Chapter 1-

The classroom buzzed with chatter. First year students jabbering back and forth, introducing themselves to each other. One man was sitting in the back by himself, and was already fast asleep. Nobody paid him any mind though, as he was there since the first student arrived. He would likely still be there after they were finished with this period. His long brown mustache and unusual hairstyle stuck out like they had been gelled. In reality it was due to being shocked one too many times while hard at work.

A man in a lab coat walked into the room. His sudden appearance quieted the room as he stopped at the front, setting down a briefcase and an old, weathered, beaten book. He took a stack of papers out of the case and passed them to a student to be handed out to the rest of the class. His scraggly brown beard was as unkempt as his hair; He had long since given up on appearances.

He picked up the book and held it up in front of the room.

"There is no such thing as Multiple Universes, Alternate Dimensions, Parallel Worlds and Alien Lands far off in the darkest reaches of space. To the public, this is a fact. Science Fiction stories made to occupy the thoughts of the easily entertained, and bring in some money for those authors. And who can blame them? People need entertainment in their lives, something to distract them from the boredom of their dull and senseless lives.

"But there is truth to these words! The public, those poor ignorant fools, let these truths slip past them! They let the words go through their empty heads. It is in our history, and it drifts away from us as more choose to ignore it. There is documented evidence to these words. Undeniable proof, that at one point in our history, we walked on other worlds. And that people from those worlds walked on ours. That proof is written in this book, and passed through the generations of a family. This family holds the greatest secret in our world! The secret of the Golem! How to give life and free will to an object that normally would not, The Prometheus Equation!

"His creator granted him life, free will, and the right to choose his destiny. The Golem, Illforte was a pure hearted being with a thirst for knowledge. All that he lacked was the opportunity. For while he had the will, he was still confined to this world. He knew in his artificial soul that in order to grow, he would have to find a way to leave this world behind. Though he knew not how he could accomplish this feat. Then opportunity knocked on his very door. It came in the form of two individuals that were as strange as he was.

"The great Magi, Reynard Perher, and the mighty Elementalist, King Raitan of Floria appeared in our world. They too sought the knowledge of the cosmos. They had met by chance, some say. I say they were fated to meet. For when Illforte accepted their offer of friendship, they took him with. Meeting more amazing people than Illforte could ever hope to have before. A mighty warrior joined after him, by the singular name of Zorin. However, the most pivotal character in our history was met next, Sir Larson Klan, the Realmmaster of their age. This group of Companions traveled the worlds, and learned so much from each other.

"When the worlds were threatened, they fought together to defend the worlds. Receiving Metaworldly aid, power, a gift from the Travelers of Oer, they achieved victory time and time again. Even the War-Avatar of the invading world, the Tesserainaian Trathangias, could not prevail over them, though was pushed back with great sacrifice. Sir gave up his very life as a Realmmaster to drive the War-Avatar back into the swirling ether.

"The Companions, though victorious, did not celebrate. Instead they mourned, for they had lost one of their dear friends. The Realmmaster had given the very gift of life we all have, to save the worlds we lived in. The Companions, overcome with grief by this, chose to return to their homes and cease their travels. After they journeyed to Sir's homeland to inform his family of his great deed, they separated. The Travelers took from them their Metaworldly gifts, sealing them away until such a time as a new Realmmaster, one of Sir's lineage, would step forward. The doors to the other worlds closed, and remain so to this day.

"While we do not know what happened to the other three Companions. We do know this of Illforte. He returned to his creator to pass on his story, then in his sorrow, left to the farthest reaches of our world, and then sealed himself away, for although all of the Companions were grief-stricken, Illforte was devastated. He thought that he should have been the one to make the sacrifice. Not for glory or fame. Not to be hailed as the hero of the worlds. Because his was a life granted, yet not as sacred as that of one that had been born truly. Sir had a family to return to, a wife and children that would miss him. All that Illforte had was his knowledge, or so he thought.

"Illforte's creator had been an elderly man who only sought to have a family of his own once again. His wife had passed on. His children had left him to live alone. They sought their fortunes elsewhere, and thus knew nothing of Illforte or his friends. All but one that is, as the man's youngest son had returned. He too felt the pain of losing family, and wished to return to his father's house. Though he returned late in his father's life, the man still loved him. He passed on his knowledge of Illforte. He gifted his son with the Equation of life he had used. He then passed on to the next life, to meet his long gone wife.

"His son, feeling that he did not deserve this gift, spent years trying to find Illforte. While he never succeeded, he did find the time to write his father's, and Illforte's story. He again found a family, and decided to pass on the knowledge throughout time. Generation after generation the story was given from parent to child in the hopes that one day, Illforte might return. They would then welcome him proudly as a member of their family.

The man reading the story looked around the classroom. Though the tome he was reading from was older than everyone in the room, combined, they all found the contents fascinating.

"This story is not one of fantasy or science fiction! It is not meant to be used as a bedtime story for stubborn children who only want to stay up! This book and its tales are not for the likes of empty dreamers. NO!" He shouted, eyeing everyone in the room. "This story is for historians! To read of the past, learn from it, remember it! This book is for scientists! To study it, know it, and understand it!"

He smiled, for with these words he had seized the attention of all in the room. Well, almost everyone, as the man in the back snored away his cares. The man in the front did not mind this action though. It was a common occurrence in his first class of the year. This man had heard his speech the last four years. He would not miss much the fifth time around.

"For in this book," he continued, "is the greatest secret this world has to offer! The secret of that family, my family, is contained within its pages! Encoded inside the story is the Prometheus Equation!"

As a collective gasp filled the room, his smile broadened to his ears. He had them now, and there was nothing that would make them escape the trap of curiosity.

"My ancestor, the youngest son of Illforte's creator, encoded the Equation of Life into these very pages. Not as a test, nor in an attempt to make sure nobody could ever use it again. He did it to protect the secret. Should the wrong person simply steal the Equation, they could use it for foul and selfish purposes." He cleared his throat and continued. "Before a few short years ago, only a member of my family could be aware of the encoding. Sadly, my family now ends with me. No other member, no matter how distantly related is left. So, to ensure that the secret does not become lost to the annals of time, I teach this secret. Not the code, nor the Equation, for I know them not myself. No, I inform the future scientists of its existence.

"I present the challenge to you all, as I have to the last four years of fresh scientifically-inclined youthes. I believe from the bottom of my heart and soul that somebody that has attended this class will unlock the secret. I may even do it myself before the end of my life. But here lies a stipulation, my terms and conditions to you all. Not because I am required by legal means to present them. It is as the last member of the Family that I do this. The sheet handed out just now is a legally binding contract. You are not to be allowed to give out any part of this secret to anyone by direct means. Not even to me could you tell anything of the Equation. It is something that must be earned! If given freely to another person, they will not regard it as it should. They will not treasure this gift to the world! You do not have to sign this paper, this legally binding contract. But should you not, I have been granted the right to expel you by the Dean. Even if you were on a scholarship, or your tuition is paid by mommy and daddy! Nothing can get in the way of true seekers of knowledge, not even greed or fear. Let us see what you all have, deep inside of you."

He set the book down and said proudly to the class,

"Welcome to Scientific History and Theory. My name is Dr. Travis Anderson Kira, and I will be your professor throughout the semester and beyond. I welcome you all to the Neo-Chicago Institute for Advanced Learning."


After the last of the students had left, Travis walked to the back of the room and nudged the sleeping man.

"You slept through it again Alvis." He said. He then walked over to the doors and closed them, hoping to have a private conversation with his friend. "I thought you might find a replacement for your Intern among my new students."

Alvis stood up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

"You knew damn well that I would fall asleep. The only reason I keep coming is because of our friendship Travis. Otherwise I'd be asleep at my house now. I run the night classes for the Robotics Department. A position that you deserved and should have taken. Hell, you should be working as the Head of that Department!" He huffed. "Instead I have to deal with that annoying ego maniac Doppler."

"I am sorry Alvis, but I feel that this is where I should be."

"No you're not! You spent the last four and a half years hiding from your memories. So instead you teach History and Theory? Practically giving away your family's secret to just about anyone who comes waltzing in here. You should be teaching it to the Medical Department or the Robotics Department. These kids could go from here to Chemistry or Paleontology. What good would it do for them then?"

Alvis looked at Travis with sorrowful eyes.

"You and I know that if you had stayed in Robotics your Prototype would have been long finished by now. Instead it collects dust in your Lab surrounded by piles of useless parts, tools and clothes."

Travis looked back at his friend.

"Who then would carry the legacy? Who would remember Illforte or the Kira family? After almost one thousand years it is widely regarded as a fairy tale. In another thousand years, it'll be erased forever. And what if a new Realmmaster comes forth, yet nothing is there to fill the gap Illforte left? It would not be any better than when Sir died. The portals would remain closed and Arcadia would suffer for it. I do this to preserve their future, since I could not do so for my own."

Alvis walked over to his friend and placed an understanding hand on Travis' shoulder.

"Look Travis, I miss them just as much as you do. Our wives, our children are gone, yet not forgotten. I wish, more than anything that we were doctors of Medicine back then. It just didn't happen like that though. Why can you not look past the accident and move on?" He asked. "Find a new woman for you to continue your life with. You are only thirty-three; you still have many years ahead of you to fill with children."

Travis shrugged off the hand and picked up his suitcase and book. The familiar feel of its binding gives him comfort, and courage. This book would have been passed to his children, like it was to him.

"Seven years Alvis."

"What? What about seven years?"

"That was how long it took Angelica and I to succeed in having kids. Even then it was a miracle of science that gave us that chance. I am unable to produce another child biologically, Alvis. While I was ready to adopt should it have failed, I cannot do so without her support anymore. With your wife, my distant cousin, gone as well, there are no more members of the Family of Kira left. I am the end to a millennium of lost hope. My only option left is to give the knowledge to those that seek knowledge."

He walked over to the door and opened it.

"You are truly my oldest and dearest friend, Alvis. I cannot trust anyone more than you to be my support, as I undertake this task."

He walked out the door, and down the hall. His last thought of the morning coming through his mouth.

"I only hope I can see it happen in my life. So that I may see it with my eyes, and apologize to him for not being able to greet him sooner."

"Illforte..."


By the time Travis reached home, the sun was low in the sky. Soon it would reach down and kiss the horizon like a mother kisses her child. His home was large, taking up half the block. His home also doubled as his personal laboratory. Two complete levels were filled with the accomplishments of the last nine generations of his family. Everything over the last two hundred years that made humanity advance had been created either in part or completely by a Kira.

The second floor was dedicated to awards, doctorates, certificates and a few Nobel prizes. The third floor was filled with gizmos, gadgets and shelves of written theories. Everything from diesel engines to formula models were scattered around. It was in a far off room of this floor, in the back corner, that stood the creation that earned him his doctorate. On a dusty stand was a small robot that looked like a head with feet, with an insanely durable shell. The M.E.T was a multipurpose robot that could do anything from gardening to security, and had the special ability to connect to any machine and control it with ease.

That, however, was a long time ago for Travis. He walked into his lab on the ground floor and flopped onto the couch. All around the lab were small piles of random bits and bobs. One pile was spare M.E.T parts, another one a jumble of clean and dirty clothes. The tallest one of all was of tools, books and papers. Whenever he got stuck on a thought, he threw it into the pile. Originally it was a table; it was probably still there, but was buried so completely by the consequence of his old friend Procrastination.

He probably would have thrown his Prototype there as well, but it was too large for him to move by himself.

Instead, it lay on top of the work table just in front of the couch. Just as Alvis had said, all it was doing now was collecting dust. Everything in the lab did. Travis had hired a maid to help clean the house. She gave a serious effort to clean, thanks to the high pay, but after a week of cleaning she made no real improvement. Travis' messy habits were to blame for that. She quit right there, told him what she thought of him, and then left.

The last time he had cleaned was about two months ago. That was only because Alvis threatened to clean it himself... with a flamethrower.

As he sat on the couch, he stared at his Prototype. It would have been his greatest creation. A working title for it was the "Robot Master", for its ability to control machines, like the M.E.T, but also control other robots. He could have had it finished the same month he began working on it. Of course, a few things complicated that. One of which was that his wife, Angelica, had suggested he use the Equation to give it true life. By the time of the… other complication, he had the book halfway decoded.

His whole world fell apart with the other complication. Travis was putting the final touches on the Prototype's power source when it hit.

The would be the power source, was a piece of crystallized Beryl, tainted by an unknown element that had surrounded it. It was about the size of a child's head at first. Angelica had been the one to find it on a dig, recognizing its potential for power manipulation and gave it to Travis to use for the Prototype. He consulted a few people he knew, members of the gem cutting community in Neo-Antwerp, and they suggested a twelve sided gem with a flat top and a point on the bottom. Not practical for use in jewelry at that size, but it could be used to focus energy in that form. Travis just had cut the gem himself, by hand. He was putting the final cut in when Alvis ran in to tell him about the accident. He swung the hammer too hard, and the chisel dug in deeper than it should have.

It lay on the table just as he left if at that point in time, split in twain. He stood up and walked over to the table. Maybe Alvis was right? Maybe it was time to start work on the Prototype once more? He picked up the halves of the gem and looked at them. They were dusty, but appeared no worse for wear. The last cut had taken off the final imperfection... it was just in two pieces now.

As he turned them in his hand, sunlight that had squeezed its way in through the curtains reflected off the stones. They began to glow faintly in response to the light. Travis had never seen this reaction from the gemstone before; Was this what Angelica had seen when she discovered it? With that thought in mind, he rushed over to the curtains and pushed them open. The sun was just about to go to its nightly rest. Just enough time to see the reactions of the stones.

He held the two halves up to the light. He moved them higher, then lower. It didn't appear that the angle the light hit them mastered, but as the stones moved away from each other, the glow lessened. He moved them to shoulder width apart, and the glow increased to that of a low watt light bulb. He brought them closer, and the glow increased. The sun was getting closer to falling behind the horizon -he did not want to wait until tomorrow for this. He had to understand the reason for the reaction. It was obvious that the two halves functioned together, it was just a matter of finding out how close they needed to be. He moved them closer, this time to within a foot. The glowing was intense now; he had to squint now in order to see clearly.

"Closer," He said to himself, "I need to get closer."

They were now at a six inch gap. The glow was almost as bright as the sun, and the stones were heating up in his hands.

"Closer!" He said again.

He moved them to within an inch from each other.

"CLOSER!" He said once more with excitement.

A red spark of energy jumped the gap between the two. Then another one jumped. Then two, and four, and then more. Suddenly dozens jumped at once, and his hands were thrown away from each other while the gems felt like he was holding them inside an oven. A shockwave blasted through the room. A hot wind began to blow from everywhere and yet nowhere. Objects were flung throughout the lab. Books and tools hurtled past him as if made of nothing. Socks and shirts formed into a tornado. The gem pieces never stopped their glowing, even though they were far apart. Through the window, the sun bade its final farewell for the day and vanished. As it did, another shockwave washed through the lab. This one threw Travis over the table and back onto the couch, which flipped over as he impacted it.

The wind died down, disappearing as sudden as it had begun. The clothes tornado fell apart, bits of it flying everywhere. Believing it to be safe now, he crawled out from under the couch, heaving it back upright, to survey the damage. Nothing major was broken, much to Travis' surprise. As he looked around, he saw something so unusual that he thought he imagined it at first. A red and gray mass of energy swirled in the same spot where he had been standing. What could it be? He wondered.

He walked around it and pulled the draw cord for the curtains. No need to scare the neighbors after all.

It was two-dimensional, appearing to completely disappear when viewed from the side. Looking into the front or back revealed a mesmerizing depth. He reached out a hand to touch it, but a sound came from within it, shaking him from his partial daze.

Gunshots!

This energy mass led somewhere! And on the other side was somebody shooting a firearm, several of them in fact. He heard a voice call out, but all he could make out through the distortion was "Run!". It was followed by a sound like an airlock on a space station. As he stood there in front of it, a young girl materialized through the mass of energy and crashed right into him. The two of them tumbled to the ground. Travis was quick to recover and sat up. He looked at this new person with curiosity. She was a young woman, maybe sixteen years of age. She wore a light blue knee high dress, and had long, blond hair, held back by a sapphire hairband. She wore a silver pendant which held a lock of black and red hair. On the ground in front of her, previously held, was a framed picture, and an old book.

He was about to help her back to her feet when two men in military uniforms ran through the mass of energy. They held rifles in their hands, and an emblem he didn't recognize was emblazoned on their uniform in several places. They looked at each other, then back at Travis and the girl, pointing their rifles at them.

"Halt traitors! Don't move, and forget about running anymore. We have orders to shoot anyone who resists on site." one of them shouted.

Travis was at a loss for what to do. Who were these two soldiers? Why were they chasing this girl? He then heard another voice, this time from behind him.

"Resist this, jerks!"

Suddenly, Travis' work table? It flew into the two soldiers and knocked them down, keeping them pinned under the heavy board and unable to reach their rifles, which had flown from their hands. Travis spun around onto his hands and knees to get a better look, and was stunned. Before him stood his robot! It wasn't moving very well, and looked to be ready to fall at any moment. Clenched firmly in its hand was half of the gem, glowing just as brightly as before. The excess energy in the air was flowing through it and into the robot.

"My Proto …" He began to say, when a scream came from his side.

Looking around he saw why. Before his eyes, the two soldiers had moved the table and had stood back up. But before they could do anything else, they started to seize up in pain. It looked like they were going to fall again when they started to crystallize. First at the joints, then it began to expand farther until it enclosed their bodies completely, leaving their faces frozen in a twisted visage of terror. He turned his attention to the girl, half expecting to see the same effects. Instead she began to glow, the light so intense that she turned into a miniature sun. The light faded quickly, revealing that her form had changed. Where pale skin had been, was now short fur, covering her whole body. Her hands now had clawed digits. Her entire form had shrunk a bit, loosening her shoes, which her feet were now in a similar state to her hands, clawed. Her face took on a feline expression and her eyes changed as well. When it had finished, she had passed out, the other half of the gem in her relaxed hand.

"I think I heard something from the other side of this thing. Let's check it out."

The voice had come through the energy mass again. As he looked at it, prepared to receive more soldiers with weapons, another object flew over his head. The Prototype had moved once again, this time it looked like it had pitched a baseball. The half of the gemstone was now gone from it's hand, and was embedded in the surface of the mass of energy. Travis caught on quickly; If bringing the halves close had opened the portal, bringing them close again could close it!

He took the other half from the girl's hand and threw it at the left side of the energy mass, where it stuck. At first nothing happened, then suddenly the energy mass began to shrink, being absorbed into the stones.

"It's closing! Hurry up and get through it!" came the voice again, but it was too late as the halves came together again, closing the door once more.

He quickly caught the stone halves before they hit the ground. Looking around the floor he spotted an iron box, one he used to hold excess materials. He placed the stone pieces in the box and closed the lid, not wanting to risk having another reaction, even if the sun had left for the day. His mind raced as he thought of what to do next. He moved over to the girl and to see if she had been injured. Finding nothing in a surface-level analysis, he picked her up and moved her to the couch, noting that she now had a tail to complement her new feline appearance. He covered her up with his lab coat, and went to check on the Prototype.

It had not moved since it had pitched the half gemstone. Travis' best guess was that the stone had given it power for as long as it was in contact with the robot. He was not going to be able to move it unless he had help. Help! He just had a thought, he was going to need some help figuring this out... not the authorities, they would simply confiscate his equipment, his robot, and his stone. Worst of all, they would take the girl away to some secret lab and be subjected to untold tests.

He looked to the wall where his phone was at, and saw that it was not on the receiver. There were other phones in the house, but he was trapped in the main room at the moment, as the blasts of energy and the wind had effectively blocked the doors. He pressed the "Find" button, and could hear the phone's response beneath a nearby pile of clutter. He quickly dug it out and dialed a familiar number. As expected, it didn't take too long for a voice to come over the other side of the line.

"Neo-Chicago Institute for Advanced Learning, Robotics Department, how may I help you?"

"Carly, it's Dr. Kira, I need you to get me Dr. Sharpe, and quickly."

"Sure thing Dr. Kira, give me a moment, I think he's still with his class." She said.

It seemed like he was waiting for hours when he heard, "Dr. Sharpe here, this had better be good Travis."

"Alvis, I need you to get over to my lab right away!" Travis said quickly. "Something has happened and I could use a hand. Get Mikail while you're at it, I'll need him as well."

"Why do you need Cossack?"

"I'll explain when you get here; I can't trust an open phone line like this. Just hurry!" He hung up the phone before Alvis could present another argument. He set the phone back on its receiver and slumped to the floor.

"After this is all done, I'm going to need a drink."


About an hour later there was a knock at Travis' door. He tossed the pile of clothes in his arms into the washer and closed the lid. "Coming" he called as he hurried to the door. He opened it up to reveal Alvis and another man standing there. The other man had a short haircut, and neatly trimmed beard, glasses and a lab coat. In his hands was a medical bag.

"What's this all about Travis?" Alvis asked. "I left that lazy intern Cain in charge of my Intermediate Robotics class."

"It moved Alvis!" he exclaimed.

"What did Travis? Your clothes pile?" Mikail asked as he reached out and grabbed a stray sock that had stuck to his shirt.

"So you're cleaning up Travis? I guess that is cause to call us both away from the Institute during class times." Alvis added sarcastically. "Pop the champagne cork and poor me a glass of the good stuff."

"Just hurry up and get in here you two!" Travis said, grabbing his stray sock back from Mikail.

He led the two of them inside, then closed and locked the door. His two friends looked around in awe at the drastic change to the interior of the lab. Most of the clutter had been picked up, except for the daunting pile of old and unfinished projects. The table was still over by the wall, as were the two crystalized soldiers. The Prototype had also not been moved, being too difficult for Travis to move by himself. The only thing they could not see was the young girl laying on the couch, which was facing away from them.

"What in the name of Mad Science happened here Travis?" Alvis exclaimed.

"I think I opened one of the Arcadian Portals, Alvis." He said.

"Right here in your lab?" Said Mikail. "Are you sure?"

Travis picked up a book from the nearby table and held it up so they could read the title, "The Arcadian Companions – By Sir Reynard Perher, Royal Magi of the High Court of Arsan." He set it down and moved over to the two soldiers.

"After the portal opened, I could hear gunfire. These two came through chasing somebody. When they threatened that person and I, the Prototype had come to life and threw the table at them. Alvis, it was the stone, the one that Angelica had given to me. It opened the portal, it powered the Prototype, and I think it caused this." He gestured to the sleeping figure on his couch. "She is who these two were chasing. After those two had turned into crystal, she began to change as well. Except that she had one of the gemstone halves in her hand."

Mikail stepped around the couch and opened up his bag. He began to check the girl's vitals to ensure that she would not need to be taken in for emergency care.

"So she was not like this when she stepped through the portal?" He asked.

"No Mikail, she was as human as we are. I'm not really sure what actually happened, but it looks to me like the stone had stopped her from turning to crystal like the other two had. Almost as if it was protecting her." Travis said a confused look on his face.

"Then why transform her?" Alvis asked. "That doesn't make sense."

"I'm not completely sure on this yet, but I think the portal was unstable." He replied. "It had a sort of… stable instability. If I hadn't closed it it might have closed catastrophically at a later point. As well, it was an ugly red and grey swirl. The Arcadian Portals mentioned in the book were all Blue."

"Alright, so then we can determine that you did open a portal, and that it led to a world that has knowledge on Arcadia." Alvis mused. "We also know that anyone who would have traveled through it would have been affected by the instability. We know that the three that came through had been human. From the looks of the book, it is possible that they came from the Magi's world."

"I thought the world of the Magi was home to intelligent animals." Said Mikail. "So why were they human? Is it possible that they evolved over the last one thousand years into a human form? Like the beings from the Elementalist's world had done from plants?"

"It is possible, but we don't know much about the other worlds of Arcadia. From the evidence we have here, I'd say that humans and the animals co-exist on their world." Travis said, showing them the picture the girl had brought with her.

In it was two human males that looked almost exactly the same, only with one older than the other. They sported long and distinct moustaches, were mostly bald, and wore lab coats and glasses. In front of them was a young girl seated in a high backed chair, wearing the same clothes that the girl on the couch wore. On either side of her were two shorter, upright animal creatures. One had a mix of blue and brown fur, and wore a lab coat, while the other was black with red markings and symbols on each limb and his head. The first looked most like a fox, while the other was indeterminate.

Mikail stood up and put his medical things back into his bag.

"Well, she is stable now, just sleeping. I'm not really sure if anything else could be wrong with her due to the difference in species. We will have to wait for her to awaken in order to determine that for sure. I suggest that we leave her be for now, and I'll check on her again once she has woken up."

"She probably will need a bit of time before that Mikail. The drastic changes to her will need to be given time for getting used to. This will be an even more traumatic experience than just being chased by men with guns." Travis said. "I'll give you a call when she is a bit more mentally stable."

"I take it that you'll be out of the Institute tomorrow then." Alvis said. "I'll tell the Dean so he doesn't worry about you. Just a minor setback is all. Besides, that intern of yours, Hikari, will make sure that your class is taken care of." He smiled briefly. "Of course, he doesn't need to know exactly what is going on here. But the suspense will be killing him."

"Alright, now that we have an idea of what we're doing, can I get a little help with moving my table and Prototype back to where they belong?" Asked Travis. "They are too heavy for only one man to carry."


The three of them worked for another hour trying to make sense of the mess that was Travis' Lab. When they were done, the table and Prototype were back in front of the couch, and the two crystalized soldiers were moved to a far corner so that they were out of the way. Mikail and Alvis went on their way, either back to the Institute or home. Travis walked into his room and prepared himself for sleep. He still thought he could use a stiff drink, but decided that it would be best to wait until a more appropriate time.

He collapsed onto his bed, asleep instantly, and a figure moved outside his window. Pale blue eyes shone in the still night.

"So the last of the family has managed to open a portal. This may very well be the time I have been waiting for. I'll be back to meet you someday, Dr. Travis Anderson Kira. I can't keep you waiting too long."