Hey guys chapter 2, hope you like it. Its a bit of an info dump this chapter. Its based on what info I could remember and find from some sources around the net, but since I've never read the novels (can't read japanese ( ) it is not entirely accurate, so I've taken a 'little' artistic license with it. Also, I may add a little more to it, I'm kind of happy with it, but theres something I can't quite put my finger on about it, maybe the length or maybe the characters being too OOC.
Chapter 2: History of Sadness.
Groaning into a sitting position Abel let the blanket that was covering him fall to his waist. Looking around the room he saw that he was still in the basement of the manor house. Why did I faint… his gaze shot to the binder that was sitting on Ions lap as he rested against one of the computer terminals.
The young Earl looked up with wide crimson red eyes. "Abel!? Are you alright?"
"Yes, yes I'm okay. I was just a little startled is all." Abel said with a disarming smile while rubbing the back of his head. When Ion continued to look at him with that worried look Abel slumped down and dropped his hand to his lap. "You shouldn't read that Ion. It's all stuffy old history, something that should remain forgotten."
"I'm sorry Abel, but…" Abel looked on as a number of conflicting emotions played across Ion's face. "How old are you?"
Sighing Abel shook his head. "Ion…" The reluctance to tell his friend the truth about his age, and in the process no doubt confirming many other things that damnable binder contained, was etched across his face. Ion's face had taken on a different light yet again. Abel was sure the Earl had already pieced together enough to know about his family history. "Ion, I… um… well."
"The Empress is your sister, isn't she?" Ion asked in a tone laced with hurt and confusion. "A creature that feeds on Methuselah is the ruler of a nation of Methuselah." He let out a high pitched laugh. "Seth… the Empress lied to me… to us."
"ION, please listen to me." Abel pleaded to his friend "I and Seth, we're different yes, but we will only attack others in self defence." Taking a deep breath Abel continued "Ion, before I met Lady Caterina, it had been nearly nine hundred years since I had drank the blood of another. Please listen to me. Seth like me has taken a vow to protect all those that we care for."
Ion, was looking slightly calmer now, he only wanted something to hold on to. Some reassurance that the woman his people followed was not a lie and she had the hopes of her people at heart. Abel sighed inwardly I had hoped to never have to tell him this.
"Ion I'm going to tell you something I've not told anyone other then a few members of AX, and of them only Cardinal Caterina knows the full truth." Ion looked at Abel and was slightly shocked to see the pain on the other mans face.
"Abel you don't have to tell me if you don't want to." Ion said.
"No you have a right to know since we are working together. Besides, I was told once that it is better to talk about your problems, often a solution can be found from just talking and understanding the problem." Abel smiled bitterly at a memory dredged up from the past.
"Around a thousand years ago humanity went through a major population increase. Because of that they had to find new places to put all these people, thus the Red Mars Project was born. When human's arrived on Mars they discovered that they were not the first living beings to have been there. Some time in the distant past another race had existed on Mars, but we knew next to nothing on them. We did discover in the ruins of this civilisation two machines. The first of these machines produced microscopic biological nano-machines, that when infused into a human being gave them enhanced abilities, such as strength, speed, regeneration and long life. It was called it Bacillus."
Abel looked sadly at Ion who was staring at him wide eyed this is only going to get worse, Ion.
"Unfortunately the Bacillus nano-machines had a side effect, the machines mutated inside the humans, becoming more viral in nature. The machines fed on the red blood cells of the infused humans. This drove these humans to the need to drink the blood of others, or take supplements rich in red cells."
"Wait, that's... you're talking about Methuselah! This virus we are all infected with… it's… artificial?" Ion was shocked to say the least. He knew that the virus wasn't exactly natural in origin. Yet he couldn't believe that it was from a machine, that it was a machine! To hear it so calmly stated, from someone who had actually been there was almost too much
"I'm sorry Ion." Abel said lowering his gaze before continuing. "The second machine also produced nano-machines, but normal humans were unable to withstand the infusion process and it was not compatible to those with the Bacillus nano-machines. There were four genetically engineered humans, created to be the hope of the human race, who were able to withstand the fusion of the second machines nano-machines."
Ion watched Abel as his eyes misted over lost in reverie. It was obviously hard for him to talk about this, but why Ion was not sure, he was not sure he really wanted to know if it pained him this much to talk about it, but he couldn't bring himself to stop Abel pour out his past. A few moments passed in silence before Abel opened his mouth to continue
"These four children were called Lilith, Cain, Abel and Seth Nightroad. The nano-machines were called Crusnik. They altered our bodies far beyond the expectations and abilities of the Bacillus. You've seen some of those abilities in action. It was also discovered that the Crusnik machines could consume the Bacillus machines in order to repair and regenerate themselves." Abel paused now the hard part.
"On Earth word got out what had been happening on Mars, there were those who believed that the people infected with the Bacillus nano-machines should be killed or kept away from people, superstitions about monsters and vampires became rampant. Regular humans began to fear and hate the colonists, the next thing we knew fights had escalated into conflict which led to war. The colonists aided by my brother and sisters, returned to Earth. We were… enraged… at the 'foolish' Terrans. Lilith wanted to talk with the humans. She wanted us to seek peace. But we didn't listen to her, even Seth who looked to her as a mother, refused to talk to the humans. We were blinded by our vengeance."
Abel dropped his head to his hands tears streaming down his face. He could still see the fusion-cores of the colony ships being dropped through the atmosphere and detonating in blinding white light. "Lilith joined the humans. She campaigned, begged, for peace in a world her family had wreathed in fire."
"Cain finally agreed to talk to Lilith about peace after months of fighting had ground to a standstill. Seth and I were both happy to see her again. But Cain in his madness murdered her, that's why he agreed to talk to her, just to lure her out. He said she'd betrayed us." Anger tinged Abel's voice at this. "Seth and I ejected him from the space station, a fall which should have killed him. The Crusnik nano-machines inside Cain had driven him insane. It took the death of someone we loved to realise how far Cain had slipped into madness, and what we were doing was wrong."
Wiping the tears from his eyes Abel finished "The war ended not long after that. I took Lilith's body down to Earth in a medical capsule, and swore never to inflict myself on the world again. Seth went her own way to help the Methuselah. The Nightroad's disappeared from the world for nine hundred years."
Empress Augusta Vradica was in a pensive mood after listening to the petitions and entreaties of her children who were all after her attention for this that and the other thing. Sometimes she wished she could take a break. I wish brother was here, I should have made him stay.
Returning inside the imperial apartments the Empress dismissed her escorts except for the Duchess of Moldova, Mirka Fortuna. Opening the capsule the Empress stepped out onto the floor next to the Duchess. Discreetly stretching her legs the Empress turned her head towards the Duchess. "What's wrong Mirka?"
"We received a communication from the Vatican a short while ago Your Majesty." The tall stately woman replied.
"Oh what is it about? Also remember what I said about my name in private Mirka." The Empress replied with a small smirk enjoying the company of her friend.
"The message was a request from the Duchess of Milan Cardinal Sforza for a video link call, the message stated that it concerns 'family matters' but wouldn't elaborate further, Lady Seth."
Empress Augusta Vradica, also known as Seth Nightroad shook her head at her friends' reluctance to just call her by her name well at least its just Lady Seth now. 'family matters', I wonder what Abel has gotten himself into this time. Unlike her older brother, Seth still retained a form similar to that of a young girl in her teens. With raven black hair and emerald green eyes that sparkled with an intelligence that belied her appearance no one would believe that she was the Empress of the New Human Empire, let alone being over nine hundred years old.
"It is most likely to do with the peace between our two peoples. You need not worry too much Mirka."
Seth's office was a large room covered with emerald green carpet and the walls were lined with book shelves giving the room the appearance of a small library then an office. At one end of the room was a large wooden desk. Seth sat behind her desk and activated the video link, initiating contact with the Vatican. A few moments later the link had stabilised as the secure link was established from the other end, however…
"Seth? Is that you?" Seth could only stare at the screen "Um, I don't think she can hear me, Lady Caterina." the voice said to someone off screen.
"Lilith…" Seth whispered, and the woman on the screen smiled the most radiant smile Seth had ever seen. Her vision was blurring, scrubbing a hand across her eyes, she realised they were tears. This couldn't be true it had to be a sick joke. "Sister?" she croaked. The woman on the screen who had tears slowly running down her cheeks despite her smile just nodded. For the first time in nine hundred years the Seth Nightroad broke down in tears at the sight of the older sister she thought long dead.