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Chapter 9

-Lieutenant Getty Roberts – 16 – Destiny – 3.13.2127

“It’s time, gentlemen,” Colonel Tesik stated with a frown. “Let’s go see what these bastards want with us.”

“AJ and Chos are staying with the Destiny,” Stanley informed the small group.

Getty nodded in agreement. “Whatever Chos can’t handle, AJ can.”

“We’re really doing this?” Wade asked nervously.

“We are,” Stanley admitted with a nod.

“Springing the trap of some possible outlaws?” Wade wasn’t convinced.

“Do you have a better plan, nephew?” Jackson asked the younger man.

“No,” Wade replied meekly. “Sorry. I just don’t like it, is all. I feel like one of us is going to get hurt.”

“It’s a possibility, nephew,” Jackson replied with a shrug. “It’s better to do it now, than to have to worry about these so-called thugs coming after us in our sleep. Let’s get this over with.”

Stanley took the lead as Jackson and Getty fell in behind him with Wade bringing up the rear. The four men were nervous as they made their way down to a wide hallway that had stacks of boxes in various places leading down to the warehouse district. Very few lights were on in the steel-walled corridor, making Wade hesitate as he followed his family into the trap. The young man saw the motion against the light at the end of the tunnel. Wade clicked his tongue twice as he saw another silhouette shift through the light. Getty passed the signal forward, adding two extra clicks to the line. Then, the four men moved to either side of the hallway, diving behind the stacks of boxes just before the air was filled with the sound of gun fire and bullets ricocheting from the steel walls.

Getty and Stanley took turns laying down cover fire while Jackson got the electron-bomb ready. The pilot glanced over to see that Wade was missing and shook his head in disgust, assuming that the young man had fled. Then, just as Wade stepped around the corner at the far end of the corridor, Jackson rolled the bomb towards their attackers. Jackson quickly pulled Getty to the ground just before the hallway was filled with a bright light. The light was followed by a deluge of violence as everything around the bomb was disintegrated. Getty felt his stomach turn as he thought about what Wade had stumbled into.

‘At least now, he can be with his little brother,’ Getty thought horribly before he heard a familiar voice shouting out orders.

“Don’t fucking move, asshole!” Wade screamed in fury before Getty heard someone cry out in pain. “I said, don’t fucking move! The next one that moves, gets a laser between the eyes.”

Getty jumped to his feet to see that Wade was untouched by the blast. He stared in disbelief at the young man before Jackson mumbled an explanation. “He’s wearing a special decoder that matched the frequency of the bomb, Getty. Without it, he would have been toast after taking the full blast like that.”

“Is that why he was worried about somebody getting hurt?”

“There’s always a chance that I could have gotten the frequency wrong, Getty,” Jackson said before he dusted himself off, and went to see why the men had attacked his family. “Pretty entertaining, though. Now, let’s go see what our friends here were up to.”

-Mason Tesik – 14 – Destiny – 3.14.2127

Eddin’s voice hung with Mason as he struggled to let go of his cousin.

‘It has to be a trick of some kind,’ Mason thought bitterly. ‘Someone knows exactly how to screw with me. That’s all this is. A trick.’

‘It’s not a trick, Mason,’ the familiar voice said sadly. ‘We’ll always be connected. It doesn’t matter what body I am in.’

‘What do you mean?’ Mason demanded. ‘I saw Eddin die! I was in his head when he died! All you are is a sick, cruel joke. Leave me alone!’

‘You’ll see one day, Mason,’ the voice stated assuredly. ‘I promise.’

‘Until then, I guess,’ Mason thought bitterly before rolling over onto his side and falling asleep.

Mason’s dreams did not free him from the images of his dark-haired cousin, though. Mason saw the boy walking along with their grandfather through some dimly lit corridors. His cousin’s voice sounded the same, but Mason could only believe it was a dream. The connection between he and Eddin had been forever severed when Eddin had died. There was no coming back from death.

A slight shift om the mattress is what woke Mason from his slumber. He didn’t open his eyes, though. Choosing instead, to use his mind to figure out who the intruder might be. The boy knew that it was someone larger than he was, judging by the way the mattress tipped as the stranger sat on the edge of the cot. They had a slightly musty scent to them, like they had not showered after being in a fight or battle. The sudden touch of the stranger’s hand against Mason’s bare chest, sent goosebumps rippling across his skin, forcing the boy’s eyes open to find Wade sitting with him. The young man’s eyes were filled with tears as he gazed down at his cousin. Mason simply patted the bed beside him, inviting his cousin to share in his grief. Mason may have lost a best friend, but Wade had lost a little brother. That was something the young man would never recover from.

Wade and Mason slipped their arms around each other as Mason’s mind was filled with images of the day that his Uncle William, and his Aunt Charlotte had been killed in a tragic shuttle accident near Earth’s Star base. William was Jackson’s younger brother, and Charlotte was the daughter of Admiral Edward Thomas. The day they died, Wade and Eddin were taken in by Mason’s Uncle Stanley, the oldest son of Renly Tesik. Now, with the Tesik Family scattered throughout the known Universe, their patriarch murdered, the Great War between houses would begin. Mason saw images of it in his dreams. He saw Wade, leading the armies of the Thomas Family against the remaining members of the other Great Houses. Mason’s cousin was using the death of the Tesik Family to cover the goals of his own House. Wade was only a Tesik by name, now. Mason could feel the hint of sadness in the young man’s mind.

This would be the last time that he would see his cousin while fighting on the same side. Mason awoke in the morning to find Wade missing. The young man had slipped out during the night, making his departure while the others slept.

‘The war is coming,’ Mason thought sadly as he went to join his family. ‘Will they even believe me?’

-Admiral Edward Thomas – 63 – Earth Star Port 1.1 – 3.14.2127

“He doesn’t believe me, grandfather,” Eddin told the older man in a quiet voice. Edward knew his grandson was hurting inside but he had no way of offering the child the condolences he craved. The man knew that his grandson was smarter than most children, even if he did act out of hand sometimes. “I guess I just have to wait until he actually sees me.”

Edward clasped his grandson’s shoulder as they walked through the narrow corridors of the Star Port. “Can you blame him, Eddin? As far as Mason knows, you’re dead. He isn’t aware of the little cloning program that your other grandfather started.”

“We were always told that Mason was special, and he couldn’t be cloned,” Eddin stated. “We weren’t even allowed to tell him about it. . .” The boy fell silent for a moment. “Oh. Never mind, then. I see what I did.”

Edward watched with a frown as his grandson’s shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Am I destined to just wander the Star Port alone until they come back?” The black-haired boy asked.

“No,” Edward responded, pulling the boy into his side as they walked together. “For one, you have me.” The man chuckled when Eddin rolled his eyes. “Plus, the new member of the A.C.E. Council has a son that just returned from Cadet Training. I’m certain that Zach wouldn’t mind showing you around.”

“So, you’re getting me a government paid babysitter?” Eddin asked in a down-sounding voice.

“It’s only because of what you are, Eddin,” Edward reminded his grandson.

The boy looked thoughtful for a moment before he spoke again. “Are you disappointed in me, grandfather?”

“I have no reason to be disappointed in you, Eddin,” Edward told the clone, carefully. Older cloning programs had always managed to go south whenever the clone turned emotional, unleashing a wave of violence that would never be controlled. Renly had assured the man multiple times, though. These clones were different. “You are exactly what you are supposed to be.”

“We are different,” Eddin told him. “The other clones like me. We won’t turn evil. We have no reason to ever do so, Admiral Thomas.”

“What makes you so sure, Eddin?” Edward couldn’t stop himself from asking. The corridor they were in was empty, and the man’s deep voice echoed, slightly. “What makes you think you won’t turn into a raging monster like the other clones did?”

“We weren’t lied to, grandfather,” Eddin told the man bluntly, before he turned and left the admiral standing alone. Edward stared after the boy for a moment before Eddin called out over his shoulder. “You should find Renly’s clone. He’s got one hidden somewhere. I can find my own way back to the Research Center, grandfather. You have more important things to worry about, for now.”

“I’ll check on you later, Eddin,” Edward managed to call out after the boy, once he had found his tongue. Never had his grandson spoken to him in that tone before, basically dismissing the man from his duties. Edward couldn’t help but smile before heading for his office. Then, a gloomy thought filled his mind. ‘That’s not Eddin. Eddin’s dead.’

Edward continued down the corridor, his thoughts filled with turmoil as he considered everything that the clone had told him. “We are different.” The admiral frowned. He knew, deep in his heart, that he was going to have to be the one to kill the Eddin look-a-like. He quickly pushed that thought from his mind. The man knew he couldn’t act on his plan until Wade was free. He was the key to everything. Edward Thomas sighed with relief once he was seated back in his own office. The encounters with the clone had always been unpredictable, but they had never shaken him like this visit had.

‘Why though?’ He questioned himself. ‘Why today?’

Then, the man remembered what was so important to him about the date.

‘Happy Birthday, Eddin,’ the man thought longingly to his deceased grandson. ‘You would have been sixteen, today.’ The man sniffed as a tear ran down his cheek before he slammed his fist against the oak desk in anger. “Damn you, Renly!” The man swore. “You took everything from me! I am going to destroy your family’s name!”

-Colonel Jackson Tesik – 36 – Destiny – 3.14.2127

Jackson stared at Mason in disbelief. He was about to scold the boy for coming up with ridiculous stories when Stanley burst into the canteen with a note in his hand. Jackson felt his blood begin to boil at the look of anger in Stanley’s eyes.

“Don’t tell me,” Jackson stated, barely keeping the contempt out of his voice, “Wade defected?”

“He even signed it, ‘Wade Thomas’.”

“Interesting,” was all Jackson could manage to say. He looked at his son and tried his best to manage an apology to the boy. Mason didn’t give him a chance, though. The boy simply flicked his fingers at his father before he turned and left the canteen. Jackson frowned. It was going to take more than an apology to make up his dismissal of the boy’s warning.

“You fucked up, didn’t you?” Stanley asked as he sat down at the table. Jackson could only nod in return. “Good luck.”

“Thanks,” Jackson said dryly as he watched Mason slip out through the door. “He’ll never forgive me for this.”

“He will,” Stanley replied. “Just, don’t give up, Jackson. Now,” the man’s demeanor changed as he switched subjects. “What are we going to do about Wade?”

“Nothing,” Jackson replied in a simple tone. “He made his own choice.”

“So be it, then,” The older Tesik brother stated, grimly. “We need to send a message to ACE Headquarters.”

“Agreed,” Jackson stated. “Make sure it’s encrypted and send it straight to Subject-7.”

“Are you certain?”

“I am,” Jackson confirmed. “He needs to be warned, Stan. His and Eddin’s life are in danger. We need to get them to Alpha Centauri.”

“Okay,” Stanley nodded. “I’ll go send it, now.”

“Thank you,” the younger brother said with a relieved sigh. “Don’t trust anybody.”

“I never do.”

Then, Jackson was alone.

‘How do I fix this with Mason?’

“Colonel?” Andrew’s soft voice came from the speaker nearest the man. “There’s something you should know.”

“Does it need to be kept private?” Jackson asked curiously.

“I’ve already muted the room, sir.”

“What’s going on, Andrew?”

“Ever since our little prince has bonded with your son, I’ve been studying a strange anomaly that has been spreading amongst the crew and passengers,” Andrew informed the Colonel. “So, I’ve taken to monitoring you in your sleep.”

“Oh?” Jackson asked with a raised eyebrow, a nervous blush spreading to his cheeks.

“Only once the sensors in your rooms signal that you’re asleep, sir.” The former android quickly reassured the man. “I’ve mostly been listening to the things everyone has been saying in their sleep.”

“Such as?” Jackson was beginning to feel intrigued as he listened to the soft voice.

“Sir,” Andrew’s voice took on a tone of caution. “I’m not certain that you will want to hear some of these recordings.”

Jackson Tesik sat back in his chair; his thoughts filled with confusion as he thought about what the A.I. could be hinting towards.

“Do we have any other choice?”

Andrew responded by playing the first recording.

“The blood of legions will flow across the Universe,” Wade’s voice came over the speaker-unit, sounding like he was in a sleepy haze. “The Tesik name will rise with me, culling those that seek to destroy my legacy. All shall bow before me, and I shall be the leader of the only Great House remaining.”

Jackson sat on the bench, dumbfounded by what he was hearing. Andrew moved onto the next recording, though. This time it was a whispered voice that Jackson had never heard before.

“My people shall know me by the silence of my voice, and they will follow me until we may rise, again.”


“Yes, sir?”

“Who was that?” Jackson asked, still not recognizing the voice.

“That was Mason, sir,” Andrew informed the man.

“Mason’s deaf, though,” Jackson couldn’t comprehend how the boy was speaking in a normal voice.

“I’m sure that whatever is compelling him to speak, sir, is controlling the way he delivers the messages,” Andrew suggested.

“Maybe,” mused Jackson. “Let’s hear the rest of them, Andrew.”

“As you wish, Jackson,” Andrew complied.

-Lieutenant Getty Roberts – 16 – Destiny – 3.14.2127

Getty stared between the different monitors, always watching the outside of the Destiny as it sat in the cargo hold of the outpost. Workers were busy doing repairs on the hull of the cargo bay after the outpost had been damaged during a battle with the aliens known as the Imposters; creatures that could take on the form of any being that they encountered in their multiple-century long lifespans. The Imposters weren’t the danger here, though. Now, Getty was preparing for backlash from the fight with the rebels aboard the outpost that saw the Destiny as their personal lifeboat out of their self-imposed hell. Getty didn’t blame the strange men for their desperate attempt, but he would never allow it to happen. The Destiny was Getty’s home. He would do whatever it took to protect the spaceship. A knock on the door of the bridge snapped Getty back to reality as he turned to see AJ standing there.

“Hey, AJ,” Getty greeted the Engineer with a weary smile. “How goes it?”

AJ shrugged as he made himself comfortable in the co-pilot seat. “I was just finishing up the repairs on our primary engines, Getty. Andrew will be able to begin running system tests by tomorrow morning, at the latest.”

“Make sure you get yourself some rest, AJ,” Getty advised the man. “I need you to be ready when we launch.”

“Where are we going next?”

“Alpha Centauri,” Getty replied. “I need to get you home.”

“I’d appreciate it,” AJ replied before he glanced at the monitors. “I don’t trust this place.”

“We’ve already had one incident,” Getty said with a frown. “That’s enough for me.”

AJ remained silent for several minutes as Getty checked through the different parameters that were in the computer.

“How much do you trust these Tesiks?”

“With my life,” Getty replied without looking up from his display. “Why do you ask, AJ?”

“I don’t think I trust them as much as you do, Getty,” the man replied. “It’s been nothing but trouble since we brought them aboard the Destiny.”

“I know,” Getty replied with a shrug. “We’ve been through worse though.”

AJ chuckled nervously. “More than we should have been through, Getty.”

“Once we leave here, we’ll head straight for Alpha Centauri, AJ,” the pilot replied. “I promise. I’m not going to let you get stuck out here with me when you have a baby on the way.”

“I’m just worried I guess, Getty,” AJ said wistfully. “Ever since the wormhole, it’s been one disaster after another. Plus, we still have that damned assassin on our tail.”

“I saw him on the security footage, too,” Getty frowned. “I wasn’t expecting him to find us here.”

“I’ve been checking the outside of the ship every hour to make sure he hasn’t put anything on the Destiny. I’d rather he not be able to find us once we leave here,” AJ added. “I don’t think he’ll be able to leave anyway.”

“What makes you say that, AJ?”

“I saw some security bots arresting him earlier,” AJ chuckled before he stood from seat. “If you’ll excuse me, I have some more work to do.”

“Thanks for visiting, AJ,” Getty replied with a grin before the man left him alone in the cockpit. Getty couldn’t help but to let AJ’s fears creep into his mind as he thought about everything that had happened since he had first picked up his passengers. Deciding that he was letting his worries get the better of him, Getty decided to go for a walk.

The air in the Outpost was stale, but it still moved through the facility as the different vents shifted it around. People watched him with wary eyes as he made his way down the different corridors trying to clear his head. Word of the prior day’s gunfight had spread through the mega-structure like a plague, the young man’s new mysterious reputation proceeding his every step. Getty had entered a market area when he was stopped by a tall man with gray eyes.

“Can I help you, sir?” Getty asked politely of the bald man glaring down at him. The pilot felt a knot forming in his stomach as the man remained silent for several moments. It was almost as if he and the strange man had been destined to meet in this nature.

“I have an offer for you, Pilot,” the man said in a scratchy voice.

“Who are you?” Getty half-demanded.

“Someone that can help you, Pilot,” the man responded.

Getty looked at the man warily. The bald man had beady eyes that sent chills down Getty’s spine with a reddish-brown tint to his dry looking skin. “I don’t know, man.”

“It won’t cost you a thing to listen to me,” the man reiterated. “Only a moment of your time.”

Getty hesitated before he finally nodded.

“Right this way,” the man stated as he motioned towards a nearby tavern. “We can talk business over a pint.”

Getty walked beside the taller man, barely noticing how the other people around them would move quickly from their path. The young pilot frowned, suddenly remembering the words that he had dreamt not very long ago. He would wait until he knew what the stranger wanted before he asked him for his name. The pilot doubted that he had found The Mechanic already.

The inside of the tavern was noisy and crowded, and Getty instantly knew that the two of them would not stand out to anybody else in the small room. That was why the stranger had chosen this place to meet with him. They could talk without fear of being recognized or overheard. Getty followed the man to an empty corner booth and sat across from him. The man held up two fingers for a moment before his gaze focused on Getty.

“You wanted to talk?” Getty asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I do,” the man replied. “Let’s wait on our drinks first, so we’re not disturbed by anybody.”

“If you say so,” Getty retorted as he leaned back in his seat.

The man nodded patiently and remained silent until the barkeep slid two tall glasses of foamy beer onto the table. The man paid the woman with three silver coins before she disappeared into the crowd. He took a deep sip of his alcohol and smiled back at Getty.

“What’s your name?” Getty demanded of the man.

“Does it matter?” The man asked hesitantly.

“It may,” Getty responded truthfully.

The man chuckled nervously.

“I’m waiting,” Getty replied before he made to leave.

The man quickly grabbed Getty’s arm. “Reginald Banks,” the mysterious man informed the pilot. “I’m the proctor for this outpost.”

“What do you want from me, Mr. Banks?”

“I want you to take me with you when your shuttle leaves the station,” the man nearly pleaded in a whispered voice.


“I think my life is in danger, Captain Roberts,” the man said blankly. “I believe that a member of my cabinet has plotted for my assassination.”

Getty frowned.

“So, you want me to put all of my passengers in danger?”

“No,” Reginald responded. “I want to save them. You were in danger the moment you set foot on my outpost.”

“We could always leave,” Getty suggested.

“But you won’t,” Mr. Banks countered. “You don’t have enough power remaining in your cells to make it anywhere. Even with that advanced AI that you’ve got hidden away in the Destiny’s systems.”

Getty flinched at the mention of Andrew’s presence.

“Did you honestly believe that we wouldn’t notice him trying to access the systems of the outpost?” Reginald chuckled lightly before he downed his beer. “I’ll give you until 0800 hours to decide, Captain.”

Then, the man stood and walked out of the tavern, leaving Getty alone at the table with a dumb-founded expression on his face. Getty stared at the empty seat for a moment before he headed back towards the Destiny.

-Colonel Jackson Tesik – 36 – Destiny – 3.14.2127

Jackson listened as Getty recounted the meeting with the strange man again. He would stop Getty to go over every minute detail, just to be certain that he was hearing Getty correctly.

“I don’t trust him,” Getty relayed his opinion on the matter. “Besides, if you remember my dream, this is only the second man, not the Mechanic.”

“True,” Jackson acknowledged. “Did he give any kind of hint of how he knew Andrew?”

“Yes,” the teenager confirmed. “He says their onboard systems picked up the intrusion.”

“Shit!” Jackson muttered. “We need to get out of here, as soon as possible.”

“The moment that the Destiny is capable to get us to Alpha Centauri, then we’ll be away from here,” Getty promised.

“How long do you think the repairs are going to take?”

“A few days, at least.”

“That’s too long,” Jackson commented with a scowl. “We need a backup plan.”

“I might have a suggestion,” Andrew stated in a pensive tone. “Neither of you are going to like it, though.”

Getty felt his body tense up as he listened to the voice of the Destiny’s on-board computer. “What’s your plan, Andrew?”

“We could always create a backup of my program and reboot the Destiny’s computers to wipe any trace of me from the system,” Andrew suggested.

“You’re right, Andrew,” Jackson frowned. “Come up with a better plan.”

“I’ll try, Colonel,” Andrew promptly replied.

Getty couldn’t help but to smile slightly when Andrew’s voice fell silent.

“As for you, Commander,” Jackson turned his attention to Getty.

Getty coughed at the unexpected title. “Sir, that’s Captain, at best.”

“Not according to my father,” Jackson retorted with a snort. “You may be the current Captain of this puny vessel, but from what I have heard, you have a much larger banquet waiting for you just around the corner.”

“Admiral Tesik told you about that?” Getty asked in surprise.

“He did,” the Colonel confirmed. “I know most of my father’s secrets.”

“Most?” Getty asked with a raised eyebrow.

“What I don’t know, my father’s clone does,” the man responded before he excused himself. “I’ll check in with you shortly, Commander. I need to see how my sons are holding up.”

Getty just nodded in disbelief, lost in his own thoughts as the older man left him alone.

‘I hope he doesn’t tell anybody,’ Jackson thought to himself as he headed towards the passenger cabins. ‘That would ruin the surprise when the battle happens.’

-Subject 7 – Age: Classified – Location: Classified – 3.15.2127

Eddin’s heart was hammering in his chest as he thought about the encrypted message that he had received from Jackson Tesik. Admiral Thomas had been with the boy when he received the strange message, but he had been able to decipher it using a special code that was privy to the Tesik Family. Ed Thomas scrutinized the boy’s every reaction after reading the message, hoping to get a clue as to what the hidden meaning behind the words really were. Eddin had learned how to cover his true emotions, though. In the space of a breath, Eddin mourned the departure of his older brother, while also making his own plans of escape. All he needed to do was to find his way to the shuttle that Jackson Tesik had prepared for a moment such as this.

Knowing he was more advanced than his former self, having been taught things while he was still inside of the growth chamber, Eddin subdued any of his worries about his escape. Everything was going smoothly as he waited. Eddin was about to head for the shuttle with only the clothes on his back when he heard a youthful voice from behind him.

“You could at least take me with you, Number Seven.”

Eddin smiled as he turned around to see Subject-1.

“Hello, grandfather,” Eddin greeted the twelve-year-old looking boy. “How was your rest?”

“It should have been longer,” Renly replied with a giggle. “Why did I ever agree to this bullshit, again?”

“We need you, Renly,” Eddin retorted quickly. “You’re the only one that knows the plan.”

“That can easily be changed,” Renly shrugged indifferently.

“I’d rather not find out what you’re planning, Renly,” Eddin replied as he held up his hand to hold off any further suggestions from his grandfather’s clone. Eddin motioned Renly to join him as they stepped out of the lab and into one of the main corridors of the Star Port. “So, who did it?”

“Did what, Eddin?” Renly asked in confusion.

“Who shot you?” Eddin asked in a quieter tone, leaning in so the other boy could hear him.

“Do you really want to know, Eddin?”

“I wouldn’t have asked otherwise, Renly,” Eddin replied seriously. “I promise.”

Renly looked around before he answered in an even quieter tone of voice.

“Admiral Cross. . .”

“Holy shit,” Eddin said in disbelief. “Is that why he ran off to Alpha Centauri?”

“I’m sure of it,” the clone said. He gazed at the skin of his hands as the duo walked down the dimly lit corridor together. “This is weird, Eddin.”

“What is?” Eddin asked without looking back, strictly focused on where they were going.

“Being this young, again,” Renly responded with a light giggle. “I never thought that I would ever get to relive the years of my youth.”

“Lucky you, grandfather,” Eddin said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

“What happened to you, Eddin?” Renly asked. “They wouldn’t tell me.”

“Some stupid fucking Bounty Hunter shot an EMP into a wormhole just as it closed,” Eddin replied sadly. “I was stuck in a coma while the Destiny limped through space.” Then, Eddin sniffled lightly before Renly made the boy stop and face him.

“Eddin?” Renly asked softly as he pulled the boy into his arms. “What happened?”

“Mason was locked into my head when I died,” Eddin confessed before breaking down into sobs. “Now, he doesn’t believe that I am who I say I am. I said the worst things ever to him before I went into the coma, grandfather. He told me right before I died that he forgave me, but it doesn’t matter. I must apologize in person. It’s the only way.”

“Knowing Mason the way that I do, Eddin,” Renly observed thoughtfully, “Mason will forgive you in a heartbeat for what you said. He won’t give you a third chance, though.”

“I know,” Eddin whispered. “It’s just, I should have never said those things, Renly. I’ll never be able to take them back.”

“You can move on from it, though,” Renly commented quietly. “Come on, Eddin. We need to get away from this place before they realize we’re missing.”

“They probably already know, Renly,” Eddin acknowledged, sobering up quickly. He motioned towards the hallway before them. “It’s not much further to the launchpad.”

The small jet was waiting for the two clones when they arrived in a hangar that was tucked away deep beneath the public view of the Star Port. This launchpad was only used for Top Secret flights that needed no radio clearance. With the jet already registered with a rotating flight plan, the clones would find it easy to depart unnoticed.

Eddin jumped into the Pilot’s seat, leaving Renly to take the Co-pilot’s spot. Together, they prepped the jet for takeoff before taxiing for the launchpad. The coast remained clear as most of the hangar workers were used to these types of flights coming out of nowhere. The duo relayed commands between each other like a well-rehearsed symphony, ready to launch from the pad before a single alarm had gone off within the Star Port. They had just hit the launch command when red lights began to flash along the walls of the hidden tunnel.

“Punch it!” Renly ordered immediately.

Eddin didn’t hesitate and kept control of the jet only with Renly’s help. The spacecraft barely cleared the launchpad doors as it soared out beyond the reaches of the Star Port’s tracer beam.

“Preparing worm hole generator,” Eddin acknowledged as the jet began to pass by Mars.

“This is going to be interesting,” Renly stated with a giggle as he made sure that his flight harness was secure.

“Why do you say that?”

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a wormhole, Eddin,” Renly informed the other boy with an eager grin. “Let’s rock this shit before anybody can trace us!”

“It’s time to separate ourselves from the other Major Houses,” Eddin agreed just before entering a command on his console that shot a blue ball of energy out into the depths of space in front of them. “Are we sure this is the right move, grandfather?”

“There is no other move left for us to make, Eddin,” Renly replied truthfully.

Then, there was a small explosion before a massive wormhole opened before them. The swirl of colors was mesmerizing to the two boys before Eddin powered up the jet’s engines and sent them hurtling towards the swirling gateway. Eddin said a silent prayer just before the jet crossed over the event horizon. Then, everything was a swirl of color as far as the boys could see. . .

-Wade Thomas – 24 – Unknown Location – 3.15.2127

“He’s a traitor, grandfather!” Wade hissed into the comm-unit. “Why would I want to be anywhere near him?”

“You’re a traitor, as well, Wade,” Admiral Thomas’s voice responded with an edge to it. “Or did you forget the fact that you just defected from the Tesik Family?”

“No, sir,” Wade replied meekly. “I didn’t forget.”

“Good,” Admiral Thomas acknowledged before taking on a serious tone again. “Now, get to Alpha Centauri and meet with Admiral Cross. He’ll know where to go from there.”

“Yes, sir,” Wade replied quickly before the line went dead. The young man muttered a few choice phrases about Admiral Cross before he programmed the new coordinates into his console. He frowned slightly when he saw that the journey would take three days without using a wormhole, but his grandfather was insistent that Wade used standard hyperspace travel, instead. Once the coordinates were accepted, Wade’s finger hovered over the Enter button for a moment as he considered the decision he had just made to defect from the Tesik Family. Deciding that there was no hope for his redemption, Wade activated the shuttle’s engines and made himself comfortable in the Pilot’s seat. “Here goes nothing. . .”

-Wesley Scott – 16 – Destiny – 3.15.2127

Wesley smiled as his fingertips flew across the keyboard in front of him. He entered multiple lines of code in a matter of seconds, while Dinrak fell further, and further behind the android. Wesley teased the younger-looking man before carrying on with his duties. Andrew had asked the duo to come up with a line of coding that would prevent anybody from interfering with Andrew or any of his operating systems.

“Done!” Wesley declared as he entered the last line of code.

“Damn it, Wes!” Dinrak groaned before he laughed and shook his head. The man’s skin was glowing in a light shade of pink as he handed over the remainder of his own work to the android. “Could you enter mine, too, please? My hands are beginning to cramp up.”

“I don’t mind, Dinrak,” Wesley replied with a wide smile as he took the papers and kissed Dinrak on his cheek. “You should go get some rest, love. You’ve been going for nearly two days, now.”

“I will, once I know that Andrew is safe.”

“That’s not good enough,” Wesley said with a frown. “You need to go take a nap. Your colors aren’t showing through as brightly as they did before.”

“Sorry,” the Fandrian responded, breaking the android’s concerned gaze. Wesley suddenly pulled the younger-looking man into his arms and held him tightly.

“I only want you to take care of yourself, because I love you,” Wesley said calmly.

“I know,” Dinrak acknowledged quietly. “I’m just worried about Andrew.”

“Me too, love,” Wesley agreed. “He doesn’t want you to kill yourself looking for a solution, though.”

“I’ll go get some rest, Wesley,” Dinrak finally said with a slight grin. “You could always come with me, you know?”

“Why would I. . .?” Wesley began before his blue eyes went wide in surprise and he began to laugh. “Oh. . . That’s true. I have been feeling pretty rundown, lately.”

“See?” Dinrak retorted. “We’re both in need of a nap.”

“Lead the way,” Wesley finally said with a shake of his head.

Next. . .