See previous chapters for disclaimer. Please review. A talky chapter, yes, but it had to be done.
I'm pretty sure that if I'd been normal at the time, I would have hyperventilated as the room spun in spirals around me. This, however, did not happen. Why? Because I was a freaking clone
who was decked out in some kind of Warren-type machines. I was a. . . What was it called? Cyborg?
So yeah, I was freaking hard
. "What the hell is this?" I swung around to the two tiny little girls who were just sitting at me, as if they were observing the Great Fucking Spotted Owl in its natural habitat. "Are you trying to sat that I'm not. . . Me?"
Thorko just smiled serenely as she went back to attacking her ice cream, while Lilith grinned and offered, "You're you, Buffy. It's just that. . . you've been upgraded." Hopping out of her too-big chair, she padded softly over to me and took my hand, holding it gently whilst she rubbed her thumb over the top of it. It was oddly comforting. "You're used to coming back from the dead, right? From what I've seen of the documentation of your reign, you've died three times, right?"
I stared back at her like she'd grown horns or something, and she only grinned even harder at me. But something she said hit me as wierd, even amongst all of this other wierdness. "Wait, reign? What are you talking about? And why did you call me Queen?"
Thorko piped up this time, talking between great big gulps of ice cream that had Buffy wincing in sympathy for the brain freeze the other girl should have been feeling by now. "The DNA they mixed you with," glomp
"was that of the funny little creatures the Company calls Homo Umbratilis, mainly because they have existed in tandem with the rest of humanity, only in secret. They are mainly of a hive-mind, passing down genetic memories from generation to generation, ruled by a queen, called Quean, and the rest called Uncles, who do the Quean's bidding with mindless obedience, hoping to catch her favor."
Naturally, I was stunned. "Say what?" I responded with a particularly brilliant flair of wit.
Thorko just pressed on like I wasn't making myself look like an idiot. "The Homo Umbratilis Empire is based solely upon the Quean's ability to seduce any male of her race into doing what she wants. It's run via the Quean's overt sexuality and the almost retarded mentality of the men." She grinned at the gob-smacked expression on my face as she continued. "The Quean, though smarter in spades than all of her Uncles, is actually very immature and childish, demanding things that should be impossible." She caught my change of attitude and nodded. Yes, this was going somewhere.
Lilith, however, was the one to finish off this little spontaneous tutorial. "But the Uncles all have something working for them: they're idiot savants." Again, confusion ran over my face, and again, it was noticed. "They somehow are able to fulfill their Quean's every whim, even the ones that seem impossible." Moving over to the table, she took up a remote control looking thing and pointed it at the open space to the side of us. "Take this Quean, for example." She pushed a button and a huge, 3D picture jumped out of the end of the remote and just sat there, in midair. In the picture was a little girl with full, pouty lips and long blonde hair, apparently having a temper-tantrum. The next picture that sprang forth was so hauntingly beautiful that it touched my heart in a way nothing ever before had. "This Quean, apparently upset that she had to hide underground because humans had moved into her territory, demanded that there be made a garden for her. Underground." Stopping as if to gauge my reaction, she quickly continued. "Now, I know what you're thinking: 'That's not impossible. We have greenhouses for Pete's Sake!" Pushing another button, she gestured to the new image that appeared. "This is a picture of the humans that had moved into her territory."
Okay, now I was confused. Because this new image that stood, hanging in the air, was a family of great, large people with scraggily black hair and slightly pronounced eye ridges and huge noses, wearing what looked like pelts from some great cat. They carried long branches with rocks tied to them with grass. They were freaking cave men!
"So how did these. . . uncles. . . create that garden?" I wondered aloud.
Thorko piped up again. "We still don't know, but we do know that they somehow created a miniature moon to shine light on the plants they planted underground, which somehow gained nourishment from said light, and bloomed into the most beautiful night garden to ever exist."
As I stared at the images suspended before me in awe, something they'd earlier finally clicked in my mind. "So I've got the power to make these Uncle creatures to do whatever I want them to do? "
Lilith smiled a little evilly as she answered, "Not just them, Buffy, but men too."
I looked back at her in astonishment, and eventually grinned evilly back at her. I was about say something equally evil when something else occured to me. "Wait a second. Where are we? You said Atlantis. Atlantis isn't real."
"Maybe not in your time, Ms. Summers, but I assure you that a million years before then, it was definately real." The voice startled me, causing me to neatly jump around with my fists in the air. "Is
real," the handsome man dressed in a red and blue jumpsuit continued, a small smile playing across his striking features. Damn, was he yummy. "It's good to meet you, Quean Buffy. I'm the Executive Facilitator for Atlantis Base, and I'll be assisting your transition into your new existence and the aquisition of your Slayer powers."