Author Topic: The Gene Files  (Read 8855 times)

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Offline Ehcorn

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The Gene Files
« on: November 24, 2019, 08:52:42 AM »
For a creature capable of flight, there was nothing more frustrating than walking and knowing the entire time that it wasn't necessary. If he'd wanted, he could've caught a thermal from his garden atop the Capital Building to the neighboring Luminary without any real effort on his part. The real problem would've arisen when it came time to land. That's when the people in all black would arrive and shout about breaking Ward Law and what would happen if he didn’t put his wings away.

Avoiding a standoff with The Ward was ideal — if not to spare himself the indignity of being fined or locked away or having his wings clipped as they threatened, then to ensure he arrived at The Luminary on time. He’d promised Sam he’d be there after dark, and he intended to keep that promise. So he walked, and the more he walked, the more uncomfortable he became. The air was cool and crisp and tasted of fallen leaves, but his choice of suit was constricting and too warm. By the time he made it into the foyer of Sam’s residence, he’d rolled and stuffed his tie in his pocket, unbuttoned the collar of his white dress shirt, then tossed his charcoal-colored coat over his arm.

He didn’t make it far into the building before he came to a stunned stop. There was a kaleidoscope of auras darting around in a room that rivaled anything he’d seen on his home plane. The ceiling extended high enough that he didn’t feel the same itchy uncomfortableness he usually did in mortal dwellings, and the colors they’d decorated with put him at ease, too, because they reminded him of clouds.

Something at the edge of his eye was unsettling about the space, though.

His gaze was drawn to the centerpiece of the room. Without realizing he’d moved any closer to it, Remi reached out with his index finger to part the sheet of liquid red that cascaded from a globe held by an Adonis of a statued man. The fluid was clear and didn’t smell like blood, but did it taste like it? He’d just slid his finger into his mouth when someone clearing their throat caused him to pull it free again with a soft pop.

"Excuse me, sir, but refreshments are available at the coffee shop," said a woman dressed in a badged white blouse and black pencil skirt. Her eyes danced merrily while Remi opened and shut his mouth like a stunned fish before he managed to stumble over an explanation: He'd only wanted to find out what it was made of.

"It’s only water,” she said, biting her lip too late to prevent a giggle from escaping. "It’s a trick of the light, see? Isn't it neat?"

Remi followed her finger to the spots that light shone through, illuminating the liquid trickling over the dark red stone the statue was carved from. He nodded and agreed that it was a neat trick, shifting briefly to smile at her. She followed up with an offer to guide him to the coffee shop or help with anything else he might need, but Remi shook his head and continued studying the water that didn't look a thing like water.

He didn't notice when she wandered off, a disappointed look painted across her face.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 09:51:07 AM »
Samuel was running late. He'd been cleaning. When the sun finally filtered out of the sky and he'd awoken, he'd got out of his rumpled bed and bothered to turn on lights in his suite, looking around with a critical eye.

Remi was going to be visiting with him and he wanted to make it a pleasant experience. The bedroom was alright (and really, who was he kidding that the state of that would matter?) since housekeeping always fixed his bed and picked up his clothes. They somehow knew whenever he left and he always came home to a pristine room. Tonight, he'd helped them out by straightening the covers himself and picking up the few bits of discarded clothing, putting them away or in the hamper they needed to be in. Then he'd pulled on underwear, blue jeans, socks, boots and a grey plaid flannelette shirt.

Satisfied with his efforts, he rolled his sleeves to his elbow and did up all the buttons on his shirt except the top few as he regarded his handiwork. He left the bedroom and walked into the main room, where the lounge bled into the dining area he used as a study. His face fell.

His laptop - the one thing Remi would be looking at - was nestled amongst towers of books on the dining table, scrawled-on notebooks wedged in between the stacks, crumpled bits of paper and various items of stationery strewn all across the floor, radiating around the table like a fairy tale character had attempted to leave crumbs to help them find their way back. Or out. The couch cushions - both the decorative and the seat ones - were higglepiggeldy around the room for various reasons (Digital's reasons, usually). He snickered as his gaze fell on the one up against a wall, where Digital had put it in case his handstand had failed and he fell on his head while Sam knelt and held onto him and pumped into his mouth upside down and sucked... yeah. That wouldn't do. None of this mess would.

With a sigh, Sam set to work, righting all the cushions, collecting all the bottles of lube scattered about the place (four? When did he get that many and need to keep opening new ones??) and picking up every bit of detritus off the floor. Housekeeping never touched stuff that looked important and didn't throw away things from his floor, just in case, so the carpet wasn't exactly pristine in here. It had been weeks since it'd been vacuumed, in fact. Still, it all looked much tidier after his mad dash around the place. He'd nudged the book towers into a row like soldiers, away from where his laptop was and stacked all the notebooks in a pile, too. It was still cluttered but arranged.

Clearly, the values of cleanliness that Vomas had managed to instil in him while they were together had begun to fall apart when the relationship did. With a bitter grunt, he shoved that thought aside, took a last look around his suite and walked out to the lift with his room key in his jeans pocket, the red lanyard dangling out of it and down his thigh. When he reached the lobby, he scanned it worriedly. Relief flooded him as he encountered Remi... who appeared to be holding his jacket and staring at the statue water feature in the middle of the space like he was contemplating diving in for a swim. Surely, he wouldn't... ?

Samuel rushed over anyway, a smile forming as he finger-combed his loose hair belatedly. Oops. "Remi!" he called as he approached. "I'm glad you came," he drawled as he came to a stop beside the angel, his grin now at full wattage.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 04:41:41 PM »
The Sam that presented himself in the foyer was far different than the Sam he’d encountered at the carnival. Last night, he’d been dressed in a suit and had successfully tamed his locks, but tonight, he’d donned something more comfortable and allowed his hair to roam wild on his head. Combined with his exuberant smile and salutation, it made him seem all the more alive. More human.

When they shook hands, he sucked in a short, startled breath of air. He’d never be able to forget Sam’s true nature for long, not when he possessed all the warmth of the not-so-recently deceased. Remi frowned. There had to be a better way to think about Sam. Perhaps he could compare him instead to the statue at their forefront — an Adonis, frozen forever in time. He was quick to acknowledge that the similarities ended at temperature and appearance, though, because no sooner than they’d exchanged their greetings, Sam was off and leading the way to his quarters.

By the time they reached his apartment door, Remi had begun to wonder what sort of things he planned on showing him. Would he have been as eager to lead him to Gene’s records if he didn’t think they had the power to sway him? At the very least, he wouldn't have to wait long to find out. Remi shared a smile with Sam as he passed him on his way through the door, then — repeating his entry to the foyer minutes earlier — he came to an abrupt stop as he took in the space Sam called home.

“You have a lot of things,” he managed. There were obstacles everywhere, from walls to various pieces of equipment and furniture and mountains of books. For most people living in the city, they would’ve considered Sam’s home a veritable mansion, but Remi felt the walls and ceilings simultaneously closing in on him, making him hunker his shoulders until he laid eyes on the next room. It was filled with windows and a glass door that hinted at a balcony and a blessed exit if he needed one. His feet carried him to the spot of their own accord, and the closer he got, the easier it became to breathe. He had one last burst of tension to release in a massive sigh that rocked his body to and fro before he was able to turn and look sidelong at Sam.

“Could we sit outside when we look at his file?” he asked, lifting a hand to curl his fingers against glass that immediately began to fog up.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 04:51:31 PM »
"Oh," Sam blinked, looking at the balcony space just beyond the dining table. There was a less substantial glass-topped table out there, with two chairs tucked against it. He'd never had cause to sit out there but supposed it would be fine. Remi's discomfort inside his spacious suite was making him a little nervous, frankly.

"Sure. I'm pretty sure the wifi will still reach us out there," he guessed, having no idea if he was speaking through his hat or not. "Would you like anything to eat or drink? I could have something sent up for you, if you like," he offered, remembering that part of being a good host was making his guest feel comfortable in any way possible.

Not by eyeballing their ass when they walked through your door and headed to your window, but at least he'd got one rule right, he thought philosophically.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 07:01:34 PM »
Fewer than five heartbeats had passed while Sam considered his request, but to Remi, it felt like he’d held his breath for at least that plus the amount of time it took for the sun to march its way across the horizon. Finally, he answered, and he rewarded the vampire with a smile bright enough to power the entire hotel. He wasn’t positive what wifi was, or how long it needed to be to reach them on the balcony, but Sam had said yes. That’s what mattered most. Coming in at a close second was the offer of food, even if it made him wonder how long he intended them to look through Gene’s files. Did he think he'd grow hungry before they finished?

“As long as it's not cotton candy,” he chuckled, referencing the last time Sam had given him something to eat. “Fruit would be nice. Cheese, too. Oh, and water.”

Remi shifted his coat where it hung in the fold of his elbow, but then moved to place it on the back of Sam’s couch after confirming it belonged there. He didn’t move farther from the door than he had to, however, and as soon as his hands were free, he was back and so close to the glass that he could feel the cold trying to force its way inside.

“Do you miss eating food?” Remi asked the question abruptly, and followed it up with another comment along the same vein, “Er, well. That's if you remember eating food.”

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 07:41:52 PM »
While Remi spread his coat out, Samuel went to his landline and dialled the kitchens, ordering a cheese and fruit platter for one to be sent to his room, with a pitcher of cold water. Before he hung up, he hesitated and added some crackers, sliced meats and a sweet corn relish dip. He replaced the landline handset and pulled his mobile phone out of his pocket, looking thoughtfully at Remi from where he stood, his ass rested against the kitchen counter.

"I still eat food," he scoffed. "It's just liquid. I usually drink from glasses and you'd be impressed with just how civilised I c'n appear," he smirked, thickening his accent deliberately so that his sarcasm was more obvious. The expression faded as he lowered his gaze to his mobile phone. He opened up a contact he'd called the night before and sent a quick text.

He's here. Room 1515.

He watched for the message to be acknowledged while he addressed the other half of Remi's question. "But no, I don't really remember food," he admitted, tucking his phone back into his jeans pocket and running his fingers through his hair before he folded his arms across his chest, skewing the open collar of his shirt a little. He stared straight at the angel, trying to remember.

"It's been a hundred and seventy years, give or take," he shrugged. "There are varieties and many different flavour profiles achieved with blood these nights, too, but it all does the same thing, no matter who's ingesting it or what it is. It's aimed at sustenance. Keeping a creature going. The rest is just window dressing," he shrugged again and lazily shifted his balance as he toed his boots off, kicking them aside before he straightened off the bench. His hands fell to his hips as he looked the angel over thoughtfully.

"So you're pretty new to the city. Are you single? And do you still like men?" he asked with a sly grin.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 08:07:22 AM »
Remi wasn’t sure if there’d been a shift in Sam’s demeanor or if standing as he was, cornered against the long glass panels of the suite’s windows, had made him more sensitive to the biting edge of his words and his closed-off body language. He straightened in response, squaring his shoulders and lifting his chin. At the same moment, his smile was replaced by a leeriness that narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips. He was still in that defensive stance when Sam shot off his own questions, each more intrusive than the last.

“What? Why— There’s no reason you need to know that,” he huffed. “I’m here to look at the files you promised. Unless knowing my status and preference will help you find them, then…” Remi trailed off and shrugged, both palms up. He had no interest in entertaining a vampire who was willing to lie to him. If they’d set up a test where he stood next to a human and they’d both offered their wrists, there was no doubt in his mind a vampire would bite an angel before they bit a human. Vretil, his mentor, had told him what effect heavenly blood had on its drinkers, and it went well beyond being flavor preference or window dressings.

After he dropped his hands again, Remi turned and pushed open the door that would grant him egress from the vampire’s smirks and knowing looks.

“I’ll be out here waiting,” he declared, stepping into the cool fall air and onto the balcony.

He shut the door firmly behind him.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 06:13:34 PM »
Samuel watched Remi head out to the balcony, his lips skewing thoughtfully and falling victim to some nibbling teeth in the meanwhile. The angel was not here to play. He wasn't flirty, he wasn't soft and he was certainly not interested in being manipulated in any way. He was barely anything like Gene and Sam began to wonder why he was even bothering. The spark of returned interest was absent and his foray towards making a new connection had just been shut down categorically.

He wasn't used to being rejected. It smarted.

His ego aside, he supposed he was interested in closing this loop somehow. In a sense, he felt he owed it to Gene. He definitely owed him some apologies and a little retribution for his past misdeeds. Aaaand no-one knew that better than the man behind the knock that sounded at the door precisely then. Sam's head turned to contemplate it before he strolled in that direction, sensing his reception was likely to be as icy as - or icier than - the phone call he'd endured the night before. Once he'd stopped being hung up on, that was - by using the magic word ('Gene', not 'please'). He opened the door and stood in the opening, his body blocking Remi's view for the time being. And his visitor's.

Dominic held Sam in his disdainful glare like a cat staring at an unknown bug; wary and ready to pounce. The tendons in his neck were pulsing because he was clenching and unclenching his teeth. He was wearing clean blue jeans and brown work boots with a black polo that had thin horizontal blue stripes and the jungle-style A.A.G. logo over the left breast. It fitted him snugly, the sleeves wedged above his enormous biceps as if the bands that hemmed them didn't dare cross. His faded hair was slightly shorter than when they'd last met, sporting less length to style on top. He looked Sam over from head to to, his nostrils flaring as he got back to his eyes, indicating he didn't like what he was seeing.

"Where is he?" he demanded, his deep voice tight with strain.

"He's not the same," Samuel warned, frowning as his fears about his reception came to bear. He started to ask another question beginning with, "Wh-?" but Dominic cut him off.

"I didn't expect him to be."

That gave Sam pause and he frowned, cocking his head curiously. "But-"

Again, Dom cut him off with an impatient sigh. "Are you going to let me in or what?"

"Room service!"

Both men turned to find a Luminary staff member pushing a trolley laden with Sam's order standing in the hallway behind Dom. Her face was bright and smiling, indicating that she was oblivious - though perhaps by choice rather than true ignorance, judging by the way her gaze sidled carefully between the two men facing off in the doorway - to what was going on and just wanted to do her job. Sam made an impatient noise and stepped aside, opening the door to its extremity so that she could enter. "Out on the balcony table, please," he bade softly. "My guest's out there already."

Dom also moved aside so that the trolley could be pushed past him, automatically inspecting its wares until Sam spoke and drew his gaze.

"Look, what's your problem with me?" he demanded bravely.

Dominic sneered at him. "Where do I fucking start?" he challenged.

Samuel looked genuinely startled by the level of aggression he was receiving, clearly confused. "But... I haven't done anything to you," he protested.

Dom snorted. "You reckon?" he smirked.

The expression made Sam stop and think, trying desperately to remember. He'd done nothing to Dom, per se... but Dom was awfully close to Gene at the time. Oh, God. Horror washed through him at the thought Gene might've confided in Dom and told him... things. "Did Gene say anything to you about me?" he asked stiffly.

Dom quirked an eyebrow.

The silence stretched and Sam swallowed, wondering how best to put it. "Did he say-"

Dominic shook his head, his mouth a frown of disapproval. "You're fucking pathetic," he sneered and barged his way into the hotel suite. Sam was too surprised to stop him. He kept walking once he was inside, feeling a little like if he stopped he might collapse. His legs were somewhat jelly-like after standing up to a vampire like that. Also, because of Gene. Remiel, he mentally corrected. At least Sam had managed to give him that amount of information. When he spied him out on the balcony, Dom's panic and anxiety immediately began to fade, his dimples appearing as his smile came out. There was a little awkwardness at the doorway to the balcony as the server returned to her trolley with the cloche lids and began to wheel it out of the suite, but he stood aside when necessary and then he could move freely.

He stepped onto the balcony seeking the angel's gaze, his heart pounding and a look of wonder overtaking his face. "Holy shit, you did it," he whispered, then realised what he said and pressed a hand to his lips. "Oops! I'll have to watch my mouth now, eh?" he giggled, moving close to his old/new friend and opening his arms for a hug. "Remiel, is it? Welcome back!" he laughed, hoping the angel would step into his embrace and allow him to kiss his cheeks reverently.

Sam followed a little more slowly, scowling as he moved to get his laptop and collect an extra chair. There were only two on the balcony, after all, somebody needed to get an extra chair if they were going to all sit. He supposed it was his job, as host of this little shindig. His ears pricked up when they registered what Dominic had said and his sour expression shifted back to a frown of confusion. What in the hell? Dominic actually sounded like this wasn't a surprise to him. What? He hastened out there, juggling his burdens, just as Remi gave his response.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2019, 03:19:37 PM »
With his forearms resting on the railing that wrapped the balcony, Remi leaned over to look at the ground and the pinpricks of light that moved along it. Wind licked his face and muted the sounds of the city. All the honking, screeching, and roaring faded into the background and Remi felt a bit of the calmness he did when he flew. While his feet were tethered to the ground, it was as good as it got. He sighed. No matter how tempting it was, taking to the sky would have to wait for a while longer.

Whether Sam realized it or not, he needed his help, and Remi couldn’t leave before he tried to remedy the situation that’d landed him there to begin with. He shifted onto one arm to look behind him and at the vampire in question, but was instead greeted by a smiling woman and a cart filled with a dizzying array of food.

“Oh, look at those,” he said, straightening and making his way over to snatch the plumpest of strawberries while the attendant transferred the platter from cart to table. “It’s beautiful.” He held the piece of fruit by its green tuft of leaves, twirling and admiring how it glinted scarlet red the light. It tasted as sweet as it looked. Juice dribbled down his bearded chin, and once he'd wiped it away with the back of his hand, Remi grinned at her. “Delicious, too. You should try one.”

She laughed and waved him off when he grabbed another of the strawberries and held it out. “I appreciate the offer,” she said, already wheeling her cart back inside, “but they’re for you. Please, enjoy.”

Remi didn’t need to be told twice.

Before he could push the strawberry past his open lips, a man stepped outside, shoulders broad enough he’d had to turn at an angle to get through the door. He lowered his hand and opened his mouth again, this time to ask what exactly it was he’d done, but he was silenced when the stranger welcomed him back by name. And it appeared they wanted a hug. He was more of a shake-hands-upon-introductions kind of guy, but his hand was occupied. There was only one thing he could think to do: Remi stepped back and held the strawberry out as an alternative.

“Want one? They’re very good,” he said, smiling brightly.

His offering swayed in the air when Sam emerged, dragging his things along with him. He looked about happy as he had when he’d denied remembering the vampire.

“Is this someone else I’m supposed to know?” Remi asked.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 06:52:59 PM »
Samuel merely rolled his eyes and huffed in response to Remi's impertinent question as he worked at placing his chair and laptop on or near the table. Since Dominic was blocking his way and he was loathe to piss the mortal off anymore than he apparently had, that meant that the best he could do was quietly position the chair behind Dom and slink into the closest of the ones that usually lived on the balcony. Then there was the matter of the food platter, which took up most of the table space. Frowning, Sam worked at delicately sliding the tray over until his computer could balance and not topple. Balcony tables were not made for extravagant dinner parties, it seemed.

"You did know me, before your change. We were good friends. You worked for me at my landscaping company for a time, too. I'm Dom. And thanks," he grinned affably, lowering his arms out of their widespread hug mode and accepting the strawberry from Remi's fingers instead. He bit into it and then did a surprised lean forward as the juices of it burst into his mouth and up against his lips unexpectedly. "Juicy, heh," he laughed, his dimples flashing as he blushed at his own reaction and ran his tongue around to snatch up as much as he could. His gaze roved the angel's face in wonder as he chewed. "It's good to see you again, man," he said around a churning mouthful of strawberry pulp.

Sam merely scowled at them from his seat, wanting to suggest they both sit down but intrigued enough by the prospect of Remiel's outright denial of his past heritage when facing off against Dominic to keep his mouth shut. Let Dom bear the brunt of his righteousness for once and see how he handled it (though there was that niggle that Dominic knew a lot more than he was letting on still eating at him. What had he said? I didn't expect him to be? Hrmm).

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 05:59:05 PM »
Remi stared at the big man, expressionless and unmoving except for the steady rise and fall of his chest. He was too stunned to do anything else except breathe. Either Sam had compelled Dom to give support to his story or he was just as delusional as the vampire. One quick look at his aura and Remi nearly groaned aloud; it bounced around happily — elatedly, even — as they looked at one another, and it bore no traces of a vampire's influence.

Dom thought he was Gene.

He was delusional, then. Just like Sam.

Without acknowledging anything had been said to him, he returned his attention to the food tray and sampled anything that appealed: colorful fruits went first, then cheeses (the more blue, the better), and some of the crackers Sam had ordered in addition to his request, though he didn’t touch any meat. When his stomach was appeased, he poured himself a glass of water, and after sucking half the thing down, he finally spoke.

“What exactly is it I’m supposed to have changed from, anyway? It doesn’t work like that. There are angels, there are the fallen, and there are the dark. They are all born the same.” He tried to keep the frustration out of his voice, but some of it had managed to rear its ugly head anyway. “I’m sorry,” he said, extending a second offering to Dom in the form of a sympathetic smile and apology, "but I’m not this friend you speak of.”

Water still in hand, Remi went to stand at the back of Sam’s chair and gestured with his glass to the vampire’s laptop. “You’ll see. Sam has files.”

He leaned closer and peered at the vampire’s computer screen. Although he wasn’t sure how it worked, or how to use one himself, his mentor had given him a rundown of the things he might see people using on the earthly plane. Vretil had been most impressed with the devices used to access a plethora of texts written over the ages. He’d spent more time talking about computers than anything else. If Sam said he'd be able to produce the information he’d claimed would prove his side of the argument, then he would. 

And then Remi would be able to disprove it.

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2019, 10:56:44 PM »
Dominic was disappointed when Remi didn't acknowledge his comments but the quiet afterward cemented for him that the mind wipe had been complete and it allowed him a moment to mourn. His pleasure at seeing his friend again soon reasserted his equilibrium - though surprise that the changes came with such an obvious personality shift couldn't be denied. He could weather that storm, though. It would just be a matter of reconnecting, he was confident.

Watching Remi eat from the platter persuaded Dom to give it his attention too, so he shuffled past the angel to get to the stuff he wasn't attacking. As Remi began to speak, he put a generous amount of crackers, meat and dip in his mouth, meaning it was full right at the point where he denied he was Gene. Dom shook his head as he chewed faster but Remi wasn't watching. He moved to stand behind Sam. Dom poured himself a glass of water, hoping to wash the food down so he'd be able to rebut.

Samuel had found Remi's proposal intriguing - not that the angel had meant it as a challenge, he supposed. But what had Gene been? None of the things listed, he was quite certain. What did that leave? Dominic looked like he knew and wanted to say more but... his mouth was full? Cretin. Sam wasn't sure the file he had to show Remi supported either of their arguments anymore. He'd already seen the photo and it wasn't like he had amnesia. Looking at details of Gene's life wasn't going to bring his memory back... was it?

With a sigh, he opened Gene's file anyway. The photo was larger on his laptop, situated in the top right corner of the Oligarchy record. Gene's details were listed on the left and underneath, starting with the basics of a full name, date of birth, physical statistics, address, phone numbers and occupation. The file listed quite detailed background information next, followed by an intricate list of all of Gene's significant interactions in the city - including with Sam and Dom. Sam scrolled through it all, saying it out loud as he went, even though it seemed Remi could read (judging by the way he was hovering over his shoulder). When he got to the bottom, he frowned.

"Hey, there are new entries!" he cried in surprise. He had no idea who would have put them in there. Was the Oligarchy still running in some capacity? Looking at the dates, he supposed the new information could've been posted in the early days of its demise; he hadn't exactly been looking at the file back then, since he'd dedicated his life to Vomas. "Well, new to me. Notes that say you left the city after reviving Dominic Kaho, to return to your mama's farm. Then you emptied your bank account and disappeared after a phone call to Dom." Sam turned to frown over his shoulder at the angel, belatedly realising he'd said 'you' instead of Remi but not bothering to correct himself.

He eyed Remi's reaction curiously but that was the moment Dom chose to speak at last and drop a bomb that had Sam hastily swivelling to stare at him with wide eyes.

"That's when Gene called me to say goodbye because his father had offered to change him from a Guardian Angel to a full Angel and he knew he'd lose his memory." He smirked at Sam's reaction, pleased to have his open-mouthed attention, though he looked at Remi now, cheeks dimpling lightly. "You were done with that asshole breaking your heart," he told Remi, pointing at Sam momentarily, "done with your life not working out. You gave your mother all your money and told me how you appreciated our friendship. You wanted to tell me you'd never forget me but you knew you would. You knew you'd be changed by your transformation. You were good with it. I wished you well. I thought I'd never see you again," he laughed, his expression again delighted as his gaze roved Remi's face.

"You... " Sam began weakly, glaring hatefully at Dom but he didn't have the clarity or strength of conviction to finish his sentence. He was too shocked.

Gene hadn't called him to say goodbye.

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2019, 06:43:37 PM »
Enough time passed while they reviewed Gene’s information that Remi’s glass had grown slick with condensation. It nearly slipped from his hand when he lifted the rim to his mouth and drank what remained, giving himself the opportunity to gather his defense. The combination of their expectant looks and the silence that descended upon the balcony was telling. They expected him to say something. But what? What could he say that he hadn’t already?

“There’s no such thing as guardian angels. Whatever that’s supposed to be,” he said, reaching past Sam and his laptop for the water pitcher. He took his time filling his glass, allowing the glug, glugs and clinkity clinks their moment to speak. Careful not to drip anything on Sam, he returned the pitcher to the table and stepped back so he could have both human and vampire in his field of vision. “My father would’ve told me if there were, especially if I had been one.” Not an inkling of doubt made it into his words, but something of it showed up in the crease that appeared between his eyebrows and the tightening of his mouth.

Would his father have really admitted he’d been something less than angel at some point in his life? When would he have had the opportunity? He’d usually been off with his troops, on some mission or another, doing whatever generals did on the battlefront during a war that had seen more casualties in recent memory than ever before. Sometimes, he’d dropped in on his lessons, sending his mentor, Vretil, into nervous tizzies, but he never stayed long enough to talk. When his father had escorted him to the edge of the heavenly plane, they might’ve managed a conversation, but the other angel had remained silent until the very end. He’d taken Remi’s face in both his hands and smiled reassuringly before pulling him into a tight embrace.

Mind Vretil, he’d said, and then he’d gone.

“No one else ever mentioned them either,” Remi added. “The only guardians I’ve heard of are the ones who protect our homes, and they're no different than any other angel.” He huffed a sigh and raked his fingers over the edge of his jaw, scratching at his beard. “But I suppose at this stage, it’s still my word against yours, isn’t it?” A pause, more scratching, some frowning, and then he lit up. “What about me? Is there any record of me? Actual me? Of Remiel?”

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2019, 11:19:35 PM »
Samuel was astounded by Dominic's story. The sense of betrayal he felt - the guy had said nothing of these details when he'd called him to tell him Gene was back, with no memory of being Gene - was sharp and nasty. It showed that the mortal wasn't nearly as nice as he seemed and that he was an excellent game player. Sam wondered about his motives; why had he turned up if he knew the situation Gene would be in? What did he want?

For his part, Dominic tilted his head and gave Remiel a nonplussed look. "Why would I lie to you? What've I got to gain from that?" he challenged, scoffing at the notion guardian angels weren't real. "I dunno what makes you think I'm creative enough to come up with a lie that good," he chuckled and plopped into the chair on the other side of the table, continuing to pick at the food on the platter.

Obediently, Sam began searching his database upon Remiel's request - he'd already committed to the guardian angel one before the request about his name was voiced, so he went ahead with that first. He saved Gene's profile information on the original tab and opened another.

"I have... over thirrty texts and references to guardian angels in my database, which covers a range of items held at various locations, not always books. Still, that's an unusually high amount, considering the exclusivity of the collection. Most queries don't get past five references. I also have three texts written in Enochian waiting for an expert translator that could hold more-- oh!" he interrupted himself. "And there's also a species reference in the Oligarchy system itself, defining Guardian Angels as the offspring of an angel and a mortal."

Sam looked up at Remi, hovering over him. "They're definitely a thing. They have an ability called 'Bless', which means they can heal a mortal with a single touch - or even just by having a desire to aid the unwell. It sounds like what happened between you and Dominic," he said stiffly, deliberately not looking at the mortal. He turned his gaze back to the screen again and typed in the second query asked of him. His answer was much simpler this time. "And... no. No mention of Remiel or Remi anywhere near these same texts, which often date back thousands of years. You appear be new, just as Dominic tells the story," he said through stiff lips.

"Told ya," Dom smirked and looked pleased with himself as he picked up a wedge of watermelon to eat.

Offline Ehcorn

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Re: The Gene Files
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2019, 06:20:06 PM »
“That’s the thing! I never said I wasn’t new,” Remi shot back. “In fact, I remember telling you that I was, Sam.” He nudged at the vampire’s shoulder and raised his eyebrows, giving a full view of the fervent light that’d taken residence in his eyes. He’d finally landed on something that supported his argument, not Dom’s, and not Sam’s. His. “At the carnival, I said I hadn’t been on this plane long, didn’t I? You have no way of telling how long I’ve been on my home plane for sure. The records you have are earthly ones.” He chuckled to himself, not believing his luck, but the sound faded away along with his smile when he remembered something else that’d happened at the carnival.

When he’d first met Sam, it hadn’t been because he’d sought the vampire out. In a sea of unusual creatures he’d never seen before, something — someone — with Sam had drawn Remi’s attention. He'd been part angel, part human, with an aura that was all silver and gold like his except where it was interrupted by more neutral human tones. If Remi hadn’t had seen a mixed being standing in front of him, he never would’ve believed in its existence. After all, his mentor had never mentioned anything about them. Vretil had only discussed the paths that would lead to an angel falling and becoming corrupted and evil. Did he even know about guardian angels? Could the product of a mortal and an angel exist anywhere except Earth?

Was Vretil like Sam and had access to just one half of the story?

Standing underneath the weight of his wondering became impossible. Remi moved to the last remaining chair and sat down heavily.

“But let’s say you’re right. Guardian angels are real. I used to be one until I chose to forget you and become something more. Why would you want to…” He fumbled and dropped his words and shook his head in frustration before he glanced at Sam. “I— I wouldn't be able to give you the forgiveness you spoke of, because you've done nothing to me. The harm was done to Gene.” Next, he forced himself to look at Dom. Why did it feel like he was getting ready to kick a puppy? “And according to you, we were friends, but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t know you and can't promise we'd be friends now.”

He took a long, steadying breath and briefly looked to what he could see of the stars as he readied himself for his final questions, “So what purpose does all of this serve? In your minds, what's supposed to come next?”