Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

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Replied by jeanie on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

Justin doing some growing up.
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1 year 9 months ago #27251

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Replied by LadyGrimes on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

jeanie wrote: Justin doing some growing up.

He really is and now Dendera sees him more as a leader type than William.

Thank you @AB for my adorable new avatar! <3
1 year 9 months ago #27253

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Replied by LadyGrimes on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

Well I hate to post this terrible news but my boyfriend has passed away. He died last month on the morning of the 23rd. I'm in shock because it seemed like he was getting better but the damage to his kidney and liver were already done it seems and neither of us really knew how bad until the last couple of days where he was slipping in and out of coma and looking jaundice as can be.

The shock of it all is still wearing off as the anger and sadness creeps in. But I spent that final day holding his hand and telling him how much he has meant to me. He knew his time was up because he gave me one last kiss goodbye while I was dabbing his head with a cold paper towel since he felt very warm and feverish.

And I cannot begin to find the words to express how all of this feels. I guess dead inside and emptiness comes to mind. I just regret that we found each other too late. But that's how it always is isn't it? All I know is he will forever be the love of my life and I've got his ashes in a beautiful urn sitting atop my dresser along with a picture of him.

The next chapter is coming, its just been delayed until I can get some of this pain and heartache out of my system.

Thank you @AB for my adorable new avatar! <3
1 year 8 months ago #27266

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Replied by jeanie on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

1 year 8 months ago #27271

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Replied by LadyGrimes on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

I will update with a new chapter soon. Just been having a rough time, especially with the holidays and me still dealing with the loss of my sweetheart.

Honestly he was my husband, because we had planned on getting married once he got better and could get out of the nursing home. Sadly that never happened, but we never needed a piece of paper to show how much we loved one another. We always showed it through actions and words.

and my last act of love for him was being there at the end when he needed me the most. Not to mention that I told him it was okay to let go. He wanted my permission because he knew he couldn't fight anymore.
But even though he is physically gone, his spirit is still with me and I have been visited in dreams by him, letting me know hes sorry he can't be there for me in the real world.

He also knows that I am sick now and hes sorry he can't be here to take care of me. I've got a malignant tumor that has seem to come about during the stress of being a caregiver. I was already grieving the loss of my sweetheart before he was even gone if that makes any sense. I guess in the back of my mind I always knew but I was in denial.

But I'm not now, I understand the reality of what I am faced with, the loss is real and so is my cancer, but I have decided to forego any treatment. I want to live whatever is left of my life without the horrible effects of chemo and radiation. I want to enjoy what time I have left on this earth, the way I want. Writing my stories and making my art. That's all I want to do until my time comes to be with my husband again.

I had debated about mentioning my own diagnosis here, but I felt I needed to. That way if something happens to me or my number comes up, people aren't in the dark. But in truth I don't know how long I have, all I know is I've read that some people do live longer without treatment and that treatment just makes the disease more aggressive. Not to mention treatment is no guarantee to begin with. My husband had gone though all kinds of things just for his cancer to come right back. Once it spreads to any vital organ such as the liver, lungs, or brain you're pretty much done for. I saw what liver failure looks like up close, it isn't pretty.

I'm just thankful he isn't suffering anymore.

Thank you @AB for my adorable new avatar! <3
1 year 7 months ago #27280

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Replied by ds55 on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

Hey LG good to see you
Macross forever :D

#Biden not my President!
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1 year 6 months ago #27281

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Replied by jeanie on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

My sister went thru similar with her husband. Taking care of him, she neglected her own health. He died of COPD and shortly after that she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. I send you endless hugs and healing vibes. Take care of yourself.
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1 year 6 months ago #27288

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Replied by LadyGrimes on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

jeanie wrote: My sister went thru similar with her husband. Taking care of him, she neglected her own health. He died of COPD and shortly after that she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. I send you endless hugs and healing vibes. Take care of yourself.

I'm very sorry that happened to your sister and her husband. It's truly one of the worst aspects of living, the tragedy that follows. I tried not to neglect my own health, but once he started "falling" and dealing with fluid retention, I had to sleep lightly, cause I would have to keep getting up and getting after him to rest or keep his legs elevated.. He had a walker but still, he was a fall risk and it drove me nuts. He had some of the worst edema I had ever seen, it was just awful. I became such a "nag hag" as he called me, but he never meant it in a mean way, he was joking and knew I was just looking out for him.

And once he couldn't walk anymore and ended up at the nursing home, he thought I would have felt relieved but I didn't. I was constantly worrying because I couldn't always be there. We would text back and forth when I was home, and some times when I didn't hear back for many hours I would think omg did he pass away? It was my biggest fear but I stayed vigilant, cause I was seeing some improvement with alternative medicine, but once he started declining out of nowhere I was at a loss. I started grieving him weeks before I got that call because I started to realize the end was nigh and I was helpless to do anything to stop it. Such a terrible feeling and recall the feeling of wanting to just run away at times, but I loved him too much so I stayed.

In regards to my own health, I have had a mass in my right breast for close to four years now. Back then I was told it wasn't cancerous and it was nothing to worry about but they wanted to monitor it. I thought, if its nothing to worry about why does it need to be monitored? Well I have my answer now. I'm pissed that they didn't take a biopsy then when they found it on ultrasound to make sure it wasn't something to worry about. But I took their word for it and I didn't go back because I didn't think I needed to. It's already spread to my left breast and lymph nodes in both armpits, and where else , I don' know. I'm trying not to worry too much about it honestly, just trying to enjoy whatever time I have left. that's all I want. There are certain people in my life who couldn't handle knowing either so I've held off on telling them, mainly because I don't want to be pushed or guilt into chemo and radiation. I'm sick enough do they want to cut my life even shorter?

Anyways enough of my sob story, I'll post my new chapter tomorrow. I've just been waiting for a friend to proofread for me lol.

Thank you @AB for my adorable new avatar! <3
1 year 6 months ago #27290

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Replied by LadyGrimes on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

This chapter took me a while to finish because I wanted to write it in its purest form and avoid any souring caused by my depression.

Chapter 9

“I want you to reverse whatever curse it is you’ve put on me!” Brian fumed at the strange clairvoyant, whom he believed to be responsible for all his recent turmoil.

In turn the mysterious Madame La Rouge only looked at him funny, cocking her head slightly to the left in a most amused manner. “Curse?” She repeated incredulously.

“Don’t play dumb with me! You know exactly what I’m talking about!” Brian growled, slamming a fist down onto the table with the faux crystal ball, causing the whole thing to shake. “For the past two days I’ve been harassed, robbed, and even had somebody get shot and killed around me. You can’t sit there and tell me that’s some kind of coincidence, especially since this only started after I met you. So I want you to take it back! All of it!”

She only laughed and shook her head at him, causing him to become even more flustered.

“What? You think I’m joking?” Brian exclaimed in outrage.

“No of course not, child.” She answered. “But I think it would be better for both of us if you calmed down some. You’re very angry.”

“No shit!” Brian shot back harshly as he stared her down. “You did this to me so you fix it!”

She gave him a look of disbelief. “And you believe that coming in here and threatening me is going to solve your problems?”

“No but it’s a start.” His eyes locked on hers with a ferocity she had never seen before in anyone.

“I didn’t cause any of this to happen.” She answered as truthfully as she could. “I merely warned you about the darkness in you, but that was all, really. If anything, Brian. Everything you’ve experienced for the past two days was your own darkness showing itself.”

“Bullshit.” He snapped angrily. “I made fun of you that day. I even called your work here crap. So how can you sit there and tell me there were no hard feelings between us?”

She sighed and shook her head at him. “You said you didn’t believe in my power to begin with. So if that’s the case then why would you believe I put a curse on you, hmm? Explain that for me.”

“Because maybe I was wrong?” He admitted then as the sound of dread crept into his voice. “You even knew my name, and without me even telling you for that matter. You seem to know so much about darkness and signs in this universe. More than anyone else, so why wouldn’t I believe that you hold some kind of power over me?”

In turn she gave him a soft smile, the kind only a mother would to a child. “Me knowing your name isn’t any kind of big secret.” She confessed next much to his surprise. “I knew your mother and I knew your brother too.”

Brian couldn’t believe it. “How?”

“I had a son about your brother’s age.” She answered back. “They were good friends to my knowledge, up until the day he passed.”

“He was a soldier too?” Brian asked then to which she nodded in response. “What happened to him then?”

“He was killed on the base over a month ago.” She answered sadly. “Murdered in cold blood.”

Brian couldn’t believe it but he was actually feeling sorry for the woman now.
“Was it the Tjatey?” He asked.

She nodded. “Apparently not all of them had changed their ways. My son was a good soldier. I always saw him as becoming a leader one day, but because of my reputation around here, he was the laughingstock of the military. He was always teased for a having a medium for a mother.”

“I’m sorry.” Brian found himself apologizing to the woman now. “You just really scared me that day with all your talk about darkness, that’s all. I mean, do you actually believe in that?”
She nodded which only made him feel more afraid.

“Why is it there then?” He asked as his voice started becoming more hoarse from the creeping sadness.

“I don’t know.” She answered looking him in the eye. “I don’t have all the answers, Brian. I just see things as they are. That’s all.”

Brian shook his head at her. “I don’t want it. Is there a way to get rid of it? There has to be, right?”

“Let go of your hate for one, and let go of your past.” She answered. “You seem to carry a lot of emotional baggage, Brian. And that, I’m afraid will only bring you down.”

“But I can’t forgive them for what they did to him.” He clenched his jaw. “I won’t.”

She only sighed heavily and shook her head. “To forgive does not mean you approve of what they did. It only means that you have accepted it. To accept also does not mean you are okay with what happened, it simply means you’ve come to terms with the fact that it cannot be changed.”

Brian suddenly felt emotionally drained and wondered if this just might be what she was referring to with emotional baggage dragging him down.

“Do you accept that your brother was killed and it cannot be changed, Brian?” She asked him next. “Do you?”

He nodded slowly. “Yeah I do.”

“Then that’s all there is to it.” She said as she began laying down a set of tarot cards on the table, immediately piquing his interest.

“What are those?” He asked looking at the cards.

“I’ll explain another time.” She answered without even bothering to look back at him again. “For now I suggest you leave and find something else to do with your time. You’ve certainly wasted a lot of it being angry.”

He knit his brows in response before turning around and storming back out.

“Unhelpful bitch.” He muttered angrily under his breath as he stood outside the building lighting a cigarette. If anything could calm him down in that moment then it was the taste of nicotine.

In the meantime, Justin’s return to Atlantech came as quite a shock to Artis when Justin, Dendera, and a new face he hadn’t seen before, walked through the entrance of the tall windowless building. Artis immediately wondered if all the messages he’d been sending Lynne had finally caused her to have a change of heart. It hadn’t been easy and Artis had waited at least several weeks after that tragic day to even begin mentioning anything about it.

He was desperate though and had tried to make that as clear as possible in his messages to her. They needed the young corporal back or else Atlantech wouldn’t be able to move forward with the Galactic Knight project.

“Well you’re a sight for sore eyes.” Artis greeted Justin with a wide smile and then he noticed the despondent expression on his Tjatey colleague’s face. “Dendera?” His face was full of worry now.

“We were over at the arcade having some fun, when she kind of went into shock.” Justin explained. “Something to do with her past and a sibling rivalry of some kind?”

“Really now?” Artis responded with concern and then looked over at Dendera. “Is this true?” He asked her.

Dendera wasn’t responding at all, and her eyes were unfocused as she stared down at the ground.

“And who is this young man?” Artis then turned and looked at Jayce, who appeared to be doing everything he could to comfort Dendera during her traumatic episode.

“Private Fancy.” Jayce introduced himself. “Church and I were once enemies.”

Artis’s brows rose up with intrigue. “I see, well its good you’ve set side your differences then.”

“Where’s Sebak?” Justin asked next, when the elevator doors behind Artis flew open and out stepped Sebak in a hurry as though he’d heard Justin speak his name.

“Dendera!” Sebak cried out then as he rushed to embrace his newly founded companion. Her demeanor seemed to change immediately once she felt his warm embrace. She hugged him back as tears streamed down the sides of her face in relief.

Seeing the two of them together gave Justin a sense of joy but he also couldn’t help but wish he had someone like that too in his life. He had tried to have something akin to that with Grace, but the older woman wasn’t having any of it. He sighed sadly. Then as he looked over at Jayce, he realized the feeling seemed to be mutual.

“What happened?” Sebak asked then as he and Dendera broke apart.

“I’ll explain to you later.” She answered tiredly. “For now I would just like to rest. I feel drained of my energy.”

Sebak nodded his understanding and then turned to Artis. “I’ll take her to her quarters now.”

“All right.” Artis nodded back at him. “I’ll be there in a while to check on her.”

Sebak threw Dendera’s right arm over his shoulder for support and they began to leave, when Dendera suddenly looked back at Justin and Jayce and flashed a weak smile. “Thank you.” She said.

“You’re welcome.” Justin called after her., watching as the two Tjatey lovers stepped inside the elevator and disappeared.

Artis then turned to face Justin and Jayce, looking as though he had a lot of questions for them now.
“So can you tell me what exactly happened to her?”

Justin frowned. “She was playing one of those games with us back at the arcade. And I guess during the match something about it triggered some kind of bad memory of hers.”

“I see.” Artis noted. “What was she doing there in the first place? I didn’t know she’d even left.”

Justin appeared a little stunned by that reply. “She left here to talk to Commander Williams. So she could try and talk her into letting me come back to the AMF, and of course come back here.”

“After that they ran into me and she stopped our fight, demanding that we make peace.” Jayce added.

“Yeah and afterwards we decided to check out the new arcade and that’s when it happened.” Justin explained further. “I have been officially reinstated by the way.” Justin wanted to smile but he simply couldn’t.

“Well I’m glad to hear you’re back for good.” Artis responded gratefully. “Because it seems we’re really in need of your expertise these days. As for the situation with Dendera, I’m sure she’ll get over it.
However that probably means she’d be better off avoiding any arcade games in the near future.”

“Yeah, about that.” Justin sighed, lowering his head. “It’s good that I’m back and all, but after everything that happened it just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know how else to explain it.”

Artis appeared to understand where Justin was coming from and he definitely sympathized with the young soldier.

“No worries I get it.” Artis said, much to Justin’s astonishment. “You’re haunted by it all, aren’t you?”

Justin nodded, refusing to lift his chin back up. “Will this feeling ever go away?”

“No.” Artis answered sadly. “It will stay with you for the rest of your life, Church. But a choice must be made, and you have to choose to either go on, or remain stuck in the past. I made that mistake myself and I see how it’s gotten me nowhere. I don’t want the same to happen to you too. After all, a brilliant mind such as yours should never be wasted.”

Justin really had no response to that, and instead he just stood there processing his thoughts. He knew Artis meant well, but there was just something about it all Justin couldn’t help but disagree with. I’m not that brilliant, he thought with disappointment as he stared down at the ground.

All the while, Victoria wasn’t too happy once she returned to the Card Shack, but the moment she set foot back inside that old dump of a place, she spied Maxwell’s new floor and gasped. But just like the floor before it, it was carpeting, proving that Maxwell hadn’t learned anything from his previous mistakes at all. And she knew it was only a matter of time before drinks were spilled on this one too.
Still it was rather pleasing to her eyes, a nice navy blue color which seemed to go along better with the place’s old gray-blue wallpaper with its golden shells. However, she could have done without the carpet’s overwhelming new scent. It burned her nose with its chemical smell as she began making her way towards the bar.

“Where the hell have you been!?” Maxwell scolded her shaking his fist the moment she came around the corner.

“Out enjoying myself.” She stopped and crossed her arms, giving him a blank stare. “Am I not allowed to do that anymore either?”

Maxwell ignored her as his eyes shifted down to the new dress she was wearing. “That’s a new dress I see, did you steal it?” He lowered his voice so Enrique wouldn’t hear.

“No of course not.” She huffed angrily, lowering her voice as well. “I bought it with the money we stole, remember?”

Maxwell had no comment there.

“I see you finally got your new floor installed.” She mentioned next. “To be quite honest I wasn’t sure if you could afford it.”

“They just put it down this morning.” Maxwell replied with in a boastful smirk as he readjusted the high collar of his undershirt.

“Good for you.” She responded condescendingly. “Now maybe you can start attracting patrons again?”

He looked annoyed now as he crossed his arms. “Did you only return here to insult me or are you ready to plan for our next heist?”

Victoria then looked over at Enrique who was behind the bar counter staring back at them.
“You might want to keep your voice down, Maxwell.” She whispered. “Like you said before, we can’t risk anyone else finding out about our little adventures, or Morane will have both our heads. Anyway I need a drink, so step aside.” She motioned for him to move out of her way before she headed to the bar. “By the way I’m also planning on meeting somebody here later.”

“What?” Maxwell replied stupefied as he followed after her. “And who is this bloody wanker, and why is he coming here?”

“That’s none of your business.” She quipped as she took a seat and gave Enrique a friendly wave.

“Are you sleeping with the poor bloke?” Maxwell continued rambling on like some kind of jealous lover, despite the fact he felt absolutely nothing for her. “And is he at least rich?”

She groaned with disgust. “Will you mind your own damn business? Besides, why do you even care what I do? Everybody knows you’d sleep with Morane if it meant he’d respect you.”

There was a look of murderous rage in Maxwell’s eyes now. “Why, you good for nothing tart!” He spat as he slapped her across the face. “That’ll teach you to insult me! And for the record, Morane does in fact respect me!”

Enrique gasped, nearly dropping a bottle of whiskey as he went to set it back on the shelf behind him.
Victoria winced as she reached up and touched her face. It stung but thankfully he hadn’t slapped her hard enough to leave a mark. After all, Maxwell wasn’t the strongest of men, and while Victoria wanted so badly to tell him he smacks like a woman too, she decided it was better to hold herself back.

“Miss Thompson?” Enrique asked worriedly then, wanting nothing more than to punch Maxwell right in his crooked teeth for what he’d done.

“It’s okay sweetie.” She answered softly. “It doesn’t hurt that badly. I’ll be all right.” She gave him a reassuring half smile.

Enrique scowled at Maxwell who kindly returned the favor with an even nastier glare, daring him to try whatever it was he had in mind.

“Try anything and I’ll shoot you.” Maxwell warned Enrique next as he pulled a shiny new revolver out of his vest and aimed it at the startled bartender. “As you can also see, I’ve replaced my stolen gun too.”

“Good for you.” Victoria remarked coldly looking away from him.

“Very well, shall we carry on?” Maxwell rolled his eyes returning the revolver to its hiding spot inside his vest.

She didn’t seem to respond at all.

“Miss Thompson?” He crossed his arms and began tapping his left foot impatiently. “My office now? We have matters to discuss, remember?”

She blew out a harsh breath before forcing herself to get up and follow him.

Enrique had to wonder what all of this was about now as he watched her walk off with that madman. He truly felt helpless.

“One of these days I’ll have my revenge.” He promised himself quietly.

Once Victoria entered Maxwell’s office she immediately took notice of the brand new desk now sitting in place of the old one, as well as a brand new decorative clock on the wall behind it. She was half expecting to see an engraved name tag in the center of that desk as she stepped in front of it while Maxwell took a seat in his chair. At least that wasn’t new.

“First order of business, we must plan our next heist. And I’ve got a good idea of where to hit next.” He announced, pulling out that crudely drawn map he’d made earlier, and spread it out on the surface of his desk, which Victoria couldn’t help but stare at with suspicion.

“I only got away with stealing ten grand from that first bank.” Victoria’s eyes narrowed as they were locked on his. “Which means we both got five each, so how in the ungodly universe were you able to afford not only, a new floor for this dump, but a shiny new revolver, a new desk, and a new clock?” She gestured towards the wall with her hand before placing them both firmly on her hips.

“I’m beginning to think you’ve pulled the wool on over me here, Maxwell. There was a lot more money in that bag wasn’t there?” Her eyes seared with ferocity as she looked back at him, because she knew she was right. He had lied to her, and worst of all, forced to go after that poor innocent bank teller and end her life. But Victoria was thankful that she hadn’t, yet she wasn’t about to admit that truth anytime soon.

Maxwell didn’t appear the least bit fazed by her anger, which only made her even more mad about the situation.
“Fine, you want the bloody truth? I lied, there was a lot more! And I didn’t feel like you deserved it, so I took it for myself.” He confessed sounding more annoyed than anything before reverting his attention back to the map.

“So you used me then?” She snarled through clenched teeth as she balled up both her fists tightly.
He looked up at her again with that same bothered look on his face. “Yes and no, Miss Thompson.”

“What exactly do you mean by that?” She demanded to know next.

He smirked at her. “Let me just put it this way, you weren’t yet toughed up enough to be robbing any bloody banks. You didn’t have the right mindset, and so I took a few liberties and I lied to you and I stole from you. How else am I supposed to turn you into a killer?”

His words were callous as they came out. There wasn’t an ounce of humanity in that voice as she listened, shocked to find out that he was trying to mold her into something much like himself. The very idea of it was sickening to the core and it made her stomach turn.

“To make me more like you, huh?” She glared at him, without feeling the least bit shocked or surprised when he responded with a nod.

“Need I remind you again that you came to me, Miss, Thompson.” He threw into her face then. “You chose this life, now you’re going to live it, or you can go wallow in your pity on the streets.”

She hated to admit it to herself but he was right. She was the one who had seen the article in the news paper about the bank robbery, and in her desperation for money she had come to Maxwell, wanting him to teach her his ways. She deeply regretted it now.

“It was only one bank I robbed I don’t have to do it again.” She shook her head as she backed away from his desk.

“Not so fast!” His head shot up and he arose from his chair. “We’re in this together, remember?”
Victoria backed away even further until she found herself pressed up against the door as he walked over and got right into her face.

“Think of how rich we can be if we keep this up.” He claimed as a wide, unsettling grin spread across his face.

“You mean yourself.” She snapped back with harshness. “You want to reward me with the bare minimum, even though I’m the one risking it all.” She held his gaze as that fury burned in her eyes once again. In that moment she relished the thought of shooting him point blank in the head, just to get him out of her face.

He chuckled with amusement. “Oh but that was just a test, Miss Thompson. And guess what? You passed. I mean you did put that poor wench out of her misery, right?”

Victoria nodded as she turned her head away from him. There was absolutely no way in hell she would tell him the truth, even though he just admitted to stabbing her in the back, and for her own good, as absurd as that sounded.

“Then I’d say you are ready, Miss Thompson.”

About the same time, William Sterling was in the men’s department of a local clothing store, browsing through all the different kinds of suits, hoping to find that one which would impress Victoria the most. After all she was a classy woman and despite the fact that William knew next to nothing about style, he was determined to find something he at least looked dapper in.

I’ve got to do whatever it takes to impress her and make her forget about him, William thought sourly in regards to the secret admirer persona he’d created, as he pulled a couple suits off the clothing rack that he thought looked appealing enough, and then headed off to a dressing room to try them on.

Little did he know that at that very same moment, Lucy, Grace, and, Mipsy had just walked into the store all dressed up in their own unique little get-ups to do a little shopping of their own. But of course running into those three was the last thing he ever expected to happen, especially once he walked out of the dressing room wearing a very flattering looking dark blue suit and stood before the mirror, checking to see if this just might be the one, when he suddenly heard a wolf whistle coming from behind.

Startled, he peered over his shoulder to see the three girls standing there in their colorful dresses with matching cloche hats. His face immediately turned bright red from embarrassment.

“Getting ready for a hot date are ya?” Lucy teased him as the other two giggled.

William rolled his eyes in response and then fully turned himself around to face them while pretending he wasn’t the least bit intimidated. “Maybe I am? What’s it to you?”

“Oh I bet it’s the commander too.” Mipsy teased. “Now we know why she requested some time off, don’t we, Lucy?”

“Yep it all makes sense now.” Lucy agreed and then looked at him. “So you two have secretly gotten back together haven’t you?”

Shocked to even find out they knew about his past with Lynne, William could hear himself screaming madly on the inside now. It seemed like there was no hiding anything, not as long as these three were around. He knew his sister on the other hand didn’t give a damn about his personal life, and for that he was grateful.

“No we haven’t gotten back together.” William replied with bitterness, even though he wanted to ask how they had found out about him and Lynne in the first place. “But I am meeting someone.”

“Oh who is it? Do we know her?” Mipsy’s eyes widened as she begged to know.

“Yeah, do we?” Lucy asked.

William knew then it was in his best interest not to say a word about Victoria to these women, especially since they were notorious for spreading gossip throughout the base. Things were already bad enough as it was, and the last thing he needed was to have every single person in the AMF knowing about his date with Victoria. Even though it wasn’t really an official date.

“I’m sorry but I’d prefer not to tell you.” He replied then, causing Lucy and Mipsy to sigh with disappointment.

“Well whoever she is, she sure is a lucky gal.” Grace added reassuringly, and then turned to the others. “Come on now you two, let’s give the poor man some privacy and be on our way.”

William gave her an appreciative smile in return. Grace was definitely more respectful when it came to personal stuff, especially since she knew first hand just how obnoxious others could be when they knew too much.

William sighed with relief when they finally disappeared around the corner of the women’s department, and then checked out at his reflection one more time before heading back inside the dressing room to try on the second suit.

Elsewhere, Stan was all by his lonesome making his way back down the long alleyway behind Gambler’s Strip where he’d murdered that teenager. It was only about a mile from there back to city hall, and yet it seemed a lot longer. And for the duration that he walked, slow as could be, his synthetic mind appeared to be going haywire. Stan even noticed how it only started happening after he had dispatched that teenager and left him behind for somebody else to find.

He sincerely hoped it wouldn’t be that child he’d saved before from that predator of a man. And that’s when it hit him.
Morane himself had always claimed he was against men like that, yet he had now proven that he was no better. Not only that but the man had the nerve to tell Stan that he was much like himself, and while Stan believed it then, this time he realized what it was that separated them. Morane was a killer and Stan had only ever been used to carry out the deeds Morane was too lazy to take care of himself. The man had free will and he used it to commit unnecessary evil, whereas Stan only did as he was commanded to.

But it was his yearning to feel human which drove him to follow those orders, all because he wanted to be respected. And now everything he’d believed was suddenly beginning to unravel, and the android wasn’t sure how to respond to all these confusing emotions coursing through his artificial veins. But then something even more alarming happened. At first the recording of him snapping the kid’s neck kept repeating itself over and over in his memory data, but then he saw an image of something else, and whatever he’d seen appeared to be shocking enough that it stopped him right in his tracks. He could go no further.

There were bits and pieces of memories of which he didn’t recall at all, especially when it appeared to show him as a child, staring out a large window which overlooked the city, as though he were searching for someone, but who? Stan really hadn’t given it much thought until he also had a memory of him as a teenager while talking with someone. He definitely heard a man’s deep gruff voice, but it sounded too distorted to make out.

What is going on? Stan wondered then after the memories had seemingly vanished. This caused him to look down at his hands, raising them close to his face with the palms up. Whose memories are these? And why am I having them?

By this time, William had decided to go with the blue suit instead of the dark gray, which he felt made him look more like he were attending a funeral than an outing. But of course when it came to colors, William usually went with blue, especially since he felt it was the one color that looked best on him, despite the fact his hair and eyes were already different shades of blue, including his uniform.

In the past he used to catch a lot of flak for wearing white, especially since it was viewed as a color of purity and being that he was descended from a race of killers, it was dishonorable of him to wear that color. Even his own mother had been against it, while Lynne on the other hand was nothing but supportive. In fact he remembered one time when he was thirteen and she was fourteen, they had been hanging out together on the staircase of the tower, talking about their goals in life and where they believed they would be in the next ten years.

“I hope I’m a famous actor by then.” William heard his younger self say. “Then I can whatever colors I want because people will love me.”

If only, William thought now as he made it back to the base with his shopping bag in tow.
But as soon as he made it back home he was greeted by a familiar, yet not so friendly face.

“Where’s my daughter!?” Rehema seethed, shoving him violently right into his front door.

The former warrior still had her strength, and William felt the sheer brutal force of it as he smacked into the door hard, dropping his bag in the process. But former warrior or not, he would defend himself and quickly whirled around with his fists raised and clenched tight.

“I don’t know where she is! I haven’t seen her since you snatched her away from me!” He barked right back.

Only Rehema didn’t appear the least convinced. “Open that door and take me to my daughter this instant!” She demanded next, throwing a punch his way.

“Like I said before I haven’t seen her since that last time!” William argued as he dodged her fist, hoping to get this violent tempered woman off his back. “But if you’d stop attacking me, then maybe I’d be willing to help you look for her?”

Rehema dropped her arms at her sides and sighed sadly. “It’s my fault she ran away. I told her she couldn’t see you anymore.”

Hearing this caused William to frown, but after all the nonsense Rehema had been feeding her daughter, he had trouble feeling sorry for her. Then again it was in his nature to care about others and so he would do whatever it took to help the panic-stricken mother search for her child. After all, he had grown quite fond of little Safiya himself, and the last thing he would want would be for any harm to come to her.

“Like I said before, I can help you look for her, all right?” William repeated calmly, hoping he’d seen the last of her rage towards him. In turn she nodded her understanding which finally put him at ease.
“Let me just put this bag away first and then I’ll help you.”

“Fine.” Rehema agreed, turning herself away from him as he knelt down to collect his bag, and then pulled out his key to unlock the door.

Once he opened it he immediately dropped the bag inside and then closed and locked it behind him once more. “Now where was she seen last?” He asked, prompting Rehema to turn back around and face him once more.

“It was after I had argued with her.” The shame-faced woman explained. “When we made it back home I sent her to her room as punishment, but when I came back to check on her and bring her dinner, that’s when I saw that she was gone.” Rehema’s expression closed up. “Her bedroom window was open, so I know that’s how she escaped.”

Listening to all this really saddened William, but he still had a tough time feeling any sympathy for this woman after the way she’d treated him.

“Your first mistake was trying to control your daughter.” He explained. “I was once her age, I know. And so were you at one point, if you can remember that far back.”

Rehema’s green eyes shone like emeralds as she attempted to remember what her own childhood had been like. She only saw fragments which left her feeling even more frustrated and confused.
“I really don’t remember.” She admitted shamefully, even though she was certain her mother had probably been just as tough on her.

“That’s fine.” William replied rather softly, trying to help the former warrior remain calm.

“I’m sorry for pushing you.” She apologized next, which he wasn’t expecting at all.

“It’s fine.” He sighed, even though that wasn’t how he felt. “I’m used to being a scapegoat around here so don’t trouble yourself. But can I ask you something?”

Yes?” She lifted her chin.

“If you still feel so negative towards me and the humans, then why weren’t you a part of Naeem’s army?” He asked. “It was your opportunity for revenge wasn’t it? Yet you sat that one out and allowed your husband to join instead.”

“I wanted to join him.” She answered, which didn’t appear to surprise William at all. “But one of us needed to stay behind and raise our child, and so I was chosen to.”

She closed her eyes tight and sighed sadly. “I see now that we were wrong. Naeem only wanted to use us to further his prophecy.”

“What prophecy?” William’s voice sounded alarmed now.

“He wanted us to reunite with our former leader.” She explained. “We’re not permitted to speak his name, not until he returns to us.”

Hearing this, William couldn’t help but wonder if Lynne’s fear of a future war wasn’t so farfetched after all. Their true leader, as Rehema had mentioned, was still out there somewhere in the universe, and now it seemed possible that one day they would meet this enemy as well.

“I understand.” William said quietly with a subtle look of fear on his face. “And while there is more I’d like to know, I think it’s time we looked for your daughter now.”

Rehema sighed. “At least she will come to you. I don’t think she will ever forgive me.”

Feeling bad for the woman, William reached up and gave her a reassuring pat on the shoulder. “Yes she will. You’re her mother and she loves you, just as you love her. That is a bond that not even someone like me can break. Chin up, all right? Now let’s go find her.”

Thank you @AB for my adorable new avatar! <3
1 year 6 months ago #27293

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Replied by ds55 on topic Atlantech: The Early Days (an ongoing prequel)

Yeah when my mom went, I felt empty inside for a while and numb.
It took a while but I got through it. LG , ab wants you to move on.

And it won't be easy ,but it's day by day, week by week and month by month.
I still talk to her even though she's not here.
Macross forever :D

#Biden not my President!
1 year 6 months ago #27295

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