Body of a Man, Mind of Machine – Chapter Ten

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Chapter Ten:

Jenny and Adrian gave a wide yawn once the plane shook them awake. They had left the US behind and landed in Vatican City, their new home. Outside, the towering cathedrals and obelisks were reaching up to the late-morning sun. Down on the airport tarmac, a limo was waiting for them. Jenny and Adrian looked at each other and smiled, both giddy and nervous. They stepped out of the plane with their luggage, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the fresh air. The limo driver quickly took their luggage and loaded it into the back for them. Dr. Alfonse, Jenny, and Adrian climbed inside, and found Professor Medici sitting near the back of the cabin. The doors were closed and the limo quickly began moving forward.

“I must say, Mr. Ashford, you’re terms were steep. It took a lot of convincing to get the other members to accept you both into the Illuminati without any previous affiliation. However, once we looked into your history and considered what you could offer us, they all accepted. However, if you want to keep your membership, you will both have to continuously have something to offer. While I wish our first meeting hadn’t been so… interrogative, I do believe that you will be a vital key to the future of the Illuminati.”

“Thank you. I’m glad that there are no negative feelings.”

“You’re welcome,” he said as the limo drove down the beautiful Roman streets. “Now, I’m here to inform you as to your entitlements and benefits as a member of the Illuminati, as well as responsibilities. Let me first make it clear that as long as you work WITH the Illuminati, you work FOR the Illuminati. As a member, you will not receive any payment for your services. We’ll have nothing to do with your finances, and unless an individual is giving you a personal loan, you will not get any money from other members. However, as long as you work for the Illuminati, you will have access to the benefits and perks of all members. Such examples include free vacations, flights to any location, tax exemption, medical care, and anything else owned by another member.

In terms of your personal activities, the Illuminati doesn’t care about what you do, as long as there is no way it can be traced back to us. However, if the Illuminati council has a strong disagreement with your actions, then you’ll have two options; stop what you’re doing or leave the Illuminati. We refuse to be affiliated with drug cartels, warlords, slave traffickers, or anything else like that. It took a lot for us to overlook your already… bloodstained… history.

That is mostly all you need to know as a new member of the Illuminati. You will learn more later, but we’ve covered all of the important things. Now, allow us to discuss the procedure…”

“Well I was able to come up with designs on the flight here, so all I need is the time and resources to build them. Once I get the required materials, I can have the pair ready in… a week. But I will also need x-rays and scans of your arms, because I need a lot of details in order to make sure that the prosthetics will fit.”

“Of course, Anthony can have those delivered by tomorrow. Now, in our agreement, I said that you two would be granted safe asylum. Not only will you be protected by both the sovereignty of Italy and Vatican City, but you will also be granted free housing. In fact, ownership of a chateau just went up for grabs…”

Jenny grabbed Adrian’s hands and stopped breathing the second she heard the word ‘chateau’.

“An elderly widower passed away a few days ago in the hospital, but he had no family and no will in which to leave his possessions to any of his friends. Since the property has not been left to anyone, its ownership has fallen to the bank, the bank that I am a board member of. Basically, the house and all of the possessions belong to you two. I have also acquired a serviceman who will run errands and act as a driver.”

Jenny gripped Adrian’s arm and couldn’t help but give a very girlish squeal, causing everyone to laugh.

“We’ll bring the scans tomorrow, use the rest of the day to make yourselves comfortable and do some sight-seeing,” Professor Medici said before the door closed and limo drove away.

Jenny and Adrian were standing in front of a two-story mansion with their luggage beside them. The chateau was situated in and looked out over the Vatican Gardens, was made of white granite bricks, and had a rose window above the door, just like a cathedral. With its location in the Vatican Gardens, it was just a short-walk away from the city streets but granted privacy. It had a large water fountain out front with a long gravel driveway and a gated entrance. They opened up the door and stepped inside, gazing at the chandelier that hung from the vaulted ceiling, the art that decorated the walls, and the flawless marble tiles making up the floor.

Laughing with excitement, Jenny jumped up into Adrian’s arms, kissing him wildly. Adrian was as excited as she was, for not only were they finally safe from the authorities, but they were home. They didn’t have to run anymore, they could live out their lives in Rome. They finally had a home that they could call their own.

They brought their luggage inside and explored the house. In the chateau’s entryway was a large marble staircase in line with the front door. The steps were covered in a red carpet, and at the second level, the staircase split to the left and right at perpendicular angles, and then turned into balcony walkways that allowed access to the second story rooms. There were several large pillars built into the balconies, supporting them and the roof. Along the staircase were wide handrails, with bronze statues set at each corner. There were two doors, one to the left of the main entryway and one to the right.

They stepped through the left door and entered an expansive den, holding several easy chairs, an L-shaped couch, a large fireplace, and a huge flat-screen TV. Bureaus and shelves lined the wall, filled with antiques of several different collections. At the far end of the room was a fully-stocked bar, with a large cabinet filled with well almost a hundred bottles of aged wine and liquor. Near the front windows was a large billiards table. The den was obviously used as a smoking room, because the air had the sweet and musty odor of cigars.

They moved to the back of the chateau and stepped into the kitchen. The kitchen had rosewood cabinets and shelves, onyx tabletops, an island table, a spotless stove, and a spice rack that was the size of a bookshelf. The previous owner either loved to cook or had a very talented chef. There was a door in the front of the kitchen, leading to a room beneath the staircase. It was the downstairs bathroom.

The back of the kitchen had a vast expanse of windows, letting sunlight stream in and granting a view of the courtyard outside. The courtyard was blocked off on all sides by walls, evidence that the chateau was twice as large as they had originally thought. In the center of the courtyard was a large fountain like the one in front of the house, sending up a jet of water. The ground around it was made of yellow sandstone bricks, with moss and grass growing between them. The walls around the courtyard were covered in crawling vines and moss. There were three doors along the back of the kitchen, two of which leading off the other half of the chateau, with the third as the entrance to the courtyard.

They moved to the back-right corner of the front of the house and entered a massive dining room. Like the kitchen, the table was made of red rosewood with a black onyx surface. One wall was lined with windows, letting the sunlight stream in, and along the other wall were shelves and cabinets full of china, silverware, napkins, tablemats, candlesticks, and etc.

They stepped into the front-right corner of the first floor, just to the right of the entryway. This room held the lounge, but unlike the other rooms, it was circular and the ceiling went all the way up to the roof. The half of the circular wall that was part of the building’s outer surface had nothing but windows, all with colored glass. With two levels of colored windows occupying two sides of the chateau’s corner, the room was illuminated with an endless rainbow of different shades and hues.

Across the room from the windows was another fountain, stretching up to the ceiling. It was built to resemble a waterfall, with water running down a surface of twisted blue and purple glass. Down at the bottom of the fountain was a bed of stones, with the drain hidden underneath. The glass surface was slanted ever so slightly, so that the water wouldn’t be sprayed out when it was released from the top and not splash when it reached the stones. The slow rate of the fountain and the grooves in the glass also made sure that the water would not spray or splash. The light from the windows reflected off and was distorted by the wall of water running down the glass, fusing the colors in ways that not even Adrian could describe. In the center of the room was a large grand piano made of ebony wood, with ivory keys and a flawlessly maintained surface. It had obviously been played often, though it had been taken care of so well that its condition was even better than those that had never been played.

They moved back to the entryway and climbed up the stairs with smiles on their faces. Again, they started by checking out the left side of the house, moving from the split staircase and onto the catwalk that lined the side of the second story. Just past the final step of the staircase was an open doorway on the right, granting access to one of the hallways connecting the two parts of the chateau. All of the doors on the left catwalk were entrances to guest bedrooms, each with a personal bathroom, a queen-sized bed, a bureau, closet, and a gas stove for heating.

Jenny and Adrian moved to the right side of the house and opened the only door. They stepped into a vast library, with well over a thousand books on countless subjects. In the corner were two easy chairs and lamps for reading, along with towering windows to let in sunlight. The walls were wood-paneled instead of being made with plaster, between the two easy chairs was a gas fireplace (built with extra security and safety due to its surroundings), and hanging from the ceiling was a chandelier. The library was so large that it made up the whole upper-right quarter of the building. There was a door in the corner that granted access to a hallway leading to the other half of the chateau. In the opposite corner was a narrow spiral staircase, leading up to the roof.

Walking down the hall, they passed the courtyard down below and turned, where the two hallways on either side of the second floor converged into a perpendicular hallway with a set of twin doors at the center. In front of the doors was a spiral staircase, leading down to the first floor. Stepping through the twin doors, they walked down another short hallway and came into the master bedroom. The far wall was a massive bay window that looked out over Vatican Gardens and the ceiling was raised, and set in the middle of the room was the king-sized bed with silk sheets and blankets, each with thread counts of over eight-hundred, all of which brand new and never used, just like the mattress. Behind the headboard sat two bureaus back to back that had originally been filled with clothes, and on each side of the bed was a nightstand. In the far corner was another spiral staircase leading up to the roof.

The short hallway that they had come through passed two smaller rooms within the master bedroom. One was a closet that had originally been filled with the former owner’s clothes, along with blankets, sheets, and towels, all brand new. The second was the master bathroom. Unlike the other rooms of the house, which had been painted with bright colors, the walls of the bathroom had been painted with deep soothing blues, and were even adorned with shells and pictures of angels.

Next to the door was a long marble counter with a wide mirror and silver sink. Beside it was the toilet, and in the back of the room was a combination of a hot tub and a shower. It was a large circular porcelain bath with a wooden foundation, water jets, and seats like a hot tub, but up above was a huge showerhead and in the corner was a drain. The showerhead was large enough to pour as much water as a fire hose. Behind the hot tub was a bay window with curtains for privacy or to just control the light, and around it were candles, soaps, and oils.

Going back down, they climbed down the spiral staircase to the first floor, entering a vast studio workshop for creating works of art of all types. There were several tables spread throughout the room, each covered in tools and paints, as well as blocks of modeling clay that had gone dry, half-finished statues, and bare canvases waiting to be turned into beautiful pictures. Against the wall was a long workbench, buried under tools for woodworking, all sprawled out in a disorganized mess. Next to the workbench were shelves and drawers, filled with more tools and materials. To the side of the studio was the entrance to a grand personal office with hardwood floors, blue/gray painted walls, an oak desk with a comfy office chair, windows behind the desk, and several bookshelves along the walls. Adrian could just imagine himself sitting at that desk, using the room as his private study for any work he had.

They climbed back up to the second floor and then up the staircase in the bedroom. Opening a hatch door at the top, they stepped out onto the roof and faced a large greenhouse, packed tight with plants that definitely needed to be watered. They walked over to the roof of the front portion of the chateau and looked down at a huge swimming pool, surrounded by lawn chairs. From the roof of the chateau, you got a spectacular view of the Vatican Gardens and the surrounding city.

Adrian stood in amazement, unable to believe how perfect the house was. But it wasn’t just the house that was amazing; it was the point in time. Here they were, two genius teenagers who couldn’t legally vote, but they were filthy rich, had a grand chateau in the city of Rome, and he was a member of the Illuminati. This was beyond people’s wildest dreams. Jenny shook him from his thoughts as she pushed him into the pool and then jumped in after him, laughing. Adrian surfaced and gasped for air, but was instantly forced back down as jenny wrapped her arms around him and began kissing him. They kissed for several seconds under the water before coming back up for air, with Jenny’s arms still wrapped his neck.

Under the Italian sun and soaking wet, Jenny was breathtakingly beautiful, especially with the wide smile on her face. “We’re home, Adrian. We’re home,” she said with disbelief.

“We are, Jenny. We’ve finally found our home,” Adrian replied, kissing her.

They spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon clearing out the previous possessions, except for the valuables such as the art, books, and antiques. What they kept would be the beginnings of their own cultivation of personal possessions. After they unpacked their things, they decided to take a walk through Vatican Gardens. They strolled through the expansive park with Adrian’s arm around Jenny, admiring the vast collection of beautiful plants and intricate mosaics of flowers.

“When we first met, did you ever imagine our lives would turn out like this? Owning a chateau in Rome and being rich before?” Adrian asked.

“Not like this exactly, but a little similar. I always knew that you were destined for greatness, and I would dream every night of being your wife and the two of us traveling to places like this whenever we wanted.”

“How long have you been dreaming that?”

“Since out first class together. That was when I first noticed that you were different from everyone else. Just by looking in your melancholic eyes, I knew that you had a path that stretched away from everyone else’s. Although you had resigned yourself to walking this path alone, I knew I wanted to walk it with you.

Have I ever told you that?”

“Countless times. But I love hearing you say it,” Adrian chuckled as he kissed her on the forehead.

They were laid out on the grass, enjoying the cool shade and watching the drifting clouds overhead. Jenny had her arm across his chest and her head on his shoulder, purring like a cat with every breath.

“You’re not the same man I fell in love with,” she said out of the blue.

“What do you mean?”

“You’re so much different from the way you used to be. In a way, I miss your cold machine-like personality. I miss trying to understand you like a puzzle and watching you try understand me. I miss playing the game that our relationship was in the early stages. I miss looking at you and your level of brilliance like you were the summit of a mountain that I could not reach.”

“Do you mean you’re unhappy?”

“No, of course not!” she said, raising her head and giving him a reassuring smile and kiss.

“I’m just saying I missed the challenge, almost like the saying about how finding the treasure is half the fun. Everyone misses the early stages of their relationships, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t overjoyed with the current stage that their relationship is in. In the early stages, I felt alone, even though I was with you. A part of me was lonely because it was hard to get you to show your feelings for me. I was happy and madly in love, but a part of me wished you were different. Then after your fight with Logan, you finally told me that you loved me, and after your dream, you were completely different than before.

Ever since your dream, I’ve felt like this is a true relationship. I can sense your feelings for me, instead of you just trying to mirror my feelings for you. I don’t feel alone in this relationship; I can feel your support and your love. I’m still amazed by you every single day, even more than I was before you trained me. I have reached the mountain summit that is your level of brilliance, and the view of the world is breathtaking. I miss the challenge of the beginning of our relationship, but I am happier and love you even more than I did then.

What was the beginning of the relationship like for you?”

“It was confusing, more confusing than I thought possible. Being in a relationship was like moving to a country that no one had ever heard of, starting a new life, and adopting a whole new language and set of customs. But what kept me in the relationship was curiosity and interest. Being with you made me feel something that I hadn’t experienced in years: happiness. I hadn’t been happy since I was a little kid, and this was a new kind of happiness, one that I had never felt before. I wanted to study this happiness, I wanted to examine it, and I wanted to find out what was causing it. I wanted to find out what it was about you and being with you that was affecting me in such a way, when all other human interactions just caused annoyance.

I enjoyed the confusion, because like you said, it was a challenge. It was nostalgic to come across something that I didn’t understand and have to put work and effort into it in order for it to open up to me. You were an enigma that was so complicated, not even I could figure you out. Eventually, I realized that while it was the challenge adıyaman escort that made me keep coming back, I was losing my curiosity as to what was making me happy. I no longer wanted to study and examine every aspect of the relationship from a distance; I wanted to live in it. I didn’t want to answer the mystery; I wanted to embrace it.

And only when I finally lowered my defenses of trying to understand it, did the mystery finally open itself up to me. It wasn’t the challenge that was making me happy; it was you. The only challenge was the one I was creating, because I was unable to understand that you were making me happy. I had been alone for so long that my subconscious could not accept that human interaction was making me happy. It was then that I realized I loved you.”

“And then you got shot in the head,” she joked, flicking the metal plate in the middle of his forehead.

Adrian and Jenny were sitting in one of the restaurants in Rome, eating lemon pasta with grilled shrimp and lamb chops with mint pesto. Outside, the street lamps were lighting up as the sun sank below the horizon. The light bounced off of the water fountains, swerving and dancing on the rough surfaces of the stone buildings and streets.

“Cheers,” they both said as they clinked their glasses together and drank lightly, savoring the taste of the wine.

“So what do you plan on doing now? We have our whole lives ahead of us and we’ve finally settled down,” Adrian asked as he set down his glass.

“Well, I was thinking that I could attend the university that Professor Medici teaches at. I haven’t graduated from high school, but I’m sure Medici could pull some strings so that I’ll be accepted. There are so many things I want to study, especially since you taught me to use the full potential of my brain.”

She spoke with excitement while keeping her voice low, just in case anyone who spoke English could overhear them.

“What about you? I can’t imagine the Illuminati will have you actually work for them in a cubicle,” she then asked.

“Of course not. After I build prosthetic hands for the Illuminati members, I figure I’ll go back to my old job of building and inventing, like back when I was creating surgical tools for the hospital in our town. I miss working with my hands to build new machines and I miss the physical challenges that come with a hobby. However, I’ll be incredibly busy with the plan after we find the nukes.”

“How do you know they even exist?”

“Tens of thousands of nukes were built by the US and Russia during the Cold War, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, a very large percentage of them completely disappeared. Since the Cold War, Russia and the US have been working together to dismantle the vast excess of atomic bombs, but it took a long time for Russia to stabilize. Atomic bombs and enriched uranium were literally up for grabs. There was even a confirmed story of a janitor taking enriched uranium in small amounts over time because he wanted to buy a new fridge for his family.”

“So what is the next step?”

“The next step is to find the nukes. Even if the Illuminati doesn’t have the nukes, using their connections to find whoever does will be easy.”

“And after that?”

“Then we plant the seeds of government destabilization. I know that the world is far too chaotic for my plan to work without problems, especially with certain international tensions. I’ve spent the last several years infiltrating every country and setting up splinter cells that will act when I need them to.”

“To overthrow their governments?”

“Bingo,” Adrian said, leaning forward with his hands folded over his mouth. There was a gleam in his eye, calculating and ambitious, one that made him appear capable to anything. He had this gleam whenever he wore his Machina mask, and it never failed to give Jenny shivers of excitement. “My plan has two parts: the nukes and the ones with their fingers on the button. I know that many countries can’t be trusted with nuclear bombs so I’ll rebuild them into something useful. Remember what North Korea used to be like? Ruled by that madman with the granny glasses? I was the one that wiped out the Kim family, thanks to the insurgent group I developed. It’s now as stable and economically healthy as South Korea, an ally to the United States, and the kind of model nation that the UN wants to replicate.”

“That was you? You did that?”

“I did. I was the one who organized the coup and armed the rebel faction. The new President of North Korea and most of his subordinates work for me, and it’s the same for a dozen other countries around the globe. If something happens and we can no longer remain in Vatican City, those countries will protect us. I just need to drop my name and we’ll get whatever we want. I don’t just rebuild countries, I make sure I have their loyalty and can rely on them at any time. A few countries even have puppet leaders, figureheads that I control completely and use to run the nations.”

“That might just be the sexiest thing I’ve ever heard,” Jenny giggled. “So while all the first-world countries will remain independent, the overtaken third-world countries will all belong to you and do what you say. Everyone on Earth will think that all the countries are held together and have achieved peace through a nuclear stalemate, but in reality, you’ll be orchestrating everything from the shadows, the unknown ruler of the world.”

“It will be the greatest lie ever told, but it will work.”

“Thanks, Clovis,” Adrian said as he and Jenny stepped out of the limo.

After all the wine she drank with dinner, Jenny was struggling to stay on her feet. The limo driver was holding bags of groceries they had picked up before going to restaurant. Clovis was the driver/butler Professor Medici had hired to work for them.

“Of course, sir. I’m at your disposal.”

“Come on, honey, time for bed,” Adrian said, hoisting Jenny up onto his shoulder and carrying her through the front doors of their new home.

“Put me down, I can walk!” she laughed.

“We tried that, remember? You almost fell into the fountain because you wanted to make love underwater. Clovis, please put the food in the refrigerator. That will be all.”

“Yes sir,” he said, making his way to the kitchen.

Adrian carried Jenny upstairs and into the bedroom. He gently laid her down on the bed and turned on the lights. She gazed at him with a look of peace on her face and eyes filled with love. “No matter how many times I look around, I just can’t believe we’re really here. We’re home.”

Adrian wrapped his hands around hers. “I know, and it’s better than I ever imagined. We don’t have to run any more, we don’t have to hide, and we don’t have to constantly move every time we get comfortable. We can finally live out our lives.”

Downstairs, Adrian could hear Clovis walking out of the house and closing the doors behind him.

“I’m going to go turn out the lights. Promise me you won’t fall asleep with your clothes on.”

“I promise.”

Adrian got up and stepped out of the bedroom. He moved throughout the house, turning off the lights. With the only sound coming from the towering fountain in the lounge and the only light shining in from the moon and stars outside, Adrian made his way back upstairs. He stepped into the bedroom and smiled. Jenny was sound asleep beneath the blankets, with her clothes having been lazily tossed onto a nearby chair. Only half of her body was covered, and the rest was reflecting the light from the bedside lamp beautifully.

Adrian sat down beside her, careful not to wake her up. Ever so gently, He stroked her golden hair and brushed his fingers against her soft cheek, admiring her beauty with a small smile on his face. Finally, he stood up, undressed, turned off the light, and climbed into bed. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close, letting the warmth of her body put him to sleep.

Adrian didn’t know what time his eyes opened. The moon was slowly approaching the horizon, casting a pool of light across the floor, broken up by a net of shadows from the window frames. Jenny had woken him up by gently kissing him.

“Jenny?” he asked with a yawn.

“We never got to celebrate our new home. Don’t wake up completely; I want us to give each other our hearts while our minds are on the precipice between reality and dreams,” she cooed, kissing him over and over again, but as gently as a falling leaf.

Adrian wrapped his arms around her in reply and rolled over so that he was on top. He held himself over her, so tired that he could barely maintain his erection. While he kissed Jenny over and over again, he pressed the head of my cock against the soft lips of her pussy. He slowly pushed it in, but instead of a moan, Jenny just gave a soft gasp.

Adrian began moving back and forth in the familiar rhythm, exploring the insides of Jenny’s body with his throbbing cock. But unlike the other times, he was being slow and gentle, as to Jenny’s request. They kissed over and over again, with their lips only separating for the briefest of moments. With every gentle thrust, Jenny would give a soft hum of pleasure instead of her usual nymphomaniac moans of sexual ecstasy, but while the reply was far softer than normal, Adrian could sense that she was enjoying it more. True to her words, with their minds on the precipice between being awake and being asleep, their physical experiences were being transformed into more powerful psychological bliss, with each feeling of euphoria traveling through their exhausted bodies and enraptured minds. Adrian could barely feel his own body, for his mind was turning every experience into an emotional tremor.

For once, he was unable to keep track of time while he and Jenny were intimate. He could not tell the difference between seconds and minutes, as his mind would constantly switch between moving at a snail’s pace and then running at lightning speeds. He knew that it was a long time, far longer than any of their earlier sessions. His only clue was the pool of moonlight slowly moving across the room, eventually coming upon them. With her face and body illuminated by the moon, the look of bliss on Jenny’s face was unparalleled. It was as if her body was mirroring the jubilation of her mind.

At last, the two lovers had a simultaneous orgasm. Though with his mind as tired as it was, Adrian didn’t know if what they experienced was really an orgasm. All he knew was that Jenny arched her back like a gymnast and gave her first moan of the night, and his body gave out and he collapsed beside her. Seconds away from a deep sleep, all he could sense was the sweet smell of Jenny’s hair and the warmth of her body as she pressed herself against him.

There were seven men and one woman facing Adrian, with one of them being Professor Medici. Six of them were in the same state as Medici, with the youngest of the whole group no less than fifty years old. Everyone who was losing the use of their limbs had a personal doctor and assistant beside them. They were in a privately owned building, and he was meeting the rest of the Illuminati members in Italy. The remaining members would be flying in next month.

“Mr. Ashford, I would like to introduce you to Sybil Anniston, Wyatt Abdul, Hannibal Stewart, Howard Porter, Mort Taegan, Clancy Valdemar, and Brennan Delbert. We shall have a formal initiation next month, but I wanted to introduce you to the members in Italy,” Medici said.

Adrian gave a quick bow of his head, since he could not shake the members’ hands.

“This building is the Italian Illuminati headquarters. It has embassy status so that the authorities can’t barge in, it offers emergency shelter and asylum, hosts teleconferences with all other members, and is one of the few locations that hold their servers.”

“Your servers?”

“Yes, they keep all of our data and information on servers in every headquarters. All the servers in an outpost will self-destruct if the building comes under attack or someone hacks our system. Come see for yourself.”

Adrian tried to keep his smile hidden as he walked between the long aisles of servers, all kept in a dim temperature-controlled room. Somewhere in this cyber maze was the answer he sought, and all he needed was to dig.

“Back before the digital age, the only way for our hideouts to be able to share knowledge was to make sure that each had a copy of the same book. Once you are granted full membership of the Illuminati, you shall have access to all of the information in our archives. That is… as long as you hold up your end of the deal and continue to hold up your end of the deal,” Medici warned, sitting in the doorway.

“Don’t worry, my friend. You shall all get what you want. I will give you back your life and make it so that you can return to teaching, as well as defeat Machina for you.”

“I hope so, because no one in this organization trusts you… at all. You’re the youngest member in the history of the Illuminati by more than two decades, you have a bloody past, you’ve been watching us with the same hunter’s eye as ourselves, and you extorted your way into our group. It will be a while until anyone trusts you enough to even turn their back on you.”

Adrian chuckled and walked towards him. “That’s good, I was worried that no one in the Illuminati would give me a challenge if I decided to take over.”

Unfazed, Medici had Dr. Alfonse turn his wheelchair so that he could face him. “By the way, we have what you asked for.” On cue, Dr. Alfonse held up a suitcase and a manila envelope. “The envelope holds scans and measurements of my arms for the procedure. Now that you have everything you asked for, it’s time to hold up your end of the deal.”

“But of course. In four days, you shall be given new hands, and before the formal initiation, all of the other members with your disease will be granted the same gift.”

“Ok, put that laser engraving system over there,” Adrian said to Clovis in the chateau’s workshop.

As Clovis moved the engraving system with a forklift, Jenny stepped in with a crate in her arms. “The materials you ordered have come in. Where should I put them?”

“Fantastic. Just put them on a table,”

Adrian was installing the system of computers that he would be using to control his most advance power tools. They included a laser engraving system, a 3D scanner, and even his own Adroid. The workshop was being updated with new machinery and tools, all top of the line and able to perform with surgical precision. The computer system had several monitors all built in a semicircular formation on the workbench, and could be given voice commands. It was early in the morning and everything Adrian had ordered had finally arrived. The workshop was filled with open boxes and crates.

“Alright, I’m finally equipped to begin production,” Adrian said with excitement as he got out from under the workbench and stood up.

“Great, I can’t wait to see how far you get. I got to go, my first class at the university is going to start soon,” Jenny said before giving him a kiss on the cheek and grabbing her purse.

“I’ll see you tonight,” Adrian replied.

She gave him another kiss and walked out. He turned to Clovis. “That will be all.”

Clovis nodded and left him alone. Adrian walked back to the workbench and sat down in the comfy new office chair. “Oh how I missed this.”

The first day was spent with Adrian hunched over his work bench, tweezers in hand with a magnifying glass under his face, working tediously on the key components of his prosthetics: the computers. These fake hands would be far more elegant than a simple Terminator-style wire-and-gear rig; every movement would be controlled electronically. Each limb had a small computer that would implement the desired movements of their user. The computers would direct electric charges through the hands and fingers, but several button battery-sized transformers would control the length of the charge and how far they reached.

Putting the “micro” in “microchip”, the technological level of these circuits was unparalleled. Not only did they control the flow of electricity, the computers wirelessly controlled them. Essentially, they were half-transformer and half-receiver. He made fourteen of these circuits, and that was only for the first limb. It wouldn’t be until the second day that he would truly able to work. By the time Adrian was done, it was late in the afternoon and Jenny would be coming back from the university. He stood up and stretched, sore from sitting in one position for so long.

Jenny stepped through the front door and was greeted by music. With a smile on her face, she stepped into the lounge where Adrian was playing the piano. The afternoon sun was shining through the colored glass windows, radiating with a vast cascade of different shades and hues, all blurred and mixed together after being reflected off the water fountain on the other side of the room.

Jenny stood behind Adrian, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him on the top of the head.

“How was your day?” he asked, continuing to play.

“Wonderful. My tutor couldn’t believe how smart I was, I had him staring in disbelief in just twenty minutes. He said that with my intelligence, I will be able to learn in one week what it took three months for everyone else to learn. I can’t wait to start the real classes.”

As she sat down beside him on the bench, she winced.

“Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I just stretched the wrong way this morning and the chair that I was sitting in didn’t help. Luckily I’ve been able to block it out,” she said, trying to work the tension out of her neck and back.

“I know the perfect way to take care of that.”

A gentle breeze wafted through the den from the open windows as Jenny and Adrian watched TV. They were figuring out the channels, arranging the TV settings, and looking for any interesting shows and stations. Almost everything was in Italian, so while they needed subtitles, we would be able to learn the language before the end of the week.

“Ok, so take off your shirt.”

With a coy smile of her face, Jenny unbuttoned her blouse and unclasped her bra. She winced from her tight muscles as she removed her shirt and lingerie, but teasingly kept her breasts hidden from me. She lied down on couch and looked back at him.

Adrian leaned over and placed his hands on her shoulders, squeezing them softly. Jenny hummed in pleasure at his touch as he gave another squeeze, easing a bit of the tension out of her muscles. He began massaging her shoulders, working his fingers as if he was preparing dough for baking. He could feel every muscle, vein, and tendon beneath her soft skin with just the tips of his fingers and the slightest bit of pressure. He eased her tight muscles with little more than a soft press and the warmth of his hands. He shifted his attention from her shoulders to the sides of the base of her neck, rubbing the tension away.

As he moved his hands down her back, Jenny hummed in bliss. With the soft breeze from the windows gently kissing her body, the smell of flowers from the gardens outside swirling around the room, the akkent escort cool leather of the couch against her chest, and the warmth of his hands as I took her pain away, she could not help but purr like an affectionate cat.

His hands on the middle of her back, Adrian could feel her heart beating and the expansion of her lungs with each soft breath. He was fixated on the beauty of her flesh, from its softness that was on par with flower petals to the flawless shade of tan. It was less like he was giving her a back massage and more like sculpting molten bronze into a statue of a goddess.

Adrian pushed his hands up the sides of her back, working out the tension like wet cement beneath a steamroller. Jenny’s whole body stretched in jubilation as the muscles in her back expanded from the blissful pressure and warmth. Not stopping the motion, he brought his hands back up to her shoulders and squeezed, completing the circuit of pleasure.

He moved my hands down once again, pressing down on the sides of her spine with my thumbs. As he reached her lower back, his hands separated and he moved the pressure to her hips. He moved his hands up and down, massaging each muscle while he leaned forward a kissed every square inch of her back and neck.

Very slowly, Adrian hooked my fingers underneath the waistband of her skirt and pulled down. Jenny giggled coyly as I pulled away the skirt, revealing her round tight ass. Her blue panties were barely holding the curved cheeks.

He pulled off her skirt and continued bringing his hands down her body, massaging her smooth thighs. He ran his hands down her long legs and began rubbing her feet. Jenny moaned as he pressed down on the muscles, working out tension that she had never even knew existed.

“Oh Adrian, you are a god,” she groaned.

The pressure from his hands nearly caused the sinew strands of her muscles to come undone, almost like a tight sneaker opening up and stretching once it’s laces were untied. The strain he was taking away had been with her for so long that she had never even noticed it, but now the feeling of it being taken away was almost orgasmic.

“Did you know that the nerve endings in your feet affect every area of your body? Different areas of your foot stimulate different parts of your body if that area itself is stimulated. For instance, pressing here affects your spine…” he said as I pressed down on the inner-sides of her feet. “Doing this affects your sinuses…” he said as he ever so gently bent back her toes, just enough to stretch the muscles but not enough to make her uncomfortable. “And I can even…” he began as I squeezed the front of the bases of her feet.

Jenny’s whole body jerked as an erotic shiver ran through her pussy. The area Adrian had touched affected the genital area, and because Jenny was completely in tune with her body, she had actually felt the stimulation, which otherwise would have not been noticed.

He squeezed again and Jenny gave a soft moan. She reached underneath her body and he could tell she had just slipped her hand into her panties. He continued to massage that area of her feet, causing Jenny to roll onto her back so that she could rub her pussy with more ease. Her nearly naked body caught the dim light from the windows brilliantly and her firm breasts refused to droop to the sides.

As Adrian rubbed her feet, Jenny would stroke her pussy with a soft moan, desperate to both augment the uncontrolled stimulation and to almost stop it, as if it were a hand tickling her and she was trying to grab it. Her panties were wet with arousal within seconds, her chest heaved with every deep breath she took, she was blushing all over, and her moan was becoming more and more shrill as I shocked her nerves again and again.

Finally, she shrieked and held onto the couch for dear life as she had a climactic orgasm, soaking her panties with pussy juice. She closed her eyes and tried to catch her breath with her whole body trembling. While she recovered, Adrian took off his clothes and crouched down, with his face just inches from her soaking wet cunt.

He held himself steady, sampling the sweet smell wafting from the lips. After a few seconds, he reached out and flicked his tongue between the lips of her cunt, sending a bolt of electricity through Jenny’s body. He licked again, savoring the orgasmic juices that trickled onto his tongue.

Jenny gave a loud moan, running one hand through his hair and her other hand through her own. With his own hand, Adrian inserted his index and middle finger inside her pussy, exploring her body with both his fingers and tongue. Jenny could not help but moan as he pressed every unexplored corner of her hot slippery cunt with his tongue, licking up the juices and humming to further stimulate her.

It didn’t take much to force Jenny over the edge. She had a second orgasm after just a minute of licking and his face was coated in juices. He began moving up, covering her flat stomach and chest in kisses and wrapping his tongue around her nipples, sucking on them with gusto. As Adrian licked her tits, Jenny reached down and began stroking his throbbing cock, making sure that it was as hard as possible.

Adrian brought himself up to her face and pressed his lips against hers, kissing her softly. Jenny wrapped her arms around his neck and held him close as she slipped her tongue into his mouth and wrapped it around his own. As they kissed, he pushed my dick up into Jenny’s cunt, but Jenny’s reactive moan was unable to escape their locked lips.

Thrusting with only his lower body, Adrian drove his manhood into Jenny over and over again, stretching her pussy as far as it could go. Jenny gripped his shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist, moaning shrilly as he rammed her. With every thrust, Jenny’s large breasts would bounce and roll against his chest.

Jenny had to pull her lips from his because she could not moan and kiss him at the same time. She rested her chin on Adrian’s shoulder, moaning and gasping in his ear as he thrust his cock into her wet cunt so fast and so hard that the clapping their flesh could he heard all throughout the house.

Finally, they both had a simultaneous orgasm, splashing even more genetic material onto the couch. Adrian pulled his quickly deflating penis out of Jenny and lied down beside her, kissing her beautiful body as they both tried to catch their breath.

“Nothing like a happy ending after a massage,” Jenny giggled as she rolled over and kissed him.

“So what are you studying at the university?” Adrian asked as he and Jenny prepared dinner. There were several cookbooks, spice jars, and ingredients sprawled out across the counter and island table. Normally this would be Clovis’ job, but they enjoyed cooking together.

“Psychology, quantum and astrophysics, engineering, applied sciences, and botany. With my brain working at the peak of its potential, I want to learn as much as possible,” she replied while stirring the shrimp she was grilling in a skillet for Peppered Shrimp Alfredo.

“Botany? I should have known, you said that you wanted to open a flower shop on our first date,” Adrian said with a smile as he marinated focaccia bread with olive oil for chicken and sun-dried tomato bruschetta.

“Well after I graduate, I’m hoping that maybe I could work at a botanical garden, open up a flower shop, or even create a line of perfumes.”

“Well we have enough money to bring any dream you have into reality. I can just imagine you running a flower shop in the beautiful city of Rome. I’ll always know where to go if I want to give you a bouquet of roses.”

“What about you? Are you ever going to go to college?”

“I don’t think so. I’ve already done enough reading in my free time to qualify for five different degrees.”

“I thought as much, plus I figure you’ll already be busy leading the world,” she said as she kissed him on the cheek.

After an early dinner, Jenny and Adrian sat out on the roof and watched the sunset. They were each holding a cup of decaf coffee that was more smooth and delicious than hot cocoa. They breathed deeply, savoring the fresh cool air of the evening and the cascade of aromas from the Vatican Gardens. Once starlight replaced sunlight, they stood up and turned to their illuminated pool. They took off their clothes and dove in, swimming laps around each other and enjoying the feeling of the cool water.

Adrian and Jenny were in the hot tube/shower of the master bathroom, washing off the chlorine from the pool. They were on the porcelain floor with him on his knees and Jenny on all fours. He had his hands on her hips and was plowing her asshole with his throbbing cock, ramming her as hard and fast as he could. Jenny had her face buried in her elbow like a pillow and was using her other hand to rub her pussy.

“Oh god Adrian, that feels so good! Don’t stop darling, don’t stop!” she moaned in ecstasy.

The torrential downpour of hot water bombarded them endlessly as he rammed her over and over again. The clapping of his thighs against her round ass was louder than the shower and her tight anus was squeezing his manhood like a vise grip. But regardless of the tightness, he was able to drive my cock deep inside her without any trouble.

After ten minutes of violation, Adrian emptied his entire semen reserves in her asshole, ejaculating so many times so quickly that he lost count. He pulled out his aching cock, which was deflating by twenty percent every second. He and Jenny collapsed on the shower floor and he wrapped his arm around her.

“Thanks for that, I know you’re a little shy when we’re… overly… physical,” she said coyly before kissing me.

“It’s funny, with other couples, this conversation happens with the genders switched.”

Jenny laughed and kissed him again. “Funny that the man I fell in love with, the man who at one time was more robot than human, is now so emotional. I love you so much, Adrian, I love that you love me, and I love that you know how to love me.”

“I just want to make you happy; emotionally and physically.”

“Well you sure are good at that,” she laughed as she climbed on top of him.

“Do you want me to carry you back to bed? I know that anal makes you lose feeling in your legs.”

“Yes please, but not yet. I want to stay in the shower a little longer and clean myself off. I don’t want to go to bed with your seed dripping out of my ass,” she said, making him laugh.

Once Jenny had washed up, Adrian put one arm under her knees and the other behind her back and picked her up. He carried her back to the bedroom and laid her down in the bed. He went back to turn off the lights and shower, then climbed into bed beside Jenny and wrapped his arm around her. Jenny turned off the bedside lamp, pressed herself against him, and they fell asleep.

With a cup of coffee in hand, Adrian sat at his computer at the dawn of the second morning and turned on the modem. All of the monitors lit up, and with them came all of the power tools hooked up to the system. Before doing anything, Adrian turned on the computer’s voice command system. He then reached into the manila envelope that he had been given at the Illuminati headquarters and pulled out a flash drive. It held the measurements and scans of Medici’s arms. Adrian plugged it into the computer modem and a flash drive symbol appeared in the bottom-right corner of the monitor in front of him.

“Open extension: Flash Drive 1. Download all files.” A folder window opened up and all of the files were quickly downloaded. “Upload files to desktop.”

A different scan of Medici’s arms appeared on every computer monitor, granting him measurements, muscle structure, rate of degeneration, and all of the information that Adrian required. There was just one more thing Adrian needed. He reached into one of the open boxes and pulled out a CD case that he had ordered. On the cover was a diagram of the human body, and written on the disk inside was a software application holding a 3D diagram of the human body and a whole library’s worth of medical information. Adrian put in the disk and the symbol from the box appeared on the main screen.

“Open extension: Human Map Disk. Download all files.”

For several minutes, the computer downloaded the vast amount of data on the human body. While the information was secured on the modem, Adrian opened up the box of materials Jenny had brought in. It was filled with solid blocks of lightweight carbon fiber plastic, computer components, and containers of specific chemicals, chemicals that he would combine later to create the majority of the prosthetics’ mass.

“Open file on ‘3D Sketch’: Human Map

Taking measurements from the scans Medici supplied, the application ‘3D Sketch’ began adjusting the bone sizes of the 3D images from the Human Map files, creating a detailed copy of the bone frame of Medici’s right arm.

“Copy file: Human Map

The computer copied the image and saved it, making it so that he could create another version later.

“Monitor 5: Open 3D Sketch Tools: Scalpel.”

On the computer screen, the cursor turned into a miniature scalpel.

“Now the real fun begins…” Adrian said as he put his hand on the mouse.

For the next hour, he worked tirelessly on the computer, carving away at the bones of the digital hand with the scalpel, almost as if he were whittling. He was carving down gaps in the digital finger joints, hollowing them out for the mechanisms he would be installing. The bones of the virtual hand would be carved out of the carbon fiber he had ordered with the laser engraving system, creating a skeletal hand to serve as the base and supports for the internal mechanisms. After securing a block of carbon fiber plastic in the laser engraving system, he activated the printing process. Now he needed to create the mechanisms.

With a gas mask over his face to protect himself from the fumes, Adrian began mixing the chemicals he had ordered in a gallon-sized glass container. Like Demium and Ignium, the material he was forming from this chemical concoction was one of his own unique creation, invented mainly for use in prosthetics. It was a special rubbery plastic, one that held the unique trait of reacting when exposed to electricity. When a thread of this plastic would experience an electric charge, it would immediately constrict with great strength, similar to the human body experiencing electric muscle stimulation. Far more versatile, flexible, and compact than a system of wires and electric motors, this plastic would perfectly mimic human muscles and allow for complete and total flexibility, at least as long as it was cut into right strips and supplied with continuous electricity at the exact moments when needed.

While the plastic hardened, Adrian returned to his computer. “Open file on ‘3D Sketch’: Human Map

In a second and third 3D Sketch window, an image of a human arm appeared, consisting simply of the exposed muscles, and another group of images, consisting of all the individual muscles, each in their own empty space and with a label. Looking back through Medici’s personal files, Adrian counted the measurements of his right arm and deduced the measurement of each muscle. Memorizing the required measurements, he returned to the finished plastic and broke it free of the glass container.

Using a modeling knife, he cut off a strip of plastic and laid it out on the table like a piece of bacon. Taking a nine-volt battery and wrapping two pieces of wire around the positive and negative ends, he made a small rudimentary stun gun and pressed the ends of the wires against the strip of plastic. Completing the circuit between the two wires, the cord of plastic instantly tightened up and shortened, almost twisting up on itself but without moving in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. While the speed in which the line constricted was impressive, its current torque potential was low, but that was merely an issue of voltage and the amount of plastic. The completed arm would be able to handle a hundred pounds, easily. Now that the plastic had been tested, it was time to begin the truly tedious part.

With his mind buzzing in an engineer’s euphoria, he went to work on the plastic with a modeling knife, a scalpel, and a focused heat gun. Keeping in mind the shape and size of Medici’s muscles, Adrian began carving away chunks of plastic from the main block, whittling them down to size, slicing them to pieces to replicate muscle cords, and then melting the ends back together with the heat gun to recombine their textile strength. The work was incredibly delicate, often requiring tweezers to ensure that all the cords were brought together at the perfect lengths so that none of them were too long or too short, too loose or too tight.

Similar to human nerves, he also threaded insulated wires through the plastic muscles to activate them, each lined with button-sized transformers he had made the day before to regulate the charge along the various lengths and to various muscles. By the time he was done, he had several strips of plastic muscles, arranged on countless wires like an intricate mobile, and each end joined to one of the computers he had created the day before. Before going any further, he coated each and every piece and wire with a layer of liquid rubber, insulating the plastic muscles so that each one would act as the bridge for its own current, ensuring that no electricity was wasted and none of the muscles would fail to respond to a charge.

By now, the laser carving system had long-since finished forming the individual pieces of carbon fiber plastic that would serve as the bones for the hand. While the insulating rubber dried, Adrian went to work putting the pieces together. Since all of the pieces were separate, he either had to secure them with wire tendons or metal hinges, but due to the flexibility that he was seeking in the prosthetic, he used the latter only on the finger joints. After an hour’s work, the skeletal hand was finished, with the hinges moving effortlessly and the steel wires holding the majority of the bones together.

Now came the final step before testing. Careful to make sure that they weren’t restricted in their movement, Adrian began securing the plastic muscles to the carbon fiber bones of the hand, using fabric-infused rubber bands to act as sinews. Acting as skin, he covered the hand in two layers of surgical gloves, then wrapped the wrist and forearm in plastic sheeting. The interiors were all lubricated, ensuring that the plastic muscles underneath would not be restricted by friction. He then covered both layers in liquid rubber, just enough to protect the plastic underneath but not restrict movement. Last but not least, he secured the bones of the forearm and the ends of all the wires to the hockey puck-shaped computer, then sealed the edges to make it airtight.

Now to test it. Hooking up the arm’s computer to his own, Adrian sent a full charge through the prosthetic and watched with a smile as the fingers all balled into a perfect fist and the wrist bent back and forth. Controlling the hand with his keyboard, Adrian flexed each individual digit, admiring his creation. After only one try, it was flawless. The fingers didn’t lock up, none gaziantep anal yapan escort of the plastic shells were loose, and each movement was easily controlled. The flexibility was flawless, and Adrian could mimic any movement he made with his own hand with the prosthetic.

“It’s beautiful.”

Adrian turned around in surprise and was face to face with Jenny. He didn’t even hear her come in; he had lost all track of time and hadn’t even noticed the hours flying by.

“I can’t believe you created that, it is an absolute work of art.”

“Thank you, I almost want to chop off my hand so that I can be the one to use it.”

“Come out onto the balcony, I think there is something you’ll enjoy,” she whispered in his ear.

“I love it when it get’s like this, I absolutely love it,” Adrian said in amazement as he looked up into the sky.

A huge thunderstorm was moving over Vatican City, with clouds almost as dark as night. There was a crystal-clear border around the storm, with sunlight shining down from the empty sky in the distance. The clouds were a mixture of dark blues and grays, all shifting and swirling with incredible speed and beauty. Watching the spiraling banks of the clouds was like watching an explosion of colorful smoke in slow motion. It almost looked like the sky itself was falling and the clouds were so close that you could send ripples through it with a bottle rocket. The combination of darkness and light and the endless swirling of deep colors were so beautiful that no human art could ever compare to it. It almost looked like a watercolor painting made by a god.

“I love summer storms, they are just so beautiful. They are almost passionate,” Adrian said with a smile on his face. He had to speak loudly, for there was a powerful wind blowing across the landscape and every tree in Vatican Gardens was rustling loudly in the breeze. The breeze was so fresh and moist that it was like breathing in a lovely perfume.

Standing behind him, Jenny wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love them too. I used to think our home in Maine had the most beautiful storms, but here in Rome, it is absolutely breathtaking.”

As the words passed her lips, it began to pour like a hurricane. Thick heavy drops fell from the sky, slamming down on the two lovers like hailstones. Each drop felt like they were large enough to fill a shot-glass. Adrian and Jenny quickly rushed inside as the rain picked up, spraying Vatican Gardens like a fire hose. They spent the rest of the afternoon in bed, drinking delicious coffee and watching the sheets of rain slam against the vast window before them. Finished with her coffee, Jenny moved over to Adrian and curled up against him with her arm across his chest.

“This is so nice,” they both said at the same time.

“Greetings, gentlemen,” Adrian said as he sat down at the dining room table. Professor Medici and Dr. Alfonse were sitting at the other side.

“I trust that the prosthetics have been built and are ready?” Medici asked as politely as possible.

“Of course, I created a deadline and I am a man of my word. While I make it a personal rule to be a man of humility, I must say I can’t remember the last time I was so proud of one of my inventions. Not only is it completely waterproof and highly durable, each hand can withstand a maximum weight of fifty kilos and offers full flexibility. You will be fully able to drive, write, type, teach, cook, and lift heavy objects.”

“Excellent! May I see them?”

“Of course.” He reached under the table and brought up the prosthetics and could see looks of amazement in the men’s eyes. “Take a look for yourselves. I call them the mechthetics.”

Using Alfonse’ hands in place of his own, Medici inspected the mechthetics carefully. He examined every joint and detail, though the layer of rubber of the exterior hid the mechanism’s secrets.

“The muscles are made of a special plastic of my own invention, one that constricts when completing a circuit. The hands are both electrically powered and controlled by the computer at the base, but the real controls behind the movements will be your own mind, via an electronic imprint that will read your brain waves.”

“But if they are electric, what will power them? Batteries?” Alfonse asked.

“That is the most ingenious part of the design…” Adrian said as he held up two metal disks, one side with a tiny power plug that would connect to the computers in the mechthetics and the other side serving as the base to over thirty long strands of an unknown material, as well as an adjustable brace so they could be secured to the stumps of Medici’s amputated hands. They would serve as the connection base for the mechthetics.

“These strands are made of a thermoelectric material, meaning that they absorb heat and convert it to electricity. I’ll run these strands through your arms and they will convert your body heat into usable energy, powering your hands but only when you choose it. I know that you are very concerned as to how safe this operation will be. I assure you that not only is it perfectly safe, but the benefits of these replacement hands are impossible to ignore.”

Medici was unconscious on a table in a surgical room of the local hospital. Alfonse had just finished removing the dead end of Medici’s right arm and was following all of his instructions. Jenny was beside Adrian and they were both wearing surgical scrubs. On a stainless steel tray next to the cot were the metal plates with the thermoelectric cords that would act as a plug on the stump. Medici’s head had been shaved and was wrapped in bandages, due to the brain surgery he had just received. A computer had been placed in his cerebellum, the part of the brain focused on movement and balance, and reading his neural patterns, it would send messages to the computers in the mechthetics on which muscles to move.

“Before you secure the lid to the bones, make several incisions up along his arm and insert the thermoelectric cords. They will draw in heat and convert it into energy,” Adrian said.

“How do you know that his body won’t just reject the cords or try to destroy them with antibodies?” Jenny whispered in his ear.

“While this may be grim, he’ll die before his immune system can do anything about them. His immune system will never be able to damage the cords enough for them to stop working or fully reject and expel the cords. At his age, there is very little his body can do to fight something like this, it’s a miracle the virus he was infected with hasn’t already killed him,” Adrian replied, speaking very softly so that Alfonse could not hear.

Once Alfonse finished running the cords through the incisions along Medici’s arm, he bolted the lid to the bones in his forearm and secured it to the stump. It would take some time for Medici to heal and recover enough to even be able to use the mechthetics outside of a controlled environment, but they could at least be secured so that he could learn to control them, as long as he didn’t try and lift them. The mechthetic was locked into place on the lid and the procedure for the right arm was complete. Now there was only the left.

“Ok, I know how to do this on my own. You two may leave,” Alfonse said.

“Good, call us after he tries out the new hands. If he finds them satisfactory, I’ll begin production for the rest of the Illuminati members that have his disease.”

Jenny and Adrian were lying in bed after having a big dinner. Jenny was reading a textbook for school, but with her mental prowess, she would flip the page once every few seconds. Adrian had taught her how to just memorize the image of a page and let her subconscious decipher it later.

Adrian was using his laptop to take in data on his companies and even the countries he had infiltrated. He had already sent a hundred emails to different subordinates. His cell phone began to vibrate and shake on the bedside table.

“Hello?” Adrian asked, already knowing whom it was.

“Ah, Adrian, it’s Professor Medici.”

Both Jenny and Adrian smiled. “I certainly hope you’re not holding the phone on your own, you need to heal.”

“I could not resist. The stump is throbbing, but I am just too excited not to use these wonderful new hands! Your mechthetics work like a dream; they are the definition of perfection! I’ve already contacted the other members, and after telling them about my new hands, they are desperate for mechthetics of their own. Once they get their new hands, you shall be made a full member of the Illuminati.”

“Thank you for the news. I shall begin production tomorrow. Goodnight, Professor,” Adrian said before turning off the phone.

“All according to plan, huh?” Jenny asked.

“All according to plan, darling.”

For the rest of the month, Adrian built mechthetics for all of the crippled Illuminati. The instant one was created, one of the members would snap it up like the first hyena to a fresh kill. With Alfonse and Adrian providing instructions, personal doctors were attaching them to their clients the second one was in their possession. Jenny helped him whenever she could, building the mechthetics beside him. It was nice having a project they could work on together. Once all of the members had been outfitted with their replacement hands, they began preparing the initiation ceremony in the Vatican City Illuminati outpost.

Delivered from America, a familiar custom hybrid car came to a halt in a parking lot, filled with sports cars and limos. The entire parking lot was hidden beneath a vast canvas tent for privacy. The passenger-side door opened and a woman stepped out with her high-healed shoe gleaming. Her red sequin dress had a slit running up her smooth tan thigh and her long blonde hair was tied up in a bun. Adrian stepped out of the driver door and stood up. He was dressed in a tuxedo with a rose in his breast pocket. He looked over to Jenny and she gave him a coy smile. Adrian smiled in return and walked over. With her clinging to his arm, they made out way to the Illuminati building.

The Black Tie event was filled with Illuminati members from all across the globe. All of the caterers and waiters were Zero Masons, hired because they had already been sworn to secrecy as to the identity and existence of their superiors. A regular catering service and even regular Freemasons couldn’t be trusted. Security was extremely tight; members and agents were searched for listening devices, radios, and transmitters, and everyone in the building had been brought inside with their faces hidden so that nobody identify them. It was impossible to tell how many enemies the Illuminati had and everyone had to be protected.

Regardless of the prison-like security, the mood in the building was light. Under a glass-domed ceiling, the most powerful and intelligent people were talking, laughing, making business deals, and socializing as friends. Jenny was not the only non-member at the party, husbands and wives of members were also present, having been sworn to secrecy as to the existence and actions of the Illuminati. Among everyone, members with his mechthetics were the celebrities. While they were still in wheelchairs, they had mastered use of their new limbs. Everyone wanted to shake their hands and see them in action.

Adrian and Jenny received harsh glares and faux manners from most of the people they talked to, due to the shared belief that not only were they too young to become members, but also they basically bought their way in with the mechthetics, something that they thought they shouldn’t need help in doing. But after seeing his work and learning of his level of brilliance, their view of Adrian changed. He went from a conniving teenager to young prodigy, and the more they talked with Jenny, the more the realized how intelligent she was. They had heard that Adrian had somehow brought her up to his level, but they had struggled to believe it until now.

“Many people believe that the Illuminati control the stock markets, but I believe otherwise. The fluctuations are too illogical,” Jenny said.

She was speaking with a Canadian businessman who ran a vast pharmaceutical company.

“So you think that changes in value are just random occurrences?” he asked, deciding to test her.

“Oh god no. Humans may not control it, but it is not random. If you compare the histories of different national stocks, you will find an algorithmic pattern. I don’t know if it’s a random computer encryption created by the accumulation of bits of scrambled data, but half of the world stock market is controlled by some force that is unaffected by human involvement.”

Adrian tried to keep his smile hidden, but even his will wasn’t strong enough.

“But if you were able to figure it out, then isn’t it more likely that someone of equal intelligence created it?” the businessman asked.

“If someone was controlling the stock market, they wouldn’t use a pattern. They would keep it random so that no one could figure it out and no one else could make a profit off of it. With a random sequence, only a handful of people or even just one will know what will happen next and can use that information in their favor.”

“Come on, honey, stop bragging,” Adrian laughed, pulling her away.

He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around, facing Dr. Alfonse. “It’s time.”

Adrian nodded and he and Jenny followed Dr. Alfonse to a stage in the back of the main hall, where his “clients” were seated at a two-part banquet table on the stage with a podium between them, and a laptop computer sitting on the podium. As the teens climbed up the stairs and onto the stage, Medici began clinking his empty wine glass. The whole room fell silent, with all eyes on Adrian and Jenny. Medici pulled his wheelchair out from behind the table and retrieved one of the microphones. The whirring and clicking of his hand was picked up and emitted through all of the speakers in the room.

“Greetings, my fellow People of the Light. As many of you know, I am Professor Demetri Medici and I have been a member of this glorious organization for almost twenty years. It is a rare occasion that so many of us risk being in one place at one time, almost always for an initiation. I’m sure we all remember our own initiations. This however, will be a very special one. We are welcoming two new member, neither of which have even left adolescence but are more intelligent than us all. Under normal circumstances, we would never associate ourselves with such young individuals. However, I believe they should make an exception. I believe that these two is a sign that the next generation has a chance of surpassing us. But enough of me jabbering on, I would like to introduce our newest members: Adrian Ashford and Jenny Sinclair.”

Many of the Illuminati members stood like grim statues, but most applauded as they stepped up to the podium.

Medici reached under the podium and pulled out a rosewood box. He opened it up, revealing a USB key on a bed of velvet, gold plated with a small black screen. “As members, you will gain access to the greatest power in the world: knowledge. Before the digital age, new members were given keys to our libraries. Now that our archives are stored in connected servers, we can grant you safer access. This USB key will hook up any computer to our archives and they hold the most accurate retinal scanners, ensuring that only you and you alone will be able to use it.

Adrian Ashford, Jenny Sinclair, do you swear to work with and for the Illuminati for the rest of your lives? Do you swear to follow any order or mission assigned to you by the Illuminati? Do you swear to put your life on the line for the protection of knowledge and the betterment of the human race? Do you swear to use your power and the power of the Illuminati for only good and to only act in the face of extinction? Under punishment of death, do you swear?”
“I swear.”
Medici nodded and opened the laptop on the podium. He plugged in the USB key for Adrian along with his own. The glass panels of the two keys were lit up and Medici held his face over his own. A beam of light shined in his eye for a few moments and a window opened up on the computer. On the window was a button with the word ‘RECORD’. Using his USB key, he activated the other and set them up to receive user data.

“Hold your face above the key and it will record your retinal patterns.”

Adrian held his face over the key the way Medici had and a beam of light shined up from the pane of glass and into his eye. After a few seconds, the beam of light ceased and the key deactivated, having recorded his information. Medici pulled out the keys and handed Adrian his. He then repeated the process with Jenny.

“By the power of enlightenment and for the sake of the human race, I welcome you to the Illuminati.”

As Jenny and Adrian stepped into their car, Medici rolled up to them in his wheelchair. He placed his prosthetic hand on the driver-side door. “We’ll be expecting more from you, as long as you’re with the Illuminati, we’ll be expecting more from you.”

After he rolled away, Adrian closed the door and he and Jenny drove off.

“Poor fools,” Jenny chuckled.

“If only they knew that they were in the palm of our hands,” Adrian replied with the same maniacal tone.

Jenny and Adrian were lying in bed with his laptop between them. His USB key was plugged in and they were reading the files from the Illuminati archives.

“No… fucking… way…” Jenny said in disbelief.

Adrian couldn’t believe it either. “THAT’S what landed in Roswell?!”

“How does something like that even land and make a crater? Who would take that off the ground?!“

“You just can’t un-learn stuff like that… you can’t forget things like that…”

“Let’s see who killed Kennedy,” Jenny said as she scrolled through the files. She opened up the Kennedy assassination file and they instantly burst into laughter.

“Is that a man or woman?”

“I don’t know, I honestly can’t tell. But who would have thought?” Adrian asked with a smile.

“Reality really is the greatest joke.”

“I know, you can’t write this stuff.”

As they scrolled through the archives, their eyes both fell on the same file, labeled SOVIET ARMORY. Jenny grabbed his hand and held it tightly, for both their hands were shaking. Adrian opened the file and they read the wall of text as fast as they could. They reached the end of the document and both gave a shaky sigh.

“So that’s where they are,” Adrian said softly.

“You were right, they do exist,” Jenny murmured, looking at him with disbelief.
“And they’re all within reach, thousands of nuclear weapons up for grabs.”

“So now we move onto the next step?”

“Yes. For years, I’ve been planting seeds of both order and upheaval in the most volatile countries, but those seeds still need time to grow. I know where the nukes are, I can get them any time, and they will still be operational. Handling and distributing these weapons in the right way and with the right timing will require surgical precision. One false move and the plan will shatter and the whole world with it. I have to take every preventative measure possible, and even then, the chances of failure will be phenomenal. My plan may end up destroying the world instead of saving it.”

“I know you can do it. You are the smartest man in the world. If there is anyone who can bring peace, it is you.”

“Thank you, Jenny. With you by my side, I will succeed. In time, my love, we shall deliver the world to peace.”

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