Tale – Operation Slipstream

Author Note: As I mentioned in the Muse-Lyrea, I bridged my two universes. There were plenty of reasons for that all of which you can read about at the bottom of this muse. My little author note is to let you know that what is to come is different from what I was writing. I ended Unbridled for a number of reasons and have decided to pick it back up, but doing so means some things that seemed set in stone will ultimately have to change. I cannot work with a few things I have mentioned in it or I should say – I no longer want to.

My comic verse and the Aslann verse are from the same infinite timelines. That was part of the reason I bridged them is because many of the people, places, and things I used were shared across both. It made little sense to me to have them be separate. Still, there are things with both of them I have outgrown, but at the same time I do not wish to start from scratch with Tationy and Hiko – yet again. That is why I am taking the action I am.

So, let’s talk about setup. Some might see this as left field, but there are actually plot devices already setup in the Unbridled story. First, in Chapter 2 Tationy touches a device in Hiko’s office that interacts with her. This device kicks in her ability to see the past, the present, and the future. It takes her to the moment when the Kari Commander faced off against the Prince of Aslann. This device is sent by Hiko to the labs where Kari scientist begin to conduct experiments. This device, even though it seems quite insignificant in the grand scheme of things was pivotal for a huge course shift that would have led to us seeing the historical age through Hiko Kari’s eyes (which as you know I never wrote).

When I bridged my two universes in the Muse-Lyrea and Chapter 11 we learn that there is a device within the Kari Foundation slowly gaining power. This device mentioned is the same one from Chapter 2. Slipstream is a rather misguided character and not necessarily evil. He seen some stuff go down in his time and timeline and he seeks out ways to change it, but learns that he cannot. Through his journey he discovers the existence of several devices – which were Shima clan temporal energy containers. They essentially collected energy to allow the Shima clan to travel through time in any direction they wished. Slipstream starts jumping through an infinite number of timelines looking for these devices and tricking powerful people into charging them.

Now – what you are about to read is my bridge between where I left off in Unbridled and what Lyrea and Tat (alternative Tationy) were doing in Muse-Lyrea and Chapter 11. This little story will allow me to refocus Unbridled. Some might be wondering what this means for beloved characters as well as the story of Broken which was a spinoff of Unbridled. The core of the Unbridled story will be left intact. Tationy and Hiko meet. They move really quickly. The paparazzi go wild. What we lose is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things – clans of Aslann, Aslann itself, that most people will not even notice the change other than the fact that I pointed it out to them.

P.S. ^_^ Forgive my ugly and small pictures. I hit the wrong sizing button and did not want to retake pictures. So meh on that. Also, this will be the last story I post at my wordpress. Officially this blog is on a permanent hiatus. You can find me at my tumblr which is where the continuation of Unbridled and Broken will be posted.

Lyrea Terresle / Tracer – Daughter of Static and Prowler
Tationy “Tat” Tylo / Prowler
Hiko Maenakadakari / Static
Jared Walker / Azure – Husband of Prowler
Ryan Walker / Firestorm – Son of Prowler and Azure
Cody Walker / Surge – Son of Prowler and Azure
Jon Sullivan / Blast – Leader of Shadow Ops
Contrafaire / Slipstream

Lyrea Terresle had been quiet since her unexpected encounter in an alternate timeline. There was no way you could prepare someone her age for what she might see or even experience when stepping foot in a different possibility. A realm of existence that was made of dreams and fantasy.

She was not the first young soldier to leave another timeline with questions and there was certainty that she would not be the last. In a daze she wandered down the hall only stopping when Tat spoke, “It is better if you forget what you saw. Ask Jared to erase your memories…”

Cut off sharply the saddened expression caught Tat off guard, “Is that what you do? Ryan always said that you were very good at pretending.”

“Maybe it was too soon for you to go out on missions. Apparently the death of Firestorm….”

“Call him your son, Tat. Fucking pretend to be human for five minutes of your coldhearted existence.”

“Little girl, you better walk away.”

“Don’t worry Tat, I will. I learned how to do it from the best.”

Tat kept her eyes fixed in the direction that Lyrea was leaving. There was a heaviness lingering in the air and as much as she hated to admit it, she knew she could have handled that better. Though things had never been easy where Tracer was concerned. She was broken in all kinds of ways that made piecing her back together impossible. Sadly, Tat understood a thing or two about what that was like.

Even if Tat could give Lyrea what she desperately thought she wanted it would never fix things. Not for her, not for any of them. They were freaks of nature as far as society was concerned. Sometimes and she hated thinking it, Slipstream had the right idea. Do away with the infinite possibilities. Gone would be the many different timelines that could lead to a different path. There would be one life, one chance, good or bad. Unfortunately, as long as those possibilities existed so too would people capable of manipulating them.

Even as she tried to shake the thoughts, they still lingered there. Maybe the world would be better off if she just let Slipstream do as he pleased. She had witnessed the suffering of her people. They were not even second class citizens; they were soldiers. Disposal and owned by the government. The little bit of happiness they could find was in faking normality.

“What happened?” A voice shattered her wandering thoughts.

Complicated things always come in pretty packages. That was something her mother always said and it came to mind any time she turned to face Azure. Lyrea was probably right, she was very good at pretending because the natural pose of her body and the coy expression was so easy to display even when her mood was foul. “Why do you always assume something happened?”

“Well, Lyrea said fuck about fifty times when I talked with her and you …”

“Me?” Her voice teased.

“Tat, let’s not play this game. Any time something happens you become distant. I have to be on a plane in an hour and just the thought of leaving you when you are like this. Worries me.”

She dismissed his concern, “I have nine lives and all of that.”

Jared shook his head, “Just let me in.”

“It is nothing really. Lyrea just got herself spotted is all,” Tat stated.

“By Slipstream?”

“No, just some precog. Nothing to worry about.”

“Alright,” He stated with a certain amount of resignation, “Did you inform Jon?”

“He was in meetings when we got back. I will be checking in with him in the morning. Now, doesn’t my husband need to be giving me a little something before he takes off on his very important trip?”

Jared didn’t hesitate to take a step forward, “My beautiful wife loves to wait until the last minute….”

“I don’t recall you complaining when you had me pinned against the refrigerator last time. Besides, I just got back and you are taking off. When you return, I will be gone again.”

“I hear something in you voice, Tat.”

“Don’t read into it Jared. I am just tired. A lot has happened this past year.”

It was not as though she had to explain that to him. He was there when their son Ryan was killed by his brother Cody. The two of them did what they always do; soldiered on. Things had been different since then, not just for Tat and Jared, but the entire Shadow Ops team.

Maybe that was part of why she was having the feelings she was, but Tat had never been the sort of woman to turn back. Once she started down a road, she saw it through to the end no matter the consequences.

His fingers stroking her cheek made that heaviness feel as though it caressed her whole body. Forcing a sigh he pulled away, “I have to get going. Try and get some rest. I will call you when I reach Washington.”

There was a cold ugly distance that crept up far too much for them. It was different; everything was wrong. Even though she did not say it to Lyrea, she understood.

When she started feeling like this. She would get wild ideas in her head. Sometimes they led her astray. It was probably a mistake, but there she was standing before him the moment Jared was out of sight. Deep down she understood why, but internally she still found herself questioning. The sad part of it was, he was expecting her.

A long time ago she hated him. There were plenty of different reasons for it, but the truth as dark and dirty as it could get was that he could read her. No one had ever been able to before. Blocking telepaths was second nature and for the longest time she didn’t understand how this one man could break down every wall she fortified. Then, she took her first trip through the infinite possibilities of time and there he was next to her, over and over again. It made her emotional thinking about it.

Lyrea had asked her the hardest question she had ever had to avoid. Don’t you feel something when you look at them. The truth was, she did and the part she hated was that the man before her knew it.

“Letting your husband leave without even telling him seems cold, Tationy.”

“Well it is not like your the first person today that has pointed that out about me,” Her response ended there as her eyes fixed upon him, “How long have you been waiting for me to show up, Static?”

He snorted, “Calling me by my codename seems rather impersonal considering your reason for being here.”

“Do you think I’m wrong?”

His arms crossed over his chest and his eyes closed. Tat could tell he was considering her question, but he certainly was taking an awfully long time doing so. Her foot tapped the floor lightly though rather impatiently. When he finally responded she knew without any uncertainty that he had delved to the deepest parts of her mind, “Why didn’t you tell Tracer the truth?”

“Which truth? That she only exists here because you and I are two dumb soldiers that say how high when we are told to jump? What good would that do?”

“The other truth,” He stated.

“She can’t have a happily ever after in this time. None of us can. What good does it do to tell her that she was conceived from anything other than Science. You know what would happen if she got it in he head that there was a possibility that we could be a family and you know damn fucking well Hiko…”

His eyes opened and settled on her, “You haven’t called me that in twenty-five years.” Tat knew where the conversation was going to go the moment he took a step forward, “What you are thinking of doing, there is no going back from that and there is no certainty that the outcome you are hoping for will happen.”

“Isn’t any outcome better than the one we are living right now?”

Sighing he turned away, “I ask myself that question every day. Despite all of this power, I don’t have the answer.”

“You know though. Someday there will be a day when the government does not need us anymore. They will start killing us off and those that survive will be hiding and running for the rest of their days. Help me.”

“Tationy,” He growled her name, “This is going to put a huge target on our backs. If for any reason things do not go as you wish, we are not going to have to worry about the government wiping out our kind. They are going to send the whole lot of their toy soldiers after us and we are going to be the ones to fucking kill them. Do you get that?”

“Maybe it is better that way.”

Much like they always did, their words ended negatively and they went their separate ways. There was a part of Tat that thought he might help or understand, but in the end she was left to carry the burden upon her own shoulders.

Static was right though; things may not turn out the way she wanted them to, but anything was better than the lives they had now. Eternal servitude, disposable soldiers, and fake lives that were tightly controlled by a tug of a leash. For her, there was no going back. Maybe if things were different Cody would not have become a sociopath, Ryan would be alive, and Lyrea might not be broken. Perhaps none of them would exist at all.

The key to one timeline and the removal of infinite possibilities laid in helping Slipstream gather energy to destroy and rebuild time. Tat told herself it was worth it.

“Who are you to play god?” The question was in her head, but it was not her voice that spoke them. Looking over her shoulder she spied the last person she thought she would see.

His hard face was always so angry and yet it brought her a certain amount of comfort. She offered a quote, “If changing our world is playing God, it is just one more way in which God made us in his image.”

Hiko snorted, “Since when are you religious?”

“A better question would be since when aren’t you?” She paused a moment, “Why are you here?”

Sighing deeply he took a step forward as he responded, “I want to see why you are doing this.”

“You have already looked into my mind. Saw everything I have seen…”

“No, I need to see it with my own eyes. I told Blast, I would be going with you this round.”

“Our two departments don’t generally work together, how did Jon take it?”

“Agreeably,” He stated which told Tationy that Static, manipulated the mind of the Shadow Ops leader.

“If the Gene Division finds out…”

“They’ll kill me,” He didn’t hesitate to say before continuing, “There is no turning back now, isn’t that what you thought the moment you started on this path?”

“Why?”

Hiko didn’t respond initially as he began moving toward the temporal portal. He was moments away from passing through the first doorway of time and he only stopped long enough to say, “Didn’t feel right, you making this sacrifice alone.”

There was comfort knowing that she would not make the journey by herself. Despite the complicated nature of their relationship there was no awkwardness. They sat together, closely on a bench, in a park just a block away from the Kari Foundation. Normal and natural; something that didn’t exist where they came from.

Static used his telepathy to hide their true appearances, “That laugh of yours better not mean you made me blond.”

“If I did?”

“I will beat the shit out of you,” Tat stated as she glanced over her shoulder at him.

“I always thought you looked good in any color,” He responded as his fingers teased lightly along her shoulder. They were getting distracted. It was easy to do the closer they were to each other. That was probably why Static switched gears, “I can feel the pulse of that device. It is pretty faint. The two of us might not have enough juice to activate it.”

“Is that your way of saying we should call this whole thing off?”

He took her hand, “I don’t think it matters at this point, do you? One way or another, we aren’t going back.” A momentary pause produced an ugly silence before he boldly asked, “Did you love him?”

Tat knew he was asking about Jared. The man she faked a life with for the past sixteen years. “It is hard not to develop feelings for someone you share a bed with let alone one that is father to your children.”

“We don’t share a bed, but I am…”

Quickly she cut him off, “You already know the answer to that question. Why are you making things complicated?”

His response was a short laugh, “We have always been really good at it and…”

There was little opportunity to stop him from kissing her. Not that Tat wanted to. There had been so many years she had longed for him to touch her again. No one ever quite matched the man she had met a lifetime ago. The sad reality of their existence was that no matter how deeply they felt, the government would never allow them to be together. They were simply too dangerous a pair. A power couple that could change the course of mankind.

It sounded like ego, but Prowler and Static had qualities that drew people to them. Had they pushed when shoved, perhaps things would have been different in their time. They didn’t. They stayed the course and abandoned their hearts for duty.

They both knew it. Could they have prevented the path thrust upon their kind by the norms of society. There was simply no way of knowing, but if there was ever a pair that could have rallied the hearts of the oppressed it was them.

The heaviness of those thoughts nearly forced Tationy to break the kiss, but instead her body tensed when an all too familiar voice caught her attention, “It’s so sweet. Everyone is in love and the flowers smell so pretty.”

Static held her there in that intimate embrace, but she knew he was aware. “You are not going to twirl again are you? I swear we cannot even take a walk these days without running into couples with their tongues down each other throats.”

“Is my Hiko feeling left out?”

“Frankly, yes. You and I have not had a moments peace since my dad moved in. Is it too much to ask for things to go back to normal.”

“I don’t think there is such a thing when it comes to the two of us.”

Grumbling, “I don’t know why, but these two are pissing me off. Let’s find someplace else to sit.”

The soft laugh seemed almost knowing though Tat did not think it possible that her counterpart would be aware. Static’s powers were on a completely different level than her own, but if there was a chance, then they needed to hurry before someone tried to stop them.

The End – But To Be Continued in Unbridled & Broken.