CHAPTER 37 Forging bonds
Lay stood in front of the D.E team, apparently blocking their path. His eyes reflected confusion caused by negative feelings that were evidently affecting his judgment.
"I knew it." He whispered rashly. "Don't you understand what you are doing, K9?!" He then directed towards K9 who just listened to him confused by his aggressive behavior.
"We need to do this, my brother." K9 tried to explain himself.
"Nonsense!" Lay yelled. This took everyone by surprise. Never have they felt so much anger coming out of one of their own.
Laser quickly ran and placed himself in between.
"Please, Lay. You have to come back to your senses!" the wise Chihuahua begged at no avail.
"Listen to him, Lay!" Lya interceded as well. "They must have a good reason for this." The words of the young white Evocanis fell in deaf ears.
Lay walked at a strong pace towards K9, who quickly felt intimidated by the penetrating gaze of the Wolf-Malamute Evocanis.
"Lay," K9 said. "We found our lost brothers." He said while Lay continued to approach him. No one knew what the Wolf-Malamute would do.
"You lie! You will put us all in danger again!" Lay yelled.
"Enough!" Silver demanded. Her direct order was completely ignored by Lay who was now evidently going to throw himself at K9.
K9 somehow felt guild in him for what had happened a few days ago. That froze his body, making him close his eyes and wait the attack of his brother without ever attempting to defend himself.
But suddenly, one in the group jumped right at Lay, stopping him immediately. The sudden and unexpected action made Lay react violently, engaging in a physical attack at the one who tried to stop him.
It was Hasky.
Both Evocanis had a clash revolved in fierce growls and swift attacks at each other. The scene was shocking. No Retcan, and worst yet, no Evocanis had ever witnessed two of their brothers attacking each other physically.
"Stop, NOW!" Silver demanded again.
Both Evos stopped for a second, but kept on looking at each other, with their fangs showing. Both really didn't hurt each other, but both did have some minor scratches and bite marks that bleed lightly.
"Please stop, Hasky!" Husky demanded. He had never seen Hasky acting so violently. He was about to step in when he was stopped by Titan.
"Stop, Lay! What have you done?!" Laser yelled as he approached his friend in intent to avoid another scuffle. This startled Lay, who instinctively attacked the Chihuahua who approached him by behind. A kick threw the small Evocanis a few meters from where they were. Laser was apparently not hurt but definitely stunned.
This infuriated Hasky who threw herself again at Lay in a desperate attempt to stop him.
But before she could act, eight Retcans were already ordered by Silver to stop them. Four of them held Lay and the other four held Hasky.
"Stop this nonsense!" Silver yelled again. She was stunned by what she had just witnessed. "There is no need to fight each other. What is wrong with you, Evos?"
Lay fought to get loose, attempting to bite the Retcans who held him.
"Calm down or I will stun you, Evocanis!" Shadow warned him while he tried to calm him down with words.
The rest checked on Laser who was already being aid by Lya.
"He didn't mean it, Lya. Calm down. I'm alright." Laser tried to ease the desperation that Lya showed at that moment. "I'm harder than I look." He said while letting out a mild chuckle, but the stress in his tone of voice was obvious.
On the other side, Hasky was much calmer, but her eyes were full of tears.
"I'm ok..." She said. Hasky didn't oppose any resistance so the Retcans let her free.
"Are you sure you're fine, Hasky?" K9 questioned her. He was altered. "You shouldn't have done that, Hasky! He was going after me." He said when he felt bad because he couldn't do anything after Hasky threw herself so quickly at Lay. He knew that he should've confronted him.
"I'm fine, K9." Hasky replied. Her muzzle bleed lightly after Lay probably bit or scratched her on their skirmish.
Lay on the other hand was uncontrollable. No warning was obeyed and that left the Retcans no choice but to stun him.
This was probably the strangest moment that Evocanis' had gone through. Retcans were also confused by what they witnessed, but soon understood that it was not their fault. The moment that they had gone through a few days ago, plus, the impact that the fact that their lost brothers were found was enough to affect their sensitive nature.
After almost twenty minutes, everyone was much calmer. Lya and Laser were in a room where Lay recuperated after he was stunned by one of the Retcans. Lya was a nerve wreck after witnessing her father acting more erratic than usual. She rested next to him, never taking her sight from Lay. Laser also kept watch.
The rest couldn't afford to loose more time.
"Are you sure you can continue?" Titan questioned the D.E team. They were all at a lab within the inner depths of R105.
K9 looked at his team that responded nodding at him. That was the answer he was expecting.
"We are ready to continue." K9 confirmed.
They were guided through the lab. The place was dark with many purpose-build instrument panels, escorted by a crew of R105's defense squad. This place looked a lot more different than the illuminated hallways and rooms full of glass panels and the typical strong whitish light that engulfed most of R105 rooms except for the bridge and the Strategy Room. The soothing organic shapes of R105 were forgotten here.
As they continued their way in, they started to feel how the temperature dropped even lower than usual. Two Retcans that guarded the place moved aside to let Titan and the D.E Team approach. Soon they found themselves in front of a large capsule that was covered in ice.
"So, this is it?" K9 whispered.
"Indeed it is, my friends." Titan replied.
"Why, Titan?" Hasky questioned the commander. She still didn't want to accept the fact that the Retcans held one of those things for all these years and never told them.
"Again, we needed to gather as much information as possible. We always feared that the machines would attack again, and if we were not here to help you, at least we could teach you whatever we learned form them so you would be ready to defend yourselves from a new attack."
Husky and the rest of younger Evos watched that monstrous thing trapped in its ice burial. They already knew how terrible those moments were for the older generation Evos; seeing this thing in person made them feel even worst.
"How could you fight these things with your bare hand-paws?" Husky asked. He could now picture the agony that his brothers and sister might've gone through when killed mercilessly by these monster.
There was no response. Hasky had her eyes closed. Her face showed much discomfort.
"The sooner we continue the better." Titan said in an attempt not only to get their mission going, but to break those memories from the Evos.
"We've worked very hard with this machine." He continued. "With the help of Cobalt and other colleagues we've managed to erase the systems of this machine that give it some sort of consciousness, and turn it into a remote device. This thing will only move and act upon our commands."
"Why do you keep it frozen then?" K9 asked.
"A valid question, my friend," Titan didn't hesitate to give him an answer. "For some reason, this thing can't be deactivated. The only way is to lower its inner core temperature. That somehow puts this thing into a stasis state. Its circuits stop working and its fluids, when frozen, keep it from moving. Whoever created this thing wanted to make it as a live as possible."
"What's the plan then?" Hasky asked after opening her eyes. She was listening very carefully all along, though she couldn't ignore not only her memories, but that incident with Lay just a few minutes ago.
"The plan is still the same." Titan replied. "We go in, infiltrate with the help of this machine and plant the bug in The Hive's systems. We will plan our rescue mission based on what we find."
"Let's move then." K9 said.
There weren't many things to think about at that moment. The plan was set. It was time to act.
It did take a few hours to prepare everything. The most delicate part was to load the ship with all the equipment, and of course, the machine.
Soon, they were all armored and ready for their departure.
"Titan," Silver said. She was at the hangar, making sure that everything was going smoothly. "Take your time. Don't rush it. You know the dangers of this operation."
"I will be cautious, Captain." Titan responded as he walked inside the ship.
"Don't worry Silver; I'll take care of them." Shadow added. He would be the leader of the defense team that would escort the ship.
"Thank you for doing this, my friend." Silver told Shadow.
"You know I'll do what it takes to save the Evos and keep us all safe. Red gave me some pain suppressors that will keep my ghost wounds at bay."
Eight Retcan-Spec Wolf500 fighters got ready to join the defense squad. Their group would be as small as possible to avoid being spotted. This was a stealth mission.
"Fx," Hasky called the orange Evo that was getting ready. She looked at him directly to the eyes. "You are staying."
"What?" Fx responded harshly. His quite violent reaction reassured Hasky that it was the best choice.
"And that's exactly why you are staying." Hasky said. "Your behavior has been very erratic these last days. I don't want you doing anything reckless that will endanger not only us, but R105 and ultimately Canis Major."
"You can't do this to me! I'm part of the D.E team!"
"Then this is an order, Fx. You will stay here." K9 jumped in. "Do I make myself clear?"
Hasky approached him and gently held him between her arms.
"I know how you're feeling, Fx." Hasky whispered to his ear. "You'll understand this is for the best. I ask you this favor please. If Fibi or Xy are alive and trapped in that ship, we must plan their rescue very carefully."
"I will maintain my calmness, I promise." Fx begged.
"I will decide that, Fx. Now it's not that time."
Fx had no option but to obey. But every inch of his body wanted to jump into that ship regardless of the orders given.
"Husky," Hasky then directed towards the black and white Evo. She approached him and whispered him something. "Please stay here and take care of your brother."
Husky was about to object when Hasky placed her had-paw on his muzzle and hushed him.
"Please, Husky." She said.
Husky nodded in agreement, though he felt really disappointed that he wouldn't participate in the mission.
"Thank you, Husky." Hasky replied. She licked his nose and caressed his face while she walked away into the ship.
"Take care, Hasky and K9. Good luck." Husky said. He knew that they were in good hands. Hasky and K9 were experienced enough, plus, they were being accompanied by the Retcans.
At the end, Anubis decided to stay as well. Only K9 and Hasky boarded the ship.
It didn't take long for them to set their way to The Hive. It would be a difficult mission, but if executed correctly, nothing wrong would happen.
Almost an hour passed after they left. The opener probe would leave them very far from The Hive so their approach would be as slow as possible to keep a low profile. In R105 they could only wait until the team reached the target.
Husky tried to keep Fx calmed. Anubis and Ace always kept themselves close to them, trying to distract Fx from focusing too much on what made him so uneasy those past days. Husky decided to pay a visit to Lay and get to know him, while Fx rested in a lounge close by.
Husky carefully walked into the room where Lay was being checked by a Retcan medic. Lya and Laser were still with him.
"You're going to be ok, my Evo friend." the female Retcan said. "Try to calm down, ok? I've given you a very mild sedative so you can relax. You'll feel a little bit dizzy, but you'll be fine."
"Hi," Husky said in a low voice as he entered the room. "Can I come in?"
"Sure you can, my friend." The white female Retcan replied.
"If you need anything, please let me know." The Retcan advised them. "Just so you know who to ask for, my name is Crystal."
The female Retcan walked out of the room patting Husky in his shoulder in a friendly gesture as she smiled at him on her wait out.
Husky then walked to where the three unknown Evos were. Lay sat on a weird sofa-like furniture while he stared out the window. The white Spitz Evocanis sat next to him, and the Chihuahua sat at the other side of the room.
"You must be Hasky's son, right?" The Chihuahua said. Husky was surprised of how such an elegant and deep voice could come from the small Evocanis.
"Yes," Husky replied.
"Pleased to meet you, Husky; that's your name, right?" Laser approached to greet him.
"It is," Husky replied which both held their hand-paws in a friendly way of greeting each other.
"I'm Laser. Hasky told us a lot about you and Fx when we were in H2."
"Listen," Laser quickly changed his tone. "I'm sorry for what Lay did. He didn't mean it."
"Don't worry. Hasky told us a little bit about Lay." Husky replied whispering. "I'm just here to know if he's ok."
"He always keeps the Hangar security cameras linked to his ComPod. That's how he knew that you guys were coming here. I never tried to discuss the reason why he does that because I think it gives him a sense of peace at some level. I was wrong, I guess."
Laser looked back at Lay letting out a sigh.
"My friend," Laser told Husky "he didn't take the attacks too well. I mean, I don't blame him, but whatever happened to him, that's been haunting his peace since then. I've never encountered another Evo that hasn't been able to overcome his past."
"Whatever you do Husky, please avoid talking about the attacks or the D.E1."
"I understand, Laser."
"I'll go check on the progress of the team; maybe I'll get to know your brother as well. I'll be back." Laser told Husky as he exited the room.
As Husky approached the other two Evos, the white spitz turned her sight to him as she smiled.
"Hi," Husky greeted them softly. "I'm Husky."
"Hi Husky," the white female greeted him happily. "I've heard from you. I'm glad to meet you at last."
"You must be Lya, right?" Husky asked her.
"You got it." Lya replied. "Come, you can sit with us here." Lya gave husky some space to squeeze next to them.
Husky never took his sight from Lay. He finally got the courage to talk to him.
"Eh," Husky said. "I just wanted to know how you are doing, Lay."
Lay didn't respond immediately.
"I also wanted to meet you."
Lay turned to Husky and stared at him as if wanting to say something. But the words didn't came out.
"You two are father and daughter, right? I can tell. Even if you are not alike, there is something in your eyes and in your scent."
"You look just like Hasky," Lay finally talked. "more than I imagined."
"Yeah, they usually say that." Husky smiled at him.
"Listen Husky," Lay said seriously. "I apologize for my behavior. I had had no right to attack Hasky the way I did. I will never forgive myself for I did today." Lay said. He was much calmer than one would expect, probably due to the sedative, but his eyes reflected great sorrow.
"Don't worry, Lay. It's completely understandable." Husky said as he smiled. He then got closer to Lay giving him some friendly contact.
After a while, Lay insisted that he needed some rest. His body felt numb and couldn't stay awake despite the intense emotions that scrambled his mind at the moment.
Lya and Husky decided to walk around R105 for a while to shake off the intense experience that they went through a little while back. They also needed to distract themselves a few minutes from thinking of the dangerous missions that their friends were taking place in at the moment.
"So Husky," Lya tried to keep the conversation going. "Why did you decide to be part of D.E1?"
"It's a long story. At the beginning it was just out of curiosity. Then, Fx and I realized that we could do this as a way of thanking Hasky and the rest for taking care of us after such horrific events."
"I know what you mean." Lya replied. "What better way for us the newer generation to return the favor? We owe our older brothers our life and the fact that they have given us such a nice and carefree life."
Both walked slowly through the empty corridors of R105 talking about themselves. Despite their apparent differences they soon realized that their situation was very similar.
"My reason wasn't really because of curiosity." Lya continued with her story. "At the beginning, I did this to bring my father out of his trauma. It hurts me to see him like this."
Lya explained her situation to Husky who soon understood the reasons why Lay might've act the way he did.
"What disappoints me the most is that at the beginning Lay started to change," Lya continued. "but then the thing with the Supernova happened and he became worst than before."
"He'll come back to his senses, I know. I like your father. He looks strong despite what he is going through."
"I don't know Husky; I mean, I know he's strong from what Laser has told me, but he's been this gloomy since before I was born. So basically I've never known the real Lay. It's a shame. He's so young. He was just eight when he and my mother had me. Such a short life, and he's known nothing but pain."
"He needs to talk with Hasky. She usually knows how to bring Evos out of their traumas. She's an expert on that; she has been doing it since she lives in H2."
"I know. Talking with her is what started to change Lay positively. Hasky is such an intelligent and sweet Evocanis. You and Fx are so lucky." Lya said with a friendly smile. "You are identical to her. You even have that same energy. I'm glad I met you Husky."
Both kept walking to a more secluded area of R105. They talked about their lives and their family. They realized how very identical they were. Even their age and size are almost the same.
Either Husky or Lya had ever felt this strange and different kind of an unnamed feeling of attachment towards another Evo.
Why does she make me feel this in my belly?
They felt the same unconditional love for each other as they felt for the rest of their brothers and sisters, but there was something else going on; something that they had never felt.
He's so sweet. For some reason I just want to stay next to him.
Husky and Lya looked at each other, smiled and for some reason they held each other in the warmest, most gentle hug.
This feels so good. I don't want it to end.
"I'm glad I met you too, Lya." Husky said as he got closer to her and licked her nose.
Lya replied followed by a lick in Husky's nose.
They needed that. The Evos were going through very difficult times. This gentle and warm moment would help them overcome the unsettling moments that they might go through in the near future.
For now, there were more important things going on at the moment that required all their focus. Later would be the time to be Evos. Both walked very closely to each other as they finally decided to go meet with the rest and continue to be alert of the situation ahead of them.
But deep inside both knew that a new and very special friendship bond was forged.