• Author's Note: It is strongly recommended that you read Twister Pendulum by Last Zephyr before reading this story. There is a Cobalt backstory that will help you understand what is going on.

Regathering of the Kind by Cyrus Arc

Cobalt sharply inhaled as two of the guards positioned in the inner temple led him to the doors to the sanctum. Even by his standards what he was about to do was risky. He raised his chin and put on a mask of no emotions as the doors opened before him. He walked forward as a very familiar voice spoke to him.
            “Welcome Brother. I have heard your urgent request for audience with me, what is it you wish to ask?” Master Shift asked.  He was the master tasked with training and presiding over Cobalt. He gave him missions, and in turn he allowed Cobalt to investigate and bring down Unit 713 Revenant Placebo, as well as search for his lost friends.
            Cobalt tried to calm his nerves so his voice would not shake. “I have come to request a retirement from brotherhood Master Shift” Cobalt spoke in a much more commanding voice than he had intended.

Murmurs from some of the guards and advanced students in the room reached Cobalt’s ears. He was not surprised, as far as his knowledge reached this had never happened before, someone requesting to leave. Mostly if someone wanted to leave they either disappeared or were was put to death. This organization was far too important to allow people to just leave.
            “The Illuminati has helped me in many more ways than I can repay… And while your assistance has allowed me to do so much against Unit 731… I feel that I could finally find my friends if I was not bound to the regulations here. I may need your assistance in the future, but I promise to lend assistance myself. I’m hoping for a partnership rather than a membership Master.” Cobalt felt as though he was babbling. He cast a quick glance to his partner at the corner of the room. Brother Cloak looked at him with a quizzical expression. That means he hadn’t said anything wrong. Good.

The Master sat in silence for a time a stared straight at the genetically altered human. He had been one of the blessings to the Illuminati, and angel fallen straight from Heaven into his arms. But he understood where the boy was coming from; his friends would play a key role in bringing down Unit 731. There was one of special interest to him…

“Very well Brother Cobalt. From this moment on you will be referred to as Sir Cobalt. You may come to us whenever you feel the need, but know not all of our resources are available to you.” “I understand.” Cobalt replied. “And I will keep you updated on my progress whenever I can, I just need to not be bound to the shadows like usual. And this way any activity that causes public interest will not be traced back to you.

Cobalt had thought ahead, he knew exactly the suspicions Master would have about this. “I see. Thank you Cobalt, your consideration has been noted.” Master Shift slowly responded. “You may be excused, I do not believe you have belongings, so you may leave any time you wish.” “Thank you Master Shift.” Cobalt stated, turning around to take his leave. He prepared to give a sigh of relief, but Master’s voice stopped him cold.

“Cobalt.” Master Shift called in a grave tone. “Yes Master?” Cobalt replied, his back still towards his senior. “If you, for any reason, get in the way of The Illuminati’s plans, or anything is traced back to us through you, we will not hesitate to kill you.”

Cobalt turned the upper half of his body slightly towards the Master so he could make eye contact. In the process he also caught Brother Cloak’s eye. Cloak’s expression was of a slight concern. He did not want the angel to do anything stupid enough, because he just knew that he would have to be the one to kill him. But hopefully it would never come to that.

“Understood.” Cobalt replied. He then turned once more and walked out of the room, the doors closing behind him. Cobalt did not stop walking until he reached the nearest balcony, looking over the inner-grounds in the facility they were using hidden deep in the mounted that skirted one of the largest cities in the region. It was cloaked so no one knew it was there, and only those with their DNA in the system could even enter the region where the facility was.

Cobalt closed his eyes and allowed his silver wings to materialize on his back. He then spread his wings and took off into the sky. The cold wind bit his face and the quarter moon cast an shadow on the ground below him. He flew at an incredible speed toward the city. Flying creatures and beings were not totally uncommon in the city, especially in the out-skirts, so he allowed himself the altitude to fly over the multitude of buildings below him.

‘They were so crowded and close together… How does anyone stay here for long?’ Cobalt thought as his eyes scanned for the one he was looking for. He spotted the oddly shaped building, and took a nosedive straight for the ground. He walked up to the old theater and stopped at the entrance.

“Hopefully he’ll actually be here… It’s always a fifty, fifty chance with him.” Cobalt muttered. As much as he wanted to do this alone, he knew he couldn’t. He needed at least one ally that wasn’t bound by the Illuminati, and at least this one knew him and his situation.

He strolled in and went up the stares to the main stage. As he walked down pasts the stage, he felt danger was flying towards him, and fast. He lifted his eyes upwards and stopped the small throwing knife inches from his face.

Cobalt heard a laugh echo from the rafters above him that ran almost invisibly across the entire ceiling. “I’m getting closer you know.” The voice said merrily. A boy appearing to be about Cobalt’s age descended from the ceiling on a rope attached to the rafters he had made his home.

“It’s good to see you Terry” Cobalt laughed along with him. Terry was a slim-built teenager. He is normally employed by the Illuminati to be a messenger and information mole. Terry pulled his hoodie-like coat over his head. It was his signature article of clothing really. It was a dull red pullover hoodie that had a thick and wide collar that he could pull over his mouth to conceal his face on the inside lining of his collar. He got it right before the death of parents, and everyone who previously lived in his mansion he used to live. Although on one really saw it coming, Terry easily adapted to the life on the streets. He used to sneak out and go freerunning in his spare time anyway, so once he found a home he became quite content with where he is.

The reason the Illuminati took interest in him, however, was the topic of his ancestry. Terry, full name Cantare Jenova, is a descendent of an ancient race of beings that could seemingly control the world around them with their voices. People, animals, plants, inorganic matter such as stone or water, it didn’t matter what, they could me manipulated by their voices. Terry didn’t know the full extent of these powers, so he has been training in the theater for as long as Cobalt knew him. Terry also keeps a Bo Staff and throwing knives on him at all times for fights, which do inevitably happen on the streets. Over time, Terry has been Cobalt’s main informant and messenger, and the two have made a mutual friendship and alliance because of it.

“Terry, I need a favor, one that is outside of the Illuminati” Cobalt curtly stated, wanting to get straight to the point. “Okay… I don’t understand, did they kick you out?” Terry asked, a bit wary of the sudden change of status Cobalt had received. “They allowed me to leave, so I could find my friends.” Cobalt explained, “But I do need help, and you’re the person I know let alone trust.”

Terry cocked his head to the side a bit and gave Cobalt a half, very knowing smile. “Aw that’s flattering Coby. I feel so very honored to be the chosen one of the angel.” Terry teased, almost breaking into laughter. “That’s very funny Terry.” Cobalt retorted, trying hard to keep his mouth from rising into a smile, “But I’m serious”. What could he do? Terry’s smile and overall cheery personality was infectious.
            Terry chuckled a little, “I know you are Coby, and of course I’ll help. It’s not like I have much else to do anyway. You could even stay here! It’s kinda lonely.” Terry explained, motioning to the ceiling rafters. “That is very kind of you Terry, I think I will take you up on that.” Cobalt said as he finally allowed himself to smile. “And I already think I know where we can start looking. We could go now if you’re up for it.” Cobalt offered, turning to Terry. “Sounds good!” Terry replied as he started stretching, “I could go for a good run anyway!”
            Cobalt landed softly on a building as he waited for Terry to catch up. He swallowed what felt like fist-sized stone and leaned against a wall. He didn’t understand, why was he so sweaty? This was another mission, more than that, a mission that could actually save his friends. Was it nervousness of it finally coming true? No. This was fear. This wasn’t something positive at all.

Cobalt heard footsteps and a moment later Terry joined him buy his side. Moving his collar below his face, Terry asked Cobalt, “Is it much farther?” he was breathing heavier than normal, like someone who just went for a quick jog. After scaling four and half buildings and running 6 city blocks, Cobalt was surprised he hadn’t passed out.

“It’s just in that plaza there, the abandon one” Cobalt explained, pointing to the ground a street away from the building they were standing on.  “Why are we going there? That area was evacuated for some sort of highly toxic chemical leak years ago. No one even tries to go there. They’re some pretty heavy horror stories surrounding it.” Terry pondered, scanning the street. “Unit 731 came up with some pretty convincing stories didn’t they? No, truth is that street is the location to the portal to the actual Unit. It’s suspended in a pocket dimension so there is a significantly lower chance that there will be a breach.” Cobalt explained, “One way in, one way out. The portal itself is located in the old tailor shop there.” “Seamless Kind?” Terry asked, “My father used to frequent that shop I think…” “Yup,” Cobalt nodded, “the Unit used to be a lab located under the shop, the store itself was a front. Eventually they upgraded the facility, making the shop an entrance to another dimension. I suppose you could say it’s bigger on the inside… Anyway they made a rather convincing cover story to keep every person within a mile of the place away forever. And it’s been abandoned ever since. This is where I came out when I finally escaped.”

Cobalt turned to Terry and grabbed the younger boy’s wrists, “Hold on.” Cobalt warned. He summoned his wings and took flight with Terry in tow. He glided down to an alley way just a few yards from the old tailor shop.

“Aren’t you worried we’re not being careful enough?” Terry asked in a hushed whisper, “If this the only entrance then it’s bound to be heavily monitored.” “To be fairly honest, I’m hoping we are spotted.” Cobalt admitted, “They’re bound to send someone to take care of us… If that person has any idea where my friends are…”

“I know more than you probably expected me too Cobalt” A voice rang throughout the alley.  Cobalt summoned his wings in reaction and drew his sword, his head darting upwards. He knew that voice

Terry also looked up, expecting to see some sort of gruff military looking guy with big muscles and even bigger gun, but what he actually saw surprised him. It was a boy, probably around Cobalt’s age. He wore a grey trench coat and a silver fedora, and in his hands were two twin pistols

“Well well well. Looks like Cobalt delivered you right to me! How nice of him. I’ve been trying to track you down for months Mister Jenova.” The guy in silver laughed. “What? You have?” Terry asked, confused. “Crap… This was a mistake…” Cobalt muttered. “Terry” Cobalt started, lifting his wings into flight-ready stance, “This is Lumin, we was one member of my team. He’s a Psychic Kind. You need to get out of here.”

What? No I’m not going anywhe- ARGH” Terry jumped out of the way just in time to avoid little bullets of line that landed inches from him. Terry sprinted out of the alley as Cobalt took off to attack Lumin. Terry ran into the plaza’s main square, looking for somewhere to hide. He suddenly felt a sharp pain travel up his arm and down his left leg. Terry spun around to see Lumin running straight for him, and Cobalt flying closely behind, trying to intercept the gun-wielding psychic.

Terry ran as hard as he could to a fire escape in an adjacent alley, reaching it and climbing up before Lumin could gain on him. His leg felt a little numb and his arm hurt even more, but Terry couldn’t find an entry wound anywhere. Terry double check everywhere on his arm and leg. He was sure he was shot, where the heck was the wound?

Cobalt watch Terry scramble up the fire escape, now he just had to make sure he could get to Lumin first. Cobalt used his telekinetic power to pull a trashcan out of place and send it hurling towards Lumin. Lumin ducked under it and turned to Cobalt, aiming his pistols right at Cobalt’s chest. Cobalt was too quick for him though; he stopped inches from Lumin’s face and grabbed him.

Cobalt then spread his wings and flapped them in a way that allowed him to spin at an extremely fast rate. Cobalt threw Lumin far into the center of the plaza once more. Cobalt then spread his wings and jumped, landing right on top of Lumin, pinning his former teammate to the ground.
“Lumin stop just listen to me for a sec-…what the?” Cobalt gasped. He looked into Lumin’s eyes, which her totally silver. There were still lines emerging from the center, like his Iris engulfed his entire eyeballs. Cobalt recalled that all of his teammates irises, like himself, were the color of their name. UV had Violet eyes, Tien had dark grey eyes, and Lumin had silver.

Something was wrong… It’s almost as if… as if… “Awaiting instructions.” Lumin spoke in a very monotone voice. “What”? Cobalt asked, still a bit shocked at Lumin’s eyes. “Understood.” Lumin spoke again. “Orders call for a small telepathic blast to incapacitate. Commencing.”

Cobalt felt a searing pain right behind his eyes. He flew backward and clutched his head, letting out a loud yell. He uncovered his head and looked right at Lumin, who was standing up and pointing and taking his pistols out of their holsters.

Cobalt finally understood, this was another experiment by The Director, probably implemented after he escaped. This was mind control.

Lumin fired a barrage of psyching bullets at Cobalt, specifically aiming for his wings, arms, and legs.

“Cobalt!” Terry shouted from the fire escape he was on. “What are these things? These bullets… My arm feels numb.” Terry stood and surveyed his body, while the effects of whatever hit him seemed to be wearing off, they still left some mean after effects.

“They’re concentrated psychic energy.” Cobalt yelled back, flying high into the air and gliding towards Terry’s position. “They don’t damage you physically like normal bullets, they disrupt the nerves in your body, powerful ones can even effect your brain and spinal chord if they hit in the right places.” Cobalt grabbed Terry and lifted him into the air, sailing high above Lumin’s head.

Cobalt watched as Lumin jumped up onto a building to pursue them, as panic took over Cobalt, he continued to flap his wings faster and faster.

Terry looked up at Cobalt, “Wait, are you running?” Terry shouted. “Of course I am!” Cobalt harshly replied, “You’re already injured, and if they’re after you we are in no position to fight him.” “I’ll be fine Cobalt just land!” Terry exclaimed, picking up his feet so they didn’t slam into a pipe

Cobalt suddenly gave a sharp cry. A bullet had hit his left wing and it stopped moving completely. Cobalt teetered in the air for a second before falling, causing both him and Terry to crash into the building.

Terry and Cobalt scrambled to their feet, Terry taking out and extending his staff while Cobalt unsheathed his sword. “Looks like we’ll have to fight. How’s your arm and leg?” Cobalt asked, making his wings disappear into his body. “I feel a lot better actually, seems I didn’t get hurt that bad.” Terry explained. Cobalt nodded, and just as he did Lumin jumped on to the building they were on

Wasting no time, Lumin drew his guns and sprinted toward the duo. Cobalt also sprinted forward and swung his sword, starting from his hip and bringing up to his right shoulder. Lumin deflected it with the top of his pistol and jumped straight over Cobalt, heading right for Terry. Terry was prepared, he swung his arm with a lot of force, and three throwing knives seemingly flew from his sleeve.

Lumin lifted his hand toward the knives, continuing their momentum by telekinetically bringing them past his body, orbit around his head, and throwing them back at Terry with twice the force. Terry shoved one end of his Bo Staff into the ground while running, using it to vault into the air to avoid the knives. Using the force from his fall, he swung his leg to kick Lumin in the shoulder.

Lumin ducked and rolled to avoid the kick, and when he rolled back up he lifted his pistol to shoot Terry in the forehead, hopefully that would be enough to knock him out. Terry had anticipated this, swinging his staff and knocking one of the Silver Bullet pistols down. Terry then began to use all of the Bojitsu he had ever learned on Terry. Swinging his around his body in hopes of making contact with the controlled-Kind.

Lumin seemed to dodge or block each blow Terry attempted, until Terry jammed one end of the staff into the ground and swung around it, making his whole body swing in a circle. Terry stuck out one leg in hopes of landing a blow, but when he only found air, he planted his body into the ground and crouched. As he did a bullet flew above his head.

Terry looked up just in time to see Cobalt jump over his head, bringing his Espada Repora down onto Lumin. Lumin held his two guns up in an X-shape, blocking the blow.

Lumin then jumped back to collect himself. As he did that Cobalt ignited Rhapsody, engulfing it in sapphire blue flames. As Lumin charged again with his pistols raised, Cobalt swung his sword with all the strength he could. The flames grew to 3 times the length of the sword as the sword was swung, making the flames seemingly sweep across everything in front of Cobalt.

These flames swept straight across Lumin’s chest, making Lumin fly back into a structure on top of the building. Lumin recovered and seem to emit a low growl from the bottom of the throat. “Did he just…Growl?” Terry asked, breathing heavily and once again going into a battle stance. “I don’t know… He’s being mind controlled, obviously it’s bringing out his more primal instincts.” Cobalt replied.

Cobalt and Terry looked at each other and nodded, wasting no time they both charged at Lumin. In a flurry of sword and staff, Lumin had trouble blocking both with just his pistol.

“Authorizing for precognitive battling. Awaiting confirmation” Lumin spoke in monotone as he jumped away. “Uh oh…” Cobalt muttered. “What? What does that mean?” Terry asked, “Precognitive, like seeing the future? How does that me-“ Terry stopped his sentence short and looked at Lumin, realizing what was about to happen. “Oh crap.” Terry muttered.

“Request confirmed” Lumin spoke. His silver eyes glowed bright. He once again dashed at Cobalt and Terry. Lumin now could see glimpses of the future as he fought, which meant he knew what Terry and Cobalt were going to do before they did.

The two warriors fought as hard as they could, trying to do things they normally wouldn’t, but it didn’t matter. Lumin seemed to counter each and every one of their attacks before the boys could even think about what to do.

Finally, Lumin was able to grab Cobalt and throw him to the other side of the roof.  Terry tried to use that opportunity to hit him square in the back of the head with his staff, but Lumin saw it coming. The psychic pointed both pistols at Terry and fired six times. Each shot hit him in a pressure point; one on each shoulder, one on each knee, and one on both elbows.

Terry fell right where he was, his eyes widened in shock. He heard his staff clank right next to him. Lumin smirked and grabbed Terry’s collar and started dragging him to the edge of the building. Cobalt finally recovered from being thrown, and looking down he noticed that the three had somehow ended up on a building that was apart of the plaza. They had not gone as far as he thought.

He then looked up and noticed that Lumin was dragging a paralyzed Terry right to the edge of the build, to the direction of the portal.

“NO!” Cobalt yelled, summoning his wings once more. His left wing still hurt badly, but he didn’t care. He flew straight to Lumin, sword ready to cut him in half if necessary. Lumin suddenly spun around and lifted swung his leg. The blow knocked Cobalt to the side, but Cobalt quickly recovered.

The first thing Cobalt noticed was that Lumin’s eyes were no longer growing. Good, that meant that he wasn’t seeing visions of the future anymore, that was helpful.  Lumin attempted shooting Cobalt with his gun, but Cobalt simply reflected each bullet with his sword.

Both boys were breathing heavily and looking right at each other, clearly tired from the fight. Lumin then suddenly took one pistol and slid it’s side against the other pistol in a backwards motion. Cobalt gave a curious look for a split second before he saw several prongs come out of tip of the pistol he had slid.

Cobalt didn’t know what was going on, but he knew it was bad. He charged at Lumin, but Lumin rolled under Cobat, still keeping himself between Cobalt and Terry.

Cobalt watched as Lumin jammed the pronged end of one of the pistols into the back of the other. The two pistols merged, and then started transforming. Lumin then lifted up the new gun that the Silver Bullet had transformed into, a very mean-looking Sniper Rifle.

Cobalt simply stared at Lumin. He had never seen this before. This was new, and it was bad. This was new and bad, very bad. 

Lumin lifted up the rifle and fired one shot from it, which looked more like beam of light than a bullet. Cobalt lifted his sword to block it, but the bullet went straight through the sword, hitting him straight in the chest.

Cobalt gasped and collapsed, feeling his whole body go numb. “There you go Co, just roll over like a good doggie.” Lumin taunted leaning down and examining Cobalt. “Now I’m going to take Terry to Unit 731, and then I’m coming back for you okay?” Lumin laughed at Cobalt, and shook his head, “You never had a chance against us”

Terry looked up and saw Lumin crouching over Cobalt. This wasn’t good, he had to do something or neither he nor Cobalt would see the light of day again. Terry did the only thing left he could think of, he looked down at his body and started singing.

Terry hadn’t been able to do much with his voice thus far… Just heal minor wounds, cause short shockwave bursts, and cause disorientation. But now he had to heal him self… He just hoped he had it in him.

Terry allowed his voice to grow and grow, letting the power spread throughout his entire body. Terry sang a complex symphonic melody, blending high octave voices with soft harp-sounding notes to create a healing song. Lumin stood up and turned around, hearing the beautiful orchestra and choir that seemed to be coming from Terry’s mouth. Lumin stopped and stared entranced by the music.

Terry smiled as he felt his limbs working again, and stood up without any difficulty. He had much more confidence in abilities now, and he was willing to make this much more interesting.

Now that the music had stopped, Lumin snapped back to reality, lifting his rifle to take a shot at Terry.

Terry didn’t give him the chance, he opened his mouth a released a sound so full, it shook the very air around it. It sounded like every instrument playing a blast of a note at once, and choir singing as high as they could. A shockwave emerged from Terry’s mouth and hit Lumin straight in the chest, causing Lumin to fly into a wall with incredible force.

Lumin fell to the ground and stayed down, which made Terry feel safe, at least for now. He ran over to Cobalt and sang the same healing song to Cobalt. After a few seconds Cobalt sat up and rubbed his chest.

“Wow. I don’t think I’ve seen that much power come from you before. That was really impressive.” Cobalt groaned, moving his shoulder to make sure it wasn’t dead. “Thanks. I honestly didn’t even know I could do that much… I guess it just had to be under extreme duress” Terry replied, grabbing Cobalt’s hand and helping them up.

“Lumin?” Cobalt called over to his controlled friend, who was still face down on the ground. Cobalt and Terry walked over to him and crouched down, rolling Lumin over on his back. Lumin’s eyes were shut, meaning he was probably unconscious.

Cobalt opened one eye to see his eyes still completely full of his silver irises. “What do we do?” Cobalt asked. Terry could tell Cobalt was very distressed. He had come so far to find his friends, and now that he found one he might not even be able to save him. “Let me try something.” Terry stated, pursing his lips together.

He leaned over Lumin opened both eyelids with his thumbs. He then opened a voice and sang another melody. This one was similar to the healing song Cobalt just heard, but it was slightly different. The choir in Terry’s voice was more full, more inspiring. The choir moved with intense softness, as if it was background to a speech given before war.

Terry’s song started moving Cobalt to tears; he had to wipe them away to make sure he didn’t distract the singing boy… Or to let Terry know he was actually crying. As he sang, the silver in Lumin’s eyes started receding, and black pupils starting growing the in the center of his eyes. Finally his eyes returned to normal, and Lumin groaned and rubbed the back of his head and he sat up.

Cobalt gasped in happiness, looking at Terry with a shocked expression. “It was nothing really… I call it the Freedom Melody. It just reconnected the manipulated synapsis in Lumin’s brain… ” Terry explained, blushing. Cobalt threw his arm around Terry, hugging him a little harder than he meant to. “Thank you so much.” Cobalt whispered. “Uh. Is someone going to tell me what is going on.” Lumin awkwardly asked, “And why does my entire body hurt?”

Cobalt laughed and pulled Lumin up to his feat. “It’s a long story Lu. We better get you safe.” Cobalt explained as he sprouted his wings, he lifted both of his friends up into the air and into an ally a ways away. He then put his wings away and started walking towards the theater Terry was staying, making sure to keep out a sharp eye along the way.

Cobalt and Terry took turns explaining everything, to their knowledge, that happened to Lumin after he had been mind controlled. “And I freed you with a song I thought it would work.” Terry finished, “Turns out it did”. “Either way, I am very grateful Terry, it seems Cobalt chooses the right friends.” Lumin replied. Terry smiled and looked up, seeing that they were about to arrive at the theater.

“I’m not sure how I would have broken the mind control to be fairly honest. Though I did have an idea…” Cobalt said, opening the door to the theater to allow Lumin in. “Oh really? What was that?” Lumin asked as he stopped and looked at Cobalt. Cobalt grinned and replied, “I woulda hit you really hard in the head.”

It had been two days since Lumin’s rescue. Cobalt, Terry, and Lumin were resting in the theater, planning their next move. “So you don’t remember anything?” Terry asked. “No I remember most everything I did… But I was never allowed to have contact with either UV or Tien. I have no idea where they are” Lumin replied, rubbing the back of his still aching head.

Cobalt shook his head, “This is just perfect. I was hoping that finding one of you meant finding all of you but apparently 731 ruined even that plan…” “We can’t sit here and do nothing Coby, Lumin! We HAVE to find the others!” Terry reassured, putting a hand on Cobalt’s shoulder.

“We will have to think outside of the box then.” Lumin suggested, “Do you have any contacts through the Illuminate that you could use?” “As a matter of fact…” Cobalt answered, standing up and pacing around, “I do have someone we could ask…” “Oh?” Terry questioned, “Who would that be?” Cobalt smiled at Terry. “Miss Madame Veil LeVoige.

The trio arrived at the small bar in the quieter district in Oria, a part of the town where people would come to hang out and just have fun. Madam LeVoige ran a bar called City of Clouds.

“Hello Madame.” Cobalt greeted, sitting on a stool right in front of her. She was a tall, slender woman that wore a loose red dress that went down to her ankle and tight brown boots. She was strong looking, like she could handle herself in a fight. Her blondish hair fell down to her mid back, and in her right hand was a long cigarette filter that was always lit. She smoked it, but it never made a scent, something everyone found curious but no one asked her about it. The smoke that came from the filter made a foggy, wisp like motion, thus her affiliation with clouds and fog.

“Well looky here if it isn’t the Angel of Oria himself” The Madame chuckled. Cobalt blushed at his urban legend-nickname. No one really saw Cobal in the city, they just saw a winged figure flying around so people saw him as a guardian angel figure.  

“Lumin, Terry, Madame Veil LeVoige is another informant for the Illuminate,” Cobalt explained, “Most gossip around the city funnels through here. Not much gets by Madame LeVoige.” “Another informant Coby” Terry asked with a fake pout on his face, “I’m hurt.” Cobalt chuckled and shoved his friend a little, eliciting a strange glance from Lumin.

Madame LeVoige laughed at the duo, “That is true. And from what I’ve heard you aren’t with them anymore, so what reason could you possibly have for visiting me?” LeVoige asked, taking a puff at her cigarette.

Cobalt looked at her astounded, “How did you know that? No one is supposed to know what goes on in the organization itself.” Cobalt explained. “Even the tightest of organizations have scuttlebutts” LeVoige cheekily hinted, winking at Cobalt. “That’s why you’re the best Madame!” Cobalt affirmed.

“We were wondering if you could help us…” Lumin interjected, hoping to get to the point, “We’re looking for the rest of our friends, and we were hoping there was some sort of word of strange occurrences.” “I see…” LeVoige replied, “And the two remaining members, UV and Tien, are a Spirit-Kind and Shadow-Kind respectively, correct?” She asked, flicking some ash at her feat.

Lumin nodded, looking at Cobalt. Lumin didn't realize how much the woman knew. After a few seconds the Madame nodded, “Yes I do remember hearing a few strange stories that were connected” She mused, staring off into space, “The homes and labs of some scientists were… ‘Haunted’”

“Haunted?” Terry asked, obviously not buying the story. “Actually that sounds like something UV would be sent for.” Lumin explained, “She would be sent into important areas and scare people away, the she would steal information and then leave. And no one was the wiser”

LeVoige nodded at Lumin, “It’s been happening for months now. The incidents were so isolated no one paid any attention. They were so few and far between they were written off as hallucinations due to stress, since they only happened when the scientist was alone.” Madame LeVoige recalled, “There is one happening right now though.” “What?” Cobalt started, leaning in close to LeVoige.

The woman nodded gravely at Cobalt, “This scientist says a mansion dedicated to scientific study has been haunted for a while now since he’s the only one residing in it. It’s driving him crazy. He’s supposed to go there tonight, but he’s on the brink of madness.” She explained, “No one’s paid any attention to him. Word is that the mansion has a lot of information about some top-secret information, there are guards posted there but they’ve never seen anything. They are giving the man one more chance.”

Cobalt shook his head and stood up, motioning Lumin and Terry to follow him. “Madame, can you somehow convince the scientist to not show up?” Cobalt asked, “This sounds like UV for sure, this may be our only chance to catch for a while now.”

“I’ll pull a few strings.” LeVoige affirmed, “Go get her Cobalt” “Thank you so much Madame,” Lumin praised. He grabbed Cobalt by the arm and pushed Terry out of the door. “Let’s go. Now.” Lumin ordered.

Terry almost tripped and fell stumbling out of the bar, followed closely behind the two Kinds. “Jeez Lumin is the pushing really necessary?” Terry asked, stabling himself. Cobalt chuckled in reply to Lumin’s sudden sternness. “Shut up Cobalt” Lumin muttered. Ignoring Lumin, Cobalt replied to Terry, “Lumin and UV were always especially close…”

Lumin slugged Cobalt in the arm and turned down the next connecting alley walking with his hands in his pockets and his hat brimmed low. Cobalt’s cheeky grin turned into a sad sort of half-smile. It’s been so long since he’s actually had to worry about his friend’s feelings he never stopped to consider how the effect of being a forced warrior-slave was hard on his friend, to say the least.

Terry gave Cobalt a small glance before running after Lumin. Terry patted Lumin on the back, slowing the psychic down to allow Cobalt to catch up. “It’s okay Lumin, we’ll save her. I promise” Terry reassured Lumin, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. As Cobalt ran up next to the two, Terry wrapped his other arm around his winged friend.

“Okay Terry that’s enough” Lumin laughed breaking his sullen attitude, sliding Terry’s arm off of his shoulders. Keeping his arm around Cobalt Terry chuckled. “Not the touchy-feely type huh?” Terry asked. “Nah, guess not.” Lumin replied.

“Lu what was it like?” Cobalt asked is a quiet voice, “being controlled like that?”

Lumin sighed, “It was horrible Cobalt. I was fully aware of everything but I couldn’t do anything about it. My every movement was controlled from someone I couldn’t do anything about it. I don’t even remember how it happened. Just that I was watching the horror movie that I was committing. I was totally alone and I had no way out…”

Cobalt sadly looked at his friend, wishing he could say something to make it better. He was then suddenly aware that Terry’s arm was still around him. Cobalt smirked at his friend and shrugged the arm off and smiled at Terry. Then something suddenly dawned on Cobalt as he stared at the goofy grin on Terry’s face.

He has always thought that he was alone in his journey, backed only by the cold machine that was The Illuminate. His journey was always his own… But he always had Terry. Cobalt and Terry met soon after Cobalt joined the Illuminate. Cobalt had fled from Unit 731 and Terry’s home had just been obliterated. Terry was Cobalt’s main informant and they regularly conversed during Cobalt’s journey. So he was never truly alone. Lumin however…

“I am so sorry Lu,” Cobalt quietly apologized, “I promise we will get all of us back together.”

Just as Cobalt said this, they approached the gate to the grounds of the mansion. “A mansion in the middle of the city…” Terry observed, “How interesting…” “Well” Cobalt said, spreading his wings. “Let’s find her” Lumin replied.