"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
When I awoke again, it was to the feeling of two bodies pressed against me from either side. Something tickled my nose and I opened an eye, glancing at it. Spun blue crystal, Bell's hair. Slowly I managed to open the other eye, turning on my side. Bell slept peacefully; gentle stirrings of his breath wafting his hair across my cheek and nose. I snorted, moving it to one side and touching his face. He barely stirred, merely sighed and rolled over slightly.
Despite myself, I smiled, turning to face the other warm body pressed so close. Not surprised to find it was Heero, his face scrunched up in sleep, lashes like shadows beneath his eyes. Apparently I was the only one awake, each of my companions so soundly sleeping it seemed as if nothing could wake them. And during the night at some point, they had separated, becoming two people once more. In a strange way, I felt almost relieved to have them divided again. Though I wondered if when Heero opened his eyes, he would be able to see as he had, or be again half blind, the crystal becoming his sight once more.
Sliding carefully towards the foot of the bed, I eased out of it, wincing at the cold metal against my feet. Maybe staying in bed wasn't such a bad idea. I glanced up along the length of it, taking in the beautiful forms snoozing beneath the sheets. Too tempting, I might never want to leave comfort like that. Besides, I had things to do. People to talk to, namely Chang, and possibly, 138.
What had I done the night before? Mastered the technique for channeling the energy? It seemed that way. But what had I done to 138, that was what I wondered. If I had in fact done what I thought I might have, we might soon have a very grouchy and somewhat pregnant Youlin on our hands. Something, that as far I knew had never before happened. Well, the pregnancy at any rate, grouchiness seemed standard in anything Wufei created.
From what I knew of Youlin, they were genderless, created to never recreate. Incapable of procreation, let alone the need to do so. And yet, somehow, I knew, this is what would make 138 happy. At least, I had hoped it would.
"Where are you going?" Bell's voice whispered softly, as he shifted to sit up, a mass of blue hair cascading down around his nude body.
"To bathe, and perhaps talk to Chang. I wonder what he knows, what he remembers." I sat on the edge of the bed, eyeing the smooth expanse of chest presented in peeks beneath sapphire hair. It was tantalizing, and kept drawing my eyes to it, begging my hands to follow. How could I love two people this way? How could I want them equally? Suddenly, nothing seemed clear anymore, and confusion ran rampant through my mind. "Stay in bed," and I forced a smile, leaning across the bed and laying a gentle kiss against his cheek.
His breath sighed against my face, "I see,"
And I was afraid he did.
The bathing room was unoccupied, the little helper robots standing at attention against the wall. I slipped into one of the bathing pools, sighing as the water engulfed my aching body. Sex, apparently could really tire out a person. I smiled, closing my eyes and leaning back. Not like that was a bad thing. Then my mouth again turned down, a frown creasing my face. But loving both of them might be.
I had thought my love for Heero was a singular event, something that could never be shared with another. But now it seemed I was wrong, my feelings about and for Bell, equal in nearly every way. That's where I stopped, pondering that sensation in the pit of my stomach. Nearly, I had thought it was *nearly* the same. So, what exactly was the difference in the feelings I had for the two of them?
For Bell, I felt a love that was soft and curvy, a love that was like that for something cherished something that would be missed if it were gone. But for Heero, my love was deep, swollen with needs and wants, strong and fiery. If it were gone, I thought I might die; I would miss it so much. And there in lay the difference between the two. For Bell, I would always feel tender, needing and wanting to care for him, as he would always be a part of me. But for Heero, I could never lose him, the thought alone making my heart clench, my chest aching with it.
Sex was merely a way to get closer to both of them, a way to combine our bodies and spirits, to become one if only for a brief moment of time. Satisfied with my conclusions I relaxed again, sinking below the water and exhaling. Perhaps, things really would work themselves out, and everything could in fact be all right.
I coughed; sputtering as a pair of hands suddenly grabbed me around the waist, a body hugging my own close. Coming up for air I tried to spin around, relaxing as I found it was Bell. He smiled, that understanding expression he always had, halting me in place.
"Yes, just had to work out a few things."
I sat down, pulling him to my side and throwing an arm over his shoulder. "Everything really will be fine, won't it?"
"Of course, what else could it be?"
"A disaster, a catastrophe, a-"
"A miracle, something divine and beautiful." He finished, holding up a hand to forestall any more words of ill-wishing.
"Yes, it could be that too, I suppose," Another sigh escaped, and I turned to look into his eyes, admiring their luminescence, the shimmering sapphire of them. "But we don't really know that for sure, do we?"
"No, but you must have faith in the Universe's wishes and plans. It has thought on our actions far longer than we have. Only it knows the right path, only it knows where we will go." He stuck a foot out of the water, wiggling his toes. "I bet it even planned on that," he said pointing at his squirming toes with a laugh, plunking his foot back into the water with a splash.
"Do you think it planned on 138 getting…"
"Pregnant? Possibly," he paused, turning to face me, his expression growing serious, "what we think we know, and what we will never know, are two completely distinct and separate things. What happens to us, and to our companions, has been planned, just as your life and mine were. Everything is chosen to happen for a reason. Nothing is without its own special blueprint. Do you understand?"
I wasn't sure if I did, if what Bell said were true, it meant that everything, right down to my taking another breath, had been thought on well before I took it. And I wasn't sure if I liked that idea. That something out there, something I could never comprehend, knew far more of our futures than we ever could.
"It is a hard concept to take, isn't it? Our mother never approved of it, which is why she sent us out. But even in doing that, she was complying with destiny, with the approval of the Universe and its plans for us all. No matter her power, she cannot change the will of what is to be, no more than you and I can."
My fingers were becoming wrinkled beneath the water, though my mind seemed in a far worse shape. "Let's dry off,"
He nodded, standing and sliding out of the water, leaning over to offer a hand up. "Never fear that somehow you have done the wrong thing, nothing can be wrong, there is only the Universe's plan for us."
"But, what would happen if somehow we managed to break this plan? This blueprint of life?" I reached for a towel, wrapping it around my waist and heading for the little combing robot.
"I don't think that is possible, it simply wouldn't be allowed."
"Bell," I sat down, letting the robot go to work on my hair, brushing and combing, carefully untangling any knots.
"Yes?" his eyes were sparkling, and then they dimmed slightly, as if he sensed what I was thinking.
"What will happen when we take you home?"
He averted his eyes, and I knew, with a sudden cold clarity, exactly what would happen. "You can never leave me, can you?" I took his hand, running a finger along the smooth skin of his wrist and fingers, he of course had no need of the wetwiring that I had. "You would die, and in this leaving, you would kill both Heero and I," I could feel tears stinging the backs of my eyes, "do you think that is the plan the Universe has for us? Death?"
"Eventually, we all die, don't we?" he said quietly, taking my hand and examining the concentric circle that was the mark of the Universes. "But, we can never predict our own fates Duo, never."
A few hours later, I found myself listening to a rather spirited argument between a man who was not a man, and an alien who was too much of a man. Apparently, the sleeping arrangements hadn't worked out too well. Wufei discovering that only one bed existed in the pirates bedroom, and two horny pirates did not a night's comfort make.
My attention again was caught by the argument, and I tried to hide a smile.
"-And if you ever do that again, I swear I'll rewire the food unit to produce kajacrap for all your meals!" was what I managed to catch, Chang swinging his arms wide, and nearly knocking 138 off his shoulder in the process.
"I was asleep you fool! I didn't know what I was doing! How can you even begin to think I did that on purpose!"
I'd never seen Treize so wound up before, the pirate's calm completely shattered, face red, the rings around his pupils practically pulsing with rage. Milyardo on the other hand, sat quietly to one side, absently stroking Khali's hair, a small smile tugging at his lips. On the whole, he seemed to be enjoying the argument immensely.
"How can you say that? You don't just accidentally go sticking body parts into people!"
At that little statement, several eyebrows raised, all of us desperately trying to hide our grins.
"Can I help it if it has a mind of its own!"
By now they were inches apart, fists shaking in each others faces, feet firmly placed. It seemed about time to call a halt to it all, but before I could do a thing, Heero stood up, gently putting an arm between the two and edging them apart.
"Why don't you just move a second bed in there?" he asked calmly, smothering the grin that kept wanting to sneak across his mouth.
All eyes turned to the two combatants, the wind suddenly taken out of them. 138 let out a tiny sigh, slumping down on Wufei's shoulder and holding its head in its paws, slowly shaking it from side to side.
"Eh, yes…I suppose we could do that," Treize looked contrite, a pale flush inching across his cheeks.
"Uh, yes, that does make sense, doesn't it?" Chang agreed solemnly.
They looked at each other for a long moment, embarrassment clearly written on each of their faces. The Raskuda cleared his throat, glancing around and blinking, as if for the first time noticing the audience gathered about them. "Right then, that's all solved, now what?"
"Now," announced Khali, standing and gesturing towards a vidscreen that appeared in the center of the room, "we worry about where we are going and what we will face."
"Bell's homeworld," I stated, eyeing the swirling system of stars and planets that lay before us.
"The Relado Universe," Khali nodded in agreement, "Now the difficult part of it might be in that the System could have followed us, though my sensors detect nothing in range. They do have ways of keeping track of us, in which case we might have led them to the very thing they desire most."
"Absolute power," Treize said grimly, sitting calmly beside Khali and Milyardo.
"Exactly," she paused, standing and walking over to Bell, she gestured at the mass of planets glowing on the vidscreen, "This one, right?"
But I already knew, I had known the instant I saw it, the white planet, that which glowed like a sun but was no sun. It shimmered gently inside this universe, held at its very heart like a living thing.
"Yes," Bell said, and the planet became highlighted as Khali pointed, a map forming among the stars to lead us to it.
"Calculating," Khali's ship voice rang, a few moments passing in which we all examined the planet and the neighboring stars surrounding it. "Exactly 2.3 days to arrive at location, figured, coordinates inputted."
"Are there any threats between us and that planet?" Heero asked, circling the vidscreen, one finger tracing our route.
"Absence of metallic man-made forms, life-forms equal 4.89 percent, 23 occupied planets exist within range, 8 with technical applications and sciences. Threats perceived within distance equal that of 2 percent."
"Easy, almost too easy," Chang muttered, standing beside Heero and glancing amidst a small cluster near the white planet. "What's this?" he asked, pointing at a strange conglomeration of what appeared to be dust.
"Mist," Bell responded quickly, glancing aside, "My planet gives off small clouds of mist that don't dissipate once released into space."
"Any danger in that?"
"None has ever been seen in it before," he said with a small frown, toying absently with the edge of a table.
"Just the same, we should be very cautious on our approach."
I was lying in bed when I felt the strangest of tugs on my body, as if someone had just ran a hand down my arm and then pulled on my fingers to take me somewhere. I mentally shrugged, rolling over to bury my face against one of Heero's tan shoulders. His wings were splayed open, one of them beneath me, curled slightly in a soft embrace. I listened to the rhythmic breathing, smiling into the rise and fall of his body's natural motion.
Then I gasped suddenly, sitting up and staring around the room. This time it'd been more than a tug, my entire body feeling as if someone were pushing and pulling on it. "What the-"
Voices interrupted, though no one but Heero and I were in the room. Distant, as if through a wall I could just make out two people, both speaking low.
"What do you think she'll do about you?" Khali's voice asked, an almost hurt tone to it.
"I'm not sure, she does not think like anyone else, and no one can know what she does think just by that alone." Bell whispered, and I began to realize why I was able to hear what was happening. Gradually my entire body tuning in, my hands feeling what he felt, mind knowing what he knew.
My fingers curled, as if wrapping around a soft arm, fingers twitching at the sensation of skin that wasn't there beneath them.
"I don't want you to leave Bell, you're the only one who-"
"I know," And now my hand stopped in it's aimless caress, touching briefly on a girlishly curved cheek, stroking an eyebrow, lingering over lips. "But I cannot decide, I do not hold my own fate, only the universe does."
"So what did you learn last night?" and at that I felt the lips beneath my fingers twist in a smile.
"Why they were so upset about it," in my mind I heard him chuckle, a mental pat on the rear following it. And back in the room, I laughed, snuggling closer to Heero.
"It's something nice, is it?"
I felt Bell smile at her, my own face twisting with it. He leant forward, his arms slowly wrapping around her, one hand delving into the wealth of crimson hair, the other curving beneath her shoulder.
I didn't question this sudden ability to feel all he felt, to hear what happened. I knew without a doubt that this was what he'd always felt when Heero and I would…and that sent a blush creeping up my neck. I hadn't realized he'd felt all of this. If I had known, perhaps I wouldn't have tried to push it, our bond becoming almost unbearable in the tide of such physical sensation and mental emotion.
His voice whispered to me, for my ears only, "but it is nice, even if it is too strong sometimes. I can feel the love, like a touch, a warm and gentle touch."
Even as I could feel it, with every stroke of his hands, I could feel the tender fury of hearts beating faster, the warmth of a kiss that lingered. "Can't you just put me to sleep?" I asked in the darkness, wishing with all my might I didn't have to feel the bond now of all times. "It’s just, this isn't for revenge or anything, is it?"
"No, of course not," his lips were cruising over her neck, feathering down her collarbone, and despite myself I felt my body react to it. "But don't you want to know what it's like?"
"What, sex with a woman? Or the bond during-"
"All of it?"
"No, Bell, I don't, it feels too strange," my hand felt the silk of warm skin, lips tingling at the sensation of flesh beneath them.
"Then sleep," a wave of warmth seemed to emanate from those words, washing over my mind and smoothly drowning it in dreams. An echo of a memory surfaced for an instant and then I was gone, folded beneath the tide. "Goodnight, Mr. Maxwell,"
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 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 ever 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 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! ^_^