Whispers (2-2-18)

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A dark purple hole appeared in the air above an overgrown wheat field. The portal floated vertically a couple of feet off the ground. A pale young child wearing all black clothes stepped out of it and fell on his face. When he looked up he revealed a widow’s peak on his forehead.

“OW!” The boy yelped and sat up on his knees to rub his face. He turned around and yelled into the purple abyss. “You’re still doing it super wrong, Eva.” His voice dripped with annoyance.  A blue jean clad leg stepped out of the portal followed by another. They belonged to a slender man wearing a black t-shirt and a rugged brown beard. His forearm showed a tattoo of a scythe with a golden number 14 on it. He reached a hand down to help the boy stand.

“Settle down, Oren, she’s still learning.” The man turned around to face the portal, and reached his hand out. “C’mon through,” he said. A young woman jumped out of the portal all at once and landed in the man’s arms. She kissed his cheek while they hugged.

“Thanks handsome,” she said. Oren stuck his finger in his mouth and made retching noises. Eva turned to face Oren and apologized.

“Sorry I made it so high. I’ll do better next time.” She nudged the man in the ribs with her elbow. “Tell ‘im, Jake.” Jake looked at Oren while he held Eva in his arms.

“She’ll do better next time,” he said with a smile.

“Whatever,” Oren said. He looked around at the empty field they stood in. His eyes widened and a smile grew on his face. “WOW! I forgot about this place!” The boy jumped up and down excitedly while clapping his hands. “This is great!” Oren ran to Eva and hugged her around the waist. “You’re forgiven.” Jake and Eva stared out across the plain, looking in all directions. A gentle breeze stirred the wheat, but they saw no sign of anyone else nearby.

“You know where we are?” Jake asked. Oren nodded.

“Yeah! I came here a long time ago when I was still super young, see?” Oren held up his index finger and a small red ball of light formed above the tip of his finger. “My nanos are still here.”

“How long ago were you here?” Eva asked. She knelt down in front of Oren and tried to touch the red light. It was solid and she pushed it forward. Oren shrugged.

“I dunno. Maybe 700 years?” His clear grey eyes showed a spark of realization. “Wow, that’s a long time, huh? The world is definitely covered by now.” Oren shut his eyes and red dots began to appear in the air throughout the field. They floated around like red fireflies.

“Yep, I can feel it. Neat! I own this world now.” Oren rubbed his hands together with excitement. “Let’s play something!” Jake put a hand up.

“Wait. You can’t own a world. What about the people that live here?”

[There’s no one here. – Oren] Jake jumped straight up in the air. He felt a sensation, like a feather touch on his arm. Somehow he knew Oren’s response, though the boy had not said anything.

“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT???!!” Jake tried several times to brush his arm off, it felt like a spider crawling up his arm. Oren giggled.

“That was a Whisper.” He stopped talking, but Jake continued to receive responses. It tickled his arm.

[It’s something I can do. – Oren] Jake checked his arm and saw red text disappear. Then another message appeared on his arm in red letters. Somehow he knew the answer before he took the time to read his arm.

[When I have enough nanos. – Oren]

“Whoa. That’s kind of awesome. Can we do it?” Jake asked. He grabbed Eva’s hand and pulled her closer. Oren eyed them both, then he sighed.

“You guys are so lucky I have fun with you.” Oren held his palm out and formed two small red balls of light. “Take one each.” Jake touched a red ball of light, and it sank into his finger. Red lines  streamed up his arm to his shoulder, then up his neck to the back of his head. He turned and nodded to Eva who touched the other ball. It went into her brain also.

“This’ll give you the ability to do it, but I’m not going to teach you how. You guys figure it out. Oh! It’ll be like a game! I’ll give a bonus to the first one to figure it out,” Oren said.

{In the meantime. – Oren} Eva shuddered, and checked her arm. Jake looked at his own.

{I’ll use this. – Oren} The text appeared on both of their arms.

{It’s like a broadcast message. – Oren}

“What did you mean there’s no one here?” Jake asked.

“What?” A look of concerned flashed across Eva’s face. She did not receive that message.

{There’s no humans here. – Oren}
{They’re all dead. -Oren}
{I killed them.|/ -Oren}

“STOP!” Eva shouted. She grabbed Oren by the shoulder and knelt down in front of him. “What do you mean you killed them?” Jake placed a hand on Eva’s shoulder. Eva looked up and and Jake shook his head. Oren shrugged.

“I was basically a toddler, I hadn’t even turned 200 yet.” Oren said with a trace of sadness. He looked Eva in the eye, and a flash of red appeared behind his grey eyes. “I’m sorry I didn’t have anyone to teach me right from wrong.” Oren shoved Eva’s hands off his shoulders, then he turned and stormed away through the golden wheat.

“You’ve been traveling with us for a while. I should have made time to explain more about his history to you. I’m sorry.” Eva stood up with a puzzled look on her face. “You’ve heard Oren mention his mom from time to time, but she only meets up with him once a century. He loves her; what kid doesn’t love their mom, right? But she tossed him as soon as he was born. He’s a powerful Unique, so he survived. Even as an infant. He learned how to traverse universes before he even understood what he was doing. He didn’t know what he was doing to the people.”

“You knew about this?”  Eva asked. Her voice took a sharp tone. Jake shook his head.

“No, but you’ve seen how powerful he is. I’m not surprised, he’s probably done the same to other Earths. You heard him, he forgot about this one.” Jake grabbed Eva’s hand and looked into her eyes. “But we can guide him now. Make sure he doesn’t kill any other worlds.”

“Okay.” Eva said. She leaned forward and hugged Jake. She turned to look for Oren and saw him on one end of the field hunched over. “I’m going to go talk to him,” Eva said. Jake nodded.

“I’m gonna go to the other end and try to send you Whispers,” he said. He walked way in the other direction.

“Hey, sorry I freaked. You gotta understand how staggering it is to hear you killed a whole planet.”

[Just the humans. – Oren] Eva felt the now familiar tingle on her arm.

“Oh, so now you’re not talking to me?” Eva said. She added a playful shove on Oren’s shoulder to let him know she was kidding. He smiled slightly.

[It’s just easier. – Oren] [Plus I can do things. – Oren] [Like this: (@). – Oren] [And this: 10. – Oren] [9. – O] [8. – O] [7. – O] [654321. – O]

“Well, I guess that could be useful?” Eva said. She sat down next to Oren. She stared at the darkening blue sky.

[tsting. ~ JAKE] Eva felt a different sensation on her upper thigh.
[testing*. ~ Jake] She giggled.

“It looks like Jake got it figured out already,” Eva said to Oren.

“No way!” Oren smiled. “I guess it’s time to give him the bonus I promised.” Oren stood up and clapped the dust off of his black jeans.

[Can you do it? – Oren] On the other side of the field Jake received the Whisper on his arm.

{Easy as pie. – Jake} Jake broadcasted the reply to include Eva.

{Easy? Another game then. – Oren}

{No problem. – Jake}

{Keep up. – Oren}

[= – O] Jake felt the whisper on his left arm. He returned it to Orens Left arm. [= – J] [(+) – O] on the back of jake’s neck. He returned it. [(+) – J] [<^_^> – O] tickled Jake’s elbow. The breezed had died down by that point, and the stillness of the air allowed Eva and Oren to hear Jake laugh from across the field. Then Oren burst into laughter in front of Eva when Jake returned it.

“What are you guys doing?” Eva asked. Oren’s laugh made her smile.

“One second,” Oren said. He held a hand up to Eva.

[`#`$`%`& – Oren the Great and Powerful] Jake felt a hard slap on his back. The force was enough to move him forward a step.

“Oh, we can do that too?” Jake said to himself and smiled. He focused as much as he could and tried a forceful whisper on Oren’s chest. He knew Oren would be waiting for it on his back.

[ABCDEFGHIKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ – J] Oren fell on his butt, then burst into laughter.

[You win. – Oren] [Come get your prize. – Oren]

Eva helped Oren off the ground while he kept giggling. Jake left a trail of trampled wheat behind him as he ran towards them. He reached them and saw Oren holding a glowing red ball of light, the size of a bowling ball.

“Whoa, what’s that?”

“This is the controller for all the nanos on this Earth. You own this Earth now.”

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