A shorter installment than the last one, but a fairly long one at any rate (2571 words). In this one, we have a lot of revelations, and I hope it doesn’t ruin your sensibilities. Also, I really hope your opinion on Mako doesn’t really change after this. He’s still the same, only with a little more about him revealed. Also, for those who don’t know, since this is the first post I have done in the series that is not related to a CW, this series started in CW8 and has gone to CW11 before I stopped doing it for CW’s. Now I plan to write this on the side.
You are sure you saw them? Mako said. He and Liam were sitting across from each other on the bed.
“They were there, I assure you,” Liam replied. “They must be the ones who sabotaged the radio room.”
We can’t jump to conclusions. Mako told Liam, shifting his position slightly. For all we know your dream may have been nothing.
“You know me Mako,” Liam said gravely. “Tell me when one of my dreams have meant nothing.”
But didn’t you kill them in Operation Double D? Mako questioned. Liam shifted uncomfortably at this. Well didn’t you?
“I trapped one under a tree, and covered another in an avalanche, and I figured that was it. I never thought they would return.” Liam said defensively, rising from the bed and pacing the room.
You did what? Mako asked, disbelief in his voice. You got to be kidding me. Possibly the two most dangerous vilth assassins in the universe, and you didn’t make sure you finished the job? If Mako could have slapped a hand to his forehead, he would have done so, but as he was a dog, he satisfied himself with giving Liam a doggy look of contempt. Liam could think of no reply to that, so he began dressing.
“What should we do, Mako?” Liam asked helplessly. “There’s no way the people at this base can possibly hold off them. Not even that defen, the general, would be able to hold them off. And I can’t possibly reveal myself to help them fight, can I?”
No, of course not. Mako said. But, there’s no need for you to reveal yourself. If the Twin Sisters have been awakened, your real concern is that whoever now controls them, may come to control you. The mental power it takes to control them is extremely high. If somebody has risen that control them, he may search for you too. That might be what the Twin Sisters are here for.
“So if I leave this place, then they would leave too?”
Well, we’re not sure. That will only work if they are searching for you. We will have to wait here and see what they are really doing first.
Liam sighed, as he put on the mask. “This is going to be difficult.”
“Somebody with an enerblade sabotaged the radio room. I’m sure of it,” Jayna said, pacing the room nervously.
“But who could it be? To have bypassed all our security protocol, they must be people of some note.
“I don’t know, I don’t know. You are older than me, you have more experience, what would you do in a situation like this?”
“That’s the problem, I don’t know. I’ve never faced an enemy I couldn’t detect. They have some kind of psychic shield–
“Wait! They have some kind of psychic shield! That’s what Rich Hom said, after he encountered the Twin Sisters of Demise!”
“Who are they?” Jayna asked, but Cassie seemed not to hear. Instead, she was staring at a spot on the wall, her face expressionless. She kept muttering to herself, over and over. Jayna could not understand at first what Cassie was saying, but then she realized that Cassie was repeating the phrase ‘it couldn’t be’ over and over again. Jayna quietly put a comforting hand on Cassie’s shoulder. She knew little of the mental and emotional pain Cassie had gone through, but she knew enough to recognize the signs that Cassie was trying to bring herself to face something she had put aside for a very long time.
“The Twin Sisters of Demise,” Cassie began slowly and evenly. “Are the two deadliest vilth assassins in the galaxy. They are twins, and they both wield twin enerblades. They do not speak, but communicate with each other via psychic waves. They have a way to shield themselves from our mental senses. Their danger lies in their unfaltering ability to work completely and utterly together. In the past, they were only controlled by the most powerful vilth. The last vilth to control them was Emperor Malvolent.
“My old teacher, Rich Holm, told me of his encounter with them. He said they were the most deadly foes he had ever faced, in terms of enerblade combat skills, and it was only because of the edge he had in his complete and utter control of Symmetry that he was not killed. If they have been called again, that would mean a vilth, equal in power to Emperor Malvolent, or greater, has risen.”
“Okay, well, I get most of what you said, but what is Symmetry? It sounds like an enerblade art, but I’ve never heard of it. And why are the Twin Sisters controlled?”
“The Twin Sisters are controlled because they have no real initiative of their own. If they had their way, they would stay where they came from. They are DAMARCs, Type T23 and Type T34. The other twenty-two Type T’s were killed by them. DAMARS was trying to create a team of beings that would work together completely, but the Type T’s only worked in pairs, and it so happened that T23 and T24 were the strongest of the batch. DAMARS removed all their initiative, so that they would have no quails or qualms about doing anything, but set their default to their home planet. However, something about their mental bond made it extremely difficult except for the most powerful of vilth to control them.” Cassie paused, and Jayna could see that she was readying herself for something extremely difficult, so she said nothing.
“Symmetry is the thirty-sixth enerblade art,” Cassie said slowly. Jayna would have interrupted, but, Cassie gave her a look that stuck the words in her throat. “No defen these days are taught about it, because it is the most dangerous enerblade art, and unless mastered completely, will certainly end in the demise of the defen. Rich Hom created Symmetry as the pinnacle of enerblade arts. Only two people ever mastered it, but he was the only one who could use it naturally. After his death, it only left one person who knew the art, and that person is unable to teach anybody else about it. Several people tried to learn it themselves, but they killed themselves in the process.”
Jayna was silent for a long time. “Who is the other person?”
This brought about another bout of silence. Then Jayna spoke up, “If Rich Hom had mastered the pinnacle of enerblade arts, wouldn’t he have been invincible? Why did he die? I’ve dug into some of the archives, but they simply say he was an excellent defen who played a big part in the Malvolent Wars and died at the age of twenty-three. There’s no way he could have died of old age, and I have not heard of any disease that cannot be healed by–”
Cassie turned her face up almost viciously, and Jayna could see that it was streaked with tears. “He was invincible!” She choked. “It was me. I killed him. He gave his life for mine. Don’t you see it? I was responsible for his death. I– killed– Rich– Hom; the best defen in all history. It’s all my fault!”
Jayna was shocked, and this brought another bout of silence, which was only broken by the occasional sob from the figure hunched over in the chair.
“It’s not your fault,” Jayna said gently. “He chose to give his life for yours. He did it gladly. You can’t blame yourself for something you did not–”
“Have you forgotten all you learned as a defen?” Cassie asked, standing up savagely. “What happened to ‘You are responsible for the results of all the choices you make’? I made the choice to love Richard, and because of that, he loved me back. Then because of that, he gave his life up for mine! My worthless life!”
“You had a relationship?” Jayna said, shocked. “I thought defen weren’t allowed to–”
“And why do you think that rule was made? Because of this! Before, it was only frowned upon, but now, it is reinforced, because I chose to break that rule. Rules are there for a reason, and I am paying because I broke it.
“I– I’m sorry. I need to be alone for now.” Cassie said, and rising, she left the room hurriedly.
Jayna also felt that she needed some time to herself after these startling revelations, and so she began wandering the most deserted part of the Outpost. She passed a patrolling com, and saluted mechanically, as her feet carried her along a random path through the Outpost. Thinking about what had recently occurred at the Outpost, she realized that it had only started after the arrival of Liam. This thinking about Liam made her recall her suspicious about him and Mako, and she determined to investigate.
She decided a logical place to spy on him would be in his room. That would be where he was most likely to think he was in complete privacy. She knew there was no way she could enter undetected through the door, and was at a loss of what to do for a few minutes. Then she thought of the ventilation shaft in the ceiling, and after twenty minutes, she was inside and crawling quietly towards the opening that was Liam’s room’s ventilation shaft.
It was pitch black inside the shaft, and when the floor dropped out from under her expectedly, she nearly screamed. But she kept her cool, and managed to slow her decent in the vertical tube until she was right above the grating. She could see Liam sitting on his bed facing his dog, Mako. As she watched, she detected a barely perceptible change in the manner of both Liam and his dog. Was she detected? She decided to climb back up, but knew there was no way she could shinny back up the shaft.
Jayna finally came to a decision, and putting her feet on the grating, tiptoed to try and reach the top of the shaft. Her fingers brushed the joint, just as the grating fell from under her, and with a surprised shout, she fell into the room.
Liam and Mako were in their room, in their customary position of discussion, when both detected another presence. When will she stop bothering us? Is she purposely making things hard? Mako asked himself, as he shifted his body. Liam’s ‘I agree’ cut into his thoughts, and he realized that he had been saying them aloud; mentally. What should we do? Mako asked.
I think we should probably wait and see. Liam told him. If I detect her disposition correctly, she is spying on us.
Further mental conversation was ended as Jayna came falling through the ventilation shaft into the room. Liam and Mako both got off the bed and headed towards her prostrate form. She shook her head, as if trying to clear hallucinatory images away from before her eyes. Mako licked her face in recognition, and wagged his tail whilst prancing around her.
“What in the world were you doing in the ventilation shaft?” Liam asked, towering above her.
Jayna just groaned and rolled over. She attempted to stand, but once she gained her feet, she collapsed onto the bed. In an instant, Liam’s whole manner changed, and he left the room hurriedly, saying that he was going for a medic. Mako jumped up onto the bed beside Jayna, and licked her hand as he settled himself into a comfortable position.
“I guess Liam must get lonely,” Jayna said, after five minutes of silence. “The way he talks to you, it’s almost like you’re a normal person. What does he tell you?”
“Liam’s going to kill me for this,” Mako said, sitting back on his haunches.
Jayna gave vent to a forced laugh. “I must have hit my head harder than I thought,” she said, then groaned and slapped a hand to her forehead. “What, now I’m expected to believe in talking dogs? I have heard enough already to shock me. I’m certain that I would hardly be surprised if you could actually talk.”
“I can talk,” Mako said. His voice was a gravely rumble.
Jayna sat up so fast she nearly tumbled off the bed. “What was that? Say that again? You actually understand me?”
“I said ‘I can talk’. I can talk. Yes, I do understand you.”
“But– but– How is this possible?”
“I am a DAMARC Type HD54.”
“Okay, that’s the second time I’ve heard this today. What in the world is a DAMARC and DAMARS? And what’s with the Type designation?”
“What have they done to you defens’ education these days? DAMARS stands for Deoxyribonucleic Acid Modification And Research Society. They were the depraved and twisted organization that took DNA modification and research over the edge, combining DNA of different species, and creating new warped creatures. A DAMARC is simply a Deoxyribonucleic Acid Modification and Research Creation. I am a DAMARC Type HD54. HD stands for human-dog. I am the fifty-fourth one they created. DAMARS was eventually shut down by Rich Hom. Didn’t you know?”
“No, I did not know,” Jayna said, unconsciously edging away from Mako. Mako’s sharp eyes noticed this and he let out a sort of sigh, as he shook his shaggy coat.
“There is a reason I remain hidden. Liam was the only one who accepted me, even after he found out what I was. Everybody else has shunned me with either disgust or pity. I had hoped you would be more understanding. I see I was wrong. Just– forget about this completely. If you can. And please don’t tell anybody about me. It would break my heart to be taken away from Liam, and he might do something stupid to get me back.” At the end of this, Mako looked up directly at Jayna, and her heart ached at the pain she saw in his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” Jayna said, moving forward and hugging Mako’s furry neck. “I was just– shocked. I have had a lot to soak up today, and I am having a hard time absorbing all of it.”
Mako’s ears pricked, and he whispered hurriedly. “Liam’s coming. Don’t tell him anything!”
Jayna hurriedly lay back down on the bed, just as Liam entered his room with the medic.
“Did I miss anything?” Liam asked, when he saw the look on Jayna’s face, but nobody said anything, and he motioned the medic forward. Five minutes later, Jayna had left his room, and Liam was once again sitting on his bed opposite Mako.
“So, what did our defen have to say about her actions?”
How am I supposed to know? Mako asked.
“You have your methods,” Liam said irritably. “Now just tell me will you? I have enough on my shoulders with the Twin Sisters without having you adding to that.”
Well, you’re not the only one with burdens on your shoulders. Mako told him, laying his head on Liam’s lap.
“I’m sorry,” Liam said, gently, as he stroked Mako. “I just tend to be extremely irritable after an encounter with her.”
It’s fine. Mako said. I understand. Apparently, Jayna is extremely suspicious of you and me. Also, she is very tense about something. I think she mentioned something about a lot of revelations in one day.
“Revelations you say? Maybe it’s time I had a talk with the General.”