He despised that one part of himself, that part of wire and metal, of circuitry, rather than flesh and bone and veins. And it terrfied him that he knew not how far it went.

He depised the others that shared his parentage, that shared his loathesome affliction.

And he despised his oathbrother, who had come from nowhere, who should have been this way. Who came from the prison's metal womb, somehow so perfect. He had caught the beginnings of a leering smirk coming to life on his face as his brother convulsed and spasmed, crying out wordless sounds of agony.

And this damnable world of steel had spoken to him. Finn the Starseer, who had those visions of the Outside, who needed not the voice of the Beast. Not Keiro the Halfman, born from its very womb, the son it had carelessly thrown together and cast aside like some meaningless bric-a-brac. Oh, yes, he looked human enough. He had the flawless good looks Finn lacked, the arrogant confidence and the peerless charisma.

But he knew what was within.

He was a Son of Incarceron.


A Halfman.

It invoked no sense of camaraderie for the others like him. The starving boy they'd taken in, the one with the metal foot... Keiro has beaten on him, taunted him mercilessly, had the other boys hold him down while he'd stabbed and sliced and hacked at the metal appendage to see if it would cause the boy pain while he screamed and sobbed and thrashed.

And Keiro had laughed and grinned and thoughts of it had lulled him to sleep that night.

And he awoke in the morning and felt at the unusually stiff "flesh" of his index finger and was so overcome with rage that he found himself in tears.

And he looked at the bare metal wall, from which he was born. He reached out for it, splayed his fingers out across the cold, rusted suface and internally asked for answers he knew would never come.

He remembered one of the Songs of Sapphique Glidas always recited.

Walls have ears.

Doors have eyes.

Trees have voices.

Beasts tell lies.

Beware the rain.

Beware the snow.

Beware the man

You think you know.

Yes, he knew now to beware the man he thought he knew. Because that man was Keiro himself.

And that man might destroy him.

Or halfman, rather.

And he opened his mazarine eyes to look up at the lurid one above him, always watching.

And he asked aloud what burned in his consciousness forevermore.

"So tell me, Father. Just what am I?"

You are my father, Incarceron.

I was born from your pain.

Bones of steel; circuits for veins.

My heart a vault of iron.

A/N: Mm, yeah, it's dark, I know. I just didn't feel comfortable portraying Keiro as the romantic fool so many of these fanfics do. I prefer the psychotic asshole he actually is.

God, why do I love this guy so much?