“I’m home Dads!” Alvis called into the apartment as he stepped off the paternoster.
“’It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered’” came the reply from the Aeschylus mashup the family AI was rendering in the lounge. “Hi Alvy” replied Ben, pausing the ractive with a wave. “Your father had to go into work. He’ll be home late. He’s isolating mentions of a certain relic.”
“Did he say if he would bring me home some of the research?” Alvis gushed excitedly.
“No my boy, of course not, it’s too sensitive, as you well know. The Guardians have already communicated their misgivings to us.”
“I can’t help it if they’re afraid of dinosaur’s.” Alvis pouted as he walked to the kitchen.
“That’s not what they’re afraid of Alvis. But the fact that they are concerned has me very worried.”
There was a bell from the intercom.
“Hello? Jasiel’s? We’d like to speak with you, it’s very urgent.”
A man and a woman in matching gray jumpsuits stared from the monitor above the door.
“Well in that case you’d better come up” said Ben, swiping them in with a flick at the AI.
A moment later the two strangers entered, greeting Ben as they glanced about the place warily. “The Guardians haven’t been yet?” the woman asked, surprised.
“They sent message last night. My husband Josuel is at the spire with them right now. Who are you?”
“Covering up his own son’s miraculous find? How dreadful for you all.”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean” Ben replied. “Who are you?”
“Well, to put it simply, my brother and I are seekers: protectors of truth.”
“That’s a hard line of work in this day and age” Ben quipped.
“’In war, truth is the first casualty’” the man replied gruffly.
“And we do consider this a war” his sister continued, as Alvis reentered the room with a shilajit sandwich.
“Well your violent delusions do nothing to enamor you to me, and I ask you to keep them away from my family” Ben said, turning to usher his son away.
“Is this about the Pterosaur?” said Alvis, his fervor evident for all to see.
“It is indeed young Alvis, and we’d like you to tell us all about it. But now is not the time, and this is not the place” replied the woman.
“In fact, this is a most dangerous place” added her brother.
“We’d like you both to come with us. We’ll send for Mr Jasiel as soon as he arrives home tonight.”
“Most certainly not!” Ben exclaimed. “You come to my home and speak of war and expect me to trust you?”
“We don’t in the least” said the woman. “It may, however, be your family’s only salvation”
Just then there was a bell from the intercom.
“Mr Jasiel, let us up this instant.” A member of the constabulary appeared on the monitor as drones flashed past the windows. The strangers made towards Alvis as Ben paused to compute, caught between protecting his son and saving face with the authorities. “We’re coming up” the officer continued. “We have your husband with us.” Before he could stop them the siblings were pulling Alvis off his feet towards the balcony. As they burst out of the room two officers replaced them, then another two, and two more as the paternoster rose. Finally, seven personnel in uniform stood in the room with the two Jasiel men. Ben swayed, his mind racing, watching as his son trailed over the balcony. He ran to the railing and saw a winged metallic beast swoop into the path of the three freefallers. They landed smoothly and sailed away as one, the drones in hot pursuit. Ben turned to look at the men occupying his home, and saw his husband slumped in between two of the officials, clearly sedated.
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