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Cars hovered above the buildings, only a few still ever touching the paved ground below. Pedestrians walked at an unrushed pace, chatter being exchange as people went about their daily lives. Shops opened their doors to greet awaiting customers, smiles on the clerks' faces.

It wasn't even ten in the morning yet the downtown circuit was alive and bustling, unaware of what transpired the night before.

It wouldn't be broadcasted; it wouldn't be printed.

Rumors might've been passed but nothing more.

Same as usual.

Light filtered through a large paned window as sheer white curtains pulled themselves aside for the day. A door opened itself to let in one other that was soon crossing the room quickly to shake the one tossing violently in his sleep.

"Cal, wake up!"


Dark eyes slid open to stare up at a figure shrouded by the sunlight pouring in. As he made out the grey irises, the raven scrubbed his arm across his face prior to reaching down to touch the thin, silver chain he kept around his neck. Hearing his name once more, Calix lowered his arm, hiding his disappointment, as he smiled sheepishly.

"Mornin', Mal."

Said person merely looked down at the young male, not even bothering to hide any of his concern from him. "You had that dream again, didn't you?" Sitting up a bit in bed, Cal shrugged as he eyed his necklace. "Want to talk about it?"

"No, I'm fine."


"I said that I'm alright, Malecai." He then threw a smile his way when he didn't leave, something that had become the norm as of late. "Really, I'm fine."

"…just come down for breakfast then," the man finally said before walking out of the room.

Watching as the door closed behind him, the nineteen year old slipped his feet into a pair of slippers before stretching his arms over his head. Cracking his back then his neck, Calix made his way over to the en-suite bathroom for his morning shower.

Passing the mirror as he walked in, he backtracked to stare at the ugly bruises running along his side. As he ran his fingers along them, he turned slowly to see the same thing on his back. Hearing a knock on the bedroom door, he jumped into the shower as he turned the water on.


"Cal, Renyx called you," Mal said. "He wants to meet you at Centrai at eleven thirty."

"Oh, ok," the raven called from behind the shower curtain. "Thanks."

After the door closed, Calix inhaled deeply as the water gently ran over his discolored skin. Trailing his fingers over the bruise that trailed down the cut of his hips, he sighed heavily before beginning to wash his hair. He grimaced at the bits of dirt he found there prior to wincing as his fingers danced about the small gash hidden from sight. Rinsing out the shampoo, he then washed the rest of himself, giving special care to the sorer parts of his body.

Cutting the water off, he stepped out of the shower and headed back to his bedroom. Again, he stopped to look at the large purple blotches on his skin before sliding on his robe. Stepping out into the cooler air of his room, he walked over to the window, sliding aside the glass to watch the citizens walk by, carefree as usual.

They didn't know the truth and it seemed that they never would.

Touching the silvery chain as it glinted in the sun, Cal turned away from the scene in favor of looking at the item his friend given him ten years ago.

He still kept having that dream, recalling what had happened on that night. He refused to believe that his friend was really gone, that he was captured, and that he was dead.

Evren wasn't gone.

Calix shook his head as he ran a hand through his wet, black spikes. He couldn't believe that the ten year old that had found him was dead. Evren had been tougher than that. The blonde had been through a lot; that Cal knew from looking at the cuts and scrapes along otherwise pallid skin. He had been dirty, they both had been, yet Ren didn't appear to have ever cried and merely smiled at him in times of hardship.

He would sit up at night, keeping watch when the raven was asleep, he went out of his way to find them food and, when there wasn't always enough, he didn't mind giving up his half to the small boy that would still be hungry. He found them clothes, making sure that the smaller child was warm enough to survive the winters that they spent together.

Evren even found him a sponsor, a guardian, a family. He had found him Malecai, and the man was great. He took care of him, got him the medical help he needed. The older gentleman had given him clothes, food, and a roof over his head. He had put him through school and managed to fill the paternal role perfectly-everything from support to scolding when he messed something up.

Curling his fingers long the thin chain, brown eyes went back to viewing the cityscape beneath his window before he turned away to get dress.

He wouldn't believe Evren was dead.


Backing back into the doorway, said person came to a stop as he munched on a slice of toast. Closing the door just a bit, he lowered the bag he had slung over his shoulder, watching as Malecai came into the room, grey eyes set on the bag before focusing on the looser than normal clothing adorning the nineteen year old.

"You called?"

"You didn't eat." Brown eyes glanced down at the piece of toast then back up at the man. "Actual food, Calix and where are you going?"

Eating the remaining bit of bread, Cal fished out a small sphere before holding it out in the palm of his hand, revealing a LED lit message scrolling across the surface. "Renyx sent me a message telling me to hurry up. You know he gets when he has to wait." He then picked up his bag, swinging it over his shoulder once more, hiding a wince, before he gave the man a two-finger salute. "I'll check in when I get there,'kay?"

Opening his mouth, Malecai closed it as soon as the raven threw a warm smile his way before hurrying out the door. Walking over to the window, he pulled aside the curtains to see Cal walking off with his hand in pockets, his head bobbing as he listened to the music he was blasting through his headphones.

"He's going to be fine," the man told himself as he closed the curtains to get finish getting ready for work.

Glancing over his shoulder a few seconds to see that Malecai was no longer there, Calix hurried down the street and rounded the corner. Turning into an alleyway, he looked about before pulling off the loose white t-shirt. Stuffing it in his bag, he adjusted the fitted crimson tank that he had been wearing underneath before pulling down the baggy black pants to reveal the nicer fitting black jeans beneath them. Putting that with the tee, he pulled out a black strapped holster and secured it around his thigh before checking it for the knife he usually kept inside. After strapping a smaller holster to his upper arm, he pulled out a black, loose fitting belt and buckled it around his slim waist.

Grabbing the black jacket from his bag, he pulled it on quickly before removing a pair of frames from one of the numerous inner pockets. Slipping them onto his face, he touched the left side, watching as the dark lens lightened prior to pulling up a map of the Tralli district, a spot right outside of Centrai.

He'd have to thank Will again for making such glasses.

Tapping the side again, he watched as the map disappeared for normal viewing use before he picked up his bag again. Pulling out a cigarette, he stuck it in his mouth and lit it as he made his way back onto the sidewalk. And after walking for about a good twenty minutes, Calix came to a halt outside of the Centrai station.

Looking around for a moment, he leaned up against one of the alabaster posts and pulled out a second cigarette. Bringing it up to his mouth, he paused in lighting it as he felt cold steel press against his Adam's apple.

Tilting his head by a fraction, the raven caught sight of a male no taller than six feet tall, just a couple inches taller than he. His red hair was done up in a short mohawk, the ends tipped in black. Though Calix couldn't see them, however, from what he knew due to experience, tawny eyes hidden behind sunglasses glinted with crazed excitement from whatever news the man had to tell. That and the ridiculous grin plastered to his face as he eased the blade up just a bit.

"It's a bit early to be playing with your toys, don't you think, Renyx?"

Said person merely shrugged as he trailed the edge of the knife up slowly, careful not to cut the other in the process. "I didn't know there was a certain time window before I got to play with you." He looked away, feigning hurt as dark eyes narrowed from behind the frames. He then danced away, dodging a punch. "Lighten up, would ya?" he said before lighting up the cigarette and inhaling deeply.

"That was my last cigarette…" the raven drawled as he watched the other exhale a cloud of grey smoke.

"These can kill you, ya know?" Renyx asked before taking another drag.

Cocking his hip to the side as he rolled his eyes, Calix looked towards the Tralli district before glancing over at his associate that was more than halfway done with the cigarette. "You say that yet you bum one of my cigarettes daily."

"Well you only live once," he scoffed before flicking the butt away.

"For one that's supposed to be twenty-one, you're such a child."

"So says the one that just turned nineteen this morning," Renyx said, "and I'm twenty-two!"

Chuckling as the other rolled his eyes once more; Renyx patted himself down before slipping a hand into the back pocket of his dark grey jeans. Humming his contentment when he found what he was searching for, he slid his hand out in favor of rifling through the interior of his black trench coat.

It was at least eighty-five degrees outside yet the redhead always had the thing on.

Throwing a grin Calix's way, Renyx then opened part of his coat to show a small remote, as well as a small black pad, what looked like a grenade, and a small pouch of who knew what. "Want to go have some fun?" He then closed the garment as he turned away, heading towards Tralli. "C'mon; don't wanna keep Will waiting, do you?"

"Oh, ok." Sliding his hand into his pocket, he pulled out the round sphere before. "One sec though," he said as he scrolled along the smooth surface in search of a number. He then put on a smile, removing the glasses, as a small screen appeared. "Hey, Mal."

"Are you ok?" he asked.

The raven nodded, being sure to keep the screen at a headshot. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm going to be with Renyx and Will for a few hours."

"Estimated time?" The teen shrugged. "Calix…"

"Um, four hours? Six at the most?"

Grey eyes just studied the amiable face prior to the man nodding. "Very well, just be safe and check in every now and then."

"Right; see ya' at home," Calix replied before turning the communicator off and putting it away.

Slipping the glasses back in place, Cal looked around to see the redhead waiting at the crosswalk across the street. Seeing how his foot was tapping, the nineteen-year old rolled his eyes as he jogged over. From there, the two crossed districts, looking up at the large high rise buildings as they walked. They ignored the stares given to those in suits.

They didn't mind looking out of place in such an uptight, judicial part of the city.

As they passed by the police department, Calix slowed his pace, hiding his fists in the loose sleeves of his jacket. Watching as a few squad cars came to port, the raven focused on two of them that were escorting a carrier to the rear.

He had seen that specific carrier before; he remembered the parallel rows of green lights running the exterior. His muscles tensed, his whole body tight, as he watched the thing land out of sight.

He'd get rid of it.

He vowed that much.

A touch to his shoulder hand him drawing the knife from his side, ready to cut into something or someone before brown eyes panned over to see Renyx standing beside him, his ochre-colored eyes focused on the station in front of them.

"Hey, I don't like them either, ok, but let's go before they get suspicious and come out," the redhead said, removing his hand. "C'mon, Will, remember?"


Turning away, they both walked down the street and into the next district.

Coming into the rundown half of the city, one so familiar to the raven, Calix looked about, wondering why they hadn't torn down the desolate area. Then again, he was pleased that it was still standing.

It held so many memories.

Spotting Sector A, he reminisced over the first time, almost thirteen years ago; his first friend had discovered him hiding in the deepest, darkest alleyway in the entire dilapidated region. He had been exhausted, dirty, starving, frail-looking, not even worth the time to save, yet the boy that found him merely stepped closer as he shied away. Evren hadn't said anything to him at first. He simply backed away after a few minutes before running out of alley and out of sight.

Cal remembered every shred of emotion he felt at the moment when he first encountered him. He was terrified when he had approached him, he was even more so when he left without a word. He was relieved when the blonde hadn't made any attempt in harming him yet, he'd admit he was lonely when he left so abruptly.

Then, out of nowhere, the older child came back within an hour's time with a bundle in his hands. Again, Calix had huddled himself in the corner as the other approached him slowly. When he was too close, the raven had pulled his knees up to his chest, hiding his face from view before he flinched as a hand tapped him lightly on the shoulder.

When he looked up, he was surprised to see the boy offering him a loaf of bread. Hesitant at first, he finally took it when the blonde made no attempts in stopping him. Biting into it, he watched the other curiously, cautiously, prior to looking down at his lap as he continued to eat.

He had jumped suddenly when he felt something damp touch his cheek. Looking up, he watched as the older child pulled his hand away. Spotting the damp cloth in his hand, he eyed the other suspiciously, only to get a smile before the fair-haired boy continued with what he was doing; he even offered more bread, watching as the raven stuffed his face.

"T-thank you," Cal had murmured once finished and somewhat clean.

The blonde merely kept smiling before the younger boy noticed a peculiar trait with the other's eyes. His question was never spoken though due to the child offering him some water he hadn't used for cleaning plus a cleaner-looking shirt.

"I'm Evren, what's your name?"

"C-Calix," he had replied.

"Nice to meet you."

The reverie ended all too soon.

"Are you going to be ok?" Renyx asked as he glanced back at his quiet traveling companion.

"Yea," Cal replied as he touched his thin, silver necklace.

"Are you sure?"

To that, the younger male punched him in the arm before he walked past him, his fond reminiscing stopped for the time being. "Don't go all soft on me, you freaking pansy."

"Says the one with the girly ass necklace," Renyx replied as he rubbed his arm, looking at an outdated land car. He then stopped as he ran into the other. "What t-"

"It's not girly." A slight smile pulled at the corners of the taller man's mouth before he watched the other take off his glasses, dark eyes narrowed from hate, anger and what could've passed as being a bit of hurt. "It's not girly," Calix pressed.

"Right, right," the redhead said, holding up his hands as he took a step back. "'m-" He lowered his hands as the raven turned away to continue walking. "-sorry…"

Picking up his own pace to catch up with the angered nineteen year old, the older man kept his distance as the two of them headed down a side alley and into an old warehouse district. Removing his shades, ochre-colored eyes roamed over the old, abandoned buildings.

Doors were boarded, windows blocked. Shattered glass resembled teeth in their dark frames while papers blew about the cracked ground below. Outmoded cars dotted the lots here and there as vines and dirt claimed them, making the old vehicles part of the dreary looking backdrop of a place that was once bustling in the past.

Hearing the sound of metal grating, the redhead flicked his wrist to grasp his switchblade he kept hidden within his sleeve. Blade out, Renyx looked about to see Calix gesturing towards the uncovered sewer then towards the metal covering he had slid over.

"Damn pansy," Calix chuckled before he jumped in.

Sucking his teeth as he slid his glasses back into place, Renyx hurried over, collecting the covering before climbing down into the sewer and sliding the lid back into place. With his feet on the ground, he stopped short as he watched Cal.

Brown eyes were glued on the opposite wall that held a few childish pictures. His face was a blank slate, his gaze distant. In his hand, his fingers toyed with the thin chain at his neck. And tiptoeing over, Renyx leaned in a bit, finger up to poke the other's cheek.

Instead, he received a hand shoved in his face before being pushed back.

"Stop zoning out then!" the redhead snapped as he rubbed his nose, pushing past the other.

Walking along the cracked pavement, Renyx listened to the second pair of footsteps echoing off the walls tagged by past graffiti artists. The redhead then looked towards the center to see the bits of trash that had remained behind long after the sewage stopped flowing before reaching another ladder.

"Birthday boy first."

Grunting as he received a slap on the back, Calix went up first and slid aside the covering. Pulling himself up and out, he brushed off his pants before taking a look around the room. Stepping aside to let Renyx up, Cal made his way across the room, stepping carefully over the wires crisscrossing along the cement flooring, to look at the screens lining the walls, showing off the Tralli district as well as other districts in throughout the city.

"Yo, Will, birthday boy's here!" Renyx shouted once he kicked the covering back over the hole.

"You don't have to yell, ya know?" Both men looked up to see Will hanging from a rafter. "I heard you when you were in the tunnel."

"You can be quite loud," Cal commented offhandedly before dodging a punch meant for his shoulder.

"Don't go roughing him up. I'm sure he's still sore from last time," Will stated before dropping down to the floor in a crouch. "Follow me."

"Aye aye," Renyx called following after the other as he watched the swaying of their hips.

Brown eyes then glanced back to stare at the raven that was still staring at the Tralli screen, his gaze set on the carriers coming in.

"Calix." Said person tilted his head in acknowledgement. "You coming or what?"

"Yea, yea, I'm coming," he said as he walked over.

Planting himself in a revolving chair, Cal rolled himself into their main room. It was more of a longue compared to the rest of the warehouse, which consisted of cameras, screens, tools, and scrap metal, wires and other bits and pieces Will used when tinkering about.

"Happy birthday, CL."

Craning his neck, he watched as a woman, no taller than five foot ten, came walking in with a red and white short, blue and black hair was pulled back into a small ponytail while a smile adorned her round face, which made her chocolate color eyes stand out more against her equally dark skin.

"Who are you and what the hell did you do with Will?" Calix asked after staring at the woman's smile for a few seconds more.

A scowl soon settled upon her face. "Don't make me shove this damn cake in your face!"

"Ah, there she is," the raven chuckled as the woman cut a slice, putting it on a plate.

"Shut up and eat cake," Will said as she walked over, presenting the item. She then walked over to the couch and flopped down, stealing the remote from Renyx. "So, you're the big one nine today."

Calix shrugged as he eyed the crimson-colored frosting. "Can I get a fork?"

Tawny eyes panned over to the slice of cake then up at the raven before removing his glasses. "Ya got two legs that aren't broken."

"Birthday boy."

"Like hell. I ain't getting ya a fork." The youngest of the trio grimaced before he got to his feet to retrieve the needed utensil. "Fine; I'll get it myself."

"Cal, sit down a sec." Said person looked over at the woman flipping through the channels of static. "Sit," Will said, dark eyes gliding over to pin the teen with the silent order.


Once he plopped back in his chair, Will went back to flipping through the channels. "I'm sure you two have seen the carriers?"

"Yea," Renyx replied as he played with his knife. "Cal had one of his little stare downs with the thing."


"No I did n-what do you mean again?!" Brown eyes darted between the two on the couch when they said nothing. "What the hell do you mean again?"

"You do it every time one comes into port," Renyx stated.

"Or when it's just flying overhead," Will added brushing aside a loose, pale blue lock of hair.

"Your point?" Calix groused.

"Anyway…" Equally brown eyes glanced at the raven before focusing on the screen. "…looks like Polaris' task force is receiving something called the XYZ series."

"XYZ?" the youngest questioned as he hiked up an eyebrow.

"Yea, what happened to the rest of the alphabet?"" the redhead asked, only to receive a slap upside his head from the woman at his side. "What? It's a valid question, woman!"

"Anyway…" Clicking the zoom button, Will showed a close up on one of the green-lit ships. "…the shipment is supposed to be coming in at midnight tonight."

"So, what's been coming in lately?" Renyx asked, scooting away as the one at his side glanced at him. "What!?"

"If you would've let me finish, I was going to say weapons, ammunition, radios, fuel, u-"

"The usual," Calix said with a shrug as he went back to looking at his cake, "and nothing good could possibly come from that."

"Right, and seeing how it's your birthday, how do you feel about a bit of a celebratory sabotage?" Will asked, flipping the channels again to show a live feed of the Police Department. "Cal?"


"What'd you mean what?" Renyx asked, looking back at the raven. "She wants to know if you're up for it."

"I'm up for cake," he replied.

Shaking her head, Will crossed the room to stand in front of the so-called birthday boy. Tapping her foot as he looked up to meet her gaze, she simply shook her head. "Up for cake, huh?"

"Well, yea," Cal said as he glanced back down at the pastry. "I just need a fork."

"No you won't need a fork," she said before slapping the plate up. A smirk graced her lips soon after as she stared at the cake covering the raven's now shocked face. "And as the saying goes, let them eat cake." Cackling filled the room soon after. Wiping some of the icing away, Cal glared at Renyx before looking up at Will. "Well?"

Looking down at the pink-colored icing coating his fingers, Calix licked one of the digits clean. "It's good cake."


The nineteen-year old merely chuckled as he licked another finger clean. "No, seriously. This is some good cake, Will," he said as he set the plate aside to clean the rest of his face, "but a bit of sabotage sounds like fun."

"Ah, yea! Gonna take down some carriers!" Renyx shouted, punching at the air.

Will clapped her hands together, a smile back on her face, before turning back to her workshop. "If you would follow me, I will get you ready to go."

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