Fanfiction by Chad 'Graeystone' Harger

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By Chad 'Graeystone' Harger,


Part One: Sleepers


Author's Note: I know I said I wasn't going to do a sequel to 'The Real Ricdeau'. I thought about it a lot and decided, what the heck, might as well. There was a whole bunch of things I felt was left unsaid concerning Citan, (including a certain scene) and other things mentioned in the game. I also put in a simple page of contents. This is easier for reading and simply going back to where you left off after finishing a chapter.



Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII


Two hundred and fifty years ago, a man called Hyuga Ricdeau, who was later known as Citan Uzuki, was once a Guardian Angel. Five years after the war with Deus, Hyuga and others who served the Solarian Government, turned themselves in to be put on trial for crimes they had committed. Most of the people who were on trial were acquitted because they were manipulated, brainwashed, or drugged into committing the crimes.

Citan was not one of those people. During his trial he admitted his guilt of the crimes he committed out of free will. Many people questioned why he went through his own trial in the first place because he was almost forgotten among the others. His reply was, "Because the truth always come out." Only the wise man Gasper knew the real truth of the trials, for Citan had told him just after his own trial. "Absolution," said Citan.

He was found guilty and those who knew Citan best knew his punishment was worse than a death sentence. Unlike a few exceptions of those who did things out of free will and were put to death, Citan was placed in suspended animation for two-hundred and fifty years forever separated from his wife and child. When he awoke he would be a stranger to even any surviving relatives he might have.

Just before Citan was placed into his deep sleep, his friend Emeralda, promised Citan she would be there to greet him when he awoke. "I decided to make a promise for I do know what that is. When it is time Citan, I will be here for you when you awake."

Citan's sentence is nearly complete and an old promise is about to be kept. . .

Chapter I: The Sleeper

"Doctor, we are almost at the chamber," said Emeralda.

Doctor Aria Tomia smiled at the woman who raised her. Aria was just a little bit shorter than Emeralda. Thin and in excellent shape. Her black hair was short but still attractive. It gave her a streamlined look. Her dark blues eyes seemed to glow in comparison to her creamy white skin. "Please mom, call me Aria."

Emeralda returned the smile. Thirty years ago, Aria was the sole survivor of a shuttle crash. Emeralda's heart went out to the child, the memories of Kim and Elhaym returned to her. Not wanting Aria to grow up without parents, Emeralda adopted the baby. There was resistance at first. The politicians and ignorant people attacked Emeralda. They claimed that is was not right for a machine in the form of a human to raise a child. Emeralda's past proved she was as human as if she was flesh and bone. She had fulfilled Kim's wishes and then some. Emeralda's strongest argument was that the world owed her. Many times she was asked to be in a position of rulership but she never accepted that. The only thing she wanted was to be human and raising a child of her own helped fulfill that part of her need.

"Aria, you have earned your position as a doctor and a scientist," said Emeralda. "You've made me very proud."

Aria's pale face reddened. Emeralda was not one for using large words. When she complimented someone she meant it. "Thanks mom," said Aria.

They stopped at the door that led to the room that held the device that kept Citan imprisoned. "We have to be careful," said Emeralda. "We don't know what state of mind Citan will be in when he awakens."

Aria nodded in understanding. Citan was a text book case of unusual Ether ability when it existed centuries ago. Even in this day and age no one could figure out why Citan's Ether ability was so different. Then there was his Dark Side. Very little was said about that in the history books. Even Yui's and Midori's memoirs said very little on the subject. "He is such a cipher," said Aria. "On the one hand he did terrible things and yet he admitted everything in a court of law. From what you told me and what the records show, he regretted everything he did."

Emeralda sighed recalling the trial. The once proud Citan seemed frail and broken on the stand. Then there was the awkward moment before he was placed in the Carbonite Device when he embraced his wife one last time and could not let go. "It will be very hard for him," said Emeralda. "I rarely saw Citan and Yui together, but when I did there seemed to be, I dunno, a bond or something."

Aria laughed as she checked her black medical bag to make sure everything was ready. Even in this high technological era, healers and doctors still carried a black bag. "I didn't you were such a romantic."

"This is the gratitude I get after paying for your education?" asked Emeralda half seriously.

"The patient is displaying symptoms of denial. Lobotomy should be preformed," shot back Aria.

Emeralda snorted and opened the door. Stale air and decades old dust flew in their faces. Emeralda closed her eyes as the nanomachines got rid of the dust. Aria coughed and rubbed and blinked her eyes. "You ok?" asked Emeralda.

Aria finished coughing and got the dust out of her eyes. "Yes."

Emeralda walked past and said, "Sucks to be you, doesn't it?"

Aria followed behind Emeralda. She was about to say something sarcastic when she stopped. She looked around the room. Two hundred fifty years of dust covered the room. The only sound was the gentle hum of machinery that kept the Carbonite device working. She watched Emeralda walk over and brush off one of the displays. "Five minutes," said Emeralda.

Aria nodded and opened her black bag. "We don't know what his physical condition will be," she said. "He could be healthy or the nanomachines failed and he could be dead."

The timer counted down to zero and an alarm buzzed. They waited for something to happen but nothing did. "Damn!" said Aria. "The machine failed!"

Emeralda stopped her daughter. "No, its just sending a signal to Shevat. Give it a few seconds."

They watched the seconds pass and vents opened up on the side of the machine. The air hissed as the cold air was released. Nanomachines kept in stasis within the black block activated and started to eat the material away. They moved so fast the carbonite glowed red. The red glow vanished and Citan fell out.

"Citan!" cried out Emeralda. She and Aria caught him before he fell. They carefully placed him on the floor. Emeralda looked at her old friend. His long hair fell off of his scalp. His skin was either drawn tight against his bones or it was sagging.

Aria opened her bag and took a scanner. She ran it over Citan's body. "There is some brain activity but very little. His heart is barely functioning." She looked at Emeralda in dismay. "I was afraid of this. These old cryogenic units were never meant to used for so long. It's a good thing he isn't mummified."

Emeralda's voice started to shake. "What can we do?" She had been many things in her existence since she had awoken. A healer or doctor was not one of them.

"I can't risk any drugs because he might awaken and the shock would kill him," said Aria. "The same thing might happen if he awakens on his own. He have to get him to Neo Nortune right away. They have the closest nano-reactor available."

Emeralda's stomach tighten. Neo Nortune. A haven for demi humans and Wels. A place that did not welcome humans at all. Even Emeralda was not welcome even though she was even more unique than them. "I just hope he's in a good mood. They did not part on good terms."


"No one isss permitted to enter," hissed the Demi-Human.

Emeralda looked up at the guard. The guard was twice her size. The guard had a lizard body with hair on his head. His skin was thick enough to withstand an Ether blast from point blank range. His claws were long and sharp enough to slice a human's skull in half in one swipe. His spear was longer than he was with a metal point forged from Gear armor.

Emeralda decided to use the peaceful way first. It was the reason she was created. "I understand your duty as a guard. Especially to guard him. There is much honor in that. You would gain even more honor if you tell him an old friend is here on business. I'm sure he would like to see at least one of his friends."

The Demi-Human's lizard tongue came out of his mouth. He licked his lips in thought. "No."

Emeralda shrugged and turned away. She tried the peaceful way now it was time to be nasty. She walked over an obsidian statue of a Gear that was a little bit taller than her. "I want you to watch this," she said. She faced the statue and her body broke down and passed through the statue. She reformed on the other side. The statue broke apart into small chunks and dust. Emeralda gave the guard a challenging look. "You sure no one is permitted to enter?"

The guard hissed and opened the door. Emeralda walked through. "I hope you can explain how that statue was damaged. Obsidian diamond is very rare."

Emeralda entered the throne room of Neo Nortune's ruler. The throne room was lavished with gold. Emeralda shook her head wondering when he became so materialistic. She walked toward the throne and she saw kingdom's ruler. She did not bow or kneel. She smiled and said, "Hello Rico, its been a long time."

Rico leaned forward in the throne. A side affect of Krelian's genetic tampering was that the Demi-Humans possessed an extremely long life span. While Rico was two hundred eighty years old, there were Demi-Humans older than him. Rico's eyes narrowed and he bared his fangs. He growled a low primal sound. Smart people would walk away at such a sight. Emeralda held her ground refusing to be intimidated. "You have a strange way of greeting your friends," she said.

"Friends?" growled Rico. "I never had any friends."

Emeralda frowned. She did not like where this was going. "Was it because they were human?"

Rico nodded. "None of them lifted a finger to help us."

Emeralda pointed at Rico. "Don't pull that crap with me. I was there. So was Fei, Bart, and Sigurd. We all tried to help the Wels and Demi-Humans. All it would of took was a simple apology and none-

Rico slammed his fist on the throne. "He had it coming! The Kaiser betrayed his own people! First my mother then his own kind!"

Emeralda calmed herself down. This was not why she was here. "I'm here for an emergency. I know you have to have some compassion left."

"Compassion?" asked Rico if the word was unknown to him. "Where was the compassion when Billy and his crew went on that damn jihad. 'To protect humanity, those who are less than human must die. To prevent anything of Deus from returning the Wels and Demi-Humans must be sacrificed for the greater good.' They wanted the fight when they killed the Demi-Humans and Wels who couldn't defend themselves. I asked him why he did what he did and do you know what he said?"


"He said the real reason was that he and his followers were afraid that we would replace humans. Because of our longevity we could outlast humanity. That was his answer before I broke him in half," answered Rico.

Emeralda wondered how a person be full of rage for so long. First Krelian and now Rico. At least with Rico the race war was stopped with an uneasy peace. As long as both sides left each other alone nothing bad would happen. "How can anyone have such hatred for so long?" she asked.

"What do you know of pain?" demanded Rico. "What do you know of pain and loss?"

Emeralda's whole colony shook with anger. She closed her eyes to get a grip on herself. "In case you've forgot Kaiser," said Emeralda mocking the Demi-Human's title. "I watched the people who were both my creators and my parents be killed. I existed for four thousand years in darkness. Sleep was an unknown concept to me. You know what happened to me when I awoke. Then what Krelian did to me was tantamount to rape. It took me a long time to get over those demons when I gained the knowledge and understanding of what had happened to me. I never blamed you or anyone for what Krelian did to me. So get off of that damn high Gear of yours and help me!"

Rico bared his fangs. "It depends on what this emergency is."

Emeralda knew the real argument was going to begin. "You know two hundred and fifty years have passed."

Rico shrugged. "So what? What does that have to do with- Rico's voiced trailed off. He remembered all to well. "Absolutely not! I will not help that son of a bitch!" he yelled, his voice echoing throughout the throne room.

"I made a promise to Citan to be there when his sentence was over. The machine was not able to keep his body whole for this long. It's a miracle that he is even alive. All I need access to a nano-reactor and Nortune has the closest one available."

"No," said Rico waving his arms for emphasis.

Emeralda bared her own teeth. "Is that your final decision?"

Rico smiled with contempt. "Yes. Don't think about breaking the treaty."

Rico expected another outburst from Emeralda but was disappointed when she relaxed and smiled. "This my warning Rico. You forgot something about me. That is understandable though, most people do. I'm neither Human, Demi-Human, or Wel. I'm a being unto myself. I'm not bound by that treaty you signed with the Humans. Remember what kind of mess those programmed nanomachines did to humans before and after Deus awoke. Now imagine what I could do to the buildings in Nortune."

Rico stood up and walked toward Emeralda. He got in her face. "You wouldn't last ten minutes. All it would take from me is an order and you would be destroyed. I know your power core is your weak spot."

Emeralda smiled at him as she knew a great secret. "You mean that power core my father installed in me? Yes, there were quite a few close shaves during the war with Solaris and Deus because of that. There is one thing everyone overlooked. Even Krelian did not know for all of his genius. The power core was placed in me when I was a child until I 'matured'. After I gained my adult body, the nanomachines adapted themselves to draw power as the power core once did. When the last of my friends died, I decided then to return to the lab of my genesis so I could revert to my individual components in the tank so the nanomachines could rearrange themselves to include the ability to draw energy like my old power core. To paraphrase Krelian, 'It would take an atomic disruption at the cellular level to kill me.' Do you have any spare nuclear weapons laying about?"

"I think you're lying," said Rico. Rico was faster than most people believed for one his size. He extended his claws and tore a hole in Emeralda's left breast. Like a human heart, he knew Emeralda's power core was there.

Emeralda gasped in pain and shock. Her nanomachines shut down her pain receptors. She looked at Rico with disbelief. Rico squeezed his hand expecting to crush her power source. All he squeezed were nanomachines. "I can't believe you did that!" yelled Emeralda.

Emeralda commanded her nanomachines to contract around Rico's wrist and hand. Rico tried to pull his and out. He felt his skin tear as he moved his hand. "Don't give me a reason to leave nothing but bone," threatened Emeralda.

Rico's expression became one nobody ever saw before, fear. Sweat glistened off his fur. He tried to talk but the nanomachines squeezed his hand and wrist keeping him quiet.

Emeralda's expression was also one of rarity, pure anger. "You listen well," she said. "I want a nanoreactor right now. By the time I get back to the ship there better be a functioning reactor waiting for me. No surprises either."

Rico fur stood up straight reflecting his fear. She would follow through on her threat. "Take it and never return."

Emeralda released Rico. "What happened to you?" she asked, wanting to know how someone could change that much.

"Change is part of life," said Rico. "I chose this life, this change."

"You know the time is almost upon us," said Emeralda. "You don't even care."

"I never cared at all. None of my kind ever cared," said Rico.

Emeralda did not reply. One of the harshest lessons she learned about what it meant to be human was that some people cared less about life than others. No matter what she or others did, some people chose death over life. Emeralda walked out of the throne room before Rico could see her sorrow.


The ship Aria was on was ordered to wait until the Demi-Humans left before they picked up the nanoreactor. She was tense ever since they left the ancient Goliath Hanger. When the Demi-Humans left, Aria and the ship's engineers brought the nanoreactor onboard. After they hooked the device up, Aria carefully placed Citan in the reactor. After she checked the readings and made sure Citan was alright she finally relaxed. She went back to her quarters to relax. Minutes later her adoptive mother announced her presence by slamming the door. "Are you ok?" asked Aria.

Emeralda poured herself a drink. Even though she was immune to alcohol she could still feel it go down. "In many ways I envy you," said Emeralda. "You have your short lifetime while I'll live to God only knows."

Aria's spine turned to ice. It always happened when her mother was upset and she talked about preferring a short normal life-span. "It went that bad?"

"I don't know when Rico changed," said Emeralda. "Or that he was always like that and his status as Kaiser made things worse."

"Right now I want to worry about how Citan is going to change physically," said Aria hoping to change the subject.

"How is he?" asked Emeralda with hope in her voice.

"If the ship doesn't crash into the ground, he'll be fine," said Aria. "It will take a few months before the damage is repaired."

"As long as he is ok," said Emeralda.

Aria reassured Emeralda with a confident smile. "I'm the best after all."

"Aren't we full of ourselves?" asked Emeralda.

Aria's smile widened. "I had a good teacher."


Throughout the decades Nisan slowly became not only the religious center of the world but also the healing center. Aria and Emeralda stayed near the hospital so Aria could watch Citan's progress. Five months passed and Citan was almost ready. On the final day Aria and Emeralda waited for the buzzer on the nanoreactor to go off.

Aria carefully looked at Citan's body as it floated in the device. "I think I might have overdone it," she said blushing.

"Something happened?" asked Emeralda with concern.

"Nothing to worry about," answered Aria. "Its just that I programmed the nanomachines to match his body as it was back then. I'm not sure but I might have made him a little bit too much in shape among other things."

Emeralda looked at Citan and it was her turn to blush. "No, that's about right."

Aria's eyebrows went up. "You mean? I mean, how do you know what he looks like?"

Emeralda was trying not smile and turned her attention to something else. Aria smiled knowing her mom did something embarrassing way back then. "As his doctor I demand to know what you are holding back. If it is important to his recovery, I have the right to ask."

Emeralda narrowed her eyes at her daughter. Aria had backed her into a corner. "You are not to tell anyone this," warned Emeralda.

"Doctor's privacy," said Aria with as much as seriousness she could not muster which was not much at all.

"I had learned quite a bit from my own parents," said Emeralda. "Unfortunately Krelian had wiped all of that out to make me a mindless slave. After I was rescued by Fei and Elly, I was wondering Bart's ship when it was morning. Not knowing things about privacy I walked into someone's quarters. I heard the sounds of water and went to investigate. I opened the bathroom door and saw Citan in the shower." Emeralda sighed and laughed. "So yes, I know what he looked like back then."

The reactor's alarm went off. Aria jumped. "I hate that," she muttered. "Spooks me every time." She composed herself and went over to the reactor. "Mom could you please get me a couple of nurses?" she ordered.

"Ok," said Emeralda. She left and returned with the nurses who brought in a anti-gravity platform used to carry patients.

"Mom, I need to you to leave," said Aria. "I'll let you know when you can see him."

Emeralda nodded and left. Aria and the nurses placed Citan on the lift. They carried him to his room and placed him in the bed. Aria did not like what she had to do next, but no one was even sure what Citan's state of mind would be when he woke up. Nobody knew if his Dark Side was the result of Ether or something else. It was to great of a risk to have him wake up in that state of mind. Aria strapped Citan to the bed and turned on the gravity field that usually kept people from moving body parts that should not be moved.

Emeralda kept silent vigil over Citan. She sat by his side patiently waiting for him to awake. All they had to do was wait.

Chapter II: Yesterdays and Today

Citan's first awareness was that of darkness. Then there was a light coming at him. Then he heard and saw his past.

"Congratulations Hyuga, you are the new Guardian Angel to Emperor Cain. Serve him well and you will be honored."

"Yes, she is the Queen's personal chef. I do not remember her name off hand though. I wonder if she a good cook as she is a spy."

"Must be why I leave SIA agents dead all over the place. Now you people start taking me serious? I don't if I should be insulted."

"You look more like a scholar than a warrior."

"My name is. . .Yui."

"Who knows, we may be the Eternal Lovers."

"I mean we've been searching for each other for a long time. Maybe this glow is a sign of our bond."

"I have abandoned no one and Hyuga's so called betrayal has yet to be proven!"

"I'm sure Hyuga told you I will not tolerate lies! Do it again and you will never tell another lie or the truth again!"

"Your unusual ability has been code named Arcane."

"I'm Citan Uzuki."

"Damn it! We have to do a cesarian right now!"

"The only thing keeping her alive is the nanoreactor."

"I'm so sorry but its so funny!"

"Shall I tell your wife and kid about the first and last time you got drunk?"

"You always felt yourself powerful, but you are an insignificant flea to be itched."

More and more memories came fast and furious. A kaleidoscope of images and words. Faster and faster until it became deafening and blinding. Citan screamed in his mind-

-and opened his eyes and inhaled sharply. He looked around trying to move. His body was paralyzed and felt strapped to something. In his confusion he thought he was captured by Krelian or the Gazel Ministry. He saw someone stand over him. Through blurred vision he hoped it was who he thought it was. "Yui?" he asked in a cracked voice.

"No," said Emeralda. "Do you remember who I am? Do you remember the promise I made?"

Citan tried to think. His memories were still a jumble. "Emmy? Emeralda?" he asked hesitantly.

Emeralda placed a hand on his arm. Smiling she said, "Yes, its me. How do you feel?"

"Confused," answered Citan. "My mind is a mess. Cannot seem to focus."

"That's good," said Emeralda. "We had to consider the worse case scenario when you awoke."

"Worse case?" asked Citan. "Ah, yes. . .that. I understand. What happened?"

Citan saw Emeralda look at him with concern. "I'll be right back," said Emeralda. "Your doctor will want to know that you are awake. Try not to think too much about your situation. Let it come naturally."

Citan nodded and tried to relax. Emeralda was right and he just had to let his mind adjust itself. Citan heard the door open again and heard two people enter. One of people was someone he did not know. She walked over and unstrapped him and turned off the gravity field. "I'm Doctor Aria Tomia. You are a very fortunate person Citan," she said. "I was told you remembered very little."

Citan slowly sat up in bed. His whole body tingled as his circulation returned. "Everything is a jumble," he said. "I think I am in shock. If I only knew why, I would feel better."

Aria's voice became soft, compassionate. "Do you remember your trial?"

Citan's body stiffened. "That must be it," he said. He recalled the final image of Yui and Midori smiling at him. A memory that he had burned into his memory. "Two hundred fifty years, correct?"

"Yes," answered Aria.

"I think my mind just registered that," muttered Citan before he passed out.


Citan awoke again. This time he got out of his bed and stumbled to the bathroom. The way his stomach acted he knew they had stuck him in a nanoreactor. 'Two hundred fifty years and they still have not fixed that side effect.'

Citan returned to his bed and saw a stack of books, a pair of glasses, and a letter. He picked up the letter and read it. It was from Emeralda and she wrote that she left some history books for him and new pair of glasses. The letter also said that they would talk later in private about their old friends.

Citan put on the glasses and closed his eyes tight. It did not matter and the headache came. Citan picked up one of the books and started to read. After the trials things quieted down for about thirty years. Then there was a resurgence of the Ethos. They went from religion to terrorism. They were stopped but the death and carnage they caused was unbelievable. The Solar Flare of 40 AD(After Deus) which caused a worldwide blackout and almost killed Emeralda and anyone with cybernetic parts or implants. The Gene War between Humans, Wels, and Demi-Humans which ended in tragedy and an uneasy peace.

Citan read that war and strife was not the norm. There were wonderful things that also took place. After the war with Deus, people relied on fossil fuel for the longest time. Fifty years ago a scientist invented cold fusion and the world's energy problems were fixed.

Nisan found out that the Ethos lied about making up their religion. The Sisters discovered this from the records that were recovered from the Eldridge. After decades of interpretation the Sisters finally shared their discoveries with the world and this time the mistakes were not made like they were on another planet long forgotten.

What took Citan's breath away was something that happened just fifteen years ago. A manned mission to the planet's moon was successful. Because of the technology and certain records from the Eldridge, there were many missions out into space. Probes orbited the system's planets sending back information.

There were a great deal many technological advances that were like magic to Citan. After reading the books he made a promise to learn as much about the technology in this age. He was after all, an engineer at heart.


Citan knew he was acting like a little kid who did not want to obey his parents but he did not care. "No!" he said for the tenth time.

Aria sighed. She had hoped Citan would be logical about what she wanted to do. "You're a doctor and so am I. We both know that physical therapy is important. The nanomachines are only a temporary solution. You've been in suspended animation for two and half centuries. You need to move to bring your body up to speed."

"I will attend therapy when I am ready," said Citan.

Citan expected her to continue the argument. He was surprised when she said, "Ok, you win. Just to let you know we have to move you to a new room. Unfortunately its by the maternity ward. The sound quality isn't the best and you'll be awake most of time."

Images of Midori as a baby crying at ungodly hours in the night. "You would not dare," said Citan with disbelief.

"You'd be surprised at what I do to get my patients to listen," threatened Aria. "Either attend physical therapy or listen to new born babies cry."

Citan held up his hands and in surrender. "Fine," he said.

Later in the day Citan stood between two bars. He was helped up from his hover chair. He placed his hands on the bars. He knew it was fear that made him argue with Doctor Tomia. It was a fear he saw before with his own patients. The fear of failing and being weak while recovering from an injury that required physical therapy.

Citan pushed his fear out of the way. He focused on the task at hand. He took a hesitant step forward. He held the bars tight as he felt his legs buckle. He refused to give in. He made it two-thirds way through before his legs gave out. He held on the bars so he would not fall flat on his face.

The physical therapist helped Citan up. "You did well for the first time," said the therapist.

"I did not make it to the end," complained Citan.

"No one ever makes it to the end on their first try," said the therapist. "The bars extend on purpose so prevent people from doing so. If people did make it to the end, they'd think they wouldn't need therapy anymore. This way we save time and energy." The therapist helped Citan into the hover chair. "Now its time for the pool."

"What do you have in there? Grak Sharks?"

The therapist's smile became sadistic. "Nope, whirlpools. Don't get sucked in."


Even though Emeralda and the government tried to keep Citan's awakening a secret, word did get out. The hospital was disrupted by the press and guards had to keep them out. One reporter snuck in claiming to be a decedent of Citan's. Aria and Emeralda were not there to screen the reporter and Citan was optimistic about meeting a relative he did not bother to think the man was lying. When he found out the reporter was lying, the reporter was fortunate Citan did not break his arm.

Citan continued studying and his physical therapy. Ten weeks passed and as arrangements were made to move Citan to his own apartment. Emeralda visited him a week before his release. "Thank you for everything you have done," said Citan.

"Just helping a friend," said Emeralda.

"You have grown," said Citan. "Do you think your parents would be proud of you?"

"I'd like to think so," said Emeralda. She looked at Citan and saw how he was trying not to think about the past. "You want to know how they lived and died?"

Citan relaxed for the first time in days. "Yes please."

Emeralda took a breath deciding on how to start. "Maria became a famous scientist and explorer. Her children followed in her footsteps. It was a Balthasar that was a first human on the moon."

"Thank goodness she got over what I admitted in the courtroom," said Citan.

"It took her a few years before she made her mark in history," said Emeralda. "Bart and Sigurd, much to their regret, were each elected governors of Aveh."

They both laughed at that. Both men swore they would never allow themselves to be elected as the new rulers after they won Aveh's independence. Emeralda continued after they both stopped laughing. "You'll be glad to hear Primeria finally got over her trauma. She joined the Nisan Sisters and became Mother Superior. She was the one who started the interpretations of the religion the Ethos corrupted."

"I see the sadness in your eyes," said Citan.

"Their story was tragic," said Emeralda. "Prim. . .was killed by Ethos terrorists."

"She was the kindest child I ever knew," said Citan. "Such tragedy. But you said 'their story'. What happened to Jessie and Billy?"

"Jessie died soon after you were imprisoned. A heart attack claimed him. As for Billy." Emeralda stopped, trying to figure the best way to say it. "Rico is still alive. A side effect of the genetic tampering is longevity. Billy was afraid of the Wels and Demi-Humans because of that. There was a war between Humans, Wels, and Demi-Humans. Billy was killed in the war."

"Rico killed him," said Citan.

"Yes," said Emeralda. "Rico is the Kaiser of Neo-Nortune. Do not visit him. It would not bode well. He still hates you for what you've done."

Citan did not reply. Even though two hundred fifty years passed, for him it was just yesterday and he still did not care for Rico. "Is Kahr still alive?" he asked instead. "When we found out he was a clone of Emperor Cain, I had assumed he would have longevity also."

"After a year passed, Kahr and Renee returned for awhile. They settled down and when Renee died, Kahr just up and vanished. Some say he kept walking until he died of exhaustion. Others say he still lives to this day in one form or another trying to find his true self."

"What do you believe?" asked Citan. It would be wonderful if one his old friends was still alive.

"Even if he was still alive I doubt he would ever return," answered Emeralda. She looked at Citan. "He asked me to give you message because he knew I would still be alive. He said that he forgave you for what you did and in the long run it was better that way. He wished he would've believed what he told you and the others and that what you said behind his back was the truth."

Citan sighed as a great weight was lifted off his shoulders. Long ago when he was with the original Elements as a spy for Emperor Cain, Citan was ordered to keep the other Elements in line, particularly Kahr. He had become friends with them and instead of killing them if they attempted a revolt Citan lied to the others saying that Kahr would be no better than the Gazel Ministry or Emperor Cain. Even though Citan was not far off from the truth it still caused him a great deal of guilt.

"What happened to the New Elements?" asked Citan.

"Billy gave up control of the orphanage after Prim was killed." Emeralda stopped and tried not to laugh. "Seraphita took it over."

"Her?" said Citan in disbelief. "That is like having a two year old babysit a newborn."

Emeralda's smile widened. "She matured quite a bit after your trial. I think her own trial made her grow up quite a bit. She was nominated three times for the Shevat Peace Award and won it twice."

Citan still could not believe it. "What about Tolone and Kelvana?"

Emeralda repressed a shudder. Citan saw her fear but did not comment on it. "I'm sure you read about that Solar Flare. Tolone was one of the unfortunate ones who was killed when her cybernetic mind was disrupted beyond repair." Emeralda shuddered again and was not able to repress it.

"You were affected also," said Citan. It was a observation not a question.

Emeralda nodded slowly. "I never really knew what death was like until that moment when the flare hit. Two thirds of my colony was ruined and my collective mind was reduced to that of a invalid. Took me five years to reform my body and another two to regain my memories."

Emeralda closed her eyes and took a breath. She did not need to breath but the action helped her. "To continue," she said getting back to the subject. "Even after the trials there was still animosity between Solaris and the rest of the world. Kelvana became a diplomat of sorts. Her blindness and what she learned gave her an insight to both sides. Eventually she was able to heal the rift between Solaris and the world."

"I read some current news. I'm guessing that the Wise Men and Queen Zephyr stopped the life extending treatments," said Citan.

"You're right," verified Emeralda. "They lived another thirty or forty years before they died." Emeralda leaned forward looked at Citan with a frown. "Before he died, Gasper wanted me ask you about the truth of the trials."

Citan shook his head. He should have known Gasper would find a way to get the truth out. "I can tell you on one condition. You must never tell anyone what I'm about to tell you until I die."

"Is it that bad?" asked Emeralda.

"It depends on who you ask," replied Citan. "Maria was not the only person I helped after the war. There were plenty of Solarian citizens and soldiers who were in deep depression at what they did. I did all I could but it was not enough. Everyone wanted to admit what they did but was afraid of retribution. Even when Zephyr let things go it not ease their hearts or minds. That is why I suggested the trials. That way they could admit what they did and hopefully seek forgiveness. It was agreed also that if any of us were found guilty we would accept the punishment."

Emeralda reasoned the rest. "You had to go last. According to the laws back then, once a trial is finished it can never be reopened. If you went first then the other trials would have gone on longer than they would have."

Citan smiled weakly. "Exactly. And as with the agreement I had to take the punishment."

A long silence settled between them. Finally Citan asked, "What happened to Fei and Elly? Did they have any children?"

"No," said Emeralda. She sighed and looked at the ceiling. "Apparently Miang did the worst possible thing to Elly while she was in possession. It was something we found out what she did to all of her hosts."

"What did she do?" asked Citan afraid of what Miang had done.

"She had Krelian preform a hysterectomy," said Emeralda with a shudder.

"My god," said Citan. "Even what happened to her that still did not give her the right."

"Do you know something?" asked Emeralda.

"Just memories of the past that I allowed to be erased before I left to keep an eye on Fei. It was done because of Miang's telepathy. If she caught wind of what Emperor Cain and I were doing it would have been over before it started. I'd rather not say what happened to Miang."

"When Krelian did what he did to me it was basically the same thing," whispered Emeralda. "I'm just thankful I had good friends to help me when I finally understood that what Krelian did to me was wrong."

"And Fei?" asked Citan. He knew it must still be hard for Emeralda to talk about that.

"I didn't mean to over hear what you told him before you were put in the cryogenic unit, but you were right and Fei did become Nisan's mayor a for a couple of terms. He worked with Kelvana to. . ."

Emeralda stopped and sniffed. Citan was shocked to see actual tears in her eyes. "Emeralda, are you alright?"

Emeralda wiped her eyes. "Yeah, I guess it just still gets to me whenever I think about it. For once the Contact and Anti-Type did not meet a violent death. I had a feeling that day. For some reason I thought about my own parents. I don't remember what I was even doing. I just had an overwhelming urgency to go to Fei and Elly's house. I found them on the back porch sitting on a swinging chair. Fei had his arm around Elly and her head was resting on his shoulder. Both had a peaceful smile as if everything was fine. I suppose they both knew it was their time and were not afraid."

"Emeralda," said Citan who had wiped his own tears. "I know who are you going to talk about next. If you do not mind I am not ready yet. Tell me what you have you been doing the past two and half centuries."

"Living and learning," said Emeralda. "Experiencing life as I was meant to. Helping make sure things are peaceful as much as possible which is not easy."

"How so?" asked Citan. He was especially curious about Emeralda's growth as a human being.

"I'm different which doesn't make things easy. I had a hell of a time trying to get both sides to listen when Billy and Rico were going at it. Other than those rare times of intensity I'm usually a private citizen. I had to get a nanoreactor from Rico after you were released. He tried to use the treaty against me and I had to remind him that I am the most unique life-form on the planet."

"Do you meet anyone special?" asked Citan.

Emeralda's whole body turned red. "Aren't we being nosy?"

Citan raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Let me guess you took sarcasm lessons from Bart," he said dryly.

Emeralda laughed. "Yeah. I did get married about fifty years ago. Robert died when he turned sixty. He came down with one of those rare diseases that nanomachines can't even cure. I still think of him often but one of the things I had to learn early on is that I can't keep hold of the past forever. My daughter is keep-

"Your daughter!?" yelled Citan.

Emeralda clarified, "Doctor Aria Tomia is my daughter."

Citan's mouth opened and closed trying to speak. If Taura was a magician with nanomachines then Kim was what? Citan stopped his train of thought. This piece of news was just as huge as the discovery of the Wave Existence.

"Oh," said Emeralda looking at Citan's expression. "I did not give birth to her nor did I create her like my parents created me. I adopted her after her parents died in a shuttle crash."

"I see," said Citan, his mind still reeling. "Any other surprises about yourself?"

"No," said Emeralda. She thought about what to say next. "When do you want to finish this talk?"

Citan held back his sorrow. It was not yet time for that. He had one thing to do before he could continue even with his new life. "Take me to them."

Chapter III: Closure of the Heart

The double did his job perfectly. After observing Citan for a week, the actor went to entrance of the hospital and was mobbed by the press. Citan and Emeralda coached the actor on how to act and answer the questions.

While the actor was engaged with the reporters, Citan and Emeralda went to the roof of the hospital to the shuttle pad. They boarded a shuttle and flew to where Yui and Midori rested.

Citan watched the ground and was amazed. Below he saw miles and miles of forest. It took a few moments to realize where they were. "What happened to the desert?"

"According to the geologists," answered Emeralda, "the desert should never have existed in the first place. The theory is that in its weakened state Deus drew energy and life from this area. The thick forests are the true face of this area. It took a hundred years for the forests to return."

"I'll bet the Sand People were shocked when trees started popping up," observed Citan.

"They had some legend saying that someday the desert would become a paradise. They still live in the forest and are still xenophobic although not as bad as they used to be. Every so often a small group will leave and mix in with a city. Everyone always wondered what they looked like underneath their masks. Even I was surprised when they revealed themselves."

"So what do they look like?" asked Citan.

"Basically human," answered Emeralda. "They have indigo skin and silver hair. Their eyes are yellow and have a faint glow. Not a sickly glow but like the sun. They are attractive by our standards. Their noses are just a couple slits."

"Could they have been one Krelian's experiments?" asked Citan.

"No. I believe they are something more incredible," said Emeralda. "According to their legends they came from one of the points of light that can be seen at night. Judging by their records they came to this planet almost five thousand years ago. They landed and were not able to leave."

"This planet seems to be a magnet for trouble," said Citan. For some reason that scared him. The doctor in Citan kicked in and he realized something else. "The genetic disease. When people entered Solaris they had to be vaccinated. I'll bet the Sand People, or whoever they are, had some disease that was harmless to them but fatal to humans."

"Could be," said Emeralda. "It would make sense. At first they tried to mingle with humans. They did have the ability to change their appearances with holographic projections. They did live among humans quietly until they started to vanish."

"Miang," muttered Citan with disgust. "With her telepathy it would not take long to find them out." Citan looked at Emeralda with wonder. "How do you know so much about them?"

"Oddly enough they knew of my father. At the time he was having problems on how to create a magnetic field that would allow me to keep my form. One of the aliens was an engineer who befriended father. The alien revealed himself to my father when the alien discovered my purpose. Back then the Sand People just wanted peace. Miang was the one to caused them to be like they are today. Just before I adopted Aria, the Sand People finally heard about me." Emeralda coughed. It was something she did before she said something embarrassing. "I was surprised when they popped up at my house. They were curious how their ancestor's hand in my creation turned out. I helped broker a deal that permitted them the use of what used to be the desert."

"Five minutes until landing," said the shuttle's pilot over the intercom.

Citan steeled himself for what was coming next. He cleared his mind of all thought. Emeralda asked him if he wanted her to go with him and he said no. This was something he had to do alone.


Citan walked away from the shuttle with an air of calm. Emeralda told him their graves were near the house. Citan looked around his family's former home. It was a house they moved to after Citan and Yui discovered their daughter was telepathic. To protect Midori's secret, Citan and Yui attempted to give up their former lives.

Citan swallowed and looked at the decrepit building. Their time here was short lived because Grahf and Miang found about Midori. Although in hindsight Citan did enjoy kicking Grahf's behind. Yui and Midori almost paid the price because in order to fight Grahf, Citan had to give into his Dark Side.

Citan pushed the memory aside. He pushed the broken door aside and entered the building. He could hear Midori's voice as she played with the wild chickens she took as pets. Citan smiled as he heard Yui's voice threatening to kick his butt halfway across the land if he did not stay out of the kitchen.

Citan walked to the bedroom he and Yui shared but did not enter. Instead he closed his eyes and remembered the intimate times he shared with her. The caresses and the love making through their bodies and the bond. The times their feelings were so strong the bond would manifest itself through Ether and through that they would share their love, hope, and happiness.

Citan backed away trying to hold back his tears. The next thing he knew he was behind the house. He saw two slabs of rock ivory. Very rare but able to last a long time. Citan stumbled toward them. He looked at the words on the stones and felt his stomach tighten. He made a sound of denial and fell to his knees. He traced the words that were carved on the stone with his fingers.

It was then that Citan realized the full truth. Two hundred fifty years went by. He never got the chance to grow old with Yui. The missed opportunity of watching Midori grow up. The woman he fell in love with was gone. He would never hear Midori's sweet voice either spoken by mouth or by mind. The truth came out and Citan cried for what he had lost.


"She is haunting me," said Citan. His voice was tired and he had not slept well for weeks after visiting the graves. His eyes were sunken and red. His hair was a mess and as many times before in his life whenever he was depressed he did not shave.

"Who?" asked Aria who sat at her desk taking notes.

Citan looked at Aria and sighed. Ever since he started therapy he did not tell her. He was getting sick of going around in circles. He sighed once again. "Yui."

Aria wrote something down in her notebook. "How is she haunting you?"

"In my dreams I see her being killed and its my fault."

"What are the dreams?"

Citan laughed. It was a bitter laugh but Aria took that as small comfort. "Its strange," explained Citan. "I dream about the Contact's and Anti-Type's lives in each era. It is not them but Yui and I who are the couple."

"The Eternal Lovers," said Aria mostly to herself. Very little was known about their lives in each era. Even Emeralda said little about her parents and creators. "Go ahead."

"Fei told me in detail about the previous Contacts. He said how they lived and died. As stated in the Eternal Lovers legend, they all met a violent death except for Fei and Elly." Citan shivered and continued. "There are certain things that change in my dreams. When the first clone of Emperor Cain kills Yui, I am in possession of my sword. I hear Yui yell something at me. I take my sword and attack the clone killing him. Instead of Emeralda as a child, it is Midori I am creating. During the great war between Shevat and Solaris, I hear Yui's voice as she sacrifices herself like Sophia did. Instead of going insane at a failed meeting with the Zohar Modifier, I allow my Dark Side to consume me."

"What does Yui say?" asked Aria.

Citan could not look at Aria. He turned his head and said, "She says she wants to live."

Aria knew that was not right. "Citan, look at me," she ordered. When Citan turned his gaze back at her, she continued. "Mother told me about Kim and Elly's death. How violent it was. She heard her mother tell Kim almost the same thing as Yui does in your dreams. Its not that Yui wants to live, but that she wants you to live."

Citan remembered how Fei suddenly changed after his mind was repaired. All those times Elhaym would tell her counterpart to live. Aria confirmed what she said, "Its not Yui that is haunting you. Its your own mind trying to move on. That is the reason for the dreams. Finally accept her and Midori's death."

"At their tombs I thought I had," replied Citan.

"When I found out I was adopted I was devastated," said Aria. "Even though I knew they died in an accident, I still felt as though I had abandoned them or they were angry at me."

Aria reached across the table and took hold of Citan's hand. "Mom told me it would take awhile to accept the truth. The truth was that my real parents loved me as much as Emeralda. Go home and take comfort that your wife and child loved you even though the time together was brief."

Citan's smile was the first genuine one in weeks. "I will," he said. "Thank you doctor."

"Call me Aria," she replied. "You are no longer my patient. We're friends now."

"Thank you Aria," said Citan. He went to get up but something held him back. He looked at his hand then at Aria. "You can let go."

Aria's face turned red. "Sorry."

"Please tell Emeralda that when she has time to come visit me," said Citan. "I would like to talk to her about Yui and Midori."

Aria got over her embarrassment. "Will do. You take care."


Emeralda and Aria sat in their apartment provided by Nisan.

"That was the most embarrassing thing I ever did," said Aria.

"What happened?" asked Emeralda.

"Doctor/patient confidentiality," muttered Aria.

"You flirted with him. You have strong feelings toward Citan," observed Emeralda.

"I don't," lied Aria.

"Its who he is," said Emeralda. "He is a mystery and at the same time is charismatic. Yui told me that during their wedding at Shevat, she was about ready to smack every woman at the reception because the way they were looking at Citan." Emeralda paused then said with some difficulty, "After I gained my adult body and the understanding of attraction between men and women, even I had a. . .few flights of fancy."

"Its not even that. I placed my hand on his to comfort him while talking about his problems. I crossed the ethical line by doing that. I felt angry at him afterwards because he didn't realize what I felt. I also felt stupid because I was making advances at worst possible moment."

"I can't tell you what to do," said Emeralda. "The only advice I can give is to become detached. I know he is no longer your patient but being detached will you give you the room you need to think this through."

"Thanks, mom," replied Aria. "I think I will. Citan wanted me to tell you wanted to talk to you."

"Did he say why?" asked Emeralda.

"He wanted to talk to you about Yui and Midori, how they lived their lives."

"I'll arrange an appointment with him," said Emeralda.

Aria did not say anything knowing that her mother had the harder job.


Emeralda talked to Citan at his apartment.

"How was Midori after went into I went into deep sleep?" asked Citan. While he seemed calm his hands his were shaking.

"She was in denial wondering when you would return. Later she became angry. It took her awhile to come to terms with what happened," explained Emeralda.

"She did not do, ah, anything rash?," asked Citan. He felt his spine turn cold. That last thing he wanted was Midori lashing out at the world with telepathy.

"She became withdrawn while angry," said Emeralda. "I'm sorry Citan but in order to help her, Yui had to let Midori's telepathy known to the world."

"What happened?" asked Citan in a tone of voice that intimidated Emeralda who was basically invulnerable to just about anything.

"With the help of Fei and Elly, Midori made it past her anger," Emeralda finally answered. "You would've been proud of her." Emeralda stopped realizing what she said. Citan never got the chance.

"Its alright," said Citan. "Even if she failed, I be will proud as long as she tried."

"She didn't fail," reassured Emeralda. "Midori became a great psychologist." Emeralda smiled. "It seemed that I had some issues at the time."

"Did she marry?" asked Citan, hopeful that he had some decedents in this era.

"Yes," answered Emeralda. She saw the look in Citan's eyes. "Citan, friend, I'm sorry, but Midori had some genetic defect that-

"Damaged her eggs. Any children she would have would be hideously disfigured," finished Citan. Citan sank in his chair. "They weren't able to save the baby."

"Not even Taura could've done anything. The baby's brain was not fully formed," said Emeralda. "How did you know about Midori's problem and the condition of the baby?" Emeralda and Aria were careful about information regarding Citan's family. Aria did not want too much dumped on Citan.

"Hereditary," replied Citan. "Have you never wondered why Yui and I never had anymore children? Arcane had damaged my own sperm. Or at least that is what I believe." Citan stiffened in his chair struck by a frightening thought. "My condition, was it anything like the disease that destroyed the Zembian Civilization?"

Emeralda repressed her own coldness. "No," she said. "If it was, Solaris would've been the least of our problems. In later years I discovered what happened to that age. It was the disease and war that destroyed it. A war that was a scorched earth policy."

Citan nodded in understanding. It was typical of them. They cut their loses in a worst possible way and started over. How many times throughout history did the Gazel Ministry and Emperor Cain wipe out the population like a teacher erasing a blackboard?

Citan pushed the thought away. They were gone for good. Citan did not care for them at all except for the final Emperor Cain clone who was able to rebel. "Who did she marry?" he asked instead.

Emeralda laughed out loud which surprised Citan. "I think you can figure that out on your own."

Citan frowned wondering why she did not answer and more importantly why she thought it was funny. He looked at Emeralda with shock. His mouth wide open. "She married Daniel?!" he said a lot louder than he wanted. "He, he," stammered Citan. 'He had a sister complex for crying out loud!'

"When he reached adulthood he also gained a lot of maturity," said Emeralda.

Citan doubled over with laughter. "Poor Daniel," he managed to say. "It must've been tough on him being married to a telepath."

"Oh, yes," said Emeralda with a smile. "Whenever he would look another woman he'd end up with a headache."

"They must have made an interesting couple," said Citan with regret.

Citan and Emeralda did not say anything for minutes. Citan wanted to ask about Yui and Emeralda knew Citan had to be the one to take the initiative. "Yui," Citan finally whispered.

"What about Yui?" asked Emeralda taking the opening.

"I was just thinking about my final night with her. We talked about what we would do once we were separated. She said she would not remarry. I would be sad if she did not, but at the same time relieved."

Emeralda started to speak then stopped. Citan saw that she was trying to saying but could not find the right words. "She remarried."

"Yes," said Emeralda. "She stayed single until she became older. Her age and loneliness was getting to her. She found someone to be with for her twilight years."

"Who?" asked Citan trying to be calm.

"Sigurd," Emeralda finally said.

Citan thought he was going to be angry but was in fact happy that Yui was taken care of by someone he trusted. "Did they have any children?"

"No," answered Emeralda. "I think their relationship was more emotional than physical." Emeralda saw the pained expression on Citan's face. "You alright?"

"No," said Citan. "I had hoped that Yui and I would spend those golden years together." Citan closed his eyes and asked, "How did she die?"

"Two years passed after the stroke that claimed Sigurd," answered Emeralda. "One day Yui just vanished. We searched high and low for her. We found her at the Goliath Hanger. We found her." Emeralda stopped realizing she could not say 'dead'. "We found her leaning against the cryogenic device."

Citan fought back his tears. "Thank you Emeralda," he managed to say.

Emeralda took something out of her pocket. "Yui asked me to give you this," she said. "She said you'd know what to do with it."

Citan took Yui's Wedding Ribbon and held in tight. He rubbed some of it between his fingers and for a moment he could feel Yui's soft hair and smooth skin. "Thank you," he said. "I would like some time alone."

Emeralda got up walked to the door. "I understand. I'll be returning to Aveh in a few days. I don't know if Aria will be going with me or not."

Citan smiled at the mentioning of Aria. "Could you please tell her that I am flattered and that any other time I would be honored. Right now I need to heal. For now it is best if we remain friends."

"She understands," said Emeralda. "I'll relay the message."

After Emeralda left, Citan looked at Yui's Ribbon for a moment. He placed it on a table then took his own Wedding Ribbon, which surprisingly survived the two-hundred fifty years with Citan, out of his hair. Citan intertwined them and tied them in a knot in the center. He went into the kitchen and took a bowl and placed the tied Wedding Ribbon in the bowl. He took a book of matches out of a another cupboard. He looked at the tied Wedding Ribbon and said, "Two small fires burning bright until one fire is doused for eternity."

Citan lit a match and dropped it in the bowl. He watched the fire eat at the ribbons. He let the tears fall freely, some of them falling into the bowl causing a hissing sound as the tears evaporated. When the fired died and there was nothing but ashes, Citan said, "The other fire will dim in darkness, alone, until there is nothing but ashes."

Citan took the bowl and went to the balcony. Without anymore words he emptied the bowl and watched the ashes scatter in the air forever symbolizing the closing of his past with Yui.

Chapter IV: The Futility of it all.

Emeralda entered Fatima Castle. Three months passed since she saw Citan and Aria. Citan was still adjusting to the world while Aria decided to stay in Nisan to learn some new medical procedures. Emeralda knew her daughter just wanted to be near Citan. Emeralda hoped that Aria would take her advice and just be friends with Citan.

Emeralda pushed that problem into the back of her collective mind and concentrated on the current one. She was surprised when she got the emergency call. She did not get directly involved with politics but she still gave advice.

Emeralda entered the council room. Here representatives from the surrounding lands. Aveh, Nisan, Shevat, the Sand People, New Lahan, and Solaris Remnant. All were there except for a representative from Neo-Nortune who broke of all contact with the rest of the world.

Emeralda stood up to the podium that was in the center of the room. She faced the half circle table of people. "I'm honored to be here," she said.

"Thank you," Klais Dewin of the Solaris Remnant. "We know this is short notice but it is an emergency."

Dorothy Dixson, who frankly spooked Emeralda because of her uncanny resemblance to Alice and who was also the representative of New Lahan. "As you know, the time is upon us. Unfortunately our figures were wrong," she said.

"How wrong?" asked Emeralda who felt every nanomachine starting to lock up.

"What we believed was fifty years turns out to be tens years," answered Wiseman Yung of Shevat.

"How could we have been mistaken," Emeralda managed to say.

Xi'Del of the Sand People sighed through her nose slits that sounded like wind chimes. "We forgot to take into consideration exponential growth."

Emeralda looked at her hands and felt repulsed. It sickened her that something so wonderful could be used for such evil. She looked at the council and asked, "How is our timetable?"

"It will be close by a few months," answered Xi'Del.

"We are damn lucky Citan awoke when he did," added Klais. "Have you approached him yet?"

"He doesn't know anything," said Emeralda. "I wanted to give him time to adjust. Aria and I helped him through the worst of it. I will approach him within two weeks. How is the construction doing?"

"We have are nearly done with the exteriors. We will be pushing collective luck with this new information. We really wanted to performs tests first," said Dorothy.

"It is all or nothing," replied Klais.

"What matters is what Citan is able to find out," added Xi'Del. "He is the only one who knows where the information can be found."

Klais muttered something. "I only wish there was an easier way then to go hunting for . . .that."

Everyone shared the same feelings as Klais. Emeralda had personal memories of what they were after and she liked it the least of all. And given Citan's own history, she would not be surprised if he refused her request.


Citan and Emeralda walked through the park in Nisan. Citan decided to stay and catch up on his medical knowledge. Last month he was approved for an internship. Emeralda contacted him and asked to meet in Nisan's park.

Citan knew something was weighing on Emeralda's collective mind. When they sat down on a bench, Emeralda asked, "Citan, have you ever thought about what we did?"

Citan looked at Emeralda with concern. She looked depressed and Citan was surprised he would see her be that. "I do not understand."

"Didn't you ever think that our fight with Deus would have serious repercussions?" asked Emeralda.

"We helped save the world and quite possibly creation itself," replied Citan. He was not sure what Emeralda was going on about and he knew he would not like what her point was going to be.

"People look at me and see something created for hope," explained Emeralda. "They also see Deus as a machine for destruction. We are both intelligent beings and yet people do not realize we have the capability for performing one act. That act is spite and Deus committed an act of spite that doomed this planet."

Citan could not reply. Emeralda answered the unspoken question. "Krelian repaired much of Deus using nanomachines," she said not bothering to hide her anger.

Citan saw the anger and pain showing on Emeralda. He wondered if it was possible for anyone to get over such invasion. "He got them from you."

Emeralda nodded but did not comment on those events. "You know how versatile nanomachines are. They can heal and also destroy."

"Its technology," said Citan. "By itself it can't do anything. Its up to its creators and those who use it to determine wether it is for good or evil."

"Thanks," said Emeralda dryly.

"Sorry," said Citan. It was easy to forget Emeralda was a work of technology. "I did not mean any insult."

"I know," said Emeralda. "I understand what you mean. We believe that Deus reprogrammed some nanomachines and released them just before or after it made its attempt to escape. The nanomachines replicated and started eating at the world's crust."

Citan went pale at the implications. An even more frightening though came to him. "Is it trying to come back?"

"No," said Emeralda with relieve. "If it was trying, it would've came back by now. As I said it is most likely an act of spite."

"You need my help," realized Citan. "How do you find out about this?"

"Aquvey Islands sank under unusual conditions. Traces of nanomachines were found. The council ordered an investigation believing it was some Ethos group still around," answered Emeralda. "Much to our horror we discovered a tumor of nanomachines expanding in the crust of the planet. By the time one solution was found it was to late. Even if the nanomachines were stopped the planet's crust would be too damaged and the world would be racked with earthquakes until it broke apart on its own."

Citan had a good idea what the solution was. "You were going to fight it."

"Yes," said Emeralda, her voice grim. "For me to mount any counterattack would require to me grow like the nanomachines and would require replication on a great scale."

"The cure is worse than the disease," muttered Citan. "I am guessing there is a plan regardless of the danger."

Emeralda eyes widened. "Oh, yeah, we a have plan."

Citan managed to smile. "That radical?"

"Uh-huh," said Emeralda. "We haven't been exploring space just for the heck of it. We are building three ships to take the population to another inhabitable planet. There is only one little problem."

"Unable to find an inhabitable planet?"

"We have that. The mission is two fold," answered Emeralda. "There is another planet we are interested in."

Citan took a breath. It did not take much to think about the other planet. "You're talking about the planet the Eldridge originated from."

"Its believe you can help find the co-ordinates," replied Emeralda.

"I know very little about that planet. I did not even know humans and Deus originated on a different world until Cain told me," said Citan.

"Its not what, but who you know," said Emeralda. She paused then continued slowly. "The theory is that when Deus was damaged, it made safeguards that the location of its planet of origin were safeguarded. The council believes that it gave the co-ordinates to the Gazel Ministry." Emeralda took a breath before continuing. "We can't find their remains. I believe that you know where they are."

Citan closed his eyes and nodded. "I know where they really are." When people met the Gazel Ministry in person, they were not seeing the real thing but an intricate holograph. The real Gazel Ministry was kept safe somewhere else.

"Will you help us find them?" asked Emeralda with hope.

Citan's eyes narrowed and he clenched his fists. "Yes, on one condition. I go alone."

"Sorry Citan," said Emeralda who was startled by Citan's sudden change. "I have to go with you."

"Fine, but you can only go so far. The rest I have to handle on my own," said Citan.

Emeralda had no choice but to agree and wished she could change her mind.

Chapter V: Revenge and Redemption

The two person shuttle flew over the remains of Elru. Before takeoff, Citan did a final check of the shuttle. He found four well hidden homing beacons and left those behind. He knew the Solaris Remnant had to have hid them here. The memories of what the Gazel Ministry did was still fresh in their minds.

"They were located here?!" exclaimed Emeralda.

He did not answer Emeralda's question. He did not say much at all during the journey. He mind was elsewhere. He thought about what the Gazel Ministry did to him and others. The lies, manipulations, and pain. Then there was the unfinished business he had with them.

Citan landed the shuttle and went back to the hold. He strapped on a backpack, and to Emeralda's surprise, his sword. "Where did you get that?" asked Emeralda.

"I requested the museum that had it to return it to me," answered Citan.

Emeralda wanted to know what Citan was really up to and knew her questions would not be answered. She followed Citan to a small building that survived Id's onslaught. "Wait here or at the shuttle," said Citan. "Just do not follow."

Emeralda wanted to argue but knew better. If he backed out then all could be lost. For now she had to obey.

Citan saw the hurt look on Emeralda's face. "I wish you could go with me," he said. "If I was anyone else I would let you. There is business I have to. . .finish with them." He smiled and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Do not worry I will get the information first."

"Just be carful," replied Emeralda.

"I will," reassured Citan. "I hope you brought something to read. This might take awhile."

He opened the door to the old building and stepped into the past that as much as he wanted to, could not be forgotten.


Citan looked around the building. Dust covered everything. The building used to be loan shop. Citan walked around the counter and into the back. At the desk that sat against the wall, Citan reached underneath and pressed a button.

The wall on the right slid a little bit then stopped. Citan drew his sword and put the flat of the blade between the crack of the wall and pulled. The wall moved and Citan pushed it the rest of the way by hand.

Citan entered the secret passage and walked down the stairs. When it got dark, Citan took out a flashlight and turned it on. He was reminded of the time he visited the Fatima catacombs, only these stairs were much longer.

At the end the bottom of the stairs, Citan entered a passage way. The passage continued on a slight downward slope. Citan was surprised that there was no cave-in considering what Deus had done. That thought made Citan walk faster.

Citan finally entered the Gazel Ministry's real chamber. It was like the one people believed they saw. Citan waved his flashlight and saw the SOL 9000 being supported by two support beams that reached out of the wall. At the end of the steel beams was a semi-circle that helped keep the SOL 9000 in place. He smiled with satisfaction at the giant blue data crystals that held the Gazel Ministry's memory patterns. Citan waved his flashlight and gasped seeing the giant key that awoke the remains of the Eldridge.

Citan got over his surprise and walked to a lever on a wall. It was a lever that was installed without the Gazel Ministry's knowledge. It was their cutoff switch for when Krelian no longer had a use for them. Citan took hold of the lever and pulled. The lever was rusted and Citan had to be careful not to break it. Eventually the lever moved downward with a loud groan.

A low hum started to build and Citan turned to see some lights activate on the SOL 9000. He knew it would take some time for the computer to go through its start up procedure.

Citan went to back to the tunnel and sat down on the floor. It was cold but he did not mind. He took some food and drink he packed and ate lunch. After that he leaned his head against the wall and fell asleep.


And was awoken later by screeches of data being passed to each other. To Citan it sounded like the world's loudest modem. The screeching became clearer until a one word was screamed at once. "KRELIAN!"

Citan got and up went back into the chamber. He ignored the yelling and confusion and waited to for them to see him. Finally one of them saw him. "Hyuga!" the facet said with surprise and shock.

The rest of the Gazel Ministry quieted down. They did not have to wait in get Citan in visual range to see him. What one facet saw, so did the others. One that was facing the other way said, "We have a mission for you. You are ordered to kill that traitorous bastard Krelian."

Citan frowned and replied, "He has already been taken care of."

"Good," said another facet. "Then we can proceed with the plan."

"Your. . .god is gone also," said Citan.

"That is impossible," said the facet that first spotted Citan.

"It was killed by the Contact," explained Citan. "I suggest you check your internal clock. It has been a long time."

A few seconds passed. "Two hundred fifty years," said a facet as if he commenting on the weather. "How did you survive this long Hyuga?"

"I was in a cryogenic sleep," answered Citan.

"This is perfect," said another. "We are no longer slave to our god. Those who have stood in our way are dust. We can rebuild and we shall be gods. With Hyuga as our Guardian Angel, nothing shall stand in our way."

Citan's mouth opened at the audacity and arrogance of the Gazel Ministry. Did they suffer memory loss at what they did to the people of this planet? Did they forget what they did to him? Citan found his temper rise as he heard them talk about new schemes. When he heard enough, he yelled, "Shut up!"

The Gazel Ministry stopped talking and the facet that faced him said, "Insubordination!"

"It is over!" said Citan through clenched teeth. He drew his sword and stuck the point in the metal floor. "I have come to find information and you had better tell me!"

"How dare you!" said one of the facets.

Citan pulled a grappling gun from his backpack. He aimed up and pulled the trigger. A hook tied to a rope struck the ceiling. Citan pressed a button on the side of the gun and he was lifted up into the air. He swung on the rope and let go. The momentum carried him on to the top of the SOL 9000. He found the facet that yelled at him. Citan struck down with his sword smashing the monitor and cutting the wires that kept the facet alive. "Do I have your undivided attention?" asked Citan.

"What is it you want?" asked on of the facets after a long silence.

"I have two questions. Do you know the co-ordinates of the planet the Eldridge and that attack computer came from? It is believed that you were entrusted with that information."

A long silence lingered and Citan hoped the Gazel Ministry had better not be stalling. He was impatient with them as it was. Finally the main speaker of the Gazel Ministry answered. "We were not entrusted with that knowledge."

Citan killed another facet. "We are telling you truth!" screeched another facet in a voice that was more electronic than human.

Citan nodded and climbed back down to the ground. "I believe you," he said. He put his sword back into the scabbard. "Now for my other question. Did you have a hand in Emperor Cain's death?"

"No," said the main speaker.

Citan took a book out of a backpack and opened it to a page he had marked. "I have no one to blame but myself," read Citan from the book, his voice bitter. "I know it sounds cliched, but its true. Even though I was manipulated through verbal abuse, drugs, and my own insecurities, I still have to be responsible for my own actions. When I admitted what I did at my trial, I thought Citan was going to kill me. I knew he respected Emperor Cain and I was surprised when he forgave me. He said the real criminals were those who planned the murder and that I was as much of a victim as Fei or Sigurd. I know Citan meant well but I still feel guilty at what I did after I gained much of my sanity. Even though the Gazel Ministry, Krelian, and Miang were the planners, I was their weapon. I was the only weapon that could do it. I am a clone of Emperor Cain. Only Cain can kill Cain and I preformed flawlessly."

"Kahr," said one of facets who rarely spoke.

"If you only told me the truth," said Citan. "I would have fought on your side to gain redemption with the rest of the world. Even after facing oblivion, not once, but twice, you are still the same." Citan stood straight with his hands behind his back and legs slightly apart and his head lowered.

"Citan," said the main speaker. "Do not anything rash."

"I was once Hyuga Ricdeau and am now Citan Uzuki. One thing that has not is my position in the Solaris Court. He raised his head and looked at the Gazel Ministry. "I am Guardian Angel to Emperor Cain!" he yelled, his voice echoing throughout the chamber like doom.

Citan climbed the rope once more and when he was on top of the SOL 9000, he proclaimed. "I am Emperor Cain's defender!" He crawled to a nearby monitor. He struck the monitor smashing it but not cutting the cables. "I am also his avenger!" Citan continued smashing the monitors ignoring the screams. When he was finished he went after the speakers. The only facet that remained was the main speaker for the Gazel Ministry.

Citan climbed down the rope and faced the main speaker. "This is your punishment long overdo. The others will be deaf and mute. They will only hear their own screams in the darkness. Your punishment is more personal because not only what you did to Emperor Cain, but to me. Your punishment will being able to hear your fellow Gazel screaming in the darkness but not being able to do anything about it."

Citan ignored the main speaker as he begged, pleaded, and cursed. He left them to their prison and made his way back to the surface.


Emeralda watched Citan walk out of the building. He looked like hell. "You alright?" she asked.

Citan smiled bitterly. "The more things change, the more they remain the same. You would think they would have learned by now."

"They didn't give the information," replied Emeralda. She felt utterly defeated.

"They never had the information," said Citan.

"You found out how," said Emeralda suppressing a shudder.

"It was a long time in coming and they finally got the justice they deserved."

"Citan, you didn't," gasped Emeralda.

"I was Guardian Angel to Emperor Cain," said Citan. "It did not matter who was involved with his murder. The last clone was unique and if he was not murdered maybe he could have found the redemption he was looking for. The Gazel Ministry was partly responsible for his death. Of all the clones, the last one did not deserve his fate."

"What do we do now?" asked Emeralda. "If the Gazel Ministry did not have the information, the other part of the plan is in ruins."

"Is that part of the plan worth it?" asked Citan. "Is it better not to know?"

"There is another little talked about theory about the Sand People," explained Emeralda. "Even they say very little about it. Haven't you wondered why none of their people tried to find them? And if they did, what happened to the rescue ship?"

Citan lowered the shuttle's gangplank. "You believe Humanity and Sand People share a common history?"

"Maybe, maybe not," answered Emeralda as she walked up the plank behind Citan. "Their story is too close to what happened to the Eldridge. That is another piece of the puzzle that has no explanation. It would be obvious that someone had to send another ship to discover the Eldridge's fate."

"Considering what was on that ship, I have a feeling it was a one way journey," said Citan dryly.

"Then explain this," said Emeralda. "According to the records we recovered from the Eldridge, the planet human's came from was in a very peaceful state of existence. Sort of like our world today. What use did they have for an attack supercomputer that went mad?"

Citan looked at Emeralda. That was something he did not know and did not have an answer for. He got in the pilot's seat and prepared for takeoff. The shuttle lifted off and he programmed the new course. Citan set the autopilot and said, "I do not have those answers but there is someone who might. That person is an even bigger can of worms than the Gazel Ministry."


Emeralda looked at the ancient device that fell to earth and then looked at Citan. She did that four times before speaking. "Citan. . .she's dead."

Citan raised an eyebrow pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose. "You sure?"

Emeralda turned her attention back to the device that permitted the original Miang to survive the destruction of the Eldridge and the landing onto the planet. One of the biggest mysteries was why she was placed in the device again. The theories ranged from the religious to the paranormal. "Considering half of her flesh is missing and she is mummified," said Emeralda. "I'm no doctor but I think that qualifies as dead."

"Do not forget who we are dealing with," explained Citan. "They were liars and manipulators." Citan made his point by walking around to the back of the device. He pointed out a solar panel made of a material that was along the lines of Omnigear armor. Citan traced the wiring to a box concealed in the dirt.

"How long have you known about that?" demanded Emeralda.

"Six months before the trials," answered Citan. "I returned here to see if anything could be salvaged. I discovered the solar panel and the box."

"What does it do?" asked Emeralda.

Citan shrugged. "Flip the switch and find out."

Emeralda knew Citan was being his all or nothing self. She flipped the switch. "Come here," urged Citan. She walked back around and saw the Citan pointing.

Emeralda watched the corpse start to shimmer. "A hologram," she observed. The hologram vanished and Emeralda realized her mouth was open. "She's beautiful."

"She also might have some of the answers," said Citan.

Emeralda's voice became sarcastic. "I meant that she's beautiful like a rainbow viper before it strikes."

"I had a bunch of memories that I allowed to be buried before I started my mission to watch Fei," said Citan. "Cain told me quite a lot about the origins of humanity on this planet. Miang did not become the Mother by choice."

"I see," said Emeralda. She wondered if Citan might have done something rash to the Gazel Ministry. If he did, it was most likely not enough. "You are going to wake her."

"Yes," said Citan. He searched the device and found another button. It was rusted and Citan had to hit it with the bottom of his sword. He stepped back as the protective glass raised.

Miang fell forward and Emeralda caught her. "Place her on the ground," said Citan. "My black bag is in the shuttle. Could you get it?"

Emeralda went back to the shuttle and Citan watched over Miang. He saw Miang's eye movement behind the eyelids and her chest moving up and down. She opened her eyes and looked at Citan. His smile was gentle even though all he could think of was the battle for his daughter's life. "Hello."

Citan was surprised when she screamed. He was even more surprised when she knocked him aside with ease.


Emeralda was halfway up the gangplank when she heard the scream. She went back to Citan and saw Miang knock Citan aside. Emeralda watched Miang crawl away, scrambling to her feet. Miang stumbled into Emeralda. She grabbed Miang by the shoulders. "I'm not going to harm you," said Emeralda.

Miang looked at Emeralda. Sheer terror was on her face. "You, you're a woman?" asked Miang.

"Yes," replied Emeralda.

"We have to get out of here," pleaded Miang. "One of those monsters is near by."

"We're here to help," said Emeralda. Emeralda tried to keep Miang from thrashing. She did not know if it was adrenaline or something else but Miang was giving her a harder time than she thought. Emeralda deduced that the monster was Citan. "Listen to me, he won't hurt you."

"We have to leave," pleaded Miang.

Emeralda noticed her own grip was enough to dent steel. She was surprised that Miang was not crying out in pain.

Emeralda saw Citan creeping up behind Miang. He mouthed something and Emeralda knew what he wanted. Miang winced in pain and looked at Emeralda. "What did you do?"

"I apologize," said Emeralda. "The nanomachines that entered your body will travel to your brain and put you to sleep. They will not harm you."

"No!" yelled Miang. She kneed Emeralda in the stomach. Emeralda doubled over and was shocked that her magnetic field was disrupted.

Miang turned and saw Citan. He had his hands up. "Allow us to help you. I can assure you will not be harmed."

Miang ran toward Citan ready to attack and she stumbled as she got near him. The nanomachines disrupted her neural patterns and Miang fell unconscious. Citan went over to her and picked her up. He carried her to the shuttle and saw Emeralda still doubled over. "You ok?" asked Citan.

"She hits hard," muttered Emeralda. Emeralda coughed and to both of their surprise, she coughed up nanomachines as human would blood.

"Tell me about it," replied Citan. "She knocked me aside as if I was nothing. Do you need help?"

"I'll just revert to my individual components when I get on board," said Emeralda. "That will realign my magnetic field."

Chapter VI: The Real. . .Miang?

"Are the both of you out your minds?!" yelled councilman Klais.

Citan and Emeralda stood before a pissed off council.

"By what right did you do this?" asked Xi'Del whose eyes glowed to the point her eyelids could not be seen. She looked at Emeralda with disappointment and anger. Emeralda could not meet Xi'Del's gaze. The Sand People respected Emeralda and she just stepped on it with a Gear.

"She was a victim," said Citan.

Even Emeralda looked him. Miang was responsible for attacking his family and he was defending her. "Citan," she said carefully.

"Do not worry," whispered Citan. To the council he said, "There is so much we do not know about the beginning of humanity on this world. Miang might not only be able to answer those questions but also might know the co-ordinates you are looking for. I said I would approach the Gazel Ministry." Citan paused and looked at Klais and smiled slightly. Klais returned the motion with a nod. The two men had that much in common. "They did not have that knowledge," continued Citan. "I knew there was one avenue left."

"So you decided to awake Miang," said Dorothy. Citan could of sworn he saw Alice for a moment and her disappointment.

"She was a victim," repeated Citan.

"What is she a victim of?" asked Wiseman Yung of Shevat.

Citan took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "This Miang, quite possibly the real Miang, was not the Mother of Humanity by choice," answered Citan. The council looked at each other, their voices low. "I also believe she was a victim, not once, but twice."

"Explain," demanded Klais.

"Some of the records discovered after the fall of the Zeboim Culture showed population regrowth figures. They show the regrowth is too fast for what it should have been," answered Citan.

"You mean they used her twice?" asked Emeralda with disgust.

"It means nothing," said Klais. "She must be held accountable for crimes against humanity."

Citan frowned at Klais and at what he himself was about to do. "How can we hold her responsible. I say that she is the real Miang but I could be wrong. Would you still put her on trial if she is not?" Citan stepped around the front of the podium. "If it was possible, would you put those women who were taken possession on trial? I think you all have forgotten something." Citan looked at every council member and finally set his gaze on Klais. "I am still Guardian Angel to Emperor Cain. I was never released from my duty nor did I retire. I can, and am tempted to lay claim as rightful heir as leader of the Solaris Remnant."

Klais' skin turned grey. "You wouldn't."

Citan's frown deepened. "You would be surprised at what I can do. You would also be surprised at the number of people who are not happy that the current Remnant leadership is to close too what I grew up in. I have been getting a quite a few offers from the opposition."

"People, please!" said Wiseman Yung. "Citan, where is Miang?"

"She is safe," said Citan and that was all the information he would provide. "Her trauma is greater than any of us could imagine. Think about what she had to go through to get the human population to viable numbers. I cannot excuse her actions but it would explain why she carried such hatred."

Even Klais kept quiet after thinking what Miang had to go through. It was Dorothy who broke the silence. "If they did that to her with her original body, how can her body even be as it is?"

"I have an explanation," answered Emeralda. "My daughter and Citan did an examination of Miang. What they found was startling. I will need a holo-projector to show you. I suggest we take a break while it is being set up."

The council agreed and Citan and Emeralda walked outside the chamber.


Emeralda could not meet Xi'Del's gaze and every time Citan looked at Dorothy, he saw Alice being disintegrated.

"This is a mess," said Xi'Del, her voice musical in quality.

"A mess is something you cleanup," said Dorothy. "This is an Ether explosion."

"What I don't understand is how this is even possible," said Xi'Del. "Miang was killed when Deus blew up and Fei recovered Elly. Isn't that right Emmy?"

"That's what I believed," said Emeralda.

The women looked at Citan. He sighed and said, "Emeralda, what type of explosion was it?"

"It was an Ether explosion," answered Emeralda. "We were all surprised that Fei and Elly even survived it."

"Right," said Citan. "It was Ether not nuclear. Remember that Krelian said that Miang could only be killed by a total disruption at the molecular level. While the Ether blast would have destroyed the world, it would not have left any radiation."

"Then why didn't she reappear in some other woman's body?" asked Dorothy.

"I do not know," said Citan. "That is something she has to be asked."

Klais walked toward them. "The projector is set up," he said passing by.


Citan told Emeralda that it would be best that she give the presentation. If any questions were too technical then he would answer them.

The council room darkened and large sized holograph of a woman appeared in the center of the room. "This is a holograph of a human woman who is the same size and weight as Miang."

"Is she the same age also?" asked Klais sarcastically.

"As a matter of fact, yes," answered Emeralda. "Physically, Miang is only thirty years old."

"Isn't that impossible?" asked Dorothy.

"No," said Citan. "Do not forget I was thirty four when I entered my own sleep. We were held in stasis. Our bodies unchanging." Citan paused then said, "At least with me that was the idea. Right down to my DNA, I awoke the same age as I was when I began my sentence."

The holographs changed showing a skeleton. "This is their skeleton. As you can see by the faint glow, Miang's bones brighter in color. This is because her skeleton is denser than the norm. Her skeleton has the tensile strength of trans-steel."

"Are you sure?" asked Xi'Del skeptically.

"When she awoke, she panicked. She shoved Citan aside. I tried to calm her down," answered Emeralda. She paused then shrugged. "She got a lucky shot in." Emeralda quickly changed the holograph not wanting to tell them anymore then she wanted about her own anatomy.

The holograph changed showing the circulatory system. "Her heart rate is through the roof." She holograph changed, this time showing the muscles. "While she does not look it, she is very strong. Almost as strong as Fei." That was a lie and Emeralda did not want to. She and Citan argued about that. It was best that the council did not find out Miang's physical strength was almost that of Emeralda's and she was just as strong as Rico when he was in his prime.

"How can she even be alive?" asked Klais. "She must have, what is called? Metabolism? Yeah, a metabolism of a beam of light."

This time Citan answered. "There are animals in the Snowfield whose body hair act like solar conductors to keep them warm. In a sense Miang's hair acts like the same thing." Citan laughed remembering something he read in the Holy Book that Primera and others translation. "And no, cutting her hair will not make her loose her strength." The chamber erupted with laughter except for the Nisan representative, Zeck Mathews, who had no sense of humor when it came to religion.

The holograms of the women vanished and a large strand of human DNA rotated in midair. Except this strand had four links instead of two. "This is the biggest mystery," explained Emeralda. "Why she has four strands instead of two is something we may never be able answer."

"Actually we can," said Xi'Del, her voice shaking. "We have always looked for a common link between Human and Sand People." Xi'Del paused than said with awe, "The extra DNA is from my people."

Everyone looked at Xi'Del. "That means somehow in the ancient past our two people met. Either before or after Deus was created," said Wiseman Yung.

No one said anything until Emeralda changed the holograms. Miang's hologram returned and had red dots on certain parts of her body. "These dots are the, ah, what can be considered the erogenous zones on the female body."

"What is so important about that?" muttered Zeck who was clearly uncomfortable.

"Each spot represents a gland," answered Emeralda. "The glands produce pheromones."

"Pherwhat?" asked Dorothy.

Klais snorted. "Even I know what pheromones are. They are a scent usually in insects. The scent can used to mark a path or to draw a mate. Considering where the pheromone glands are, I'd wager for Miang the pheromones are for a sexual purpose."

"And you would win that wager," said Citan. "The pheromones are geared exactly for that." Citan turned red. "When Miang is ready to accept visitors, I suggest only women be allowed to visit her. Doctor Tomia is creating a bracelet much like the one Taura created for Fei except in this case the nanomachines will prevent the chemicals that make up the pheromones from being released from her body. The pheromones can have an affect that is undesired in men." Everyone laughed, even Zeck smiled.

The holograph vanished and the lights came up. When everyone's eyes readjusted, Dorothy asked, "This is interesting. What I do not understand is why did Deus create Miang with such a anatomy? I can understand the pheromones because she is the Mother of Humanity. Why all the bells and whistles?"

"As I said, Miang's title as Mother of Humanity is wrong," said Citan, his voice solemn and sad.

"I think you are still under the influence of her pheromones," said Zeck.

Emeralda started to reply but Citan held up a hand. "You still do not understand. Of course you have not have the time to figure it out as Emeralda and I have. Dorothy called her dense skeleton and superior strength 'bells and whistles'. They are not that but to keep her alive. When I said she was not the Mother by choice I meant it. I nearly walked away from the struggle when Cain told me."

Citan thought for the right words. "She is meant to be a breeding animal and only an anatomy like that has allowed to her survive what she went through."


It was the house that Fei grew up in. It was still in good shape and it was where Miang was kept until her benefactors could figure out what to do with her.

Emeralda and Citan arrived after leaving Bledavik They and Aria sat in the dining room at the table. "How is she?" asked Emeralda.

"Scared out of her wits," replied Aria. "I'm surprised she isn't like Primera. It took me forever to convince her I wasn't going to harm her. Later when I thought she had quieted down, I heard her yell. I went in and found an old picture of Khan. She broke the frame and was ripping the picture."

Citan grinded his teeth. What he did to the Gazel Ministry was not enough. "Is she asleep?"

"Somewhat," said Aria. "I checked on her before you arrived. I don't even want to know what her nightmares are like."

"Is she talking to you?" asked Emeralda.

"Yes," said Aria. "I asked her about her past and she had no memories." Aria looked her mother and friend. She bit her lower lip. "She did recognize Citan."

"We worked together," said Citan. There was nothing new about that.

"From her dreams," clarified Aria. "Miang dreamed that she was in a floating city. She described you, Jesiah, and Kahr in perfect detail. I don't even want to consider how it is possible but that woman has been asleep for ten thousands years and was only awakened once after the society mom grew up in was wiped out. Her whole reality has been a dream. She said in her dreams she saw through many women's eyes."

"Did she comment on what she did in those 'lives'?" asked Emeralda.

"Yeah," whispered Aria. "She said she was glad they were just dreams and nothing more."

"My god," said Citan. "She was telepathic. Deus must have did something to make everything she did in the real world look like a dream."

"They, they weren't dreams?" asked Miang. The others turned and saw her standing in the doorway to her room. She was crying.

"Miang," said Aria carefully. "Its not what you think. Please give us time to explain."

"They hurt me and caused me to hurt others." Miang's expression become of one who was drugged. "I'm glad I don't have to dream anymore," she said before collapsing.

Citan and Aria ran to Miang. "What happened!" said Emeralda behind them.

Aria opened Miang's eyes. They were glazed over. "Mom! Check her room then my bag to see if anything is missing!"

"Overdose of drugs," said Citan.

Aria was cursing Miang and herself. "Doctor!" snapped Citan. "Now is not the time! Help me get her to bed!"

They carried Miang to her bed. Seconds later Emeralda entered. "I found this open bottle," said Emeralda.

Aria took the bottle and looked at the label. "Verdisol. A potent relaxant used for people who are in extreme shock."

"But she is Miang," said Emeralda. "This shouldn't hurt her."

Citan shook his head. "You and I were there when Kahr killed Miang's host. The host had died and Miang awoke in Elly. We all know that soon after the war the gene was discovered that permitted Miang to jump from host to host and was removed and future generations of women would no longer be at risk. This time when Miang dies, it will be a true death."

Chapter VII: Q&A with Miang

It was a blessing that Miang did not die. A week later she came out of the coma. Citan was keeping watch over her when she woke up. She saw Citan and curled up and drew her blanket over her head out of fear.

"I will not harm you," said Citan with compassion and sadness.

Minutes passed and Miang finally stuck her head out from underneath the blanket. "Y-you're still here."

Citan nodded. "Aria Tomia and I are your doctors."

"No you're not," frowned Miang. "I know you, don't I? Did we work together?"

"For awhile," answered Citan. "We. . .went our separate ways."

"We fought each other later on," said Miang. "We became. . .enemies."

"Yes," said Citan. He saw the fear in her eyes. "The war is over," he said quickly. "Both sides have made peace."

"I was. . .on the wrong side," said Miang. "I did evil things."

"You were a victim," said Citan. "Like just about everyone on this planet who lived back then, you were manipulated by an unholy force."

Miang started to cry. Citan wanted so much to hold her hand, to comfort her but knew her fear of men was still too great. He was amazed she was talking to him. "Miang, if you want, we can stop now," said Citan.

"Just one thing," said Miang. "There was a man. I think I created him and made love to him. What happened to him?"

"No one knows," said Citan.

"I hurt him greatly," said Miang, "and I still loved him."

"Try not to think about it," replied Citan. "Sleep for now."


They made an error when they brought Miang to Fei's old home. Aria thought Miang had ran away. She was relieved when she found Miang sitting on the spot where Karen had died.

Miang wore a white dress and kept her long hair in a ponytail. She was digging through the ground looking for memories. She heard Aria and turned. "Something terrible happened here. I was the cause."

Aria had to choose her words carefully. She and Citan talked and decided that whenever Miang brought up some crime she did in the past, they had to make it sound like it was someone else who did the crime. "Yes," said Aria. "Karen was performing experiments on her son."

"Karen meaning me," said Miang, her voice flat. "I know I am not well mentally but that means I can't handle to truth. Much of what I did to people is returning to me."

"Ok," said Aria. "You had taken over Karen's body and performed experiments on her son to draw out his hidden power as the Contact."

"I, no, she actually broke free," said Miang. "I remember waking up in the stasis pod for a few moments before slipping back into the dream state." Miang could not look at Aria as memories returned. The pain she put the boy and so many others through. Miang doubled over as more memories flooded her mind. "Uh, uh. . .god," she muttered. She placed her hands against her head. "I remember," she said, her voice shaking.

Aria held Miang to keep her from falling over. "What do you remember."

"I-I remember the crash and what happened afterwards," said Miang, her lips trembling.

Aria turned her head to house. "Mom! Citan! Get out here!" she yelled.


They sat in the living room. Miang laid on the couch while the others sat in chairs. They waited for Miang to start her story. "The first thing I remember was being in a fetal position and leaning on one knee," she said. "I got up and looked at my surroundings. Behind me was the wreck of the stasis pod."

"It was damaged?" asked Aria.

"Yes," said Miang. "They," she said meaning the Gazel Ministry and the first Emperor Cain clone, "must have repaired it after they were. . .finished with me the first time. I walked toward the shoreline. I remember seeing two fireballs falling through the sky. They were most likely the Eldridge and the computer who caused all of this."

"Did you see a third fireball?" asked Citan.

"No. Is it important?" replied Miang.

Citan rubbed his chin in thought. "I was just thinking of the Zohar Modifier. It could have been ejected before the Eldridge blew up."

"Possible," replied Miang. "I continued walking along the beach. It was peaceful and I was at peace. I had no memories of my past and that did not bother me. I ate and slept mostly during that time." Miang frowned and she gritted her teeth. "Then I met her," she said with contempt.

Emeralda and Citan looked at each other with concern. There was only one possibility. The unspoken question was why did Miang have hatred for her?

"She almost looked like me," said Miang who was becoming angrier.

"Did she do something to you?" asked Aria.

Miang nodded. "She left me to them," she said. "She abandoned me to that fate."

"Are you sure?" asked Emeralda. Her mom and the other women who were Elhaym were kind and would never allow such a thing. "Please think very carefully at what happened."

Miang recalled the memories even though they were painful. She remembered what happened and what she had done. "Oh Elhaym," she said, the anger leaving her. "I'm so sorry that I've hated you for so long. I knew the promise you made was foolish." Miang paused to take a breath then continued where she left off. "We met each other on the beach. We were surprised to see each other and even more surprised how similar we were. The only difference was our hair color." Miang laughed with actual humor. "That and the fact she was clothed."

"Were did she get clothes?" asked Emeralda. Elly often talked about her past and how her ancestor survived the crash was still a mystery. She was not with Abel when the Wave Existence was caught up in the Zohar Modifier.

"She had amnesia like me," said Miang. "She said she woke up in a field a few miles from where we met. I asked her if she saw the fireballs and she said she didn't. The only thing I can figure is that she awoke after I did. We continued along the beach together. One day Elyham said she felt as though someone was calling her. She was not sure but she knew which direction to go. We left the beach and walked further inland. Then one evening we found. . .we found." Miang's voice trailed off.

"The Gazel Ministry," said Emeralda. "We know the rest and if you don't want to talk about it, you don't have to."

Miang sat up and leaned forward brought her knees up and rested her chin on them. "Its ok Emmy. . .its alright if I you call that?"

"That's fine," said Emeralda with a smile.

"I have to talk about it Emmy. It's the only way to discover my past," said Miang. "They're were ugly. Not only physically but mentally. . .I suppose I should tell you that I used be able to read minds." She looked at the others. "I can't read minds anymore. What I've done with those gifts, its for the best."

"We already know," said Citan who recalled the battle with Grahf and Miang. She did not mention it nor was he going to. When the time was right he knew he had to. "Please, continue."

"Their minds were like cesspools. They had a hatred and contempt for anything different than them. Elyham and I tried to evade them but it was too late. They were expecting us, well me at least. Elyham they wanted dead. Why I don't know. I read the intents in their minds. Their leader, Cain, was the most evil of them all." Miang saw Citan's pained expression and gave him a questioning look.

"That can wait for another time," said Citan who did not want to talk about the last Emperor Cain clone.

"I could not allow both of us to be captured," said Miang. "Elyham was my friend and I didn't want her to die. I used my telepathy to make her obey me and made her leave. I tried with all that power to slow the Gazel Ministry. I was doing well until Cain caught me up in a strange energy field. Elyham realized what I'd done to her. The last thing I heard her say was that she promised to find me." Miang started to breath hard and fought for control. "They said I was going to bear their children. I resisted with all my might. What they did to me, the invasions. . .what they did was robotic." Miang tried to continue but could not.

Aria got out of her chair and said, "Miang, you don't have to say anymore. We, we get the gist."

"Just a little bit more," said Miang. "I don't know how much time passed or how many children I gave birth to. I never saw them as they were taken away right after I gave birth. I tried to kill myself but was unable to. It was like some force held me back. When they were done with me they repaired the stasis device and put me in there. They said that I would be a mother to many children in the future. After I fell asleep I started having dreams that were not dreams. Like layers on top of layers, I dreamed of those different women and how I lived through them. I was filled with an unusual amount of hatred and disgust at the world around me. I had the chance for revenge on those who wronged me and I took it. I remember meeting Elyham but she was different and I merged with her. After that the dreams stopped and then Emmy and Citan woke me up."

There were more questions they wanted to ask Miang but they also knew it was enough for now. Two day would pass and Miang would discover part of her life before the crash of the Eldridge.


Aria returned to Nisan. She had patients to attend to and Emeralda had to make her report to the Council. That left Citan and Miang alone.

Citan was deciding wether to try to cook breakfast or not. Even after two hundred fifty years and better cooking devices that any inept fool could use Citan still could not cook to save his life. What annoyed him was that Miang, who had very little real life experience, was a better cook than him.

Citan realized that Miang was late in getting up. He was not sure if it was exhaustion or something else. Deciding caution was better he knocked on her door. "Miang, time to get up!" he said. He frowned when she did not answer.

He opened the door and saw Miang naked and standing in front of her mirror. She pointed at her reflection and said, "That's not my body!"

Citan had no idea what to say. "Uh, why don't you get dressed and then we can talk about it," he finally said.

Citan closed the door and was surprised he had no reaction whatsoever at seeing quite possibly the embodiment of womanhood. He was not sure wether it was because of his lingering love for Yui or what Miang had said. 'Physician, heal thyself.'

After Miang cooked breakfast, they sat in the living room and talked. "What did you mean by what you said?" asked Citan.

"I remember being on the Eldridge before it exploded," said Miang. "I am, or was greatly handicapped. My mind still worked and I guess I was a scientist. I was on the Eldridge for a reason."

Citan looked at Miang with great interest. "What branch of science?"

"Physics, biology? No, something to do with machines," said Miang. She looked at Citan and smiled. "I was a computer scientist." Miang closed her eyes as better, although brief, memories crossed her mind. "I remember getting a standing ovation for a award that I had received. They compared me to another scientist because he had the same physical problems I did. I believe his name was Stephen Hawking."

"Do you remember why you were on the Eldridge?" asked Citan who was trying to keep his hardest from frowning. The short hairs on his neck were standing straight up.

"I had to created a computer," said Miang. "I wish I did not have to but it was done out of necessity. The enemy was getting too close." Miang frowned. "I can't remember the name of the planet. It probably doesn't exist now." She sighed and continued. "I called it the Defensive Elemental Universal System. I usually called it the defense computer. Didn't want to be accused of blasphemy. I didn't want to build it let alone install a limited artificial intelligence. For survival sakes I had to."

Citan stood up and was glaring at Miang. His anger was at a point he never thought possible. If his Dark Side still existed he would have given into it without a second thought. Citan's right hand was reaching for a sword he did not have. "You. . .you. . .bitch!" spat Citan.

Miang looked Citan with shock and fear. "What's wrong?"

"What's wrong is that you're the one who built the cause for all of our misery! That damn machine of yours caused the Eldridge to crash and created its own monsters like the Gazel Ministry and you! They referred to the computer as Deus!"

"It wasn't," sobbed Miang. "It wasn't like that. It was meant for that purpose. It was meant to protect humanity." She saw Citan come closer and her fears erupted to the surface. "N-n-o!" she cried.

She got up and pushed Citan so hard he flew back into the wall and had the wind knocked out of him. Miang looked at Citan and ran out of the house.

Citan laid on the floor and got his breath back and cursed himself out. He wanted to blame his Dark Side but that no longer existed and had only himself to blame.


Miang ran through the forest. She wanted to die but knew she could not. Even though she was now able to perform the act, her body was too strong. When she tried overdosing and that failed she realized it would take extreme measures. She had talked to Emmy and Aria about the surrounding area. There was cliff nearby. It was high enough and Miang knew the drop would even kill her.

"Miang, stop!" yelled Citan, his voice pleading, begging. Miang ignored him. She knew he wanted to apologize but she knew he was right. It was all her fault. All of it. The women's lives she ruined. The people she manipulated and killed. The people who died at her hand that she swore to protect when she created the defense computer.

Miang heard Citan getting closer. She picked up speed and when she looked back to see if Citan was behind her, she stepped in a niffet hole and fell. She landed on her arm which had the bracelet. There was a cracking sound and Miang raised her hand and looked at the broken bracelet. It was a gift from Aria, a family heirloom she had told her.

Miang saw Citan was almost on top of her. His anger was gone and was replaced with concern. Miang knew he meant well but she did not deserve his kindness. He held his hand to help her up. Miang reached up and took hold of his hand. She tried to push him back with her incredible strength. Miang had memories of knowledge of Citan but not of his martial arts skills. As he went backwards Citan tightened his grip. Miang flew up and the ground was torn where her foot was caught. Citan landed on his back and Miang was on top of him.

Before she could react Citan put his arms around her to keep her from running away. "Miang," said Citan. "What you are doing is selfish. You of all people know how precious life is. What I said was stupid and I beg for your forgiveness."

Miang was surprised that she was able to answer. Her fear of men and being touched started to fade when she was consoled by Aria and Citan but some of that fear lingered. "T-that's the reason," stammered Miang who was breathing hard. "Everyone I-I know is d-d-dead because of me."

"I acted in anger," said Citan. He was finding it hard to find the right words. It was like his mind was dipped in tar. "I have done terrible things myself. Someday you may remember who I used to be." Citan felt very hot and was starting to sweat. 'What is with me?' Citan noticed he was gently rubbing Miang's back the same way he did to Yui whenever she was depressed and stopped.

Miang brought her hands up and rubbed her face. Citan's saw her hand that did not have the bracelet. "Uh oh," he managed to say. No wonder he was not able to think straight.

"Is something wrong?" asked Miang.

"When you were recreated, your body was greatly changed. One of the changes was the glands that produce pheromones. The bracelet Aria gave you produced nanomachines that kept the pheromones from releasing."

Miang's face turned red. "Well this is something new," she said awkwardly. She smiled and said, "I think I'm getting over my fear of men. Ten thousand years is long time."

Citan closed his eyes and tried his hardest to think about Yui but the pheromones were making it hard. Instead of Yui having blond hair, it was indigo. Citan swallowed hard. "Miang, I do not know if Aria or Emeralda told you but I have just woken up from my own sleep. I do not know if you remember but I was married. Yui's death is still fresh in my mind and it will take awhile for me to move on. On top of that, I'm your doctor. I do not know if the rules were the same on your planet, but if we did get into a relationship I could get into very deep trouble."

"I understand," said Miang. "You think I'm ugly." She placed a hand over Citan's mouth before he could say anything. "I'm kidding. Seriously, I do understand. I think I was in love with Kahr. The wounds run as deep at what I did to him as what the Gazel Ministry did to me."

Miang got off of Citan and helped him up. Citan dusted himself off. He looked at Miang and said, "What will you do now?"

"I don't know," admitted Miang. She frowned and looked at Citan. "Why did you wake me anyway?"

Citan shook his head trying to shake the affects of the pheromones. "I really cannot answer that. My head is still fuzzy," he said slurring his words. "I promise I will answer that question when my mind is clear on the condition you will never try anything like that again." Citan blinked, surprised he was able to still be serious let alone finish what he said. The pheromones were really working him over.

"I won't," assured Miang. "I think I'll go back to house and rest. What about you?"

"I am going to try to walk this off," said Citan. He laughed for no reason and said. "You should bottle that. You could make a fortune."

Miang returned his smile. "I don't think we want to bankrupt the world."

Citan watched Miang walk back toward the house. He shook his head and started to walk. He became dizzy and leaned against a tree and waited for the dizziness to pass. An old memory came to him. The first was Sigurd telling him he had something called 'Machismo' and the other was Jessie telling him he sure knew how to pick them.

Citan smiled remembering his first near fatal meeting with Yui and now a woman who was a much as a mystery as the planet human's originated from. Citan's smile faded as he wondered if it was really Miang's pheromones that affected him or not.

Chapter VIII: Bartering

Emeralda and Aria returned a few days later to check up on them. Miang and Citan did not say about what happened except that Miang was responsible for the creation of the computer that became Deus and that her bracelet broke in an accident. That her memories came back except for the name of the planet she came from and the reasons why the Eldiridge left.

"Do you remember the co-ordinates to the planet?" asked Aria on their last night before they all left for Bledavik.

"I think I do," said Miang. "I remember seeing the destination path to this planet. I do remember seeing the charts, but I don't know what the numbers mean."

"Do not worry," said Emeralda. "We recovered a lot of records from the Eldridge dealing with space travel. All we have to do is adjust the numbers forward ten thousand years or so and then we will have a general idea where the planet is."

"Something still bothers me," said Miang. "My. . .creation. Why did it do what it did? It makes no sense."

"You said you created it for strictly defensive purposes," said Citan. "Maybe the enemy or enemies that threatened humanity corrupted its software without your knowledge."

"They wouldn't have been able to," said Miang. "There was a writer named Isaac Asimov who lived centuries before I did. He wrote what was called science fiction or sci-fi. The genre he wrote dealt with theoretical sciences in the form of fiction."

"We still have that style of fiction," said Aria. "Most write about traveling through wormholes and the other stuff."

"Exactly," said Miang. "Asimov wrote a whole bunch of stories dealing with robots. In the stories, there was a concept called 'The Three Laws of Robotics'. The First Law states that, 'A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being come to harm.' The Second Law is, 'A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law,' and finally the Third Law, 'A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.'"

Miang took a breath. "I used those Laws when I created the defensive computer. Another example I used from Asimov, was that the Laws were hardwired into the hardware. I did the same thing when I created the basic AI and if anyone tried to remove the hardware that held the Law algorithms, the AI would shut down. Even if the AI thought about harming another human, it would still shut down. I thought of everything including the justification that sacrificing the few for the good of the many which would be logical in a twisted way would still cause it to shut down."

"I'm basically a robot," said Emeralda. "Deus was a computer. Maybe the Laws would not apply."

"No," said Citan. "A robot is basically a computer that can move."

Miang smiled at Citan. "Correct. As long as the intelligence has a cybernetic brain, the Laws apply." Miang shook her head in frustration. "I just wish I could remember the enemy. Then I could have some insight into what happened to it."

"Miang," said Aria. "Do you have any memories of another race?"

"No," said Miang. "I'd think it would be an alien race that was a threat. If it was other humans, why would I build a defensive computer that would not even attack a human enemy?"

"Do you know of the Sand People?" asked Emeralda. Miang said no and Emeralda explained.

"Actually, yes I do," said Miang. "When humanity were able to travel to other star systems, they met a race called the Zevsehn. They were a few centuries ahead of us in terms of technology. Like us, they were at peace and were exploring the stars. Just before whatever it was that threatened humanity, the Zevsehn vanished without a trace. What was odd was that all the computers that had information about them were erased."

"Just like the data from the Eldridge and your memories," said Citan. "It must be the enemy that did it."

"I think all of our answers will be found on the planet we came from," said Miang.

"The only thing left to do is convince the Council that Miang's information is real," said Aria. "I don't think they going to be as forgiving about her past."


The council looked at Miang with fear and distrust when she pulled her hood back. No one spoke for the longest time. Finally Dorothy said, "This is. . . interesting."

"She has the information you need," said Citan. To everyone's surprise, even his friends, he had an outfit made that was an exact detail of his formal suit he wore as a Guardian Angel. The clothes were black and tight fitting and showed off his muscular body. In old Solaris it symbolized Solaris' strength and superiority. Here it was meant to distract the women on the council and to give the men, particularly Klais, something else to think about.

The only one who not distracted was Di'Xel who thought of Citan as average for a human. "The information please."

It was Emeralda who replied. She and Citan argued about the plan dealing with the council. Citan said it was the only way to make sure they did not do anything against Miang. "Before we give the information, we want a favor in return."

"A favor?" said Klais. "After waking her, I don't you are in the position to ask for any."

"There are three ships being built. One specifically for the planet of origin. How will you justify to the world how you wasted time and resources with something they would consider trivial?"

Wiseman Yung frowned. "There are ways to get the information that does not include pleasantries. I believe Solaris has a mind shredder."

"Solaris is in possession of one of those things!" said Citan in disgust. "Even the Gazel Ministry never used such a device! It was outlawed after the first time it was used! The poor soul ended up with his brain leaking out of his ear!"

"Regardless, we will get the information one way or another," said Klais with a smirk.

"Typical politics," said Aria. Her voice low and angry. "I tell you this for your own good. You do anything to any of us and there will be repercussions. You forget that Citan is a Guardian Angel, my mother is a nanomachine colony, and Miang has an anatomy that borders on superhuman. You better think real carefully on how you treat them. What comes around goes around and I doubt you'd want to pay the price," said Aria to the council in general and Klais in particular.

Di'Xel stood up and slammed her hands on the table. Her voice became high pitched. "Enough!" All the humans, even Miang, squinted at the high pitched sound. Emeralda just blinked as her hearing automatically lowered itself. "It this what we have become?" she said after everyone recovered. "Are we no better then the Gazel Ministry? We want to destroy a life because of what she did, but that is the past." Di'Xel looked at Yung. "Am I wrong in that when Queen Zephyr let people go after the war that she did not mean people like Miang?"

"Everyone believed she was dead," said Klais. He turned his gaze at Citan. "Except someone knew better."

"Actually it was a long shot," said Citan. "I was not sure if she was alive or not when Emeralda and I woke her up."

"It doesn't matter," said Klais.

"Yes it does," said Zeck. He stood up and looked at Miang. "When we discovered you were alive and among us, I was angry. Angry at what you did to world, to the innocent. After I calmed down I read through the Holy Book that the Ethos corrupted. It talks about forgiving instead of hating. If we are going to make Miang accountable to what she did to our ancestors, then I can only do I thing." Zeck pointed a finger at Miang. "I forgive you."

Klais was about to say something to Zeck about something else the Holy Book said but knew better then to argue religion with the man. "Its on your heads," he said.

"Can we please get to the matter at hand," said Dorothy. "Miang, do you the co-ordinates we are seeking?"

"Yes," said Miang. "I remember the numbers but do not know what they mean. Of course I will supply the numbers." Miang stumbled and fell to her knees. "I-I remember, oh, lord, the pain!" she cried out.

Aria and Citan helped her up. Miang was crying. "Miang?" asked Citan.

"I remember how. . .how my body was rebuilt," gasped Miang. She looked at Xi'Del. "Y-your people were traveling with us."

Xi'Del's skin paled to light blue, her yellow eyes dimmed as if glazed over. "What happened to them?" she managed to say.

Miang composed herself. "It happened so fast," she said.

"Miang you don't have to talk about it," said Aria.

Miang placed a hand on Aria's arm for support and trying not to break the doctor's arm. "Its alright." To the council she said, "One of the friends I made on board was the Captain's daughter, Elhaym. We were talking with one of Xi'Del's people when the abandon ship alarm went off. We made our way to the nearest shuttle. I remember the shuttles leaving and being destroyed by the ship's own weapons. We passed the computer room where the defense computer was. We were caught in a paralyzing beam of light. The light was intrusive, examining us. I remember the blue skinned alien screaming as she vibrated and was torn apart at the molecular level. What was left of the her swirled around like a whirlwind. It split apart was forced into me. Then the beam brought us closer to each other. I remember the pain and fear on Elhaym's face. We were nearly touching when another light appeared between us. I remember screaming as my own body changed. When we physically touched we started to merge. Then something interrupted the process. I saw Elhaym flying backwards through the corridor. The next thing I knew I awoke on the planet."

Miang took a data pad from her pouch. She set it on the podium. "These are the co-ordinates. I hope they will help. I appreciate what you have done for me, Citan. This is my sign of trust. I give the co-ordinates freely." Miang turned and left trying not to be sick as some of the memories returned.

To be continued. . .

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