My Brother's Keeper by Ennien
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My Brother's Keeper


Morning again? Another day, sunshine streaming through my window.. You never get to see this, though. Your days and nights are spent behind faceless walls that smell foul. You only see the suns after you are risen and dressed. Speaking of which...

Ah, blast, the power went out again. What time is it? The sun looks high, I bet I overslept. I needed it though, I feel quite rested. Wierd dreams though. I wonder if they were yours? No, I don't think so.. you feel like you've been up for hours. Do you ever get enough sleep? Let's see.. YEOW!! That's cold!!! yipeyipeyipe.. slippers, slippers, where are you... there you are. Gotta get carpeting put in here one day. Now.. clock? Where clock? OO! Late indeed, oh well, I guess that's why you made me a captain, so at least one of us could have the priviledge of sleeping in..

Phew! What is this?? It smells foul, certainly not my usual brand. This just proves your wisdom again; if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, even in the matter of deodorant. Now, THAT's pathetic. Let's see now, what's on my itinerary for the day? Hmm, another mission to Earth. Unusual but I guess you couldn't schedule around it. I guess I'll have to find my little suit. And wear a mask, I suppose. I don't know how you stand it, wearing that thing day in, day out.

Ah, into the protected zone.. How do you stand it, Little Brother? Wearing that horrid thing? I guess its easier since they perfected the medium. Some days I envy you, being able to think freely, no matter where you are. I still have to censor my thoughts, still have to program myself, keep myself from giving anything away.

Let's see, what are the levels today.. still too high.. I think I can see the pattern developing though. What was it this date one hundred years ago? Hmm.. yes, it *is* high, but its lower than it was this time last century. I wonder if they're right about you.

No, I know they are. Too many of what was written has come through exactly as predicted. My poor Little Brother, how you hate me to call you that.. You really are my little brother. It was your birth that killed our mother, our delivery was normal until it was time to bring you into the world. My poor sibling -- we could never tell you. You'd just add it to the list of guilts you punish yourself with. Never a day goes by that you aren't flogging yourself with some memory, some inadequacy.

Here.. yes. There IS a pattern. Let's see if I'm right. Project pattern to lowest loop.... Oh dear, I think I might have asked too much of it. This might take a while. I might as well get dressed.

Fancy duds you've given me, my brother. At least you try to make me look good. You feel like a freak in that outfit you have to wear. It doesn't help any, that Earth comicbook hero. I can hear the soldier snickering, singing "batmaaaaan" under their breaths. Yes, I do take them to task for it. I couldn't do anything about that Terry drug addict though. Other than shoot him, I mean. I suppose I shouldn't have done that, but I was so angry.."Giant purple bats", indeed.

They don't know how it humiliates you.

Blagh, this feels stifling! And you live like this?? My dear, I hold you in the highest respect.

Back into the sheltered room. At least the Spirit knows how you feel about your uniform, not like it cares or anything.. You have an out, a way you can go out in public without your mask. Mala and Zarabeth, Zoltar's twin sisters. What a joke! What a pathetic, lousy joke. Either you're dressed like a freak, or you're dressed like a woman. My brother the drag queen. Phah! At least I can be me, however much it costs me.

I'm NOT going anywhere without breakfast. Or ti. I need my ti. You know, I still haven't finished that monstrous tin of Earth ti you gave me? And where did you get it from, anyways? Probably Zarabeth went for a stroll down some Earth street and did a little shopping. Heh heh.. The Terries say women are the shopping addicts -- they've never met my brother! Turn him loose with a debiting card... And how do you manage to forge that ID anyways??? No I don't think I do want to know, I'm sure its illegal, to both our governments.

Oo! Oo! A flux! Oh wow, there hasn't been a flux in five years! I've got to get this down.... right... now, EnigmaScramble... you're a genius, dear brother. I don't know anyone who's managed to crack your EnigmaScramble, other than you of course. I think someone's still got a computer running on one of them... Mind you, last time I heard anything about that was two years ago. They might have given up by now. Right.. that done, nothing left but to transmit it. I'll get it to reset after transmission.

Now, what messages do I have? Is that water boilin.. yes it is, oops, too full. There we go.. now, my messages. Oh, *another* one from Dhaighle? I thought I'd gotten rid of him.. Evidently not. Ah, one from Adraig. I seem to be popular with the Lower Fheileich types. Oh well, Adraig's cute. Got a good body on him, might be fun for a bit. Heh heh heh, maybe I can annoy you some more. You hate it when I have a lover, you say you never get any sleep. I'm not sure I believe you, but with everything else, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, I felt it when you were..

You're never going to leave that alone, are you? You implemented that law, but all it's done is drive the thorn deeper into the wound. You don't see the hundreds of people whose lives were made whole again, you just see that they got theirs, while you haven't had yours. Every time he strikes another child, it reopens your own wound. Every child he violates is you, all over again. It should have been me.. It would have been me, had I met you as we had planned. It would have been both of us, perhaps, or maybe we could have run away. Maybe if I were there I could have bitten him and you could have run. My brother, I'm so sorry.. I'm so sorry I went to the store instead of meeting you. I shouldn't have done it I'm so sorry..

Mala, come on, get a hold of yourself. You worry about him not leaving it alone then you beat yourself with your own guilt. It's DONE. It happened. It can't be changed, all you can do is be there for him.

Ah, but it's ruined him. Between the memories, and the women, he'll never know sex as anything else but pain. Never know love as anything else but dependance. Even I am guilty of that. I need him as much as everyone else does. I couldn't do this work without him to take the flack for it. Without him drawing the Luminous One's fire, I couldn't track it. He has too much need, not enough of his own. I'm not enough, he needs more, needs others.. Friends, lovers, companions -- he needs people who don't need him. Everybody on this entire planet needs him.

The great and glorious Zoltar, Leader of Spectra, Hope of the Future, Child of Light. Who is a broken soul barely held together with fraying tape. The Spirit needs him to conquor Earth, to keep its control on Spectra; the populace needs him to maintain the precarious balance of power, the order he's created out of totalitarian chaos; the resistance needs him to inspire and ensoul them; the Elders need him to keep the old ways alive; I need him to cover my investigations.. and G-Force needs him to give them something to do, no no no that's snide.

I feel raw.. no..... You feel raw. You've been so erratic lately. So violent, so unstrung. Are you having problems with the Dyzatrol again? Or is it the Traxin? Maybe the Gjadolin? Probably the whole lot. When was the last time you changed the patch? Hmm.. recently, I'd guess, you're far too aggressive. Go pick another fight with the G-Force commander, that always helps work it through.

Where are you? You feel so distant. You haven't left me a message either and you usually do. Not always, but usually. Especially if I've over slept. That transmission is finished. I guess I should go to work.

Keys? Where keys? Ah, here keys. They do look like Earth credit cards, don't they? I don't know about your idea of trying to pass them off as one, though. You crazy shop-aholic. How's my fuel looking? Plenty enough to get to the space port. What time was that mission supposed to commence. Oh, two hours ago.. oops. Guess I get yelled at. You never yell at me though, well, not unless you're freaking out. Aishe, you feel so far away.. so raw, so .. is your estrogen up again? I know it pains you. I admire your courage, Little Brother, but forgive me if I say I'm glad I turned out right. Almost right, it's still a little uncanny how well I can imitate your voice. But I'm fine, biologically. It hurts me to see you suffer, Little Brother.. All those hormones going crazy in you, fighting each other. It gives you an advantage, but I don't envy you.

Where are you? You haven't answered my call, and you always do. I'm only a few minutes away from the space port, I need you to brief me in what I'm supposed to do? I feel sick, shouldn't have had that neicht I suppose. Might be a touch of food poisoning? Probably nerves.. I always feel so nervous when I'm to lead an attack. Wouldn't do to let the soldiers know, though.

Now, C deck.. C deck.. Where is it? Oh.. right in front of me, what is wrong with you, Mala?? You're acting like a machte with its head cut off. Now who's this idiot, he looks like a sack of gredia..

"Lady Mala, you're very late"

"Brown out."

"You're to ship out from deck C, to join the blue squadron. You're to attack the oil refineries of the Saudi Arabia area of Earth. Your assassins have been assigned -- you're to knock out as many of the heads of those states as needed to secure the refineries. If you intercept G-Force, the Luminous One wants them captured and brought to Spectra as prisoners."

"What of the mission to disable the Terrans' space weapons?"

"Your sister, the Lady Zarabeth, is in charge of that operation"

"When does it commence?"

"Their transports left before sunrise, my lady."

Good, now I know where you are..

"Excellent, envoy. I shall leave post haste. Hail Spectra!"

"Hail Spectra! Success, my lady"

Hi-ho, hi-ho its off to work I go... Silly song, I wonder that the film became so popular. Typical of Terrans though.. Ah, the corvette.. So you're off already, knocking satellites and..

But if you're at Earth, why do I still feel you? But you feel so faint, almost as if.....

......as if............

No.....

I've been so worried about you I didn't even recognise it.. I should have I should have, I've felt it before, Aishe, Zoltar don't do this, not again.. C'mon you stupid car, let me back in..

C'mon, c'mon, get out of my way, my brother needs me! GET THAT HEAP OF JUNK OFF THE ROAD!! Damn it, I can hardly see can't this thing go any faster??

Oh right, stupid, Mala, stupid, its a convertable you idiot woman.. it flies! Keep your head, you won't be any good to him if you keep panicking. Get your altitude up.. C'mon, doesn't this thing have an overdrive or something? Open 'er up..

Yikes, nearly overshot it.. Landing cycle.. oh he'll be ticked about those bushes.. LIKE HE CARES ABOUT BUSHES AT THE MOMENT YOU STUPID FEMALE! Don't do this to me, don't leave me like this so empty, so alone I can't bear to be alone

Blood.. so much blood, where are you? Follow the blood.. thin, why is it so thin? The bath room..water? No, doesn't smell... Oh no... no no no noNONONONONONONO DON'T LEAVE ME!!!!!!!!

Zoltar, don't leave me, not like this.. Medics, did I call the medics? Some one did, do I hear sirens? Got to get him out of the basin.. Aishe you're heavy, how do you weigh so much and look so slim? Minus.. oh about four pints of blood.. too much, will you live? Still breathing? Or did you fill your lungs, too? What else have you done to yourself, you've gone out of your way this time.. Don't die, don't die, don't die DON'T TOUCH M..

Right, sorry.. sorry, medic.. it's just I get a little upset whenever my brother tries to commit suicide. They came prepared, they've got the cloning equipment and everything.. look at that, how do they make blood so fast? The Spirit gave us some marvellous technology.. Stomach pump? They're getting something.. oh Aishe! How many bottles was that?? And what is that its mixed with, it looks like chhen.. it probably is chhen, you're the only person I know who not only knows that chhen improves digestibility of drugs but would use that knowledge in this way.. I still can't help but admire you..

You really want to die. I can't blame you. But you can't, not yet. I'm so sorry, but you can't die yet.

"Lady Mala?"

"Yes"

"He'll live, but he'll be a long time in recovery. He took an overdose of Traxin, slit his carpal arteries and the basin was filled with a mild solution of bendraxine. He's lost about half his blood supply. We're cloning it as fast as possible, but we may need yours."

"I understand. How long will he be in coma? Will he sustain any brain injury?"

"I don't think so, ma'am. We were called in in time, I think"

"Who called you? I have only just arrived"

"The Luminous One, ma'am"

There they go, taking you away.. they're trustworthy people, they've dealt with you before. They know why you do this, how the hormonal battleground encourages it, how to make you better for a little while. But it always builds up again, because to cure your suicidalness they must stop your medications. Your body begins to fight itself again and the pain ravages you again.

The Luminous One called them? How? Why? It must have sensed it in you when you went in to take your orders this morning. It needs you, too, my poor, lonely brother.

I'm covered in blood and bile and my tears won't stop. The bendraxine is burning my skin. I've lost my stupid mask. Yours is over in the corner, what's left of it. Aishe you're strong.. spiridium threads are stronger than anything else, like diamonds in spun form. You tear them like paper.

What set you off? What triggered you this time? The medication? Did another toady try to get you to her bed? Memories overpowering? What was it?

Will this nightmare ever end?
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