The End of Their Era
|Fenspace Infinities material. Fenspace Infnities material hasn't "happened" by the current timeline, though it's already been referenced in future-history or alt-history Fenspace stories and discussion. Here there be dragons of questionable canonicity, you have been warned. --The Mgt|
He had built it a few years ago. It had been played with and tested and tinkered with. And yet nobody could ever seem to figure out what was the last of Benjamin Rhodes's Blue Hair Moments. (And, without a doubt, the most epic one ever.) No less a personage than the Norse Goddess of Technology herself had analyzed the thing with the assistance of Washu Hakubi.
THE Washu Hakubi. Accept no substitutes.
And for all their knowledge, all they could do was scratch there heads, shrug, and say, "Well, it goes somewhere."
With that said and done, Benjamin locked it away deep inside 36 Atalante, where hopefully no one would get at it.
Times passes. It still worries at Benjamin, like a sliver wedged between his conscious thought processes and his subconscious. There was a reason that he built it. He knew it somehow.
Gina found him in the Memorial Sector, looking at the names of friends and loved ones - lost in combat or to natural causes. It never mattered to them - everyone deserved to be remembered. Ever-so-keen to his persona after centuries of being at his side, she gently slipped an arm around him. Even so long after he converted himself into a software AI and moved into a bio-android body, he still loved the physical sensations of intimacy.
And at long last, he spoke. "It doesn't matter how well my body functions. I feel old. Almost ancient, even. Like I have accumulated the sands of time I have lived in satchels and had them laid upon my shoulders. Gina, my beloved. It is time for us to move on."
"Another walk-about?" she pondered aloud. "You know that the TSAB doesn't like it when we cause trouble in other Universes, no matter how much good we do or what great friends we were of Nanoha's." She left out everyone else, but when associating with The White Devil it went without saying - they were all one big family over there.
"No, love, something else entirely. I think we should begin again by going where truly no one has ever gone before."
From there, it was a simple matter of settling their affairs. The estate was left for the family, and the family business had been running smoothly without their interference for almost two centuries. Benjamin didn't really worry about being forgotten or, worse, being deified. But he made sure that everyone in the family understood this. He was a builder, a leader, a fighter, and most of all, a lover. For he left his indelible mark on the universe not so he could be remembered (though it has a nice side-effect) but so that others could live a better, if not perfect, life.
Deep in the bowels of 36 Atalante was The 13th Floor. There, they kept things that, while not dangerously unstable, were the sort of items you did not want in other people's hands. Like the Mask of Loki (and wasn't that a fun story), the Ark of Covenant (they weren't sure how it got there, just that it had a note taped to it asking them to make sure nobody screwed with it again), and a device that produces a localized nano-verse where you can divide by zero (don't ask).
Many artifacts seemed innocuous enough. One such item was a door. It was a simple affair. It was made of wood paneling, with a wood frame, and a simple, round metal door knob that protruded from a rectangular metal plate. The door was painted red and had a single, simple, yellow, five-pointed star to adorn it. It stood freely without support of any wall or bracing, and if you walked around to the other side the door would seem to cease to exist. In fact, if one were feeling particularly brave and put an appendage through the space the door occupies, it would simply go through the door unharmed. Of course, this had the disconcerting effect of making it seem like someone was 'ghosting' through the front-side of the door.
Mayonaka stood with her parents. She had grown up as Benjamin had suspected: shortish, but with a lean and athletic beauty and with movements that spoke of feline grace and a fighter's prowess (you do not want to be on the receiving end of her Verschlag).
"I'm going to miss you two so much," she whispered through her tears as she held both parents together in a hug.
"You could come with us," said Gina.
Mayonaka smiled a sad smile. "Not yet, Mother. Maybe in another century or two. I just want to make sure that the people we're leaving behind can really manage a bad situation without us."
"We'll watch for you then, my Little Raven," said Benjamin. He had no tears, but if a cyborg listened closely they could hear the strain in his voice.
"I'll hold you to it, Daddy."
Benjamin and Gina stepped back towards to open door. There is nothing but darkness inside it.
"Don't forget, Mayonaka," said Benjamin as the reach the threshold. "We'll never give up on you... and you are never truly alone."
"I love you."
"We know," said Gina. She then turned to her husband. "Are you ready?"
He nods resolutely. "Let's begin again."
They step through together, looking back and waving to their daughter. And as they disappear into the darkness the door closes with a creak and softly clicks shut.
Darkness slowly turns to a radiant light as they fall together. They knew they were going somewhere, but they weren't certain where, except that chances were pretty good they'd never go back. That was the ultimate thrill, made even better because they were going there together.