Trinity Blood: Prequel: Wizard's Treachery
Chapter 3: The Hall Brothers, Part 1: the Genius and the Bart
"Carter." Emily's voice was wispy, frail, and so unlike the strong, kind woman Carter had fallen in love with years ago. She lifted her hand and Carter took it. "Where is he?" she rasped.
"With the doctors," Carter whispered. Fear flickered in his heart. Her skin was sickly pale, covered in sweat from giving birth and fever. "They're making certain he's healthy." Her heart rate was so low. It felt like each beat might be her last.
A small smile pulled at Emily's white lips. "I'm happy you chose to keep him," she whispered. "He'll be a great son. I just know it. I'm so happy." Her hand felt so frail he feared to squeeze it.
"Emily, don't talk like that. You're going to be fine. We'll get Isaak out of here and the four of us will run for it. It'll all be fine." Carter rubbed his thumb over her forehead.
Just then the doctor appeared with the small precious bundle. "I think it best if you hold him, Doctor Hall." The doctor passed Carter the small bundle.
Taking his son, Carter stared into the small, round face. He was perfect in very way imaginable. "Emily, look at him." Carter lowered his son so Emily could help hold him.
Emily moved her hand and touched the baby's soft face. "He's beautiful," she whispered. Her soft green eyes were filled with joy and pain as she looked on their son.
"What should we call him?"
Brushing her finger over his face, Emily smiled at the quiet baby. "Thomas. I like the name Thomas. Thomas Hall sounds perfect." Her voice cracked with each word.
"Yes, Thomas is a perfect name." Carter's eyes burned. He wanted to cry. "Doctor, is there anything you can do for her?"
The doctor shook his head. "No."
Behind Carter the door swooshed open. He froze, heart stopping as Emily's hand fell limp. The sound of her flat lining filled the room.
"My," Ulf stated behind Carter, "it seems giving birth to that experiment was too much for your wife to handle."
Carter was on his feet in an instant. Arms wrapped around his son in a protective barrier. "Get out," Carter growled. Tears burned his eyes. He'd just lost his wife and now this man wanted to take all Carter had left her, his precious son.
The doctor was behind Carter, trying to revive Emily. All of Carter's attention was Ulf and the soft, precious life Carter held.
"People call me cold, but you killed your life for the ultimate enhanced human to come to be. Wouldn't you call that cold?" Ulf took a step forward.
Carter glanced at the open window.
"Now, give him to me and I'll let you live."
"He's not an experiment!" Carter growled. "He's my son."
"Come now, we both know that thing is only a lab rat, an experiment you were willing to give your wife's life for." There was a wicked glint in Ulf's eye.
"Go to hell!" Carter turned and raced for window.
"Stop him." The cry followed Carter as he leapt.
Holding his son to him, air rushed passed Carter. He landed hard on his shoulder, rolling several feet. All the while he kept his son close. The boy had woken. His cries hunted Carter as he leapt to his feet. Searing pain pulsed through his shoulder as he glanced down at his son. Relief washed over Carter in a dizzying wave. Thomas was unharmed, crying, but unharmed.
"After him!" Ulf's shout carried down to Carter.
Carter broke into a run. Fear beat through his veins. His senses were hyperaware as he raced away from compound and the hell it offered his son. He wouldn't – he couldn't lose Thomas, not so soon after losing his wife, not ever.
Entering the city, Carter raced through the crowds. The blue sky over head, nothing more than an illusion to guard the city against the outside pollution, contrasted with the wild fear gnawing away at him.
The warmth of his son reassured Carter they could make it. His feet pounded against the paved road, his ears beating with roaring blood and the noise all around him. People leapt out at him from the crowd, each could be after him and Thomas. All of them an enemy waiting to pounce, to kill him and take Thomas away, it wouldn't happen. Thomas was everything, he would live and live free. There was no way in hell Carter would let his son be a slave. There was no way in hell!
Carter skidded to a stop before the airport. He raced in, breath coming to him in short bursts. Coming to the counter, Carter managed to buy two tickets to London for him and his precious son. No luggage, not even a bottle for the crying baby, only the clothes on their backs and the distant hope London would offer some freedom.
Racing to the plane, Carter got on and into his seat moments before takeoff. It wasn't until Carter felt the plane takeoff that a thought wormed its way into his panic filled mind: Isaak. He'd completely forgotten about Isaak. There was no going back now, no way to return, no way he could ever return to that place as long as Ulf knew Thomas' secret.
Carter brushed his thumb over his son cheek, managing to quiet him some. "It's all right," he whispered, "I promise, I'll always protect you, I promise."
Thomas' only reply was to stare up at Carter with the blue eyes of a new born and to move his little mouth. It was enough of a reply. The only one Carter needed to calm his still racing heart.
A tear trickled from Carter's eye. Even after all of this, his son would never know his mother. Emily had given her life to bring Thomas into the world and it was all Carter's fault. If he'd only been able to get them out of the cold sooner, if he'd only—
"I'm sorry," he whispered as a tear his son's blanket. "I'm so sorry."
There was nothing left. Isaak knew a month had passed since the supposed escape date, maybe more, but there was nothing left. Carter had left without a word. It was laughable really. Here Isaak had thought, for once he could trust someone normal only to have that trust spat up as if it was foul, rotting flesh.
Pulling the blanket up over his shoulders, Isaak shivered. There was nothing left, only a dim, faint feeling which told him all he wanted could still be. It wasn't all lost yet. Isaak knew most of went into the subject, but he wasn't a geneticist. He couldn't create his gods. He wasn't meant to. The subject, it'd been his hope that the subject was the one he'd waited so long for. The one who was immortal like Isaak, but was more an angel than a demon, the one meant to bring the gods to this world.
Even still, there was propuse in living. If it took another several centuries for his gods to come, Isaak would be prepared for them. Yes, he'd raise an army for them. He'd start the fight for them. He'd start cleansing this world with fire for the day they came, for the day they were ready to recreate this world in their image.
The soft tabbing of fingers against the keys of a laptop filled the large, cluttered basement. Thomas leaned closer to the screen, eyes locked on the information there. His thin face, held the bluish light cast by the screen and his pale green eyes were narrowed against that light.
"Wrong," Thomas grumbled and leaned back, shaking his head. Strands of his curly hair fell into his eyes.
Thomas was a lanky, scrawny boy of fifteen. Here in the quiet of the dark basement was the only place he had to escape to. It was the only place he could go and study. Though, he was certain it would change when his little brother discovered where Thomas was hiding… again.
Stretching, Thomas nodded and entered the information. The program registered it as correct. A satisfied smile appeared on Thomas' face. It was time for a break from studying. He'd been at it straight since around midnight. The clock on his computer stated it was already eight in the morning. Boy how time flew when studying.
Thomas stood and looked around at the clutter. Most of it belonged to his rich step-mother, wicked witch that she was. Thomas' dad owned very little. As his dad put it, one only needed their wits and the clothes on their back.
As Thomas wondered through the storage room, his eyes caught an envelope wedged between a box and the wall. It was on the top shelf and a large pill was between Thomas and it. Shifting the web covered junk, Thomas started towards the envelope. At last he made it to the shelf.
Even though he stood at a good five ten for his age, the shelf was still well out of Thomas' reach. Granted his dad was something like six foot so would've need only a stool to get the envelope up there.
Thomas scanned the area. It didn't take him long to spot a web covered chair. Taking hold of it, Thomas began to wrestle it from the junk. The chair came loose. Crash, Thomas fell back into the shelf. Several boxes swayed menacingly over him. He watched, breath caught in his lungs, for several heart wrenching moments. They stopped moving. A breath escaped Thomas, that'd been way too close.
Standing, Thomas eyed the boxes. Thomas placed the chair where he'd been moments before. He tested the chair. It was stable enough. Not really the most trustworthy chair in the world, but it'd do. Thomas stepped up onto the chair, it swayed. Staying crouched, his heart racing, Thomas felt as if his heart was about to lodge in his throat. Oh, what a wonderful idea this had been, more stupid than wonderful!
After several moments Thomas began to uncurl from the crouched position. Inch by inch, he neared the top shelf until he'd come to his full height. Even at this height, Thomas couldn't see the top shelf, but he could reach it now. His hand touched a thick layer of dust. He moved it back, feeling around until his fingertips touched the envelope. Taking hold of it, Thomas grinned in triumph.
Thomas hopped down from the chair. It took a lot of effort not to race back to his seat. As he walked, he looked at the envelope. His name was written, of all things, on it. Once back at his chair, Thomas pushed back his laptop and set the envelope on the table. Sitting down, he never once took his eyes from it.
What could it hold? What was hidden within? Thomas hesitated, his hand an inch from clasp. Did he have a right to open this? His name was on it. Didn't that mean it was meant for him? With a shaking hand, Thomas undid the clasp and tipped the envelope. A data-cub tapped to the table as well as several fading pictures bounded together by a ribbon.
Thomas picked up the data-cub. He placed it on his laptop. The folder appeared on the holographic screen. Thomas looked through it. There were several files within. One contained video logs while others contained genetic coding. Thomas looked through the files on the genetic coding first. It was complex and was hard for even Thomas to decipher. The more he read, the more it became clear this was coding for to create a "near perfect" human, though the near perfect was more stated in the side notes.
Turning his attention to the video logs, Thomas opened the first one. A figure appeared on the screen. It was his father, younger, with no gray in his hair and less fatigue in his eyes.
"Day one, the start of creating this test subject is going slow at best. There's nothing to base it off of. No starting genetic code, nothing. Building a life from the floor up is near impossible. I may end up having to start from a base coding of myself and Emily."
Just then a woman appeared in the background. "Carter, several of the people here just brought someone inside. They say he needs medical treatment."
"All right, bring him back, love." Carter stood, not even bothering to turn off the video feed. He vanished off screen. A few moments later he appeared escorting several others. The two other men supported a third between them. "Put him there."
The two men did so before stepping back. "We found him just lying outside in the snow. He's not wearing a scruff or anything to protect against the outside air."
"I'll take care of him," Carter told the others.
Guard against the air? But the air was just fine, what were they talking about?
The two men went off screen and Carter bent over the tall man, checking for a pulse. "He's airways are clear," there was more question in Carter's voice than anything else. "Emily, turn off the video log."
The woman reappeared on screen before it blacked out.
The next log started. "There's no improvement. If anything the last one was even worse."
Thomas could just make out the man unconscious in the background. As his father continued on about the test subject, the man in the background shifted. He groaned as he sat up, placing his head in his hand.
"You're awake," Carter turned to the man. "How are feeling?"
The man didn't reply, only looked around himself, frowning.
"Do you have a name?"
"A name?" the man looked sharply at Carter. His dark eyes sent a chill straight through Thomas. "No, no name."
Thomas turned the pictures. The man was in some of them. Taking one, he turned it over. Typed on the back was a name: Isaak.
Before Thomas could turn back to the computer, the sound of footsteps thudding against the stairs came to him. Thomas shut down the file and closed the laptop. He slipped the pictures into a pocket.
Whack, thud, a fist collided with Thomas. The chair fell back with a loud thump. Gasping, eyes watering against the pain, Thomas knew at once who it was.
A fist collided again with his nose. "Get off, Kadin!" Thomas shouted at his little brother. Thomas touched his throbbing nose. The warmth of blood greeted his fingers. He couldn't react. He couldn't react. If he did – the fallout would be far worse.
Kadin was a short, stocky kid even at the age of nine. He looked more like his mother than their father. His brown hair, straighter than a board, stuck out at odd angles showing he'd just come in from playing outside. His brown eyes glinted with amusement at Thomas' pain.
"Nope," Kadin grinned, folding his arms across his chest. "Mom said if I could break your nose, I'd get candy!" His grin widened, revealing several missing teeth Kadin was quite proud of. "So just hold still a bit, 'kay?"
"Seriously!" Thomas glared up at his brother. The brat. Why couldn't his step-mom just state she hated having Thomas around rather than set Kadin loose on him? "Get off, I don't have time for this!" Thomas snapped. "I've got to study."
At this Kadin sniffed. "Yeah, right, you're not trying to study that crap dad likes. You're just doing that so he doesn't throw you out."
"Dad would never throw me out! He'd never allow it."
"Well, dad won't be around forever."
"Just get off."
"Get off, Kadin."
"Get," Thomas growled, "off." He couldn't shove Kadin. Since their dad was out for the month, working, Thomas couldn't touch his half-brother without being locked up for a few days.
"Not until your nose breaks." Kadin grinned and aimed another punch at Thomas' nose.
That was it! Thomas leapt up, causing Kadin to fall back, hitting his head against the table. Oh, shit. That hadn't been the best move in the world.
Clearly fake tears appeared in Kadin's eyes. He started to cry. Getting to his feet, he raced off, holding his head. "Mom, Thomas' being mean to me!"
Thomas watched him vanish up the stairs screaming. The next moment, "Thomas!" was bellowed so loading it was really shocking the dust didn't fall from the ceiling.
A sigh escaped Thomas. Grabbing his computer, he scowled. What luck he had? If only his father had chosen to marry someone who wasn't a rich snob. Thomas started up the stairs. Granted his father had only done so to keep Thomas safe. It didn't make life any easier.
A fat finger greeted Thomas the moment he stepped out of the musty basement in the bright, large, marble hall of the mansion. The entire place screamed wealth as did the extremely short woman jabbing her finger into his chest. Gold barclets, worth a fortune in and of themselves, clinked together. Actually she wore enough stones and jewels she could've bought her own country if the UN had allowed such a thing.
Kadin poked his tear streaked face out from behind the woman. He pulled own his lower eyelid and stuck out his tongue at Thomas. It was as if Kadin was saying, "Nah, nah, my mom's here and yours isn't."
"You're to go to your room and not leave it until I say so!" Kadin's mother growled. "If not for your father, I'd have the servants throw you out with the rest of the trash. Get out of my sight."
"Yes, ma'am." Thomas bowed his head to her and walked off, heading for the backyard and the small place he and Carter called home. It was more Thomas living there now, ever since his father had married Serena. The only reason he had was because Serena had threatened him. Carter was even still displeased Thomas was only allowed in the house proper when Serena was home. As she put it, "to make certain that trash doesn't steal anything."
Thomas gave another sigh. What he wouldn't give to be free of this place.
(Author's Note: I'm trying to switch between this one and Divergent Path's rewrite.
A little note on how I view Isaak, I've it being he was born during a time religion was extrodenarly important, in his mind the God of man doesn't exist, but he has to cling to a fact there are gods, ones that wouldn't lightly abandon those loyal to him. I'll be bringing this up later on in the book, more than likely the next chapter is where it start to really get important… but it's mainly going to be a factor in part of this book with the test tube children appear.
Also the time skip of fifteen years was going to be in the next chapter, but I really hated how short this one was, so I made it this chapter instead.)