“So, if I didn’t even have Guardian DNA in me, why did everyone in the Legion dislike me so much? I mean, considering what you’ve told me, results weren’t that likely, at least not on the level they always said it was supposed to be.”
“And that’s where the other part of the false story comes in. I’m still not sure if you were even a success, since they didn’t allow me to finish honing your skills. If anything, the leaders were afraid of you…”
* * * * *
“What do you mean I need to stop training Ekajra? Aren’t I supposed to be bringing out the mutations?” the researcher, Ekajra’s father, asked to the board of research leaders before him.
“We’ve decided to suspend the Dark Guardian project on the grounds that it isn’t producing the results we hoped for,” the head researcher said.
“But you’ve hardly given me time. I’ve only been really training him for a year now; he’s hardly five years old! You can’t expect advanced results after that short of time!”
“Really now, and what gives you the right to go against our orders. Don’t think Lord Moritori Rex hasn’t been informing us of Locke’s son’s progress. The boy, Knuckles I think it was, showed far more skill during the same timeframe as you have had.”
“But the Guardian likely had access to resources we aren’t aware of. The Master Emerald to name one of them.”
“And you think we could possibly make use of that? You were to produce results using the resources at your disposal. And some of us are beginning to think you made up that old vial as a means to get our approval. After all, you were using Guardian information.”
“But, what better way to fight them than with their own weapons…”
“Our technological advancements will always win over them in the end, and you would be more useful researching those instead of pandering to your freak of a son.” The table shook as Ekajra’s father slammed his fists down in anger. However, he kept his head low and didn’t speak. “We’re done here. A new research assignment will be sent to you soon. Good day.” With his business finished the head researcher stood from his seat and walked out of the room. Soon the rest of the research council began to file past Ekajra’s father towards the door. Then, the last one, the youngest member, stopped and waited for the others to leave.
“Meet me in the large dining hall in five minutes,” he whispered. “There’s more to the story that you must know.”
Five minutes later, Ekajra’s father walked into the vast cafeteria. To an outsider, it would seem impossible to pick out a single figure in the vast crowd of almost identical robed echidnas. But a true Dark Legionnaire could tell the difference between an optic enhancement cable and a liquid nitrogen transport tube. He walked to the end of the room, where the council member was seated. “So what did you want to tell me, sir?”
“I understand you are quite proud of your work, and no doubt your son most of all.”
“Of course, Ekajra is my child after all.”
“Well, the head council member wasn’t exactly telling you the whole truth. Some are questioning the validity of your research, that’s obvious, but there’s more to it.”
“To put it plainly, I have reason to believe some are afraid of Ekajra.” The council member paused to let the information soak into Ekajra’s father.
“Well, information from Haven seems to show that Locke is being incredibly tough in his training, and his son Knuckles is showing incredible progress. They’re worried if they let Ekajra continue he really will be a match to the Guardians.”
“But that’s exactly what I had planned. Ekajra could be our best chance against the Brotherhood.”
“But they’re afraid of the other possibility. They’re worried your son might become so strong. And nothing could be worse than two science experiment freaks to fight against. No offence.”
“But Ekajra wouldn’t possibly go rouge. I can’t think of anyone in recent history who’s betrayed the Legion.”
“The council won’t see it that way, and they’ll probably try and find a way to convince the Grandmaster to their side as well. With his support, they’ll get everyone against you and your son, and he’ll never develop into an effective soldier, or a threat to them and their precious positions.”
“So there’s really nothing I can do, is there?”
“Nothing more than to take care of your son, and help him get past all the prejudice and lies coming his way. You’ll have to give him the council’s story, but hopefully it’ll drive him against the Guardians. They’ll probably say it was their DNA and not a Grandmaster’s after all.” The council member stood up, sliding a folder to Ekajra’s father. “If I missed anything, it’s all in there. Good luck. After all, I want your son on our side as much as you do.”
* * * * *
“And after that it basically goes the same as the story I was always told, right?”
“Yes. You got cybernetics, probably to stifle the genetics as much as “enhance” you. And everyone just avoided you, even the ones who didn’t know the whole story.”
“Yeah, and so goes the story of my sucktastic childhood. But that’s all in the past. At least now I’ve got the real story. And now it’s time for me to make my daring escape from the Dark Legion… again.”
“It seems that way,” Ekajra’s father said, inputting the unlock code into the keypad by the cell. The laser fizzled away, and Ekajra stepped out of the cell, stretching. “And this time I get to say good-bye.” Ekajra’s father held up his arms, obviously offering a hug.
“Dad, I’m not exactly the hugging type,” Ekajra said. He then held up a fist. “Respek knuckles?”
“I still don’t know where you get all these sayings, but I guess you would get more outside of the base.” Ekajra’s father pounded his fist against Ekajra’s, then grabbed onto his arm and pulled him into a tight hug. “Good luck out there son. Just don’t let Kage catch you again. I don’t trust that lunatic to spare you.”
“Don’t worry Dad, I’ve got an idea on how to beat him.” Ekajra started to walk away, then stopped and turned around. “By the way, if I don’t have any Guardian DNA, then were did this come from?” he asked, pointing to the black crescent on his chest.
“Oh, that was a little touch I threw into the serum as part of the Dark Guardian codename. How else do you think the “black dye” hasn’t washed off in thirteen years?”
“Ahh, good point. Well, so long Dad, I’m off to save the world!” Ekajra waved as he ran away down the hall. His father stood waving for a moment before running in the opposite direction.
* * * * *
“Grandmaster, I have urgent news!” a Legion soldier said, bursting into the chamber where Kage was reporting to Dimitri.
“What is it? It’s bad enough my nephew is on board fighting with Kragok,” Dimitri replied.
“The traitor has escaped from his cell!”
“What?!” Kage asked, turning on the messenger and hoisting him into the air by his collar. “Which way is he headed?!”
“T-towards the h-h-hanger,” the soldier stuttered. Kage dropped him to the ground and began to storm out the door.
“Kage, wait!” Dimitri called, halting the crazed echidna. “I must stress this, don’t kill the traitor. I know how much you want to, but I may have use for him.”
Kage stood still, then muttered angrily. “Yes, of course Grandmaster.” He then stormed out into the hall. “Of course I won’t kill him Grandmaster… but he may not be much use in the state I’m going to leave him in!”