Presented in partnership with my collaborator TheCosmicBeholder Life continues for the denizens of the Fortress of Evening - Captain Evening's New Odds, and Kate Five and Centennia's New Section P teams. In this brand new chapter it's time for Kate to learn about her origin, and the truth behind Project F.I.V.E. which gave her her powersPrevious episode -
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Episode 8 - Here Is The Future (and it's not looking so bright)
The dinner party wrapped up and goodbyes were being said. Centennia put her arms around Quincy who squeezed her tightly in a warm hug. Taki, whom Centennia previously had a degree of bad blood with, smiled warmly and kissed Cen on the cheek before they left. Taki's clone-daughter had been left in the care of Marcus and Lori, who would be a surprising choice for babysitters at any other time, but the vampiric pair relished the opportunity to nurture a child.
Soon the living room was mostly empty. The adults were cleaning up, (a tongue-in-cheek nickname Aideen, Burst Lion, Ionic Angel and Lacrecia had given to the likes of Captain Evening, Nexi, Rhys and Merv), leaving Centennia and Kimberley. Centennia stood by the penthouse door seemingly lost in thought when Kimberley came and took her by the hand. Centennia looked down at the hand, snapping out of her solipsism. Kimmy led her by the hand to the sofa beside the bookshelf.
"So.." Kimberley began, ".. you know Katie and I shared a kind of telepathic link, right?" Centennia nodded. "I don't mind telling you, it wasn't always easy!" she laughed, eyes staring off into her memories. "I know you and I haven't really spoken all that much.." she said, looking down with a trace of shame before looking Cen in the eye, ".. but I want you to know that Katie loved you, so so
Centennia smiled weakly, squeezing Kimberley's hand. "Thank you Kimberley.."
"I want to tell you a story.. Growing up, we were inseparable. We were your typical pair of identical twins. We wanted to dress the same, and style our hair the same. We'd finish each other's sentences, and get into all kinds of mischief. The link meant I always knew what Katie was thinking. I knew when she came up with some naughty plan, and she'd give me this look, because she knew I'd heard it. And we'd carry out her plan without ever discussing it out loud. It was great fun.." she laughed, before looking down sadly. Centennia squeezed her hand, urging her on. "It's when we got a little older that things were harder. We both started developing pretty early. By the time we started secondary school, age eleven to twelve, we were wearing some pretty serious bras while some of the other girls didn't need them yet. It singled us out a bit. You know how much fitting in is the most important thing when you're that age.. ha. But we always had each other. But throughout school, that's when Katie started getting super invested in sports, and I found science. For the first time we weren't doing the same after-school activities. Our salt-of-the-earth parents started pushing and encouraging Katie in her sports and athletics, but couldn't show the same investment or enthusiasm for my interests. I understand now. I'm a woman. But it took a lot of years to put it into context. My family were never big on maths and science. Why should I expect them to show an interest in something they couldn't have helped me with even if they wanted to?
I'll get to the point, I promise.." Kimberley giggled. "So, we were twelve when Katie started masturbating.." Centennia's eyebrows began to rise, ".. there is a point, seriously!" she laughed. "And because of our link, I felt everything
. Her sexual awakening sort of dragged me along for the ride. She knew
I felt it. Dirty bitch.." Kimberley chuckled, bringing a smile to Centennia's face, ".. I've been wearing panty-liners every day since then because of her. That girl would get wet at the most inopportune times.. While I'm having to stand up in class and do a presentation, or during her sports games, or after
her sports games, or in the morning, or in the evening.. it was relentless! I think it's one of the reasons I left the UK when I turned eighteen, taking a scholarship in Advanced Robotics here in the States. The distance seemed to help muffle the link. But, Centennia.." she addressed her, making eye contact again, ".. this is the part I wanted you to know. Since we came to live here with you and the Odds, I've felt every bit of passion Katie had for you. The times when the two of you have been making love, it's almost been too much for me to take-"
"Oh my. I'm sorr-" Centennia began.
"- oh my god, no, don't worry! I mean in a good way! Katie never hid her feelings. In fact one of the things I realised about Katie is that she was always honest
.. With herself and others. That business in Hell where Valmorri used the feelings you had to try and destroy the team was not a great example of course.. but I know that Katie was genuinely in love with Taki. At least in whatever way Katie believed it. She had feelings for you since you first met, I'm sure you know that, but in all our time living here leading up to that trip* (see The Nude Odyssey for that exciting tale! -Ed) never did I feel Kate's commitment falter. But when the two of you made your relationship official, of my god, the love I've felt from her when she was with you.." Centennia smiled warmly, both women's eyes beginning to glisten, ".. My heart was fit to burst whenever I was around you both. I'm sure you never doubted how Katie felt about you, but I just really wanted you to know just how strongly she cared about you."
"Thank you, Kimberley.."
"We both know that Katie had a dark side, probably better than anyone else in the world, but I genuinely believe that in this last year together.. you really brought out the best in her."
Centennia smiled and brought Kimberley close in a tight hug. "Thank you.."
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Centennia was alone now in her villa, just outside of the city. She stared at herself in the mirror and let out a long sigh. Her conversation with Kimberley had filled her heart with warmth, but it made her long for Kate all the more. On some level she had been avoiding speaking with Kimberley one-on-one. She looked so much
like her lost love. They spoke differently, but they shared the same huskiness in their tone. But her eyes. They were too much
like Kate's. She knew Kimberley well enough not to mistake her for Kate, their hair and makeup being an obvious giveaway, but sometimes in the corner of her eye it was as if Kate was still here.
She moved into her bedroom, her eyes coming to regard her bed. A month ago had been their first anniversary since officially becoming a couple. Centennia smiled at the memory. They had a picnic in Central Park. Kate of course wanted to do something sexual and exciting, and so there they were behind a tree, Kate's head under her skirt and devouring her sex. They had gotten so close to being caught, and that only spurred Kate on all the more. That evening they had a romantic meal at the villa before retiring to the bedroom. This bedroom.
Since their daughter Claire that arrived from the future* (see Tales To Behold by TheCosmicBeholder
-Ed), they had been discussing what this meant for them going forward. Were they going to try for a baby? Could Centennia even get pregnant? What about Kate's not-quite-human biology? Were they even ready
for a baby? All of these questions had led to that anniversary night. They had decided to try. They had made love dozens if not hundreds of times by this point. But that evening was the most passionate, and most meaningful. And now she was gone.
Centennia slumped onto her enormous, empty bed and let the tears flow.
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"The results will be back in a minute or two.." said Professor Madison. She looked around awkwardly, unsure what to say to fill the time.
"Thank you, Madison." smiled Centennia. "You've always been our go-to when it comes to the science of super-beings."
"Hey! Don't mention it, Cen! Now, you said on the phone that your period has been pretty late..?"
"Yes. I thought nothing of it since Kate's death.. Stress and the like can cause it. And up until this week I've not exactly been eating a great deal.."
Madison nodded. "Of course, of course. I remember you both came to me to discuss the possibility of getting pregnant. It was an interesting experiment! Your physiologies made it hard to predict, but it's certainly not impossible. How late is your period, anyway?"
"Three weeks.." said Centennia, biting her lip.
"Woah! That is
late.. I'll, uh.. go check those results now.." Madison busied herself at her work station, wishing the analysis machine would come to a conclusion quicker. Twenty agonisingly-long seconds later, there was a bing
noise from her machine. "Let's see.. hmmm... huh.." she muttered to herself.
"Have you gotten anything?" Centennia asked cautiously.
"I... hmmm... oh yes! I have it!" Madison spun in her chair to face Centennia with an excited grin. "Centennia... you're pregnant!"
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TO BE CONTINUED
Centennia, Madison and the Odds appear courtesy of TheCosmicBeholder
Quincy aka the Phantom Pistoleer appears courtesy of Gwynplainest