Symbiota Sapiens 24


Synopsis: Jeremey finds himself inducted, against his will, into an ancient organization that claims to protect and guide humanity with supernatural powers. But what happens when the price of that power is losing the brother he loves?

Disclaimer: This is science fiction. To my knowledge there is no such organization as the Guardians of Atlantis. Nor is there any such technology as the Esseren, although our scientists are working hard to correct that lack. If anyone knows something to the contrary, I'd be happy to hear about it.

Disclaimer: Contains incestuous and homosexual relationships between consenting adults, references to quasi-vampiric sexual acts, and may eventually include graphical descriptions of sexual acts (between males). If you are offended by this sort of thing, please do not read this.

Disclaimer: The aforementioned sexual relations will not occur for a while. This is a "plot" story rather than a "sex" story. There will be sex because the main character is a healthy, good-looking young man with a healthy (if somewhat confused) libido. And also because part of the plot involves his developing relationship with his younger brother, who happens to also be healthy, georgeous, and blessed with a similarly active (but not quite so confused) libido. All sarcasm aside, sex is part of life so it'll happen in this story.

Now, enjoy the story...



by Dean

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     The salt spray tasted fresh and briny on my lips as I held on for dear life.

     "How much farther?" I called out to Rom. No use, the wind on canvas and the crashing of
water was just too much. Perhaps amplification. Or...oh, what nonsense.

     :Are we nearly there?: I asked him.

     ::Getting close. He'll be noticing our presence any minute now.::

     :Okay. You try to stay out of things, the silent backup in the background okay? Don't
want him panicking when he sees you.:

     ::Gotcha. I'll stay on the other end of the sailboat until you cross to the yacht. And
I'll just stay here minding the boat until the time comes.::

     :Good. Hopefully this will all-:

     The two immortals appeared out of nowhere on the edge of his sensors range. Two, one of
them an obvious Elder, on a sailboat. Damion stood up suddenly, upending the table he was
seated at. Fine china went flying.

     "He's here!" He growled out.

     A reaching in the mind and the perspective changed to the small windowed room where an
autonoid scrambled to change the yacht's course and increase speed.

     Another reaching and two heavily armed autonoids jumped aboard jetskis and roared off
towards the encroaching sailboat.

     Another autonoid swiveled barrel and zoomed in to place a crosshairs on the figure that
stood frozen at the bow of the approaching vessel. Me.

     ::Jeremey, you have to focus. You can't zone out at an important time like this.:: My
AI urged me back to my own surroundings.

     I jerked my head and saw Rom making his way towards my end of the boat. I shook my head
and waved him off.

     :I'm fine. Vision. I'll split my concentration. Stick with the plan.:

     I picked up a pair of binoculars and trained them on the yacht ahead.

     In another set of eyes I saw the crosshairs settle on my chest.

     The yacht had turned sideways to us. He was maneuvering to put us against the wind.

     ::Rom, two problems. I think he's running. And he's got a sniper playing cross-stitch
with my face.::

     :I'll slow them down. You'll have to risk the sniper. Taking him out would be too
aggressive at this stage.:


     Rom did something...some sort of low intensity stream of ions leapt from him and played
across the engine housing of the yacht for a while.

     Damion cursed as the engine sputtered. That bit of Powers from the Elder was a bad sign.
He reached out to the younger immortal through his godfather persona.

     ::You play a dangerous game with your brother's life. Do you really want to get into
a fight with me?::

     :I'm not here to fight. I'm here to trade. I'll give you what you want. But I'm going to
make sure you give me what I want in return.:

     ::I told you I would contact you with terms for the trade. This looks more like an
attack to me. You're trying to delay me using my hostage.:: Damion countered.

     :You already have a close hold on him, whether he's close by or not, remember? A
negotiation requires both parties to have a hold over the other. You really think I'd give
you what you want without making sure you have something to lose if you don't uphold the

     ::Clever boy. And how did you find me here?::

     :I have an impeccable source.:

     ::Have it your way. You can board and negotiate. The other stays on the sailboat. If
he tries anything, your brother is the first to die. By his own hand. Got me?::

     :You've...gone past first stage?: I tried my best to sound shocked.

     ::Always best to keep some cards back to the last moment.:: Damion sneered.

     :You...bastard. Then, I'll want something else in return for turning your girlfriend.
You reverse what you've done to him.:

     ::It's not reversible.::

     :Fucking find a way to reverse it.:

     ::I don't think-::

     :Because here's how this is going to go down. When I turn her, I'm going to include a
very special subprogram that will cause her Esseren to self-destruct in one year if I don't
give the counter-code. And I'll only do that once Julian is free from your parasites. He's
not going to be your fucking slave for the rest of his life.:

     Damion turned to Elizabeth.

     "You were right. The's put him over the edge."

     "What did he say?" she asked calmly.

     "He'll turn you. But he's found some way to make your Esseren destroy themselves in a
year if I don't find a way to reverse what I did to his brother." Damion said.

     "Do it."

     "Elizabeth, if your Esseren destroyed could die too."

     "The prophecy, remember? He'll be freed from bondage."

     "And...better if that is because I freed him in a deal with his brother, than because
his brother or he found a way to free himself from me. Yes, I see you are right. This is the
best way." Damion mused.

     ::Fine. A deal. But if this destruction harms Elizabeth, you will have gained an
enemy for life, whelp.::

     :Of course. Since enslavement of my brother is forgivable.: I replied sarcastically.

     "Elizabeth, prepare to receive a guest. Invite the younger to dinner as well. We might
as well make this civilized. This one is a hothead, perhaps with his younger brother looking
calm and well cared-for we can avoid any barbaric scenes." Damion said quietly.

     Twenty minutes later a heavily-muscled autonoid politely helped me jump aboard the
anchored yacht and showed me into a well-appointed dining room.

     I stood at the door and stared at the most beautiful scene I'd ever looked at.

     Facing sideways to me, Julian was seated at a square table, chatting quietly with
Elizabeth, who was directly seated across from him. Damion looked up at me significantly from
the far side between them, and an empty place waited for me across from him. At the movement
from Damion, Julian turned to see, his eyes widening as he saw me.


     "Julian." I returned the greeting softly.

     I gave him a long look, devouring him with my eyes. He swallowed thickly and I found
myself doing the same. Shit. I missed him.

     "I've missed you bro." I told him.

     Julian nodded, his eyes liquid with emotion as I sat beside him and squeezed his hand,
giving him a close-lipped, tense smile before turning my eyes to Damion.

     "Now. We have terms to discuss." I said.

     Damion raised a hand.

     "Let's be civilized. Business after dinner. Enjoy your brother's presence for a while, I
am aware of what my actions have cost you both."

     I hesitated. He couldn't possibly drug my food. Why the delay? What advantage did he
hope to gain? But then...if we discussed over dinner it would be much harder to get Julian
to safety. Perhaps after dinner we could stroll the deck outside.

     "Fine. After dinner."

     "Good." Damion seemed pleased. A moment later three autonoids came in bearing covered
plates and set them before us. I uncovered mine and ate without looking at it. I was busy
watching Julian.

     He had watched the interplay between Damion and me, those bright intelligent eyes not
missing a thing. Now he just watched me. I could see the questions behind his eyes. I moved
a foot forward so my ankle rested against his. I met his eyes and pleaded silently. Please,
just trust me for now. His leg pressed against mine in answer.

     Dinner passed in a silence of significant glances and covert observation between the
four of us. Not a word was spoken. We had nothing between us to break the tension but the
direst of business, and that was put off until afterwards.

     Finally, the last fork had been put down and the autonoids appeared to take away the
remains of the meal. I waited. I didn't want to start the discussion here at the table. It
might stay there. Staring match.

     Finally, Elizabeth put a hand on Damions arm and he nodded. She turned to me.

     "Perhaps we could continue in the lounge upstairs? There is an excellent view."

     "I suppose that would be more comfortable." I agreed, grudgingly.

     Damion stood.

     "It will also be a better location for the...procedure."

     I stood to follow him, reaching for Julian's arm as I did so. He looked up surprised. I
held his wrist for a moment then slid my hand down to grasp his. Our eyes met. I wasn't
letting him out of arms-length for the rest of this. He nodded and allowed me to pull him
by the hand as we followed Damion up a curving stair.

     The lounge was all white rugs and black leather, a massive window wrapping around three
of the four walls to give a beautiful view of the seascape in three directions.

     "Nice." I commented. It was.

     "Thank you." Damion said simply.

     We sat, Julian and I on one loveseat, Damion and Elizabeth on the other.

     "I'm here to make a trade. You have someone I want. I have something you want." I said,

     Damion inclined his head in acknowledgement.

     "You will turn Elizabeth by attachment. I will release Julian to you."

     "And remove the implants you've built inside him." I said, sharply.

     "I really don't know if that's possible. I can't possibly promise-"

     "You damn well will figure out how." I snapped. "I want my brother back in the condition
you got him in. You want your bride upgraded to immortal. I'd say the two demands are not...

     "True. And if I could take back that last move I would. But I simply cannot guarantee
that I will be able-"

     "I understand. But as a result of your inability to guarantee, I'm making MY part of the
bargain conditional on your part. If you cure what you've done to him, you'll have what you
want. If you don't, then you won't. Very simple. One year. I think you'll be appropriately

     "This is very...I don't think you are being reasonable here."

     "Reasonable?" I seethed. "You threw reasonable out the window when you fucking hit my
little brother and made a recording for me to watch, you disgusting prick! Don't expect any
better from me after that. I'll make a deal if you undo what you've done. Deal, or no deal.
What is it?"

     Damion sat for a moment, just watching me. Finally he gave a small, tight nod.


     "Fine." I snapped my mouth shut.

     "I suppose all that remains is for you to perform the necessary procedure on Elizabeth."

     "Yes. How do we do that, exactly?"

     "It is tricky. It is set up so that it will only work if you deeply want to attach the
other person." Damion said soberly.

     I looked at Elizabeth.

     "I don't even know her. Are you expecting me to fall in love with her right here so I
can turn her?" I asked sarcastically. "I think you've just wasted us all a great deal of

     "There are ways around it." Damion said tiredly.

     "Such as?"

     "Well, logic. You may not have a deep desire to make sure Elizabeth lives forever as
your attachement, and so on. But you do have a deep desire for Julian to be freed. And for
me to set my mind to reversing his implantation. So, logically, you have a deep desire to
turn Elizabeth."

     "I see." I frowned.

     "You need to allow the logic of that to integrate and be accepted by your AI. And the
AI has to use that argument to be able to inform the relevant subroutine that the genuine
desire is, in fact, there while you are performing the blood transfusion."

     "I see."

     :Is this accurate?: I sent the conversation to Rom.

     ::Yes. I assumed he would have something like this. It requires some advanced
programming though.::

     "You'll need a special program I've developed for this purpose. The core programming
is designed to avoid letting Guardians be coerced into attachment this way. So...some special
redefinitions and such are necessary."

     Damion sent me a block of data. I sent it immediately to Rom to check over.

     ::It's okay. He didn't slip anything unexpected into it. It works as advertised.::

     :Will it mess up our plan?:

     ::No. You need to be very...specific about what you want. Don't say any more than you
need to say when you form the intent.:: Rom told me. He sent the data back to me.

     :Take that. Implement it. Make it look like it's working the way he wants it to.: I told
my AI.

     "Okay. I've got it." I said, letting uncertainty creep into my voice.

     "You will need to perform a blood transfusion to seed the first set of Esseren in her

     "Okay. Um. Lay her on the floor between the couches I guess." I said. Damion knelt to
lay her there.

     :Rom. The window?:

     ::I'm working on it. The one on your side of the room. I need a couple of minutes yet.::


     "Your carpet. Blood." I pointed out.

     "Good point. There's no need for a mess aren't used to working with blood,
correct?" Damion asked.

     "No." I said, nervously.

     An autonoid entered with a thin sheet of plastic and began spreading it in the center
of the floor.

     "Jeremey." Julian spoke up in a shaky voice. "Are you really going to do this?"

     I looked him in the eye. He looked like he was going to cry.

     "Yes, Julian."

     "But. You can only do it once. To one person?"

     "One person, ever." I told him quietly.

     "But. Jeremey, how can you just...barter it away?" He said pleadingly.

     "Because it's not just any bargain." I said meaningfully.

     "But Jer, it' can only do it one time!" He ended in a whisper.

     He was avoiding my eyes now. I reached out and found his chin. He resisted me but I
lifted it so he'd meet my gaze.

     "Julian. It's not just any bargain. Some things are priceless." I stared into those
eyes for a long time. He closed them, a tiny tear escaping from the left one.

     "Don't." He whispered. I wiped it away with my thumb and drew him into a hug.

     "Julian. I love you. It's going to turn out okay. You'll see. Trust me, okay?" I
whispered in his ear.

     He drew a shuddering breath and squeezed me back for a moment. We let go and I turned
to face Damion.

     "Ready?" He quirked an eyebrow, politely pretending not to have seen the emotional


     Elizabeth was lying on a clean blanket that had been spread over the plastic, waiting
for the blood transfusion.

     :I hope this works.:

     ::It will.:: The AI assured me.

     I knelt next to her and watched as Damion gently inserted a needle in the vein at the
crook of her arm. He held up a long tube and looked at me pointedly. I took a deep
breath and rolled up my sleeve, nodding my consent to Damion.

     He took my forearm in one hand to steady it and carefully slipped the other needle into
my vein. Blood immediately welled out through the clear tube and Damion watched it carefully
until it had filled to the end, where he quickly pinched it off and connected it to the needle
in her arm.

     "Form the intent, in your mind. Remember, the logic of the statements you think of is
very important."

     :I want to save Julian. The only way to save Julian is to make a deal with Damion to
turn Elizabeth. The Esseren must not self-destruct when they leave my body, or Julian will

     I felt the strange program grab hold of my inner prayer and dissect it, ripping it into
logically applicable slices. I hoped I had worded it appropriately. I felt the attachment subroutine reaching into my mind, searching the cause of this strangely complicated Intent.

     I stayed calm. Held in my mind what I wanted to happen. What had to happen. And why. The subroutine withdrew.

     "Now. You must indicate the proper DNA of your attachment and say the words. 'I taste this blood, the blood of my choice.' In this case, you'll have to pay attention to the metaphorical truth of that statement instead of the traditional, literal meaning." Damion told me.

     He handed me a tiny knife and held up Elizabeth's hand, nodding.

     I hesitated. The same logic, the same intent as I had just given the computer. I gingerly sliced into the meat of her palm and caught the welling blood on two fingers. Held them up to look at the red stain.

     "I taste this blood. The blood of my choice."

     I sucked my fingers into my mouth.

     :Not Julian's blood. Not Julian's blood. Not Julian's blood. Not Julian's blood. Please, please, let this work.:

     I watched with my enhanced senses. Esseren, in my blood, flowing out of my arm, down
the tube and into Elizabeth's arm. Through her her heart. She writhed as the tiny
robots began to collect inside her heart.

     "They're not self-destructing. I think you've done it." Damion observed.

     I looked closer. The stream of robots were working feverishly on the walls of muscle,
rebuilding them more sturdily. The woman let out a blood-curling shriek as they broke down
and rebuilt the tissues. Damion pulled the needle from her arm.

     "That should be enough infusion." I pulled my end of the tube from my own arm and let
it drop to the plastic.

     "The deadline." I reminded him.

     He looked up at me with a sudden expression of protectiveness that made me want to back
away. I didn't. I met his glare evenly.

     "This is our deal. One year." I said coldly.

     "Fine." He spat.

     :Do it.: I told my AI.

     A link was opened to the Esseren existing outside my own body, still confined to that
small muscular chamber. A stream of data, the parameters to catalogue and define their core

     ::Done. She should start spasming any second now.::

     At that moment Elizabeth screamed again, and every muscle in her body suddenly spasmed,
causing her to jerk wildly on the floor. Damion gasped and moved to cradle her head, turning
it to keep her from swallowing her tongue.

     "What did you do to her?" He demanded.

     I ignored him, pulled Julian's arm, moved us both to the side, out of the way of the
couch we had sat on.

     "I think we've completed our business here. You might want to stay with her until it's

     :The window?: I asked Rom.

     ::Yes! Go!:: was his instant response.

     I seized Julian around the waist, ignoring his panicked struggles and ran, full-on,
into the window behind us. Shielding his more vulnerable body with my own. We fell outwards,
still struggling in a tangle of flailing limbs.

     Mid-air, I curled myself to shelter Julian from the worst of the impact on the surface
of the water. I caught a glimpse of a speedboat firing itself towards the yacht a ways off.

     Then we were plunged into icy water.

     Air. Julian needed air.

     ::Breathe into his mouth. I can build oxygen in your lungs for both of you.:: The AI

     I tried. He was even more panicked now. I couldn't hold him still enough without hurting

     :I can't!:

     ::You'll have to knock him out.::

     :He's the martial-arts guru, not me!:

     ::I know how.::

     Of it's own accord, my arm slipped itself around his neck, my body shifting to behind
him. A squeeze. Julian struggled. Powerful for a mortal, weak and futile in my arms. The AI
applied the precise pressure to the appropriate points. Julian slowed and went limp.

     ::Now. Breathe into his mouth.::

     I sealed my mouth over his and blew oxygen into his lungs.

     I kicked my legs at an accelerated rate, swimming for both of us. We cut through the
water like an awkward fish-creature.

     ::Another breath. I'm going to raise the temperature in your lungs, we need to warm
him up in this water.:: The AI told me.

     I gave him one.

     We swam like that for several minutes.

     After a while Julian started to stir. I positioned us face to face under the water.
His eyes opened wide in shock. He saw my face and relaxed a bit, but his eyes were scared. I
touched his cheek and moved towards him. Mouth to mouth. Blew the heated air into his mouth.
He took in the breath and backed away, understanding written on his face.

     I nodded slowly, then wrapped my arms around him and kicked us along again. Julian
made an effort to keep his body moulded to mine, make us aerodynamic in the water. An intimate
dance, swimming, breathing, holding.

     On towards the distant shore, miles away...

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