As a boy of eight, Seth finds his life changed by a dark secret … something that he can’t possibly understand.

Years later, old faces, memories, and an envelope, draw Seth back into the web.


18. 18 - Conspiracies

18  -  Conspiracies

April 18, 2383


Seth’s pulse quickens.

He and Jullian would wait for a while. Hopefully, the demonstration wouldn’t last much longer. When it was finished, he would approach Carry. Seth watches her, considering his best approach, knowing that Carry wouldn’t recognize him after ten years.

He looks back to Jullian as she stares at the group. He sees the anxiousness and discomfort she’s feeling, reflected in her eyes... Carry could wait.


She looks up at him

Seth smiles “Let’s go to your place.”

Jullian’s eyes brighten.

They walk on, turning a corner and leaving the protesters behind. They walk in silence, each deep in their own thoughts.


Seth relaxes on Jullian’s couch, finishing off a soda. Soft music comes from the vid-screen. The CMG roster book sits on the table, open to the page with the image of Seth’s mother.

Jullian comes from the kitchen and settles next to him. “Thank you, Seth.”

He smiles, raising a questioning eyebrow.

“Thank you for not getting me involved with the Guardians.”

Seth shakes his head. “You’ve already been a great help. I don’t want you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.”

Jullian leans over, resting her head on his arm. “I’ll look up Carry’s number and you can contact her tomorrow.” She turns her face up to look at him. “You were wondering why I smiled when I saw her image in the roster book.”

Seth nods. “I was.”

A small grin comes to her face. “Carry is really well known, within the Guardians. She has a reputation. Some people call her the queen of conspiracies.”

He gives her a curious look “Conspiracies?”

“The Guardian’s are always on the lookout for secret plots being hatched behind the scenes by the GD and the corporations. It’s part of their job to help protect the common man. Carry makes uncovering secret plots her life’s work.”

Seth smiles “I see.”

Jullian looks at the open roster book. “I didn’t know that she used to be with the CMG. Was she a good friend of your mother?”

“I’m not sure. I guess I’ll find out.” He leans down, kissing her soft lips.

Jullian takes his hand, and gives it a squeeze. “Why don’t you stay here tonight?”

“I’d like that a lot.”

They move into the bedroom. Seth takes off his shirt.

Jullian looks at him with concern. “What happened to your arm?” She gently runs a finger over the dark bruising.

Seth looks at the bruise. “I um, had an unplanned meeting with a merc.”

Her eyes grow wide “A mercenary?”

“Just a misunderstanding. I’m alright.”

“Seth …”

He pulls her into a hug. “Let’s talk about it tomorrow.”


April 19, 2383


Seth watches Jullian pull on her boots “Dinner tonight?”

She smiles. “Why don’t we have dinner here? I’ll make something special.”

Seth hesitates …

Jullian giggles. “Don’t worry. No sushi, I promise.”

He smiles. “Alright, sounds great.”

She stands from the couch, and joins him at the apartment’s gate. “Come by around seven. I’ll have dinner ready and you can tell me how things went with Carry.”


Seth walks up the steps of the residence building. He feels good. Thoughts of soft lips and purple hair …

The main door opens and Jax emerges. “Hey buddy! What happened to you? Where were you last night?”

“At Jullian’s place.”

Jax shakes his head. “Whoa, has she got a friend, or a sister?”

Seth smiles “I’ll be sure to ask her.”

“Wanna come to the range?”

“No, thanks.”

Jax shrugs. “Okay. See ya.”

Seth turns to the door as Jax speaks from the bottom of the stairs.

“Oh, Seth, somebody was here looking for you when I was coming into the building last night. He said he was an old friend of yours.”

He turns back to Jax “An old friend?” He thinks about Mark.

“Yeah.”, Jax grins. “I was coming home from the club so it’s a bit, um, fuzzy … but I’m pretty sure I told him you weren’t home and gave him our room number. He said he’d be back.”

“What was his name?”

Jax shakes his head. “I don’t think he told me his name, or I don’t remember if he did. Real big guy. Scary looking.”

Seth sighs.

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