Fraction Chapter 6 – Old Shadows

Kelly walked into the brightly lit room which held the representatives of several planets. Most of them knew her in person and knew enough about her to stand up when she entered. Some of them did not know her and hence, they simply sat and wondered who this woman was who thought she could just enter the United Intergalactic Conference room without so much as a security scan. One of the men even had the gall to whisper, “What’s a woman doing in a place like this?” into the ear of the only other man in the room. I suppose that’s just male ego… but never mind… pretty soon, every person in that room would only be singing one tune.

“What seems to be the problem? You’ve never been desperate enough to call me of all people in the middle of the night so this had better be important… for your sake…” Kelly said without changing the indifferent expression on her face.

“Such arrogance!” a man shouted, “Do you know where you stand?! Know your place!”

Kelly smiled. “Do I know where I am? I think I know quite well… but my good sir… do you know where you are…? You call ME here… to help YOU out with a problem which you don’t have the balls to handle… and YOU ask ME if I know where I stand… it’s almost funny…”

At this point, one of the older women in the room had the sense to walk over to the guy, give him a tight, audible slap and have him kicked out of the room.

“I’m really sorry my lady… he’s new here… only appointed a few centuries ago. We will deal with him later. Actually, we should have called you in on this sooner… because the matter concerns your husband…”

“What about him?”

“Ah, yes… the thing is… it’s a… um…”

“Stop beating around the bush and tell me. You know me. You have nothing to fear.”

“He has recently developed a habit of meddling with the constitutional matters of the planets he visits.”

“Meddling… in what way?”

“Well, we shall show you an example. You there! Play the recording.”

A hologram of an empty street lined with bushes appeared. A few seconds later, a dozen bear like monster jump out of the bushes and circle up. They seem to have surrounded an invisible person. A few seconds later, one of them is stuck by a lightning bolt. A few seconds later, all of them are severely damaged and are left either dead or dying.

“I see he’s still Vectoring heat and light around him to be invisible to people and heat-seeking cameras…”

“That’s not the issue here… Those low-level life forms were a gang which controlled half of that planet.”

“So what’s your problem? He eliminated a gang. As I recall, you were going to send in troops to eliminate that gang anyway. He just did your work for you.”

“That is the issue… we eliminated that gang a week before he visited that planet. As you know, we like to clean up planets before he visits them so that he can have an enjoyable five minutes. These weren’t the gang… these were members of the…” she fell silent as if she could not say the words.

Kelly realized the problem. She suddenly had a seriousness on her face. The kind of seriousness which made the other guy in the room wonder if he should have got himself kicked out as well. She walked to the centre of the room and looked around at everyone.

“You have all been good to me and my husband… I cannot ask you to sacrifice yourself for me… if the Duat is looking to meddle on this side of the universe… I will go talk to them myself.”

“Please forgive us… we feel so worthless… not being able to protect you in your hour of need.”

“My hour of need? No. This is not MY hour of need… if the Duat tries to meddle with my husband again… it will be THEIR hour of need.”

At this point, the guy suddenly jumped up and stood like some deep revelation had suddenly dawned on him. “DUAT! You… speak that word as if it didn’t matter to you at all… don’t tell me… this woman… You’re the one they call the Crystal Goddess?!!”

Kelly laughed and moved her hand to signal to him to sit down. “Yeah that used to be me,” She said with her signature naughty grin, “The Crystal Goddess… felt good at the time… but now it sounds like some cliché name from some Chinese MMORPG… Never mind that. I want everyone present here to know that I will find my husband and inform him of the issue. I’m sure it’s something he can handle even without me… You must understand. It’s not like I don’t want to deal with the Duat myself… it’s just that I can’t leave my kids alone just yet. They are still young and have no control over their powers. If one of them lost control at this stage… let’s just say the Duat would seem like a nice vacation.”

The people in the room nodded and bowed. Kelly felt a strange sense of nostalgia. A vision filled her mind… of a Goddess who sat on a high throne… everyone in the universe bowing to her… The Goddess had an arrogant smile on her face. The planets… the stars… the black holes… the whole universe was a small diamond… studded on a ring on her finger… Kelly shook her head. That woman was long gone. She was no longer the Crystal Goddess… hopefully… the Crystal Goddess would never have to return again…

Morning was asleep. Pony was asleep. Eve was awake. There was a knock on the door. Eve creeped to the door and opened it. When she saw who it was, she quickly got out and closed the door behind her.

“Chris!!! What are you doing here?! I told you not to come here until next week!”

“I know, I know… it’s just… I had a bad feeling… I couldn’t help it. I had to come and see if you were alright.”

“Well, now you’ve seen me! I’m fine! Now go on! Shoo!”

“Shoo?! Hehe… you look cute when you say shoo… say shoo again…”

“Shoo…”

“Oh my god…”

“Shoo…”

“Oh you… you…”

“What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

“Cat?!”

“Oops! I couldn’t resist! Why do you hate cats so much anyway?”

“No reason…”

“I’m gonna find out one day!” Eve teased him.

The door opened behind her and a familiar voice made her jump. “Eve… there seems to be a boy on our front lawn…” her mother’s impish voice almost made her Vector Chris to the ground. Chris was just speechless. He stood there with his mouth open like a totem pole. “Well bring him in! Don’t just make him stand there!”

A few minutes later, Chris was sitting on a chair nervously. Morning and Pony were staring at him like snipers taking aim at their target… studying everything about him. He tried breaking the silence but he could only manage an awkward “Um… this is a nice house…” why was it awkward? Because he had already said that thrice in 5 minutes. Pony finally opened her mouth to say something but Morning beat her to it. “You’re a clairvoyant. According to my calculations when I first saw you that day, there was a 5% chance you were a clairvoyant. I was surprised that it was exactly 5%… now I see why…” Chris seemed to brighten up at this. “Ah yes. Clairvoyants like nice neat little numbers. You must be Morning… Eve told me about you. Your power is Chance, isn’t it? It’s a lot similar to mine…” “Except that mine is a lot more… useful…” Morning said without thinking. “Morning! That was mean!” Pony said. Chris simply laughed and said, “Nah, he’s right. My powers are really useless… my power only works at random times and most of the times, it isn’t even accurate… right, just a few hours ago, I had a dream of me beating up Eve… I mean that’s really stupid right?” Morning said nothing. Pony said nothing. Although they were freaking out on the inside… they remained calm. Eve walked in and sat next to Chris. “So… what are you people talking about…?” she asked. “Oh?” Chris said, “I was just telling them about… you…” “Eh? Me? Hehe, you’re silly. They’re my siblings! They already know about me…”

Kelly walked in with a smile on her face. Chris almost got up and bowed down to her but he suppressed the silly thought. “So you are Chris Helios?” she asked. “Um… yes mam.”

“You’re a friend of Eve?”

“Um… yes mam.”

“Funny, she never told me anything about you.”

“Um… yes ma- wait what?”

“Nah I’m just messing with ya”

“…”

“Where do you live, Chris?”

“uh… at the uh… I mean, the school provides rooms for anyone who wants to stay so I stay there.”

“Oh…? Did you run into any bullies?”

“Huh?”

“How sharp were the swords?”

“I… I don’t know what you’re-”

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to go all Sherlock Holmes on you but my daughter seems to really like you and I’d like to make one thing clear. When you are with us… there will be no secrets. It’s how things work in this house. I know every single thing that happens here… every… single… thing. I know Eve pulled a prank when I was gone. I know Morning overreacted to that prank which had some rather violent results on the roof. I know you were attacked by thugs on your way here. I know you have no home. I know you don’t live in the school. I know-” she stopped herself before she said anything too painful. Morning, Eve and Pony watched dumbstruck. Who was this woman who sat in front of them now? And how come she was suddenly so… serious?

“I-”

“Never mind. You don’t have to tell me… because I’m the one who knows everything… I won’t meddle with your life. But if you are comfortable, I want you to stay here.”

“Wha-what?!”

“Well, we can’t have a cute faced kid like you roaming around on the streets and getting stabbed by multiple swords every night now, can we?” she said with a smile. Morning raised an eyebrow slightly. It was nowhere close to her usual naughty smile… what had happened? Why was she so eager to tie up all loose knots?

Chris got up. “I… I would be happy to stay if you’ll have me.” He said, bowing down like one would while speaking to royalty. Kelly looked away and said, “Don’t bow to me… oh and uh, if you two wanna get it on… just don’t make too much noise. I don’t want the neighbours complaining.” Chris literally jumped back. Kelly laughed. “How old are you, Chris?” “18.” He said in a shaken voice. “Exactly 18? Do you know how old each of us is?” she said, holding back laughter. Eve interrupted at this point, “OKAY! That’s enough! If it’s already decided that you’re staying here, I’ve got no problems. Chris, would you like to sleep on the couch?” Chris was surprised by their sudden acceptance of him. Of course, he should have been surprised long ago but he was just that slow. Kelly whistled and said, “He comes all the way here with a stab wound on him and you’re giving him the couch? Ouch…” Pony joined in and said, “Or maybe we could give him Morning’s room and Morning could sleep on the couch.” “WHAT?! WHY ME?!”

Chris Helios: 18 years old. Clairvoyant. Most useless power. Rarely works. So why then… did his power suddenly become drastically sharper the day he saw Evening Star? Why did he suddenly become an elite level hero the day she first spoke to him? Why did his powers keep pushing him towards her? Unanswered questions were quite common in the life of a Clairvoyant because the answers that came from the mouth of a Clairvoyant were never meant for himself. This was a curse on all Clairvoyants. They had the ability to clear the confusions of any random stranger (sometimes… IF their power worked) but they were cursed with absolute confusion when it came to their own questions and their own life… The power of Clairvoyance never came to someone who had clarity about something. A proper family. A home to go to. Talent in some art. Strength. Confidence. People who had any of these could not gain this power. It could only be gained by someone who had no solid entity in their life. No family. No home. Only someone who had no past, present or future in this world was allowed accessed to the past, present and future…

Morning went back to his room soon. It would be morning soon and he was sleepy. Chris walked into his room. “I’m not gonna give you my room.” Morning said without turning around to face him. “I didn’t come here for that.” Chris said, “I’m just… confused… a few minutes ago, I was supposed to be a guy who had no home and no family… and here I am… your mom really is something…” “That she is… but…” Morning let that sentence trail off. Chris detected the feeling. “Something tells me that she was not herself back there.” Chris said. Morning turned around. “Something happened tonight… I don’t know what… but something happened that changed her.” Chris continued. Morning smiled and said, “I’m not worried. True. She wasn’t herself… but even if you had showed up yesterday, you would have still ended up here by the end of the night. Her decision would have been the same. Now go get some sleep… unless you don’t want to go to school tomorrow…”

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