I have officially jumped onto a new ship: Black Knight/Caesar. Don't think I'm abandoning Van Caesar now! I just am opening myself to other options, and BK/Caesar is TOTALLY ADORABLE if you look at it! It has so many nerdy and cute possibilities, and this is one of them. I'd might as well give myself a permanent spot in the nerd corner for this. *sits down* At least they serve free soda here. Enjoy! ^_^
Tellurium Americium Oxygen
That was all that was written on the paper Caesar gave her. Tellurium stood on its own on the first line. Americium and Oxygen were written side by side on the second line. He smiled brightly, as if he had just handed her the recipe for World Peace.
Black Knight stared at the list of elements blankly."What's this?" She asked.
Caesar's brown eyes glittered happily. "You'll figure it out eventually!" With that, he turned on his heel and walked out of the room.
Black shook her head and rolled her eyes, putting the sheet into a drawer and turning back to her paperwork.
A week later, partially out of boredom, partially because Caesar kept nonchalantly saying "Tellurium Americium Oxygen!" every time he talked to her, Black looked at the paper again. She couldn't see anything special about the combination. Then again, her knowledge of chemistry was limited. She mainly focused on the business aspect of running Providence along with the basics of the new machinery they were using on the Evos. Most of the actual science was directed by Caesar.
'Well, it can't be anything important. If it is, Caesar would tell me straight out.' A frown came to her face. 'Or...would he?' It was hard to tell what that strange young man was thinking sometimes. Feeling the slightest pang of unease, she picked up her phone and dialed the number for Caesar's lab.
"Hello?" Caesar's voice was as weirdly happy as always. Black couldn't help but smile a little at the sound of it.
"Caesar, is this sheet of chemicals vital?"
There was a pause. "Hm..." She could almost see him scratching his chin. "What definition of 'vital' are you using?"
"Is it vital to Providence?"
"Oh!" His voice sounded almost deflated. "Well...no. It's not vital to Providence."
"Alright." Technically, that meant that Black could toss the paper back into the drawer and never look at it again. But now, that stupid scientist was making her curious. She breathed an inward sigh. "Will you give me a hint?"
Even the phone seemed to jump up with excitement as Caesar replied. "Sure! It's constant! Bye!" Click.
Black resisted the urge to facepalm. 'Well, that was helpful.' She placed the buzzing phone back on the receiver before flipping open her laptop and typing "Tellurium" in the search bar. 'Might as well start with the first one.'
Tellurium, in its base form, is a brittle, silvery metalloid. Its name is derived from tellus, a Latin word meaning "earth". It is most often used in copper, iron, and lead alloys, making the metals more machinable.
'Well, that tells me nothing.' She pulled up a new tab and typed in "Americium Oxygen".
Two americium oxides are known, with the oxidation states +3 (Am2O3) and +4 (AmO2). Americium(III) oxide is a red-brown solid with a melting point of 2205°C.
'Okay, no.' Black closed the laptop. 'I'll have to ask him for another hint later.'
Another week came and went. The Evo collars were coming along nicely, but there was still no sign of Agent Six, Doctor Holiday, or White Knight. This worried Black greatly. They would certainly cause trouble for Providence later on. 'Oh well.' She smiled calmly. 'At least we have been able to secure their pet monkey.' This seemed to be enough to please the committee for the time being.
She walked into the lab. Caesar was, as usual, tinkering with something on one of the lab tables.
"Is that an upgrade for the collars?"
"Uh..." Caesar quickly jumped up, hiding his project from view. "Er...not really...' He grinned nervously.
Black rubbed her temples irritably. "Please tell me it isn't another high-tech smoothie maker."
"Okay! It isn't another high-tech smoothie maker!" The young scientist grinned childishly.
"What is it?" Black asked.
"A...machine that makes cherry flavored root beer..." Caesar's immature smile turned sheepish. He rubbed the back of his neck.
Black breathed a sigh. Getting mad at him would be an unneeded hassle. "Please limit such pursuits to your off hours..." She muttered, turning to leave.
"What's your real name?"
"Hm?" Black glanced over her shoulder, raising an eyebrow. "Why do you want to know?"
Caesar shrugged. "Well...I don't think Black Knight is your real name. I guess I was just wondering why you and White are called Knights. No one else in Providence has a code name like that."
Black regarded her head scientist for a moment before turning around and sitting on one of the metal lab chairs. "The committee runs Providence. That's how it's always been. When White had that little accident that cleansed him of nanites, it was decided that he would be the perfect representative for Providence. He had no experience leading, which was just as well. He wasn't meant to make his own decisions. He was a mouthpiece for the committee, one who fought on behalf of the higher-ups, a knight for the castle's lords, so to speak."
"Oh!" Caesar nodded slowly. "So that's where the title comes from."
"Yes. His last name is 'White' and the color symbolizes purity, so 'White Knight' seemed like the perfect name for Providence's poster boy. Then, when he went outside the committee's control, he needed to be replaced. I was chosen. The council wanted to make a point that we were steering away from what we had been under White's reign, so I was given the title: 'Black Knight'."
"And your real name?"
"Unimportant." Black replied firmly, standing up again.
Caesar looked mildly disappointed. "Do you like being called 'Black Knight'?"
"It could have been worse." Black smiled dryly. "Though, I could go without the Monty Python references people often drop when they think I can't hear. And I may have to hurt someone if I ever hear the words 'Burger King' again..."
To her surprise, Caesar burst out laughing. His laugh was slightly high-pitched, making it sound mildly maniacal, and he kept snorting at random intervals. Despite her best efforts, Black felt an amused smile coming to her face.
"Goodnight, Caesar." Still smirking, she walked toward the door.
"Tellurium Americium Oxygen!" Caesar's voice still carried a hint of laughter, though the three words he spoke were completely serious. "Any guesses?"
Black shook her head. "None."
"Tell you what: If you don't get it in a few days, I'll give you another hint!"
"Very well." She replied, making her voice sound completely indifferent.
Black didn't get her hint at all during those next few days. Three days after their conversation, a certain individual appeared on the radar. Moments after the sensors started going off, Caesar called her in a state of hysteria.
"Black! It's Rex! Rex is back! He's okay! They're bringing him home!"
"Calm down, Caesar." Black replied. "Remember, it's been about six months. We need to break things to him gently. Be ready."
"Yes, ma'am! Of course, ma'am!" Click.
Needless to say, things didn't go well that day. For a long time, it was hard to get any words from Caesar, let alone a hint.
A week after Rex's escape, Black walked into Caesar's lab. Though he was clearly neglecting his duties in repairing the various machines his brother broke, he wasn't scolded. Instead, his boss placed a hand on his shoulder and spoke a few quick, quiet words.
"I am going to be in a conference with the committee for the whole afternoon. I have sent most security forces to survey the immediate area for Evo activity. The base will be almost empty."
Caesar looked up at her through teary, red-rimmed eyes.
"Therefore, I trust that you will not take advantage of the next few hours. I trust that you will not leave base for any reason, even though I would not know about if you did. You are especially forbidden from using your tracking devices to locate Rex. You are not to talk to him while I am indisposed and incapable of stopping you." She glared down at him. "Do you understand?"
The faintest of smiles came to the Latino man's face. "Completely."
"Good." As Black started to walk away, Caesar called after her.
"Use the Periodic Table!"
As Black walked by Caesar's lab after the meeting, she noticed that the young scientist was clearly in better spirits. "I trust that you did not disobey me and speak to Rex."
"Of course, ma'am!" Caesar's face was as radiant as a sun. He looked dangerously close to actually hugging his boss. "Please tell me you figured it out!" He was bouncing on the heels of his feet.
Black chuckled silently to herself. "I only just left the meeting."
"Oh! Right!" Caesar was still grinning brightly. "Well, I hope you figure it out soon, because it's even more true now than it was before!"
'Okay, so Tellurium's symbol is Te and its atomic number is 54. Americium is Am and 95, and Oxygen is O and 8.' She wrote Te 54 next to Caesar's handwriting on the first line and Am 95 and O 8 on the second.
A quick look told Black that this wasn't a science problem at all, but a code of some sort. 'Maybe each combination is a word.' She thought of the classic number/alphabet code. '54 would be "de", 95 would be "id", and 8 would be "h".'
She wrote a new message: "Tede" on the first line and "Amid Oh" on the second.
'Nope.' Breathing an exasperated sigh, she ran her eraser over the mistranslated number letters. 'I guess it's not a number to word-' She froze. Her eyes widened. Moving at a slower pace, her heart leaping into her throat, she erased "de", "id", and "h" along with "54", "95", and "8".
I couldn't be.
The pencil dropped onto the desk as a pair of dark eyes stared in total shock.
The letters left on the page were: Te Am O.
Te, space, AmO
Whaddaya think? Cute potential, riiiight? Now, I gotta rant about something from the crossover really quick: HOW MANY TIMES IS SIX GONNA ALMOST DIE? Seriously, this is like the THIRD time they've used that plot device! And ALL of his NDEs involve his magna blades. MOA needs to come up with something DIFFERENT! Six has reached his Near Death Experience LIMIT, do you hear me? *pant* Back to the point... Reviews make Caesar happy! Flames make him sad. You don't wanna make a geeky boy sad, do you? Peace out! ^_^