A detonation shook the walls and the lab was crashing to the ground. As Travance ran, a single man stepped forward to hold the walls from crushing the town's members; not a man but a copy of a man, the late Jack Dimms.

The perfects were a mix of rage, and relief as their home fell around them. They looked around looking for anything of necessity. With a gasp Gemora noticed a small body crushed beneath the rubble, her name was Cinnamon. She was one Gemora had grown quite attached to, she had promised her that if she truly did turn out to be a sleeper Gemora would devour her, ensure she couldn't hurt any one, ensure that a part of her would live inside Gemora forever.

“Don’t waste your tears on lesser creatures” Eden spat stepping towards the body.

“I promised her… I would help her and I failed.” Gemora spoke between sobs.

“I’ve made some promises of my town…” Belberith stepped forward, towering above the other two. Reaching in a bag he pulled out a combination of herbs and essence mixing them carefully and placing his concoction upon the small body. Cinnamon’s eyes shot open rabid and wild and she was quickly subdued by Belberith.

Eden eyed Belberith before speaking. “You know HE forbids us from learning alchemy, HE would unmake you for this.”

“If you intend to tell The Father, that is your prerogative. I made a promise to the town I have to keep” Belberith stated as he hoisted the body over his shoulder.

Eden winced at the idea of Belberith making a promise to lesser creatures but she regained her composure “No I don’t think ill let HIM know just yet, I have other plans for you… that recipe… I don’t believe I’ve learned that one.”

Belberith quickly realized what Eden was implying “It's called the salve of the soul, Zelrich taught it to me… I think it might be the first step towards my goals”

There was a flash of light, and they were gone, and in an instance the remaining walls of the lab collapsed.

*     *     *     *     *

The homunculus who once called himself Jack Dimms clawed his way through the rubble, but could climb no farther.  The light was in front of him yet he could not make it and suddenly he felt himself floating up. As his eyes adjusted to the light he saw Ludwig standing with his brothers holding his head. Ludwig lowered Jack down looking at him. “Jack Dimms we would like to offer you a home with others of your kind, and the promise that we will help your old home in the future” Vallius smiled as he made this offer.

Jack stood and dusted himself off “I accept but do me a favor, call me Jack Duo, I aint the original, though I’d like to think he’s looking down from Galladell’s realm on me smiling” And he was.

Aldric awoke before dawn on Sunday, determined to do one last task before leaving for Kaladonia. He trudged to the spot of Father's hidden Laboratory in the half-light of the coming Sunrise. As he drew nigh the site, the Sun was turning the horizon pink and gold. He settled himself down to watch it rise, intoning a prayer for the fallen as it greeted him. As the first beams of fresh Sunlight touched the rubble-strewn ground, a sound, felt not heard, began to reverberate in Aldric's soul. It was as if a choir, voices in perfect harmony had begun a low-pitched chorus, its volume rising to a crescendo. He saw them then. Blue orbs, some flecked with Orange, smaller than they should be, incomplete, but identifiable as spiritual essence began to rise from the ruins. Other essences fell away, evaporating in the strengthening light, but the divine essence only grew more resolute, more solid as the Dawn came. One by one, the balls of Light, began their journey upwards. Tears welling up, Aldric finished his prayer and said simply. "Goodbye Heather. I will see you again."

*     *     *     *     *

An unassuming man stood in a small shack on a remote island, his face obscured, but surrounded by eight of his perfect creations. He seems mid argument “They destroyed our lab!” He shouts at one of them.

“You backed them into a corner, you tormented them, beat them, broke them, KILLED one of them.” the artificial angel Lazarus rebutted.

The Father regained his composure spoke calmly; coldly “It was necessary… for the experiment”

Rage welled in Lazarus as he drew his sword “Necessary...Necessary... YOUR A MAD MAN!” Lazarus yelled as he thrust his blade into the father's chest, no sooner did the blade pierce his creator's heart when he felt a boot hit his shield with enough force to send him through a wall.

The father lowered his foot, his skin now shifting to the pale tone common amongst the homunculus, he pulled the sword from his chest the wounds already closing. Lazarus was already on his feet as the father began to approach him. The twins had taken Lilith outside. The father thought to himself… “One touch, that’s all it would take to unmake him, this body was not designed for combat like the other perfects, it was designed to keep them in line, one touch is all it would take.” The father was was hesitating, why was he hesitating, Lazarus was already charging. The father raised his hand to strike down his child.

Suddenly Lazaraus felt a hand on his shoulder. “HE has done what was done, and that cannot be undone, no matter how much you may wish it Lazarus” Eden spoke from behind him.

Belberith was now holding Lazarus back. Able and Gilgamesh were between the two of them ready to defend their father. “Eden still refuses to call me by my title” The father thought to himself “How bothersome, still it was a relief he didn't need to destroy one of his perfect childr... creations”

“I apologize father, you know how sensitive Lazarus can be… I will take him somewhere to cool off”, Belberith spoke as he left with Lazarus.

The Father returned to his room, removing his bloodied ruined shirt, the number 02 marked his chest. He took out a small book and wrote the name Dominic Strong on a page. “One day I will have to pay for all of this, one day I will answer for my crimes, but for now the only way to make up for the lives I’ve stolen is to succeed, the end has to justify the means… Still have I gone to far this time, have I repeated history, was this another Ica… Oh gods Icarus has escaped… its probably traveled somewhere to rest. How long till it awakens? Why did the town have to open so many of its release hatches in the false labs?” Thoughts raced as he began drawing up plans; alone.

*     *     *     *     *

(One week later)

Valius stood in a room with his brothers, across the table from him were Lazarus, and Belberith along with three Travancians he knew well, Dr. Tobias, Dr. Victor, and Belegchand. “And you swear, you will keep her safe?” Belberith questioned Valius.

“Of course, what have I been doing for our race this entire time?” Valius paused

“Lazarus I expected, but you Belberith, I didn't see you going behind our fathers back like this, specially didn't expect you to bring humans with you”

“I made a promise I intend to keep, plus Gemora grew rather attached… as far as Travancians, they are smarter than I anticipated, these three figured out how to fix the sleepers once they become active” Belberith adjusted his glasses as he spoke, “How many others did you say escaped?”

“Aside from the one you took, and Jack Di… Duo, two survived the explosion, though I lost their trail after they crossed a river… hopefully they don’t do too much damage.” Ludwig piped in.

“We can discuss that when we are done, first things first, let's save Cinnamon” Belberith smirked as the words escaped his lips.

*     *     *     *     *

We stand at a cross road, the dawn of a new race. Some will be friend, others foe. Who falls to what side, whether our race continues on and thrives, or if we are burnt to the ground, erased from history. These are to be your decisions, the decisions of man.

-Belberith

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