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The Spatial Shard - G. Russell Gaynor

“You are a very good brother,” Milania said with a bright smile.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with those two,” Gordon replied. “But maybe this will put a little spark in them. And thanks for everything you did,” he smiled.

“No problemo, amigo,” she said as she stood and watched Gordon slave over his project. In her eyes, it was beautiful fifteen minutes ago. But she could not argue any of the additions or changes he had made since that point. It seemed everything he did just made it look and feel better.

“Everyone’s been so busy,” Gordon explained. “Rannis kept that Countess woman and her friends for so long while he stripped them all of their weapons and gadgets.”

“But they attacked Rannis and Wilma for no reason,” Milania said.

“They had a reason,” Gordon clarified, “just not a legal one.

“Then there’s Javier and CJ, drooling over themselves and itching to get into Dreamchaser and just go anywhere for any reason. I’m surprised you’re not with them right now.”

“Undertown’s not going anywhere,” she replied. “There’s time for running around later. Besides, they are boys and I am a little sister. Javier acts different when I am around him.”

“Tell me about it!” Gordon exclaimed. “Feels like I am going to choke on the security blanket they keep wrapping around me.” Milania chuckled as Gordon stepped back from the work table; his eyes were almost as bright as the lights. “But I think we’re ready.”

“D-Do you want some help with that?” she stammered as she asked.

“Are you kidding me?” Gordon asked quickly. “You’re in on this thing now! So get over there and lift that side.” Milania nearly jumped for joy as she did as she was told.

The two of them walked slowly. Milania’s work was unquestionably good and the affectations Gordon had added were spectacular, but they were not necessarily stable. He had seen this very thing on TV too many times and did not want to add to the disasters running through his memory. Gordon took in a deep breath and just approached it like he approached surfing. He soon concluded that the more he worried about wiping out, the more likely he would indeed fail.

“Hey guys!” Gordon called out as he and Milania rounded the corner to the main work area. He expected everyone to still be at the table, polishing off the last of the dinner Wilma had prepared. Martial Arts was clearly not her best applied skill, and meals had become something people wanted to attend. It was good, as everyone was running out of excuses to avoid meals prepared by Rannis. “I think we need to handle one thing before we get to Edge lessons and what not.”

It was if Milania and Gordon were of the same mind as they both stopped and their hands fell to their sides. The triple layer cake fell to the ground and the letters that spelled out “Genie’s 17th” peppered the ground, along with the miniature balloons, clown faces and horses Gordon had asked Wayne to sculpt. Gordon had used them as prototypes and had Luatha fabricate copies. It was his first time dealing with Rannis’ semi-sentient program called Luatha, and he had rather enjoyed her take on humor, but especially her resourcefulness as she found a way to change the poses of the sculptures.

“Happy Birthday, Genie?” Gordon said softly as he looked up at his sister, floating above the ground, surrounded by a sphere of energy that matched the glow of light coming from her eyes. He looked to Wilma, his source of explanations and a tenderness that always calmed him. But she was holding on to Rannis, whose eyes were blank and his face seemed dead glowed. He appeared to be removed from the moment while Imogene looked like she was too deep into the experience to feel joy or pain.

“Ky’Ego sum Partis!” she cried as the pink-purplish light quickly turned white. Her voice was not alone, but a chorus of voices, male and female alike, old and young, human and alien. They all came out of her mouth. Imogene and Nollie were at the center of it all. They were linked and through Imogene’s insistence, Nollie was at her side. “I am here! I am the Shard!”

The white light flashed bright enough to blind everyone.