"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
"Well, it all starts and ends with one thing," I said secretively,
holding a finger up. Everyone gave me various looks of interest,
ranging from confused to mirthful. "Everything is real."
"Duo," Khali said sweetly, "has anyone ever told you how annoying are
when you try to be cryptic?"
Eventually, after boarding Khali's ship-half I told them what I'd
done. It had been surprisingly easy to reprogram the vast room full
of VR modules. No guards were kept in a place as secret as that. No
one had seen me enter or leave. I'd left them in an endless loop, so
that even when they eventually left the modules, they would not
really be leaving but still in the program. It was very similar to
the last few months I'd spent inside my own module at home. Only,
there would be no escape for the army of the System. Even when
eventually they might wonder what had happened, why the army no
longer responded to their commands, they would be unable to set them
I explained to the shocked faces of my friends, that if the System
ever tried to free the army, all the men in the modules would die.
Either way, we were safe for probably the rest of our lives as well
as the lives of our children.
At the mention of children Khali's face had turned a bright shade of
red, a quick glance in Bell's direction confirming what I thought the
blush might mean. "You're pregnant?"
Bell's eyes widened, and everyone seemed frozen in an awed silence.
"You're what?" Trieze blurted out, grabbing hold of her arms and
giving a slight shake.
"Well what do you expect?" I couldn't seem to help the prideful smirk
that crept across my face.
"But – how?" Milyardo seemed positively shocked.
"I'd imagine it was by the usual method," 138 said in a low voice,
perched next to Milyardo's ear, one small claw wrapped inside his
A sudden thought crossed my mind, things had happened so fast I'd
been unable to question them. Now, with the Universe seemingly at my
disposal, I began to wonder once more. "Where's Wufei's doppelganger?
What happened to the crystal mother?"
Bell was the first to answer, that knowing look in his eyes once
more, "The doppelganger is in one of the labs I believe. As for my
mother, she is with her children," he gestured behind us and for the
first time I realized what the view screen was showing.
The blinding blue lights of Bell's family were spread out behind
Khali in a vast line, seemingly stretching from one side of the
galaxy to the other. Above the line of blue skimmed the magnificent
form of the crystal mother, incandescently white, long winding
ribbons of energy flowing from her. Even from a distance that was
most likely thousands of miles, I could see the glow of her eyes, and
it seemed almost as if she were looking directly at me.
"She exists," I didn't bother making it a question, "it all exists,"
I turned to find the Wufei doppelganger standing just within the
door, head cocked to one side.
"Tell me what you really are," but I had a feeling I already knew the
"I am," he said succinctly, a small smile creasing the corners of his
mouth, "I am and always will be," and his smile grew even more.
"You are both, aren't you? You *are* Wufei, but how?"
"You were missing, Duo. Gone for weeks, no answer at your home, Fina
was not taking messages. Then I realized where you might be hiding,"
"The module, you entered the program, didn't you?"
"I did, and I'm still here,"
"But how's that possible? I saw you, you were also at my trial,"
"I was there as well,"
His face creased, one corner of his mouth twitching in mirthless
humor. "Virtual reality has always been a strange thing. It's been
studied for centuries, and yet never truly understood. I am here, and
I am home, and there is also a piece of my mind that is still within
the program, and yet everything is real," he paused, staring at his
hands for a long moment, "Reality is what you make it, the length and
breadth of Earth 1 and its history proves that theory. The human mind
is capable of so many beautiful things, so many atrocities, and yet
strangely, what it is most capable of is dreaming."
"Dreaming," my mind flashed backwards through time, to the point when
I had thought the whole experience had begun. "I was here, wasn't I?
Just as I'm here now."
"Yes, your mind created a physical body, both at your home and here,
it separated the solid portions of your existence, forcing your very
cells to split, multiply and become another you."
"So, there's two of me, or three of me?"
"No, there is only one you, but the one you - can be many places at
once, unaware that it has traveled or multiplied."
"How do I know if I'm all together? How can I tell if there are any
other separate bits of myself out there?"
"Ah, that is easy enough to answer," the familiar smirk was back, "do
you feel as if a piece of you is still missing?"
"Yes," there did feel as if some portion of myself wasn't there, as
if reality could still split in an instant and shatter around me.
Then it hit me; there was a portion that had not been freed yet, a
piece that needed to come home. "Fina,"
The only mother I had ever known was a self-aware computer with a
soft voice and a penchant for teaching. Since childhood I'd never
been separated from her, the gentle guidance of her words the only
rules I obeyed. Now she lay sleeping, her awareness separated from my
own by the directions I had given her when I'd thought her a traitor.
But she had never betrayed me, I had betrayed myself.
Homecoming felt just like that, I had at last come home. The fist of
the crystal mother and her children kept the straggling members of
the System from us. The small governmental forms left on Zephlid
unable to retaliate against a force so powerful.
Heero and I left Khali hanging above Zephlid, a shadow like a moon.
His hand seemed to always be within my own now, comforting and warm
against my palm at all hours. Since being reborn he'd become oddly
innocent, eyes wide as they beheld for the first time everything that
he had never properly seen. He constantly delighted in spreading his
wings wide and lazily flapping them against the air; his mouth
turning up in a smile each time, as the soft, feathery crystal
stroked in gentle undulations of glowing blue - for some reason his
wings always glowed.
Upon entering my home I let go of Heero's hand for the first time in
what seemed days, sprinting for the room in which Fina's main form
lay. My fingers flew as I entered the codes and clearance necessary
to wake her, my breath hitching as the soft whir and hum of machinery
filled the room.
"Mr. Maxwell," her voice shivered as it came alive again, power
slowly filling the matrix of her mind, "Mr. Maxwell, why do you wake
"Because, because," my mouth seemed incapable of movement for a long
moment of time, and then I could no longer hold back what I wanted
her to know, wishing that just once I could tangibly hug her and
merely sob against her. "Fina, I need you,"
"I need you, Fina," her silence was deafening, "I need you to just be
here, always, and never sleep again," I inhaled on a ragged
breath, "I love you Fina, you're the only mother I've ever known,"
"Love, yes," her voice remained quiet for a long time, as if she were
pondering what love was and all the possibilities it held. "I think,"
she said softly, "that I love,"
"Did you miss me, Fina?" a lopsided grin squirmed its way across my
face, hanging in place.
"Mr. Maxwell, I am not alive without you."
Wufei met us at the door of his home, the metal sliding open to
reveal his immaculate uniform, not a raven hair out of place on his
head. It also revealed myself, several of myself, standing behind him
working on a small Youlin clone.
My mouth opened and shut a few times, all the words flying out of my
head at the sight. These were my clones, all of them. Silently I
started to count the ones in view, catching sight of a few more
scampering from one room to another. "Chang," my voice sounded
slightly shocked, even to my own ears.
"There's over 12 of me in this room, exactly how many clones did you
make of me?" One of my eyebrows was twitching uncontrollably.
"Well, you see - I couldn't do it."
"Do what exactly?" I watched as Heero ambled over to one of the many
clones, petting the arm that was hidden beneath the clean white
sleeve. He tugged on it for a moment, and then smiled as the clone
looked up at him.
"Huh?" my attention turned completely to Wufei, ignoring for the
moment Heero's obvious curiosity over my clones.
"Well, the only way to get rid of a full grown clone, is to kill it,
and I found myself unable to kill you, my friend."
"So, what exactly do you do with them all? I mean, it is me, you
know. It's almost disturbing, really."
"Oh, they clean, help me with my experiments, useful things," he
waved a hand vaguely through the air.
"Really Maxwell, I do nothing inappropriate with them,"
"I couldn't possibly do that sort of thing with you, now could I?"
"It just wouldn't be right, you're one of my best friends," his eyes
were on the clones that were talking with Heero, all of them having
gravitated around him after a few moments of shyness. "It wouldn't be
right," his voice trailed off, eyes glued on the clones. "Why are
they behaving that way?" he muttered peevishly, his mouth twisting
into a tiny pout.
I looked over at the little display, keeping back a soft chuckle. The
8 or so clones that had been working on the Youlin were now crowded
around Heero, their faces rapt with attention and happiness as they
watched him flex his wings, showing off for them.
One of them made a little cooing sound, wrapping an arm through
Heero's and rubbing his face against one bright blue wing -
immediately the other clones gathered closer as well, all of them
taking a chance to touch and feel the wings. Exclamations of delight
went through them, and a few more clones made appearances from other
rooms, joining the group - though one had remained slightly apart,
apparently taking vigorous notes.
I turned and glanced at Wufei's expression, grinning openly at the
jealousy plainly written across his features. "I can't really blame
them, you know. I mean, I like him too, so it stands to reason they
"Oh shut up, Maxwell!"
I started to laugh, taking pity on Wufei and grabbing Heero's arm,
tugging him slowly away from his admirers. "I'm sorry, you can't have
him," I said to the clones.
The clones made faces of distress and unhappiness, inching away, and
taking comfort among themselves. Several of them hugged and kissed,
which caused my eyebrow to twitch a bit more. Then, one of them
tugged on Wufei's sleeve, giving him a pitiful expression of utter
desolation. Wufei glanced quickly in my direction, and then, squaring
his shoulders, he gave the clone a tiny kiss on the cheek - trying to
hide a smile as he did.
He stood straight again, giving a half serious glare in my
direction, "Don't say it," he said ominously.
"It, I know you're dying to,"
"Why Chang, I have nothing to say, really,"
"Well, maybe just one thing,"
"Alright then, I won't say it,"
"You might as well,"
"They're nice," Heero said, still watching the clones as they went
back to their Youlin and various rooms.
That seemed to sum it all up rather well. Though, I enjoyed immensely
watching Wufei blush.
A few weeks later Heero and I dropped in on a few other old friends
that I'd been missing. I'd called them a couple of times, promising
to come by, and yet been distracted every time by one thing or
Quatre answered the door, a flurry of blond hair and blue
eyes, "you're here at last!" he exclaimed, throwing his arms around
my waist and smiling against my cheek. "We've missed you, so much has
"Oh, with -" he stopped abruptly as Trowa stepped from one of the
doorways, a small bundle held gently in his arms. He was smiling down
at it, a tender expression on his normally stoic features.
He stopped, laughing softly down at the baby in his arms, and then
glanced up, taking in our arrival with some surprise. "I'm sorry, I
didn't hear you, he was telling me about his breakfast," he smirked
at Quatre, "I told you he didn't like that food,"
The petite blond rolled his eyes, "Sometimes I really hate the fact
that you can read his mind, you know?"
"That bad?" I asked, walking over to peer down at the tiny face. He
looked a bit like both of his proud parents; Quatre's blond hair,
Trowa's nose, the mouth looked like Quatre's as well, but his eyes
were what held my attention, "How did he manage to get such eyes?"
Quatre shrugged, standing beside me, a careful hand stroking the
baby's cheek, "we're not sure, Wufei assured us it wasn't a defect,"
he bit his lip, a worried expression creeping across his face.
"No, I don't think it is either, but…" I took one of the tiny hands
in my own, smiling as the baby giggled. Turning over his miniscule
palm I stared silently for a while, lost in thought. "Watch him
carefully," my voice cracked slightly, on the little palm was the
unmistakable swirl of the concentric circle, a ripple of silvery
yellow. His golden eyes blinked sleepily up at me, mouth opening on a
I started in surprise as Heero's hand slipped into my free one,
squeezing my fingers. "I may have someone you'd enjoy meeting," I
said, hiding my worry, showing Quatre and Trowa only a smile at their
pride, "Have I told you about Bell and Khali yet?"
Later that evening, as I settled into bed beside Heero, my mind kept
turning to that small hand, and the meaning of the circles, the
universe had marked the child for some obscure reason. I hadn't told
my friends about my similar markings, or of Khali's golden eyes -
eyes that had come from the creation of something mechanical, from
Instead, I had told them of our adventures, of the strange ability to
form virtual reality into reality, the possibility that everything in
its turn could become a reality from thought alone. I'd told them of
the creation of Bell, the runaway Youlin - 138, the space pirates,
Khali's birth into life, the planet named Puppy…all of it.
In the end, I wondered whether or not I should have told them
everything. But perhaps, the universe would reveal its designs with
I had once told 138 that one day it would find that it's life had
great meaning, that even the smallest of creatures could change the
entire universe. It was nearly a year after I had come home to
Zephlid when I met with the tiny mammal, realizing for the first time
that nothing had ever happened when I'd tried to help 138. I'd
gathered energy and tried, certainly, and yet there had never been a
138 had been living with the pirates, satisfied to be part of their
family, pleased that it had at least a bit of Wufei beside itself,
even if it wasn't quite the real Wufei. Khali had given birth, and I
was not surprised upon viewing the infant girl – that she too had
been marked by the universe, her eyes that same whirling gold, tiny
palm marred by the circles. By then, Quatre and Trowa had already
become fast friends with Khali and Bell, and I knew their children
would grow up beside one another.
But 138 had become unhappy recently, seemingly coming to the last of
its energy, most Youlin expired within a few years, but it had held
on rather surprisingly long, almost 13 years, a great and venerable
age amongst the manmade Youlin.
"I must die soon," it told me when I visited, a wistful note in its
voice, "We were never meant to live so long."
I had nothing to say to that, knowing it was true, instead I merely
reached out, stroking one tiny claw.
"I think I will miss this, life,"
"You will be missed as well,"
"I'm…I'm sorry 138, I tried for you, I really did,"
"What do you mean?"
"I tried to help you, to make you what you wanted to be…" I trailed
off, feeling guilty that I'd never managed to grant its wish.
"I never minded, but now I grow weary, tired. My life has been much
longer than necessary," yet its voice still whispered this news to me
"Small creature," another voice said softly from behind me.
To my surprise, the crystal mother stood in the doorway, her
beautifully cold face, sorrowful and drawn into a frown. "You may
die, but you will live as well, has no one yet told you death's true
purpose," her voice still held the faraway tinkle of bells and glass.
Her presence had become no less powerful with time, her vicinity to
me already causing an awed hush to fall over my mind.
She knelt beside the tiny Youlin, one long fingertip touching its
forehead. "Have you never known what purpose you held?" she asked, a
soft white glow beginning at the connection between her finger and
the small mammal. It grew slowly, intensifying in increments. "The
universe has ever held you in love," her voice seemed more like bells
now, and less like a true voice, a shimmering coming to it, making it
echo within the room.
I glanced from the scene to find the others crowding around me, all
of them with expressions of sadness, we knew we were going to lose
138 merely lay back, one small claw extended towards the crystal
mother. Its eyes were closed, and as we watched, the light that had
been growing around it slowly changed to a familiar golden glow.
"In the ending, is the center, the middle of the circle that never
changes, the golden light of the Universe that spins into infinity.
All creatures great and small are merely the imaginings of a lonely
creator, the children of the spiral. You too are one of those loved
by the creator of all," her voice throbbed with power, soft and sure,
fingertip drawing a pattern around 138. The vastly familiar pattern
of the concentric circle.
Briefly, I remembered the vision I'd had on the plane of my judgment.
The image of the Universe, and in its center something that could not
be defined. Both a beginning and an end, life, death, and the power
to change everything.
"Perhaps, it would do well to have you there, at its very center, to
hold forever close one of its smallest creations," she
whispered, "and in time, you will change the very core of all life,"
A sudden surge of light filled the room, and as I blinked to bring my
vision back into focus, I realized 138 was gone.
"What did you do?" Treize asked, tears streaming openly from his
eyes. Milyardo was patting his hand, valiantly trying to keep back
his own tears. All of us were fighting the urge to cry, grieving for
"I have given the Youlin what it has always wanted," she said
cryptically, smiling at our tear-streaked faces.
"You made him bigger," I whispered, understanding flashing through my
Her smile remained elusively enigmatic, "in a manner of speaking,"
her eyes lowered to where the small Youlin had lain, "138," her
tongue rolled over the name, "it is, part of the universe, a very
important part, now,"
"The center," I said, knowing somehow it'd gone into that whirlpool,
the beginning and the end of all life, "You made 138 the center of
the Universe, didn't you?"
She nodded, still smiling into the distance, "yes, and the Universe
Below me spread a vista of beauty rarely seen, an endless ocean, blue
and glowing with moonlight. My wings spread automatically, catching
the updrafts and lifting my body higher. Heero flew to my right, his
wings flickering with the sapphire light of the Klishana, head held
forward, his eyes distant as they watched the waterscape unfold below
I flew closer to him, smiling and reaching for his hand, our fingers
brushed, slipped and joined, twining together.
We laughed as we saw far below the silvery shapes of the dolphin
leaping high in their delight with life; even from our distance, we
could hear the squeals and high-pitched calls as they swam.
My fingers tightened slightly as I pulled Heero closer in mid-air,
rolling our bodies into a whirlwind of wings with us at its center.
There was no fear in Heero's eyes, and I knew there was no fear in
mine, nothing could harm us here. Sometimes I wondered, whether
anything could harm us anywhere. Life was an endless circle, the
mother of the Klishana had told us, and she'd whispered in the
confines of that tiny cramped chamber, that no matter how long we
lived or when we died, we would come back, perhaps never knowing or
maybe sometimes wondering. But she had told us the secret, the answer
to the riddle that had never been asked.
Even now, as I flew with Heero over the night-shrouded water planet,
I could recall her words, the expression on her face.
"The soul within is the constant of the Universe, you are all parts
of it, its creations. In death, it is merely a losing of the body,
never of the mind. You will always be the reincarnation of the
eternal spirit of the Universe."
I knew what she'd said had been true, the way that I knew my life
held no more nor less meaning than 138's. We were all – somehow -
parts of this one entity, if the Klishana's queen was our mother,
then indeed, our father was the Universe itself.
My thoughts drifted into focus, my gaze meeting Heero's as we
spiraled through the moonlit night. I suddenly wanted to tell him
everything I'd ever experienced, wished I could somehow permanently
mark him, or myself, remember who he was when neither of us was here
to remember it any longer. Would our souls always know one another?
Would we always find each other, no matter the distance?
"Will we always be meant for each other?" I whispered across the
distance between our faces, watching as his eyes closed against my
question. His arms tightened around my body and tugged our soaring
forms downwards, at the last instant whipping our wings outward,
leaving us in a dizzy glide along the water.
"You doubt the eternal truths of the Universe, Duo?"
I glanced sharply at him, only to find his lips quirking at the
corners, eyes sparkling from beneath shadowy lashes. He let out a
laugh, giving up on the ruse completely and grinning openly, "Haven't
I already told you?"
He didn't answer for a moment, instead glancing toward the dark sky
above. "I've always known you, somehow, before I knew you, I knew you
were meant for me, something I'd always been missing,"
"Life became enough,"
"Exactly," we looped for a moment in midair, our wings swirling and
spinning, brushing but never jarring.
I closed my eyes, breathing in for a moment, smelling the ocean below
us, the muted scent of Heero's skin, that smell he seemed to have
even after a bath, something that made him infinitely…himself. "I
think that's how I'll know you, next time,"
"Hm?" his voice sounded windswept and soft beside my ear.
"I'll sniff you out," I choked on a laugh that wanted to turn into a
sob, burying my face against his neck, "I'll just hunt you down, and
sniff you to pieces, and somehow, no matter what you look like, or
who you are, I'll just know it's you,"
His laugh was muted, and I glanced up, finding that I wasn't the only
one who was strangely saddened that our time together might end
someday. His eyes were filled with unshed tears as he met my gaze,
his smile tremulous, then he sighed, gathering our bodies closer once
We flew on, endlessly into the night. Our bodies twisting and turning
over waves of moonlight, blue, and white, golden stars on velvet
refracted and reflected on the water. In time, I stopped listening to
the sounds, closed my eyes to the stars and sky, "I'll just breathe,"
and my whisper was captured, whirling away into the Universe.
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! ^_^