Chapter 05

Nyo appeared in the Ark's medical bay and quickly surveyed the situation before him. The Medbots had each boy in their own regeneration chamber and both were surrounded with more Medbots then were needed; Nyo knew something was wrong.

"Caretaker," called out one of the Medbots as it rushed up to him. "We have a problem. The organ generator will not come online so that we can make new kidneys for the one human and the other one is flailing about and will not let us touch him. If we can not make the organs for the one then he will die within the hour and if we can not get near the other then he will soon follow from blood lost."

Suddenly a scream followed by cursing came from the left side of the room.

"Have you tried to calm the boy?" asked Nyo as he headed over to see what he could do.

"Yes sir, but we do not understand the language that the human is speaking," said the Medbot as it hurried behind Nyo.

"All of you back off," Nyo told the Medbots when he reached the regeneration chamber.

"Sir the human will not..." started one of the Medbots.

"His name is Dmitry," said Nyo as he looked down at the frightened boy.

Having heard his name the boy looked up at Nyo and for a moment their eyes locked and neither one moved. Nyo looked deep into the boy's eyes and expected to see what he saw in little Joe's eyes earlier but Nyo was shocked to find that all he could see was pain; nothing more. Suddenly, though, the boy's expression turned from fear to recognition.

"I know you..." whispered the boy. "Please, help me...don't let them hurt me."

Nyo nodded his head and replied, "I won't but I need you to understand that they are trying to help you, not hurt you. They are called Medbots, they're like robotic doctors; they only want to help you."

Dmitry stared hard at Nyo, "You promise."

Nyo smiled faintly and then looked down at Dmitry's legs. The good Dr. Waltkins had started cutting on one side of the boy's leg and had cut down around the foot and up the other side on both of his legs. How was this boy even still conscious? Nyo knew that the pain had to be overwhelming.

"I promise that all they want to do is help," said Nyo as he looked back up at Dmitry.

Dmitry stared at Nyo for a few more seconds and then laid back and closed his eyes, "You got rid of Waltkins; I trust you."

Nyo motioned for the Medbots to start working again and then backed away.

"What language is that sir, it might do us well if we knew how to speak it," asked one of the Medbots.

"It's Russian," replied Nyo as he headed over to his next problem, the broken organ generator. "Ark can you make it available to the Medbots?"

< I just loaded the language into their shared database. >

"Thanks," said Nyo as he examined the organ generator. "Ark, do you have any idea what's wrong with this thing?"

< I am not really sure; I can not get any readings from it. We have not had to use it in over thirty thousand years so that may be part of the problem. I do have young Stepan's bio information ready to load when you do get it working. >

"Thirty thousand years," Nyo repeated to himself. "Ark, if I remember correctly the bio liquid cell packs for this unit or any of our med units aren't made to last that long, can you make me some new ones? I bet that's the problem."

< I have already had them made; one of the Medbots is behind you holding them for you. >

Nyo turned and took the cell packs from the waiting Medbot and then began replacing the old ones. Moments later the machine came to life.

"There, try running a check on it now," said Nyo.

< The organ generator is functioning at one hundred percent; I have started loading the information. The Medbots should be able to handle everything from here Nyo. >

Nyo nodded his head as he slowly walked over to the regeneration chamber on the right side of the room. He watched as the Medbots prepped the boy, Stepan, for the surgery that needed to be done on him. Just about every patch of his skin was marked with a bruise, some darker then others. Why would someone do something like this? Nyo thought about Dmitry on the other side of the room, how the boy was partially skinned alive. Why? Nyo shook his head and then walked towards the door.

< Nyo, where are you going? >

"I'm heading for the neuro-processing room," replied Nyo.

< Nyo are you ok? >

"I want you to teleport Dr. Waltkins body to the neuro-processing room before I get there."

< Okay, but Nyo I asked you a question. >

Nyo stopped and stared blankly into space for a moment, "Ark, why did you give me such a hard task to tackle right from the start? You know that I could have lost it, you know that what little I understand of human nature leaves me much more open to taking anything like this harder then anyone else."

< You asked for it so I gave it to you. Your original reason for studying Clan Short was to learn about them and learn if they are the hope that we have been looking for, not to get involved. I already told you before that if I knew how to fix humanity then I would have had you carry out that solution, but humans are unstable in every aspect and although I see patterns in how certain kinds of people act humans still seem to surprise me when put into particular situations. I think it is admirable that you want to help out, to try and save them from their own chaos but this task is far too large for you Nyo. It is far too vast and you will fail if you try taking on the world by yourself. You said to give you the worst; I could have found far worse then what I sent you into but I also wanted you to learn from this, I did not want to send you over the edge although that risk was still there as well. Clan Short can take on the world and you are welcome to help them if they really are that longed for hope but work with them if you want to take that path; with them I think you can make a difference but by yourself you will lose. >

"I can't tell if you are being supportive or telling me that you don't approve," replied Nyo.

< Nyo I never intended for you to understand humans, I intended you to help me survive. It never occurred to me that you would be interested in the affairs of humanity, you have never shown this interest before and you have been with me for over forty thousand years. Suddenly, though, you see humans looking out for other humans and you seem compelled to help out. >

"Because I'm human Ark! I want to help out because I've realized that every time you talk about hope for humanity that also refers to me!"

< But Nyo, you are not one of them. Genetically you are human but you are a subspecies, you are one of a kind and genetically superior to them. Why now do you want to help them, what did you not understand before about them that you understand now? >

"I've never been among actual humans up until I started this mission; I never realized just how much compassion and care they can have for one another. I never saw that they were willing to actually help one another in any capacity that they could, just because it was the right thing to do. It makes me think that maybe we missed that in past cycles; and maybe if we had nurtured that back then and helped out before, then maybe we wouldn't be on yet another cycle of destructive human nature. Maybe we would already have that peace we are waiting for humanity to achieve. I also never realized that I was missing out on anything before; not until I watched Sean and Cory interacting with each other and their sons."

< Very well, I do not really understand but I suppose that is fitting; I do not really understand most humans anyway. So why are you heading for the neuro-processing room and why did you have me teleport...wait Nyo are you going to.... >

"I'm going to reconstruct Dr. Waltkins, I have a few questions to ask him," said Nyo as he reached a door labeled 4E-50-52 and slipped inside.

The room, which had gray walls, only contained three objects; a table on which Dr. Waltkins body now laid, a computer terminal, and a projector looking device which sat in the center of the room pointing up.

Nyo walked over to the computer terminal and punched in a few command, "Ark please do a neuro-pathways map and a neuro-image of Dr. Waltkins and then reconstruct the man's mind in the imaging terminal here."

< The scan is complete Nyo, reconstruction complete. Go ahead and activate him when you are ready. Is this really a good idea Nyo? >

"I want to know why," replied Nyo as he punched in a few more commands on the terminal.

Suddenly the projector in the middle of the room came to life and there, floating above it was an exact replica of Dr. Waltkins.

"Hello Dr. Waltkins," said Nyo.

The image looked around and replied, "Where am I?"

"You're dead, I've just reconstructed your mind so that I could ask you a few question," said Nyo.

"Wait a second, you're the boy that killed me aren't you!" shouted Dr. Waltkins.

"Yes doctor, that was me," said Nyo.

"Then why the hell would I..." Dr. Waltkins started to say.

"Because I'll nuke your body over there if you don't," interrupted Nyo as he pointed at the doctor's lifeless body on the table. "And wipe you from the database."

"So you'll kill me...again," said Dr. Waltkins. "Great, the fun just never stops."

"Doctor, I want to know why you've done what you did to those children," said Nyo.

"Oh? Do I really need to explain myself to you? You wouldn't understand even if I did," replied the Doctor. "They were beautiful though weren't they?"

"The children? Before or after you finished with them?" said Nyo.

"After you stupid boy, they were so human before; but after I was finished they were works of art. Something that I could come home to and admire," said Dr. Waltkins fondly. "I wouldn't really expect you to understand, but I was given the Mandate of Heaven, I was doing the will of the heavens by glorifying and beautifying fallen children."

"The Mandate of Heaven? So you mean to say that heaven worked out its efforts to guarantee the well-being of humanity through your mutilation of these children?" spat Nyo.

"Like I said, you wouldn't understand. But I was given a gift, I see those that are fallen and I see how I can perfect them; how I can make them beautiful again. They were so lost, parentless, all of them with their blond hair and blue eyes, and their 'pretty' faces but I gave them direction by sending them on to the next life in a glorious and beautiful way. I gave them a gift," said Dr. Waltkins.

"Right, and how long have you had this Mandate of Heaven?" said Nyo sarcastically.

"Don't mock me," hissed Dr. Waltkins.

Nyo just stared at him.

"I was first blessed with this gift shortly after coming to Russia," said Dr. Waltkins. "If you do see it as a horrible thing boy then think of it like this 'lie once, cheat twice and then everything becomes clear and understanding with the universe'."

"And that is suppose to justify what you've done?" asked Nyo. "That makes no sense."

"Since when must I justify my actions? Me fulfilling the Mandate of Heaven is my way of helping humanity, you just don't see it like that; you are blind to the truth.

"What truth?" said Nyo. "You think there is truth in killing innocent children?"

"You're not really listening to a thing I'm saying are you? You can't get past the fact that what I did is something that you see as wrong, I pity you," said Dr. Waltkins.

"You pity me?!?" shouted Nyo. "Go to hell!"

"Hmmm I think I'm already there, would you like me to describe it to you? It's a room with four gray walls, the inability to move, and an idiot that doesn't understand me and thinks he's God," said Dr. Waltkins.

"You're right, the only thing I understand about you is that you are, or at least were, a doctor; and you think that murder is just as fine and right with the world as the action of taking a shit!" replied Nyo.

"Oh? Tell me if I'm wrong but didn't you also kill me?" said Dr. Waltkins.

"That's different," said Nyo.

"How so? I kill to make them beautiful and fulfill heaven's bidding and you kill in the name of what, justice?" said the Doctor. "Aren't they both murder if you're using the world's big book of standards?"

"I killed you to stop you from killing any other children," said Nyo. "You were too dangerous to be kept alive."

"Sure, that's just your way of saying you let your anger get the best of you," said Dr. Waltkins.

Nyo was silent for a moment.

"Dr. Waltkins, you killed innocent children. That is something that I would never stand by and let you live for even if I wasn't angry when I killed you. You deserved to die," replied Nyo.

"Ah but if we are using the world's standards then I also deserved a fair trial, which is something I didn't get," said Dr. Waltkins.

Nyo tilted his head and said, "But good doctor, I'm not part of any government; I'm not a citizen of any nation. My standards are my own and have been formed after thousands of years. Do you think I'm about to honor the laws that your government has set down? I will only honor my own judgment, what I perceive as right."

"Then how are you to say that I am wrong and that you are right if you are using your own judgment." stated Dr. Waltkins.

"Doctor, what we perceive as right and wrong is always up to us. And as I've learned today right and wrong are not always as clear as a passage from a textbook. Nothing is carved in stone for this matter, but what makes what I think right and what you think wrong is the knowledge that murder of innocence is wrong," said Nyo.

"And you see them as innocent? Ha don't make me laugh, no one is innocent," replied Dr. Waltkins.

"They're not the ones whose hands are covered in blood doctor," said Nyo. "There is no heaven that I know of that requires that the blood of a child be spilt for any reason to get them into heaven. Your mandate is flawed."

"That's a pretty big load of crap to come from a kid your age," said Dr. Waltkins. "You're just as flawed."

Nyo smiled, "The Ark would disagree, but yes I know I am. But the difference between you and me is that your views are disillusioned; mine on the other hand are just fuzzy."

"Disillusioned, isn't that just another way of saying cynical?" said Dr. Waltkins. "Look kid, I've just about had it with you mocking me..."

"You're right doctor; I think this has gone on long enough. Let's just agree to disagree about what we see as right and wrong," interrupted Nyo. "You believe something that humanity sees as wrong, while I believe that to help humanity those that hurt others have to be eliminated. I suppose they're almost the same thing from they way you look at it, but I assure you there is a difference."

"Yeah, tell that too..." Dr. Waltkins started to say but Nyo reached out and turned the projector off.

"Ark you can get rid of the good doctor's body now," said Nyo as he walked towards the door.

< Very good, should I save the neuro-image and neuro-map? >

"You can save the image but destroy the map, we don't need that personality sitting around corrupting memory," replied Nyo as he pulled the door shut and started heading back towards the medical bay.

< Nyo what did you really get out of that very odd discussion you had with Dr. Waltkins? He did not really have any answers for you; at least none that I could see, every thing he said was borderline insane. >

"The ability to sleep at night," said Nyo. "To know that I'm not like him in my own mind is enough for me."

< Nyo I already told you that you were justified in what you did. >

"Hearing it from you Ark isn't always enough," replied Nyo. "To hear something is one thing but to know it is so much more."

Nyo stopped at the door to the medical bay and looked in. Everything was quiet now, there were only two Medbots left monitoring the condition of the boys.

"How are they doing?" asked Nyo.

< Both boys are fine now; they will make a full recovery. It will take Dmitry a little longer but only because of nerve damage in his feet. I have had the Medbots make certain modifications to both of them that will allow them to heal faster. >

Nyo walked over to Stepan's regeneration chamber and gazed down at the boy. He could actually see the chamber healing the boy's bruises. Upon looking closer, Nyo noticed something different about Stepan's skin.

"Oh no, Ark you didn't," gasped Nyo.