“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung
Awaken the Cybrids
The blue skies painted a mesmerizing backdrop for clouds billowing up over the bluff by the sea. The sound of surf and stone in an ageless rhythm soothed the two most powerful women in the Black Dragon Society. The women conversed in the garden seated next to each other on the wrought iron love seat. Their conversation was unhurried in a laconic tone without inflection.
Ivan Ivanovich, Peter’s father, leaned on the rail of the balcony and watched Domi, his wife, and Lee, the Black Dragon Empress chat in the garden. Hue, the Emperor, studied the gulls gliding across the sky; golden rays of sunlight reflected from their wings like fire. The light also reflected from Ivan’s eyes giving an illusion of reptilian slits as his eyes narrowed in the light.
A Cybrid maid bowed to Hue and waited for his silent acknowledgment then walked to Ivan and waited, keeping her head down and eyes averted. Ivan spoke without acknowledging the maid’s presence behind him.
“Show Alexa to her mother.”
The Cybrid female hurried to do her task.
Alexa approached her mother and Lee as they looked up and welcomed her. The maid held her station in the background and watched for any sign of need.
Domi and Lee greeted Alexa.
“Come here honey and let me hug you.” Domi cooed.
“Hi, mother, Ms. Lee.” Alexa hugged her mother and held her, bathing in the glow of their shared love.
Alexa released her mother and hugged Lee before they sat down together. Lee looked over at the maid, then looked toward the house. The girl took three steps backward, bowed, and hurried to the house for tea.
The ritual of pleasant discussion before business relaxed them as they enjoyed their drinks in the light breeze. Water lilies from the Koi pond nodded in the whisper of wind and filled the garden with a sweet scent. Domi put down her cup and looked at her daughter as Lee held her quiet composure to offer the mother and daughter the respect of her silence.
“Tell me about your Cybrid.”
Alexa’s cue to open the discussion gave her pause. She steeled her nerves and considered her words with care.
“Her name is Mariah St. Claire.”
Domi and Lee looked at each other as Alexa continued.
“Peter and I think she is self-aware.”
“Why do you say she is self-aware as opposed to just advanced in her mimicry of emotion,” Domi asked.
“She has expressed a desire to break from her Cybrid protocols. She also has a crush on Peter.”
Domi and Lee smiled with amusement.
“What does Peter think of this?”
“He’s confused, mother. He finds her adorable, even attractive, but he is reluctant to accept her. He feels her Cybrid status is a permanent barrier.”
“He has Gloria to satisfy his appetite. Why does he feel a need to accept or reject Mariah?”
“She is different from the others. Her innocence and naiveté mask a brilliant and intuitive mind. During my test, she surprised me with her willingness to break protocol to attempt a bond. It was like she didn’t know the consequences or, if she did, she was willing to sacrifice herself to offer me what she thought I wanted.”
“You think she made a conscious decision to attempt a bond?”
Alexa’s skin grew warm as she recalled the sensual pleasure she felt from Mariah’s contact with her.
“Do you think she desires a bond with Peter?”
“Yes, mother. I’m sure of it.”
Lee touched Alexa to get her attention.
“Help convince Peter to accept her.”
Alexa acknowledged Lee’s subtle order with a thoughtful nod. Her confused feelings of connection with the Cybrid made Lee’s order more acceptable and absolved her of any violation of crossing a barrier with Mariah.
“I’m not sure how to do that.”
Domi leaned forward and picked up her cup again and paused, looking first at Lee then at Alexa.
“Follow your instinct dear. Spend time with Mariah and help her by showing your acceptance of her. Let her learn from you what it means to bond with a Dragon. If you accept her, Peter will too.”
“You approve of Peter and Mariah’s pair bonding?”
“Yes, it’s important to the Black Dragons that he accepts her. Be her friend and help her realize her dream to become human and accepted.”
Domi’s words surprised Alexa. She realized there was more at stake than a simple relationship for her brother.
“Mother, Gloria feels Peter is her pair bond. She won’t allow Mariah to cross her.”
“She’ll obey and do her duty. Help her to understand that Mariah is unique to the Dragons and we expect her support.”
Alexa’s heart raced as she struggled to keep her composure. Gloria was headstrong and impulsive with her emotions. She wouldn’t take the news well. Mariah had the backing of the Dragon Masters. It was every member of the Black Dragon Society’s duty to obey and not question the Masters. Hopefully, Gloria wouldn’t go against their will.
After a few minutes, the discussion concluded. Alexa hugged her mother and Lee and promised to come back with a progress report on her effort to bring Mariah and Peter together. She knew how important her task was and cringed at keeping it secret from her brother.
* * *
Ivan and Hue looked down on the scene in the garden like raptors surveying their next meal. After Alexa had departed, Domi and Lee made eye contact with their husbands, nodding to them to signal their success.
Hue slapped Ivan on the back.
“I bet there is a single malt whisky in the study you are just dying to have me sample my friend.”
“If I recall, there are several you might like.”
“What do you say we celebrate young Peter’s nuptials with a small tour of Scotland.”
Ivan smiled at Hue’s boldness.
“Considering the ladies have their hands full with the details, we should take this opportunity to watch the game.” Ivan mused.
“Excellent idea Ivan. By the way, how many of the Cybrids have transitioned to awareness so far?”
“13,105 last counts.”
Ivan and Hue continued their discussion as they walked into the study.
“Mariah is the first attempt to pair bond with a Dragon Male?”
“Yes, I decided she would bond with Peter so we can keep a close eye on her progress.”
“Ivan, won’t the bond kill the Cybrid?”
“It’s possible, but she has specific changes to her DNA. An exchange similar to mine and Domi’s should take place. We can’t be sure of the result until it happens.”
Hue held up a pour of scotch and touched Ivan’s glass.
“Then they may become us and we them?”
“Yes,” Ivan smiled and savored the scotch that warmed his stomach and left the taste of heather, honey, and smoky toasted oak on his palate. After a moment to enjoy the whisky, Ivan continued.
“We hope to breed out the worst traits of humankind through the Cybrids and help them find their true destiny on the long path to realizing the full potential of their humanity.”
“If the pair bond is successful, we’ll begin bonding the others to Dragon brothers and sisters that don’t have a pair bond yet. Next, our plan to go outside the Black Dragon society begins.”
“March of the Cybrids.” Hue raised his glass in a toast.
“March of the Cybrids,” Ivan repeated as they downed their remaining scotch and left to watch the soccer finals.
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