The Parent Trap

So I caught up to some stuff I wrote that feeds back to some M2 material. Offered simply as alt-reality fiction.

Former Site of Chemical Weapons Lab 5469, Twenty Miles South of Kiev, Ukraine

Fifteen years ago

“Who is my mother?”

Achilles Cheka moved away from the table, its surface spread with highly annotated blueprints and manual sketches. He’d devoted the past four weeks to the reclamation of this former Soviet chemical weapons site. Plentiful equipment to be salvaged, he’d said. Primitive, in some cases of appalling low quality, in keeping with lax Soviet quality and safety standards (especially when deployed outside the borders of European Russia). He’d also suggested the possibility of utilizing the site as a base of his own, given the low likelihood of anyone else nosing around a property known to be toxic, surrounded by decaying barbed wire and rusted “заборонено” signs about it.

But first came careful mapping, not trusting that whoever had shut down the facility in mid-1991 during Ukraine’s swift moves to independence from the crumbling USSR had done so safely or without laying any “surprises” for those who followed.

Cheka’s face continued to aim at the maps before him, but his eyes flickered up at Alycia, and then away. He glanced at his chief deputy at the time, Kim Shih-ra. “Leave us,” he said, in a low growl, then continued to study the map until the door closed behind. She knew, even at her age, that they would not be interrupted.

After a few moments, he barked, “Well?”

Alycia, who had been standing there passively as she’d been trained, nodded. Inside, she was anything but calm or passive. She was, in fact, terrified. But with all that her father had explained in the year since she’d been brought to him–or, rather, with all that he had not yet revealed, this was the most obvious gap. And given that it was …

“My birthday. It’s today. Or, maybe, just the date I was told was my birthday.” A pause, long enough for him not to respond. “A year ago, you sent for me. I finally got to meet my father, as I’d been told I would my entire life. And now–” She hesitated. Boldness. Honesty. That’s what he says he wants. “Now I want to know about my mother.”


“Because–she’s my mother. She is as much–” She stopped herself.

“As much a part of you as I am?” he finished for her. After a moment, he barked again, “Well?” The question was not rhetorical, then.

“In … in a way.” She paused.

He did not. “Not in any important way!” A fist slammed into the heavy table, causing a loud thud to punctuate his comment.

Then he caught himself. Closed his eyes. Paused.

All things the great Achilles Cheka never did.

His eyes opened, though he was not looking at her, or the maps, or anything in the room. “That is … not correct. I see her in your face. She gave you half your genetic heritage. Her influence upon me–impacts you. I acknowledge these things.”

Alycia wasn’t sure what to say to that, so she remained silent.

He turned back to her. “But that is the past. She was a moment–not of weakness, but a moment that is long gone. Never to be repeated, even should I will it. And I do not.”

“Is she dead?”

After a moment, he nodded, curtly.

“Is there anything else you will tell me about her?”

He shook his head, sharply.

Another long moment, then she bowed to him. “Thank you.”

He made a non-committal sound. Then added, “It is time for further training. And further … assistance to your cognitive development.” He turned back to the floor plans.

The next day she was sent to a physical training camp in Peru, and did not see him again for six months. And when she did, her father had an array of medical treatments to assist in increasing her mental abilities.

He said.

And nothing there, in substance, contradicts anything already established in the Phase 2 stuff. So … there you go.

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