A cracked open door about the culture in Knoxville, some ten plus years after the Breakup. And more Faustina.
I have to be careful here, too. I’m already interested in who Faustina is and what her relationship with MC is. I’ve only known her for three days but I bet I could build a novel around her.
I just might!
The meeting of his Brotherhood over, Gary walked out of the Patterson’s house to his bicycle.
“See ya,’ Gary!” Mike called with a wave. Gary returned it. Most of the other boys waved at one another, too. All twelve were headed either back home or, for the older ones, to their jobs.
He leaned into the pedals, looking forward to home and helping his family.
His Brotherhood was mixed: mundanes and P-kids, as those that had been infected by Pavel’s e-virus were known. Accessing the Machine’s home for them was effortless and sometimes rendered the first part of their gathering, Socratic Learning, ridiculous.
But, there were trade-offs. In the second part of their meeting, Gymnasium, Mike, who was fifteen, could only dog-paddle in the Patterson’s pool. Gary literally swam circles around him. Still, they were a spectrum of different ages and talents, all learning from each other and to work with each other.
“To rebuild this world,” Gary huffed, pedaling up the hills.
And to live in yours, he thought, knowing it not possible. Henge’s aunt had tried to explain it to him. Years ago.
“Nope! Not happening!”
“But, Aunt Dorina…”
Gary sat on the edge of the Platform in their home, if he’d pointed his toes his shoes would have just reached the ground, below. Dorina – and he could only call her ‘aunt’ if no one else was there – stood a couple of yards ahead of him on dirt mixed with saw grass.
To look at, she was perhaps in her early teens. A frilly scarlet and black loligoth outfit, laced leather boots to her knees and white lace across her chest. Her dark brown hair fell in voluminous curls all about her.
She was likely the most intelligent person on Earth.
“…had any idea what it’s like to balance all you humans here at any given time, and with you all lovey-dovey with my niece…”
“But, we only hold hands – ”
“Lovey-dovey! It’s not what you two are doing with your hands that are overheating poor Henge’s processors!”
Gary was shocked.
“I… I didn’t know. If she is in danger, I shan’t come back.”
Dorina’s glare over her shoulder melted a little.
“No… no, I’ll manage…”
She walked over and reached out to rub the top of his head. She even smiled.
“I confess a personal as well as professional interest as to where the world’s going with you two!”
“You mean, if you figure out a way for us to have children?”
Dorina leapt back several feet and windmilled her arms in front of her.
“You didn’t say that and no one heard that!” She yelled.
Neither Dorina nor Gary wanted to look over to where they’d just heard Henge’s father.
With a last effort he pedaled his bike up the grass to the garage; coming up the gravel drive was too much a bother. Walking around to the back, he tried and failed to recall the last time any one of them had used the front door.
Being Tuesday, the bed sheets were already washed. That little, well, not so little, Faustina had already pinned them to the clotheslines to dry was a pleasant sur… prise…
His sister was on her knees facing east. Her arms were straight out to either side.
Gary suppressed a sigh. Normalcy is abnormal in my family. He came next to her and knelt down.
Gary closed his eyes.
Jesus? He asked. Why do I think she’s much better bandwidth to you than I or my beloved has?
“…a new Heaven and a new Earth…!” Faustina breathed.
He opened his eyes to look at her. Hers were wide open: pupils completely dilated with a ring of light blue fire around them.
“What have they done to you, dearest sister?” He asked quietly.
She turned her head to him. Not quiet enough.
“As it was in the beginning; is now! And ever shall be…!”
“Worlds without end.” They spoke together.
Her eyes came back to her.
“Welcome home, brother.” She let her left hand out a little.
“You, too, sister.” He touched hers with his right.