Chapter 5: Daydreams and Nightmares
"I can't see why the boy can't know!" Yuri blearily opened his eyes. He was in the dream world again, looking over he saw Martha in a heated argument with Willy.
"We have our orders, there's nothing we can do."
"Orders shmorders, I say. Once he sees us in reality he'll know anyway, it's just so bland being a shadow!"
"You think I enjoy it either?!" Willy retorted.
"I never said that, and besides some of us might look better as a shadow anyway." Martha crossed her arms and turned away from Willy, finally noticing Yuri.
"My, dear! Do let us know when you are in our midst. It can be hard to hear with this bloke around." She pointed to Willy, who was completely flustered.
"Now listen here, woman-" He started, but was cut off by Xion.
"It would be a waste of time to argue further. Let the lesson commence." That was the most Yuri had ever heard Xion speak before, he mused.
"What do you mean by lesson?" Yuri asked. Martha strode over to him, leading him to the table where they all sat, or at least where Xion sat.
"Ah, last night was merely a welcoming party. Today the fun starts!" Yuri plunked himself down into an empty seat, sitting on his hands.
"Tut tut." Martha waggled a finger. "Please do not sit on your hands for this, it's a little rule I have, pet peeve really." Blushing and muttering a quick 'sorry' Yuri transferred his hands to his lap instead. Martha smiled and began in a more serious tone.
"We didn't get through that much of an introduction last night, but you know us by name. It's our job to ensure the survival of unique creatures, or give exceptional advice at the very least."
"Since our day jobs take our primary time up, we travel via the dream world." Willy added, kicking back in his seat. Martha cleared her throat, throwing Willy a glare, and continued.
"Yes, indeed. We appear as shadows to you because you have not met us face to face in reality yet. But see this, every single one of us that resides at this table will see you in the over world, no matter what." Surprised at the firmness of her last words, Yuri couldn't help himself.
"How do you know that?" He asked, mystified.
"We know what you look like, and where you'll be going in the near future. Though we do not know what events will occur, we can assure your location." Xion's deep voice answered. "Similar to mind reading or predicting the future, but with more holes" Martha nodded in agreement.
"Exactly, now I trust that tomorrow you will be attending school for the first time?" Yuri nodded slowly. Martha let out a smile and a cackle.
"Wonderful! Education, the true final frontier, I think. But you should keep your guard up, dear. The scientists from RL are sniffing out your trail like a pack of hounds!"
"The labcoats?" Yuri was shocked, he had only just gotten away a couple days ago. His breathing increased, not now, not yet. "No, no, no, no..." Yuri mumbled to himself. Martha swooped over to him, comforting him.
"There, there dear, it's all right. Our best guesses are you'll be safe for a few more days. Everything will be fine." Yuri stopped shaking, his eyes shifting towards Martha.
"Fine? Fine?! You have no idea what those bastards did to me! I've seen other people like me come and go by the dozens! I'm the reason other people are dead! They weren't like me so they were... Terminated." His nails had shifted into claws, scraping the ground. His yellow eyes penetrated any darkness in the room, glowing brightly. Yuri sank to the ground, staring at his hands.
"I'm a freak." He couldn't stop the single tear from falling down his cheek. The thin, shady finger of Martha wiped it away.
"Yuri. Look at me." He did, gazing into the white holes that sufficed for her eyes. The claws had retreated back into nails, his eyes dimming.
"You are not a freak, you're only different from the rest. Why, your mother would be proud-" she stopped herself, stepping backwards and gasping.
"Martha! We aren't allowed to say!" Willy shushed her.
"My... Mother?" Yuri stepped up to the pair. They looked at each other, having a silent conversation. Martha gave Yuri a grim look.
"I can't tell you anymore, you shouldn't even... I'm terribly sorry. But, you did have a mother. That's all you can know for now. I'm sorry." She apologized again, clasping her hand over her mouth.
"Time to go." Xion stood up, towering over the three of them. He seemed quite muscular, Yuri thought, hoping he wouldn't get on bad terms with the guy. Wily and Martha nodded, waving to Yuri. Yuri waved back, feeling the dream world fade away.
"Thank you, Martha!" He called out, just before his vision faded to black.
Yuri woke up, in bed this time. He glanced at the time, 5 in the morning? Ugh, well he couldn't sleep anyway so he decided to silently get out of bed. Not daring to wake up Hikari, Yuri tiptoed out the door. He stood there for a moment, realising that this was the first time he had been alone since finding Hikari. That guy always kept him on his toes, he thought with a smile. Yuri wandered around the house, thinking of the things he had just learned. It was inevitable, Yuri guessed he always knew that the labcoats would come for him eventually, but this soon was astounding.
A small breeze ruffled his hair. Wide balcony doors stood beside him. Opening one and making sure to close it behind him, Yuri felt the cool breeze of the morning brush itself against his skin. He could never get over the feeling of it all. The smell of the nearby forest, even the faintest sound of ocean waves could he heard. This feeling, the feeling of freedom, was what he cherished. Stepping up to the edge of the balcony Yuri witnessed a magnificent view. The forest, with its trees curling into a natural maze gave him a thrill of excitement. As far as the eye could see, was trees. Countless, it seemed, for each tree was unique. Every tree had a different amount of leaves than the other, as well as height and width wise. No two trees were alike. Yet they remained beautiful. Yuri sighed, gazing at the scenery. Mountains could be seen, almost hidden by a dense fog. Though he could hear water moving, no source could be seen.
Yuri sat there for what must have been hours, thinking. He had a mother, he remembered. That means he couldn't have been one of the test tube babies. Yuri recalled seeing several things being born, not all human. It was saddening to watch a failed experiment writhe on the ground right after birth, begging to be set out of it's misery. To live for not even a minute, and already beg to be free from life's clutches broke something inside him. He shook the thought away, and thought about something happier. What could his mom look like anyway? Would she have red hair also? Or perhaps they would share the same eyes, or nose! Or maybe, Yuri thought as he gazed outwards again, her eyes would be like the sunrise. Soft and gentle, maybe a bit stern at times. Then a lump rose in his throat. Was she even alive, still? No, she had to be. She was only waiting for him, waiting... Yuri's thoughts trailed off.
"It's nice out here, isn't it?" Hikari spoke from the doors. Yuri flinched at the sudden sound, but ten nodded.
"I like the sounds." Hikari have him a quizzical look.
"Weird how you can hear water, but there isn't a lake or anything around here."
"Yeah." The two boys stood out for another moment, savouring it. Then, Hikari spoke up.
"Oh, I came out to remind you." Yuri cocked his head. "We're running late for school."