It took a second for a reply to come.
The air shimmered beside me and with a pop, Saisei's familiar form flew out, winding through the air happily before coming to a stop beside me, curiously looking at the Sconiad tower before us. The whole structure had grown larger, yet more compact and streamlined. It had lost it's intimidating look and added a few more container like buildings attached to it's foundation.
I rubbed Saisei's shiny green scales, something that both twins loved immensely.
"Where are the girls?"
I asked him and he snorted out a plume of flame, a bit annoyed. Then he sent me an image of them trying to prank a herd of Hippo Cows in one of the animal populated islands across the Main Dimension. The fact that they dragged him along on their escapades did not amuse him. I laughed as I got the sense I'd done him a favor by inviting him over. Of course that earned me a plume of fire to my face.
"Sorry boy, I know it must get a little lonely being the only male spirit around."
I told him only for him to cock his head to the side as if he was looking at an Idiot. Then he sent me an image of Iroh and I had to agree that he was technically right.
"Iroh is more of a guest. He's not a native. He's not from here."
I explained only to open up the line for more questions.
"Then, where is he from? And where is here?"
I was shocked. That was a clear and concise question when a day ago, they mostly talked in one word statements. They were growing smarter, it would seem. Maybe they benefited greatly from our link than I initially thought? I delved into the links and felt the bonds between all four of us were stronger somehow. More concrete. Saisei, nudged me with his snout, pulling me out of my thoughts.
"Oh sorry about that buddy. Spaced out for a second." I cleared my throat and waved a hand to indicate the surroundings.
"This is…home. Home can have many meanings. It can mean a place that gives you comfort and rest, away from everything else. It can mean a place that is filled with people you care about. Like Hakai, Breeze, Iroh and I. A family. It can also mean a place that you've grown up in. A place that is intimately familiar to you. A place that you fight with everything you got to protect." I paused to gauge his reaction and I could see him mulling over my words. I had done the best I could to explain but most of those concepts probably went over his head. They were smart, yes. But also young.
"Home is…family? And friends?…"
He tentatively asked me and I nodded with a smile, sending him positive feelings.
"Home is warm."
He said in a more confident tone, sending me an image of the Fire Dimension. Mind you all this was happening in a mental space.
"Home is family and friends and warmth."
I smiled and rubbed his snout.
"Good… you're getting it Saisei. And I was wondering if you could help me add another friend to our family."
I told him, showing him an image of Match sleeping in a pod. Saisei went silent for a few seconds, turning his attention from me to the tower. Specifically, the Pod housing the Supermanling. Haha...I suck at names sometimes. Fine, all the time.
Anyway, I could feel his intrigue and cautious interest. Saisei and the rest had only interacted with 2 people. Iroh and I. The former was more spirit than a person but you get the point. So the possibility of interacting with someone else must have been a very exciting prospect to the quiet dragon.
"Come. Let's get closer."
I told him and walked towards the energy boundary. A slight tingle went through my body as I passed, Saisei following behind me once I utilized my Realm Master status to allow it.
I placed a palm on the wall of the structure, intimately connecting with it's functions and the Pod rose up from the ground and floated towards me. I stepped up to it and studied it's build and the patient within. Match looked to be at peace. The snarling features portraying a huge anger were subdued. His solar suit had marks on it and was torn in some places, probably due to his fight with Terror but the skin underneath looked unblemished.
"Tower, give me a status update on the primary directive, the secondary and the third in that order, please."
I ordered, knowing the basic and rudimentary AI system would recognize my speech pattern and orders. A second later there was a text box.
There was a hum and a pulse, before an Holographic visual image of Match appeared before us.
(Primary Directive: Stabilizing The D.N.A of Subject 001 Match is pending at 49% due to a lack of resources and sufficient data.)
I read out loud the next display box from the Realm that had appeared before my eyes. The Tower could communicate with me through the system. It wasn't the first time and with Saisei being not the reading type, I saw no need to publicize the information on Match's current condition. I waved the text box away. A lack of enough Data and Resources huh? Well now I'm unsure if Saisei can help him.
"Open the Pod."
I gave the command and with a hiss, the Pod opened up. Match's eyes opened wide and it only took a split second for the anger to come back.
"Nope. None of that. I'm not going to get into a punching match with you. No pun intended."
I used my still steadily growing mental abilities to mind blast him a little. A skill that was useless against someone with normal mental faculties. In fact, I figured that teens would only experience a slight pressure to the cranium with the mind blast having zero effect on adults. I said 'steadily growing'...you don't become a Martian level Telepath over night. Oh Wow, it's only been a few months...who said Adaptive physiology was weak again? Oh yeah...me.
Anyway, Match froze for a second before swaying on his feet and falling to his knees, disoriented. I looked at the scene with regret and anger. Dude had been used as a fucking disposable weapon by Luthor and The Light. It's not fair. I walked closer to him and took a knee before him as well. His body tensed but he otherwise remained calm, the mental suggestions and positive feelings of reassurance I was sending him being the only thing stopping him from spearing my chest with his fist.
I rubbed my forehead as I felt his anger buckle against my interference. The prominent feeling he had was red rage...it's a wonder how a red ring hadn't found him yet. It felt all consuming and was centered around an image deep in his subconscious. A familiar image of a shield symbol with an S. It was cracked though but surrounding it was blood red chains to keep it from shattering completely and to keep it chained to an ideal. I frowned in disgust...The Light had messed up with this. The programming and indoctrination was shoddy. But also something I was not capable of currently.
To put it in perspective, they had basically given Match two scenarios, If Superman strays from the Ideal...kill him. If Superman dies...replace him. That was it. That was his whole psyche. The motive, the principle, the plan, the interest. Match was chained to that symbol and I don't know if it was a subconscious recognition of the Symbol of the house of El being to blame or if it was a Cadmus programming to stoke his actions...but he both hated and loved that symbol.
"Luthor...Pray to God, I don't decide to come for you and your merry band of psychos." I sighed, gently squeezing his shoulder. I smiled looking at Match with a critical eye. I was a firm believer of active justice. In this scenario, Match should be the one to enact his own revenge on Luthor.
"You might not understand me right now...but I promise you, for discarding your worth to the side, I will give you the chance to exact your revenge."
I stood up.
"Saisei...could you use your fire to try and stabilize his geneti..." I stopped once I felt the small dragon's confusion. I rubbed his snout "Sorry, I mean could you try to heal any damage he has?"
I requested and this time he understood and nodded.
Saisei floated nearer to Match and flew around him in circles. He was really excited to get to know someone new. I couldn't find it in me to tell him that Match was not in the right head space to make friends.
"Tower, scan and record the process."
I ordered and the tower answered back with a pulse of recognition. Saisei opened his mouth and breathed out gentle white flames. I kept on holding back the anger seeking to consume Match's mind as his body was lifted to the sky by the gentle licks of the white flames.
They covered his body and seemed to seep deep into him. I felt my heart hammer in my chest as the minutes ticked by. Then...the fire started to die down as Match's body floated back down to the ground. Saisei looked at me in sadness. The task was way out of his capabilities. I sighed and rubbed his scales while sending feelings of understanding and happiness for trying.
"It's Okay buddy. I'm not disappointed."
I told him and while he was still in a bad mood, he understood that I'd known it would be a long shot anyway.
(Scan complete. New information up for review.)
A text box from the Tower appeared, making me smile. Well, seems like Saisei's efforts were not for naught.
I ordered and a new display box replaced the earlier one.
(There is an approximate 89.65292843358974689% chance of D.N.A stabilization, if an in depth study of the D.N.A from the original donor is conducted)
Oh...well. It's official, this goddamn Tower wants me to go the villain route. How the fuck am I supposed to get Superman's D.N.A without him noticing? He had like a dozen senses that would detect me from a mile away. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little. But still... although I had promised to help Match in any way possible, that did not mean, I was going to crash with Supes and the Justice League head on. No sir. This time, it would be a serious battle and despite some of them pissing the shit out of me, they were still the good guys and I didn't want to hurt anyone.
"Tower, what about D.N.A from a sibling or an offspring of the Original donor? Would that work?"
Oh well. Moving on.
"Right give me the status update on the secondary and third directives."
(Affirmative. Realm Upgrade at 1%. Pending)
I nodded. I had left it at that because I still needed to get the MDP 'cleaned' of any outside influence and bonded to me.
( Preliminary scan on device 001 dubbed Magi-tech Cuffs at 34%. Pending due to a lack of enough Data on Unknown energy signature dubbed Theta energy.)
(Preliminary scan on device 002 dubbed D.N.A suppressor patches at 36%.)
"Ok...change the designation from Theta energy to magic."
I ordered and The Tower complied. It was a bit disheartening to know that none of the directives had been completed but I understood the reason. In my speculation, the biggest reason as to why they were taking so long was a lack of enough Data, especially on magic and most importantly, the low level of the Realm. I needed to upgrade it ASAP. Luckily, that was exactly what was next on my agenda. After that was complete, then I'd find out a way to steal Superman's D.N.A.
For now, it was time to pay a visit to Madame Xanadu.
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