Serene Light and Destiny Light
Destiny was stunned in place, finally seeing her daughter for the first time since she was a baby. She’d grown into a rather pretty young woman, even if she had inherited her father’s eyes which upset Destiny for some reason. Her garb was eccentric in appearance, yet practical for purpose, and that was something she got from her mother. She had Destiny’s red hair, which was some consolation, even if her own hair was now dyed black. Red hair just stands out too much in the field of assassination.
Destiny snaps back to the here and now, and realises she’s been silently staring at her daughter for an uncomfortable few seconds, after being asked ‘mom?’ Why didn’t she plan this out? Think about what to say to her own daughter? She cleared her throat, looked Serene in the eye again, and nodded. ”Yes,”
she replied with more than a small case of nerves. ”It’s me. Hi, Serene...”
On Serene's end, the silent staring had made her even more spooked. Like real horror movie moments. Then her mom spoke, and her breath caught in her throat. She'd wondered what her mother had sounded like while alive, but to actually hear it? Holy shit, it was...a bit rough, probably tied to whatever had made her into her current self. A billion questions surged through her mind, before Serene just blurted words out. “I...I don't understand, Dad said you died! When I was an infant. It's why we came to the states. I...he lied? Or was he fooled?”
The question was left to hang in the air, Serene left in a state of true confusion. She'd never known the truth about her parents, so the idea that her father had lied for any reason, plus once the truth was given...well, yeah.”No, as far as he knew, he was right,”
Destiny sighed, folding her arms and relaxing her shoulders. ”I got blown up. It was so bad that there wasn’t a hospital on this planet that could have saved my life. But I didn’t go to a hospital. I went to some...private and legally suspect facility, where they did some cutting edge scientific operations to my body. The price for saving my life was that I was a glorified test subject for them. That’s how I got these eyes, among other things. They gave me the cybernetic arm too, though that I had to pay for. Of course, your dad found out I was alive later on, and there are reasons why he didn’t want to tell you. Why...he didn’t want me to see you...”
she looked down as some emotion slipped past her touch exterior for a few brief seconds, before it was quashed. “I...see. Wait, does that mean?” Does that mean…. Dad's alive? About seven years ago...there wasn't accident he was supposedly killed in.”
Her voice was tight, showing the slightest hope that her father...was still alive. Perhaps he'd had to go into hiding? “Why...why didn't he want me to know? What's wrong, Mom?”
Serene wanted to reach out, and offer comfort, but in the same vein, she was having her world view fall around her, as she now knew her mother was alive...if a really badass cyborg. But what of her father…
Destiny tutted, and irritably pinched her nose. She kept that post for a few seconds before looking back at Serene. ”Thanks for reminding me. Until recently, I also believed that. I’m still extremely pissed off about it. It’s safe to say that mommy and daddy aren’t together anymore.”
she gave a wry grin at her own joke, which quickly faded as she carried on. ”That’s what made me start looking for you, actually. I never thought of you until -well, I thought of you a lot, but I never thought of you as a grown woman who I can actually find and talk to, until I got him to tell me where you were. As for why he never told you about me, well...I’ll suppose you’ll learn this sooner or later so it may as well be now, from me.”
Destiny sighed, and took a deep breath. ”I’m a mercenary. Most of the time I’m hired as an assassin, though occasionally I get a job where I just need to be muscle, or an espionage job.”
She stopped, letting her daughter process that before she even thought about telling her she tried to kill her father.
Serene stared at her mother, from where she lay seated, processing more of what they said. A mercenary? An assassin? The color now began draining from her face, her mind making Serene suddenly start worrying. About what that meant. Before she, beneath it all, tried to regain her composure. If her mom had been here to kill Serene, Destiny would have done so already. Probably, who knew. But then, she wondered. Did this entail her father? Had they worked together, been enemies, rivals? One had targeted the other? She didn’t know, but she slowly made a gesture, for Destiny to go on, while she remained seated, a tangle of emotions flowing through her, she dared not think about the future for the moment, only focusing on the present, the here and now between them.
Destiny stared at her daughter, then shrugged and took a cigarette pack out of her jacket, put one in her mouth, and lit it with a disposable plastic lighter. After smoking it for a few seconds, she blew smoke out of her mouth in a long sigh and stood up straight. ”Okay, so I was a petty criminal as a teenager. Things got worse and more serious from there, and I’d say I was actually carrying out assassinations at….about 23 years old. Complicated and very top secret spy stuff happened and as a result I met your father. We had a nice relationship for the most part. After you were born I even considered retiring and going legit for your sake, in case something ever happened to me.”
She stopped then, and looked away from her daughter’s eyes for a good few seconds, before squaring herself and gathering courage. ”And then I got a new job from my boss. The target was your father. I….I would like to say I had even a moment of doubt or hesitation, but I didn’t. What followed were an incredibly messy few months as he fled from me all over the world. Then he stopped. He turned around, and he set a trap for me.”
Destiny held her robotic arm up to the light, and sneered. “...It worked.”
Serene kept staring at Destiny during all this, and tilted her head from one side to the other, processing this more. A trap...this was something she didn’t know about her father. The mild mannered, polite, red haired scientist who some had called the future, had been...like a spy or something? She turned her head towards Destiny’s mechanical arm, and some part of her almost drooled at the sight again, it looked so hecking cool. Back on point. “I..see? That was uh, when I was still little. Guess that explains why he retired from his own “actions.” If it doesn’t hurt to think about...what happened, exactly?”
Meanwhile, she decided to “level” the playing field a tad, in the form of Serene pulling herself upright as best able, shakily getting back to her feet. She had forgotten meanwhile about the GoPro on her head, but then again, unless Destiny destroyed it later, it would make for good memories and all. Sure, part of Serene was upset, knowing that her father hadn’t exactly been the man she thought, or the fact her mother was alive but had been injured by him. This was sounding like some James Bond meets Black Widow style antics. Her mom had a boss? Or had had. She wondered idly what was going on now and all. But she had to focus on her mother, on the “angel” that stood before her.“It does hurt to think about,”
answered her mother, taking another drag on her cigarette, “So let’s talk about something else. How about we talk about what you’ve been up to instead?”
Track change. Clearly it hurt too much, Serene making this assumption as she watched the cigarette light up from the puff, before nodding once. Only fair to talk about her, she guessed. “Sorry if I asked too much, but you’re right...well, if you mean recently, just driving west. Stopping at or avoiding places dad marked on a map he left me, along with some other stuff. There’s a storage unit...back home, that I got when his lawyer deemed me old enough. He left me a lot of notes, a power suit that might be a lot more sinister now that I think about it...and a magic staff. Oh right!”
Serene started, remembering the fact she had powers, her face lighting up at that. Sure, she was under the impression they were magical, but eh. “I know magic! Apparently I can control technology! Dad didn’t know the specifics...I uh, don’t know where I got it from.”
Of course, if one thought about it, Serene didn’t have a magical bone in her body, so she was probably just a mutant in that aspect. The way she said it though, with such pride, couldn’t help but make one smile, or groan internally, it was almost childish. “I’ve also got a degree of science(I’ll edit later to what she actually has since I can’t remember). I’ve been uh, working on the suit dad left...but its kinda a long way from where it should be. I came out west to well...be a hero, like him. That was...the plan at least.”
Her cheerfulness drained away, as she thought about how her image of her father had been shattered. From thinking he was some secret hero who she wanted to live up to the memory of, to knowing he was some sort of secret agent type person? Her initial dream...she was unsure about. But part of her...refused to let go of her dream. But for the moment, if heartwrenchingly so, she sounded downcast, sad. Even if hope still existed as an ember. The ball slipped back into Destiny’s hands, while Serene’s gaze had drifted down towards the floor, a finger going up, to curl around a strand of hair, playing with it almost absentmindedly.
Destiny listened intently, genuinely interested in her daughter’s life. Of course, she already knew a little about the map, having heard it from her husband himself. Talk of a power suit interested her, as did talk of magic. That last one really got Destiny’s reptilian eyes opened wide. Of course, Destiny didn’t believe in magic, but she believed in superpowers. Was magic really that big of a leap in logic? Either way, Serene’s claim that she could control technology was accepted as truth immediately. Still, Destiny’s expression didn’t change even in the face of Serene’s naive declaration of magic.
Strangely, Destiny made no refutation of her daughter’s claim that her dad was a hero. In fact, she almost smiled. She definitely looked proud. “Being a hero is a fine path. Better you take after your father than take after me. My daughter becoming an assassin, or arguably even a villain, like me, is possibly my greatest nightmare.”
The idea of her mother calling herself a villian did make Serene start a little, even as her gaze drifted back up, towards Destiny. “Are you sure you’d see yourself as a villain? You’re so...cool!”
There was a degree of “hero worship” there in Serene’s words. Sure, earlier she’d been spooked, but again, just look at Destiny. A badass assassin, right? “But that brings up a fair question...I’m guessing you came here in search of me? How’d you find me? Why now, why not sooner?”
She was full of questions again, clearly.
Destiny fought against a smile that was growing on her face and lost. She blushed as she looked away. Nobody had ever thought what she did was cool before. She did take pride in her work. Even though she wanted her daughter to grow up among good influences, it was admittedly nice to be looked up to. Serene’s questions were good questions, though, and Destiny decided to answer them.“I suppose I didn’t spend much time actively looking for you because I was secretly afraid of meeting you. But once I learned that you’d be coming here, I knew that I had to actually meet you for the first time since you were a baby. From there, and knowing from which direction you’d be entering the city from, figuring out that you’d come here wasn’t hard for somebody who finds people for a living.”
That made sense, even if her mother’s words made Serene also blush a tad, reaching up a hand to rub the back of her neck. Or she would have, if not for remembering she was holding the flashlight, and avoided nearly clonking herself in the head with said light. She lowered her hand, and sighed softly, mulling over what Destiny had said, before nodding to herself. “I’d say we should go out and do family things...but the city is what, under lockdown? Besides...if you’re here, then this place is definitely safe and perfect for a base of operations, right?”
Sure, it wasn’t the best place, one had to wonder why Serene would find a run down, abandoned factory perfect, but then again, with the chaos outside, could one be blamed for wanting to avoid being flashy? Besides...given some time, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, the factory would be good for business. And it was basically free real estate, so the meme goes, right?
Destiny chuckled with a wry, twisted smile that betrayed her face wasn’t used to smiling. “Yeah, I’m not really a ‘family things’ person. This place is safe, though, relatively speaking. Nobody’s gonna check it out and there are plenty of secure exits that can’t as easily be used as entrances if we don’t want them to. It’s not very homely yet, though. There’s no electricity, there’s still running water but I don’t know if that’ll last, no beds, no heating, and we can’t exactly turn everything on or people will start asking questions.” “Mm, you’re right. It would be pretty suspicious.”
It wasn’t that Serene’s face fell or became crestfallen, rather that she became thoughtful, trying to think about what they could do to the place, or in general. “We could get our hands on a basic generator, get a space heater, as for running water...we might have to make do with bottled water. It’ll be safer than tap water for the moment, if any of that stuff in the sky gets into the water table, or the city water supply.”
Serene placed a hand on her chin, rubbing it as she thought, before looking back up to her mother, giving her a slight smile. “Got any ideas for what we can do, mom?” “Those ideas are good, and a good start,”
Destiny replied, turning away and pacing towards the wall. “If we board up every window with chipboard, and maybe weather and graffiti it to camouflage the factory, we could probably get away with running electric lights off the generator. Beds shouldn’t be hard to come by. Neither should water. I don’t know how you feel about washing with hot water. There’s a gym two blocks away, with showers, but it’s membership only so it depends how deep your pockets are whether or not you think it’s worth it.”
Serene mulled over what Destiny said regarding ideas, nodding to herself a few times. She could run a water heater off the electric generator, probably. They’d need that chipboard like Destiny noted, and while Serene wasn’t sure where they could get it from, she figured her mother could find it easily enough. As for the gym, Serene thought about it a bit more, before looking up to her mother, laughing nervously. “Yeah about that..I got like a hundred bucks or so on me, though gran said she’d send me some cash once I got settled, so that’s something at least”
Thinking more, Serene considered what the two could do right at the moment, beyond what had already been said. Then she nodded again. “I should probably get stuff from my truck, after we pick where we’ll be sleeping at first, then I can move all the stuff in there or into a side room. If you haven’t found a room yet. Then while I’m setting up, you could go out into the city, look for what we need? Since I mean...I dunno.”
She rubbed the back of her neck, now unsure what to say. With the craziness outside, Serene wasn’t sure what she could do to help out. She’d probably be best doing support, given Destiny already knew a fair bit about the outside, all things considered. So in other words, she was leaving it up to her mother what they did, trusting her judgement there.“Yeah, you can set up in any room you want.”
replied Destiny nodding. ”This factory’s pretty big, but even so, I’d recommend the offices. We could use the break room like a kitchen. First things first, I’ll get some chipboard and some spray-paint, and a few large water cooler-size water drums, and look into finding a generator. I’ll go and wrap up and put some shades on so I fit in. You pick a room and unpack.”
Another nod was given, as Serene took in more of the information, nodding once more. “Roger that, I’ll go upstairs and set up shop! But first…”
Before she ran off to go do that, Serene did something a tad strange, and stepped over to her mother, until they were basically within arms length, and proceeded to do something even stranger. She hugged Destiny tight, wrapping her arms around her mother. Hopefully not bonking her mother in the head with the helmet Serene wore. After a few moments, she let go, and stepped back. “Please be safe, once I get everything inside, I’ll keep watch by one of the windows till you return, alright?”
Hope shone in her eyes, displaying her drive and desire to keep pressing forward, to make sense of the chaos outside. Hopefully they could make a difference, right?
Destiny was surprised at being hugged so suddenly, and stood awkwardly for a few seconds with her arms frozen it midair, before she clicked her tongue, sighed and hugged back just as tight. Her hands took a tight grip of Serene’s clothing, as if she didn’t want to let her baby girl go. When she broke the hug, her brow was furrowed. “Alright, but stay low. Don’t make yourself too obvious to anybody who may be looking at the factory.”
The moment Destiny left the room, she wiped her eyes, which had now moistened with tears. Steeling herself against the unprofessional weakness of emotion, Snakeeyes checked the ammo of her sidearm, then calmly went to go and get changed.
Serene herself remained, lingering as she watched Destiny depart, and once her mom was out of sight, Serene turned back around, taking in a breath, before then letting it out. She steeled herself. It was time to get to work. Whereas Destiny headed for wherever she went to change, Serene began to walk into the darkness of the factory, moving carefully, sticking to the shadows as able. She had to set things up, and soon. Mom had the outside covered, Serene had the interior covered, the support side of things...right? Hopefully people outside the factory were okay, yeah? Only time would tell.