so it turns out i cant just make a side project…. i love stories to much…. who knew?
….anyway this is a full project now that i’ll write along with Black Blood. which chapter i write at any given time depends largly only on how i feel, but since i read some reviews that disliked and some just plain knocked on Black Blood, i feel more like writing this right now… and thus chapter! i think imma do one more B.B. chapter then just focus on this for a bit, see if i can give it ten chapters by next Friday…. personal goal….
anyway this is the end of the prologue, and the rest of the story takes place a few months after this chapter ends.
I had always felt empty inside. Not completely, but for my whole life I could fell that something was wrong, that I was missing something. When I was two and I entered acclamation, I asked 15 about what was wrong with me. 15 was the oldest Number I knew, so I was sure he could tell me what was going on inside me that I would feel this way, and he did.
15 told me it was probably just how I was designed, then he showed me the recording that he had to study before he could leave next year. At around two to three years old every Number finds out what they are. Either they will, like me, be curious about something and ask the others in acclamation, or they will be told by 99 on one of his bi yearly visits. Every Number learns at that early age that we are just humanity’s tools. We are their swords, shields, armors, horses, and squires. We fulfill every role they need us for, and we do those roles well because we were designed to be amazing at them.
I learned early in my life from both my friends at acclamation and from my teachers there that I, 6, was made for an entirely different purpose than combat. I was made to be support Number, one of only ten of my kind. I was designed to be hyper intelligent, and my focuses were to be logistics, communications and production. My genetic make-up was done to compliment this, I was designed with more Silarraeian DNA than most Numbers giving me limited telepathic abilities that would manifest when I reached a certain level of maturity as well as a higher amounts of specific Fujealian and Auxerian DNA to gain those two races inherent natural gifts for technology and invention. My training would foster these gifts in technology and when I reached maturity, estimated age 17, I would be trained in telepathic arts as well. I was made to be the perfect support unit all on my own, capable of creating and repairing any equipment that was needed, organizing and communicating with a group of any size either in or out of field by many means, and capable of learning, processing, and imitating new things at an astounding rate. I was regarded as one whose future would be to be one of the most effective support Numbers ever designed. Unfortunately support was all I was designed to do, my balance and coordination were only at the level of average for a normal human, and my physical strength was below even that. I was all but in capable of combat, but that was only to be expected really as I was never designed to be in combat.
It was only later when I first encountered 3 that I learned I had another purpose as a support Number. A purpose that had only ever been needed twice before.
I, and later 4, were made not to add to the Support core for Numbers, but primarily to aid and become the partners of two other numbers that were to be created after us. I was to aid and partner with 3 and 4 was to do the same with 2. It had been determined that having these two Numbers’ partners made before them would help to resolve any genetic issues they might have overlooked, and result in them being better able to process strong emotions than their predecessors. 4 and I were basically insurance, we would be there so that even if 3 and 2 also had their predecessors flaws despite the changes made to both of their genetic maps 4 and I could salvage them, and they could still be assets just like the Numbers they were based off.
Both 4 and I learned that our empty feelings were because we were literally designed incomplete, and would only be whole when we attuned to our partners. This attunement was estimated to take up to a decade, and afterwards we would be permanently dependent on our partners both physically, genetically, and due to our Silarraeian and Fujealian DNA also emotionally.
As I was made before 3, my genetic code was made to match and attune to the Number 3 was based off, 33. The same was true of 4, who was made to attune to 32. It was thought that since both 33 and 32 already had their own pairs and that we would not meet them until after we did 3 and 2, our Biorhythms would already be permanently attuned to our partners and would not react to them at all. This theory may have actually worked as well, but I will never know because things did not progress as they were planned to.
3 changed all those plans in only two years. When he first entered acclamation, 3 was a shy sensitive toddler. Everyone learned early on that he would take things to heart very quickly, but I learned something far more important. Just like the teachers told me, when I was around 3 the emptiness started to fill in. it was about a tenth filled when it happened.
3 spent only seven months in acclamation before he killed 4. 3 had always been overly emotional, his genetic map apparently overcompensated for the main issue that was in 33’s. Due to that, I was unable to balance out his as well as I should have, he was just too different from what I was designed to work on. With 3’s feelings and emotions constantly elevated on a genetic level he could only feel extreme emotion and even with me nearby he suffered from severe bipolar mood swings.
3 killed 4 because she had told him that her future partner, 2, would be better than him since they were able to fix the flaws in them both that were found after he was made. He flew into a violent rage and repeatedly pummeled in her face, 3 was designed for combat and had enhanced strength, agility, and a tactical mind set, 4 was designed like I was. She died after the third blow, but 3 only stopped attacking her when 9 pulled him off of her.
3 was sent to confinement and the empty feeling I had before came back, only it was worse than before. I became quiet, preferred to stay away from the others in acclamation, and tried to convince myself there was no way I could’ve foreseen the death of my friend 4. I was like that for three years, and even the graduation of 12 and 11 followed by the addition of 2 and 1 to acclamation didn’t change my new introversion.
Only when 3 broke out and began his killing spree did I begin to feel better. It was awful, I watched him kill my friends and behind the horror and fear, I felt joy, relief, and a sense of belonging. It was caused me to hate myself for finding any relief in the presence of the one who broke the rules that all Numbers had to follow. The rules that 99 made for us so that following our instincts didn’t seem like serving the initiative, and none of us would ever have to know the sadness of watching a Number die in front of us like he did.
99 was a hero to Numbers. He was like our collective father, the kind one who was always looking out for us and protecting us. 99 made sure to visit the acclamation area at least twice a year, and got to know every number personally. He was an icon that all Numbers respected, and 3, the person who made me feel right on a genetic level, was scorning all 99 had ever stood for and was killing his fellow Numbers.
He strangled 5 to death when the older boy tried to stop him from getting in the room. And shot 7 with a ballistic pistol he had probably picked up from somewhere after escaping his holding cell.
He even took us hostage with ballistic explosives to stop two people, two Numbers: a blonde lanky boy and a slim black haired blue eyed girl, that came to help us. He had them put down their weapons and slide them over to him and killed them with their own guns.
3 was not sane and would rant on and on about how it was his right to survive and how he was only doing what we had forced him to, even as he shot 10 and 1, who she was trying to hide behind her, dead.
I had to hear and see it all up close because 3 also felt the need to be near me, even when I clearly disliked this bond and him he didn’t seem to notice. Or maybe it didn’t really matter to him.
A few minutes later two others arrived, a boy, who looked like the first girl, and a girl, who was shorter than the boy and had short red hair, just like before. This time though the boy had his weapon pointed directly at 3 and he wasn’t saying anything. The girl pushed the weapons mussel down and began talking to 3 in a very soft understanding tone. She told him everything was going to be ok and that this was all a big misunderstanding that they could figure out together and that no one else needed to be hurt. Then she shot him through the head with some type of energy pistol.
3 died and the girl told us that we were safe now and that they were 22 and 33, while the boy dis armed the explosives in the room. The girl, 22, said that their mission was to rescue everyone in this place and that they would make sure nothing bad happened to us.
They brought us to a different room and told us to stay there, and that they would be back soon. After about an hour or so they came back with a lot more people and brought us outside.
99 was outside, and he shot the other people that 22 and 33 had brought with them before talking to us all. He told us that we were free now and that the initiative couldn’t control us any more, then he took 22 and 33 to the side to talk to them alone. That took some time, and it looked like 99 and 22 were arguing for a while but they eventually shook hands and 22 passed 99 something with a nod.
22 and 33 left, and when they were gone I noticed that the empty feeling had just started to come back now and not when 3 was killed.
After a while 33 came back and asked 99 if there was anything else he needed, and I felt the emptiness start to fill again. Then they both looked up at something in the sky, and 99 put his hand on 33’s shoulder and told him he was sorry for his loss.
99 asked if 33 could take care of 9, 2, and I for a little while, so he could make sure we were safe forever by fighting anyone who tried to use us Numbers again. 33 agreed and told him goodbye as he lead us to a big ship in nearby docking bay.
He answered all of 9 and 2’s questions while he flew the ship. I watched when and how he moved, and the buttons he would press to do something instead of asking questions. 33 seemed nice, but he wasn’t very good at being friendly even though it was clear he was trying to be. Soon we landed on a busy planet that was over stuffed with buildings and vehicles, 33 told us to stay in the ship and that he was going out to look for the two numbers that would take care of us until we were ready to take care of ourselves.
After he was gone for a while, everyone began talking about him. I did it to distract myself from the emptiness returning, I think 9 did it to distract himself from what had happened earlier that day, and 2, who seemed the least bothered by today’s events, just seemed to like 33 and wanted to talk about him. Our conversation soon became just 2 telling us about how 33 was “brother” and she was “little Sister” so they were closer family than all the other Numbers, or how she and 33 had a special bond and they were the only ones who could understand each other, and later how she was going to call him big brother from now on because that was who 33 was to her and only her when everyone else just thought of him as a regular brother or a little brother. 9 eventually just went to sleep in his chair, and I let myself get lost in thought while 2 kept going even without us.
2 was probably fascinated with 33 because he helped save her, and that they were designed alike probably furthered that fascination. I was fascinated with him too, but for a different reason. The feelings I got when I was near 33 were like the ones I got from 3, but they were a lot stronger and they mixed in feelings of security and general rightness with the feelings of joy, comfort, and relief. It may have been because 33 was the original genetic map I was designed to match with, or it might have been because he helped save me and I felt safe if he was near. I didn’t know, but I really liked these feelings and I wanted more of them, I hated how the emptiness came back when he wasn’t around, and I was afraid of how the emptiness seemed to grow larger inside me every time he left.
Things continued like that for two days. 33 would leave, we would distract ourselves while he was gone, 33 would come back and he would tell us stories or rewire the ship to pick up broadcasts we could watch before we went to sleep. On the third day though, 33 introduced us to 45 and 48 who were supposed to take care of us from then on.
I didn’t let them take me, I held on to 33 as hard as I could and argued why I should stay with him, I didn’t want to give up the feelings I got when he was nearby and I was starting to like 33. I didn’t want someone new I never even met before to start taking care of me. I managed to get 33 to agree to taking me with him after a day of reasoning, begging, bargaining, arguing, and explaining to both him and 45 and 48.
After that everything happened really fast. 33 sold the ship to get us transceivers so we could communicate with each other and receive important messages that was sent across the Number network, I did the same thing to mine that he did to his. He also bought another much smaller ship that only had two rooms, a bedroom with two beds and a cot and a bathroom with only a toilet and a small shower, besides the cockpit.
We left the planet to go to another one that 33 had money and supplies he needed on.
When we got the stuff he needed, 33 bought a place for us to stay for a while, a big warehouse. While we stayed there 33 taught me a lot of stuff that I would have apparently learned in training at the initiative facility.
He taught me how to make things and take them apart without breaking them. Then he taught me how to break them, and then fix what was broken. He taught me how to plan ahead and to consider what my opponent might think or do. He taught me how to teach myself, and introduced me to the Extro-net. 33 taught me a lot of things that I became really good at, I even became better than he was with the technology and money stuff, though he was still better at making and customizing guns than I was.
What I wasn’t nearly as good at was 33’s combat training. I had told him that I wasn’t made for combat, that the way I was designed made fighting something seriously was practically the same as suicide for me, but 33 dismissed that. He told me that even if I wasn’t good at it I would need to know how to at the least defend myself long enough for him to come help me. I could see the wisdom in that, and I trusted 33 only wanted to help me like I did him, so I worked at it really hard even if I wasn’t good at it. After five months, 33 said I was passable and that I could just stick with periodic and short practice sessions to keep myself sharp, I had never felt so much gratitude to something ending than I did at the end of 33’s combat training. The guy did not understand the word cant or impossible when he was training me for combat, he also didn’t seem to understand the concept of breaks longer than the two minutes needed for my heart to return to a resting rhythm.
That time was nice, and I was really happy, but for a while at the beginning 33 would just leave suddenly, even if he was in the middle of teaching me something, and he wouldn’t come back for hours. I was really worried that it might be because he didn’t like me, or I had done something so wrong that he just gave up on me at first, but then over time as I came to understand 33 better I learned that wasn’t the case. He always came back and told me where he went when I asked, and after I while I figured out he was leaving because he didn’t want to feel anymore which meant he couldn’t be around me.
33 would feel more when I was near him, just as I would feel whole when he was near me, but while my emptiness took time to fully empty itself after it has been being filled for a while, 33’s ability to feel wasn’t like that. If we became too far apart he would instantly return to his apathy, but even when we were close it took time for him to build up any real feelings or emotions almost like he needed to charge them with me before he could use them. And even then his feelings weren’t at a stable or constant level, they would dip and rise almost randomly, but they never rose past the level below normal. 33 told me that only his old partner, 22, who was made specifically for him and him alone could provide him with that or give his levels any stability.
That made me really depressed to hear, but I didn’t let it show, 33 almost never talked about 22 and when he did it felt like he was sharing something special with me. Sharing something he wouldn’t with anyone else, I wouldn’t let that end just because it hurt me a bit to hear the way he talked about her.
After a few months he stopped leaving like that, and he stopped talking about 22, unless I specifically asked about her. Even then the emotions I used to hear when he spoke about her were gone. He talked like he was fond of her, but nothing more than that. I think that scared me the most, the knowledge that if I was ever out of contact with 33, ever away long enough, he would just stop caring about me. He wouldn’t be able to not do so, the most his body would let him feel would be that same level of fondness he has when he talks about 22 now. I promised myself I would die before I let 33 think about me like that, with that level of detachment and disinterest.
By that time I had noticed that the way I was thinking of 33 was becoming less familial and more romantic. It was stupid, I knew already it wouldn’t work between us. It wasn’t a matter of age or attraction or anything like that, it was because 33 couldn’t feel romantic love, it was to complex and strong of an emotion for him to ever process. The closest he had ever came was close friendship and familial love, and he was only able to get that with 22 at their best and closest. I knew it was true because I asked 33 one day if he had ever loved anyone, and that was his answer. Knowing all that didn’t stop my feelings from growing though…
During those six months 33 and I discussed what we were going to do with our lives now that we were free of the Numbers initiative’s control. I wanted to stay with 33 forever, for a number of reasons including but not limited to my growing affection for him. 33 wanted to go back to doing what he used to fighting, infiltrating, killing, and war. He said it was all he knew how to do, and that he was fond of the work. I didn’t bother to question why he seemed to be able to bring out more of his subdued joy out for that than when he talked about how the other Numbers where doing, the answer was simple and I already knew it. That was how he was designed, if the Number meant to kill other Numbers was to find more happiness in them than the act of killing than it would be a poor tool. 2 was the same way at acclamation sometimes.
We talked about things, argued a few times, and even made a list of all the options we both would like to try. In the end, on the day we were going to leave Yarsea-2, we decided on opening our own business, a mercenary and specialty business. 33 and I would use our skills and training to make money, and since 33 would just accept anything and everything as a contract, I would be the one who had the final decision on taking a contract. 33 said that making decisions like that for the best of both of us was an important part to being his partner.
When we left that planet, I was still replaying 33 calling me his partner in my mind. He let me pilot the skimmer, the class of ship he bought before, and I can honestly say that I was improving fast, though I did almost fly us into a few gravity wells, and uncomfortably close to where a stars gravitational pull would’ve been stronger than the ships thrusters… the point was I made remarkable improvement in a very short amount of time, and probably would have perfected the art if 33 didn’t take the pilot’s seat again half way through the first day.
Terra-4 was a super developed planet, fully colonized and terraformed to match earth at its finest, without pollution or climate change. 33 had a house that we lived in for a few years while he got the money we needed to make a base with everything we would both need to run this business the way we wanted.
While 33 did jobs for both governments and criminal organizations to raise money, I learned and perfected the new skills that he said would help us in the future. With help from researching on the Extro-net, I had learned to program and hack, treat a variety of injuries and illnesses, monitor and control advanced telecommunications, and had memorized and personalized countless schematics and systems. By the time 33 had gained the money we needed to purchase the location without raising alarms about the sudden influx of credits we would have, the cyberterrorist and hacker “Lavender” had already amassed a small fortune of credits, the exact amount we would need for all the equipment and repairs on the location we had chosen as our new home and base, but not enough to bring any major factions attention or care where the credits went.
After a year of installation and renovation, we were ready to open our business. We had already come up with a name, one that combined the two names we were known by in the less than legal worlds we would be soon living in for the rest of our lives. We made the name “Black Lavender Company” and made the logo with a crossed rifle and sword under the name, and reefed with the lavender flower growing out to hang by both the names sides almost for both growths to reach at the top of the logo. It looked good, professional and beautiful, I was the one to come up with it though. 33 isn’t good at most artistic things, they require too much emotion and feeling from the creator for him to be much more than adapt at any form of art besides combat, which he insists is a mix of art and science.
I processed the image, and input the necessary codes into our signs holo-projector while 33 watched the sign for any flickering or glitches out on the street. When the sign with our logo came up and turned slowly in the air so that it could be seen at any angle from any direction if one just waited ten seconds, I felt proud. When I looked down and saw 33 giving me a thumbs up, I felt excitement.
It took us a while, six years really, but we had finally finished everything we needed to open for business and start accepting contracts.
Black Lavender Company was born that day.
so yeah………… rate, review, share, comment, and just love the story in general. lets aim for 100 followers before the 15th!!!!!!
also i decided i’ll be publishing this eventually, i don’t really want to publish Black Blood as it is more of a fun web novel and not a serious book book…… that probably didn’t make sense, but that’s how i feel. i might reconsider depending on fan opinions on the poll i’ll be putting on B.B.’s next chapter.
chapter 1 will be out by Saturday by the latest, unless something happens that is……