2-20-2001

These are all unbeta read and undisclaimered, but I am so busy now you have NO idea...

Duo of Loxley Part Two
by Eternal Treasure (sailroeternity@yahoo.com)

 

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
It might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it
It's something that I'm s'posed to be
Someday they'll find it, the Rainbow Connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me....

-Rainbow Connection

Trowa Colbey gingerly eased himself down onto the hard plastic seat between his parents. He swore he could almost feel the heat of his mother's rage against his left side and he hoped that something would divert her attention from him before she blew her top again.

He didn't even dare open his mouth or so much as twitch. It would make her focus that much more intense. Her green eyes were staring at him... like a vulture. Shooting a furtive glance at his father, he barely stopped himself from sighing. Dekim was giving him that silent, weighing look as if he was wondering how his son would fit into a military school uniform. No help from that quarter.

~Light above!~ Trowa muttered to himself silently ~Make one mistake, blow up a few androids and everyone want's your ass nailed to the wall!~

Okay, so it had been more than a few androids. More like an entire cloning facility, but it wasn't his fault! How was he supposed to know that the dumb things would react to his programming like that?

He chuckled, unable to help himself. Horrified, Trowa clapped a hand over his mouth. Alerted by some odd sense, he scrambled over his father's lap and landed in a heap in the middle of the isle just as his mother's fingers grabbed at the place where he had been. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Don't kill me!" Trowa babbled in terror, scuttling away from her.

Catherine shoved his father back against his seat as she leaned across to put her face right in front of Trowa's. "You hacked into a restricted computer system, blow up an industrial site, get us kicked off a planet and banned from an entire sector..." His mother's eyes almost seemed to glow, "And all you can say is sorry?"

"I'm sorry." he mumbled. Trowa desperately climbed into the woman's lap who was sitting on the other side of the ship when his mother lunged at him. His father managed to catch her in mid-leap. They locked gazes for a long time, neither seeming to move.

"We can always have another." Catherine said reasonably.

Trowa facevaulted. They were moving. His father was trying to push his mother back in the seat and she was so furious that she was actually bending his arms back, still coming at Trowa. Now his father was sweatdropping.

"Trowa, why don't you go sit in the dining section and wait for us?" he suggested.

Trowa opened his mouth to reply, but then his mother's face swung towards him. Before she could make eye contact, he ducked down and crawled out of reach. ~A day in the life of this twelve year old...~ he groused mentally.

The flight attendant watched him slithering away on his belly and sweatdropped. Looking back at Trowa's parents, who were in the middle of an intense argument, he frowned and took out his phone.

*******************

Quatre blinked open his eyes and unwrapped his body from the young man's cold one. Rolling his shoulders, he stretched as far as the cramped quarters would allow and then folded up, his chin on his knees. He stared hard at the wall, unwilling to look over his shoulder at the unresponsive body behind him. Again, he'd done it. He'd sworn that he wouldn't do it over and over these past few years and he kept breaking that vow. His oaths to protect and preserve life... Hypocrisy. What they really meant was save anyone who can get you ahead. Murder the rest.

Silently, he gathered his equipment and set it up again. What really killed him was that as much as he hated himself, he'd do it again until they came up with the right one. Dozens of people and each one of them had died a horrible death. And those deaths at his hands alone. There were other doctors out there doing this very same thing, but he himself personally had ended the lives of so many. He wondered how the other doctors felt. They were just as horrible as the people they were trying to bring down.

Still, he had hope. Maybe if they found the right one then this nightmare would be over. Maybe he could look in that person's eyes and see some kind of redemption and forgiveness. He knew that for all he had done, he would burn in hell for all eternity, but--

He sighed and folded up a blanket into a neat square. That one ray of light. One brightness in his world to counter the fading embers of life in his patients eyes. To have one still beneath his touch and live again even though he had felt their hearts flutter into weakness and die.

Standing quickly, he unwrapped the thick robe from around the man's tiny body and flung it into a corner for the next person. Checking his vital signs without hope, he opened up the wall panel and quickly pushed the body inside. In a very few minutes, the blast of hot air would force all of the moisture from the man's body. The process kept there from being any kind of bad smell and then he would take the fragile mummy and break it apart and pound it into dust to be easily disposed of. Quatre reached inside and touched his wrist and felt at his throat. Nothing. The man's eyelids were ashen and gray.

Quatre closed the door firmly and pulled down the latch so that when the scalding air poured in, it wouldn't spill out into his room. Then he waited. Maybe he should leave until this was over. His stomach rumbled, making him feel ill. The utter banality of wanting to eat while waiting for someone's corpse to dry up... He was getting entirely too used to the whole process.

Scrubbing a hand through his hair, he bent to retrieve the slippers he'd given to Duo. All too soon, he would have to finish this job. This one had been a good candidate. But then, so many of them had been.

*************

Heero had reluctantly prepared his tools for the task the Prince had set him. It was obvious that Miliardo was slowly going insane, but at this late date, there was nothing anyone could do. The command structure of the government was so weak that even if the gentle Queen Relena wasn't nearly dead, if he could somehow rise from his bed and take command, she would never be able to hold it all together. Too late. For all of them.

Especially too late for the silver haired people asleep in this room. He did his work here, where they all could witness it. All of them seemed to be linked on some deep level, could feel each other's pain. It had hurt him the most to cripple the little girl. The one who had huddled against that far wall and pleaded for him to leave her alone. Demanded with those angry blue eyes that he bring her mother back to her.

The child's mother hadn't been fertile, but Miliardo figured that since he couldn't let her live he would let the men who were disappointed in the initial screening process for impregnating the fertile women to have some... satisfaction. The woman was dead by now. As it was, he'd finally had to knock the child unconscious, unable to deal with the dread in her powder blue eyes.

The child's father was in the room as well, a promising engineer. He'd taken the shattering blow without making a sound, passing out from the pain, blood flowing down his chin from where he'd bitten his tongue. The other young man had almost managed to break his plesti bonds when the pain came. They'd all been brave. If it hadn't been for that one other man, none of it would have been necessary.

They'd all known when the older man had died, Alex. The one who'd run like a coward at the first chance. He could have taken the eight year old girl with him, she'd been close, but he'd run and left her behind. The guards had shot him like the loathsome cur he was. So here Heero stood, making sure the new additions to the macabre gallery would never be able to flee again. The promising swimmer lay in her crystal case, her legs bent at odd angles, deliberately allowed to heal wrong. Her dream to compete in the Olympics was over. She never opened her blue gray eyes. She was only twenty three years old and her smooth cheeks now held deep grooves, her expression bitter.

Once more, Heero refused to look at the red-headed child where she lay in seemingly peaceful repose. Miliardo had had a hand there. The Prince was petty in his cruelty. The little girl would never be able to leave that special casing.

The door opened behind him and he turned to watch the large Keeper drones bring in the cold storage capsule. He ordered them to leave it in the middle of the floor among the four other capsules. They would all witness. Heero readily remembered the young man's furious expression when he'd been dragged off his ship. He'd fought like a fury until Heero himself had placed the oxygen mask over his pretty, heart-shaped face and then sealed him in the tube. The hateful look in those lavender green eyes had been like a stab in the heart. It was as if Heero knew the younger man somehow. Knew him to his heart and deep in his soul and that the man knew him just as deeply and just as well.

Heero gripped the sledge hammer tightly. Old fashioned ways worked best. He would do his duty.

As soon as he drew near, he felt that something was not right. The readings on the side of the tube were steady and everything appeared untampered with. It was hard for him to put to words what he was feeling, but... Heero knew that the young man was not there.

Fury coursed through his body and he swung the hammer down into the thick glass casing. After three wild blows the glass shattered inward. Duo wasn't there! Glancing back over his shoulder at the people lining the walls of the room, Heero felt their grim satisfaction like a cold wave at his back.

He shook his head. He couldn't imagine what new horrors Miliardo would come up with if this particular young man wasn't captured again and soon. Now he could almost understand why Miliardo wanted them rendered immobile. The strangeness of the situation made him shudder. How had he gotten free?

By everything holy, he would find out! He would catch the clever little majoski and haul him back by that silvery braid. He would do his duty. And he would forget how he wanted to touch his face and taste those sweet lips that had cursed him so bitterly. Heero couldn't have him. The young man would hate him for what he planned to do.

"I will do my duty!"

********************

~I WILL do my duty!~

Duo couldn't open his eyes, he felt to stiff and worn out. The strangely familiar voice echoed in his skull until he thought he would scream of madness! All that escaped his lips was a soft whimper. He was naked again, he realized, but not cold. He put a hand to the floor of the room he was in and frowned as he brought it up to his face, forcing his eyes to open. At least the doctor hadn't been lying about that. He could see again! But... why had Quatre locked him in here?

He panted in terror when he focused on his palm. His fingerprints had been burned off! He was scalding and couldn't even feel it. Desperately, he fought his way fully back to consciousness, scratching weakly at the crack in the wall. He was beginning to feel the heat through the soles of his feet. Large droplets of water rolled down his face and splashed down over his chest and dripped onto his thighs as he struggled up into a crouch.

"No..." he mumbled and slapped his palm against the wall, he saw the steam rise in perfect handprint form when he pulled it away. He punched it as hard as he could and then he did scream, his wild cries ringing off the walls and echoing down the vent shaft. Duo looked down between his feet and saw hot jets of steam rising up from tiny holes in the floor of his prison. "MOTHERFUCK YOU TO FUCKING HELL, I WON'T GODDAMN FUCKING DIE HERE!!!"

Duo slammed his whole body against the door, even in the haze of his mind he realized that he could feel it's molten heat against his skin. He pressed his shoulder against it and pressed with all his might. When he pulled herself away, tiny bits of his flesh clung to the metal, sizzling.

Hair in his face, his body slumped with fatigue he rallied and tried again. This time his efforts were weaker, he twitched from head to toe, was bathed in his own sweat, he couldn't breathe and sparks were dancing in front of his eyes.

He blinked, the sparks coalesced and swirled in front of his face. A tall caramel skinned angel seemed to stand over him, long black hair with silver streaks flowed down over his shoulders. He was blocking the metal door.

"I won't fucking die here..." Duo whimpered.

(Come to me)

The vision's voice echoed in his head and he felt his strength ebb with each tender syllable. His eyes slid closed and Duo lifted his hands to the glowing light. Death had come. Opening his eyes, he beamed up into the angel's shining countenance.

"Fuck off."

With renewed strength, he shoved and his hands went through his shimmering apparition to press at the door. The angel looked chagrined for a moment, then immensely pleased.

(You will live)

Duo ignored the sweet whisper, pressing with all his might. He shuddered as cool, soothing winds whistled through his body, his being, his soul, his consciousness.

(My son, my child)

Hurting and exhausted, Duo's hands fell away from the scalding metal door. He lay against the floor, the hot air searing his skin. "Don't wanna die..."

The door opened and Quatre quickly reached in and hauled him out, staring down at Duo in wonder, awe, and terror. Most of all through, there was joy lighting his face. Duo took one look into his worshipping face and lost consciousness.

*******************

Mariemia watched the tall, angry man leave the room. Then she turned her little head and looked at the crystal tube just to her right and her father within. Trieze glanced back at his daughter, winked and made a funny face. She grinned.

"I still don't like this," Mueller `said' from his side of the room. The all now communicated via mind link, since there was no way for sound to escape the crystal tubing. "He doesn't seem `stable' does he?"

"There isn't any other way," Trieze asserted. He sent a mental image of himself shrugging. "I would have chosen differently myself, but..." he sent another image of himself worrying himself to little pieces that bounced across the floor.

Mariemia giggled and sent a mental image of her toy bunny, Skittoos, scooping up the scattered pieces of her daddy and pasting them together. "They'll do just fine. Both are needed."

"Yes," Dorothy said from where she lay to Gerald's left, "They are needed. They will serve just fine."

"Must they die?" Trieze asked again. After the Dragon God's visit, he'd felt all the hatred and bitterness in him fading away into nothing but compassion. Now he felt pity and sorrow for what would now occur. "Can we not just end the cycle of violence and death here?"

"They must die!" Dorothy's icy voice cut into his thought's like a blade. "For what they have done, they will suffer!"

~As we have~ Mueller almost, but didn't quite say.

Again, Trieze glanced at Mariemia's tube and now it was she who winked at him.

(end part two)