7 am, at a hospital on a small red planet called Remora, nine children were born on the same day, at the same hour. Each child was born with excel running through their veins. (Excel a drug given to people on other world to help them cope with the differences in the eco systems of the worlds man has colonized.) Their collective birth cry shattered the minds of every one in the building and surrounding causing the death of 521 people, even their parents who had waited so long to receive them. Caesar, was one of The Nine. When the med techs found him his mind was closed to them. The others seem to drain the life of anyone close to them except Caesar.
The house of Magdalena, the Craft, was where the Tech Guild had to build a cage for the 8, keeping these children asleep. While Ceasar, born on a planet of telepaths, was a mind no one could hear. What made this strange was that his ability was unheard of; even a cyber’s or A.I.’s mind was felt by the “Paths” (what people called Remorans due to their collective telepathy). Ceasar mind was so closed he seemed like a black dot on white paper in his world. The elders at first wanted to send him off world because of the fear he created around children of Remora.
Only the Crafts kept Ceasar close. Tech Guild bio framers who fed the people of Remora and researched what happened on the day of his birth. The crafts were the ones who created the bands that blocked off the other eight children’s minds. Using Ceasar as a guide, they learned how to block telepathy. Until then all Paths, even as young as one, could see the string of thought cast off from every living thing. Even in death a body for hours would slowly give off an aura that would swirl and join with what Paths called Ether: A field of energy given off by all living things that radiates throughout the universe. Caesar is the exception. He was born to absorb Ether. The 8 (four boys and four girls), even with their collars, gave off larger strings of Ether than a regular Path. Ceasar seems to absorb Ether and diminish Path’s around him. His was a rough and lonely childhood even with his brothers and sisters. also called The Gray 9th’ or ‘Wraith’ he was always shunned.
“Ceasar” screamed Mother Craft, the matriarch of the house of the Magdalena, “Come here boy and find the Eight; it is time for the tests.” “Yes maggie,” Ceasar, never far from the main house, was playing in the pins with Talon, a young wolf cub that for some reason was the first mind Ceasar touched. No words, only emotions and urges come from Talon; but a connection nonetheless was made at the age of 11, which many in the House Magdalena saw as the balancing of the universe.
The Eight, who are raised as siblings with Ceasar, each embody a unique emotion that alone can be disastrous. Asmodeus, “Asi”, the tallest of The Eight was a mountain of a boy; strong and fearsome. Amducias, “Ami”, has a stare that can make grown men weak. Ansitif, “Ann”, is beautiful and stunning, they called her Ann the dream. Asoth, “Ant” the mean and dark haired angel, loves to inspire fear in her siblings and others. Apollyn, Pol, and Apollyon, Pon, are brothers who fight like two heads of the same coin. Lilith is a red headed girl who seems to control men’s passion. Lile, ‘Lil’ is the gentle one; and the only one of The Nine who stayed in Ceasar’s shadow without fear.
Even with the bands in place The Nine could push other minds so strongly that they would not be allowed in the town because all sorts of trouble would follow. Lile ran away to a nearby town, causing the birth rate the next year to triple. Ami caused a group of people to fight almost to their death as he cheered, when he took his walk about; they were all powerful in their own way. Ceasar was the only one who was free of their influence.
Cesar entered the field while The Eight were playing, fighting and talking. The Eight all instantly stopped as he drew closer. They could feel his power draining them as he moved toward them. Each one’s mind closed to each other and since they can never read Ceasar’s mind, they could not hear him coming. This caused an effect that made them all as normal as each one would ever be. Asi, the leader, called to him, “Where are you shadow? We know you are near.” Ceasar sprung from a nearby tree with a strong smile. “No worries you guys, time for the tests, let’s go.”
The Eight are never allowed in the house without Ceasar, because the Maggie’s could not fight the power of The Eight and Ceasar kept their minds safe and their dreams their own. “We are not done here,” Ann screamed, “I am tired of their tests.” Adrat screamed, “I am hot and in the mood to play like an adult.
Why can I not have a boyfriend, I am sick of this jungle and animals I can’t even hear.”
Ceasar laughed, “I hear them, they are getting louder every day, and a lady bug wanted me to move because I was blocking her light.” “Ha-ha,” said Ami, “you talk to animals and bugs because you are one.” Asi instantly smacked Ami in the back of the head, “Leave him be Ami, he’s just doing his job.”
Lil grabs Ceasar’s hand and smiles, saying, “Where you been, Ceasar?” “I was at the pins. A few of the birds’ eggs cracked the newborns don’t guard their minds as much.” “Eww you’re seriously creeping me out Ceasar,” said Pon. Ceasar replied, “That’s how they feel about us, we don’t inspire fear among animals, they wonder why they can’t hear our minds.” “Shut up you liar,” said Lilith, “always trying to seem self-important.” Ceasar turns to walk toward the compound he pauses and says, “Come on you guys I don’t have time or energy for your issues today Lilith.” Lilith barks causing everyone but Lil to laugh.
Lil walks beside him and grabs his hand “I missed you Cesar what you been up to” instantly Ami screeches, “Hey Cesar is that your new pet.” Cesar stops and looks Ami over “You’ve always been my favorite pet Ami I even help make the collar that makes you heel, now come on let’s get this over with.” They all start moving toward home, the forest seems quite today thought Cesar.
“AWOOOOOOOOOOOO,” came from up ahead, Talon come sthrough the trees, his stealth fur changing as he drew near. “What he saying Cesar “Lil gasp a little startled by the way talon appeared like some sort of wreath. I told you no words only feelings and few images. He thinks a big storm is coming.”.
“So what he’s a weather-bot now, Ceasar?” Pon giggles. Pol looks at Pon and asks, “How are we twins? You look like me, Pon, but you have the brain of a mushroom. Pon grabs Pol’s pants and pulls them down, causing Pol to fall. I guess I am just a bad wolf sneered pon, As soon as Pol hits the ground Ami screams, “Now this is getting interesting, “get him pol!” “Don’t start you guys,” Lil says as she helps Pol up. “It’s ok Lil, he’s just being the sad little boy who can’t seem to be happy with life. Just smile at him, he’s my burden and I wouldn’t have him any other way.” As Pol dusts himself off his smile seems to make Pons usual sad face even worse
Chapter 2 The On coming storm
As the group clears the forest and enters the main road, Talons stealth coat turns off, his natural grey, black coat comes into view as he walks up to Ceasar and Lil. “I hate that thing,” Yell’s Ami. “You know the rules man". He has to watch out for the other predators in the area. They don’t enter the clearing, but the forest is full of them,” barked ASI. “I love you talon,” says Lil as she grabs him around the neck and gives him a good rub.
The compound comes into full view. It is a large black dome that sits in the middle of a large three story octagonal building, which reaches 17 stories below ground. The fields in front with their low cut grass and sensor webs that are always scanning the area and feeding intel to the Satlink network, keeping the little worlds’ weather under control. Every few minutes, large and small drones shoot out from the silo, they are always on their way to monitor or fix some part of the planets’ Eco system.
The many windows that can be seen are full of crafts moving about their day. Mother Maggie is waiting at the front door as the children walk up. A flash goes across the ionosphere of the planet creating a short light show against the mid-evening sky. Maggs, as the kids call her, responds to a bevy of alerts that flash across her eyes. The sun is sending off solar flares at a high rate. Remora’s high energy fields are attracting the flares, sending shocks throughout the Sat-net. She motions for the kids to get inside quickly and sends out the message across the net: “People of Remora the sun is sending off flares, please stay inside your homes and turn on your magnetic shield to prevent damage to equipment while the storm passes.”
Ceasar and the Eight make it inside as the shielding comes over the compounds. The light shows danced across as the energy fields on the planets are touched by the flares. They have been documented as the greatest light shows ever seen. Lil and Ceasar sits and watched the show, as everyone prepares for the test. Soon as these flares stop the testing begains again. “Ceasar, how come we still have to go through these tests?” Lil sighs, gripping his hand. “We can’t yet block your ability to the point where we can be out on our own.” Ceasar tells her while watching the lights dancing across the shield. He thinks to himself about the day when he will no
longer need to keep watch. The next few hours were quiet as the light show died down.
“Ok children, time for the test,” Maggs says. The children, all drowsy and relaxed, are sitting in their rooms as they hear the call over the coms. Ceasar was reading and jumps as he thinks to himself, “Let’s get this over with so I can go to sleep.” Asi is eating in the mess hall, “You’ll have to wait till I finish my meat Ma,” Asi screams. The twins twist and moan as they awaken from their slumber. Maggie comes over the com again, “You have ten minutes! I don’t care what you are doing or where you’re at; get to the lab.”
As Lilith comes around the corner to the lab, Mike, a tall skinny lad tech, bumps into her. His mouth drops at her touch. She smiles as she runs a finger across his jaw; she knows that as soon as she touches him that he’s hers. The delight that crosses her face is like the cat that catches a mouse. Mike sits, held in her spell, as the sweat pours, his flesh flushes as her finger moves across his face. His gaze is stuck looking into her green eyes. The sound of her voice, even her smell, is burning its way through his system. Everything she does makes him want her more than anything he has ever wanted.
Lilith grins from ear to ear as she pushes Mike. Every day for six weeks she has watched him from afar, wanting his touch, wanting to control him, wanting to make him do all the things she has been dreaming of every night. As she stalks him like prey, he grabs her arm, pulling her close. His lips push hard against hers as his hands pull at her clothes so hard they rip. Within seconds they are on the floor and he can’t contain himself. It takes every ounce of power not to rip and tear at her. This is her dream but she wants more; she reaches into his mind and somehow he reaches back. They form a bond that locks them into each others’ passion and her powers intensify it. All is bliss till a hand reaches out and grabs her pulling her out of his mind.
“What are you doing Lilith?” Ceasar screams. “Wake up! Get out of his mind!”
“What? Let go of me Ceasar,” Lilith screams, “He is mine!”
“His wife wouldn't think so, now let him go!”
“How did you find us? Why are you here?”
“You know how I found you. The team is watching; the whole building could her you. What are you thinking? You were mind raping that guy and you wonder why the fear us!”
“Not you, their pet dog, they sent you here to stop me. I want him. He is mine. You can’t take him!” Lilith leaps at Ceasar, screaming. He grabs her mid-air using his training not to hurt her. As she hits the floor, she feels Ceasar pin her down and the tranq-gun sends her off to sleep.
“Code one lock down. All of the Nine not in the lab. Report to quarantine now. We are in lockdown. Medical team to the lab. I don't know what happened, none of them has shown this much power before,”
Maggs is visibly shaking with fear as she sits on the com with the elders of the Tech Guild.
“Calm down Maggie,” The Grand Father of the House of the Forever Christ tries to break through her fear and focus her.“ “Are the protocols holding? Are they all in lock down?”
“Everyone except Ceasar he is training with Red Rum. All the others are sedated; we think the latest burst from the sun has made their powers evolve again.”
“Do you have any tests to prove this, Maggie? Are the bands no longer working?”
“We don’t know, nothing has changed physically between all of them except one thing; a growth at the base of their skulls has formed, it’s full of veins and is made of some new form of brain tissue. We have only seen one thing close before.”
Maggie begins to explain when Ceasar and Red Rum enter the room. Maggie stops mid-sentence.
Red Rum speaks first, “I am sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt.”
“It’s fine Red, we were discussing the events tonight,” Maggie tells him.
Maggie looks at Cesar as she tells him what they know so far.
“We never told you what’s in those bands Ceasar, the only thing we have found to reign in their abilities is yours. We had only one way, we took a small part of your brain tissue and grew what’s in those bands, a string of your brain cells have been keeping a lid on this since your birth.”
“What does that mean? Is it not working anymore?”
“We don’t know Ceasar,” Maggie explains, “but the latest scans show all of you have a growth, what we can only guess is a third lobe. This new lobe has more densely packed neurons than we have ever seen. The material is a crystalline-like material and regular brain matter mixed into something we can only guess at.”
“What does this even mean Maggie?”
“We don’t know Ceasar.”
“How do you feel?” Brother Chin says over the link.
“I don’t feel any different, sir,” Ceasar says.
Red steps forward and clears his throat,
“Well sir, during our training I felt a push from him! It was like my thoughts were broken. He moved faster and faster and I could not keep up with him. My mind was totally scattered. We tried to meditate after the sparring; but I couldn’t, it’s like the more we worked out the stronger it got and as he meditated it took everything. I almost passed out from the strain. It seems to have stopped when I roused him from his mediation; it has something to do with him focusing.”
“Yeah, I don’t feel anything from him,” Maggie says. “Well I do feel a lot more relaxed,” she catches herself.
“Well Maggie, I think it’s time to talk about what we do with the Nine now that we have them under control. We think it is best if you move them all off world and away from the Remoran system before we get any new surprises. We are making a small facility in an uninhabited system not far from Sol.”“Are we going to be locked away sir? Me and my family are not monsters,” Ceasar replies with fear. “You can’t lock us away.”
“First off Ceasar, I think it’s time we tell you The Nine are not really born from the same mother. You have been told that since you were young, but the truth is you are not all family. Only the twins are. Second, I know you don’t understand the fear you seem to see in the people around you, but at your births a lot of people died or were driven mad. Because of you children we no longer use Excel on remora. We cannot put lives in danger through inaction. What would you have us do?”
The GrandFather says to Cesar. Cesar’ face seems to show his mixed emotions of shock and puzzlement at all the new information. He looks to Maggie, the only person in the room that in his mind should have told them all these facts a long time ago.
“What! I don’t? You? Maggie! What other lies have we been told?” Ceasar looks with anger at her.
“Ceasar, calm down!” Red struggles to put his hand on Ceasars shoulder and speaks as if he’s under attack.Maggie’s eyes roll back in her head as she passes out. Cesar looks at his teacher’s face and sees the struggle to keep his mind together.”What’s happening to me?” Cesar thinks to himself as he moves away from Maggie and toward the back of the room. He hears Red say the one thing that snaps him back into the moment: “Relax your mind,Cesar, you are our only hope to save your family.”
“I am sorry, Cesar,” the Grand Father tells him, “forgive me young one, I forget you are not yet a Saint; this is what, your first 100 years? You have not yet seen battle, nor the horrors of the hunger, you must forgive me. We have no intent on jailing you and your family, but after today's events you have to understand why we have a need for you to be taken off world till you and yours can control themselves around others. Look at poor Maggie; she was in the room with Ami as his power fed into everyone in the room. We have a responsibility to everyone on that planet. However, since you have been placed in our hands, we've tried to give you a childhood and a life with each other. You do not understand this now but the planet could have been destroyed if your family’s abilities had taken root in the community of millions. What if Lilith had control of ten? Twenty? A hundred? We only have one of you, who else can resist them? Ceasar please tell me, what would you have us do?”
Ceasar never gets a chance to answer, for the next sound he hears are alarms going off as a signal comes through. A stark figure appears on the Network. General Frannaca comes into view from the bridge of his ship. So your building weapons out of children now, i would be shocked if i didn't know your guilds hold more secrets than all of history.
"Mother Maggie," Ceasar leave us This will have to wait.
“Grand Father,” Frannaca sneers, “how long did you think you could keep this from us?”
Cesar sits in the training hall like the thousands of days before his mind trying to make sense of the day. Red had to return to maggie’s office leaving Ceasar to meditate. As Ceasar sat picking at every detail of his life, not knowing what was true. Where there was no fears and doubt only the daily routine and familiar Ceasar of family and friends, in less than a hour has been replaced with questions unanswered. He wonders what else are they hiding, who were my parents? Then a dark and cold feeling causing his hands to shake uncontrollably! what about Lil the one person who never treated him like a freak his best friend other than talon. The anger swells in his heart, he walk out side needing air. Ceasar heart pounds the world falls away his thought pond in his head drowning out the sounds of the world.
Each night him and Lile would sit here looking at the stars dreaming of taking trip to every corner of the republic. Their 18 birthday only 5 years away seemed so close only a day ago to them, now it seemed like it would never come. They had planned to construct a jumper, Lile had always wanted to be a pilot. Ceasar knew he would soon be in service of the guilds but he had 10 years before becoming a saint, he could use that time to explore the many worlds sites and sounds outside of Remora. Now he would be lucky if he see any of his sisters or brothers again. That is when the facts of the day really sank in, "their not my family." "Who am I" Ceasar thought to himself. Ceasar just noticing the tears running down his cheeks, the sounds of his pain seeped through his lips as he fell into an uncontrollable sobs.
“Maggie we have to deal with this, the way this went down could break him.” Red Rum paced his confusion running around in his head about how fast this is turning into a problem for Maggie and her house to control or fix. “tears turn into anger is how this can’t go Maggie we owe Ceasar and his family more than this. My hands shake even now with purpose but i have no course to follow.”
“Red, I know you want to save these children and make things rights.” Maggie tear stained eyes quake as her mind tries to rebound from the pain and fear that sent her to the floor only moments before. “I need time! Time to think to get this house in order. Red we are in trouble but it is nothing too big we can't get out of, at least not yet. They are my children and as their mother i will protect them but not at the cost of the world.” Maggie lays her head on her desk, a weak
moan escapes her lips as tears boil from her red eyes like lava escaping the pressure in a Volcano. “Red i am scared” as she explodes into a full sob......
Ceasar sits alone in the cold , he feels so lost and alone when a howl, cuts through his mind
and he feel the worry of Talon. he turns to see talon moving to lay next to him his fur slightly moist from the humidity, The grey and black wolf was saved by Ceasar the day after it was born and sent to the gene banks, because as talon was the runt and mostly likely to die, Ceasar felt talons fear and hunger the minds touched and has been connected ever since. The gene doc’s work with talon for 1 month. Talons is given abilities, stealth, speed, power, stamina and intelligence are greatly improved to make talon into a companion for Ceasar.
The long day after seem to pull at Ceasar, his depression and lack of energy swells in his chest eating at his heart. Maggie stop at a window to watch him walk the grain fields, she can see the way he wonders he is lost in thought. Maggie can only wonder is there anything she can do for him. Almost at the end of her thought a smile crosses her face, she sends a message to Red to gather Ceasar and talon. Red can tell from Maggie's’ voice she finally decided what to do. Red call for Ceasar over his comm but there is no answer, “ That boy is going to make this hard” he whispers to himself. Ceasar eye water as his mind sits in thought unable to get off the train of doubt and depression that pulled into his heart and mind last night when he feels a hand on his shoulder. “Come on Ceasar Maggie has words for us it is time to come in” Red tone lifts Ceasar out of his funk. “OK Red i am ready” as the words leave his mouth he wonders what comes next.
They walk into Maggies office and sit. Maggie sits and stares for a moment then begins to talk.. “Ceasar I realize you had little time to come to deal with everything that has come up about your past. I should have been the one to tell you everything, but the time never seemed right the fault is with me and no one else. You 9 have always been like my own children, and even with the problems that occurred at your birth, you always will be. I have decided it is time for you to go with red and take your sainthood exam. When you return in six months we will have a better handle on you brothers and sisters condition.”
Ceasar stands up and looks at maggie, turns and walk around her desk. She stands as he comes around his arms open wide and he grips his mother. The tears fall from his face, “ Mother don’t send me away yet I can help.” “No! Ceasar you can not, you must finish your training with Red. You have to get away from here clear your mind” Maggie own tears flood her cheek. “look at me Ceasar,” her hands grip his face. I need you to be ok and you can’t do that here. Please go and come back strong and protect this world and your family .”
A “Door” is opened, the chill of another atmosphere moves in and fills the air. ceasar and red walk through to the other side he enters the main hall as the Grand Father steps up to greet him. your training begins now!
To be continued in the pages of spheres of influence.