell prey of the worst part of its own policy and rules: No feelings but duty and rule. You all, the women, would sacrifice everything for power. Having already greater power than men would make it very possible that temptation would take you, and corruption would sink in. Human or not, every intelligent being is like that"
"So what does that mean?" Juniper looked away, tempted to pull her hand from my grasp as clearly as it was day "I will just fall back to it? I tried to love my father, I really tried, but we had only knew our mother's ambitions, her disdain for the feelings my father gave her, and our father's idealistic foolishness... I almost got him killed, and until I was too late, I wanted that to happen"
"Then LEARN from your mistakes!" I didn't want to yell, but Juniper was not paying attention to me "Do you think anyone else would confront you about this knowing what you can do? If they did, they will cower in fear or take you away for study. I have the guts to tell you to grow up and live your life as you please, not as your mother or your father wanted you to! Do you think mine would have wanted me to do what I do?" Juniper shuddered, slightly scared of my outburst "They would not approve of most the things I do Juniper, and I am sorry to scare you like this, you are probably not mentally prepared now for anyone else giving you another reprimand, in fact I bet it could probably make you have a breakdown, I have seen it before. But do you really want me to dilly dally and beat around the bush? Do you want me to hide things from you? Because if you want, I can, but I think that every time someone has done that with you, you have ended up angry... and we don't want that"
She shook her head, but didn't look any less stressed "I wouldn't want that, no... but I am a wreck, Donald... I know I have no right to, but please, don't yell at me"
I nodded, feeling slightly sorry for her, but just slightly "Let me take you to a new place I found yesterday, I intended to take you to the mall, but I think a more quieter area should be better this time around"
We walked our way to The Bird and the Song. Juniper didn't want to get into a bus, and I didn't indeed to go so far away at first, instead wanting to get her to the mall so she could have a good time, maybe, and open a bit to me. Luckily this place seemed as empty as last time, though when I asked Song she admitted that this area was much more crowded at night and the rest of the time it was mostly a random occurrence, so she didn't seem to mind the idea of having new regular customers.
Good kid, good kid.
As it was, the place was very relaxing with the nice music shooting Juniper "It is so simple" Or maybe depressing her, it was not exactly easy to read her "Much simpler than those dreams I used to have, and the girl at the counter isn't nosey. This could be a good place to talk"
"You sure you are all right?"
"No, I am not, and it is obvious" Juniper seemed quite bothered by the stupid question, truly I wondered who was the idiot that made such a dumb question the norm in these situations "Still, thanks for caring I suppose" Though that person had a point it seemed "I am just so surprised how much everything can change in so little time"
"Do you want to talk about it?" Song finally came with the drinks we had ordered and gave us a little wave before leaving us alone again "It usually makes things better, though it may not, everyone is different and I don't want to press you. It would be counterproductive to see if you have changed"
"Having no secrets does not mean being mean"
"And I am not being such a thing, I am being direct" I took a donut I had bought and dipped it on the coffee. It was used to this before I was a 'cop', so don't you talk about stereotypes "You look like a wreck, but you have to understand me: I want to believe you have learned something from this all, but it can as easily make you fall back on your anger, hate and lust for power if you think it can HELP you. Admittedly such things sometimes help, but they do create more pain than anything else. I have to try and see that you know about it and disregard the logic behind your plan to see the bigger picture"
"What logic was there last time?" I arched an eyebrow as I munched on the donut. Juniper sighed as she took a ship of her cocoa "Korinna and I know how to make this planet a better place, with our minds we could do the same as our father, but if we ruled the world we could make it all better. Would we be cruel? Would we be dictators? Yes, I realized so later, I realized that dictators are usually bad people, but are all dictators really bad?"
"Surprisingly? No, they aren't" Juniper looked at me, as if surprised "Dictatorships are said to be bad, evil and such. In truth democracy can be as bad, in fact any kind of policy and model of rule can be bad. A king? He can be bad. A scientific government devoted to research and technology? Hell, it can go down the drain faster than you think if they make a mistake. Warlords of any kind? Guess how that can go. A worker centered government that wants to help the middle bad? The richest people usually try to overthrow it. A government that helps the rich in turn? With time the common man will revolt since they are usually overlooked. You can name hundreds of types and there are always a good and a bad, there always is" I gave a shrug as I finished my food and went to drink "A dictatorship has one, or maybe more, people in charge. They decide what to do, only they, if they aren't being manipulated anyway. They can be great to their followers, or not, who knows, but it is basically the same rule as a kings in the middle ages, with the same chances of said 'kings' being dicks"
"So you basically are saying we could have been good?" I nodded "But no matter how we managed to rule, people would complain?" Again, I nodded "Earth sucks..."
"That is the problem with Earth" I chuckled a bit as she looked down, but at least she seemed in a better mood "Some people do know what should be done, what is right, but there is a problem: Most people do not want change, or are afraid of it, or it would threaten their privileged position. From all the people in the world you would only find support in a very select few, either fueled by self interest or because they do want to help, but in most cases it is the former. The same goes when they go against you: They are either afraid or they aren't interested in what you offer because they feel threatened"
"Humans seem so simple, and stupid"
"Thank you very much" I gave her a dry look and she turned pink for a moment "But I have to agree. We humans don't do what is right most the time. Many thing we do, but we destroy more than we create and we harm the planet for profit. I try to do my best to help, but hero or not, there are not enough good people around, and in fact one single bad person can undo what ten good ones, or even what millions of good ones, do"
"Then why did you stop us?" That question made me stop drinking and hear her out "I know it was the right thing to do to stop us from harming our father, not that it did much good in the end" She averted her gaze as she looked towards the city through one of the many windows "But we could make this world much better, even if people didn't want it to. We could ensure the world will stay green, that there is no global warming, that technology is friendly with the environment and that animals do not disappear... I know Korinna has detached herself much more than I, but neither of us wanted to do more harm than necessary"
"Think about it for a moment"
The tune changed as I started talking, it turned to a more slow and a bit melancholic one, a bit fitting I suppose. When I looked at Song she gave me an innocent look, but unlike nearly everyone in the city, she seemed to know what was going on. I entertained the thought of her knowing about all we had talked about, but I pushed it away for latter.
"You were about to get your father encased in ice, use his empire to build you a reputation and slowly get to rule the world, something that would've been easy by basically buying loyalties with the large fortune you could earn while making people's lives easier with technology" She seemed to nod and smile a bit at that, but it was too easy to strike at it "But then what? Do you think it would go unnoticed to the world once you started with your ploy? While most people prefer to be oblivious, others would notice, and many would want to strike back. It would hurt you, it would hurt your sister, and many people would also suffer either by siding with you or against you. I know you could make this a better place, but one thing humans do not seem to understand is that things have to be done SLOWLY"
Juniper slumped down, not exactly happy at the conversation but at least mulling over what I said "I wonder if you'd say that if you could look at the future"
"You'd be surprised"
She looked at me funny, but I just couldn't repress a chuckle. After that we talked for a while, mostly about what she dreamed to do if she had gotten to rule the world as she wanted. For someone that had almost suffered of megalomania, Juniper seemed to be modest about her dreams of getting robots to help with certain tasks and how technology for slight terraformation could make sure to keep the world diverse but stable.
I had to reprimand her a bit though, every time I fought a robot I had to put my feelings aside to not think about Lyla, Odin or others, one of the worst memories being Geena... She didn't understand me at first, but when I told Juniper about ONE and explained to her how human a 'machine' could be, she seemed to understand, or at least she faked it very well. Of course she could probably read me like a book if she decided to use her mind powers, so it could very well be because of that that she understood what I meant.
A few hours went by before we decided to leave, we even had lunch there before departing. Juniper felt a bit guilty when she told me that she had done all she could to stay on The Bird and the Song for as long as she could, but it was as obvious as day that she wasn't interested in going back to the city. I was not really in the best mood to deal with a lot of people trying to get to prod her either, so I basically offered to show her around my house and get her an space since my nephews weren't there anymore. As we walked away I wondered what Lyla was doing, but Donald's duty was with Juniper today, so things would stay as is for a while.
Posts : 8
Join date : 2013-06-29
Age : 28
Location : Spain
|Subject: Chapter 2 (Second Part) Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:43 pm|| |
***Galen's farm: Around lunch time***
Watching him working on the field had been a bit hypnotic. I am not saying it was interesting, I am saying that it was not what I was expecting. The man had said that this was the closest he could be to one very simple thing he seemed to desire to the point of simply invoking anger when it was mentioned: To be a parent. I thought it would make him show some kind of emotion other than those he admitted to have breed for, but after hours of waiting in the porch of his house, he had shown nothing.
He went to do his job, as a robot, and I meant it as it was intended: As an automaton.
Galen had been polite, more or less, and told me to wait until he had taken care of his field. He had been up and about for hours by the time I came here, but the diligent work he needed to pour on his crops had only been partially completed, and I was sure that what he asked me to do was not exactly been a request as much as it had been an order. The man had something to do, he felt like he had a purpose when he was in the field, in any way you want to take it. It was easy to read he didn't like it as much as he forced to show, but it was a living, and his other way of life, fighting, was not something that he could do anymore if he wanted to live until he was old.
Nonetheless, his focus on his job was enthralling, the same as the first time I saw how simple automatons did their job while being built much like me in many ways. While a human like form was highly ineffective for many kinds of work, it also was appropriate for nearly everything whiteout making it perfect. It also makes people more familiar with us, machines, and thus they alienate us less, if only slightly sometimes. Exactly for that reason, only for that, this was something that made me mind it little to nothing while I watched Galen work without even sweating. It was easy to think that I was closer to a human than he was.
As he turned to give me an expressionless look, not even trying a smile, it made it hard not to shiver. What was worse than look into a mirror to see a monster? It was to look at your father and see one even worse. My creators had made me to be good, better than them, maybe even the next step in humanity's development, a new species made to their image, much like some of the religions said their god developed humanity, though in my case it was technically achieved. But to see humanity do something like this to itself?
Cruelty WAS part of humanity, something I hadn't seen androids possess, unless it was programmed or something went wrong in our cybernetic brains. Geena herself had seen her errors and, unlike most humans, she decided to give everything to change, everything. Donald had been devastated when he saw that, and while humans can change for many reasons, I haven't seen them do it so readily as she did. But to see someone deprived of feelings, of emotions, only giving them enough to be flesh golems for a purpose such as creating pain? It was sickening to hear the story from Eidolon, much worse to see it face to face.
No, I think that is a bad assumption. It was worse to see that Galen didn't care, not that he didn't have feelings towards it, he HATED what had been done to him, but he only knew anger and sadness, and he was not a man to be sad about what had been done to himself. It was because of that, because he could basically only hate it, that he had to simply shrug. If he did something else, then he would go on a rampage. Anyone in his skin would probably do it, but growing only knowing that life probably left even more scars underneath than the ones you could see or been told.
Having your head in the clouds was, also, something very human that shouldn't happen to me, but it was either that, or Galen had moved faster than I could see, which was impossible, because he was in front of me with what seemed like a sincere smile, even if it was a bit weird.
"You had your eyes on the horizon"
"..." I opened my mouth to say something, but realized I hadn't expected that "Sorry, I suppose I almost dozed off a bit"
He nodded in return "Watching me for a few hours isn't probably interesting, I can understand" At least he was like a gentleman when it came to the little things, opening the door as he motioned for me "Ladies first... if you wish to come in"
I nodded and offered a little smile as we got in, he even carried my things even if they didn't weight more than a feather to me, though by what I knew of him it was basically the same for Galen. Still, it was nice to see that, whatever he had been forced through, he did seem to be a nice man, at least when he was calm. It pretty much could be perceived through his house: He was a man of simple tastes and simple pleasures, the TV was there probably for the news and little else, the dining room having little more than a few chairs and a table, dishes and utensils on the kitchen as far as memory told me from yesterday's little visit. He was a fairly organized man.
He offered me a seat and I accepted "Any of the usual drugs?" But he did surprise me I had to admit "As in coffee, tea, soda, etc. Those things are worse than you may think"
"Oh, no, no, thank you" I chuckled a bit, knowing very well what he meant "I am not thirsty or hungry right now"
"Good then" He sat across of me, his bulk making the simple chair creak. It was not supposed to take his frame and weight by the looks of it "Do you want to continue the interview?"
I picked the camera and let it rest on the table after turning it on and recording "Yesterday we had a small... discussion, so let's go to something that would be nicer now ok? Would you like to talk about your friends?"
"What do you want to know?"
Again Galen looked neutral, but it wasn't as obvious as you may think when he was displeased with the subject "Well, yesterday you told us some of your back-story, how horrid it was, but you should tell us WHY it was done" I didn't want to make him think I wanted to know what good could have been done by being so cruel towards simple kids, but the question had to be asked "What you toll us was indeed nightmare fuel, but why did they do it?"
"What did they intend to do with their research?" Galen rested in his seat, the wood creaking dangerously "Truth be told, I could say the good doctor was mad, but it would be unfair to his research" He shrugged for a moment "You know about morality? About justice?" The question was rhetoric as he chuckled a sad laugh "Such lies made by humans to ensnare them to ideals that don't mean anything. Pick the whole universe when it was created, search for the meaning of justice and morality, watch it evolve... and you will see that not even all sentient species have such terms with them. Humanity made them, like some other species, to try and control people, but in truth they are not necessary parts of any society"
"Fran knew about that, and he exploited it" Galen kept on talking, his argument being sensible and true, but it was so because he probably had been in the receiving end of things and knew the truth very well "Most things made by humans do not have to do with nature, and if that is the case, why not better our species with technology? A few sacrifices to be made, morality to destroy, justice to bypass, laws to ignore" A very sad smile crept to his face "We were lab rats, no offense to actual rat researchers out there. We were there to show the world that humanity could be better, if we didn't mind scarifying a few things along the way. It probably would have ended in a war that cost the world dearly if we had just sit down and taken it, obeying the doctor and his cronies, but truth is... Fran has made many people happy now that implants will be common place"
"So you think the doctor did something good even after all he did to you?"
"Good? Well, the creation of implants for those that could not talk, see, move or feel is a good thing. Solution for those with brain damage, recovery for those in a coma, healing for cancer... Thanks to implants and the medicaments that they made, this all will be a reality" Then again he looked at his hands "And the price was only thirty children against billions. Was it worth it?" He didn't let me answer "I will say yes, as much as I hate him, I know Fran did great things, even if his goals were not noble. Then again, noble is a term made by humans, so in nature it means nothing"
A few seconds went by as I thought about the next question, not really wanting to give him any reason to get worked up, though he had answered sincerely "What was your squad supposed to do? I mean, if you had all been 'successes' and the project would have been finished, what do you think your job would have been?"
"Hmm... good question, I am not exactly sure what we were supposed to do" He let his hands rest on the table as he slowly played with his tombs' "We all were being made into combat machines, as such things usually develop people faster that they think. A human fighting in a war will reach the peak of their cunning, strength and reflexes, sometimes even their intelligence too. I dare say we were to be made examples of what could be achieved with his work, but I also fear that we were to be executors of his will at some point if he wasn't stopped"
"I suppose this doesn't take away from the fact that you hate what they did to you" I made a little pause for him to look down and nod slowly "Yet it sounds as if you respect what they achieved"
"Credit must be given when and where credit is due" If there was hints of happiness and contentment in some parts of our conversation when he was actually glad of our talks, this was like barely restrained fury that he did his best to hold at bay "The good doctor was a ruthless monster, but if we take away man made prejudices and ideals? He did a great job, he has saved many lives... But in a personal level? In a personal level I could tell you what I would do to him if I find him, ever, no matter the circumstances, age or status, nothing would stop me for making the rest of his life hell"
That made me worry, mostly because I had other questions that had to be asked "That brings me to another point entirely. Do you think that this has had an impact on you as a person?" His deadpan look was probably calling me stupid "I mean in the way that you can relate to others: Even people heavily harmed in many ways, such as home schooling gone wrong, kidnapping, indoctrination and torture, have had to face life amongst people that had a 'normal' upbringing, at least if they were lucky. What I mean to ask is: Do you think yourself capable of living a normal life amongst us here in Duckburg?"
"..." There was a moment of silence in which he didn't even looked at me "No, I would not be able to do that. Most of those in my group would not be able to do that. Be it for the hell we went by, hell that changed most of them, or because the implants broke us down by pain and fear... none of us could be normal, not even if we tried" Galen lifted his gaze and looked out, towards his crops "I won't lie; I am not sure what kind of person I am. Am I good? Am I bad? I fear of the answer as I was made this thing for the sole purpose of perfecting a madman's dream. That such a dream helped people means little to me. I am happy that our suffering meant something to some people, that it helped, but I do not like people, I hate doctors and I am a killing machine that can be triggered with a few wrong words" He then looked at me "Tell me miss Lay, if you had been made a monster thanks to a monster, what would you do? I know I am not really such a thing, but people will think that, they will look at me and point, humanity is like that, most of them anyway. What chances do I have to live a normal life?"
"I understand you more than you think" The words escaped my beak before I could really think them through, but I did manage to explain "I do not tell people my story, in fact I have few contacts outside of my work, few friends to speak of too... I am not a very sociable person, and why that is? Well, that is something I don't tell unless you really deserve my trust. However I can tell you that you are a good person, and you know why?"
"Hardly" He chuckled "Otherwise I would not doubt myself"
"While others say they are good, and think they are good, you TRY to be good" I smiled as he looked at me, dumbfounded "Do you think that doing your best to be good is what takes to be good? That swearing to serve and protect your fellows is enough? No, it is not quite so. Doing what is right is one thing, many do so, but they do not try, they simply 'do', they do not question it. You? You have a very big dark part of you and you know what it is, but you try to control it, or you would have done something you would regret yesterday because it is basically PART of you. You were supposed to get angry because I did a misstep when talking with you, in fact no one would have been violent in such a case, but they would have been angry and called this off. In your case not only did you refrain from acting as you thought was 'normal', but you also let me come back and talk with you again" I smirked a bit as the hint of a smile crept on his face "Trying is much harder than simply doing, Mr. Galen, it implies that you want, and that you question"
We talked a bit more, making small questions on my side, trying to know the details of how things had worked back in the day for him. He shared information about the ages when the implants were given, and also when most the kids died: Between 5 to 8. Such a horrid display of cruelty and cold blood on the researchers' part... I still wonder how a human could do that. Robots of the initial phase, simple machines, would be hard pressed to be so cruel, if only because they had no conscience or intelligence.
He also shared the designations of two of his best friends: Mindblock and Tactical. Giving also the name of the ne that betrayed his friendship first: Graze. It was at that point when Galen told me, and thus the people as we recorded, that most kids had been psychic capable, meaning that the experiment had started with ten normal kids, two of whom had died, while twenty had been psychics, and they had met a grim end on masse with eight deaths before it was all perfected.
Galen, 'The Exo', was the first to go down the upgrading path. His loss of brain functions, including pain receptors and other 'unnecessary' things such as psychological changes influenced by hormones, had been the cause of not enough practical knowledge, but enough luck for him to survive. Such things had been solved after a few deaths, but certain mental attributes had been strengthened, most times by mistake, but it had happened.
Examples given were Mindblock: Care for the kids had been negligible, at best. The young man had been given implants to strengthen his psychic powers in hopes of getting his defensive nature to show, and they had granted him with the capability to do so, though Galen didn't explain what exactly it did. He said, however, that after the implants most his aggressiveness died, that he became basically a big brother to nearly everyone, that he protected others, and that, as far as he had been told, he was the first to leave because he felt that trying to help everyone had only done more harm during the revolution at the lab.
Tactical had been one of the psychic kids, however he had been one of the two to suffer a psychological backlash because their body rejected it partially. In his case it had burned through parts of his brain that allowed him to use his mind as a weapon, but it in turn made him compatible with the Exoskeleton suits that gave the name to the squad and that were supposed to work with specific members of the group. He turned kamikaze, something in his mind broken because he thought everyone saw him as a failure, or at least that is what Mindblock had concluded, since the implants' original purpose was to make the two friends perfect partners in combat. For that reason both of them were inseparable, even after Tactical changed from a shy kid into a man trying to prove himself even if it meant dying.
Galen admitted that the mental changes were probably premeditated. The loss of power not so much though.
I tried to ask about other friends, or enemies rather. Graze was the only one I got. He had been a bit of a twisted kid at first as far as Galen had seen, and since he had been with everyone more or less as a leader, trying to get them together as a family if possible, he had seen them all grow. Graze had a problem since he was small: He had always been sick and in pain. He had a sickness that the doctors had cured, but a psychic's body is much weaker than most humans, and as such he didn't heal right. When the implants came his brain's only hope was to heal said pain, but at the same time Graze didn't seem to recognize things without pain, his mind twisted to think it was normal. He became taciturn, his psychic powers focused in altering viruses to create painful yet not lethal ones, his eyesight improved and he became a sniper that would incapacitate enemies through infections.
To think that Graze was one of the most 'gentle' of the traitors made me shudder. What kind of powers had been given in exchange of infancy? What kind of strength derived from destroying part of the brain? How could people torture kids until more than a quarter of their lives had been snuffed out, only to get killing machines that ended up either killing or at least condemning them? It happened with animals, it happened with robots, why didn't they see that this would be much worse with people?
So much for a brilliant scientific mind.
And yet Galen seemed to have the only redeeming point in all this as the only reason he didn't end up in a depression. He kept focusing in the fact that some of his friends survived, and that his pain had served as a means to an end: To save and help many people. It showed that he cared, that he was indeed a good man, and he seemed to grow relaxed when he noticed this, something that is not too easy when the only thing you have been trained to understand is war and pain to a great extent. Still, Galen tried, he wanted to be better, and someday he would be able to walk amongst normal people... if said people understood him.
I was partially lying to myself though, I simply hoped for it to be that way. Here everyone treated me right, or mostly everyone. I had friends, I had colleagues, and I knew what I wanted to do with my life, not only serve and protect, but to be a journalist. Was it because I was programmed to be that? At first I thought so, but I did really enjoy it, I had the luck to enjoy what I had been more or less forced to do. In the other hand, Galen didn't. I feel bad for him, for all of his friends that had remained with him until the end. Was it bad for me to do so? Probably not, the only problem was that I was getting involved.
He and his friends sounded much like me and my kind. Whether or not I felt more human, they were like us droids in many ways: They had been 'built' to serve, they had been 'programmed' as their makers saw fit. What was the difference? Odin knew that us droids would get free and have our rights someday, that we would evolve into it, knowing to gauge not only the reasonable options, but also our feelings, as I was able to do now. The Exo Squad? They were probably expected to serve their purpose, die and leave their place to new 'volunteers'. Disposable meat constructs, and Galen voiced his opinion exactly like that.
"And yet..." Not only that, but he looked... sad... tired "I sometimes wonder if that was what would really happen. Did we do wrong? Would we have been freed and our fates made public? I know chances were nearly null, I know I hate them for what they did. But the question as to us doing right or wrong comes to mind"
Of course I knew it would end in a war. I didn't know, ODIN didn't know, how it would end here, though "After what you have told me, the most probably solution is that you all would have been used as war machines" He looked at me, sad still, but hearing me out "You were basically made for that, there was no other logical explanation. Who knows what would they have done to ensure your loyalty if you had not rebelled"
He nodded and looked outside, which surprised me... until I saw that night has already fallen. How many hours of video did we get? Time had basically flied.
"I think we should take some time, maybe talk some more tomorrow. I can still tell you about the professor and other such things that may interest the public. I warn you that I won't talk about our fight, that would probably be much worse than some of the things you have already recorded on camera" I nodded and cut the video as Galen got up. At first I thought he would show me to the door when I got up, but he looked distant for a moment, thinking about something "Say, Miss Lyla... would you think it was bad for me to try to... to try to get what I always desired?"
That made me wonder, and worry about, what he meant "Come again?"
"I told you yesterday that all I wanted was to be a father, right? It has been an obsession of mine since she... lured me" I nodded, now more worried than ever "I do not want to take in a child, much less do the same as the doctor did to us and kidnap" That made me sigh inwardly in relief "But... I found an alternative... and I want the opinion of someone that knows of this"
Curiosity took me on and I nodded when he hinted me to follow him. I wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to show me, but knowing what he said about not being capable of...well, reproducing, I decided to cross the worst possible option, not that I thought Galen could be able to do that. A man capable of killing anyone? That he was, but a man capable of inflicting such torture on someone? I really thought that what would cross most women's minds when confronted with this situation could not apply to him.
Well, I hoped.
Still he looked anxious, and not the same as I had seen in many people that did THAT. There was something he was hiding, and for a man that seemed to give zero care for a story that would label him a monster in front of the whole world, at least at first, this was worrying. If this was dangerous I was as capable of taking care of it as Donald, he already had his hands full anyway, and in the off chance that this was indeed a bad thing, I could do away with it quickly enough.
It didn't appease my mind when we approached a trap door that I had failed to notice before when he showed us around. Granted that the fridge was on top of it, and that it looked like said appliance was perfectly fixated on the wall. I suppose a good craftsman would have noticed, but as it was I hadn't really paid much attention before. Now it was obvious that there were many, and fresh, marks on the ground even before he moved it. Whatever was down there Galen went to check on it frequently, so the worry did start to creep on me once he opened the trap door and motioned me to follow him as he descended to the cellar. Uncharacteristically of these situations, the place was well kept and illuminated.
"I gather you know about the Evronians?" The question seemed frivolous at this point, and rhetorical to both "Being a friend to the Duck Avenger, I highly doubt you don't"
"Yes, yes I do" I wondered what it had to do with this as we took a few turns "Worried about another invasion?"
I had to have found it obvious, in fact I didn't feel really surprised when we ended up in a very well illuminated room in which Galen beamed, he outright beamed. A smile crept into his face as if this was his reason to live when I had once seen people dread coming this close to such things. Of course these pods seemed obloid, perfectly so in fact. They didn't look like the ones we had all seen before, and their coloration was that of an aquamarine instead of, well, looking like giant potatoes and pumpkins. It was as if a huge gem had been planted there, the only thing giving them away being the roots, which were only slightly different in that they were partially crystal like, letting you see some kind of white fluid going through them. In total there were only three pods, instead of the sometimes hundreds located around.
"I found them when I was traveling here" Galen started as he approached the pods, touching them with care even before I could move. I was surprised to see the pod doing nothing when he came close enough for others to attack "They fell from the sky during a meteor shower, I suppose that is why there weren't really many people around. Those that saw them fled, thinking they were those aliens that attacked a while ago. I am not completely sure, even if they look like slightly alike. I wanted to know your opinion on this though"
"My opinion on what?"
"Do they look harmful to you?" When he turned it surprised me. Galen looked... afraid "I have been taking care of them since I came here. It has been excruciating at first, finding the passage made me relax, but it meant hiding them without harming them. One of them suffered a laceration" He moved to one of the three pods, the smallest in fact, to show a large cut on the side "It didn't spew acid or fumes, it didn't do nothing but try to heal. Did I do something wrong?"
Let's admit my first reaction wasn't wise "Did they do something to you?" When he turned, anger in his face, to look at me, I have to admit I cowered "Are you sure those pods didn't do anything to you?"
"Of course they did n...!" His yell didn't catch me as much by surprise as it was simply terrifying on itself. His voice could really boom and his anger could scare anything, however he quickly turned back and faced the pods "No, no, they did do something... I thought that I could raise them, I heard Evronians feed of emotions. I have only two emotions that I know, but since I took them in my care..."
"You have experienced something different, have you?" He looked at the pods intently but nodded "It may be that these Evronians aren't like the others, if we are lucky. They suffered heavy losses, even if they deserved the reprieve they got, the result probably was total extinction" However I and PK had a good enough guess that it wasn't like that, and now the guessing was over. Evronians would emerge from the shadows at some point, it was just that obvious "It may be possible that their advanced species decided to change something, they were good at genetic manipulation"
"It could be... but"
When he gave me such a pleading look, I didn't really know what to say, but I knew what was my duty "I will have to tell the Duck Avenger" Either anger or sadness, and this time it was sadness. Two prominent feelings in a man that was slowly developing everything else if Odin's information was right "But if they are indeed benign, then I doubt he would mind if, let's say, you could 'adopt' them"
Galen brightened up instantly, showing a clear mark of happiness where neutrality with a hint of sadness had been all but obvious a moment before "Are you sure of that?"
"Count this as an experiment by the government" When he tilted his head I tried to explain "As far as it is known Evronians left in good terms with us. If some Evronians had a positive impact on us, like these... blue ones seem to have in you even before they hatched" Though it was not better to call them as Odin had, yet "Let me be direct here: You are a gentle man, but also dangerous. You probably know about Evronian quite a lot, it would be a surprise Dr. Fran didn't prepare you for the worst during your training, and that meant every kind of information possible" It was a big guess, but he did nod "In which case you know how dangerous Evronians can be, and yet you hope to basically adopt the ones that will hatch from these pods"
"Yes... yes I will" He nodded vigorously "I will never have family that carries my blood, but it does not matter to me. I am as alone as a man can be, and all I want is to be a father. Would anyone deny me that after what I have been through?" He shook his head as he patted the pods near him "They have been labeled as monsters, but I am sure it is the same with every single sentient creature: Raise them right, and they will be good people" At that he chuckled "I said that there were terms used by humans... but it is true that we tend to look up to them. If I show these three to uphold them, people may let them live in peace"
"And thus you too?" I really didn't know why I uttered those words, but I did.
"..." A flinch made me think that I had either hurt him or angered him, but he did answer "Maybe"
"Understand my worry please" I was not about to destroy what little good I had done talking with him by just some words that had decided to slip "Evronians have been a danger. I do not want anyone to get harmed, you included"
Galen smirked and gave me a look "You said you understood me. How much do you understand me, Miss Lay?"
"More than you'd think" Was my honest answer.
"Then you probably understand why I wouldn't mind to risk myself" I did nod at that "In that case I don't mind if you bring your friend, but please, make sure to give me a chance"
"Believe me, I am of the mind that everybody needs at least one" I gave him a gentle smile "Rest assured, I will do my best"
We parted afterwards as he accompanied me, ensuring to close the hidden path after we got out. He even waved goodbye this time, and seemed calm unlike yesterday. I had to wonder if I had blurted a few things out because of my feelings... because I was more than a bit angry at him, at least in part.
He had had a very rough life, he had been 'constructed' like me, but unlike me, he had gotten free. Was it bad to envy him for what he had NOW? Of course I did not want to have suffered as he had during his early life, but to have things as he would now? A good psychologist, a good medic and some time would make him a perfect normal man. He could adopt someone and probably meet a good woman along the way if he wanted to. What did I have? I had a crush that wasn't going to go anywhere, there was no need to talk about it. I could not adopt anyone, it was simply against the Time Police's rules, it was against the Droids' rules and I had no time for it even if no one came knocking at my door for a reality check if I was so stupid as to try.
I almost crashed while driving down the road simply because of those thoughts, but was it so bad to want a normal life? To be normal? Galen would take some time, but he would achieve it, he could have everything, and yet he thought that he didn't belong. Was it because of his story? Most certainly, but time heals wounds, physical or not. With time all would get better for him, even if he tried to do something as reckless as trying to raise those Evronians... if he didn't mess it up at least.
But what about me? What about the android?
I had friends, I had work, I had duty.
I had nothing that I wanted... nothing but that friendship.
Stopping a couple of streets away from home, I got down and decided to turn one single immunity down for the count as I headed towards a place that I didn't exactly go to all that much.
As I opened the door to the bar I simply thought 'Time to forget'
*** Donald Duck's house. Around 22:00 more or less ***
It had been remarkably fun I have to admit. Juniper had helped me move a few things as, 'surprisingly', someONE had sent whatever Juniper had owned in the past to my house. It all went along smoothly, mostly because my nephews' room was basically devoid of things at this point, whatever they couldn't carry or store away they sold to make up for their traveling expenses at first. Not that Juniper needed that much space really: A wardrobe, cupboard, a bed and the bathroom implements, she didn't really need to take anything else, in fact she wasn't given any other thing by 'whomever' had sent us her equipment.
After I had helped her and the workers move everything Juniper had basically shut herself in. It wasn't exactly fun back then, but she decided to come out and talk to me by the time I was taking a break playing one of those games my friend Mickey had licensed. This one had to do with an ugly witch throwing poisoned apples at him to kill Mickey, whom was in an epic quest.
The game was very simple, made for the Arcades in fact, but it was balls to the wall hard (Can I say that in public? Hmmm...). Juniper admitted that she hadn't had any kind of videogame since she was a child, not really going for gaming stations here on Earth when she was awake. When I handed her the controller everything went to hell as we suddenly started a competition to see who would reach the highest score.
We shared things while we played, not much to make it relevant really, but we did talk. Lost in talking and games as we were, we ordered pizza and decided to take it easy. As fun as it was, and as relaxed as Juniper seemed, she asked if she could retreat early today and, this took me by surprise, if she could visit the game store at the Duckmall tomorrow.
I did nod and she smiled at me, going so far as to give me a kiss on the cheek.
When she left I rubbed that cheek, flustering as if I was a damn teenager. Only one woman had ever kissed me since Daisy, and it had been Tempest. I remember when Juniper told me she had a crush on me, and I do know that Tempest was... more than friendly towards me. Tempest had been the only one I had been tempted to talk with for a long while about my loneliness, I still was, because no matter what someone else thought, that was the only working relationship I saw possible without messing up too much.
Now Juniper was in my house, and as I thought about it, I found problems. She was attracted to me, even after what happened. It was not necessary to have powers to see it. She had been at ease around me, even taking in when I didn't like something that she had said. It was not exactly respect, much less fear, but it was obviously that she was trying to impress me, or at least call to my attention.
Others may think I don't pay attention to these things, but I do, more than many others. I will be direct: I pay attention because I WANT attention. I messed up once, and I miss her, but I... don't want to be alone. I grew up to love her as much as she once loved me, so much that she would have died for me, as I would do for her. She broke my heart, but I broke hers. But now that I was alone, I wanted someone that could understand me and know about me. Tempest was one, and with Juniper back, there was another.
Would she confirm that she was interested in me or was I seeing things? It was very probable. It was not something I was willing to admit after all. I was independent, I had made stupid mistakes wishing to have Daisy back and feeling depressed, I would probably mess it up if I asked Tempest out, and I knew SHE had feelings for me... I had feelings for her too. But I was torn.
From us three I was the only one that had messed up my own life instead of suffering from things done by others to me without me acknowledging them. I decided to be PK, I went out trying to save people. Tempest had been a soldier and Juniper had been kidnapped to save her from turning into an unfeeling and power hungry monster.
Tempest thought she knew me very well, and she knew what Daisy had done. Juniper probably did know me better, but expressing herself without trying to take what she wanted without manipulation was something new to her.
Would I be able of doing the right thing and not messing either of their lives if they were really interested in me like that? I highly doubted it, I doubted it so much that it made me fear what I could do. I had been independent, I really didn't need anyone but those that were there to help me protect the city. I had nearly abandoned Daisy just for that. What would I do if I regained a mate, someone to be with at all times? Leave her behind because I didn't want her hurt? Lie to her? Desire, denial and fear, such a good mix.
Maybe it was that the reason I was taking a drink, alone.
Darn I need to set things straight, but how? Taking another drink in the kitchen I decided to stop and head to bed. A lot of my life had returned, I could easily get things in place and return to how things were.
Just a night of rest, a week or two, things would be alright.
*** Biggs' place: An hour latter ***
It was very late, I had slept for hours and finally had decided to first prepare myself a meager meal, that tasted like what normal people here would call heaven, and then get some of his clothes on me. They didn't exactly fit well (understatement), but a white shirt and jeans were better than being nude when he came back, besides they were more or less the right size, maybe a bit small for my taste but all right.
The longer he took the more worried I was, but he was right during the morning talk: I was weak, in fact I was craving another long sleep, and that is coming from someone that has slept in the sewers or has had to run for her life more than once. Sickness was, and is, a weakness to every single person, no matter status or species.
I hated being sick.
Reading some of his books on medicine relaxed me though, it helped me pass the time, even if human knowledge in how the body worked still lacked something... Not that they were that far, but a few more tweaks here and there and they could be much more healthy and long lived. Of course that made me think back to the little story and that Dr Fran. Brrrr! Being a tyrannical overlord? Well, I could do that, I could subjugate everyone without killing a single soul. Executing experiments on children and kidnapping them? That... that had been done in our world more or less. I would never do that, I would do things BETTER.
As an afterthought: This house was simple but cozy. Maybe I could get Biggs to help me out? It had been so long since I had been in a real house with someone that didn't want to outright throw me out, or do so if I touched something he didn't want me to.
I closed the book as my mind wandered back to the kids once again.
I was crying, I was crying indeed. What did I do wrong? Seriously! Someone has to tell me!!! What did I do wrong in all of this? Where did things start to make me look like a monster?! Did I seriously appear to be an unfeeling mistress to the kids? Did I seriously get attached to such an extent to the pair of brats?! In truth is... I was, I could be in denial all I wanted, but it was of little use if I had tried to take away all my anger and have it replace with love for those kids I took care of. As brief as it was, that had been the one only real moment of respite I had found.
And I had fucked it up.
"I am home"
I quickly dried my eyes as Biggs came with a very tired look in his face, still wearing cap and glasses. He only took off the latter when he sat near me "Sorry, the boss decided to make me pay for being very late. At least it seems you got yourself some clothing and probably feasted on what little I had, right?"
"You said to get comfortable" I smirked and he returned the smirk before turning serious "Is there... a problem?" Something was telling me that it wasn't a problem for him, not completely at least.
"Well, it occurred to me that I don't know your name really" He offered a very weak smirk that was hiding something in such an obvious way "I do not mind letting you live here for as long as you need, and since you haven't gone away it seems we should know each other better"
Crap, crap, crap. I knew before I opened my beak that it was a mistake. I could have lied, I could have done my darnest to fight whatever powers he had, hell, I could have said the truth. Instead I lied, I lied with something I had already used before. He turned more than serious, in fact I could feel he was disappointed. I was weakened, not blind, nor an idiot. But I panicked... he would probably forgive me if I say the truth, yet I lie to him? He admitted that he cared for anyone, he would have heard me out! And what did I do? Dig my grave
"Is something the matter?"
Dig it deep.
"She is Judith Taylor"
When he took a photo from his pocket I turned pale, when he showed that blonde with blue eyes my sweat turned cold. For some reason what worried me more than anything was the fact that I had basically thrown myself away from a person that hadn't really cared whether or not I was dangerous, someone that hadn't asked a thing from me, someone GULLIBLE enough to follow me without me using my powers.
"She recovered her memories around a year ago, the same time that Korinna Ducklair, alongside her family, disappeared" Biggs took the photo back to his pocket, not before I saw it whole, not before I saw her with the two kids I once took care of "Usually it would only make me think of you as someone that steals identities, as the description she gave me is the same as the one my nephews and my brother have of you" That shocked me a bit as he gave me a sad smile "I am one of the lucky ones as I told you. I know my real name: Bernard 'Biggs' Fletcher. You worked for my brother and took care of his children, very well I might add"
I was at a loss "What... I... I... I should go away..."
When I got up Biggs, or Bernard, I wasn't sure which name he preferred, took my hand gently "Tell me. Are you Korinna Ducklair?"
I was incapable of looking at his face, but at least I managed to talk once again, at least more or less decently "You already know, don't you?"
"Let's say that while my mind is made for defense, it was far too inviting to take a peek at someone else that is a psychic" A knowing smile crept on the edge of his mouth "Or better say more? Even unconsciously you kicked me off your mind far too quickly, and I have to admit it was also unconscious of me to prod. Want it or not, we all had been trained to be machines and to only respect our doctors and their goons. Old habits die hard" He shrugged "Please, sit down"
Again I sat, looking at him with a bit of fear in my eyes. If he did that without me knowing then it meant that I was indeed very weak, or worse yet... I had harmed myself more than I thought. Indeed! When I thought back at yesterday, during the night, I had exerted myself out of anger. I was not only feeling extremely ill, and in fear, just because I had an infection... I had an infection and I had forced myself too much because I had been swallowed by anger. Luckily I was already weak enough or probably the ceiling would have caved in. It didn't give me all that much comfort if Biggs knew more than I wanted.
"I will say that I saw many bad things" Which he did "But I still don't know the whole story" Partially "I, however, saw enough to know you want revenge... and power" And it wasn't the part I would have preferred "Yet I won't stop you from whatever you want to do"
I looked at him, dumbfounded "I will be straightforward" He got comfortable and rested his head on his hands as he looked at me in a way that made me feel uncomfortable "I will help you get a job around here, I will allow you to live in my house and we will make some ground rules. I got this as a bargain, in fact you could say this great place costs only a third of what it should in any normal city in the world, this is how CHEAP everything is in Duckburg compared with some other places just because of the danger. However while I will not rat on you or control you, I will be very clear: Whatever you do, if you harm one of my friends, I will make sure you regret it"
I frowned, threatening me had been all but a good idea to those that tried "You are threatening me now?"
"On the contrary" His smirk was cruel this time, but not cruel in the sense that someone would take satisfaction on hurting another, oh no, it was cruel in a complete different way "You hurt what I love and care for? Then I will do the same with you. You probably think you don't have anything like that right now, but give it time, live your life, do as you please... and when the moment arrives, if you screw up, you will know what I mean"
With that he got up and left. Probably he was not in the correct mindset to talk anymore. Good, because I wasn't either. Males in our world were considered weak, and mentally weak they were in Earth too. Whatever people would say, every subspecies of human had their own strong point, the most obvious being black people: Great physical capabilities, much better than most. Women were the opposite gender and while they lacked strength, they had better speed and a stronger mind. Biggs? Biggs and his friends were, at least if they all shared certain traits, much more dangerous.
He had given me free reign on what to do, but he had also told me I would regret it. It was not like my father, he hadn't given me a choice, only a punishment. Instead I had a choice: Do things the right way and not screw with anyone I didn't need to, or... or what? I had nothing to lose right now. And yet...
What if I had something to lose further down this path?
The sofa would be a good listener for my troubles, maybe tomorrow would have some answers.
*.* End of Chapter 2 Notes *.*
Well, well, what do we have here? Seems everyone is a mess isn't it? Juniper has lost what she thought that she didn't want and she seems to have turned into a nervous wreck... or has she? Korinna is trying her best at anger and megalomaniac management, will she succeed? Well, most probably she will screw up, this is a story out of a comic after all, but meh, who knows, right? >:3 Jes, I am ivul.
What about Donald and Lyla? Well, the former seems to still have problems with his depression and he seems to have some delusions and some internal struggles, also probably a problem with alcohol. The latter sees someone that has gone through hell and could POTENTIALLY turn for the better, yet he thinks he will not and instead turns to the extreme for something he wants and that he can have, in fact he could have much easier, and yet he risks it all for god knows what. She is not happy and, unluckily, she feels more like a human that she may really think.
What about the new character? Take a medic and twist his mind a bit, you should know how things can go. Angus is still a pain in the ass and things are moving along bit by bit. Though even ONE seems to have his own problems to deal with.
Also what is with that girl at the new joint our people have gone to two days in a row? Well, I probably will be using that place a lot more, just FYI.
More old characters will appear in the next chapter (and it will be done when it will be done x3). But as a side note, two things: This chapter has a total of 19.781 words and thanks to Madam Eccentric for poking at me :3 Comments make me work fasta! Like if I was painted red! (Long live the orks yay :3!)
Posts : 126
Join date : 2013-05-13
Age : 20
Location : Hitchhiking around the Galaxy
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:03 am|| |
Oh, that was good, I enjoy the emotional angst for Korinna and Juniper, I believe too Juniper is the most weakest towards turning over a leaf too U u U
Biggs is a cool twist too! I did not see that relationship between him and the fletchers coming at all!
I was wondering too if you'd put more Everett in here, like his reunion with his adoptive parents?
Im glad I could help you out with motivation, I understand the need for feedback too. And if you need any help, such as beta reading or some to put the plot by, I can help you if you like. I do it for another fellow PKNA love here too.
I cant wait for the next chapter!
|Subject: Re: Sense of Displacement Today at 7:46 am|| |