Fantastic Children 2 Ch.11
Chapter 11 : The Burden and the Transience
It was unfair, Dumas thought, that the universe should make its own rescue so complicated. Once again he was coming up short in the number of souls he needed to relocate.
He thought there was a good chance that those in the ship's control room might have survived, because that part of the ship was designed to detach from the body in disastrous circumstances. His sister Tina had been in there.
If she had not survived, he had no more interest in saving the universe. Let it all fall down. He owed the rest of creation nothing.
Agi had almost certainly been killed, and that was a serious inconvenience. Dumas had him under control, and the others followed his lead. If he was gone, and if those in the cockpit had survived, he might be able to make use of Soreto in his place. He thought it would still be possible to negate the false memories he had planted in her at her reawakening. It was even possible she had already rejected t
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.10
Chapture 10: At the Bottom of the Deep Clear Sea
"Hasmodai Hasmodai Hasmodai "
When he opened his eyes, it took him several minutes of blinking before the blurriness cleared, and even after, he barely recognized Soreto. Her face was streaked with blood, her eyes and nose puffy and swollen.
She looked relieved. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
"Some of them," he answered.
He was sitting in a chair. He leaned forward to stand, but a wave of pain and dizziness seized him, and he closed his eyes again. His head felt he put up a hand to feel the back of his head, but Soreto caught his wrist.
"I found it." Hasmodai heard the sound of feet sloshing through water and Princess Tina appeared, holding an aid kit. Hasmodai could hear Bell sobbing from the other end of the cockpit.
"Is this all?" Soreto stared into the kit. She shook her head. "This isn't going to be much help. Hold still, Hasmodai, I'll do what
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.9
Chapter 9: Wreckage
Dumas lounged over a couple of cargo crates. He was sitting near Mel, and while his dark glasses hid his eyes and his focus from the others, all of his attention was on her. Mel's face was damp and white, her terror palpable, her every breath a soft whimper at the back of her throat. It was all his doing, and he felt no pain about it.
He took responsibility for it. When young Gherta Hawksbee had finished her postgraduate work and completed her Master's degree, Dumas had seen to it that she was installed as the director of the GED group, at an age where many of her fellow students were begging for internships or settling for unrewarding commercial work. And when GED had come to the end of its usefulness, Dumas supplied her with the means and support to establish the Rugen institute in its place, this time with complete freedom to pursue whatever research she chose.
But none of this changed or made amends for the fact that Dumas had scarred Mel's soul so de
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.8
Chapter 8: Belle, Tina: Voyage
The sun wasn't even up yet. Belle trailed along after Damien, and yawned. NOBODY got up this early.
One of the smaller buildings was being fitted out as a 'ship' and everyone was hurrying back and forth like ants, or talking earnestly in small groups. Now they were all wearing those silly dark grey costumes, some even increasing the gorfyness of it with long, black coats. Except Damien. His jumpsuit was white, with a sheen like silk, and he managed to make even that look cool.
Belle couldn't understand how Ian could be so preoccupied and involved with these people. They were awful, nothing like his friends from school. Ian was fussing over Doctor Hawksbee now, for some reason, leading her slowly into the cluttered building.
"Really, Mel, you don't have to come," Ian was saying, in that kind, gentle voice Belle hadn't heard him use since they had arrived.
"I'm not being left behind," Old Lady Hawksbee said shakil
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.7
Chapter 7: Seth Soreto Hasmodai: Surrender
Lord Seth stood on a tall rock and stared out to sea. Over the water he could see Ketplaque Island, near enough that the little white squares of houses were visible among the dark green foliage. Some of the researchers working at the Rugen Institute lived there, at least during the week. There were no other islands in sight. The GED group had originally chosen Kuril and Ketplaque for the privacy their isolation would give.
But Seth knew that over the waves and out of sight, there was a tiny, lonely island with a 200-year-old shrine on it. In it, a man and a woman waited for their son to return and take over running the shrine.
Their son would return soon. Thoma's unmarked, dead body would be delivered to his family, the victim of a tragic boating accident which would also have claimed the lives of the respected Doctor Gherta Hawksbee, and the mysterious Damien, wealthy benefacto
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.6
Chapter 6: Tarlant, Baldwin, Dumas: Wheels Within Wheels
Tarlant snapped awake guiltily at Agi's shout. Not that he had much to feel guilty about. He was a mechanical engineer, and now that all the equipment had been assembled, and research was the goal, he was mainly useful as an assistant or when repairs or adjustments were necessary.
He hurried toward the sound of the shout, readying his apology, but it was not necessary. Agi was staring in consternation at Squeak. The robot was aligning one of the enormous sensor panelsif they had had time to construct the facility properly, they would have been automatically adjustablebut was issuing a high-pitched alarm tone, and red lights were flashing all over its body.
"What's wrong with it?" Agi demanded.
"Beats me, I haven't had a chance to take one apart and see what makes it tick yet." Tarlant could have pointed out that it was Agi who had said that would be a was
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.5
Chapter 5: Soreto, Winter, Belle: Beginnings
The ship in which Dumas had traveled from Greecia was uncommonly small and functional: as was only reasonable, if he had planned to abandon it and return via the Zone. The equipment was packed tightly and efficiently into the hold, and once the two robots that Dumas called for had been activated, the Greecian scientists stepped back and let them take care of the unloading.
Soreto had absorbed the data Dumas had brought with him, as had the others. Now she continued to study it in detail on a data pad. Having something artificially implanted into your memory was quick and useful, but visual records were far more reliable than memory when every detail needed to be considered. And implanted memories were notoriously unstable, unless you reinforced them with actual study.
The situation did seem dire, and would quickly become catastrophic as the continued cold must send innumerable species of plants and animals into extinction. Nearby,
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.4
Chapter 4: Pollux and Dumas: Tearful Mornings
Building the device had been the easy part. Keeping anybody from knowing about it had been nearly impossible. Pollux had watched Castor tinkering with his own project for half an hour before feigning disinterest and boredom, and wandering off to dismantle a portable computer on his own.
"I just want to see what it looks like inside," Pollux told Doctor Mellert when she started asking questions. "I've never had one I was allowed to take apart before."
As he disassembled the machine bit by bit, he laid the parts out neatly on the counter of the lab. All but the parts he needed. Those he secreted in his pocket when Mellert's attention was on Castor.
To Pollux's surprise, Castor became curious, and left his own work to see what Pollux was doing. Caster cast one glance at the arranged parts, and raised an eyebrow at his twin. Pollux felt Castor's curiosity change to su
Fantastic Children 2 Ch.3
Chapter 3: Teo: Small Planet
Teo took a deep breath of sea air and let all the tension leave his body with it. He had not thought that the day would come when he was relieved to be leaving home. He loved his sister Serena, and was happy she was in love and going to be married, but he did wish that she had fallen in love with someone he actually liked.
Lately Rogan had been casually asking questions about whether Teo planned to go to college, and exactly when, or whether he had been looking for a part-time job yet, and even about which of the siblings actually owned the house their parents had left them. Even Serena seemed to be impatient with him lately. He knew he was not precisely unwanted, but his presence was clearly tolerated rather than welcomed.
His life at school was much the same. He got along most of his classmates, but couldn't say anyone was particularly his friend. A strange sense of non-belonging had caused him to hold back from