There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
It had all finally come to fruition.
After nearly a year of work, Maker had finally put together the pieces, signals and wiring that he needed to rectify. He’d hoped that the Dread Master’s plans would result in him acquiring such a specimen but there was never any guarantee. After all, it seemed the triplicate-branched scheme had been one path corrupt, with Scourge going into business for himself and undoing the work of his former organization. It was expected, as far as Maker was concerned. The dastardly icon of the shadow organization had been fraying on the edges for quite some time, seemingly giving into a not-so-hidden bleeding heart. He’d even thrown what amounted to a tantrum at Maker, demanding to know why he’d made a move on Vandrad without strict approval.
Well, he’d had his reasons and the Dread Masters would hardly understand, even as they did the work of something beyond themselves. Nonetheless, the Master of the Ark had aligned himself with Vandrad and decimated a decidedly large portion of the Dread Master’s standing forces. Most likely in retribution for Mercury’s unexpected demise. The Terran smiled softly in ironic amusement, even as he watched his machine finish their work. How amusing it would be then to see their faces when they looked upon her visage, standing beside him in total submission. Well, perhaps not total; part of what made Mercury’s efforts so outstanding was her demeanor. If he simply wanted a powerful slave to obey his every order and word without question or comment, he had several other lackeys waiting. No, he’d recognized rather quickly that part of the Xocili’s charm, as it were, was her mannerisms. It would twist the knife even further in both Scourge and Vandrad, keeping them off base and presenting plenty of openings to eliminate them for good. The very image brought a deep satisfaction to Maker.
But now was hardly the time to comment on hypothetical erections. With the last few adjustments made, the multitude of mechanical arms lifted away from the subject and went idle. Maker approached the unconscious form, unmasked but not unguarded. If there was any resemblance between Maker and Blade, it was long in the past. The Terran’s skin was a deep emerald shade, without blemish and seemingly smooth. His hair had been styled into a mohawk, as white as unstained snow. Piercing silver eyes regarded the refurbished body of Mercury as his hand reached out, landing gently on her lower leg. Slowly he walked alongside her, his hand trailing up the limb and over her body, fingers tracing over her flesh. It was not a scientific examination and while his hand never closed over any portion of her body, it was clear that he was touching her just for the sake of feeling her.
Finally he pulled his hand away as he walked over to a nearby workbench and lifted up a remote. It had taken him some time to craft a device that could, in equal parts, keep Mercury under his control while preventing her from overtaking his work. The Xocili were regarded as the pinnacle of biology and technology, a living mecca of two estranged worlds meeting in harmony. Based on his analysis and examination, there was no telling how advanced the decryption needed to be to keep her out. That’s why he had been extra cautious in the preparation of his device, as well as the programming in her inner computing. There was no room for error or he would find himself a fight that he truly didn’t wish to partake in.
He toggled the device on, even as he pressed a few buttons on a nearby keyboard. Initiating lockdown protocols, lasers clicked to life on the table and wrapped around the body’s wrists and ankles, strapping her down to the table. With her as secured as she could be, he flipped another switch on the device and then, with only a moment’s hesitation, pressed the button to reactivate her.
On the other side of the world, a different kind of interaction was about to take place. Gren Ragnos was sitting at a desk, holding a book in one hand while another was resting on the desk next to the Fraedal codex. There wasn’t an official name for the tablet-portioned ‘book’ that had helped them learn more about Vriko. Based on the limited amount of information he had learned about the book, as it had refused to answer any other questions, he had given it a name himself.
In truth, there wasn’t much he could do with it. The book was almost sentient in a way, willing to answer questions when it ‘felt’ like it. But he was unwilling to just sit back and wait for it to pop to life and provide an explanation. The former Knight wasn’t very good at staying inactive, which is why Themesycia had designed and designated the office he was in as his. It seemed, even before their recent coupling, that she’d already understood that Gren would be around more often, now that he and Vandrad had met and gotten to know one another. It was a rather homely little office, complete with the most up-to-date equipment that jewel could buy. There was a couch, a few chairs, a wine cooler and even an all-in-one exercise machine in case he ever felt compelled to a quick workout. And in truth, he had just finished a quick workout break; he was dressed in a gray tank-top and a pair of workout shorts.
Mercury hadn’t been at the forefront of his mind at the moment but she certainly had a lot. Ever since their mission to save her from space, she had been heavily relying on Vandrad as support. Of course, it wasn’t like she was ignoring him but she’d needed the solid foundation that was her fiance. He knew, of course, that she was hurting but out of respect for both her and his son, Gren hadn’t pushed or pried. If she felt compelled to talk to him of her own accord, he would be ready and waiting but until then, he would treat her and talk to her the same as before. Truthfully, he’d been so caught up in helping Vriko and the rebudding romance with Themesycia to put too much focus on Mercury anyways.
Still, there was no denying that he missed her. Despite how taboo it was, they’d crafted their own form of romance and it was safe to say that while she joked about him being her boyfriend, it was far more accurate than many probably wanted to admit outloud. Even he, in his most private moments, wasn’t sure how to reconcile the complicated feelings he had for her. Polyamory was one thing but sharing a love for a woman with one’s own child was complicated at best, scandalous at worse. Of course there was no judgment from the people of Rhaegar, who probably thought it was more commonplace than anything else. But for him, a human raised on Earthland, it was hard for him to admit, even to himself, that he loved Mercury. He didn’t seek to steal her away, despite their late-night, impassioned teases, but the truth was that the heart wanted what it wanted and there wasn’t much he could do about it. Alas, he gave a quick shake of his head and refocused, trying to distract himself with work rather than his own inner monologue.
Words: 1244 | Tag: @Saffron Remington | marzia at shine & gs.