Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Last Son of Prano - Chapter 3.

Chapter 3.

3 Days Later.

The elevator that connected the rooftop library to the rest of the Frontenac estate led directly to a large hallway that connected to the other living spaces like the dining room, bedrooms and the like. It was a long but wide hall with a homey elegance. Hardwood floors, delicate trim and colours, and a few pieces of artwork on display. Marcus Frontenac was walking in the direction of the elevator door, smoking a pipe and entrenched in the morning's news displayed on a flexy (a thin, flexible datapad capable of wireless hi-speed communication and holographics) when the elevator door hissed open.

Gigaer walked slowly through the doorway, staring at the datacore in his hand and lost in thought. Marcus quickly laid the flexy and pipe on a small sidetable and rushed to his son, catching Gigaer just in time. Marcus laid him slowly on the floor as he took stock of the most important person in the world to him. Gigaer's eyes were extremely bloodshot and a glaze of cold sweat covered his skin. Had he tried to induce a trance of some sort? Marcus tried to snap his son out of it, but the only thing Gigaer could do is whisper the word “Planeswalker.” before he completely lost consciousness. Marcus carried Gigaer to his room and placed him in his bed.

Gigaer awoke dazed and confused. He sat up slowly to keep his head from spinning any more than it already was. As his vision cleared he saw his father sitting beside his bed, reading. “So that explains how I got to my room.” Gigaer said, rubbing the back of his neck to try and relieve the tension.

“You just managed to get out of the elevator. You're lucky I was there to catch you or else your nose would have bled all over the hardwood.” Marcus said with his usually dry humour. “How are you feeling?”

“Dazed and drained. I could use a good meal and a shower.” Gigaer said, straining to return a smile. He sensed his father was full of questions but felt it better not to ask. Gigaer tried to piece together his fuzzy memory of the last three days. “The only thing on the datacore was a vid. It was of an older Matari woman covered in soot and blood. She spoke in a Brutor dialect and said she was my mother. She said I was a miracle from the gods and I was our race's only hope to return us to harmony with the spirits and gods. She called me Planeswalker. She called be son. Then she died.”

Gigaer arose slowly from the bed and began to regain his equilibrium by pacing and letting the stream of thought pour out of him. “I watched the vid so many times that I lost count. Finally when every frame was burned into my memory I began looking for information on this Plainwalker thing, but there wasn't any.” Marcus went over to Gigaer's dresser and prepared an outfit for him while the rant continued. “I tried every mental and consciousness exercise I know. Nothing. I turned the library inside-out looking for clues. Nothing. I ran every net search I could think of. Nothing, nada, zip. I've studied Matari mysticism for years, but I've never heard of this Planeswalker thing. What could it be? What am I and what am I supposed to do?”

“I'll tell you what you're supposed to do.” Marcus said moving towards the door. “You're supposed to shower, dress, eat until you can't eat anymore, then meet me on the rooftop.” Marcus opened the door and passed through it, saying “I'll be waiting for you there when you're ready.” before closing the door behind him.

Gigaer stumbled into the adjoining bathroom, stripping his clothes and racking his brain with every step. The shower felt wonderful and helped to clear his head. Once he was done, he stretched for a bit to get the blood flowing and dressed himself in the clothes his father set out, which happened to be a comfortable tracksuit he used for working out. He then made his way to the kitchen, where Chef (that was actually his name due to an odd series of events involving pirate leaders and witness protection programs) had a full meal of his favorites already prepared. Gigaer gorged on food and drink at a frantic pace for a full hour before he could stomach no more.

It was sunset by the time Gigaer stepped out of the library doors leading to the rooftop garden. Marcus was over by the western-most edge staring at the play of hues in the sky from a bench. Gigaer sat beside him and joined in the spectral appreciation.

“I've spoken to an old colleague on Pator. A captain in the Republic Fleet who owes me a favor. He says he'd be happy to sponsor you for the Republic Military School for capsuleers. A captain's sponsorship will get you in, and I'm sure you'll be able to graduate with honours. I've transferred enough ISK into your accounts for anything you could possibly need. You leave tonight.” Gigaer looked at his father with confusion, but Marcus didn't need to see the look to know he needed to explain his plan. “To find the answers you seek, you'll need freedom and power, while still being able to operate without the notice of those who would want you dead. For that, you'll need to be a capsuleer. The captain will arrange a new identity for you and the funds are being laundered enough to not attract any attention. As my son, you're too visible, but as a capsuleer you can go wherever and do whatever you need to in order to find your destiny.”

Gigaer wanted to argue - since it meant giving up the life he knew forever - but he knew his father was right. Gigaer even contemplated it as a next move before joining his father on the roof. Marcus accompanied the son he would never see again to the lobby, where some of the living staff, the ones that have known Gigaer since he was a newborn, gathered to say their quick goodbyes. As far as anyone but Marcus, Gigaer and the distant Matari captain knew, Gigaer was leaving on a nice vacation to a high-end sunny beach on some resort planet only the rich and famous frequent. The secretly empty personal shuttle to that resort would later explode in a tragic “freak accident”, erasing Gigaer Frontenac from people's view, so Gigaer could in actuality assume a different family name and search for the spiritual future of the Minmatar race. Father and son embraced one last time. It was quick and seemingly lacking in emotion, as to support the illusions at play, but Gigaer knew there was nothing that truly needed to be said.

A Gallente datacore was in Gigaer's pack. On it was all the information he would need to assume his new life, as well as a vid Marcus made for him. A true goodbye from a proud guardian for his beloved son. Seeing how his mother had already made him a vid message explaining his future, it only seemed fitting that his father would do the same explaining how much his past would miss him.

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