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  1. 1 point
    The Missing Son 37 Patrick leaned against the wall and watched his mother work. He couldn't help chuckling. He'd never seen his mom put so much effort in a meal. He'd gotten up at ten to the sound of her cleaning the house, and the moment he stepped out of his bedroom she gave him a list of ingredients to go buy. When he'd come back she had her cooking gloves and apron on and she set to work. He'd offered to help, but other than peeling potatoes and chopping vegetables she wouldn't let him in the kitchen. He'd watched her make bread, and a cake. He wasn't sure if that was the last time his mother had baked, but he had a memory from when he was six or seven. It was Christmas, for some reason she didn't work that day. They had spent the day making bread, cookies and cakes. He'd helped as best as he could, even improvising gloves to avoid leaving fur in the bread dough. He smiled at the memory. "Patrick, can you make sure the bowls and plates are clean?" "Sure thing mom." He knew they were, since he'd been the one to do the dishes last night, but he washed everything again, both to please her and to have something to do. After drying them he set the table. A moment later his mother sat down. "All done. The roast is resting, the bread is going to be ready in twenty minutes. the soup is..." "Mom, I know, I watched you do all of it." "I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed cooking." "Well, you should try to do more." She shook her head. "No, tonight is a special occasion. I can't afford to take the time off to cook." She smiled at him. "Once I retire. I finally have a retirement plan that will let me do that." Patrick considered things for a moment. "You know. with the odd jobs I've been picking up in Richard's neighborhood, we probably have enough money for you to quit the waitressing job." She placed a hand over his. "No Patrick, that's your money. We can split the groceries and bill, but it's your money. " "Mom, I can..." "No, Patrick. What these last few weeks have made me realize is that you are an adult now. You need to have your own things, that means your own money so you can buy things you want." Want? He didn't want anything that required money, did he? "Now, go change into something more presentable." He looked at what he was wearing, jeans and is wife beater. "This is fine." "Patrick, we are having guests, put your church shirt on." She stood and headed to her room. It was his fathers, not the president that was coming over. Still, he went to his room and pulled out the shirt he wore when he went to church, then looked at his jeans. They were faded in places and almost worn through in others. He probably had a pair in better condition. He found one, a black pair that wasn't quite as worn. Dressed he headed back to the kitchen. As the timer beeped his mother came out wearing her best dress, a gray and gold summer dress that went down to her knees. He almost commented, and would have made a fool of himself, but there was a knock at the door. "I'll get it," he said. He opened the door and his greeting died on his lips. His fathers were standing before him, wearing brown slacks. One had a black shirt on, the other an orange one. "Hi Patrick," one of them, in the black shirt, said. Patrick shook his head. "Sorry, you're wearing different colors." "It was Danny's idea," Donald said, nodding to his brother in the black shirt. "I thought it might make things easier on your mother." "I'm sure it will, come on in." "We weren't sure what we'd eat," Donald said, showing the bottle he was holding. "So we brought a bottle of red and one of white." Daniel raised his bottle. "Thanks." Patrick took the bottles and eyed them suspiciously. "Don't worry," Daniel whispered. "They aren't expensive." They took the few steps taking them to the kitchen. His mother was fidgeting next to the table. "Mom, you remember Daniel and Donald," he said, indicating them, and then placing the bottles on the counter. "Yes," she replied, "welcome to our home." She hesitated before offering her hand. Daniel took it. "It's a pleasure to see you again, Margarette." "Yes, it is," Donald said when he shook her hand, although he didn't sound as enthusiastic as his brother. "Please, have a seat." She indicated the table. "Patrick, you too." "I can help serve the food." "Go sit down, I'll take care of that." She took the bottle from him. "I'm afraid we don't have wine glasses, I hope normal ones will do." "That'll be fine," Donald replied. Patrick took a can of orange soda out of the fridge before sitting down. His mother place an empty glass before him and then glasses half full with red wine before Daniel and Donald and her place. She collected the bowls and filled them with soup. They ate in silence for a long moment. Patrick tried to find a way to break the uncomfortable silence, but it was Daniel who did it. "Where do you work, Margarette?" "I work at Olympic Mattress, it's a mattress factory. I'm a team supervisor. I also work at a diner a few blocks away." "Two jobs?" Donald said. "That can't be easy." "It can get tiring, but we do what we have to. Actually, today I should have..." she paused, then shook her head. "That isn't important. But that might chance soon, I decided to apply to the position of floor supervisor when it opens." Patrick looked up. "Really? I didn't know that." "I'm not sure when it will happen," She said, "and I can't be certain I'll get it, but I want to try." "That's great, mom." "I hope you get it," Donald said, raising his glass to her. "What does being a team supervisor entails?" Daniel asked. "It mostly mean I make sure my team works efficiently, if one of them had a problem I help them resolve it. But me and the other supervisor have started polling everyone for ideas on how to improve the work flow. We take an hour every week to refine our choices, and at the end of the month we present the best one to management." "Are they receptive?" Donald asked, "Very much so. Last month we suggested a new layout for the sewing machines that will help the flow of production. When we came back after that weekend, a quarter of the floor had been rearranged, and two teams are working on it." Donald finished his soup. "Why didn't they do all of them?" "The layout isn't proven, so they don't want to risk disrupting the entire production. They are going to leave it like this for six month, to give everyone on that line the time to get used to it, then they are going to compare it to the rest of the floor." She took the bowls away and brought the roast to the table. She offered the knife to Donald, and he sliced it while she place the salad on the table and cut the bread. "That's really impressive," Daniel commented. "Me and Donny aren't exactly team players." "What do you do?" she asked. "We're computer game designers." "And you do well?" "Well enough," Donald said. "They made Castle Crash," Patrick said. His mother's eyes grew wide. "To be honest," Daniel said, "it hit it big after we sold it. And it would never have become as successful if we'd kept it. We don't do a lot of marketing." "Or try to gouge the player base," Donald grumbled. "What do you mean?" Patrick asked. Daniel finished his piece of roast. "The company we sold it to made it so a lot of the big bonus can only be bought with cash, instead of earned through play. That isn't the way we do things, but I have to give them this, the controversy did have everyone talking about it for a while." Margarette buttered her bread. "don't you have to work with others to make games?" "Not really," Donald said. "Sometime we have to hire someone for part of the game, like the music, but they are working for us, not with us." Daniel took over. "Our current game has us working more closely with others because we've been hired to make it for a new game system, so there's a lot of conversation, but even that isn't really working with a team. We do our part, test it with the system. If it doesn't work they decide if they want to adjust the system or the game." Donald looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, I think the last time we worked as part of a team was in high school." Daniel nodded. "Our senior year, chemistry." "Right. We were teamed up with... That wolf guy, the one who was on the baseball team, and this cow, I think. Anyway, yeah, that was a disaster." "What happened?" Patrick asked. "The project was about demonstrating an exothermic reaction." "So, being the down to earth, dependable teens that we were," Daniel continued, "we decided to make a fertilizer bomb." "You what?" Margarette exclaimed. "Just a small one." Donald nodded. "And the ingredients weren't in a sealed container, they were on a board so we figured there wasn't going to be a 'bang'." "Because of that I'm guessing there was one," Patrick said. "It was more of a loud 'paf'," Daniel said. "A lot of smoke and heat." "And singed fur, don't forget that." Donald chuckled. "Danny was the one who lit it so he was right next to it when it went off. He ended up on his ass." "Did you get hurt?" Margarette asked. "No, just my fur that got singed. for about two months my face fur was uneven. Donny was the one really troubled by it." "Why?" "We're twins. We've always looked alike, and for the first-time people could tell us apart easily. I wanted to shave my fur to match him, but dad wouldn't let me. I think that was the only time I was really angry at him." "He knew you wouldn't be able to do it." "I know, but I was still pissed at him." Margarette nodded. "It isn't always easy to do what we think is the best for our children," she said thoughtfully. Daniel raised his glass. "Amen to that." Donald joined it. "Very much so." Margarette looked at them surprised before lifting her glass. They looked at Patrick. who chuckled and raised his own. "How about I get back to you in twenty years or so." He drained his glass. "Do you want more?" he pointed at the empty glasses. "Who's driving?" Donald asked. "I will, go ahead. I'll have water." "Mom?" "Sure, why not. I have the afternoon shift tomorrow." He filled both the glasses halfway, then rinsed Daniel's and filled it with water from the fridge. he got himself another soda. Margarette got praises for the food, and the banana walnut cake impressed Donald so much he asked for the recipe. They talked for a while after they were done eating, until Margarette let out a yawn, which spread to everyone else. Donald and Daniel stood to leave, and Margarette called to them. "Patrick told me that you've invited him to celebrate his birthday at your house." "We'd like for both of you to come," Daniel replied. "Who is going to be there?" They looked at each other. Donald was the one who spoke. "Well, the kids invite their friends, and the parents come too." "How many people are we talking about?" "Possibly close to seventy-five." "And what will be happening?" "we have a pool, so swimming, talking, someone usually starts a volley ball game. If the weather isn't on our side we'll be inside. we have a few game consoles." Margarette nodded. "Alright, We'll think about it." Donald nodded. "That's all we can ask for." Patrick escorted them outside, where they hugged. Patrick found he didn't want to let go of them, holding both close to him and breathing in their scents. They kept their arms around him, and he stayed like that until he started to feel aroused. He let go of them. "No matter what my mom decides, I'll be there." "We're looking forward to it." They turned to leave. "You two drive safely." "No worries there," Donald replied. "Slow-mo here is the one driving." "You had that extra glass of wine, now you pay the price." his brother said. Patrick smiled and watched them walk away. He watched their ass and tails until they got in their car. He stayed outside for a time to give his heart time to settle before going in. "Mom," he said, entering the kitchen, "go to bed, I'll clean up." She put plates in the sink. "It's okay. I can take care of this." "Mom, you spent the day cooking. It's my turn. Go to bed." "Are you sure?" "I am." He hugged his mother. "Thank you for doing this. I love you mom." "I love you too Patrick."
  2. 1 point
    The Missing Son 36 Patrick didn't go directly to his mother's house. She wouldn't be home until five thirty, and he didn't want to be there alone. He walked the neighborhood, nodding to the people he saw. He had no doubt the old rhino would call his mom, she was always poking her nose into other people's business, but for once he didn't care. Mister Omaka was watering his roses and they talked for a bit. The ocelot had worried something had happened to Patrick, and he explained about the fight with his mother and staying at a friend's place. Patrick promised he'd let him know how the talk with his mother went. At five forty-five he headed back. His mother would be waiting for him and it would be unfair to let her worry needlessly. The door opened with its usual creaking. "Patrick?" his mother called. "Yeah, it's me." He put his jacket in the closet before heading to the kitchen. He stopped in the opening, she wasn't alone at the table, an older ram was seated across the table from her. "Hello Patrick," Father Durony said. "Would you take a seat?" Patrick didn't move. "Why are you here?" "I am here because your mother asked me to come." What was his mother doing involving the priest in this? He looked at her, but she was looking at the table. "She explained the argument that lead to you walking out." "Yeah, so?" "Please Patrick, sit down." Patrick didn't move immediately. He wanted to yell at his mother, this was a private matter, but that wouldn't help anything, specially not before father Durony. He took the closest chair and sat down. The ram looked at him, one eye was going cloudy. "Patrick, I want you to know that I'm not here to pursue any agenda. Your mother told me that she opposes you seeing your father, and I told her she was wrong." Patrick couldn't stop his ears from moving forward. "I would never advocate for a son to be kept away from his father unless there were safety issues." His mother opened her mouth, but the ram raised a hand. "Margarette, you agreed to let me talk." She looked at the table again. Father Durony looked at Patrick again. "Now, your mother has some concerns. Is it true that your father lives in sin?" Patrick considered going into details about what he knew his fathers got up to with his brothers. It might be good to see the old ram shocked, it might even send him off screaming. But the priest was being reasonable, for now. "He's gay, he and his husband are raising their kids." He kept things vague. He doubted his mother had given details. "She said you have visited them." "A few times now." "Have they done anything to you?" What was he talking about? "Have they tried to touch you inappropriately?" Patrick laughed at the old ram. "Of course not." "Patrick, please, this is serious." Patrick got his laughter under control. If only this priest had an inkling of how well behaved his family had been with him. "No, they have not done anything inappropriate. They are good people, and my brothers are pretty fun to hang out with." "That's a relief. And your brothers, are they... normal?" It was with some effort that Patrick kept his features neutral. "Normal?" "You know." "How the Hell," Sorry, "would I know that?" "You must have talked about it with them." Like there was any chance Patrick was going to discuss that with him. "Maybe you go about asking your family members about their sexual preferences, father, but I don't. I've gone swimming with them, I've played cards, and we've talked about life. And just so you know, if they had told me about their sex life, I wouldn't tell you." "Patrick, I'm asking out of concern." Patrick barely stopped the snort. "I don't care. I don't see them coming here to go to church, so that isn't any of your business." Father Durony raised his hands. "Alright. You are right, they aren't my parishioners. That is between them and their priests." He folded his hands before him. "Is it true they claimed that you are gay?" "They did." Patrick prepared himself for the next question. "And are you?" "No," he lied. The ram peered into his eyes and Patrick maintain the gaze. "Good," the priest said. "I'm proud of you for resisting temptation." It was a good thing his hands were out of view because they clenched. Resisting temptation? The ram smiled. "I'm happy to say that you have my blessing to continue seeing your father." His blessing? Like Patrick needed that. Just who the Hell (sorry) did he think he was? "And hopefully, with your guidance you can help him see the error of his ways, and guide him back on the Path." The ram stood. "I will leave the two of you to continue talking." With all his self-control Patrick stood without shoving the table out of his way. He hoped the priest wasn't going to say anything more because Patrick was inches from throwing him out of the house. Instead he escorted him to the door. "God be with you," the priest said and he stepped outside. Patrick forced the words out. "And He with you, father." Patrick was certain now he didn't want to have anything to do with Father Durony and his church. he closed the door and went to the bathroom. He rubbed water in his face. He needed to calm down. he couldn't let loose the anger the priest had stirred on his mother. He toweled his face dry and went back to the kitchen, taking the chair father Durony vacated. Patrick sat down opposite his mother. He waited of a moment in case she had something to say. When she didn't he did. "I want to make something clear, mom. I'm done tolerating your narrow-minded point of view." She looked up. "What does that mean?" "It means I don't want to hear anything about this sin bullshit." Her eye went wide. "Patrick, they..." "Stop." "Patrick." "I'm warning you mom, stop." They were both silent for a long time. "If you expect me to like him because he's your father, Well I don't." "Mom, you don't even know them." "I know all I need to know." She crossed her arms over her chest. "How can you? all you know about them is that they're gay." "That's enough. I could never like someone like that." The statement hurt enough that he almost told her he was gay, but he stopped himself. He wasn't ready for that argument. "Fine, then I'm out of here." "What?" "What do you want me to do mom? I told you, I'm not dealing with this anymore. You want to be some intolerant woman, fine, you be that, but I have no interest in being around someone like that." "I'm not..." "Bullshit. You hate my dad because he doesn't fit your narrow definition of perfection. one thing that you've decided is a sin, and he isn't fit to be around. Well, let me point out something. You lie, and lying is a sin, and if I remember my bible correctly it's actually mentioned in the ten commandment, While being gay isn't. So you tell me who between you and them are in deeper shit." "Patrick, I'm sorry I lied to you. I'm trying to protect you, don't you see that?" "I'm not a child anymore mom. I don't need your protection." He stood. "And to make it clear. They are not the reason I'm leaving this house. You are." He turned to head out of the kitchen. "Patrick, don't go." He turned and looked at her. "Please. Don't abandon me." "Why should I stay mom? so I can listen to more of your intolerant bullshit about people you're not even willing to get to know?" She winced. "Please Patrick, I'll try." "Try what?" "I'll try to get to know them, somehow. Just stay." Patrick sat back down. "Are you serious?" She nodded. "Alright. Then lets invite them to dinner." "What? we can't do that?" "Why not?" "They're..." she shut her mouth before Patrick could say anything. "Mom, they are my father. If you want to be part of my family, that means you're going to have to interact with them. If all you can do is explode anytime they are around, I'm not going to be around. You need to realize that, and you need to decide what you're willing to do about it, because I've made my decision." She nodded. "Patrick, do you have any idea what you're asking?" "yes, that you stop seeing them as this one thing and start seeing them as people. Mom, by inviting them here, we're in control of the environment. This is your house. They will respect that, I will make sure of it." She looked around the kitchen. "This place is a mess. What are we going to cook? I can't afford the kind of food they're used to." "Then we make them our kind of food. I'll pitch in so we have enough for four." She looked at him, uncertainty in her eyes. "When do you want to do it?" "Soon. Friday would give us the rest of the week to prepare." She shook her head. "I work Friday, I can't have anything done in just an hour. but I can take Saturday off. I'll owe Beatrice a shift, but I can manage that. That's going to give me the day to clean this place and prepare the meal." "Alright." "If I do this, you're going to stay?" Patrick took his mother's hands in his. "Mom, I want this to happen because I want to stay here." Her smile was uncertain, but it was there.
  3. 1 point

    From the album: ANTHROVENTURES

    ANTHROVENTURES - Page 1 (Prologue) Finally wanted to get this out of the way, and as officially as I can too. I've wrote it as a text novel, but I wanted to also establish a comic adaption of such said story. So without further ado, enjoy this beginning, and welcome to Armathia! I had to improvise with this one to some extent but more will flesh out, and this Prologue may last multiple pages. After that, it's off to Chapter 1. Comic Page Artwork©RC 2018 / OP 2k18 Anthroventures © 2010 - 2018

    © 2018 (Comic)

  4. 1 point
    The Missing Son 35 Patrick growled as he nearly wrenched the shutter off its hinges, and even worse, he almost threw it to the ground. He forced himself to put it down gently. It had cost Mister Michaud three hundred dollar, he couldn't just toss it about because he couldn't focus. He had to admit he couldn't do this, not right now. He kept thinking back to Adam's scared expression and Damian's smirk. He'd hoped that a couple of days distance would have allowed him to put that behind him as much as he could, but he was still furious that someone would hurt his brother. He placed the shutter back in the box with its twin, closed it and took that to the shed. Then he knocked on the house's back door. The late forty badger opened it. "Yes Patrique?" "Is it okay if I put up the shutters tomorrow? I have some family issues on my mind and I can't concentrate." "Of course, Of course. Dat is perfectly fine," he replied in his slight French accent. "How much should I pay you now?" "Nothing. You can pay me tomorrow, once I've finished the work." "Are you certain?" "Yeah. I'll be back about the same time." "Very well. I will see you tomorrow." The badger closed the door. Patrick took his phone out. He needed to resolve this and the only he could was to have a serious talk with Damian, with his uncle. He accessed the directory and did a search for Damian Orr, tiger, to get his address, his name didn't come up. Nothing came up at all. He remembered the difficulty Rich had had in finding his father's address, and Damian had said something to the effect he shouldn't have been able to find anything. If he wasn't in the directory, he could find him on the web, he had before. He switched to a general search, and like the other time there was a lot of results, all linked to the business world. He called up a result that had a picture, and that stony expression with those blue gray eyes looked back at him. The article talked about him and his corporation, Diamond Enterprise. Right, Patrick remembered the name from the card. The company was the fourth largest multinational corporation in the world, and the largest privately owned one. The article called Damian Orr one of the most influential person of the twenty-first century. Alright, so he couldn't find his home address, but his company had to have a listing. A quick search got him that. And Damian had to be there at some time. it wasn't even noon yet. Once he was downtown lunch time would be over. He could find him there and have that talk. * * * * * okay, Patrick thought, this might be a little more difficult than he'd expected. He looked at the tall glass building. He wasn't sure why he'd expected something less imposing, after all it was a multinational corporation. Walking by the two entrances showed him they had guards in the lobby. They wouldn't let someone like him in that way. He was going to need a different way in. * * * * * The phone on his desk ringed, but it wasn't its usual sound. it was the one that said the call was on his private line. Damian looked at the incoming number then answered. "Hello August." "Mister Orr," the person on the other end said. "We might have a problem." Damian leaned back in his chair. "Go on." "The guy you're having us follow, he's at your door step." "He's welcome to come in, my company has an open door policy." "Yeah, well, from the report my guys just sent me, he's not looking to come in the front door. He walked around the building a few times and now he's at the mouth of an alley across the street from one of the parking entrances." "Which one?" There was a moment of silence. "The one on the south west side." "Alright. Tell your people not to follow him inside the building." "Sir, is that wise? If he found out you're having him watched he might be looking for retribution." "Don't be ridiculous, August. Even if he knew about you, why would he seek retribution for being protected?" The horse on the other end didn't say anything. "Look, I appreciate the concern, but I have my own security people, they can handle him if he causes problems." "Alright sir." Damian disconnected the call and stood. He knew why his nephew was here, although he didn't understand why he didn't walk in through the entrance like everyone else. He left his office and stopped by Alice's desk. "I need to look into something, I should be back before my three O'clock." "Yes, Mister Orr. Should I contact you if something comes up?" "Only if it's an emergency." "Yes, Mister Orr." Damian took the stairs down four floors and went to the security office. The large room was well lit, with a wall of screen and six security officers manning them. Damian stood next to the koala in the second left chair. He glanced at the control board and caught the reflection of his name tag. Damian had read every employee's file, but he couldn't remember every individual name. "Willis, please bring up the camera looking out from the south west parking entrance." The koala looked up in surprise, then did as he was told. The closest screen to them switched and they looked out on the street. The alley was in darkness and he couldn't see his nephew hiding there. "Call the guard at the booth, on his personal phone." The koala only had a moment of hesitation before bringing up the guards' schedule, then he inputted the number. Damian asked for the handset once that was done. "Phillip, this is Damian Orr." "Sure, Okay." Damian didn't say anything. He expected not to be recognized immediately, the bobcat had no reason to expect a call from him, and while Damian didn't demand attention and salutes, he wanted to be certain the guard knew who he was talking to before giving him his orders. "oh shit," the bobcat said and there was the sound of a chair being shoved away. "Sir, Mister Orr, sir, I'm sorry. What can I do for you." "I want you to go to the bathroom, and stay there until you are told to return to your post." "Err, sir?" Damian had hoped that he could avoid this uncertainty once the guard realized who he was talking with. "Please don't asked me to repeat myself Philip." "Sir, that's going to leave this entrance unguarded." Damian approved of this reaction. People who obeyed blindly were easier to manipulate. Damian handed the handset to the koala. "Phil, it's Will. it's okay, we have the entrance on the screen. Do what the boss says." * * * * * Patrick had been standing in the shadows for ten minutes trying to figure out how to get in unnoticed. He wanted to catch Damian unprepared. He'd decided he was going to wait for a large enough vehicle, something like a delivery truck, then quickly run across the road and use that to hide him from the guard. He was waiting for that when the guard left the booth and walked deeper in the building. Where was he doing? How long would he be gone? he couldn't waste this opportunity. he made sure the road was clear and ran across it. He stopped by the booth to make sure the guard wouldn't see him from where ever he was, and dashed for the closest column. He hid behind the column closest to the stairwell door, once the guard was back in his booth he'd go in and... then what? He didn't know where Damian's office was, and he couldn't wander the halls, he'd be noticed. He didn't look like anyone here. he didn't even know if Damian was here today. It would be a waste if he was caught and Damian wasn't even here. How could he find out? There had to be a directory screen somewhere, he could use that and call his office. They might not tell him. Patrick leaned his head back on the concrete column and looked around at the cars around him. Wait, cars. He knew which car Damian drove. It was distinctive enough he'd be able to tell if it was here. * * * * * Damian watched his nephew hurry between the cars looking them over. "What is he doing? checking if there's anything worth stealing in them?" The Koala asked. The others glanced their way and then went back to their screens That wasn't what his nephew was doing. he wasn't looking in the cars, he was giving them a quick look over. He wasn't seeing if one was worth stealing, Patrick didn't know how to drive, and he was too honest to steal cars. The only thing he could be doing was trying to find a specific car, and in this garage, there was only one car he could be looking for. Patrick was fortunate that the car he was looking for was indeed parked here, even though it wasn't Damian's regular car. Damian watched as Patrick moved through the garage, heading away from the booth and toward the ramp going down to the next level. "Call Philip." The koala entered the number and handed him the handset. "Philip, this is Damian." "Yes sir." "You can return to the booth. On your way there, you might catch a glimpse of a young tiger among the cars. You will ignore him." "Err, yes sir." Damian handed the handset back and followed his nephew from one screen to the next. He was less furtive on the second level once he noticed there were no guards, but he had to hide a few times when people walked to their cars, or parked and entered the building. At no time did his nephew try to avoid the camera, or even looked around to see where they were. Living in his low-class neighborhood, reading fantasy novels, not watching entertainment shows, and hardly having any presence online his nephew was sorely unprepared for the modern world. Damian would have to remedy that at some point. Finally, his nephew reached the third parking level. The car he was looking for was in GK-36. If he moved at the same speed he had on the second level, even considering the odds of interruptions were lower, the cars on that level were mostly long-term parking, it would take him ten minutes to get close enough to notice it. "Shut down all the cameras on the third sub level." "Sir?" Damian didn't say anything. He didn't even look at the koala. If he had to repeat himself to get this done he needed to replace him. One by one the screens showing the third sub level went dark. "Leave them down until I tell you to bring them back up." "Yes sir." Damian hurried to the stairs on the other side of the building. those would let him see the car from the door. He'd be able to plan his arrival that way. * * * * * Patrick had no trouble identifying the car at a distance, it was silver, and stood out among darker color cars. Closer he confirmed it didn't have a model name. He looked around and located the elevator. He needed a hiding place that would let him keep an eye on it while not being seen. He found it between two large cars further back. He sat down, took out his phone and settled in to read, keeping an ear for the ding of the elevator doors opening. Twenty pages later it wasn't the ding that pulled him out, but the click clack of shoes on the concrete. Patrick checked the time, not even two. Someone was leaving early. He peeked up and quickly lowered himself. It was Damian. Fear gripped him for a moment. He had no business doing this, he was just a school drop out from the bad side of the city, but then he remembered Adam's face as he ran through the dining room. he put his phone away and gritted his teeth. He stood. "Damian," he growled. Damian stopped, looked around for a moment, searching for him, then saw him. "Patrick? What are you doing here?" The surprise in his tone was clear and Patrick smiled. "You and I need to have a talk." He stepped out from behind the car and walked to his uncle. Damian crossed his arms over his chest. "Really? about what?" "You know damn well about what." Patrick's fists were clenched at his sides. Damian shook his head. "No. I'm afraid I don't." "Adam." he growled again. Damian canted his head to the side. "Adam? What about him?" "What did you do to him?" his growl was deepening. "I didn't do anything to him." "Liar. someone doesn't have the fear Adam had on his face unless someone hurt him really bad." Damian leveled his gaze him Patrick. "Patrick. Stand down before you do something you will regret." Patrick screamed. Not words, just anger. He didn't realize his fist was flying at Damian until it stopped so suddenly his arm hurt. The shock killed his anger. Damian was holding Patrick's wrist. "Do not ever attack me again, Patrick." Patrick tried to pull, but he couldn't. Damian's arm didn't even move. "You are family, and I'm not allowed to hurt you, but I would make you regret it." Patrick pulled left and right and Damian's arms didn't move. he pulled back as hard as he could, just as Damian opened his hand and Patrick fell back on his ass. He looked up, pissed, as Damian took a step toward him then crouched down. They studied each other. "What happened to the wise young man who was afraid of me?" "He found out you're a fucking bully to gets off on hurting kids." Patrick spat. Damian's thoughtful expression didn't change. "I don't." "Right," Patrick snorted. "Then what happened to Adam?" "It isn't my place to say." "And Aaron? I've seen the hate he has for you. what did you do to him?" "It isn't my place to speak to that either," Damian said, except this time Patrick thought he heard something in his voice, regret? "So, what? you get off on people being afraid of you? Well I'm not. You think your money's scary? you think because you can buy anything and anyone we should be afraid of you? Well, I've got news for you. Some of us don't give a damn how rich you are." Damian didn't say anything, his gaze unwaveringly on him. "Why are you so angry, Patrick." "Why the fuck do you think? You hurt my brothers, your own nephews. You have any idea how sick that is?" "You've barely known them for three months." "What does that have to do with anything? there's my family. They're yours! how could you hurt them like that?" "I didn't. I'm not allowed to hurt them." "What the fuck does that mean?" Damian took a moment to reply. "If I explained it to you, would you understand? Would you even try to understand?" Patrick looked at him, mouth open, why did he sound pained? He started to ask him what was wrong, but his phone buzzing interrupted him. He ignored it, but Damian looked at his jacket's pocket. "How long are you going to let her suffer?" How did he know it was his mother? Patrick had no doubt it was her, she'd been trying to reach him multiple times a day, but how did he know? "Why do you care?" "I have to look after my family. That includes you. You need your mother. You're angry at her, but you won't be able to resolve that if you don't talk with her. The chasm will only get larger and larger, and it will hurt you. If you wait too long, you may not be able to fix things anymore." "Why do you even care?" Damian stood. "I made a promise, Patrick. I believe that you understand how important promises are." Patrick found himself nodding. Damian turned to leave, then stopped. "I know that with the life you've lived you know that things are complicated, but some things are even more complicated than you can imagine. Go home Patrick." He left him alone. Patrick sat there for a while trying to understand what Damian had meant, but in the end, he had to admit defeat, he just wasn't smart enough to figure it out. He stood and took out his phone, looked at yet another entry for a missed call with his mother's number tagged to it. He spent more time thinking, about what Damian had said, about how he felt about that guy, and his mother, what he wanted out of life. then he sent her a message. 'I'll be home for dinner.'
  5. 1 point
    The Missing Son 34 Patrick didn't know how long he was going to stay this time, and he had no intention of taking advantage of Richard's generosity. He spent Sunday walking around that neighborhood looking for any type of small jobs he could do. It was slightly higher class than where his mom lived and he made some money mowing lawns, washing windows and started painting one house, with the promise he'd be back every day until it was finished. With Don paying him after work, and the money he made doing odd jobs, Patrick had to get a bank account. It proved simpler than he expected, he did it online, and all they required was his ID number. He picked a local branch, so he could make deposits now, instead of having to wait the two days until his card arrived. When she called him for the first time, he had a moment of concern about his mother, wondering if she'd have enough money without his income. He pushed the though aside, she didn't care about what he wanted, he wasn't going to care about her either. He didn't answer. He spent the week doing odd jobs when Joey didn't need him at the junkyard. That Saturday his family invited him to a picnic, which he accepted. It was a fun day, they played football, five versus five, with a dad on each team. A few times he found himself in a pileup, and his father's comment about why he liked football would surface and he found that he agreed, having guys on top of him did feel nice. At least until he remembered they were his brothers and fathers, then he was just uncomfortable. When they stopped playing Patrick lay down, and within moments his brothers were snuggled up to him, lying next to him, Aaron and Anakin were half draped over him, Arthur next to him. For a moment he wasn't sure how he felt about it, but none of them said or did anything other than lie and look at the sky, so he enjoyed the closeness. "Alright everyone, lunch is served." Patrick raised his head to see his fathers bringing two large boxes the closest table. Everyone was off him and running to them. Patrick went slower, watching them jostle each other playfully. For a moment he wished he could experience that, then joined them, staying on the outskirt. They had dug out plates and patters of sandwiches, a lot of platters. His father looked at him. "I hope you're not going to be disappointed, but these were catered. We didn't feel like spending hours preparing them." "Do you normally prepare the food yourselves?" "No they don't," Alex said. "Yeah, they get us to do it," Adam added. "We made it clear to them if they pulled that on us again," Aaron continued. "We were going to tie them up and leave them at home," Arthur finished. His fathers looked at one another. "You know," one said. "I think they've picked up," the other continued. "This bad habit of finishing each other's sentence." "From you." Patrick looked at everyone. "do you guys do this kind of thing often?" "Not as often," one started. "As you'd think," the other finished. "This is going to get annoying fast," Patrick said. His father chuckled. "Don't worry, we're done." "For now," the other added, and got a light slap upside the head. "Don't contradict me Danny, I'm the oldest." "No you're not, I was born a full minute before you." "Did not." "Did too." They went back and forth. Patrick stared at them then at his brothers who were rolling their eyes. "And we're supposed to be the teens in this family," Arthur commented. Silence fell and Patrick looked at his fathers, who were kissing. He blushed. He wasn't the kind of lecherous kissing he'd seen when he checked the pornos online, but it wasn't chaste either. It was kind of hot he found himself thinking. "There," Danny said, "We've made up." "Like you two need an excuse to kiss like that." Albert said. Patrick was sure he caught a hungry look in his brothers, and he knew it wasn't for food. He knew his brothers had sex together, but no one brought that up around him. And suddenly he knew they also did it with their fathers. He had no idea what to think of that, he was... he was... jealous? He couldn't be, they were his fathers. He pushed that thought to the side. He couldn't deal with that right now. He was here to enjoy time with his family, not freak out. The moment passed and everyone piled up food on plates and sat on the ground. Patrick looked around plate in hand, and his gaze fell on his fathers, seated together, and his brothers in twos and threes. for a moment he hesitated in choosing a place to sit, then went to his fathers. They made a space between them for him to sit. Patrick was extremely conscious of their legs touching, and snippets of his dreams came back to him. His fathers, naked, embracing him. he looked at his family again, and they looked like normal guys, brothers talking and laughing, fathers discussing their programing, and he told himself he'd imagined the sexual hunger he'd seen there. He was projecting his subconscious desires on them, that's what had happened. * * * * * Patrick was trying to read the latest Iluminar novel. Now that he had his own money he hadn't had to wait for it to become available on the lending site, he'd bought it. His phone was on his lap, projecting it at eye level. He'd reread the fifth page for the third time. Jaremis, the illegitimate son of Duren'El'Tig, the hero of the first three novels, had just found him to inform him his mother had died. Duren had just held his son and cried, telling him he wished he'd been there for him as he grew up. The scene kept bringing his fathers back to his mind, and the dreams he'd had. He wished he had someone to talk with about it, try to make sense of it. He couldn't bring it up with Mother Rosetta, as tolerant as she was, he didn't think she'd approve of this. Joey would probably be okay, but Patrick wasn't comfortable talking about his fathers to him, he didn't know why, but it felt wrong. Natalia might understand, he had no idea how witches felt about incest. He closed the book and did a search for father/son incest, and quickly decided the net wasn't the place to look. the top three links were sites for guys looking for sex, the next five were popular porn videos of fathers having sex with their sons, and after that more of the same, with written stories thrown in. It was clear a lot of guys got off on that, but that didn't help him figure out how he should feel about it. He looked at the tent in his pants. Other than turned on. He put his phone away. He was going to sleep on it. He didn't have an answer by morning, or by the end of the week, or even two weeks later when he showed up unannounced to his father's house. He should have called, he thought, after pressing the buzzer. There was no telling what he was interrupting. The door opened and Aiden stared at him. He was wearing sweatpants, his fur was ruffled and he smelled. Yeah, no telling what he was interrupting. "Pat, hi. We... We weren't expecting you to come over." "I know. I'm sorry. I just wanted to see you guys." Aiden looked over his shoulder. "It might take a bit for everyone to... err... finish what they're doing." He moved out of the way to let Patrick in. "Don't rush them. I should have called. I'll wait in the living room, unless that's where it's happening." He remembered his first time here, the mess in the living room. Now he knew what had been going on there. "We're in Albert's room." Aiden's ears turned read. "Sorry, I didn't mean to say that." Patrick chuckled. "It's okay, I sort of figured that's what you guys would be up to." "You're okay with it?" "I'm okay with you guys doing it. I'm not joining in." Aiden nodded. "Do you want me to setup the game system?" "Nah, I have a book." Aiden hesitated when they reached the living room. Patrick shooed him away. "You go finish it. Don't rush it on my account." He watched his brother step away and turn the corner to go up the stairs. Aiden was smaller and not as wide shouldered, but he had good muscles on him. For a moment Patrick considered following up the stairs. He freely admitted to wondering what it would be like to be with his brothers, but he wasn't comfortable with the idea. He stretched on the couch, and read. Ten minute later his had a message form his father. the ID was D/D. He hadn't been joking when he said they had the same number. 'Just learned you were visiting, we're going to be home in in time for lunch, in a meeting. Are you staying for dinner?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'I have no plans tonight.' 'Staying the night?' Patrick thought about it. Thought for longer than he expected. It would be nice to sleep under the same roof as his family, in rooms near him, probably wishing they could be with him. 'No, I'm not quite comfortable with the idea yet.' He knew they wouldn't pressure him, but that wasn't what he was afraid of. 'okay. the kids should have lunch ready when we arrive. love you.' Patrick smiled at the words floating before him. 'love you two.' He went back to his reading, but caught the scent of wet fur. He looked behind him, Arthur was standing there, wearing jeans and a worn t-shirt with 'I heart Geeks' on it. "You shouldn't have rushed it," Patrick said, sitting up. "I didn't we'd been at it for a while when you got here. The others are going to be down soon." he sat next to Patrick. "Dad's going to be here in a couple of hours. he said you'd be making lunch. I was expecting them to order something." "We usually cook lunch over the summer." "You enjoy cooking?" "No. nothing's set to my height." "Oh, yeah. I'm surprised dad didn't make sure it would be." "It'd be too much trouble. There's only one of me, and eight of them." "I'm guessing when you get your place it's all going to be your size, and when we visit we'll have to crouch down to walk through doorways, sit on the floor to eat with you." "And sleep on the floor, with your legs to your chest because the guest bedroom will be extra small," Arthur added with a chuckle. "and you won't fit in the shower." "Why won't he fit?" Alex asked, joining them. "We're talking about how much trouble normal size people will have in my house." Alex sat on the floor, between Patrick's legs. "Really?" The others joined them before Arthur could expand on it. "What do you guy want to make?" Aaron asked. "No idea. what's do we have?" Anakin asked. "Not much, grocery is later today." "That means we have to scrounge the shelves for something to eat." "Come on," Patrick said, "you guys can't be that hard off on food." "Oh there's stuff," Albert said, "Just not enough of any one thing to make enough to feed everyone." "It can't be that bad." "Yeah? you try making a meal out of a few of eggs, some potatoes, left over ground beef, carrots, beets and cheese," Aiden said. "Is that what's in the fridge?" Patrick asked. "It was this morning when I looked in it." "Do you have any flour?" Patrick asked. "Sure." "Butter, salt and pepper?" "Of course." Patrick looked at them. "And you can't make a meal out of that?" Blank stares regarded him. "You guys are lucky you're rich. you'd die in my part of town." He got up. "come on, I'm going to give you a course in survival cooking." He spent the afternoon showing them how to turn what they had into a hearty meal. during that time, he found out that Adam was off camping with Damian. By the time their fathers arrived they had turned the flours and eggs into pasta, sautéed the vegetables they had and made a sauce from a few cans of mushroom soup they found in the back of the pantry. Their fathers brought up cases of soda, including one of orange soda. They sat down to eat. Patrick bowed his head and silently gave thanks, surprised they waited for him to be done before starting in on their food. * * * * * After the meal was over they cleared the table and the dishes went into the washer. Then, to Patrick's surprise, they turned the top of the table into a gaming surface. It had looked like dark varnished wood while they ate on it, it had even felt like it, but now it was a dark screen with a list of game. "State of the art textured enabled screen," his father said. "So, what are we playing?" "We haven't played poker in a while," Aiden suggested. "It's going to have to be plain regular poker, with Patrick here," his father replied. "I don't mind," was Aiden's answer, and the others nodded. "Okay, everyone has their phones?" Patrick pulled out his. "Does everything turn into sex with you guys?" The question was out before he could stop it, but he surprised himself at the genuine curiosity behind it. "Nah," Arthur answered, looking at the transparent display over his hand. "But strip poker is a favorite of ours. I'll be right back. I'm going to need a standard phone for this." He ran up the stairs. "If I find out you're cheating," Alex said, looking at Albert who was putting on wrap around glasses, "I am so beating your ass." Albert rolled his eyes. "Like I need any help beating you." He gestured in the air and Patrick guessed he was interacting with what he saw in his glasses. "You know how to play poker?" Anakin asked. "Sure, but I'm used to playing with cards. Not with my phone." Don was a big fan of the game and on really quiet evenings he'd pull out the deck of cards and they'd pass the time playing it. Anakin showed him how to connect his phone to the table so he could see his cards and then the few commands he'd need. Arthur came back with a phone from his box and sat next to Patrick. "What are we playing for?" Patrick asked. "I can't really play for money." They looked around. "Right," their father said. "If we're not playing for clothes, we need something else." Their other father went through the game's options. "there, it comes with a currency option. we'll use that." Five thousand dollars appeared on the bottom of Patrick's phone. Even knowing the amount was fictitious, he asked for the game to start with a low ante. They agreed to start at twenty-five dollars. It quickly became apparent to Patrick his family didn't play to win. He wasn't a great player, but he was racking up the wins. He got the distinct impression that when they played for clothing, they wanted to end up naked as fast as possible. They were on the tenth game, which looked to be Patrick's eighth win, it was down to him and Albert, and he had three kings, when the garage door rumbled open. "Adam's back," Aiden said. Patrick called, and they showed their hands. Albert had a straight. Anakin randomized the deck and passed the cards. Patrick looked up from his phone as heavy footsteps stumped up the stairs. Adam appeared, and ran to the other stairs, disappearing before anyone could say anything. Patrick only realized what the expression on his face had been moments later. It had been fear. Not long after that Damian appeared, an unconcerned smile on his face. Patrick looked at him, then the other stairwell, and back. Adam had been camping with him. Patrick growled as he climbed over the table to reach him. With curses his brothers got out of the way. As he landed on the other side his fathers grabbed him. "Let go of me! that son of a bitch did something to Adam!" "Patrick," his father said, "calm down." Damian studied Patrick with an amused expression. "Fuck calming down." He struggled in his fathers' grasp. He was going to wipe that smug smile of his face. "Damian, leave!" "But I just got here." "Leave my house, Dam, now!" "Alright, fine." The tiger went back down the stairs. "No! You can't let him get away with what he did!" Patrick struggled harder, but his brothers joined in to restrain him. They only released him once the garage door had rumbled close. Patrick turned and stared at them. "How the fuck could you let him leave!" "Patrick, you need to calm down," his father said. "I'm not fucking calming down. he did something to my brother and you just let him walk out of here." "Patrick, please. You don't understand." "Then fucking explain it to me. And don't give me anything of that I need to have sex with the lot of you before I'm going to be ready." His fathers looked at him with a confused expression. "I said he'd have to be comfortable having sex with us first," Arthur said. His father sighed. "Patrick, it's complicated, but Arthur's right." He stared at them. He could clearly see the pain on their face. How could they not want to go after him and make him pay? He caught Aaron's angry expression and something clicked. He'd also suffered at Damian's hands, that was the reason for his animosity. He was the only one who looked like he'd want to make Damian pay, but he hadn't gone after him, he'd also stopped Patrick. what kind of hold did Damian have over them? Patrick swore and went up the stairs. He knocked softly on Adam's door. "Go away!" "It's Patrick." There was a moment of silence. "Just go away, please." "Adam, what happened? What did he do to you?" Another silence. "I don't want to talk about it." Patrick seriously considered breaking down the door. His fist was raised, before he realized that wouldn't resolve anything. He took a moment to calm himself. "Adam, I want you to know that if you ever need to talk to someone, I'm here." "Thanks." He leaned his head on the door. "If he ever touches you again, I want you to tell me, okay? No one hurts my brother. do you hear me? Absolutely no one." "Pat, don't do anything." Adam sounded closer to the door. "I'm not afraid of him." Adam's next words were soft enough Patrick wasn't sure he heard them correctly. "You should be." Then he heard Adam move away from the door. Patrick wanted to scream at him. There was nine of them, how could they let one person cow them like that. he spun on his heel and went down the stairs. He grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair and his phone off the table, daring any of them to comment. They were his family, but as he left he despised each and every one of them.
  6. 1 point

    From the album: Wind Tide's Collection

    I know what you're thinking... amazing battle sequence right?! To be frank I didn't know how far I would be putting my thesis project on the line in the most dire of circumstances. Things got way out of hand now that I have had time to think about it, though it really probably deserves an explanation how things started... You see, I was just a graduate student in the entomology program, working on experimental research in adapting insect bio-mechanical designs and functionality. In short, try and see how we can use insects and apply them in our every day lives. I was selected to join the on going thesis project, looking for potential insects to try and adapt for new research leads. Of course, none of the work I did alone would kick off without collaborative effort of fellow colleagues; everyone was willing to lend their expertise in a collaborative effort. My graduate studies were filled with hard toil and labor,between my studies and helping the professors gather crucial findings from the wonderful chitin critters. Still, I was able to work on a little side project of my own, dubbed the Exoskeletal Work Suit, code name V-Drone. It was supposed to adapt various tools and gadgets taken from various insects to employ in manual labor, though I never really thought beyond its intended application. A marvelous concept I thought at first. I had hopes of unveiling it as the croup de grace of my thesis project! Unfortunately, things didn't quite turn out the way I thought it would. While I never actually got to test the entire suit in action before, an incident occurred on the campus grounds that provided an opportunity to showcase V-Drone in action. Apparently a bio-terrorist tried to break into the science department, and boy were they not kidding around! It didn't take long before the thugs subdued the campus security and bypass the security measures, especially with the leader in charge intending to steal an experimental chemical compound designated for... strangely enough corn production. Everyone called the strange criminal "The Locust," but whatever his intentions I had a feeling he was going to weaponize it for some nefarious purpose. It might have been a rather impulsive decision, but I wasn't going to stand idly by and let this creep tarnish the university's hard work they put in, just to become a means to an evil end (and maybe use this as a test drive for the suit). I was confident my preliminary tests on the suit's gadgets and armor would be enough to validate my decision... I just hope it doesn't end up becoming a bigger disaster than intended. .... it was time to take V-Drone on a test drive. "Metamorph Engage! CODE : TWO! EIGHT! FOUR!" The details were kind of fuzzy after that momumental decision, but little did I know that it would be the first day that I would be taking on the identity as DynaWasp. I got to hand it to Bad Coyote for making such a great hero themed picture! Not only was I able to get a nifty super hero illustration, but I also got to gift this to BGN in order to show case his villain "The Locust." I have to say I find myself coming up with a potential story idea for Vaughn now that I have such a wonderful illustration to go off on, perhaps we will see more of DynaWasp in the future! Wind Tide © Wind Tide The Locust © BGN Art © Bad Coyote Find Bad Coyote's other works in these following websites!  Bad Coyote's Twitter

    © Bad Coyote

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