Seven frowned. It seemed most wars started with greed, didn’t it? Even the one happening right at this moment. Someone’s, or more accurately, several someones’ greed had sparked it. He felt a strange sort of relatability that caused him to give a twisted grin. His very existence was only because of someone’s greed.
The door to the turret cockpit suddenly slid open. Seven jumped and lost control of the interweb’s electromagnetic waves. Without thinking, he grabbed for them to accidentally grab the turret’s waves instead. It’s startup sequence began.
A hand roughly seized him from behind and pulled him out of the cockpit. He landed heavily on the ground.
“What are you doing?!” Mevin glared down at him. Seven scooted backwards until he hit the wall of the hallway.
“I didn’t mean to turn it on. It was an accident.”
“That,” Mevin said, “just alerted anyone within ten miles that we’re here, armed and possibly dangerous. If we’re unlucky, they’ll have begun swarming after us now, hoping to rob anything valuable we have aboard. Our cloak is useless now! Because you just happened to start it up, and without the proper screening either!”
He reached in and shut the sequence down.
“It really was an accident.”
“I’ve changed my mind. I thought I could get along with you, maybe even like you, all for the sake of Lex. I tried to tell him of my misgivings about you, but he completely blew me off. So, I decided to try at least, fake happy that you’re here, but every time I see you, the creepier you get. Why are you even here?”
“I-I-” Seven was shocked.
“Shut up! Do you know what Lex had to go through for you? Well, do you?! That first cry for help you sent, he turned it in to the mercenary union to check its authenticity. They said it was unlikely, that it was a scam or a trap. Do you know how often he gets those? Every day people mess with him. He gets false messages and death threats. He’s too famous for his idiotic attempts. That’s why I’m here to keep him alive.”
“But what-” Mevin slammed the wall.
“But this time was different! For some reason, for him, this message was different. He just couldn’t drop it. It kept plaguing him. He said it was a hunch, so he brought it to that famous information broker, Toulene. No one goes to him. His prices, they’re too painful. And everyone knows Toulene keeps in contact with the Reds, but he’s just too powerful to prove he’s working for them. Any one that messes with him mysteriously disappears. But he knows everything, so Hime brought it to that kind of man! Because of you!”
Mevin swallowed, clenching his jaw.
“Why am I even telling you this? I only found out later that he went. If only I had stopped him. Toulene took one look at your message and told Hime it was real, and Toulene never lies. Toulene knew all about you, all about Pandora’s little plaything. Only a price had to be paid for that information, and Lex, for some reason, was glad to pay it. Before I knew it, he was sold off to the People’s Army.”
“Lex. He-he was sold?”
“Two years he was there. That’s how long it took us to get to him. We almost weren’t able to. He still has scars that haven’t healed yet! And right after all that, right after we risk our lives just to get him out, he turns around and asks to go back! To go back and get you! Do you know how close I was to knocking him out and tying him up somewhere he can never escape? But how could we say no? Not after all he’s been through, all we’ve been through. Not with that look in his eyes. He’s my hero, how could I say no to him. So we went back, and for what?”
Mevin looked down at the boy in front of him. The rage returned rapidly to his eyes. He grabbed Seven by the collar and slammed him up against the wall.
“You! There’s something wrong with you! I heard about Andan Bach! What kind of kid can murder a man just like that? What kind of person can remote control a ship with nothing or hang upside-down from the ceiling? There’s somthing about you. You, you’re not human. You’re a monster. You’ll bring catastrophe to anything and everything around you. Can’t you seen it’s already starting?”
“Mevin-choke,” Seven forced out, “Can’t-breathe.” Mevin dropped him. He slumped on the ground, dry heaving.
“You too are dangerous. I suggest you leave this ship. Leave as soon as you can. Or I’ll kill you. I’ve decided. I’ll keep Lex safe even if it means he’ll hate me for it, I’ll kill you if I have to.”
He gave Seven one last poison filled glare, and then marched off.
“Hime,” Seven heard him say, “the clone sent off a beacon by one of the turrets. The cloak’s not going to work anymore. I think some nasty roats will be headed our way.”
Seven shivered. Mevin calling him clone reminded him of Andan.
“What was Seven doing in a turret?” He listened in on Lex’s meta-link.
“Who knows, but I better not find him again.”
“Calm down Mevin. What’s got you in a bunch? Well, meet me at the navigation theater. Offa, put her on auto and come too. We’ll see what evasive routes we can take.”
Seven unlinked from the conversation. He sat on the floor, not daring to think. He concentrated on his hands and found them shaking. His whole body shook almost uncontrollably.
He hadn’t found the place he was meant to be after all. Not the turret, not Pandora, not Biscotti, not the Cakemen, not Lex. Where? Where should he go? Where could he go? Mevin was right. He wasn’t human. He was a monster. Nothing could change that. Monsters only hurt people. Maybe it would be better if he just wasn’t anywhere. Would death be better for someone like him?
When did I ever say all Cakemen are friendly?