"Let machinery fake my place, who has time to chase. Digital is where it is. Love can always be replaced. Welcome to my consciousness. Welcome to our race. Everything is never quite enough."
Everything (is never quite enough) - Diop, Wasis
Heero lay in front of me, his arms loosely clasping my waist, his eyes closed, breathing deep and even with sleep. My hand went to his face, stroking one of those high cheekbones, tracing the bone structure. His lashes flicked, eyes twitching beneath them, and they opened.
Blue eyes met my own, soft sapphire.
"Yes?" he sounded sleepy, dreams still tying him to oblivion.
I wiggled my hand in front of his eyes, and they opened wide, disbelief filling them. "Wha-"
"Bell?" and in my mind I heard a tinkle of laughter, like a crystal being struck softly. His voice seemed far away, chimes ringing in a sunlit field.
"Another option," the whispered words came from Heero's lips, and he looked surprised, trying to stare at his own mouth, or so it seemed. "What the-"
"Bell is inside of you, I don't know how." But I realized even as I said it, that I knew why. And I knew why we'd kissed, why we'd touched. He'd been trying to see if I would be willing. "I can touch you this way, I don't know how. Heero," the universe felt lighter around me suddenly, my soul lifting.
"You," his voice caught, blue eyes filling, "I can see you."
And when our mouths met, I could taste his tears.
I awoke to the sound of a scream, sitting up in bed and nearly falling out of it as I did. A grumbled moan from beside me caught my attention.
"What now?" Heero sighed, sitting up slowly, hair a dark halo about his face.
"I'm not sure, that sounded like one of the pirates though."
"Why in the universe would one of them be screaming?" Already he was sliding out of bed, tugging on a pair of pants, and glancing about for his boots.
I groaned, "Who knows? But I'm loath to find out." My pants were in a small heap by the bed, boots sitting haphazardly near the door. I sat down by them, sliding on the pants, my eyes on Heero's back.
A chime sounded, Khali's voice interrupting the near silence with an urgent tone, "Meeting in the Ararium, something strange is afoot."
"Since when is a foot something strange?" Heero asked in a puzzled voice, glancing at me with eyes gone blue.
And then I recalled the night and all that had transpired, seeing Chang, throwing myself nearly out of the ship, Bell's kisses - his sacrifice. And Heero, his tears of happiness, his caresses in the darkness of our room, and at long last, sleep, sweet and dreamless. "Something has happened, and I bet it has to do with that Wufei doppelganger from last night. We'd better get going."
My gaze was still directed towards Heero when he responded, his eyes briefly glowing sapphire. "What you saw last night was no illusion, but it was also not your old friend." And then the glow was gone; Heero's eyes normal in the light of the room. "That might get annoying," he said, rolling them and grimacing. His face stilled, as if listening to someone I could not hear. "Yes, alright, I think I'll survive," he muttered peevishly, glancing over at me where I stood waiting by the door.
"Yes, He reminded me that this is only a temporary situation, until you learn to control the energy with more skill," he blushed slightly, "his words, not mine."
"I understand, and it's alright Heero. Let's get a move on, I'm curious as to what's happened now."
He nodded, clasping my hand and tugging me from the room, his stride quick and assured. "Whatever it is, I'm almost positive it has nothing to do with a foot."
It's funny how wrong we can be sometimes.
"A footprint?" Heero still couldn't seem to get over that fact.
"Yes, we found it on the way to eat, Khali says it doesn't seem to match any of ours. Which means someone else is onboard with us, someone we don't know about." Milyardo frowned, forehead wrinkling in thought. "But she doesn't detect any other lifeforms onboard with us, so all we have to go by is that single footprint.
"Why only one?" I asked from my perch beside Khali and Heero. Khali seemed to accept the fact that Bell was not there, almost as if she knew exactly where he was. And for all I knew, she did.
"It has a phosphorescence that can't be seen by humans." Treize spoke up from his seat beside Milyardo, winking at me as if to clarify the matter. "And it was the only whole and clear footprint left. We followed the phosphorescence but could find no other intact marks."
"Strange," murmured Heero, "can Khali bring up a shot of it?"
"Of course I can," two voices responded in tandem.
An image of a three-dimensional footprint glowed in front of us, each whorl of it crisp and softly green.
I caught Milyardo tilting his head to one side, 138's tiny furred face beside his ear. He nodded, features becoming concerned. "You did what?" he said at last in a startled voice.
"Well, it seems our little Youlin has a lot of talent," he glanced at 138, "is it all right if you make it come out of hiding?"
"Yes," the tiny body seemed to shiver, and then 138 produced a sound I'd never heard before, a soft cry that seemed almost hollow, as if coming from a much larger throat.
The room stilled and then a noise came from one of the hallways, the sound of bare feet. I knew before I saw it, that it was Chang, or at least, something that looked like my old friend.
"It's a robotic simulator-hologramic," Treize whispered, eyeing the naked form appreciatively as it entered the room and stood before us.
"How in the universes did you manage that, 138?" Heero asked, looking impressed.
"Khali had all the necessary parts, and Mr. Chang has instilled all knowledge of the databanks of the Lucious Corporation within me as well as his own full biorecords and DNA map."
"He did what!" I yelled, surprised that Wufei could, let alone would do such a thing. Not only was it illegal, but if he were ever caught filtering information from the Lucious Corporation, they'd have him dead in an instant.
Khali had leapt from her perch at the first sight of the thing. She tilted her head to one side, poking the point where ear met neck. "Very nicely done 138. I'm surprised you managed this so quickly."
"So quickly?" I asked in surprise, "you knew about this?"
"Of course," she shrugged, holding out her hand to the tiny animal that still sat on Milyardo's shoulder. 138 jumped, circling her thumb with its paws and touching the Chang doppelganger as well.
"It did come out nicely, didn't it?" the small furred face seemed to smile, pride showing in the tilt of its whiskers. "Mr. Chang would be pleased."
"He told you to do this? But why?" I couldn't seem to grasp that Wufei would really go this far, defy all known law.
There were reasons that making such a machine was illegal. Long ago, when gene splicing and crèche births had first begun, other scientific quests were taken up. One was to find a way to live forever; mankind had always sought to live an unending life. What had startled everyone was that they had found a way to do it.
It had been so simple, the solution staring them in the face at every turn. Take a DNA map, a complete biorecord of the subject and mix with one part robot, two parts manmade biotissue, and a large helping of hologram for those hard to handle situations, and viola, instant reincarnation of yourself.
There had just been one tiny problem. The universe didn't seem to take too kindly to the recreation of someone who was already alive, something misfiring within. If the subject were still alive, and ever met itself, something triggered a collapse within both, destroying them equally. Unfortunently, the creators had found this out the hard way, creating themselves *before* they died.
The Lucious Corporation owned all rights to the process, they also happened to own nearly all the blueprints to most modern computers and robotics. The first order of business after the deaths of some five hundred thousand people had been to make the process completely controlled, and illegal to all but their own scientists. Very few had bothered to try in the years to follow.
Except that now, someone had defied the law, and it just so happened I was sitting with the product.
"Mr. Chang did not want to be left out of such proceedings as we have experienced. So far, I have managed to record and conserve all that has transpired, but I have been running out of memory, and decided to open space by deleting the records that held the knowledge of how to build Mr. Chang's copy. First however, I had to build him before I could erase that memory."
"So it's gone now?" Treize asked sharply, the light of wealth shining in his eyes.
"Yes, now that Mr. Chang is complete all records have been erased," 138 seemed to smile, "but Mr. Chang still recalls."
And then our attention turned to the robotic simulator-hologramic, and he smiled. "It's true, I do remember. Though I also remember enough to know better than to tell some low-life pirate." He grinned, winking at me.
It was as if my friend had never left, or more nearly, like I myself had never left. But there I stood universes away, and facing what felt like home. His wit and dark humor were still there, every nuance of gesture, each facial tick, and twist to his lips and eyes. "Wufei?"
"As ever I could be, as ever I will be," he answered in a solemn voice, meeting my gaze steadily, dark eyes focused and aware.
"He stays with me," 138 growled, glaring at me from across a table full of food.
We'd talked for a while about the Wufei copy and its ramifications, eventually journeying down within the ship to have some nourishment. The little eating room had become the size of a field, a large porthole opening onto the blackness below the ship.
"I will not be separated from him any longer."
I never realized how attached the small Youlin was to its creator. Apparently, Chang had instilled within the tiny creature an unbreakable love; a need to have its creator near at all times. How 138 had survived so long away from Chang was a wonder.
"All right," I glanced over at the copy, watching as he sipped at a glass of Hisle juice. "Is that alright with you…" I paused, unsure of how to address him.
"Chang will suffice, my friend," he met my eyes meaningfully, smiling a grim little smile. "I am for all intents and purposes Mr. Chang."
"Yes," but it still seemed strange to see him like this. At least he'd found some pants though.
"Don't we get some say in this?" Treize interrupted, gesturing with a hand full of Kindal slices.
"Yes, after all 138 does sleep with us," Milyardo agreed, snagging a slice from the Raskuda's grasp.
For some reason, 138 seemed upset by the idea of leaving the two pirates, torn between its need to be near its creator and its need to be near them. A bond had obviously formed between the Youlin and Milyardo, for even as the small creature sat near Wufei it stared longingly over at the blond man.
"Would you mind, Mr. Chang?" 138 asked in a whispering voice, staring down at its miniscule toes.
For a long silent moment, I thought he would refuse. He looked up, meeting the eyes of the two pirates, weighing them with his gaze. "Separate beds, if you please." And his lips twisted into a smile.
Much later I lay next to Heero in the darkness of our room, our hands entwined, fingers locked together.
"Are you still awake?"
I rolled over slightly, resting my head on a warm and smooth shoulder. "As much as I'll ever be."
"I've been thinking, about the copy of Chang."
"Understandable, what have you been thinking about it?"
"If we ever go back to Zephlid, both will die."
"Only if they meet," I could see where he was going with this, or so I thought.
"If the universe abhors copies, why does it allow Bell? Or Khali for that matter?" he whispered, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and tugging me closer still.
"There are differences, it is a matter of creation, of mindset. Bell is different from me in too many ways, he is himself, and always will be. As for Khali, one is in human form while the other is still the ship, technically they are one person."
"And Chang? What will become of him?"
"I don't know, but I do know this. There is a solution, somehow, he will survive."
"And us? What about us?"
"What about us?" I smiled slightly in the blackness. "We have no fears, no greater worries. We too will survive whatever is thrown at us, we too will overcome all."
He breathed in deeply, exhaling against my neck and standing the tiny hairs there on edge. "Sometimes I wonder if we truly will."
There was a brief flash of blue behind my closed eyelids and I wondered if that had been Bell speaking. It was difficult getting used to the idea that Bell and Heero were sharing a body, if not a mind. I kept wondering what Bell was thinking, whether he could see what Heero was thinking. I also wondered what they would feel and think if I initiated a little pleasure before sleep. And more importantly, what I would feel and think. Would it be uncomfortable?
Certainly, the night before I'd felt very at ease within Bell's embrace, but today was a new day. And in the soft lighting of the ship, reality seemed more sharply defined. What had felt so right the night before now seemed somehow off, perhaps even wrong.
"But what has changed?"
This time I knew it was Bell speaking, I didn't even need to see the glowing blue of Heero's eyes to know that he'd taken over for a moment.
"Nothing and everything, by having sex with Heero, by default I would be having sex with you. I'm suddenly not so sure that would be wise. Would it affect my relationship with him? Or you?" I opened my eyes, meeting the sapphire ones so close to me. "I've only ever been with Heero, but if I take this step, I will have been with you as well. In a way it seems like I am being unfaithful."
"And what would stop this feeling?" He leaned closer, mouth a mere inch away, he was smiling.
"To know that any change that may come from it, will not harm what I have now." I couldn't seem to resist, closing the distance and softly pressing my mouth to those upturned lips. "Can you reassure me off that?"
The glow died, and I received a kiss in response. "Bell does not understand Duo, but I think I do." Heero sighed, rubbing his forehead against my cheek. "I can only reassure you that I cannot stop loving you, is that enough?"
Was it? Would it matter if I had sex with him like this? Would everything change? Would anything at all change? "There's no way of knowing until I try."
"Is that a yes?"
"I think so," I whispered in response, feeling my stomach begin to quiver at the thought of what would happen next.
Heero's eyes glowed again, "I think I know something that may help you," Bell said, and I realized I was looking at Bell, and not Heero.
"What'd you do?"
"Just a little projection, perhaps it will help you to know we're both here. What we're both feeling and thinking."
As I watched, Bell's image seemed to melt and shift, becoming Heero's features once more. It was confusing, and yet Bell had been right. It was somehow more comfortable that way.
It felt like Heero no matter what I saw, and if I closed my eyes, I was able to forget for a moment that anyone other than Heero was there at all. Each kiss felt the same, just right, hot, and sultry. It made my head spin, the sensation of his mouth on my skin, melting away any thought I had. A bite to the collarbone, a nibble against my neck, and then he was moving on, slowly, languorously.
Minutes passed, and then what seemed like hours, my clothes easing down my body only to be tossed against the wall, forgotten heaps. His fingers traced patterns, painted pictures, and stroked colors against the backs of my eyelids. Each touch was heat and cold, and I relished it all, remembering it for a day that I might not feel it anymore.
"It's always so bitter-sweet," I found myself saying softly in the dark, reaching out a hand, clutching at the back of his neck and tugging him upwards. It shocked me to see Bell's image staring back at me, and then it melted, shifting and becoming Heero's face. They smiled down at me, gentle upturns of their mouths, echoes of one another. "Surreal," I muttered, closing my eyes again and shutting out the changing view. The erection between my legs throbbed once and then twice, it didn't care whether my thoughts were in turmoil. All it knew was pleasure; all it wanted were unending touches.
"Like this?" asked Bell, a hand sliding down my stomach and wrapping around my length, giving it a squeeze, a chuckle following my reaction.
Heero's voice then, "He also likes this…" and kisses fluttered against my ribs, tongue and teeth sliding around and down, and swallowing.
He was right of course, I did enjoy that, just as I loved the way his hands slid up, parting ways over my stomach and reaching for my own hands. I could feel his hair brushing my abdomen, his breathing steady and warm against me. And then the world began to shift, slide with each movement of his mouth and tongue; it misted over and flew with each gasp. The energy was building like a tide against a weak set of floodgates, waiting to spill outwards and destroy all in its path.
The word "no," seemed frozen on my lips, unable to leap into the room and join us. It was too late, the energy waves cresting with each swell of impending orgasm.
But something new happened, instead of the usual uncontrollable escape, the energy seemed to slide into place. Form itself, and create something different than before. It was as if it were mere building blocks, a useful tool.
In my mind, I could see it spanning the space outside the ship, a streak of blue in the blackness. It spun through stars and journeyed, a beam of pure light that traced a map through the universe. There was no destruction, no death or mishaps. It merely traveled, gently swimming through the darkness.
When I again became aware of the bed beneath my back, I was being lifted, wings limp behind me, arms bonelessly pulling Heero closer. My legs seemed to slide perfectly in place, mouth easily seeking and finding his. I could taste myself on his tongue, our labored breathing an accompaniment like music.
"How was that?" Bell whispered, smiling mouth tracing mine.
"Very good," I sighed, loving the feel of his skin sliding along my own, silk and steel. "But what else can you do?"
A pause, as if wondering himself what it was he could do with me. I opened my eyes, watching the expressions flit across Bell's features. I realized then, seeing the confusion, he had never had sex with Khali. Did he want to? What held him back?
"The unknown," Heero's voice, Heero's soft kiss.
"I don't understand,"
"Yes you do, you were in his place once before. Think back Duo, days and days ago, what could possibly have been years ago. Weren't you afraid?"
"With you? Never, nervous yes, but not afraid."
"I am nervous," Bell said, his hands caressing my back with an ease that defied his words.
"Well then, let me take over," I smiled, pushing him backwards and straddling his waist. "And all you'll have to do is lie there and feel it." My hands laid a path down his chest, wrapping around the one part that never seemed to feel nervousness. It at least was hard and wanting, standing straight and eager, awaiting my touch.
A luscious moan fell from his lips, his face once more shifting with Heero's, both expressions showing lust and need. I was sure my own features mirrored theirs.
"Before, when we kissed, I did not feel a fire inside of me, a need to consummate it with our bodies," his eyes were wide-open now, shimmering pools of heat.
"Now, it is all I can think about. I want to be inside of you," he let out a nervous chuckle, "more than I already am."
It took me a moment to remember, and to realize why he laughed. It was true, he was already inside of me, and had been for my entire life. This of course would be different, much different. My hand was still sliding, caressing his erection lovingly, each squirm of his body a delight to see and feel.
Heero's eyes met my own then, lips parted, breath becoming faster and more irregular with each tug of my hand. It was most decidedly odd to be making love to two people sharing one space, each expression the same and yet different. Each moan ringing with the same longing and yet sounding of two separate people.
I could feel myself growing harder watching, already wanting them inside of me, ready to fulfill my own wants and wishes. Unasked Heero's hands slipped around my hips, pulling my body up and positioning his waiting length, a slick intruder that I wanted to intrude. "Now?"
"No, never" and then I let out a strangled laugh, "of course now,"
His muscles tensed, straining to be still, as he began slowly pushing inside. It never seemed to hurt, pleasure always overriding any pain that might come. The feel of him, slowly making his way inside my body, each inch and steelshift-coated centimeter was perfection.
Already my wings and body glowed with the sapphire light of the crystal, the pleasure forming the energy, the energy lighting my body, my body moving over his. As my eyes closed, I realized I could still see him, there behind my closed lids, every sinew and muscle, pulling, pushing, and growing in the blaze of lust.
His hands cupped my rear, kneading and spreading, opening my body as much as he could in order to send himself deeper inside, touching me in places that could never be touched by hand or tongue. I felt as if I could fly at that moment, my wings spreading wide, the energy crackling along my skin in a fire of blue. I was filling with the power, to create or destroy.
Bell's breathless voice reached my ears, a moan and a word, "create,"
"Create," I echoed, feeling the energy course over my skin and find a pathway outwards. No destruction followed; instead, my mind journeyed with the energy. It traveled through the ship, passing through room after room, as if seeking someone or something. It was seeking a form, a way to escape, but now, even in the escalation of the pleasure I could control it.
A room opened before my mind, three figures sitting in it, they were watching one another warily. Chang and the pirates, they seemed to be arguing. But that was not what I sought; I reached out farther, sliding around the room with my mind alone. My body sliding up and down, reaching its own peak. A tug, and there it was, the outlet for the energies.
As my body spilled across Heero's stomach and chest, his own filling me, I found the escape the energies sought. Tiny pushes and prodding, a little rewiring of a miniature body, reproducing it to form others, making a form bigger, but in a way that perhaps was not figured upon.
Then it was over, my mind traveling back, slipping inside my own head once more, my eyes closing out the room, the images that crowded my memories and spirit. "There," my voice whispered in the darkness that claimed me, "be happy."
Transpod: A dimensional traveling device. The transpod will transport human mass within any area that contains another transpod. The time taken for each journey will always be exactly 10 nanoseconds, as time is folded as well as matter to create no ripple within the dimensions.
Slosta: A drink created from organic matter grown on Jilad, the Slosta is filled with nutrients that heighten awareness and energize.
CR chips: Two microchips implanted behind the ears, the connectors that allow a direct linkage to the VR modules.
Shinalp: A form of cursing, Shinalp is somewhat akin to saying "shit" or "ah shit"
Kajacrap: The Kaja is a life form located on the planet Neskin, a large beast known to produce huge amounts of feces. The phrase kajacrap is akin to saying "Bullshit"
Fliogan Warriors: The Fliogan is a race that attaches metallic wings to their young while they are still being formed within the incubators. The wings are partially organic, fusing with the young so as to become part of their bodies. This warrior race is known to be extremely high tech, and very vicious, most normal humans will not go near them, as they are known to kill without reason. Very little is known of the Fliogan or their ways.
Feed Tubes: Connectors that feed information and nutrients to any life form connected to any long-term device.
Lavablue 6: The planet on which the society of Fliogan reside at this time.
Levels: Technological knowledge is rated by level; most societies only have an average of 30 levels. The common level of most humans is 5, techmaster levels tend to be higher and in the upper ranges.
Steelshift: 1 of over a million different charted elements, Steelshift is partially organic, allowing it to be integrated with human DNA, testing is still in experimental stages, most distinguished users of this element are the Fliogan.
Slipshot Diskwings: A style of wing known to be common among the Fliogan, Slipshot defines the integration of movable parts, Diskwing is the style of the small circular patterns of metal that form the wings of Fliogan.
Contract: A contract is a more binding way to say, "Promise or swear?"
Optilenses: Cyber optic lenses, which can be used during a VR program only.
Creos: The original form of the name Christ has changed with the passage of time, modern form of the word when used as a curse is Creos.
Orstras: A plant matter grown in dark caves on the planet of Trinition, considered a delicacy on most planets, the plant is dark purple with small white bells that can be plucked and cooked. The taste is said to be sweet and delicate.
Realtime Call: The difference between a realtime call and a regular call is in the distance, all realtime calls infer off planet residence of the caller, communications run at high speeds, face to face talking is still difficult between planets.
What is your task: This is the way most people will ask what your job is, what career you're in.
Crèche Technician: Most people are born to the incubators and raised in crèches, the technicians help care for the many children being raised in such places.
Grower: The still forming body of a child within the incubator, a delicate time that must be carefully overseen to prevent accidents. A grower is usually designated as a child in a womb-like state. Between –1 to –9 months, or the time a child would be inside of a mother's body.
Youlin: A manmade mammalian life form, these animals are specifically created to improve the technology behind cloning. Most tests are performed with a small VR module; with which the creatures are filled with the only knowledge they know, as the Youlin is created with a blank slate for a mind.
A Set: A group of Growers that have reached maturity.
Trance state: Every few months of a citizen's life is recorded during REM cycles, the consciousness is stored within a neural processor called a memory chip. Occasionally when one wishes to know another, an exchange of such chips may occur.
Wetwiring: circuitry and modifications that can be installed within the human body without harming it.
The System: There are 3 levels of the system. The first is that which take cares of the minor systems such as basic maintenance, the second level controls techmaster training, medical facilities, and knowledge. The final level of the system controls all other functions between worlds; each detail is observed, and stored within it.
Klishana: A crystal found during an expedition of exploration, it is not only organic, but sentient as well.
Pinalr: A vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, it is said to be an acquired taste due to its strange fleshy texture and nutty flavor.
Guplit: A type of fruit grown on many planets, it is small and covered in tiny spikes which make it needful to be carefully eaten. It is said to taste rather sour, with a hint of sweetness.
Fermented Hisle Juice: A type of fruit also grown on many planets, it can be juiced and distilled to form a mild form of alcoholic beverage.
Brean-scalpel: a surgical instrument designed for a bloodless opening and closing of tissues, often used for personal bodily modifications.
Inverse Star: Very rarely when a star starts its death throes, it will turn in upon itself and feed off of its own energy, creating a new form for itself.
Ararium: A room usually only found on starships, it is meant for the viewing of new materials and study of unknown elements.
Robotic simulator-hologramic: A mix of robotic and manmade tissues, which can be infused with memories and original DNA to form an exact copy. The holographic portions are usually reserved for those who were not satisfied with their own features in life, or who prefer to hide what they truly are.
Lucious Corporation: The first large corporation to specialize in the production of humanoid and manmade robotic engineering. It also owns nearly all blueprints of robotic simulators and DNA prints. It is said that this corporation rules half the universes.
Biotissue: A manmade tissue used in surgery and the building of copies, it has no specified DNA pattern and can be mixed with many other species.
Biorecords: A type of map made for each creature that is birthed in a crèche, it is a permanent record that can be used to repair or recreate.
Kindal: A form of dried meat, usually made from Hiff, a tasty mammal that can be found on several planets.
Kindal Slices: Hiff meat that is served fresh.
If you would like a definition for something not listed here just ask! ^_^