Splits: Part 6

I blinked, trying to think of what to ask next. That opened up too many questions.

Haley didn’t wait. “How low?”

Lee paused, making it either the first or the only time I could remember seeing him hesitate. “Let’s say that there are multiple factors involved.”

He leaned back in his chair, the red leather becoming more visible next to his shoulder length, black hair.

“Yeah? Like what?” I tried to sound interested, but not too interested.

Haley looked over at me. Lee chuckled.

Smiling, he said, “I probably should tell you. You’re on the edge of this becoming ‘need to know’ information, and I might not be there when you cross that line. So, I guess it’s story time. Where were we? Oh that’s right… I told you how the race of beings I came from doesn’t like competitors, and how when we saw new races, well, we decided to destroy them all. Better, we decided to give them the means to destroy themselves.”

He stopped and took a breath. “I may have neglected a few very important details when I told you the first version of the story. Not every one of my people agreed that we should destroy the younger races. That was understandable. We’d been around for quite some time by then, and we’d spread out. Plus, there weren’t many of us left, and some of us had gone native. They’d been guiding the younger races, teaching them. So, there was war. The ‘Destroy’ faction won, but planets, solar systems, and a chunk of a galaxy died.”

I flipped that around in my head for a little while. “So when you’re saying that there are multiple factors involved, one of them is that whoever we run into might not be from the Destroy faction.”

Lee nodded. “Right. I’m saying there’s a low chance because I’m sure my people aren’t even searching this universe for me, and if they are, they’re not searching this planet. I’ve left better clues in other places. Now if you were to visit another universe or get off this planet, the chances of meeting one of my people get higher. Plus, there’s a chance that one of us might be here on Earth. It won’t be someone from the Destroy faction then, but I don’t know more than that. Whoever they are, they’re hiding the same way I am. So I can’t see them, and they can’t see me.”

He gave a wide smile. “For all I know, there might be more than one, and in that case, you’re going to be looking at a fight. Now, I’d bet on me but, it’s not something you’ll want to be close to.”

Haley looked up at the screen in my hand. “You’d fight them? If they’re not from the Destroy faction, wouldn’t they be natural allies?”

Lee laughed and then he shook his head. “Allies? No. Now, once upon a time, I might have had friends in each of our factions—even outside Destroy, but I’m sure they must have soured on me by now. I was part of the Destroy faction for quite some time, and earned a reputation as an effective killer of my own kind.”

“Wow,” I said. “So you don’t have any friends.”

He shook his head. “I wouldn’t say that. I think the Xiniti might like me a little, and then there’s you kids. It’s not quantity so much as quality, you know?”

Then he stopped smiling. “As a friend though, there’s something I have to tell you. I can’t sense others of my kind, but you just might, and they might be able to sense you. If you can, pretend that you don’t notice and keep on walking. That way you might survive.”

Haley’s eyes widened. Mine probably did too.

Lee shrugged. “If it doesn’t think you noticed, it might not realize just how much time we’ve spent together. If it does realize it, it’s likely to watch you until you find me, and then well… Things burn.”

“It’s like with the ward, then,” I said. “What exactly does spending time together do?”

Next to me, I could feel Haley lean toward the phone. Lee’s eyes seemed to stop focusing on the phone for a moment, but then he stared into it again, “It’s like this—you know how there are multiple dimensions? Imagine that being near me sharpens you and hardens you in dimensions that you can’t quite sense. There are side effects—”

My dorm room’s door opened slowly, and Jeremy peered in. Finding that Haley and I were on the bed, but not making out, and staring at the screen of a phone, he opened the door fully, and stepped inside. Out of some kind of caution, he never let the door go, guiding it to close slowly and softly.

Lee continued “—like allowing you to punch The Thing and make it bleed, but also to sense my kind and be sensed by us. Don’t count on the ability to hurt us when you don’t have that ward. You don’t drain power from me, but Amy appears to have attuned it in a way that it drains just a little. It’s not much, but we’re going to need to destroy it when this is over.

“Now tell me, who just entered your room?”

Jeremy stopped walking, beginning to open his mouth. I didn’t give him the chance. Otherwise he might land on Lee’s list of people to kill in order to keep me safe.

15 thoughts on “Splits: Part 6”

  1. …Oooh boy, so being next to Lee and his kind strenghtens you on a dimensional level…that has the potential to have so much effects on people exposed, way beyond the mere being able to detect and be detected by Lee’s people or being able to punch the thing, I wonder what that would do to a magic being.

    Interesting to get a bit more on the history of Lee’s people and his own, but I must say I am a bit surprised by the scale of their war, I expected relites being destroyed by them and not”merely”planets, solar systems and the chunk of a galaxy. of course the war could have taken place at a time before they have the power they now wield. Eh I wonder if with time the remnants of the losing faction developped abilities the others don’t have, in short if they might have become some sort of offshoot of the main race. Also why am I now wondering if there isn’t another of Lee’s people roaming on Bloodworld…I mean if they cannot detect each other.

    All of this makes Lee even more interesting, I wonder what drove the guy to leave his people and change his mind. Also poor Jeremy, guy truly has shit for luck to have come just at that moment.

    Oh and this also gives me hope that we will see infinity city again as well as other new alternative realities, like say the one Dixie Superman orginally came from(or an offshoot of it anyway)…and speaking of alternate reality I wonder what happened to the remnants of the league alternates from the Omnisphere…Especially since I am sure the alternate Daniel’s head is full of useful stuff given the guy’s habit of taking knowledge from others.

    and on a completly unrelated sidenote(well not THAT unrelated as it HAS to do with alternate realities) .I still don’t get why the people who made the true didn’t give them regeneration, i mean that’s a must for a perfect supersoldier next to the uber tactical and strategic mind. mah, Nick earth version of them will most likely have that once they are made out of Captain Commando’s DNA.

    1. @Paradigm

      Somehow I get the feeling when Lee says they died he doesn’t just mean in this universe but in all of them. You gotsta remember Lee’s species can exist across multiple universes simultaneously. From how Lee treats it, this is either a natural ability or one that his species has had since before Lee’s lifetime. So any war amongst them would also effect multiple universes.

      As for the True that just means their creators were genre savy. A perfect army is only perfect if you have a way to put down the inevitable rebellion. Its how I would handle them anyhow.

      1. Oh yes, i got the fact that the Planets, system and the galaxy chunk might not all be located in the same universe or that every version(or at least most of them)might have been destroyed too, I was just surprised that there were no whole realities destroyed whatsoever but eh.

        Concerning the True: When I first read about them and saw that they lacked regeneration in their design I though the same as you, however after further thinking and going further in the story I realised that this line of thought does not work due to there tactical and strategic power: Just see the difference one of them does when she is the one devising plans for a combat force, and she is a young one at that, now imagine multiple ones with the same or superior brain capabilities working together..Yeah in short regular humans and even other supers had no chance whatsoever as not only the true had the capacity for deception but also to plan to get the means to destroy any opponent and to use them in the best possible way.In short by giving them their brain mojo they already made it almost impossible to put a rebellion down.

        Now one can think the reason they were not given regeneration might stem from the fact that their designer thought that the brain they gave them made it useless which I could see even if it’s sloppy work, but eh.

    2. Honestly, I considered going further in terms of describing the destruction, and it may be that Lee was understating it. That said, assume that the fight took places in multiple universes, sometimes as part of the same battle.

      As for the True… Assume an infinity of possibilities there. The ones from the universes Tara’s parents came from didn’t have regeneration (though they probably heal more quickly than normal people), but versions from alternate universes probably do.

      As for the main LoN universe, it’s not impossible that a locally created version will someday show up.

      With regards to the effect of Lee on wizards… Well, I’m sure we’ll have the chance to find out. We have seen a hint of his effect on telepaths though. Daniel at one point couldn’t handle being near him, but later found that he could, and even used copies of how Lee affects telepaths as part of Nick’s mental defense.

      As you might remember, when a Syndicate L telepath tried to get through them, she went catatonic.

      1. Mah…Now I fell like my previous comment to respond to Colm wqas completly useless…

        Anyway thanks for the info Jim, as for the”local”version of the True I always thought(and still think)that you planted the seeds for their eventual existence with the Captain Commando Clones and the Abominator Birthing chamber we got to see during the Stardock arc, hell I am sure that their eventual creator(or at least one of the people who will help doctor mind who I do not think is really dead,hell one of the people in the Lab could have been docotr mind in a meat suit) was one of the people in said lab. Also I would be interested to see what an earth under true rule might be and most of all to see more of Tara because I like the character.

        …So Wizards being near Lee and learning stuff from that= extremely scary shit, okay got it.*thinks about the stuff Amy and the other Bloodmaidens in her head/gem might develop from being next to Lee and how William Harcourt might react to said innovation and grins evilly*

    1. It wasn’t ever said directly, but in the first version of the story Lee never mentioned any resistance to the idea. People would have to assume that he was with the rest of his people on that, but changed his mind somehow if they thought it through carefully, but he didn’t say so.

  2. Note that he didn’t say he’s not still in the destroy faction. He implied it, but maybe he’s just being more subtle and operating under multiple oaths. Time to reread the archive with that possibility in mind.

    1. His description of the “Don’t Destroy” faction, helping and teaching local life, describes him pretty well. But is that voluntary, compelled by, his, promise, to Rocket 1, or did it at some point switch from one to the, other?

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