Category: Albert & Jarvis

Hybrids part 89

a tale in weekly parts

(formerly Albert and Jarvis)

In episodes 1-88, Albert and Jarvis told the story of a bitek construct that had been in the lives of the Grahamson family for three generations. Appearing in the form of a shepherd's hut (Jarvis) and its elderly occupant (Albert), an earlier experiment had resulted in the birth of Aloysius, a non-manifesting human/bitek hybrid. Alice and Alex, the two children that Aloysius had fathered with his wife, Magdalen, displayed strong bitek capabilities from an early age, though Alice was significantly more precocious than her younger brother. Albert and Jarvis nurtured and enhanced these capabilities through many adventures until the point where, to prevent a global catastrophe, the two needed to act together. The action needed more power than the two possessed. To produce stonger hybrids, Alex's seed was used to produce a young in a distantly related hybrid female in another dimension, while Alice was impregnated using her own bitek components. Albert and Jarvis absented themselves from the lives of the Grahamsons to allow Alice's pregnancy to progress in a safe, normal environment.
You can see the full story so far at this link.


Episode 89

Throughout the pregnancy, Albert and Jarvis kept to their word and remained absent. Alice was aware of Albert’s presence at the moment of the birth of her baby, although he didn’t appear in visible form. He told Alice that he needed to satisfy himself that the infant had arrived safely and in good health, and to tell her that Kris had safely delivered a daughter on Terra; a partner and eventual mate for Alice’s son. For her part, Alice informed Albert that, in a total break from Grahamson tradition, the boy’s name would not start with the letter A. The name she had chosen, and agreed with her parents and brother, was Zachary – Zak for short. Albert gave a small chuckle at that and informed her that Kris and Xander had agreed that her daughter be called Zara.

Albert took his leave again, promising to stay away, unless called, until Zak’s fifth birthday – the age at which Alice had started manifesting abilities.

The next five years passed without event in the Grahamson household. Alice, Alex and their father were still aware of the presence of the Eddies, but mostly this was only as background noise. The abject loneliness the siblings had felt after their first separation from Albert and Jarvis wasn’t there, though. In large part, this was because they knew that they could call on them at any time, but the connection with the Eddies and, through them, with the dogs, also served to prevent the emptiness and disconnectedness they had experienced earlier from being an issue.

The Grahamsons settled into their new reality and reached an acceptance, not only of the powers and possibilities they had been given but also of the negatives that accompanied them; particularly the dire consequences that could follow if anyone else learned of their situation. This knowledge, and the awesome responsibility of raising such a unique child, served to strengthen their bonds and to allow them to grow as individuals, as a family and as a support system. The greatest growth was, without doubt, in Madge. She had passed from being a subservient, somewhat downtrodden ‘little lady at home’, through a period of anger and pushiness based mostly on insecurity and fear, finally ending up as a confident and competent manager of the team. She could be relied on to support the children in all they do, and to keep tabs on her husband who, whilst still authoritarian, was probably the least stable member of the family.

Young Zak was, unsurprisingly, the image of his mother at his age; he had the same honey-blonde hair and rounded face with cherub-like features as well as skin so white that people often asked if he were albino. But the likeness went beyond the physical. His mannerisms mirrored those of his mother at each stage of his development such that, as he approached his fifth birthday, Al, his grandfather, started to look out for the kind of manifestations that had culminated in his mother’s disappearance from the family. Needless to say, Al became more nervous, more protective and, as his only real outlet, more authoritarian every day.

One evening, shortly before Zak’s fifth birthday, Madge, Alex, Alice and young Zak were seated at the dining table. The adults were telling the boy about Albert and explaining that, although he was, technically, Zak’s great-grandfather, he was more like an older friend or uncle to Alice and Alex. They were about to introduce the subject of Zak’s heritage when Al burst in on his return from work.

“When’s Albert coming again?” he asked.

Madge got up from the table and approached her husband, moving to give him a hug. He pushed her away.

“I just asked you a question,” he shouted, “and I deserve and expect an answer. When is that… that thing, that unnatural abomination coming?”

Zak started to cry. “Why is Granddad so angry?” he asked through his tears.

“It’s alright, Zak,” Alice said, “he’s not angry. Not really. He’s worried—”

“And,” Madge interrupted, “he doesn’t know how to express worry other than by shouting like a drill sergeant.”

Alice calmed her father in her special way. Al took the empty chair.

“So,” he said, more calmly, “why did you choose now, today, to talk to the lad about Albert?”

“Because, Dad,” Alice said, “Zak will be five soon. Alex and I want to prepare him, to let him know about the changes that will start happening to him soon. None of us wants him to go through the confusion and difficulties that Alex and I went through when our nature changed.”

“And how’s talking to him likely to help?”

“Dad,” Alex said, “a lot of kids have trouble dealing with puberty. Think how much harder it was for us… and will be for Zak.”

“Yeah, I get that, but how can talking help?”

“What’s my job?” Madge asked.

“You’re a counsellor. What’s that got to do with anything?”

“It’s what I do. Watch my lips. Talking helps. Right?”

“But—”

“Right?” she asked more forcibly.

“Yes, Dear.”

Under Madge’s watchful eye, Alex and Alice started to explain to Zak a little of his true nature. They told him the basics of bitek and began to prepare him for what he should expect in the short term.

“He’s four, for God’s sake,” Al said, “you can’t expect the poor kid to follow any of that. It’s all I can do to keep up myself, and I’m… it doesn’t matter how old I am, but I’m not bloody four.”

“It’s okay, Granddad,” Zak replied, “I get most of it. Don’t worry, I’ll let Mum know if there’s anything I don’t understand.”

Albert and Jarvis part 88

a tale in weekly parts

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 88

Alice was determined that her pregnancy was to be as normal as possible, given the unique nature of the foetus she would be nurturing over the coming months. She looked at Alex.

“Listen, Alex. I don’t care what happens during the next forty weeks or whatever, but I plan to stay, literally, in the here and now until this baby is born. What you do is up to you, but this gal ain’t shifting.”

“What if there’s something that only we can deal with, if the Eddies call, or if Albert needs us?”

“If that happens, brother of mine, you’re on your own.”

“But—”

“What part of ‘this gal ain’t shifting’ is giving you trouble? I. Am. Not. Moving.”

“Good for you, Alice,” Madge said, “the health of the baby growing in you must be your only concern. Carrying and giving birth to a healthy child is always a massive responsibility; probably the biggest most women will face in their lives. This one, though? This one is special. From what Albert says, it could be the most important child born on this planet for many years.”

“I know the significance of what’s involved here, Mum. That’s why I’m going to be specially careful.”

Al and Alex said nothing. Truth be told, they were both a little overwhelmed by the situation. Al looked at his son and whispered, “Where’s the old boy now?”

“Not here, Dad. I can’t sense them at all. I think… I hope that he’ll be true to his word and stay away until Alice has had her baby.”


Albert and Jarvis will now take a short break to allow Alice to enjoy her pregnancy in peace. Look out for it again later in the year (or early 2018)

 

Albert and Jarvis part 87

a tale in weekly parts

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 87

Albert reached out and placed his hand on Alice’s shoulder. The two of them shimmered.

“It’s done,” Albert said.

“That was quick,” Madge remarked.

“Not really, Mum,” Alex said, “They could have been gone any length of time. We don’t have any way of knowing.”

“It took about half an hour, by your reckoning,” Albert informed them, “and, in case you’re worried, guys, no-one actually touched your daughter. Jarvis just had to remotely reprogramme a few groups of nanites.”

“How does that work, then?” Al asked.

“You can look at the kids’ nanites as being kind of like stem cells. They can be programmed to emulate whatever cells we choose. We instructed these to behave as sperm cells and migrated them into position to fertilise Alice’s egg.”

“But that’s still a bit hit and miss, isn’t it?” Madge asked.

“Not at all, Madge. Don’t forget that Alice’s eggs are fifty percent bitek, too.”

“And how does that help?”

“Whenever computers communicate, they start by exchanging information about themselves, then agree on a method, a protocol that they both support. That way, communication is certain. Bitek nanites operate on the same principal. The sperm cells know how to approach the egg cell and what they have to do when they get there. The egg cell will be ready to receive them.”

“So what you’re saying, is that Alice is guaranteed to become pregnant.”

“No, Madge. I’m saying that Alice is pregnant.”

“And will her pregnancy be—”

“Absolutely normal.”

“But the baby won’t be human, will it?”

“Madge. This child will be as human as your children are.”

“But—”

“But nothing. Alice should do all the normal ante-natal stuff with the nurses and midwives, and she can give birth either at home or in a hospital maternity unit. No-one will know or even suspect that her child is any different from other children.”

“Normal?”

“Completely.”

“But what about the bitek stuff?”

“None of the baby’s abilities will start to show until about seven or eight years of age., You’ll remember from Alice and Alex, when you didn’t know about their bitek parts, that there was nothing much before puberty. Alice and Alex will be here to bring the child up and make sure that he or she is brought into his or her bitek status at the right time and in the right way, I’ll be here to help, too, and as you and Al have experience of raising part-bitek kids, I expect you’ll want to be involved,as well.”

“So, what next?” Alice asked.

“Next, Jarvis and I will leave you in peace. Enjoy your pregnancy. We’ll be back when the baby’s born.”

Albert faded out of view.

“Is that it?” Alex asked.

“Looks like it, Bro.”

“So, nine months from now, you’ll be a mum, and I’ll be a dad.”

“Yup.”

“And neither of us has had—”

“No, neither of us. Yet.”

“And you should stay like that until these babies are born,” Al said.

“Why?” Alice asked.

“It wouldn’t be right.”

“Says who?”

Like the booming voice of a god, Albert’s disembodied voice filled the room. “Says we,” he said.

“Oh shut up Allbert, you old queen,” Jarvis admonished.

“Okay, guys, point taken,” Alice laughed, “see you in forty weeks.”