30 day challenge-Final Day. Bizarro World, part 8(4 of 4)
Once they met back at the lair, Kalika was glad that Marcus was there.  “Where are Astika and Lex?” she asked. “Busy, but we got stuff done. Why is he here?” Marcus asked. “I’ll go home as soon as we’re done,” Viral assured you.

“No, I meant Speedy Gonzalez here,” Marcus said curtly. “I need him!” Kalika said defensively. “Of course you do,” he muttered. “Barry is helping me and I’d really appreciate privacy. Did you call Greta?” Kalika asked. “She’s excited,” Marcus shot back. “Great! You’ll really like the Citadel, Barry. It’s so awesome and if Adam can manage, you can meet my Trippy,” Kalika said.

“Your Trippy?” Barry was curious and it sounded funny. “It’s a surprise,” Kalika said as she formed a coy smile. “Then I’m looking forward to it,” Barry said with a smile. “It was nice to meet you,” Amara said. “Get better, kiddo. I won’t take up too much of her time,” Barry said.

“Good. She needs to do her job,” Marcus snapped. “Don’t worry. We’ll go home and you can take Greta to the movies,” Kalika said before they left. She was thrilled and he looked furious. “He is really rude. You need to practice,” Barry said. “He’s just mad because his bitchy girlfriend wanted to go to the movies,” Kalika said as she rolled her eyes.

“She can wait. You know, he needs to deal with his insecurities. I don’t even exist in your world, so he is the fastest guy in the city. He’s a kid and he’ll only improve,” Barry said as he shook his head. “What do you use aside from arrows?” Oliver asked. “These. Bako is a class, not a surname. Everyone who works in prisons goes by it. My great-grandfather was an executioner and he wanted my grandpa to be a warden. I was eleven when I did my first and everyone calls me Raha-Ak-Jahut in the Empire,” Kalika said proudly.

“What does that mean?” Barry asked curiously. “The Angel of Death. When they go to sleep, parents tell their sons to be good or I’ll come and get them,” she joked. Oliver winced; it was extreme. Her culture was obviously like Nyssa’s and he’d never approve. “Are you serious?” It was a little scary and he didn’t think the sickles would be used for that.

“Lex isn’t just like that because he’s a soldier. My enemies all want the old ways back and polygamy, claims, raids and women being seen and never heard was how it was before grandma kicked everyone’s asses. I have no patience for sex offenders or people who beat or hurt children. I don’t care about gender, but in the empire, men are the ones who have like misogynist attitude,” Kalika explained.

“I like time you fed his balls to him,” Viral said. “I do that all the time-It’s my signature. Well, aside from the markings,” Kalika reminded him. “These are really nice arrows. Are you better with arrows or crossbows?” There were even stakes and the bombs did look homemade. “I like crossbows, but I’m machine oriented. I fish and hunt, so I do know how to kill deer and stuff. I also have knives and needles,” she said.

“Be careful. They could accidentally hit the wrong target,” Barry said. “They can and I actually think you should use them first,” Oliver said. “What should I do?” Viral asked. “Try to attack me,” Barry suggested. He was weaker and needed more training. “Do you meditate?” Oliver asked. “Not lately-I have trouble sleeping,” she said with a sigh. “Then we’re doing that first. You’ll never focus if you don’t clear your mind,” Oliver said.

It took Kalika time to quiet her mind, but she managed to relax. She was at the castle and she was in her original room. She was going through her collection when she heard a voice. She didn’t want to believe it, but it was her uncle. “Did you miss me? I certainly missed you…you’ve become a woman,” he remarked.

“Go away. I’ll slit your throat and serve you to the dogs,” she hissed. “That’s quite a threat. I told you I’m not letting another man touch you. What about your sister? If you tell, I’ll kill your mother,” Alexander said with a smile. “No, you won’t. I’m not little anymore, grandmere won’t let you and neither will anyone else,” Kalika said angrily.

“Prove it,” he said. “I will,” she said as she shocked him. She was shocked when it didn’t work. “Shame on you…stop being a tease. I don’t feel like waiting now,” he growled. Kalika scrambled to grab ahold of her weapon and threw it at him. The cut didn’t stop him and she was terrified. “I’m not going easy on you now-You can’t keep torturing me,” he said as he knocked her back.

“Never-I’ll kill you,” she hissed. Kalika did everything she knew how, but all it did was make her uncle hornier. Before she knew it, he was choking her. As soon as he started to grab at her clothes, she woke up. She gasped for air and took several breaths; she was terrified.

“Are you okay?” Her body had been tensing up and she was obviously remembering something bad.  “No, but I think I will be. I know what’s holding me back,” she said. “Try a few more minutes…you’re too tense,” he said warily. She closed her eyes and this time, she was able to focus. When she was done, she felt relaxed.

When they were done, Kalika wasn’t sure she did okay. She had never tried practicing on a person. “You can try on a dummy now,” Oliver said.  She needed to know how to deal with someone who was going to dodge her first. “That was still pretty good, though. This one’s a surprise. I think he may have given me a cold,” Barry said.  “Actually…I was aiming for the flu. If you get a fever, Amara can fix you,” Viral said nervously.

“At least it’s not at full blast. You’ll make everyone sick if you make a large blast. Airborne viruses are rapidly contagious,” he said sternly. It was good to keep from being scary as a kid. Viral could easily kill someone and Barry wasn’t sure he realized it.

“Show him how to use the knives,” Oliver said. Using their powers wasn’t the hard part, focusing on weapons and fighting was. “You ready, kiddo?” He had low self-esteem and Barry didn’t want to push him too hard. “Sure,” Viral said. He liked being able to interact with his favorite heroes.

When it was time to use arrows, both the kids were excited. Kalika had already shown Barry some of her powers, but she wanted to be better with non-mechanized weapons. “You can’t make a mistake on this one. A gun won’t work and they’re hard to kill,” Oliver said sternly. “Yes, sir.” Kalika had always dismissed it in the empire and let Amara and Ashley fool around with it. Swords always seemed more fun and so did throwing things.

30 day challenge-Final Day. Bizarro World, part 8(3 of 4)
Once they got there, Kalika asked for her normal booth. “Frank, is Linda working today?” Kalika asked. She didn’t want to mess with things, but having a reporter around did help. Linda would use more tact and discretion and Kalika could be more honest with her.

“I think so. Did she wait on you last time?” Frank asked. “I think so,” Kalika said. “I’ll send her over,” he said. “Has she?” Viral whispered. “Three weeks from now, she waited on me and Lex. She took me to Zamora and its how she met,” Kalika said. “Oh. Did she tell you whether he’ll keep being an asshole?” Viral said.

“Oh, she saw him herself. He didn’t tell me, but I don’t want him to. I only give people who won’t get affected shreds. It’s only you and Marcus so far. I don’t think I told Lex yet,” she whispered.

“Hi, kids. Let me guess: You want that special sauce,” Linda said. “Yes, please. I’ll have a French Quarter and Gatorade,” Kalika said. “Ew. I’m not a snooty French person, so I’ll just have pizza,” Viral said. “Kid, we don’t do fancy. The French Quarter is spicy and has a New Orleans flavor to it. Also, you’re in French Canada. You do know that, right?” she asked.

“Oh.” Viral was embarrassed and just wanted something other than idiotic adult things only Kalika liked. “I’ll have what’s local, then. I haven’t been to Quebec in awhile,” Oliver said. He wouldn’t have guessed, but some people they met did have accents. “Well, not everything is French since this is a place for everyone, but he’s being stupid. The vast majority of people in shops and schools speak French and even the ones in English teach French as the main foreign language,” Linda said.

“He’s not having the local,” Kalika said.  “Why not? Sweetheart, you can’t just tell your brother what to eat,” Linda said. “The local is homeless people,” Kalika said in hushed tones. “What? That’s disgusting and this isn’t Sucker’s,” Linda said. “Did you check? There have been murders and soon after, restaurants have started serving local specials. Frank may not even know and the meat suppliers could be buying it,” Kalika said.

“Wait, wait…there are seriously places with mystery meat? I’m looking into it,” Linda said. “Wouldn’t it be cool to write about if you were a reporter?” Kalika asked. “It really would, but it’s also interesting if you’re pre-law or criminal justice,” Linda said. “Then I’ll just have a cheeseburger with fries and soda,” Oliver said. He forgot about it and didn’t feel like taking the chance.

“Do we know her?” Viral asked. “I only tell you what you need to know. I just didn’t want to risk him eating people. I think it’s sick and mean to solve the crisis by killing them. Why can’t we just eat roasted rapists?” she asked.

“Damn. That does sound good,” Viral said with a smile. “You eat people?” He hadn’t considered that and reptiles didn’t necessarily eat people. “Not all the time, but yes. He’s not human at all, he’s half-demon and half something else. I have roasted a rapist before and the village was hungry. If he didn’t want to get flayed alive, he shouldn’t have hurt children while he was on a raid,” Kalika said with a shrug.

“Well…at least they’re evil,” Oliver said with a sigh. “My people don’t have a concept of animal rights, either. To us, meat is meat. We don’t feel bad about eating dogs or cats like Asians do. Then again, were located under Mongolia,” Kalika explained. “I’m not going to judge on that one. I lived in China too long to care about insects or meat.  You should control your soldiers, though. If you don’t tell them what to do, they can and will eat women and children,” Oliver said.

“They will?” Viral hadn’t thought about it. “Of course they will! Crypt wouldn’t because he’s Sirian, but Jake would and Chase probably would, too. Until I got upset and yelled, they tried to do stupid things. I love them, but I’m not eight anymore and they’re not my friends, they’re experiments. It’s hard to remember sometimes, but he’s right. They’re hard-wired to rape, massacre, eat, obey and other stuff. Darleen hates me because she thinks I screwed up her brother’s programming and made him human. She’s stupid and my mother would object as well, she just doesn’t think about it. It’s not her job, they’re beneath her and she has better things to do. I don’t do genetics or I’d modify them myself. Dad doesn’t understand why it matters because the point is to defeat enemies and he barely has social skills, let alone emotions. You’d fall asleep if you met him,” Kalika joked.

“I don’t doubt that. Will he change if you get what you want?” Oliver didn’t want her to be unrealistic, but if she could change things, she needed to. “I don’t know, but Gabriel heard me out. Considering how outraged people were, he did see the point in not alienating people further and keep waging war. Grandma made a lot of stupid things go away, too. I’m not aiming to make him lose his job, but he and my grandparents are doing a terrible job. The woman who actually owns this land is still alive, so legally, they have to get the hell off her property,” Kalika said as she formed a sly smile.

“Wait, Helena’s your ace in the hole? That…that’s genius! They operate entirely on logic, science, rules and productivity. Your grandparents will get mad, but your parents and the others have to back off. She does have proof, doesn’t she?” Viral asked. “No need-I have the deed to the castle stashed in a secret place and Fell, Tristan and I broke into the secret portion. Only he and I can even enter the place, so I nabbed every single portrait, document or stuff grandmere and Agares can get their hands on. They’ll automatically back off because Bertram won’t let them come near Helena,” Kalika pointed out. She doubted Bertram ever stopped loving Helena and had told him how she was in private.

“You really do remind me of my assistant at times. You don’t need to kill or be violent all the time because your family or people are, you know. It’s irrational and if even your puppy reacts, you’re probably going too far. You can’t show mercy on these people, but with everyone else, just send them to jail,” Oliver suggested. He shouldn’t have been surprised by any possible crush on Barry, either.

“Is that why you and Laurel aren’t together? I mean, I don’t necessarily care who you sleep with, but isn’t that cliché?” He was right, but she did plan to set a few examples. “Damnit…I’m not like that anymore. I wish that stupid comic didn’t have me being that much of a womanizer,” Oliver said. It was somewhat embarrassing and they did know about his love life. Raising Roy was a surprise, but Roy did need someone to guide him.

“Ok, so here it is. Frank doesn’t question his supplier, so long as the meat is fresh, clean and fit to be served. I suppose it is possible,” Linda said. “Frank’s a good guy, so he’d never order it himself. No one’s listening to me, but I have proof on certain things and I’ve seen stuff,” Kalika said.

“You do?” she asked. “I do, but none of the adults listen. They think I’m making it up, no one can do anything or that someone else will do it,” Kalika said. “I’m listening. I do know people who’d do something about it. Talk to me after work sometime,” Linda said. “This is my email,” Kalika said as she scribbled it down.

“Is she Lois Lane?” Viral whispered. “Spoilers. I refuse to confirm or deny what she is when we’re adults,” Kalika said. “It doesn’t matter. You guys do need adults and Barry and I are just here to push you in the right direction,” Oliver said. He didn’t like what Barry was doing and he needed to push the kids so both of them would be efficient, not just one. Crushes were irrelevant and he didn’t think a little boy needed to follow an older girl who was that wild everywhere.

30 day challenge-Final Day. Bizarro World, part 8(2 of 4)
Once they were alone, Kalika took a breath. “I’m sure someone will relieve Lara, but I need you to do something. If you want to do me a favor, squeeze Chase and a few others. We need some background checks and records from places. I also need to see if we can steal someone’s DNA or use a holographic chip. I promised Barry that he could see the Citadel,” Kalika explained.

“Sounds romantic,” Marcus said sarcastically. Lex and Astika looked at him, but Kalika didn’t care. If it was why he was being stupid, she was glad. It was working and now he’d leave Greta.  Work him until he leaves Greta and try to make him realize that she isn’t real. “We have an entire day trip planned. It’s going to be awesome and we’ll both eat Loaga. After that, there’s a whole Segway tour,” Kalika said cheerfully.

“If he leaves me alone, I don’t care,” Lex joked. “No, we talked and he gets it,” Kalika said with a smile. “Hey, why don’t you and Greta have dinner with us?” she asked. “What?” Astika was shocked and didn’t know what the hell was going on. It was a terrible idea and Barry was too old for her.

“We will. I’ll tell her to dress up,” Marcus said through gritted teeth. “Great! I’ll let him know. Lex, there’s something in it for you if you make it happen,” she said as she gave him a knowing look. “Always a bonus. Have at it,” Lex said before he gave her a kiss. He didn’t like Barry and hoped he was looking. Kalika wasn’t a goody-goody, she was manipulative, conniving and flirty.

Kalika was taken aback, but she didn’t complain. It was nice and her only worry had always been that he’d try something. “Check on my brother,” she said as she looked at Astika. “Shake sense into mine. He’s being petty if he’s calling me Perry,” Astika said before they left.

Once Kalika joined them, she was surprised. Viral looked upset and Barry frowned at her. “Uh-oh. Did they see any spoilers?” she asked. “No, but what I did see means we need to talk,” Barry said. Viral probably needed to say something, but she let a guy who treated her badly kiss her. “Yeah, okay. Like I said-You two can feel free to push me,” she said.

“Good, because I’m not going easy on you. That little psycho is crazy and you shouldn’t encourage him. I’ve dealt with soldiers like him, they’re brutal and he’s not going to care if he hurts anyone. He said the most disturbing things and I doubt you plan to take over the world. Ugh...he thinks you’ll let him kill for you,” Oliver said.

“I will. He’s an asshole, but he’s following his programming for the most part. He’s very different because he has more social skills and free will than the others. I got allowed to take him and the rest of his batch outside of the Citadel because I told my dad that I’d train them to blend in with the outside world. Look, I’m not evil and insane. I’ve always been against the mission, which is why my dad and I have so much friction. Getting rights and taking back the surface doesn’t mean anyone needs to commit genocide. We just deserve to have rights and not hide from humans any longer. I need him to kill dangerous people and do underhanded things because he can’t feel regret, mercy and things that hold people back. I managed to make him more like a person, but his sole purpose in life is to follow orders, defeat people and obey his masters. His sister was a lot worse and I’m not telling him where she is for a damn good reason. She had no emotions, she despised me for giving her brother germs and she’s been recruited by the high-ups. She’s stronger, faster and smarter than she was before, they’ve given her an upgrade and most likely, she can copy the person she’s turned into down to their senses. Viral is how he is because he’s not genetically engineered. They’re all programmed to believe that anyone other than my father is a threat, but I managed to get most of them on my side. The others will all think I’m a traitor and skin me alive if they find me,” Kalika explained.

“Holy crap!” They really were insane and Barry was worried. “It’s the only real way to hurt us. I can die and get killed like other people, but a full-blooded reptile has an unnaturally high threshold for pain, bullets only slow them down, their skin is tough and they can see at night. Only one of us would know what sort of torture works properly. Why do you think they’re all walled off? I’m having the ones who aren’t reptiles shipped off for their safety, but I made enemies. That girl I told Lex about thinks I’m ruining everything. The humans sell us unused portions of land, resources and other things if we give them secret weapons, technology and custom-built soldiers. I doubt it’s true, but there’s a rumor floating around that we helped the Nazis build Aryans,” Kalika explained. “I mainly go to Sucker’s because they have animal blood. It keeps me from being violent and losing it,” she added.

“I still expect you to behave. You’re not like him and if what you’re saying is true, it’s your job to control him. I’m not putting all the responsibility on you, but you’re what’s between humans being massacred by a horde of those things and a normal existence. I don’t see what’s so bad about you all having a safe space, but your father wants to take over the world. You do need to stop him,” Oliver said with a sigh. There wasn’t much of a choice and it would be twice as exhausting to deal with an even stronger breed.

“I know. I’m realistic and it’s entirely possible that some or all of us could die. I’ll take the bullet for everyone else, but I’m so angry. They claim they’re leaders, but they don’t care about anyone. They dumped the responsibility on my mother, she’s snobby and corrupt and I got set to therapy for asking why they’re doing something wrong. I wasn’t going to let any of mine rape anyone, let alone babies and kids,” Kalika said as she looked down. It was much harder this time and she wanted things to be simpler.

“Um…” Barry was speechless and had no idea what to say. “I’m not surprised. If they’re cold, controlled and in a frenzy, they will rape and kill anyone. I’m sorry your therapists came after you, but you really can’t afford to be a kid. I’m probably a hypocrite for telling you to get therapy, but you saw unnatural things and Fell said you have nightmares. I didn’t go through that until I was in college. It’s unnerving to see that look on a little girl’s face.” It was an understatement and being dark and tormented didn’t look good on children.

“No, I can’t. Look, I’m sorry I yelled, but you don’t remember them and you’ve never met Agatha and Gremory. Zamora is the closest to a shrink I have and she gave me my sanity back after I had an episode. Sometimes, I remember too much about one person or situation and it gets fuzzy. I know what they did to us, not you. I’ve died four times already and there was nothing you could say or do to keep it from happening. I think he’s warping you, too.” It was stupid to like her and they had already been married.

“Oh, right.” He had forgotten the first two and he had been devastated. “Wait, he’s killed you?” It changed things a lot. “Well, he’s not the one who raped and murdered me the 2nd time, but he made me have a fatal car accident when I was 19 the first time. He didn’t kill me the 3rd time, though. Wait…why do I remember a 4th?” She hadn’t died after that and it was odd.

“Ok, she’s good. I’m going to kiss her ass,” Viral said nervously. “She didn’t say when, though. As long as it’s protecting everyone, I don’t care.” Her life had risks and no one lived forever. “You don’t know that it can happen and you may be able to prevent it. Don’t be fatalistic,” Oliver said sternly. “She still has to factor it in. She can’t keep dying and surviving and we know that he can easily kill her or anyone else,” Barry said.

“He really can and he’s like Freddy Krueger had a baby with the Fates,” Kalika said. Barry laughed; she was funny. “Why is that funny?” It sounded horrible and they probably had Hallucinations like people did on Vertigo. “It’s Greek mythology,” Barry said. “That really is a good one. I would have used Chronotrigger,” Viral said as he scratched his head. “He’s a Duke from Hell, not a machine. There are no machines involved this time or it would be a lot easier. I can’t use magic, you can,” she reminded him.

“You can practice while I factor that in. For all you know, you could be running on steam. You might be like a cat and have nine lives,” Barry said. “Oh, take your time. No one likes being interrupted mid-variable or formula. I’d break a beaker over their head if they kept me from discovering the key to traveling properly with a machine,” Kalika said as she waved a hand dismissively.

“Oh, god…” He had no idea what they were talking about. He had a bad feeling that her boyfriend was suspicious for a reason. The girls were giggling about how handsome Barry was and she was a science prodigy. “I need to eat and then we can start,” she said.

“Is there a place in that bar that doesn’t smell like blood?” It was gross and Oliver smelled other stuff, too. “There is, but you don’t have to eat there. I ate already,” Barry said.  “Good. It really is no place for humans,” Oliver said with a sigh. “We can go to the diner,” Viral suggested. He was hungry, too.”  “Then let’s do it. I like burgers,” Oliver said.

30 day challenge-Final Day. Bizarro World, part 8(1 of 4)
Meanwhile, Amara was in stable condition. “Wow. You’re really good in a pinch,” Lara said. “I had to heal my own wounds for awhile and I have supplies in my lair. Who did you guys rob to get this place?” Oliver asked. He wasn’t Barry and didn’t believe that she just asked for help. “We kicked their asses, stole from the bodies and sent an example,” Marcus said proudly.

“I thought Pierre gave her money in exchange for taking care of his parents,” Viral said. Everyone else started laughing, but Marcus wasn’t amused. He did jobs for Lucius and tried to ask for favors. “Oh, grow up. I don’t care how special she is, she’s eleven. Either you all robbed people, she used her last name or she has help,” Oliver said as he rolled his eyes.

“Why can’t you all tell me stuff?” Amara asked. “Honestly? You keep picking at her and she doesn’t even tell me stuff. Curiosity killed the cat, but in this case, she knew you’d yell,” Marcus said. “I wouldn’t-I always support her and only question her if it makes no sense or she’s going to put us in danger. I don’t tell you things because mom said not to. She’s not doing it for fun and games, that man wants to rape and murder us and she’s the only one he’s not allowed to kill. My grandparents aren’t going to ever let me be normal the way you want to be. I have to put my father’s family first and I’m not going to live with Aunt Annabeth. If we could be normal and play, why wouldn’t we?” Lara asked.

“I lie to my sister all the time and it’s because things like this would put her in danger and already have. She’s not here because she probably had a meltdown. I still don’t like that a group of children are the ones doing something, but I suppose if I could make guns backfire, I’d probably be less afraid,” Oliver said with a sigh.

“Can I show him the comics?” Viral finally asked.  “Go ahead. She and Barry are busy having a conversation. He’s so damn nosy,” Lex grumbled. “He’s not nosy, he’s using common sense,” Lara shot back. “I wanted to have a private conversation with her. You all are kidding yourselves if you think she and I have never spoken alone,” Lex said.

“Wait, why can’t you two talk? I’ve seen you two talk and have coffee all the time. Greta and I eat breakfast with them. You should have stayed. That is so not why they’re talking alone,” Marcus said as he rolled his eyes.

“Well….he is handsome. I like his hair,” Lara said. For once, her cousin had good taste. Amara laughed so hard that she started coughing. She didn’t doubt it for a second and her sister was probably being bad. “Ew! That’s gross,” Viral said. Barry was an adult and Kalika knew better.

“Yes, it is. You’re that kid Fell was talking about, aren’t you?” It was the only reason why Barry would care and Oliver didn’t blame him. The kid was cocky and reminded Oliver of himself when he was younger. “Who?” Lex had no idea who the hell Oliver was talking about. “Johnny. Everyone in the world except for her has to call him Fell,” Viral said.

“Oh, right. Kaya’s boyfriend. Yes, I’m that evil, awful kid he’s talking about. We were talking business and do it all the time. Why would I be stupid enough to do it again? I live in the ghetto now and my parents will lose the one place they’re allowed to live in. Also, I am sorry. As long as she believes me, that’s all matters in the end,” Lex said.

“Go to hell. Maybe if you bend over backwards Lara will forgive you, but I won’t. You talked all sorts of trash about my mom, you made her change and she didn’t start pulling away from me until she met you and your stupid sister. I don’t care if you think I’ll give you germs, you taught her that word,” Amara said. She began to cough and Lara shushed her.

“Lie still. The rest of you can go and I’ll sit with her. I don’t need to punch you because she’ll castrate you with her claws if you come near her,” Lara said. “That’s all I’m saying. She almost broke my arm earlier and told me she’d make me go into convulsions,” Lex said.

“That’s impossible,” Oliver said. “No, it’s just really old. The only way to learn that kind of Kung Fu is if you live in a hut with a sensei. It’s just a threat-She’d never waste energy on that kind of move unless she had to,” Marcus said.

“Then she needs therapy.” No one accomplished a move like that unless they were pushed to a breaking point and beaten several times. “Are you serious? She has practice dummies already. I mean, I guess we could sell the therapist for parts, but burying them is annoying,” Lex said.

Viral started laughing, but Oliver glared at him; it wasn’t funny. “Dude. Don’t be so blasé. It’s not funny and she told me everything. Why did they yell at her for having human emotion, treat her like an experiment and over-analyze her? It’s none of their business why her parents didn’t raise her. They kept needling her, it made her think of my grandparents and she lost it. The other one insulted her and my cousin, which didn’t help, either. She does need one, but they’ll call the cops and send her back to those people,” Marcus said with a sigh.

“What? When I met her, she had stories. She beat up my bullies because she got mad and beat up hers, too. She set their hats on fire, tied up a fat one, stuffed his mouth with candy and told everyone it was Cinco De Mayo,” Viral protested.

“Wait, really?” The last one was funny and he couldn’t be serious. “Oh, yeah! She begged me to meet her family and I thought she was just being weird. It was awesome and he wound up peeing his pants, crying like a little kid and puking because we all hit him with sticks,” Lex said as he formed a nostalgic smile.

Oliver couldn’t help but laugh, either. If bones were broken, they would have bragged. “When we get to my house, don’t mind my brother. He thinks I stole his weed,” Viral said.  “Tell him I did,” Marcus joked. “Drugs are a waste of potential and cigarettes are bad for you, too. It’s like not doing homework or going to class late,” Lex said as he shook his head. He only skipped if it was really important.

“Thanks for the talk, dad.” It was lame and no one liked homework. “Are all of you like this?” It was the weirdest thing Oliver had ever heard and homework was for nerds. “What, superior? Of course we are-I don’t blindly obey the general and his family anymore, but I will obey my queen. The only reason you have your nose is because she told me not to attack you. Don’t you talk to her like that. You’re human, impudence is worse than failure and you’re not to question her. I’d bother using myself as an example, but I don’t see how much worse your life can get,” Lex barked.

Marcus’s eyes widened, but Viral winced. “You do need to say sorry, though. She can handle failure some of the time, but she has no tolerance for impudence, insulting her, her people’s image and honor. She got mad at someone for minding our business one day and asked me to give them strep throat. They’d shut the hell up, learn whom they’re dealing with and be grateful that she didn’t mount their heads on a wall,” he said.

“Then maybe you should mind yours,” Marcus said coldly. “Holy crap…it was just a question. I didn’t ask if you were superior or inferior, I was going to ask if you all are goody-goodies.” His question got answered in the most disturbing manner possible. “Humans all think we’re boring and inferior. They’re idiots and when we take over the world, they’ll wish they hadn’t criticized my lack of product. I’m going to be right on the side,” Lex said proudly.

“If I ever meet one of you, I’m not going to hesitate before I put an arrow in you all. I had to deal with an entire horde of soldiers who acted like you,” Oliver said, a disgusted look on his face. He still had hope that he could talk sense into the kids, but Fell wasn’t kidding. The little brat was a horny psycho who wanted to kill and destroy.

“Are you talking about Deathstroke? He’s a really good villain,” Viral said. “He’s also too powerful. I’m willing to bet money that if he escapes, his next batch will be like your friend,” Oliver said as he shook his head.

“He’d better be willing to pay an extra million. I heard that they’re testing the next phase and I’ll be obsolete soon. You all will probably get us in 2009, though. I wasn’t cheap and neither was my sister-She can track just as well and she’s a shape-shifter. If you can actually make a dent in one of us, I’m impressed. Kalika said we should all acknowledge worthy opponents,” Lex said.

Oliver shuddered; it was probably true. “Stop freaking him out. Just because the government buys you all in exchange for land and resources doesn’t mean he’ll have to deal with you. Spiderman had to deal with the Lizard and you guys exist in other stories doesn’t mean the next super soldiers will be like you,” Viral snapped.

“What a comforting thought,” Oliver remarked dryly. His time wasn’t necessarily being wasted and Viral was wrong. It probably did exist in Starling and people like Malcolm could and would pay millions for weapons and soldiers.

Once they got to Viral’s house, Oliver was surprised by how dingy it was. “Beta, is that you? I made Samosas…do you want any?” Vichitra asked as she came out. “Oh, we have guests! Why didn’t you tell me?” she said as she scolded him.

“I did! I told Perry earlier,” Viral said. “I don’t like you reading those silly stories and you must have stayed up late. What nonsense-Fairy tales are real now? Do you have Hemlock in the house?” she asked as she went to get water.

“I’m not high!” Viral protested. “Be more careful when you make potions, then. The fumes can make you sick sometimes. We don’t have insurance and I can’t take you to a doctor,” Vichitra said as she brought water out for them. “Forgive me. My son didn’t tell me we had visitors. He made me worry sick about him and came home with some ridiculous tale. Would you like anything to eat?” she asked.

“No, thank you. I found him yesterday and he was with Kalika. I thought he would have called you,” Oliver said as he shook his head. “Aare…that stupid girl. She can wander the streets if she’d like, but you’re not going to follow her. Why do you keep doing whatever she says? First you let her go off with that boy in public and then you ran away with pirates. Who’s going to give us money if you get in trouble?” Vichitra demanded.

“That’s not my fault! She caught Lucien with someone else and he told her he’d marry her. Adiel was really nice and he didn’t let anyone molest us, nor did he sell us. Mordachi took care of us and I was his best man. Plus, she needed me to cover for her. Michael was my friend and they let me go with them. He just wanted time alone with her,” Viral protested.

Lex died laughing, but Marcus placed his face in his palms. It was just sad and he was an idiot. “Pirates? Your mother is right and you really, really can’t let her just do whatever she wants.  You’re younger, you can’t control weapons and no one does whatever you say. Next time you go to that market, just take your mom or someone else with you,” Oliver said.

“Remind me to make you my official lookout. That is just sad and I’d snap someone’s neck if they looked in her direction. She never told me about pirates and if that’s how she met Laia’s father, she’s giving me details,” Lex said.

Viral reddened visibly; he was humiliated. “I don’t kiss and tell. Also, you’d just compare notes. I’m sorry about yesterday, auntie. Zamora doesn’t usually take a long time and when we left, I thought he asked. I mean, it was his idea,” Kalika said.

“Excuse me? You should be sorry-Why would you encourage him? Why did he even go to the troll market? Who is she?” Vichitra asked. “She does a lot of crazy stuff, but she’s also a psychic. Viral needed to remember something really important and he knew I’ve been stressed out. He thought we should go for a walk and go shopping, but Zamora could help him with his memory. I would have never thought to ask her how much a comic book is worth 30 years from now,” Kalika said apologetically.

“Are you serious? That story is true?” Perry asked as he joined them. “It is, but I’m not mad anymore. I guess I was questioning Zamora and when she gives you what you’re looking for, you don’t always know what it is, nor should you expect anything. I go to her for business most of the town and she saved my life once, but Viral got mad at her. She didn’t want money, she wanted the comic book. He thought she wanted it because it would be valuable in the future. She asked us to close our eyes and he was thinking about it. I was thinking about matters and hand and how I needed help,” Kalika explained.

“You wasted a renowned mystic’s time about a comic book? Priyanka took me there once and she’s good. She’s got many millennia on us and she could have gotten us actual help. What the hell are they supposed to do? How do you even send them home?” Astika demanded.

“It’s fine, guys. I figured out why Oliver and I are here and you guys don’t need to yell. She did answer their concerns, it was just in a manner so absurd that no one would think about it. If their heroes show them something, they’ll listen to it and take cues from them,” Barry said.

“Sorry I didn’t come back sooner, but Barry’s been helping me. I got the chance to show him my powers,” Kalika said. “I’ll bet he has,” Marcus muttered. “Fine-Show them your comics. You do need to grow up, though. I could have gone with you, we needed her yesterday and she has more important matters to concern herself with. Look, you’re not a leader, so just leave that stuff to us,” Astika said sternly.

“Fine. This is my brother Perry. He thinks I stole his weed,” Viral said glumly. “What? Why are there drugs in my house? Give it to me,” Vichitra said angrily. “I was joking, ma. Why would I do drugs? When have I ever been a disappointment?” he said as he formed an innocent look on his face.

“I’m sorry, beta. You’re all so different now and I worry. Your father works and I don’t know that he keeps tabs on you enough,” Vichitra said with a smile. “I’m going to do my part and be productive. I’ll bring home groceries,” Astika assured her. “My name isn’t Perry, by the way. If you all are staying, I’d prefer to go by my real name,” he added politely.

“We’re not,” Barry said tersely. He was a smug little jackass and there was no reason to be mean. “We’ll leave you to it,” Marcus said quickly. “Hold on. I have to ask Lex something,” Kalika said. As soon as she left, Barry shot Viral a sympathetic look; they were being mean.

30 day challenge-Day 29
I stared at the blank Word Document. Damn digital pirates. Not only did they steal my stories, they stole my muses, too. Now, I had to go get them and it was an adventure I wasn’t equipped for. I didn’t know where to look, how to fight back or what I’d have to do to get them back. Did I need ransom money? Did I have to buy software to track them? Was it as simple as just posting on a message board asking for help and offering a reward?

I had a time stamp on all my stories, but not all of them were copywritten. It was expensive and you had to pay another fee if you revised your work past a point. I was registered with the Writer’s Guild, but I wasn’t sure how much help I’d get for a situation like this. I had websites I had posted on, email accounts and journals, but those would only give me back so many stories. No, the bulk of it had been stolen and was probably being turned into the next Mortal Instruments or Fifty Shades or Gray. Not that I write erotica, mind you. They were the only two novels I could think of that were created using plagiarism.

I searched through each of my email accounts and downloaded all of my documents, regardless of file type. I went through each and every community entry that I posted from my journals and copied and pasted each body of work. Finally, I saved my work from various writers’ websites. That took up about 25 percent and some of my old journals had been deleted from lack of usage.

As I rifled through my backup CD’s and drives, it occurred to me just how lazy I was. The things I had saved were from at least 5 revisions ago. Anything more recent had been updated on the cloud or some other digital source. My writer’s website was still being built and it had crashed. All I had were notes, outlines, bones and other random, miscellaneous pieces of information to reconstruct my story from scratch.

Suddenly, it hit me: the printed copy. I had printed out not one, but two bodies of work. If I typed them up all over again, I could restart some of my work. I dug through my folders and looked through them. While they were two major pieces, I had spun off at least 20 different projects from those two books alone. I went to the NaNoWriMo website so I could see if I had the submitted projects up and hoped that it sent me in the right direction. Once I was done, I got to 40 percent.

What would I do about the other 60? I began to look up software, as well as data recovery services. I made a note to call or email the people at Wordpress and the various journals to see if it was possible to prove that the work was mine in case someone tried to publish it.

The moral of the story? Backup more often and do it manually and digitally. Also, copywrite as much as you possibly can and register

30 day challenge-Day 28
A smile played across his face. The voices in his head were even more demented than he remembered. He could hear his father, but he wasn’t as loud as his mate and his grandfather. “You can’t stop now…you’ve come too close,” she whispered.

“Oh, shut up. Even when he’s done, he can’t stop. He has to make sure that the world is at his feet. Everyone has to here him. You always stole the spotlight from him. It’s his time,” his father said. “You’re both being ridiculous. His victory doesn’t matter, this family’s does. The way the world works isn’t working at all. They need to be knocked off of their pedestals, show the world what they really are and make everyone stop believing in their heroes. If they want to worship and obey statues, they may as well bow down to ours. Greatness isn’t just achieved, it’s shared. If you build it, they will come,” his grandfather said.

“Don’t push people away. Can’t you see it? The mutants are angry, they don’t want to hide anymore and they hate humans. They’re all your humble servants, they just have to see that you can offer them the love, power and acceptance they crave. Even humans can be useful. If they want to be different, experiment on them. If they’re useful, hire them. If they want to breed, take them as partners. It’s not a fight unless they cast the first stone,” Kalika pointed out.

“You’re right. No one in our world care what I have to say,” Michael said as he smiled her. She brought out the best in him and he loved her for it. “Don’t be stupid. She’s always been soft,” Jason said. “No, my boy…do as you wish. It’s your turn now. All of the adults failed and a new day is rising. You’ve done what none of us have and you’ve successfully risen from the dead. You’re a god among men and you can show everyone what immortality is like,” Darius said proudly.

“I know just the place. No one will question it, the population is miserable and they hate the authorities. I can’t do it alone, though. I need help,” Michael said. His ex was dead and she would have been useless either way. “Eve is out there. I may be dead, but she has my powers. She was created to be me and now, she can be her own person. It’s still possible for her to pose as me, she just has free will,” Kalika suggested.

“She does, doesn’t she? She was kind to me and tried to help me make friends,” Michael said as he formed a faint smile. He had fun and Eve was curious about how real people worked. She wouldn’t mind and he could have a family again. “She’s alone and needs you just as much as you need her,” Kalika said as she placed a hand on his arm.

“Then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll leave a trail of clues for her, she can follow me and we’ll meet up. Together, we can rule the world. She can talk like you and people will do whatever she says.” It was perfect and if they were good, Michael wouldn’t kill the children. He had done his best to do the right thing, but he was a new person and he could start over again. No one knew who he was, what he looked like or anything to connect him from his old life. No one aside from the people who gave him his new body, that is. He had to pay them back and they’d have as much to gain by his plan as he and Eve did.

30 day challenge-Day 27
The tunnels were collectively called the Crypt for a reason. They were deep underground, people got lost easily and many times, the entrances were near graveyards, battle sites, caves and places rumored to be haunted. It wasn’t entirely true for the tunnels as a network, but it was effective enough to keep curious humans from digging past a point. Only those from Hollow Earth knew them well enough to travel and only their children or citizens who moves to the surface could go back and forth safely. Many people accidentally wandered in or discovered it, never to be seen again.

The tunnels were a global underground network, but the Crypt was located in a dense cluster in an area most people felt was uninhabitable. No one wanted the land and only a few races were willing to use it. It was more like a garbage pile and people all buried unknown strangers or victims of a disaster there.

After awhile, rumors began to float about unhappy spirits and negative energy. People came to explore and eventually, young people went there for their trials to see whether or not it was true. However, one brave soul decided to squash the rumors and solve the problem. They’d lay the spirits to rest, destroy the land and close up any and all tunnels leading up to or connecting to it.

When it came time to assemble a team, no one could decide how to pick. Several priests and priestess for gods and goddesses of death and the underworld showed interest and so did ancient races like the Annunaki. Young, hopeful future necromancers were all dying to help, so a contest was held. Whoever could try and connect with a spirit from the island or receive a message from the Elders giving them their blessing was joining the team. There were to be no more than five in the group, which included the leader.

            “The darkness of night allows us to shed our inhibitions and explore the parts of us we keep locked away during the day,” a priestess said. She proposed that everyone pray in a circle during a ceremony for the ancestors and whoever’s true self proved worthy would move to the next round.

The necromancers wanted to prove their worth by showing what they’d do if they encountered any spirits of the undead or demons, as well as how they’d lay restless spirits to ease.

The Annunaki were a race of underworld gods and felt that a test was insulting. They could easily just take the spirits to the underworld and be done with it. There was no reason to explore the place, find truth to rumors or anything other than solving the problem.

After a grueling competition, a priest, a priestess and a necromancer were chosen. The Annunaki were outraged at what they perceived to be an intentional slight. They demanded that one of them be allowed to attend, but everyone else wanted to stay and investigate things before the matter was solved.

30 day challenge-Day 26
storyline errors
She felt as though she had just been given a death sentence as he slipped the ring onto her finger. Kalika didn’t dislike Franco, but he was one of them. Her father had chosen him and she had lost her freedom. She was moving to a strange new country, she had to be whoever her husband wanted her to be and her vendetta could never be accomplished. In her old environment, she had still been allowed enough freedom to seduce and kill the perverts who supported her family, try and undermine things and use her uncle’s obsession with her to her advantage.

“I now pronounce you husband and wife,” the priest said. Kalika did her job, but she was dreading the rest. He was young and handsome, but he was also a goody-goody. She had managed to do fun things when she lived with Avara. She got to go to high school, dated cute boys and partied, but now she’d be trapped in a boring life with a guy who had no idea how to have fun.

She formed a plastic, hollow smile as they walked out. “The hard part’s over,” Franco joked. Kalika laughed on cue, but he had no idea. The hard part was having sex with him and just doing whatever he wanted. He was a reptile and it would probably be boring. She’d have to think of the last guy she dated. He was 25, he was willing to kill for her and they had fun. Kalika hated having to remove her tattoos, but she didn’t want to get ratted out.

“You’re really pretty,” he said as he smiled at her. “You have nice hair,” she said politely. It was awkward and she had no idea what her father was thinking. They hadn’t even dated and they were on the surface. “Have you had sex already?” she blurted out. If he was a virgin, she needed alcohol.

“Yes, I have. I don’t need lessons,” he joked. “Thank god,” she muttered. “This really is weird, isn’t it? I just assumed you were,” Franco said. “Nope. Sorry to disappoint, but if you find me repulsive now, you may as well kill me. I’m not getting reprogrammed,” she said tersely. She got screened and being healthy was her wedding gift.

“Wait, what? Is that why you’re nervous? Why would I want you to be?” he asked. “In my house, if you kiss a boy, you’re a whore. If you go on a date, you get beaten for being a whore. If you leave the house in a skirt, you get screamed at, then beaten,” Kalika said, an edge in her voice. She had delighted in watching perverts fuck her grandfather’s corpse. The old man was never going to get rest and he deserved it. His blood tasted sweet as nectar and she didn’t care how gross it was.

“Okay, wait. You’re telling me that Darius beat you that much? Why?” Franco asked. “His father did. I have my grandmother’s name and her powers, so I’m an awful, evil whore like her,” Kalika said sarcastically. She was going to think of butchering the old man and watching his corpse get raped when she had sex tonight.

“That’s disgusting and I’m not letting them lay a hand on you ever again. That man and I are having words and not letting you develop normally makes no sense. I don’t see why making a skirt makes you a whore and this isn’t 1930,” Franco said.

Kalika laughed; he had no idea. The poor, naïve bastard didn’t realize that he was working with people who wanted to make the world run the way it did in 600 A.D. “It’s not funny! Yes, I was being sarcastic, but I’m angry. Look, you’re safe in my house. Unless I think you’re dressed like a slut, I’m not telling you how to dress. I’m only a year older and I like a lot of things you probably do. You may be designed to be whatever people want you to be, but I want you to act like a teenage hybrid. I’m glad you’re not a virgin or it would be extremely awkward,” Franco said.

Kalika relaxed somewhat; he wasn’t a monster. She still didn’t trust him and anyone her family liked must have had problems. “I’m sorry you got beaten and called a whore, but I’d actually prefer it if you had a normal, healthy sexuality. This isn’t going to work unless we have a system,” he said.

“Agreed. Twice a week?” she suggested. If he wasn’t evil like every other reptile she knew, it was a compromise. “Fair enough, but I think that one week out of every month should be increased to three. Also, my birthday deserves some consideration,” he said.

“What about Valentine’s Day? I want what Jennifer Aniston and Meg Ryan are having,” she said. Movies had been her only form of solace and even her aunt liked romantic movies. When he started laughing, she giggled. It was less tense, but she wanted rights.

“Ok, one step at a time. I’d like to think you’ll be more exciting than Jennifer Aniston. I’m Italian and I’d rather you make me look good. You can spend whatever you want, but wear some color, don’t leave the house without your face on and do something with your hair. It’s boring,” Franco said.

“It has to be. I don’t like getting yelled at and my friends always helped me change when I got to school. Thankfully, I got to be normal in boarding school,” Kalika said. She couldn’t handle being around Varuk. Even if he was her mother’s stepbrother and her father’s cousin, she did see him as an uncle. He was a letch and she wanted him to go away.

“Um, no. Your hair has to be as nice as mine and this is stupid. You’re married now and he’s listening to me. Fix it before we have to dance,” Franco suggested. “You have to talk to him or I won’t come out,” Kalika pleaded. “No one’s going to be mean to you. You just have to be a wife and a mother. We’ll hammer out details on your behavior, conduct and all that other stuff. Let’s just…try and keep from taking awful pictures,” Franco said.

“I agree. Facebook isn’t forgiving,” she joked. They had that in common and she had become vain. She wasn’t allowed to be happy or make real friends, so she chose to enjoy her looks, go to crazy parties and rebel as much as she could. She thought of her dead mother, the loving parents who raised her and the people she’d been taken from every night.

30 day challenge-Day 25
Violence begets violence, but peace breeds boredom. It sounds crazy, but there’s truth to it. When there’s nothing to fight for, everyone got what they wanted and things are steady, no one really knows what to do. Politics and advocacy are great, but if you’re an idealist, having nothing to be an activist for is really frustrating.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a vendetta I spent 11 years on and it’s kept me going. No matter how much I lost or got hurt, I kept focusing on my end goal. I’m sure that my family has plenty of time to just have fun, but their lives would be aimless if they were content to just hang out with friends, play video games and eat pizza all the time.

When the phone rang, I was surprised. I rarely got phone calls and I hadn’t made contact with anyone recently. When I picked up, I was shocked by the caller’s identity. It was Lucien, my brother-in-law. I didn’t know what to say and he was done with college.

“Hey,” I said. “Listen, I need you to come back home. It’s important,” he asked. “It’s not my home and I’m not actually Kalika. I have her memories and organs, but I’m my own person now. Besides…Adriana and I can’t be seen together,” I pointed out.

“She and Luca moved to that island we bought. It’s urgent and involves stuff only you know,” he said. “Like what? Can’t I get it to you through an encrypted message?” I asked. “No and if you’re not comfortable, ask Lex,” he said.

“Lex is dead. Once they got a location on us, they blew up the hotel. I’m a widow,” I said bitterly. Lex didn’t treat me differently and agreed about it being a second chance for us. I probably got along with him better than my predecessor. It was hard for two experiments to feel emotions, but we loved each other.

“Oh, shit. Look, I can guarantee your safety and no one’s going to arrest you. I’m in a special division now and so is Vikesh. I know you’re not Kalika, but you want to be treated like a person. Didn’t her memories teach you anything?” he asked.

“That having friends and family is almost as important as making a difference,” I said. “Look, they figured out how to bring back the dead. They’ve gone beyond your kind and a few of the others are alive now,” Lucien said.

I was so shocked that I dropped the phone. It had always seemed impossible and I assumed that only magic could do that. “Hello?” when I heard the voice, I finally picked up the phone. “Sorry. You’ve got my attention,” I said.

“We need to prevent them from getting this far. Your father didn’t die and they’re all still a danger to your family. I’m with the time police and you know a lot about this stuff. Plus, we can save Franco. I know his death upset you,” he pleaded.

“Upset me?” I had failed as a wife and didn’t love him. I always held back because I knew he wanted and expected me to be the person I was forced to be. I didn’t get to be me and when he slept, I cried. I couldn’t love him and then I couldn’t keep him safe. I had never forgiven myself and it felt like everything was my fault.

“You’re not safe by yourself and both of us failed Franco. I know that you were happy when we let you breathe and you can do that. At least avenge your second husband,” Lucien said. “Fine, but you’re sneaky. Don’t remind me of what we did,” I said. It didn’t matter whether it was my predecessor or me; an affair was an affair.

Lucien sighed, but I didn’t respond. It was the truth, whether he wanted to admit it or not. “You’re right, I guess I just thought that you loved my brother. Please, just do this for me. You have your own worth and I know I gave you grief,” he pleaded.

I couldn’t say no and wished he wasn’t so good at manipulating me. “You owe me cheap beer and street food,” I said. “Deal. We’ll play video games, too. I’ll be upset if you die on me. We both lost a lot and I’m almost as alone,” he said.

“I love you. If I didn’t, you’d be out of luck. I guess I’ll see you soon, but in case something happens, I’m sending you a code. It’s something only we’d get,” I said. “I’ll try and put on your tracker. Please, be careful. You are your own person and haven’t been whatever someone wants you to be in four years,” he said.

“I’m willing to be her if it gets things done. I’ll see you soon.” Chasing after someone I couldn’t even see, let alone catch was futile. Peace meant boredom, but thankfully, I wasn’t coming home to a warm, welcoming environment. It was dangerous and exciting, just the way I liked it.

30 day challenge-Day 24
Bart, Starchild
With honor comes a duty to be more than you are for the greater good of everyone except you. It was a tough lesson, but it was the one thing that made me remember the woman I loved. She put everyone, including me first. The world changed after she and my brother died. It’s 2014 and I’m still fighting the good fight. Whether anything and everything I’ve ever done has worked is beyond me. I’ll always live in this reality, I suppose.

Most soldiers tend to rise in their ranks steadily. However, most soldiers can’t control dark matter or interstellar energy. It made me useful and I spent most of college practicing and trying to get ahead. When I did have free time, I was either helping the others lead the movement or I was taking care of Adriana. She’s the only family I have left and should have been my sister-in-law. She was more suited to Franco than Kalika was. She was perfect for me, not Franco.

I signed on to be part of an elite division of the Collective. I used both my powers, my family and Kalika’s name to get in. I still had to prove my worth and so far, no one had been complaining. I had graduated almost 6 months ago, but I begged to be put out into the field as early as possible. Considering that my father used to run the Corporate, I’m uniquely positioned to chase the few remaining rogue experiments left. They’ve started bringing back the dead, something I never thought possible. Memory transfers are one thing and so are dolls, but actually cloning the person and preserving the soul matrix is too much. Either they’ve preserved the matrix or took out even more from the human source, I’m not sure. It still makes it unnatural and my brother had always wondered what would happen if the undead walked the earth. These new ones didn’t rise from the ground, but they were once corpses.

“I really, really don’t think this is a good idea,” Vikesh said. “Look, Viral asked you to help and you wanted to fight, didn’t you? I need your help and we have to stay on top of this,” I said. Vikesh went to school with me and his brother was the mayor of the capital.  The masses adored him and he had his own political party. “Are you sure it’s not just an excuse to see her again?” Vikesh asked.

“Kalika has been dead for four years,” I said. Eve finally got to be her own person and she wasn’t compelled to behave like Kalika. I didn’t feel like having a copy of my dead lover around, I needed a friend. She was familiar, she was the one who actually wed my brother and had a decent lead. The odds were that Lex was with her, too. He was an obsolete model, but I didn’t care. I never saw him as an experiment, he was just an older student I went to school with.

“So what’s the plan? If we catch up to her, what do we do?” Vikesh asked. “She can tell us what she’s seen, where she’s been and what she knows from the past four years. Once we have a solid case, then we can see where we need to go in order to prevent this. Also, she may need our help if I’m right. I’m not sure who the soldier is, but I have my theories,” I said. I pulled out my phone and dialed the number we had located.  “Hello?” a female voice said.


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