Chapter 5– The dawn of adventures
“I just want to talk to him about something…” The answer was good enough. Silver took a look at Finnian’s face and left, leaving Finnian to himself. Once the red haired boy was gone, Finnian proceeded to examine his device. He went through the menu and then to the gallery. It seemed odd, Professor Herman had mentioned something about having old photographs in the gallery but all this while, Finnian had not been bothered to check. It had never occurred to him that such pictures would still be present. That was when he stumbled across something. An application with the details of the various creatures created at the lab, namely the domestic ones. He stared at the screen and then reached for the application’s data chip. Then he split the perforated edge with the printed barcodes into half and slid the remaining half back into his device. Neat. The data chips were as small as phone SIM cards, which was a wonder how they could be split so easily. All embedded in such a small chip was so much information, so much that it stunned him actually. Finnian fit the torn half into his shirt pocket, making a mental note to pass it to either Serge or Silver.
“Is Finnian in here?” There came Serge’s carefree voice, over the door. Finnian reminded himself not to jump, cry or squeal. No emotion was going to cross Finnian’s face if he was to talk to Serge on such a serious matter. Gone were the thoughts that Serge would simply give him a dark humored pat on the back or just laugh at Finnian. The door creaked and Serge came in, quickly settling onto Silver’s bed and studying Finnian. He did not slouch or slump. Nor did his eyes reflect any hints of goofiness. He looked up and locked eyes with Finnian and for once, Finnian knew he saw a momentary flicker of surprise at how stoic the blonde was. Serge just stared into Finnian’s eyes. It was creepy somehow but it allowed Finnian to note Serge’s appearance. The man had blond hair, just the average blond that you’d see but he had capri eyes, may be exasperating a bit though. His fringe would just cover his forehead like jagged teeth and his eyes were empty, as if he was taking in some picturesque scene before him. Serge was a lean man, built for office work. He had a relaxed personality and a photographic memory combined with sharp, observant eyes made him a great scientist or inventor. However, he was a bit too relaxed; it was hard to see him even interested in anything. Well, Serge had been interested in Finnian, though. He took a deep breathe, and marveled at how stuffy the air had suddenly become.
“Mr. Serge…” He mentally smacked himself at how his voice sounded like.
“Yeah?” Serge responded, looking right into Finnian’s eyes.
“Sorry to bother you but I found this in my device and wondered if you could take a look at this stuff.” He held out the data chip and considered giving himself a small treat later for having a conversation with a person without squealing or stuttering. Serge had a surprised expression on his face.
“This was implanted inside by Professor Herman. Nice one there, Finny.” Serge continued to examine the chip but smirked without looking up. Finnian felt a gush of something hot flare up his lungs. Anger.
“Did I stutter?” Finnian was standing upright now, heading towards the door with a chilly and dark aura around him. Then he threw the door open. Serge’s smirk grew even wider. Wide like a Cheshire cat. So much that Finnian resisted the thoughts of strangling the blonde. His slacks were a bit ruffled and his bluebonnet jacket seemed to be solid. Not to mention he had a black undershirt that stopped at his collarbone in an elongated diamond shape and he wore a chain of some metal plates, his jacket had a stiff yellow collar that matched his hair; his sleeves had umber ends that matched his shoes. Now Finnian was sounding just like a fan girl. That wasn’t his usual attire, Finnian knew. Serge would usually be wearing a sweatshirt and a pair of chucks.
“Is it about Zephyr again? I’ve guessed so. We’re going to check out his lab a few days later.”
“Can Silver come?” It just so happened to slip out of Finnian’s mouth.
“If he agrees. We’ll be meeting up with Professor Herman to investigate some deformations and coup d’état in the lab.” Serge was now shuffling out of the door. Then he turns back and winks.
“Meet me at the café then, Finny.” He waves and saunters out of the room, leaving Finnian to crack his noggins on where the cafe was. The faint creaking of the mattress as someone sat on the mattress made Finnian look up. Silver was offering him a muesli bar and smiling broadly.
“Hey, I heard from Serge that you totally improved on your oral skills. No offense!” He grinned. Finnian took the bar from Silver and gingerly took a bite. Flavour flooded in his mouth the moment his teeth ground into a raisin. The acute sweetness of forest fruit stung his tongue and the honey-glazed oats made his glands salivate even more. Finnian looked up from eating and held up the torn plastic packaging.
“Thanks, Silver. This is Forest fruit and raisin flavor, am I right?”
“Right. Eat up; dinner will be ready in a few hours. Granny asked me to give it to you in case you are hungry. Well, let me show you my room!” Silver dragged Finnian to the desk and pointed to a fancy bluebonnet machine.
“Seen this before? This is a storage PC, one that you can store things once you are registered in it. You have a storage space there, Finnian?” He booted up the fancy blue machine and almost instantly Finnian gasped.
“Yeah… I have one back at home… Well… there’s this thing I’d like to show you,” Finnian gently shouldered Silver and his fingers moved over the keyboard like as if they had a mind on their own. Silver found himself staring at a foreign page with foreign signs all around. The blonde turned to him and grinned.
“Here we are! The trading page. Besides storing your items, you can now trade and communicate with others using the storage PC.” Finnian gestured towards the screen. Silver was staring at the screen.
“Now let’s see… for example, using my device, I can link it up to my account and process bits of information. Such as retrieving the physical form of the containing capsule that Serge sent to me via my device.” Finnian pressed a button and almost immediately a capsule materialized in Finnian’s hands.
“Now I can transfer a total of three of them per capsule from Prof Herman’s storage. Let’s see… Acnolgia, Heren and Tag.” Three orbs appeared at the capsule’s side. Then Finnian got out two pairs of some mechanism.
“Choose one. “ Silver stares at the capsules. There is a bipedal weasel with tips of white at its paws, a large falcon and another creature similar to the weasel but had a fiercer aura.
“I’ll take this one then. “ Silver pointed to the bipedal weasel and Finnian released it.
“It’s called Acnolgia. I’ll be taking Tag then. The last one’s for her.” Who was she? There was a slight cracking in Finnian’s tone that made him sound like he was whimpering.
“Well… tomorrow Serge would like you and me to run an errand for him. We’ll be meeting him at the café.” It seemed as if Finnian was reluctant to go.
“I can hear your granny calling, Silver. Let’s head down for dinner, shall we?” He grinned but there was a lingering sadness in his voice. Then Silver stopped brooding and went down, his mind clogged with the next day’s adventure.
The dinner was nice, actually Sunday roast with the addition of mushrooms. It was hard to not salivate at the sight of white mushrooms dripping with gravy or a cut open Yorkshire pudding dripping with sauce. That night, it rained. Finnian loved it whenever it rained. The triplet’s argument was hushed by the pitter-patter of raindrops and occasional thunder. The piece kiss the rain would always come to his mind, playing as if he had just heard it moments ago. It was the piece that she played whenever it rained. The echoes of her cello could be heard in the hall, though the rain would have stopped a long time ago. It was beautiful, especially if one heard the music in the evening when the sun sets and illuminates the entire room, as if breathing life into every innate object there was. Even though he knew it was the tricks of light and one’s wonderful imagination that caused him to think that way, he would still believe that her music was magical. Whenever he closed his eyes, he would see her and the silhouette of the halls with the amber light spilling into the walls. At times he would even see flowers blooming and rain pattering down as well as the wind ruffling his hair, whispering secrets of the unknown into his ears. He sighed to himself. If only…
If only he could hear her playing… Maybe just one last time…
A hand on his shoulder made Finnian jump. It was Silver. His eyes were warm, full of sympathy. When he spoke, Finnian realized that Silver’s voice had cracked. He was trying, trying too hard not to cry.
“Hey, let’s go up to talk about that errand of yours.” Silver tries to smile without letting his tears escape.
Finnian hears the notes of her piano play. Even in the rain, or in the snow. She smiles. She cries. He was trying hard not to cry. He was trying not to forget her. Like he did last time. He climbs up the stairs and looks at Silver. “Is there anything wrong, Silver?” He can’t bear to ask. Silver doesn’t respond. Acnolgia helped his owner up the stairs. Plip. The first teardrops hit the ground. Acnolgia hoists one of Silver’s arms around his lean shoulders and supports him up the stairs. Finnian enters the room and switches on the light. The beds are made and there is Heren, resting in her capsule. He nods at Tag, who nods back. There, on Finnian’s mattress, gracefully sat a white lilac wrapped in amethyst tissue. Beside it was a card. The letters were cursive and written in ink that was drying. Heren was gone. Thank You, Finnian, for remembering me. That was written on the card. He placed it at his forehead, trying to read between the lines of the six simple words. Thank You, Finnian, for remembering me. We will meet, just like the creatures, we always do. These are creatures connected by mind linking. Heren will follow me. Time will tell who I am. Do not forget me, Finnian. Now that was its true meaning. Silver was lying comfortably on his queen size bed. The burgundy rays of sunlight dyed his bed crimson red and he was recoiling in the comfort of his bed, hugging a spare pillow to his chest. “Hey, Finnian. You heard of the piece Kiss the Rain?”
“Yeah. What does it remind you of?”
“My mom and my old man.” He chuckles a little, to hide the fact that his voice was cracking. “It’s nice, the piece, especially when it’s raining.”
“Mine too. And her.” Silver cracks a smile.
“Who’s she? Oh, and where’s the giant birdie?”
“She took it.” Silver’s brows arch. Then he sighed.
“Tell me about your old man and your mom, Finnian. I’ll tell you mine.Deal?” His voice was cracking once again.
“Okie. My dad is a scientist working on insects until one day they went on rampage and both of them of infected and… you know, then my dad’s assistant takes over the lab with his assistant and they create mutants of every animal except for the extinct ones and us humans. “
“My dad died of hemorrhagic dengue fever while my mom is overseas with her fiancé.”
“At least you’ve got one alive. And your granny too.”
“On my granny’s side, majority of them are probably gone.” There was bitter truth in his words.
“Have you heard of mind linking?”
“No. What’s that?”
“It’s when you know what the person mind-linked to you is thinking. Just like what people say for twins, being able to know what the other is thinking.”
“Isn’t that scary?”
“I know, so let’s just sleep. I got a message from Serge telling us to meet him at this café of his for our errand.”
“It’s the only café we have in town. I’ll get the lights off then.”
“Same to you.”