The Archives of the Heroes: Series One - Foundation.

This is the story of two brothers growing up in our Universe. They manage to find themselves all kinds of trouble and adventures while travelling from galaxy to galaxy with their father.
Or, in some cases, by themselves.

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10. Season Two: Seven and Ten to Ten and Thirteen. Episode One: The boys find trouble straight away.

The boys walked through the streets of Soman, on the neutral planet of Cerebrum, following their father at a distance, and trying to stay a good metre in front of their tutor, Glesi Dein. Neither of them liked him, and he did not like them, so the matter was fairly even.

This was Jaliq's brilliant idea: follow him around the Universe while he worked. So far, despite the fact that neither Strongh nor Liart particularly enjoyed this, his plan had worked, and it had nearly been a year since their chanceful and secret visit to Quixas. But of course, the two could not stay out of trouble for too long.

As Jaliq chatted with the hospital's secretary, Strongh nudged his brother and pointed to a strange looking being.

It went about on all fours, and was deathly pale. Its grey eyes looked placid and unintelligent, and its skin seemed utterly hairless. It did not look to be human, and mopped the floor on its knees, or at least that was what Liart thought they were. Whatever this creature was, there were many of them, all around the hospital, doing various menial tasks in a fairly cheerful manner.

'What do you suppose they are?' Strongh whispered to his younger brother, turning his face away. They were ugly creatures, terrifying. He dared not look at them any longer. 

Liart shrugged, unable to take his eyes off the horrifying animals. 'Why don't we ask Glesi?' He suggested, though he didn't want to. Strongh liked this idea, and promptly asked his tutor, 'what are those ugly creatures?'

Glesi laughed at this question, and replied, 'Cerebrumaves. Very different from Cerebrumites, mark my words. Cerebrumites are free people, but them Cerebrumaves are not only incredibly ugly, but also slaves. That's how come they got 'aves' on the end of Cerebrum. Stupid beings.'

'Like the Neurons?' Liart muttered under his breath, though loud enough for the tutor to catch what he said. Glesi only nodded in reply.

'So they're people?' Strongh asked, disturbed at the very thought.

Glesi shrugged. 'It's debatable. Most say they're animals. Just as well too, if they are, coz they're treated pretty bad.'

As if on cue, one of the creatures spilt a bucket of soapy water, making a nurse slip over and land on her back. She screamed, and stood up once she caught her breath.

'Stupid creature!' She shrieked, and the animal looked ashamed. 'Clean up this mess!' Then, aggressively, she slapped the creature over its demented face, stood up, and left.

Strongh was not impressed by this scene. 'No animal should be treated that way.'

Glesi rolled his eyes at this, and began muttering. 'Yeah, yeah. Typical greenie.'

'So they're not human?' Liart asked, waiting for confirmation.

'I told you, kid! I don't know! I don't know if anyone knows, but the fact o' the matter is, the dumb mutts are happy being abused. Don't ask me why.'

'Can they speak?'

'Dunno. I don't imagine anyone wants them too.'

'Why not?'

'Coz that would certainly make them seem human.'

'Or a breed of parrot.' Strongh added, amusing himself. Then, to Liart, he brightly cried, 'let's go talk to him!'

Liart eagerly agreed, and Glesi watched them at a close distance. Jaliq glanced at them distractedly, but soon returned back to his conversation with the secretary.

Strongh approached the pitiful being mopping up the mess it had made and eyed it curiously.

'I don't reckon it’s human.' He said eventually.

Liart hesitated. 'Surely there has to be a way of telling.'

'Course there is.' A voice behind them answered. The boys jumped suddenly, and turned to face a tall male doctor. Like all Cerebrumites he had a sort of natural eye-liner, which made their entire race look Egyptian. It looked particularly fascinating when placed against blues eyes, or – in this man's case – green eyes.

'There is?' Strongh asked. 'What is it? How can you tell that this is an animal?'

The man only shrugged in reply. 'I personally don't know. But legally they're classified as animals.'

'Whoa, wait.' Liart interrupted the man. 'Legally? What about scientifically?'

'Scientifically too.' The man assured them. 'They talk very little, and what they do say is only what they've been told – like a parrot. They are very genetically similar to us, though. Kinda like apes, I guess.'

Strongh nodded, and turned back to the face the animal, glad to know that it was one. 'Do you name them?'

The man only laughed. 'No, but we call them names.'

Liart thought this was quite a clever phrase, and laughed, but otherwise seemed completely uneasy.

'Katherat!' A voice called across the hall, drawing the doctor's attention. 'Are you ready?'

The man nodded, waved at the boys, and walked off. Almost as soon as he had gone, Liart rolled his eyes, much to the confusion of Strongh.

'So,' he began, eyeing the animal. 'You can talk?'

The creature nodded, but did not look up.

'And you can understand what I'm saying?'

Another nod.

'Well, for an animal you have highly developed communication skills.'

Strongh understood the problem now. Liart did not believe for a minute that this being was an animal.

'So,' he continued, the tone of sarcasm in his voice increasing, 'do you like being slapped across the face?'

'No.' The creature answered, looking into Liart's eyes for the first time. 'But I deserved it. Spilling water is a careless mistake – if the nurse had of been older she might have seriously injured herself.'

'So you think she was right to hit you?'

'I think it can be excused, yes.'

Then the animal turned back to his work.

It was strange really. The closer Liart and Strongh examined these animals, the more it became obvious that they really were happy. Even when they were hit, yelled at, or insulted, they were still content.

'Well, they can't be human.' Strongh reasoned. 'Otherwise they'd never let anyone control them like this.'

Liart seemed uneasy though, mainly because his imagination was going wild. He could think of a hundred other explanations for what was going on.

Their examination of the creatures did not go unnoticed, and was not appreciated. The secretary Jaliq was speaking to soon became distracted by the two boys, and glared at them threateningly. This, in turn, distracted Jaliq, who rolled his eyes and turned to Glesi. Glesi tried to make out he had done nothing wrong, but still took the two aside.

'Let's go for a walk.'

Jaliq relaxed very little as the boys disappeared with their tutor. After all, he knew how slippery they could be.

'Maternity ward.' Strongh read, frowning a little. 'What on earth is maternity?'

'Pregnancy.' Liart answered boredly.

Strongh did not appreciate the fact that the explanation had been given by his younger brother, but filed the information away in his mind anyway.

'Geriatric Ward.' Was the next thing he read. He didn't think that made any sense, but wasn't about to ask what another word meant. Finally though, after about fifteen minutes of walking up and down stairs and corridors, he saw a sign that he understood immediately. 'New World Studies.'

Liart jumped upon hearing this, and eyed the door that Strongh had read off. 'No!' He cried, bothering his tutor. 'This is all too impossible!'

Strongh was confused. 'What is? Have you worked something out that I've missed again?'

Liart seemed frustrated – scared and frustrated. 'Strongh, which ward are we in now?'

'The Huxley ward – I was going to ask you what Huxley meant, actually.'

Liart trembled violently, until Glesi felt obliged to hold onto him.

'Are you all right, kid? What's the issue?'

Strongh shook his head disappointedly. 'I've told you before, Glesi. You can't say issue. You have to say ish. It's way cooler. And yeah, Liart, what's up?'

''Sup.' Glesi corrected. 'It's cooler.'

Liart cried out in frustration – mainly because of Strongh's foolish argument with their tutor – and began explaining things. 'Strongh! Do you ever read the books I ask you to?'

Strongh shook his head. 'They're boring.'

'Well that's why you're so confused. Think, Strongh. What was the name of the last book I asked you to read?'

'Brave New World.'

'By Aldous Huxley.' Liart confirmed.

It hit Strongh then, what was going on. 'So this ward is named after the author... and whatever they're studying in that room has something to do with that book...' He sighed. 'I knew I should have read it.'

Glesi began shaking, and turned quite pale. 'No!' He cried. 'That's impossible! Huxley wrote fiction – it's not possible. It can't be done!'

'What can't be done?!' Strongh cried, whereas Liart objected.

'Of course it can be done! Look around, look at you. You're a RaJuno, we're Zraiatormmaein. What are your special abilities opposed to ours?'

Glesi swayed a little, as he realised it was not such an impossibility after all. 'RaJuno are good with their hands – generally not smart. Zraiatormmaein people are generally super smart...'

He leant against the wall for stability, fearing Liart was right.

'What can't be done!?' Strongh cried again, this time more frustratedly. But Liart had also paled, and leant on the wall next to Glesi. Strongh roared in frustration, and boldly approached the door that had caused all the fuss. 'I'm going in!' He cried. 'So if it's dangerous, speak now!'

'Strongh, no!' Liart suddenly cried. 'Don't go in ther...'

Strongh flung the door open and went inside.

This was not a room, Strongh found. It was a hallway, leading to another door. This one had a lock which could only be opened by a code. Being a manual lock, Strongh listened carefully to the gears as he pressed buttons, and quickly worked out the correct combination.

He stepped through the second door into an even darker room, and froze in terror. His eyes began to adjust to the dark, and as they did he began to panic. He could make out tubes of sorts – small or large he couldn't quite tell. Suddenly, a mad idea crept into his mind, and his heart skipped a beat. He swayed, and took a step back.

His foot pressed a button, and the tubes were abruptly lit up by a surreal blue light. That was when he realised what Brave New World had to be about, and it hit him that he had been right. For – while the majority of the tubes contained various serums and chemicals - those tubes held foetuses: the tiniest babies he had ever seen.

Liart burst in at that moment, and was not too surprised at his brother's reaction. Now that he knew he was right though, his fear increased dramatically, and he dropped to the ground in an attempt to steady his heartbeat.

Glesi did not fare much better. Sitting on the floor next to Liart he only barely managed to breathe, 'they're doin' it. They're making slaves from perfectly healthy people.'

Oh! it was too terrible! Strongh turned and ran from the room at once, dragging his brother out with him. Glesi quickly scrambled to his feet and followed.

'This has to be illegal.' Strongh reasoned, desperately trying to fall back on something bigger than himself. Liart only shook his head.

'It's legal, Strongh. Isn't that what the doctor told us, in effect? They're legally classified as animals – this is all legal!'

'It can't be! It's wrong!'

Glesi was still trembling, shaking his head madly, in no particular direction. 'M-m... maybe they don't know about this... what's happening underneath their very noses...'

'This is wrong!' Strongh cried again.

'You're right!' Liart cried, managing to free his arm from his brother's firm grasp. 'It is wrong. And so we should stop it.'

Strongh froze immediately, as did Glesi.

'No, no, no, no, no.' Glesi spoke first, though he looked torn. 'I can't let you do that. I'm meant to keep you out of trouble.'

'Well you've already failed!' Liart retorted. 'So you may as well help us fix the issue – you know we'll do it without you.'

Glesi began shaking his head again, this time in a definite 'no' direction. 'I suppose... if your father were okay with the idea...'

Strongh took off at once.

He went straight back to the desk where his father was still speaking to the secretary, took his hand, and began dragging him away.

'Strongh!' Jaliq cried angrily. 'Let go! I'm in the middle of work!'

'This is your work.' Strongh replied hotly. 'As a Zraiatormmaein you have every right to interfere with this matter.'

He dragged his father past Glesi and Liart, both of whom looked sick and pale, and Jaliq resisted a little less.

'What's wrong?' He asked, eyeing Glesi. The man only shook his head, unable to reply.

'This is the Huxley ward.' Strongh said when they reached it, 'and that door there is marked 'New World Studies'. Ring any bells?'

Jaliq was more than a little confused. 'Come on. Don't tell me your imaginations have run away with you! I'm sure it's not possible...'

'I didn't read that book, father!' Strongh cried, pushing his father into the room. 'But I think I know what it's about now.'

Jaliq froze immediately.

The test tubes were still lit up by that surreal shade of blue, and illuminated the contents in such a way as to show exactly what they were.

Jaliq began to shake a little, though he controlled his emotions far better than either of his sons or Glesi had.

'I see.' Was all he said for a long time. Then, eventually, 'I suppose I should fix this.'

The boys nodded, whereas Jaliq began shaking his head. 'But how on earth can I do that!?'

'Step one, confront some-one.' Strongh offered.

Jaliq sighed, and rubbed his eyes. 'I can't just confront some-one, Strongh. This is a ridiculous notion – I'd need to go straight to the scientist or something, and where am I going to find...'

He stopped.

'Well, well, well….I think you can check that box.'

 

They awoke hours later in a small room. The only other person in there other than those in their small group was the scientist who had caught them snooping around the hospital.

'Did you just drug us?' Jaliq asked, having no recollection of anything after the man's discovery of them.

The scientist nodded, and smiled brightly. 'Well done. I imagine you do not remember that part of the day, though?'

'No.' Jaliq admitted. 'A rather annoying drug.'

'A rather handy drug, I think. Now, I have a few questions for you. The first is, how did you get in that room? And the second is, what were you doing in there?'

Jaliq didn't know how to answer the first question, and so he turned to his eldest son, who hotly replied,

'I worked out the code.'

'How?' The man returned.

Strongh barely even blinked. 'I just did.'

Seeing that he would get no further, the man turned back to Jaliq. 'And the second question?'

Jaliq could answer this question. 'I was being appalled by what's going on in there. You create slaves?! That's horrific – against all moral laws!'

'Yeah!' Strongh put in, a little unhelpfully, 'is that even legal!?'

'Of course it is.' The scientist scowled. 'Though it is largely secret. And if some-one finds out and does not feel comfortable with the idea, we usually do not subject them to the torture of their conscience.'

Strongh blinked in confusion, so Liart paraphrased for him.

'He wipes their memory if they don't like it.'

The scientist smiled. 'Bright young thing, aren't you? So, anyway, I believe that is what will have to be done with you. There is just one problem with the memory serum, however....'

'Let me guess.' Jaliq put in, surprising every-one with his boldness. Everyone, that was, but Liart, who was not surprised at all by the fact that his father seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the adventure. 'It completely wipes your memory.'

'Generally speaking, yes. So sorry about that.'

Glesi's shaking suddenly grew worse; even Jaliq's pupils constricted upon hearing this.

'We're gonna get out.' Strongh objected, crossing his arms over his chest. 'I mean, the door's right there.'

'What do you take me for? A fool? You can't just walk out! The door will only open if the person on the other side knows who you are. I can walk out whenever I choose – you cannot.'

'Oh. Pity that.' He glanced at Liart, who took the hint.

'Do you think I could do an impression of you?' He asked the man, drawing his attention away from Strongh.

The man laughed. 'No.'

'Oh. Too bad. But come, do tell me. If you're – making – people... who's in charge? Do you have a kind of dictatorship going?'

'I suppose so. If that's the case, then I guess I'm the dictator. I'm the one who decides to what extreme the foetuses are conditioned. Some are made for mindless tasks, whereas some are made for menial office tasks – which means they need to be able to read and write. Unfortunately though, we cannot remove their ability to speak – we can only remove their organs for speech, or hinder their understanding of language. That generally doesn't help anyone though, because they don't understand commands.'

As he spoke, Strongh slowly began making his way over to the other side of the room.

'So you're the dictator? Isn't that a bit... wrong?'

The scientist only shrugged. 'Well somebody has to be in charge... why not me?'

'I think the correct question is, why you? Besides, all this is is slavery, and slavery is wrong.'

'Ah, can something really be wrong when so many people cry out for it? Besides, the Cerebrumaves are all happy. If they achieve nothing, they are depressed – they have not met their purpose in life. Work is their life, the thing that gives them life itself.'

'But you've made them that way. They are not free. You've taken away their right to freedom, and everyone has a right to freedom.'

'Why? Why does any person have a right to freedom?'

Liart opened his mouth to reply, but found nothing came. And so, Jaliq replied for him.

'Because everyone's equal.'

'Ha! Not anymore! Or did you forget? I'm in charge!'

'But everyone should be equal.'

'Equal!' The scientist retorted, scowling a little. 'Yes, everyone is happy to be equal until it equates them to Hitler, Nero, or Stalin. Do you see a problem here? Do you truly believe yourself to be equal to the most notorious men in history? Or do you see them as an exception?'

'They lose many rights through wickedness.' Jaliq argued, not sure where he was taking anything anymore.

The scientist scoffed and began to turn around, towards the table where the various vials of serum were. As he did, Strongh finally made his move. Quickly and silently, he ran up behind the man, jumped, and whacked him across the head with the chair he had taken from the other side of the room. The man's eyes rolled, and he fell to the floor.

Strongh ran to the door, where he cried, 'open the door!'

No-one expected that tactic to work.

Slowly but surely, the door opened, amazing even Strongh. But he did not dwell on this triumph too long. Walking out, Jaliq, Glesi, and Liart close behind, he waited for the guards to question him further. All that came was,

'Dr. Manges, where are you taking the prisoners?'

What? Why were they looking at him, Strongh thought? He could certainly not be mistaken for Dr. Manges, assuming that was the scientist he had just knocked out! Still, he wasn't about to ruin something so good, so he replied,

'Just... to another room.'

'Do you want us to follow?'

'No, thank you. You can go... away.'

The guards nodded, and walked off, leaving the escaping prisoners in a state of complete shock and confusion. But, like Strongh, they did not dwell on it too long, and ran through the hospital quickly.

'Where are we going!?' Glesi hissed, upon realising that they were all following Strongh.

The boy replied confidently. 'To the government of Cerebrum!'

'Strongh!' Liart instantly objected. 'We can't go there! You heard what the doctor said – this is all perfectly legal!'

'Legal?! Liart, do you think the government really knows about what's going on in this hospital? Besides, father has to see the government. He's obliged to tell them off.'

Jaliq nodded in agreement.

'Than why are we running?' Liart asked. 'If the government is going to be so helpful, than why are we running?'

Strongh rolled his eyes. 'We're running from a crazed scientist who wants to erase our memory! There's a big difference! Besides, do you have any better ideas?'

'Yes. I think we need to stop all this without going to the government. They're not just going to change their policies. Look, Strongh, if you go to them for help I promise you you will end up right back in the room with the scientist.'

Strongh frowned thoughtfully. 'Well... your idea is a lot more fun. I'm surprised you came up with it, really. It's attack rather than defence. All right then, I suppose I'll go with you, but Glesi and dad will probably want to go to the government.'

The boys spoke in hushed tones now, lest their guardians overheard a word.

'We can't let them go!' Liart whispered. 'If I'm right, they'll both lose their memories! Who knows – they might even be killed!'

'Ssh!' Strongh warned, lowering his voice even further. 'I know we can't let them go, but we also can't tell them what to do. Come on, Liart, you're smart. What do you suggest?'

Liart thought for a moment. Then, in a moment of brilliance, he smiled.

'Do exactly as I say.'

 

They left the hospital quickly, and went straight to government house, where Jaliq attempted to have immediate audience with the leaders.

'You have to let me in!' He pleaded with the receptionist. 'It's urgent!'

The receptionist shook her head. 'I'm sorry, I can't. You'll have to book an appointment – say, next week, same time?'

Jaliq glanced at his watch and sighed. 'Fine. But please let them know it's urgent.'

The woman nodded distractedly, and Jaliq walked off, dismayed. Glesi and Strongh followed, whereas Liart subtly hung back.

'Excuse me,' he interrupted the woman. 'Do you mind if I discuss some particulars with you?'

The woman looked down on the boy curiously. 'Like what?'

'Well, it's an incredibly important matter – very sensitive too. You must not let anyone else in unless they bear the name Jaliq Hero.'

The woman hesitated. 'Why are you telling me this? Wouldn't that be your father's concern?'

'He's upset and careless. He couldn't have thought to instruct you. But please, you must not let anyone in that room unless their name is Jaliq Hero.'

'So for an entire hour and a half you want me to keep the doors locked?'

Liart nodded. 'To any-one but Jaliq Hero. The legal Jaliq Hero.'

The receptionist was beginning to listen now, though she was still a little wary. 'Why Jaliq Hero? Who is Jaliq Hero?'

'I'm afraid I cannot answer those questions. It's confidential. Just – don't open the doors.'

The woman nodded and entered the information into the database. 'Fine. But you better not be playing games with me.'

Liart smiled – not childishly, but business-like – and shook his head. 'I feel insulted at the very notion of the idea.'

Then, with a meaningful and amused glance at the woman, he walked after his father.

 

The week passed too slowly for any-one's liking but Liart's. He took advantage of the time to perfect his plan. He did not tell Strongh every detail of the plan, for he knew his brother could not lie – something which could ruin the entire plot.

Finally the day rolled around, and Jaliq set out to the government house for his appointment half-an-hour early. As soon as he had left the house, Strongh and Liart ran for the hospital, leaving Glesi alone and disturbed.

'Come back!' He cried, losing sight of them in the traffic.

They ran non-stop, until finally reaching the desired floor. Then they puffed and went looking for a Cerebrumave. Strongh promptly found one and pulled it aside.

'What are you?' He asked sternly, making the poor thing quiver.

'A Cerebrumave.' It replied, blinking its simple, yet happy eyes.

Strongh was a little bothered. 'A boy or a girl?' He rephrased his question.

'Oh! I'm a boy.'

'What's your name?'

'Cerebrumave Delta 55C.'

Liart shuddered.  'That's it? Is that what everyone calls you?'

Delta 55 C nodded.

'Even your friends? You fellow slaves?'

He nodded again.

'Do you like that name?' Strongh asked.

'Yes, of course. It's a wonderful name.'

Strongh glanced at the mop the creature was holding. 'Do you like scrubbing floors all day?'

He nodded. Of course he did! He had been made for the task.

'Well... don't. Don't do it for another minute. You don't have to do that menial task for another minute, because we're going to save you! You have a choice!'

The poor creature was confused. 'But I have always had a choice. I choose to do this menial task. It is my privilege.'

It suddenly hit the boys that this was going to be a lot harder than they had first thought.

'But can't you see!?' Strongh cried, growing more and more frustrated. 'You've been made to love it – forced before birth!'

'And am I any less happy for it?' Delta 55C returned. 'That is the problem with people nowadays. No-one cares that I am forced to work this menial job. They worry that they, too, will lose control. And that is what scares them.'

Strongh was not sure how to reply to this. He supposed the creature was right really.

Liart looked at Strongh in a confused manner. 'Can... can something really be wrong when so many people want it?'

Strongh nodded. 'Yes! This is wrong! It's a simple matter!'

'But how do you know?' The creature protested. 'Who are you to say what's right and wrong?'

Neither boy knew what to say now.

'Besides,' Delta 55C continued, 'would you rather I was unhappy with freewill or happy with no supposed free will?'

The boys only blinked in reply.

'Give up?' Strongh offered.

'No!' Liart replied. 'Look, Delta 55C, what about your children?'

The animal was confused – actually, not even Strongh knew what Liart meant.

'I can't have children.' He replied. 'That's why they make more of us.'

'Wait,' Strongh interrupted. 'You know about that!?'

The creature rolled his eyes – an unusual expression of personality. 'Of course I do. I'm not an idiot. Look, there are many things you don't understand about the Huxley project. They think they make us stupid, but they don't. I can understand calculus!'

'Then why mop floors all day!?'

'Because I like it! Now please, leave me alone.'

'But doesn't it bother you that you're called an animal?'

'No. If it did, I would complain. Are we clear? Will you leave now?'

The boys did not move.

'I can take care of myself! We all can! Just – don't interfere with other people's business.'

Liart smirked. 'You're not a person. Therefore, we can interfere with your business.'

Delta 55C sneered. 'If you do anything to end this system I will personally kill you.'

Strongh's eyes widened, and Liart's face paled.

'I beg your pardon?' The latter asked. 'Did you just say...?'

'I will kill you!' He repeated. 'Now go!'

'But we're trying to help!' Strongh objected.

'I told you you didn't care what I wanted.' Was all Delta 55C said in reply. Then, angrily, he ran off.

The two boys stood perfectly still for a while, until they reached a mutual conclusion.

'Let's go.'

 

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