Ah, it is finally the conclusion now. Took long enough,
eh? By the way, I haven't seen any of the new episodes yet, so I have no
idea how well, or how badly, this fits in with the continued storyline. The
second season was only a fan's fondest wish when I started this, heh.
It's still weird to think that it actually came into being. I can't wait
to see what really happens, though! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this.
confatalis - fated by implication; jointly dependent on fate; decided by fate; determined by the same fate
By Amanda Swiftgold
Part Six - Confatalis
Serva me, servabo te.
"Save me and I will save you."
"This is most disturbing."
Angel inclined her head shortly at the man who ruled the city, her fingers clenched tightly around the report in her arms. "Sir," she replied politely, her eyes flashing behind her glasses.
Alex Rosewater leaned back in his chair, his back to her, gazing out over the city through the plate glass in front of him. Dawn was coming on, the night already fled. Though he had noticed - he always noticed - he hadn't really cared. "Four of them," he murmured to his secretary. "Four of them with memories they're too young to have. And yet they haven't found their birthrights will never use them properly" He turned around suddenly, peering hard at the woman standing there. "And Smith?"
Her expression did not change, though inwardly the blonde gave a weary sigh, her stomach flip-flopping. "No, sir," she lied easily. "I have spoken with him, and I feel assured that he does not remember a thing."
Rosewater gave her a close look before rising from his seat. "Well, that is only a matter of time," he announced. "We've done enough tonight, Patricia," he told her. "It's dawn, you see. I expect the rest of the reports will wait."
Feeling weary, though it wasn't necessarily because she had been attending the president of Paradigm all night, Angel gave him a grateful nod. "Yes, sir," she answered, a wave of relief pounding through her so hard she could feel the scars on her back ache.
"Dawn," he repeated, his lined face half-smiling. With little regard for the woman behind him, he turned to stride out of the office, apparently lost in thought. Angel, however, knew that contrary to however he appeared, Rosewater was never lost. Never.
Still, she couldn't help but feel that she'd achieved some kind of small victory. If she could manage it, he would never find out about the conversation that had been recorded by the bug in the military police office - he would never know that Roger's memories were indeed awakening as well.
Somehow, she felt that she owed the negotiator that much.
He was moving long before his mind had even registered the fact that she was falling, forced into motion not only by instinct but by the remembrance of a man he'd never known. It was as if the tendrils of history had curled around his limbs, dangling him like a marionette. And as it had before his hand closed around hers, just barely catching hold of her cold fingers to pull her back again-
And then the slow march of time stopped. Gritting his teeth, Roger felt the stone through the thin soles of his slippers, his feet braced on the rail the only thing keeping her weight from pulling him over along with her. He flung out his other hand to grab Dorothy's wrist, muscles straining as he felt himself slowly, inexorably leaning forward over the rail.
"What are you doing?!" he gasped, the sweat pouring down his face, strands of black hair sticking to his skin. "Dorothy!"
She looked up at him calmly as she dangled above the street so far below, the flutter of her skirt against her legs like the sound of wings. "I must fall," she told him quietly, "as it happened before." She felt her voice fading, a whisper barely heard over the air whistling around her. "I am bound by history to carry it out," she repeated as she had once before. But that that had been just a dream. This - this was what was real.
He shook his head laboriously, fighting to remain on the balcony, his whole body arched with the strain. "No," he hissed, "you're not!"
She stared into Roger's pain-filled eyes, her own widening involuntarily. "If I am to become the real Dorothy," she told him, "what I am must die"
"Dorothy!" he cried, his hands slipping; frantically, he hurried to readjust his grip. "Your father wanted you to be human - but he's dead! He doesn't matter anymore! Dorothy, I just want you to be yourself!"
The red-haired android looked up at him, the emotionlessness on her face bleeding away for one brief moment. "Roger," she finally answered. "Roger. Let go."
"Damn it," he shouted, "no!"
"Roger," Dorothy repeated. "Do you trust me?" She waited, the agony on his face seeming to shoot straight through her. "If you trust me, Roger," she continued, "then let go."
The negotiator let out a shout of rage, managing by sheer adrenaline to pull back half a step. "R. Dorothy Wayneright, I am not going to help you kill yourself for a dead man's dream!"
"So stubborn," she sighed, changing almost before his eyes, a gentle smile flashing across her lips. "Only I could ever make you change your mind. Wouldn't my father hate to know that you were reborn as well, Aaron?"
It was as if she'd just stabbed him; suddenly, all the strength drained from him, and he could only look on helplessly as his hands loosened their grip, as her tiny hand slid like a shot form his. "Dorothy!" Roger yelled, keeling forward over the railing.
And he forgot to breathe, watching as her fingers, with precise calculation, snagged hold of the beveled outcropping just below. The android's slender form twisted upward, flipping with inhuman agility back up into the air and down again onto the railing. Quickly, she jumped back down onto the stone next to him, turning toward him, bobbed hair swinging back into place against her cheeks.
He turned, raising his hand toward her, his arms aching, but she did nothing but stand there motionlessly, and he stopped short of touching her, shoulders slumped in relief, a sigh escaping. I was so worried I don't know if I've been more afraid and I don't even know if those were my feelings- A second later he straightened again, anger flashing in dark irises. "What in the world were you doing?" he demanded loudly. "Scaring me like that!"
Dorothy gave him a flat look, the same as she ever did, and inwardly his heart leapt inside. "Roger," she began, ignoring his frustration, "didn't you feel it too? You say that I am not her. The real Dorothy. Are you not worried that you are intended to become Aaron?"
The man shook his head, messy hair dancing in the breeze; he folded his arms over his chest, staring out at the dawn-lit city, old and worn buildings stained red with the rising sun. "No I'm not. Those memories they're not mine. I can ignore them, push them aside. We might hold these memories, Dorothy, but we won't be controlled by them."
She tilted her head slightly. You say this with such confidence, Roger, but I think you'll still remember what it felt like to die just as I do. "You are sure?"
He gave her a crooked smile, the corner of his mouth quirking upward as he leaned against the railing, his eyes boring into her dark, reflective ones. "I never made a promise, you know. I never promised to kill myself, or to let you do it. I have a contract, remember? You contracted me to protect you, R. Dorothy, and so I will. Even from yourself. That's my promise. We don't have to repeat the past."
Dorothy was still for a moment before gently brushing her fingers over his hand, watching as he turned it to curl his own fingers back around hers. She looked at their entwined hands as if unsure what she was seeing, closing her eyes briefly when the tentative hold slowly broke apart. "Thank you, Roger." In a swift movement, she jumped back up on the ledge, staring out over Paradigm - and, somehow, he wasn't worried in the slightest.
Still mere shadows in the dawn that was brightening around them, the two stood together, watching it come silently.
"It has begun."
"What are you doing?"
"You know already. We knew it would happen"
"Let me go."
"I can't do that."
"Then come with me. You promised"
"This isn't the answer. It won't solve anything."
"You are right. But I can't be a part of this, not even for my father."
"We'll think of something-"
"Get away from her!"
"No! Father, no!"
"I love you, Dorothy."
"Aaron I love you too"
Hair disheveled, his eyes swimming wet, mucus running from his nose and streaked across his face, the creator of the new world stumbled across the debris that was scattered across the road, his breath coming in great wheezing sobs. Clambering awkwardly over the crumpled wreck of a car, Timothy Wayneright made his way toward the two twisted bodies that lay broken on the asphalt.
The blood was everywhere, spattered across the stone, the insides of his daughter and her lover mingling together, spread out for the world to see. Angrily, the man kicked the dark-haired man's corpse away from Dorothy's, falling to his knees next to her.
Machinery shook in his hands, the memory scanners that he and Aaron's father had developed together. Moaning hysterically, he pried open the young woman's lifeless eye, shining its light within. He would fix this, he would remedy the mistake he'd made. He would create another android, bring his daughter back, bring her smile and her love back.
He would. He was the creator. He was the architect of the perfect world. And with his own hands, with the hands that had pulled the trigger that had killed her, he would bring his daughter back to life.
The rebirth of the world itself was swirling around him, the megadeii and their beautiful beams of light forming a network that would strip the people of their memories, leave them lost and alone and ready to follow. As the scanner beeped stringently, informing him that what could be salvaged was saved, he looked up and watched with tears now of joy as the giant creatures he had made spread out before him, catching in their net all the sinners of the Earth.
Benevolently, Wayneright cast his eyes on the fallen figure of the man near his daughter. Almost as an afterthought, he leaned over the cooling body, flicking the beam of the scanner over Aaron's eye, already fixed wide open in death. These memories he would give to Gordon Rosewater for his project, scraps to be added from what had already been collected during the pilot's life. Calmly now, despite his messy appearance, he made a note on the little screen to remind him of that. No, never let it be said that he was one to leave things undone
And then, as he gazed upward, he saw something that made his breath stop in his throat. The energy net was extending its finger down around Paradigm Headquarters, down around him. The megadeii were disobeying orders?
He jumped to his feet, twisting around, staring upward at the gigantic figures as they grew in power, doing exactly what they had been made to do. "Traitors!" he screamed at the machines above, shaking his fist wildly, his voice not that of a god but merely the thin, high-pitched squeal of a powerless middle-aged man, a man whose memories were moments from being stolen away. "I created you - I created you!"
But that mattered not, in the end.
Sometimes tools have their own work to do.