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Cause [1.4.8]

The door slammed open.

“OH MY GOD.” moaned Geoffrey, crashing into the room, disturbing Saiph, who had fallen asleep. Cassie and Rana followed moments after, both also very tired but not as vocal about it as Geoffrey.

“Things go a’ight, chicas?” asked Saiph, blearily rubbing his eyes.

“You may well retire to your room.” Rana said. “I don’t want to see you, and it is extremely late.”

Saiph shrugged, and sloped off. He wasn’t particularly fond of being alone in the flat with Rana, and he was pretty sure the Cassie girl wasn’t a fan of his advances either. He sighed, and sat alone in the darkness of his room. With a flick of his wrist phone, he scanned his messages and was disappointed to see that none of his few friends were online.

He quickly realised that there was an entirely obvious reason for this: it was ridiculously late, and everyone would be sleeping. Following suit, Saiph stripped out of his hoodie and clothes, checked his bare chest out in his mirror for a moment before sagging and sighing, then slipped into the comforting embrace of his bed.

As he gently drifted into a restful sleep, the three figures outside the room were talking quietly, with Geoffrey and Rana on the sofa and Cassie sat comfortably in the armchair.

“So, that was… Saiph, was it?” asked Cassie.

“Yes. Saiph… his heart is in the right place, but he’s a complete pillock, as I said. Take what he says with a pinch of salt, and ignore his 90s nonsense.” Rana replied. Cassie nodded. Geoffrey, meanwhile, had found something more interesting on the wall of the hub room.

“Hey! You got TV on Void?”

“…No. I, what- How would that even work?” Rana sputtered. Geoffrey laughed.

“What do you watch, then?” asked Cassie.

“This is a viewport. I, um, don’t exactly know how they work. But rest assured, we can freely watch the actions of anybody on any planet at any point in history.”

“…Seriously?” Geoffrey said. Rana nodded, handing him the remote. “Give it a go.”

Geoffrey began to fiddle with the buttons, and eventually found the search system – planets, types of life, time period… the options were borderline excessive.

“Incredible.” Cassie remarked. “…What are other planets like?”

“Wonder no longer!” announced Geoffrey with swagger as he inputted some search terms. “We will find a random planet and…”

One flicked up, showing ashen-grey creatures wearing hoods talking to one another.

“Grey skin, just like you guys.” Geoffrey said. “What are they doing?”

“Looks like Pollus – it’ll be something political, it always is.” Rana replied. “Give it a watch, if you want. I’m probably going to go to bed.”

Geoffrey was hardly listening to her at that point, but Cassie nodded. “I’ve forseen that you’ll be rising early tomorrow. And in the meantime… Mizar has had an altercation with some other Voidians.”

“Is he alright?”

“From what I can tell, yes. He’s travelling in… what looks to be some kind of rainbow ocean?”

“That’s the Reaches. Must be on the right track.” Rana replied. “Thanks, kid, that sets my mind at ease. Goodnight; don’t stay up too late.”

“More training tomorrow?” asked Cassie.

“Invariably.” came the reply as Rana walked into her room, leaving the door to fall closed gently.

Geoffrey and Cassie sat on different sofas – though they had known each other for many years, it was still awkward to meet in person, and Cassie hadn’t always liked Geoffrey as much as the other kids. He was… forward. He certainly had his uses; keeping an eye on Zack was just one of many. But it wasn’t enough to save him from her dislike.

“Hey.” Geoffrey said, noticing her disdainful self-reflection. “You still thinking about… you know, that? I promise you, I’ve grown up since then.”

“Not really. You were just as misogynistic and forward as you’ve always been today.”

“Come on. Cass, look, I’m still a bit similar to the way I was, but I’ve still grown up a bit. I was a stupid kid – remember, I keep an eye on Zack for ya.” Geoffrey said. Both were trying to watch the events on the viewport, but the confrontation was distracting their attention.

“I know, I know. I… have seen bad things in your future. Know your limits. Know their consent.”

“Fucking hell, Cass, I’m no monster. I wouldn’t do that. You know I wouldn’t.” he replied.

Cassie glanced down into her lap sadly. “…I’m only saying what I’ve seen.”

They fell back into an awkward silence as they continued to watch the political debate raging on the viewport.

“…I think that one’s called Rogeline.”

“You’re getting this?” asked Geoffrey incredulously. Cassie nodded.

“I believe this Rogeline character is trying to issue some kind of decree against the government… if that is what these other hooded figures are.”

“I guess.” Geoffrey replied. “I can barely make out what they’re saying.”

“Turn the volume up.” Cassie suggested. Geoffrey lifted the remote, located the volume control and bumped it up a few notches.

They watched for about twenty minutes in virtual silence, only making brief quips now and then. Cassie yawned as the meeting came to a close and the figures adjourned.

“Perhaps we should take a leaf out of their books.” Cassie said.

“Guess we’re kipping on the sofa and chair, then.” Geoffrey replied. Cassie nodded, and looked awkwardly at him. “Do you…”

“Take the sofa.” he said, standing up and giving a gentlemanly bow. “I can sleep in the chair, I’m used to it.”

“Thank you.” Cassie replied. They walked past one another, swapping places. Cassie settled herself on the sofa, and Geoffrey lay on the armchair, giving a relaxed sigh. With a click of the remote, the viewport switched off, plunging the hub room into darkness.

The kids remained awake for a little while longer. Cassie was haunted by visions of the future – a group of Voidians, Lola in tow, confronting a haphazard fight between several Zionids and some human children; a gun, held up and pointing directly at a terrified and shaking Geoffrey; Ephra, stood in her hub room on Zion, facing off against shadowy opponents.

The future was an uncertain and scary place.

Geoffrey’s thoughts were occupied by wonderment and a prolonged sense of sombreness. One the one hand, Void was an incredible location. He longed to explore the dark streets, learn about the people of Void, but on the other hand… Cassie was right. He had to grow up if he was to save the universe.

In my defence, he thought, I did send a tasteful picture of my dick.

Cause [1.4.7]
Cause [1.4.9]

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