This is the story of how ONE determined the world. But which one truly did it? The one who came, the one who went or the one who stayed?
This story began on a sunny day, in a small town of fifty million. The coastal city of Varna is said to have been inhabited since before the Age of Leo. Today was March the second, 2029, and in 42 days the NEO(near earth object) 99942 Apophis, was expected to give us one heck of a show. When first discovered, Apophis was taught to be on a collision course with Earth. But as technology improved, the cause for worry was eliminated, and now everyone was looking forward to the show.
Everyone, except a small research team, located in the recently established I.C.K.(International Community for Knowledge). If you were an open-minded scientist, regardless of your field, you were welcomed with open arms. Every participant here, whether in science or support, has the understanding that knowledge is an ever growing tree.
Dr. Meri Lin was the leader of the team, whose research was attempting to harness the kinetic force of the asteroid, and recharge the electric power stations of Earth, using Resonant Inductive Coupling. Hers was one of the top three teams in the I.C.K., the other two jokingly dubbed “The Fantastic Four” - after the very popular MARVEL characters, and “The Three Fates” from Greek Mythology.
The Four were a mysterious team said to be siblings, brothers and a sister. While she was a natural red head, her twin, younger and older brothers were all with dark auburn locks.
As for the Three, they were a strange bunch. Although in appearance, one would think them late teens, early twenties, in behavior, Eve, Lily & Dora would sometimes display all ages. From childish, to old wisdom.
In that regard, Dr. Lin felt lucky, for her team of three were grounded in the here and now. Dr's Neven & Iglika Kubevi, locals from the town of Varna, and Lin's best friend from college, Dr. Basil Balaur.
The Kubevi twins came from a poor, but proud family. In the Kubevi household the notion that money wasn't needed to have happiness, meant that the twins interest in science came entirely out of curiosity. Their way of viewing the world was unbiased, and when presented with a problem, they didn't fret over it, instead focused on figuring out the solution. As for their appearance, sometimes even Lin couldn't tell them apart, for they often wore the same set of clothes, and both loved to wear various colored contact lenses, wigs, extensions and experiment with various organic hair dyes like henna and indigo.
Balaur on the other hand seemed way too mature for his nearly thirty years of age, although at first glance he looked like a twenty year old. His white-silver hair and chocolate brown eyes, coupled with high cheek bones and gentle deep voice, had many a hearts flutter over the years. Yet whenever Lin was looking at him, she only felt the closeness of a brother. When they first met, she noticed the sadness in his eyes, something that even today, after all those years of friendship, hasn't gone away. Whatever the reason, Lin could tell, it was why he wasn't acting on his feelings of affection towards Dr. Iglika Kubeva. And from the girl talk Lin and Iglika have had over time, Balaur's affection was mutual.
The I.C.K. Was established in secret during the “Space Age”, but only recently became public, yet it's founder still remains a mystery. He never makes public appearances, and rumors say he does not age.
Normally Lin would be weary of such a secretive establishment, but when she and Bal received an invitation to join, their detective minds kicked into action. The end results were their friendship with the Kubevi twins(who were also investigating), and the knowledge that such communities had always existed throughout history in one form or another. But what separated those, from the known secret societies, was that they didn't held any records of each other, had no special ceremonies and rules for it's members, and they didn't advertise themselves to the world. The I.C.K. was legally registered as a non-profit organization, and through the last sixty years had helped all around the world, wherever people were suffering the most, by providing knowledge and peaceful solutions. Only in twenty twenty did they become public.
The three major teams in the Varna branch, each worked separate from one another, and discussion about their distinctive projects was a taboo. But Lin & the twins suspected all three were a gear in a clock, with the end result being..., she was still pondering over the answer, and hadn't realized the sun had already set two hours ago. It was getting rather late, but as the time of the comet was approaching, calculations had to be double and triple checked. The twins had already gone for the day, only Bal was still hanging around, keeping Lin company.
Although his first name was Basil, he and Lin preferred to go by their last names instead. As for why it was shortened from Balaur to Bal, he gave one reason, while Lin figured out the second:
1. His mother used to call him that,but as far as Lin could gather, Bal's mom was gone. He didn't like to talk about it.
2. When they became friends, Iglika said she preferred one syllable names, as they were quicker to pronounce in an emergency, and “Bas” sounded weird to her. When she said that, he immediately turned away, and Lin could tell, her best friend was blushing for the first time since she had known him.
As the computer was running the calculations again, Bal had dozed off on the futon nearby(Lin was grateful for the Big Boss's foresight of placing at least one futon in each team's laboratory, as most, often worked overnight). Not feeling sleepy, but hungry, a trip to the kitchen was in order. Her way took her past the fourth lab in their building. It was one, said to be used by he Boss alone, thus no one was allowed in there, yet the lights were on, laughter coming through and it was unlocked.
Lin could hear the Three laughing at something, or someone, but no other people's voices came back.
Curiosity overtaking her hunger, she quietly nudged the door, and a spacious hall stood before her. A lot of next-gen computers(some not even on the market yet) were standing like soldiers with their backs against every wall. A platform stood in the middle, several steps high, with a couch at the center of it, and what appeared to be a holographic TV in front. A documentary about the time of the dinosaurs was playing, though Lin thought it strange, because unlike most similar documentaries she had seen, this one seemed to be playing in real-life. Left of the platform, there was a display-case with something colorful inside.
She took a few steps towards the display-case, and the item inside shocked Lin, for it was a bracelet. And not just any bracelet, but the exact same, as the one on her left hand. Yet that was impossible, because both of her bracelets, she had made herself back when she was just a teenager. The left one had a chain at it's core, with colorful copper threads, each with five beads going through every single circle of the chain, making it unique. The way the four colored bead threads were crisscrossing and twisting, made it impossible to recreate, no matter how hard one would try.
Lin continued towards the display-case as if in a trance. With each step she took, the bracelet on her hand got warmer, brighter and heavier, as if the Earth itself was pulling the two bracelets together. Entranced by the one before her, Lin didn't notice the Three coming towards her, or hear them calling out to her. If she had, she would wonder why Eve, Lily & Dora were calling her “Auntie”. No, all Lin could see, was the bracelet in front of her. All she could hear, was a sad voice singing a slow sad lullaby:
A Dragon cries, the world is gone.
If a Dragon's sorrow is released,
the world responds in kind.
When a Dragon cries, the world dies.
When a Dragon dies, the world cries.
A Dragon's sorrow breaks the world in half.
A Dragon's roar holds the key.
A Dragon's roar brings the End.”
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