Disclaimer: I do not own Star Ocean or any of it's characters, and or concepts...but man I wish I did.
Summary: Nearly two years after the defeat of Luther, Fayt and Co. must reunite to deal with problems resurfacing on Elicoor II before a war breaks out between Airyglyph and Aquaria.

Chapter VII: Father and Son

"Your SON?" The collective group yelled at him, pulling a small self-satisfied grin from both swordsmen. Almost everyone in the group gaped at the two men...both lean in build and skinny to boot...but each radiating with violence. Fayt took a quick step forward anf blurted out the first thing that popped into his head, along with almost everyone else's. "Hey...uh...Albel? Who's his mother?" Albel self-satisfied grin shifted into a look of nonchalance as he shrigged and answered. "Who knows...I mean...there were so many...could be half of the women in this country, I expect...but who knows...if he keeps with family tradition and finds him a...fertile woman, Like I did...over and over again...I may be a grandfather before I reach thirty years old..." Every person in the party's expression grew darker and heavierwith each syllable that left his mouth, but this only seemed to amuse him further as he patted Akasken on the shoulder proudly, speaking once again. "I just wish we would have had him with us during our fight with Luther...I'm sure he can provide a worthy match for any of you fools. I'm sure there's no need to tell you that just saw him fight.."

It seemed the group got more flustered the more he talked, so Maria, always the level headed one of the bunch, stepped forward enough to be recognized as she explained to the group in a clear voice..."Stop letting him upset you...he's just pulling our legs...there's no physical way that Albel could be that boy's father...look at him. The lad must be at least sixteen, or seventeen...and Albel is only twenty six...that meen he had the kid when he was ten...nine? C'mon guys, get a grip...he's just saying that to mess with your heads.." The group seemed to ponder her words for a moment and seemed to think that this was a valid argument as they looked to Albel who giving Maria a glare that could bore a hole in steel. Maria, not backing down of course, returned his gaze almost boredly as if he held only little interest for her. This seemed to infuriate him further...the exchange of looks, though, was shifted as Akasken himself stepped forward, bowing politely before addressing the group in a clear, sane voice...not at all like Albel's maniacal drawl. "First let me begin by saying this. It is my pleasure to meet you all. I have heard many stories from Sir Nox dealing with the adventures your party faced while rescuing our universe." The party members blushed a little at all the formal praise, but allowed him to continue once he started his explanation. "In the situation being discussed, let me clarify a few things. It is as the young lady says...I'm afraid to admit that Sir Nox is not my father, but adopted me from an orphanage just two years passed." The group seemed to heave a collective sigh as well as send a united and frustated glance at Albel, who could only shrug, grinning at them smugly, before Akasken continued on. "Most of this time, I admit, has been spent in training with my father. As for his statement on my abilities, I know not how well I would match up to fighters of your caliber." He gave a pointed glance to Cliff and Fayt. "I would like to find out one day, however. Perhaps once all this business with Crimson Blade Zelpher has been settled. I-" His speech was interrupted as Albel spoke up. "Akasken...we must talk. Some new...developments have some into light with the Crimson Blade...I will explain. Come with me, son." He gestured to a tree a little ways from the group to explain the new developments with the murders and Nel's innocence. Akasken taking his cue in stride stopped his talk with the heroes abruptly and left with Albel over to the designated area where it seemed Albel sat him down and was giving him a father-son chat. This gave the heroes so much needed time to catch up with themselves and what has occured.

As always, Fayt was the first to speak sighing and raking his hand back through his hair as he spoke. "Any thoughts from anyone on all this?" Cliff raised his hand with a small smile. "Yes, Cliff?" The big guy stretched and yawned before speaking..." I'm glad we've gotten him to clear Nel's name...but how bad are these guy's that we are gonna have to deal with? I mean...Romero's dead. Albel finished him alone...but who knows what this new cat can do...apparently, full control of a person is not out of his grasp...I'm not sure how we could get Nel back fromhis grip...I mean...he's apparently in her head, if what Albel said is true..." He trailed off as he started thinking silently again. Maria raised her hand and began speaking in a grave tone. " I don't want to...uh...shed any doubt over our mission do we know that Albel isn't under the control of this new foe...he said they can get into our heads...we need to be cautious about this...something seems to be going on..." She finished and lowered her hand slowly as the the party pondered her point...they all nodded in Agreement with Fayt reaffirming her statement. "We definately need to be cautious." The party remained silent for a moment until Sophia raised her hand. Fayt spoke out quickly, tiring momentarily of the school teacher act they used to play with him during their adventure. "Go ahead Sophia."

The young woman drew herself up and spoke. "I don't mean to get off topic too far...His son...well adopted son, I guess...Akasken...I think his name was...Does anybody know...why did he attack Albel when he first showed up?" This drew curious looks from the group since nobody could really come up with an answer, so Fayt just filled it in. "We can ask them about it may be some training...thing..they do...who knows...anybody else have anything to say?" When nobody spoke or raised their hand he stole a glance at Albel and Akasken over by the tree...Albel seeming to explain the new events and Akasken sitting silently, expression grave. As their talk ended Akasken stood and the two swordsmen walked back over to the group. Akasken continued up to Maria and grasped her hand firmly...speaking in a relieved tone..."Thank you, Miss Maria, for saving my father...none of our Runologists knew what to do...we were all really afraid for him." Maria blushed some at the physical contact and mumbled..."No was my pleasure..." Akasken thanked her again and released her hand to to go stand by his father once more. After this...Fayt got a curious look on his face and asked Maria..."How did you do that by the way...pull those shards out of him...that was amazing..." Maria...shifting her stance a little...embarrased by all of the praise, just shrugged a little before explaining her new power. "During my research of our genes...I found one in my set that allows me to move non-living matter instantly...I've termed it Matter Displacement. That was the first time that I had used it, actually...I was a little worried about whether it would work or not, to tell the truth..." Everyone just shook their head in disbelief...and Fayt spoke up once more. " That's great...I'll have to talk to you about that more, after a while..." Maria nodded, a little nervously as the group turned to Akasken and Albel once more. "So...what's the plan?" Fayt let out cheerfully...happy for once not to be the one having to make all of the decisions. Akasken stepped forward and spoke to the group..."I am very...alarmed at all of this news...but I'm afraid our pursuit of Crimson Blade Zelpher will have to wait. The reason I came out of the city at all was to inform Sir Nox that the funerals for the deceased will be starting in the next few hours...we must make haste back to the castle and don the right apparel so that we can attend." Everyone seemed to be drawn back into the dark at the reminder of those killed during the attack...Able spoke..."We might as well get going...we'll have time to discuss this later...I have to prepare my speech...damn...politics..."

So what did you guys think sorry about the wait...I've been crazy busy. I'm at work or playing games (By the Way...Shadow Hearts: Covenant and Stella Deus...kick ass), or sleeping. Keep reading and reviewing, everyone...don't give up on me yet. I hope this chapter clears some stuff up. I didn't have much of a chance to spell check it...sorry If I jacked it up too bad. I'll see what I can do to get the next chapter up...later...-Siad-

**UPDATE** Hello everyone. Sorry for the uh...let's call it extended absence. I was thinking about picking this one back up if anyone was still interested or paying attention any more. Leave something in the reviews if so and I apologize again for the time away.