The city was peaceful at this time of night. A few cars still made their lumbering way down some of the main highways like some kind of huge beetles, but otherwise, it was completely silent out: Curfew was being observed at this time. Gailen, though, sat perched upon the balcony railing of the hotel room that he and his two companions had rented for their stay in the Holy City. The city was at peace, and so was our hero, his body stretched out along the railing like a reptile on a warm stone, letting the wind ruffle his longish, messy fluorescent orange hair over his eyes. It was nice and cool out this time of the year. Just cool enough to let the little sliding glass door leading out to the balcony remain open.
Through the portal was a completely different scene. A dark-haired and startlingly handsome young man sat rigidly in a leather armchair. The sounds of a level thirty-three barbarian hacking through a hoard of vile, dastardly enemies rang in Gailen’s oddly keen ears. But he couldn’t remember if the barbarian was level thirty-three or thirty-four… he would have to ask Dorian again, not that it really mattered. And suddenly those sounds inspired a sudden anxious loneliness. Where had the third companion, Tyler, gone? He knew he didn’t really have to worry about the kid, with the amount of street smarts he had accumulated, but he was hot tempered, and if he wanted trouble, he could most definitely make it for himself. There was also the fact that the three of them had only been in the city for a few days and none of them knew quite how this city worked yet. None of the three had ever been here in Trinity before, outside of their childhood dreams.
Gailen sat up slowly, and turned taking special care to wrap his legs around a stone support to keep his balance. Dorian often said that Gailen had a sort of feline grace, but Tyler simply dismissed it as “good tuning.” As he stood, always keeping an eye on Dorian, he showed very clearly that it wasn’t as simple as that.
“Nice night,” he said gently, his light and musical tenor carried by the wind into the room where Dorian sat playing his game.
“You ought to come out here… check it out. The skyline is beautiful. By the way, where’s Tyler? Did you get any word from him?” his voice suddenly took a more worried tone.
“He’ll be fine. I bet he found someone he likes to spend the night with. That boy’s got more skill with women than I do… and even you!” he laughed, but never took an eye off of his game.
Gailen laughed quietly. He was in a relatively good mood tonight. Then he thought with some relish ‘He’s also great with me. That boy’s had his way with me quite a bit.” And in fact, this was quite true in a more mental aspect. Gailen didn’t resent it though. He liked Tyler more than the kid would ever guess, with the way he was around most people. Only Dorian saw this side of Gailen, the peaceful creature that lay behind a mask of bitterness and spite. Dorian often looked calmer, himself, during these peaceful times between the hectic moments in travel, battle, and more travel. He tapped a few keys on his laptop and closed the game, having saved. He stood, stretching out his body to its fullest and yawned, readying himself to sit out on the balcony with the ever-volatile Gailen.
Gailen was now sitting on the railing again, his legs hanging just over the lip of the drop. His face was upturned and his head was cocked a bit to the side, a sort of curiosity and peace resonating from him like light from the moon: It was only a reflection of the surroundings. Deep down within his good friend’s soul, Dorian could feel the turmoil that was boiling like water in a pot and left on the stove, forgotten. Soon that thin layer of peace would boil off and all that would be left was that red-hot, searing anger that he was often associated with. Dorian promised himself that he would just sit back and enjoy himself this time. He leaned up against the railing next to Gailen and before he even said a word, Gailen’s left hand came down between his shoulder blades, massaging gently. Dorian sighed heavily. That’s where all the tension had been building up and it was just the place where he couldn’t figure out how to release all of it.
“Oh god that feels good.”
“You’re really tense. You should take some time and relax… get your mind off all the crap that’s been going on,” Gailen replied with an odd aloofness. This wasn’t like him at all. Dorian looked up.
“What’s gotten into you? Are you going to stay like this?” he laughed incredulously. Gailen didn’t reply. He simply moved his hand up to the long braid of black hair hanging over Dorian’s right shoulder. He brought it up so that it was lying flat where he had just been massaging and quickly untied the little leather ribbon that had been used to hold it. He pocketed the leather string and began to unbraid Dorian’s glossy, jet-black hair.
“It’s beautiful,” Gailen said just above a whisper. Dorian looked up, his eyes sad.
“Today’s the day, huh?”
Gailen remained completely silent and emotionless, as though he never even heard what Dorian had said.
“Today indeed,” Dorian repeated sadly to himself. He suddenly fought back the urge to cry. It felt ridiculous, but when he looked up, he saw a crystalline tear over brim the edge of one of Gailen’s no-color gray eyes. A deep and horrible pity suddenly filled Dorian’s heart. It had been a long time since he had met Gailen in a back alley of Coell while the kid was running blind from his own demons. He slid his hand over and rested it gently on Gailen’s knee, giving it a good, rough but reassuring squeeze. Had it really been fifteen years since the death of Markus? Yes. To the day. No wonder Gailen was acting so funny.
Markus was the thing that tied the two young men together. In a way, Dorian was like Gailen’s older brother, even though they shared no blood. It was Markus who had forged that link. It was Markus who had taken in Dorian as an injured stray and made him into what he was today. It was Markus who had managed to create Gailen out of thin air. Gailen and Dorian. The man-made twins. Not human and not even mechanical. They were the product of the marriage of the human body and the human fascination with metal, gears and wires.
Cyborg, they called it. This new union of man and metal. The abomination that visited sorrow on countless families as the scientists began their testing on the helpless victims of catastrophes. They would return to their homes, not as people, but as hulking monstrosities that most people thought should have just been left to die. The people… no… these creatures, could feel the thoughts of ill will and hatred, and soon took refuge among one another and the people who had created them. Dorian, originally, was one of these. A boy with a completely reconstructed left shoulder and arm that weighed far too much for such a young boy to carry. He was then given a bracing system that held his body straight and gave him the strength to carry the heavy machinery… but it also made people fear and despise him. He had run after being severely beaten by a group of men who felt that the little boy should never have come home after being hit by a car. After that, their wish came true.
Coincidentally, the boy ended up in the care of Markus, after having bumped into the man whilst dragging his overly heavy artificial arm through the city streets. The old man had looked kindly on the poor young creature who lay bruised and broken at his feet, and with pity, he took the child in, telling him that he would make everything better. And just as the man promised, Markus repaired the little boy and gave him a new name. Dorian. But it wasn’t until almost two years before Gailen showed up on the scene. An almost completely organic Cyborg… except for the fact that he had an artificial brain… a brain powered by one of a set of legendary gems known as Soul Stones. The child was not to be exposed to the public, or even his brothers and sisters who had also come to live with Marcus.
Nevertheless, Dorian had watched the mysterious child learn and grow from behind a sheet of safety glass, and had come to think of the kid as some sort of a brother. The kid had a sort of magnetism, and he was the only person who had yet experienced this, because of the fact that he was Markus’ first. He was the favorite and he knew everything. He knew how to build the parts, how to make things work, how to program, and how to create a new Cyborg. He, himself, had worked on the child Gailen, and Markus began to show before the others that this child with the knack for repair and creation was his new prodigy.
Markus soon began to realize the wisdom of his decision soon after he gave the boy right of way to work on his own. At the age of fifteen, Dorian was already advancing the technology to the point of shocking other engineers. Even Markus had believed that some of the things Dorian had created were completely impossible. Dorian broke through the boundaries of theory and morals even, until he had achieved what no engineer had ever thought possible. It was he that created the new, condensed brain that they put in Gailen almost ten years after his creation, when Dorian was only eighteen years of age. This is what gave Gailen the ability to leave the room… and then he gained knowledge. He became what Dorian remembered as a kind and gentle child. The boy that had become Dorian’s favorite little brother. But in the end, a good thing is not meant to last forever… that was how Gailen became what he was today. Bitter and angry. The child found that his taste for blood and his quickly stirred wrath made him a formidable foe. But that hadn’t happened until Markus was killed. That hadn’t happened until an old man’s last laugh had discovered a taste for vengeance.
“D?” Gailen shook Dorian’s shoulder a little, “You ok? You look a little spaced out.”
“Oh, me? I’m ok. Nothing to worry about,” he replied, his voice cracking and rendering his words a waste of energy, “So, kid, do you need a tune up?”
Gailen looked down, thought about it for a while, and then shook his head. “No. I’m in good shape since my last maintenance. You, after all, are the best at what you do. Maybe Tyler’s right about my whole gracefulness thing.”
“No. You were like that even before we replaced those few things that Markus thought should be replaced. You were always graceful. He wouldn’t know. You know? He’s only, what, fifteen?” Dorian snapped spitefully.
“Actually, he’s eighteen. You’re being unfair.”
“I think I’m starting to like this mood of yours, no matter how much you think you’re going through.”
Gailen shut down again and wouldn’t look up from his hands in his lap.
“I’m sorry. That was unfair… but I’m not taking back what I said about Tyler. That part was true.”
Gailen snorted in amusement. “You’re so mean to him! You should go to hell for some of the stuff you do to him. I’m surprised that your bad karma hasn’t caught up with you yet.”
Dorian shook his head and allowed himself a brief bark of laughter, the sound bouncing back as an echo, which sounded cruel and staccato in the crisp mid-autumn air. His reply took a long time in coming. “You really do just speak whatever’s on your mind, don’t you?”
Gailen giggled, a rather odd sound coming from him, but it was good and it made Dorian feel much better about this whole business of travel. They had come a long way from the capitol of Coell, Kryslin, and most of the travel had been made on foot, and finally they had arrived in one of the only three modern cities. These cities, though, could not truly be considered “modern.” These cities were futuristic as compared with the townships and other small territories surrounding them. These places seemed more feudal than anything else, with their lack of industrial development and almost exclusively agricultural settings. The boys had seen poverty, and wondered why these people chose to remain living as they did, but soon after hitting the road, Gailen realized that these people were like this because they had no choice. These people were the exiles of civilization. The slaves to the cities. This was where, Gailen knew, the great big shipping trucks gathered up all the slaughtered and butchered livestock. The place where the fruits and vegetables were gathered and piled into the backs of the giant refrigerated boxes on wheels. This was where the residents were given tiny sums of money for their produce; just enough to buy seeds for the next planting season and maybe a surprise for the family. Gailen knew it and he resented it.
The stars shined down with a pure crystalline beauty. It seemed to make the soft, smooth black hair that Gailen let slide between his fingers glimmer. He smiled softly down at Dorian. “You should sleep. You’re looking pretty worn out.”
“Yeah,” Dorian said, returning the gaze with steady, deep green eyes. There were dark rings around his eyes, and his face was pale, but Gailen could still see beauty in that face that only looked eighteen, but was in truth, almost thirty. Dorian was, in fact, a very attractive young man… it was just the fact that he looked so ragged at the edges all the time that Gailen suspected deterred possible mates.
“You should get washed up… you’re looking a bit nappy…” Gailen advised with genuine concern, “And when the hell was the last time you shaved? You’re never going to get a woman like that.”
“And when,” Dorian crooned, “did I ever say I was after a woman? What if I don’t like the prospect of having a mate? Don’t you give me that look.”
Gailen grinned like a maniac. He had sensed an opportunity to prod his good friend and he was going to take every measure to get the old boy worked up. “And so you mean that you’re seeking out a man?” he cackled, “Oh do tell!”
“I never said anything like that, you big oaf!” Dorian growled, taking a shot at Gailen, who was swiftly abandoning his perch. “I’m just not quite ready for a woman!”
“But you’re ready for a man? Oh I should watch out, shouldn’t I?” Gailen cried dramatically, quickly dropping the long coat he wore and he then began to slowly unbutton his shirt.
“Screw you,” Dorian muttered as he stood and began walking back to his armchair to continue his game. He was thoroughly upset that the moment of peace was over. Before Dorian could even find his seat, though, the laptop was whipped aside and carelessly tossed aside to the couch and all Dorian was left with was a lapful of shirtless and seemingly amorous Gailen. “Get off of me you ass!” He roared at the top of his voice, and oh what a sound it made!
“Are you sure you don’t want any of this?” Gailen asked, his voice sounding a bit disappointed, but his eyes glowed with mischievousness.
“Yes I’m sure I…”
“Too bad!” Gailen cried gleefully, bending in close to lick Dorian’s ear. He arched his back prettily and forced Dorian to look him in the eye with strong hands. The remainder of his body was easily entangling Dorian’s feeble attempts to force Gailen off. “Looks like they’re going to need a rape kit, kid…” Gailen whispered harshly before planting a vicious kiss on Dorian’s tense, unresponsive lips. But soon after he had gotten enough of Dorian’s uncomfortable squirming, he let himself be shoved away. In truth, he hadn’t even been aroused by the activity. He simply was bored and decided that this would be a fine way to kill some time. Well, he was, indeed, very amused by the whole scene. He felt he’d had enough of torturing the poor soul who sat dazed and somewhat shocked in the armchair across from him. He had done his offensive act of the night. Gailen would leave Dorian alone for the remainder of the night.
“I’m going to go take a shower, lover boy,” he remarked saucily, “Don’t do anything without me…” and with that, he sauntered off toward the bathroom. He felt that his Experiment had been thoroughly successful and effective. Dorian still sat shocked and confused, and the only thing that continued to run through his mind was a deep sadness for the passing of the peacetime. He hadn’t even gotten to enjoy himself this time. ‘Oh well,’ he thought miserably, ‘There’s always next time.’
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city entirely, Tyler downed another glass of vodka. It was another one of those nights, and he, though imperceptibly, was thoroughly drunk. ‘Being mostly organic,’ he thought suddenly, ‘is not all it’s cracked up to be.’ He set the glass on the bar and looked about the room with somewhat clouded eyes. Ladies, ladies everywhere, but not one even bothered to say a nice hello. He blamed his tattered old riding cloak for the lack of attention.
With a somewhat flourished gesture, he whipped the coat off of his shoulders, and sat back at his bar stool. He felt a few stray glances pass over his slender frame, but none were really of note except for one that seemed to linger then disappear. As soon as Tyler felt it had gone for good and made to give up, though, the gaze returned and burned at the back of his neck, slowly making it’s way down his back. He suddenly got the feeling that whomever was doing all this looking was, in fact, staring right through the loose tunic he wore, half untucked in the back. Then he felt someone walking up behind him, slowly and steadily. He made it look as though he were about to leave, setting an unevenly milled gold coin on the bar.
“Wait.” The voice was low and rich, but undoubtedly feminine. “You, boy. What’s your name?”
“Depends on who wants to know,” Tyler replied smoothly, turning to get his first look at the customer.
She was tall, or at least taller than his scant five-foot-six, with long legs and notably nice hips. Long, flowing brown hair framed her pale heart-shaped face. There was a crooked smile on her plump crimson-painted lips and a sparkle in her blazing green eyes that suggested that she was a woman who often got what she wanted in the way she wanted it. This woman was much like him, and he knew it almost immediately. He cocked his hips forward, planted his hands on the bar behind him and stared straight at her, letting a few chunks of his sandy blonde hair fall over his soft hazel eyes just for effect.
“My name is not important,” he purred dramatically. This was all a game to him… and obviously it was to her as well, for she brushed an elegant hand down her thigh to the hem of a small skirt that she wore under the open ends of a great train-like overskirt. Her body arched slightly inside the red silk corset she wore, and this was exactly when Tyler made his move.
“The only thing that’s important is the thing I do.”
“And what will you do?” she whispered, the sound almost harsh as she sucked in a few hissing breaths.
“Whatever you desire…” he purred, pulling her up against him and gazing deep into her green eyes. It seemed that the entire crowd of patrons was watching them now. She simply nodded down at him and twined a thin, graceful arm around Tyler’s lower back. Warmth flooded him and he took up his old tattered cloak. They went out into the crisp autumn air to find a dark warm place to drink and to take care of what seemed to be most important and imminent at the moment.
the name says it all. lol. well... this is really just a new version of the old one... except i changed it quite a bit... no. i changed it alot. And you get to see him being nice... and i toned his asshole factor way down. I'm probably going to delete the old one soon... and um.... i'm sorry it's so goddamn long... it's just... long i guess. *sigh* please read it. i hate to beg... but i need someone to read it!!! ARG! ok. I've finished my begging. I'll be on my way now. oh and if you can think of a relitively good title for it... that would be awesome. you guys rock.
liked it very much
dorian is cool i like him more than galian
dorian is cool i like him more than galian
haha thanks! and Dorian much approves of the praise. he was feeling very lonely with my sister telling him that he was dull. lol! so hopefully I'll bring the rude hero back into the light (his character will undergo a lot of development soon) in the next few chapters. heehee.
thanks for the comment! XD
thanks for the comment! XD
Perhaps title it off of one of the characters, yes? Maybe an obscure one!
Perhaps title it off of one of the characters, yes? Maybe an obscure one!
i was thinking "An Old Man's Last Laugh" but it seems too long... maybe shorten it some... but poo. "The Last Laugh"? hmm... i still have a while to think about it. lol
Try to eliminate transitionary word less than four letters long from the title. Makes it seem more edgy, poignant.
hmm... i still need to think... it's tough though *sigh*
Writing is tough.
Finding a title for what you write is harder.
Finding a title for what you write is harder.