Neon Star Rising (BL)

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Thiago hummed thoughtfully while rubbing his chin. ”Well, they said you have no memories so…, ” he paused to check in on Ivo who nodded, ”thats a possibility, yeah. ” He looked at his monitors. ”It also tells me I have to be extra careful. ”

Davi kept looking at Ivo from his place on the floor. ”Maybe they didn give you optics because it didn matter if you could see, or use, what they were uploading into you. ”

Thiagos dark eyes drifted towards his monitors and all the shifting graphs and analytics there.

”You can access datachips remotely, thats true, ” he frowned, looking away from the computers and towards Ivo again. ”Weve seen Parallax do that with security contractors, but… ”

Alina gestured towards Ivo. ”He doesn look like the usual security contractor? ” One corner of her lips kicked up in self-deprecating amusement. ”Neither did I, once upon a time. I swear, against all odds, Im taller now. ”

Davi chuckled. ”You sure thats not the platforms? ”

Alina looked down at her feet. She kicked the left one forward, the chunky heel skidding on the tiles. ”Oh, yeah, maybe. ”

And yet she didn sound entirely convinced.

Davi got up to his feet but his gaze remained trained on Ivo. ”There are other, very unsavoury options…but, arguably less dangerous for us if we go poking into his head. ”

All of them exchanged charged looks. An entire silent conversation happening behind their knowing eyes.

Once again, Ivo was left in the dark.

”What? ” He was quickly losing patience. ”Why are you giving me those pitiful looks? ”

”In that case its good that he doesn remember, right? ” Alina said. ”I mean…we thought about it when we found him in that box in his underwear. ”

She was asking Davi for reassurance, and that was when Ivo remembered — human trafficking, their initial guess.

He supposed the possibility hadn been completely eliminated.

”Whats Parallax? ” he asked, trying to distract himself from his own unsavoury thoughts.

”A company. They, and all the subsidiaries Parallax gives different names to make people forget they
e a monopoly, own pretty much all of the city, ” Davi said, arms crossed in front of his chest. ”The lab we got you out from was one of their secret research facilities. ”

That gave Ivo some hope. Who would use a lab for human trafficking?

Alina noticed his expression and smiled sadly. ”Don get your hopes up, they have like 12 secret labs all over São Paulo. ”

”What are they doing in those labs? ”

Davi let out an impatient sigh. ”We can discuss Parallax shady dealings later. ” He nodded towards Thiagos gear with his chin. ”Lets get a scan on him first. ”

Thiago unspooled the cable and turned towards Ivo again. ”Come on kid, before shortcircuit here blows a fuse. ”

Davi had no reaction to the barb. His pale optics were trained on the monitors, waiting for them to fill up with data about what made Ivo tick.

But Thiagos deep, soothing voice, had put Ivo at ease, despite Davis best attempts to annoy him.

He also wanted to learn more about himself. He wasn sure Thiago could help him recover his memories, but any information was a start. Since right now, all Ivo had was a huge blank.

”Ok, do it. ” He slid closer to Thiago and braced his arm against the metal desk.

Thiago cupped Ivos head gently, and blew on the hair on the side of his head to get it away from the port. ”This is going to feel weird, ” he warned, before plugging the thin cable into Ivos head.

Ivo felt a great sizzling shudder, and then nothing at all. The world went dark around him like a light-switch being turned off.

”I think hes waking up. ”

Ivo blinked his eyes open and slowly Alinas frowning face came into focus.

He was lying on the lumpy sofa, surrounded by Davi, Alina and Thiago. He sat up and rubbed the back of his head, expecting some vestigial pain, but there was nothing. He remembered that sizzling zap of discomfort and then only darkness afterwards.

One thing he was certain of, though. ”I guess I didn blow up, ” he said, managing a grin at Thiagos big smile.

”No kid, you just went out. ” He gestured with his hand, mimicking Ivo collapsing like a wall. ”But all your info was up on the monitor by then, so I did the scan anyway. ”

”What did you find? ”

”That you
e bricked harder than a luxs safe, ” Alina said.

Ivo ran a hand over the tiny port. Did someone put those protections there?

Did he?

”Basically, we can get a read on your specs, date of implant, configurations…nada. Other than basic vitals like brainwaves and heart rate. ” Davis voice came out in an annoyed grunt. Which wasn surprising.

Ivo bet he hated when things didn go his way. If nothing else, Ivo treasured the chance to frustrate him some more.

”The good news is that we can upload stuff, ” Thiago said, getting up to his feet and stretching out his metal arm, making the pistons on the shoulder move. ”I uploaded a basic translation pack, and we tested our closed comm channel on you too. ”

Alina grinned at him, balancing a socked foot on the sofas armrest. ”Say hi Yunmi. ”

”Uh, hi Yunmi. ”

”Hi, Ivo, its very nice to meet you. ”

The voice that answered him came from inside his head, and if Ivo hadn been sitting down the shock would have sent him stumbling to the floor.

Thiago laughed good-naturedly at his shock. ”Yeah, thats always something. Some people never get used to it. ” He walked over towards the monitors set up in the living room and fiddled with some configurations. ”This should be less intense. ”

”Oh, you
e no fun, ” that same voice said, but this time it came out a speaker system instead of Ivos head.

”So I guess you
e the Yunmi theyve been talking about, ” Ivo said, feeling awkward to be talking to a disembodied voice.

”They talked about me? ” She sounded at once flattered, and like she was poking fun at Ivo.

Alina smiled towards the monitors. ”I always talk about you. About how smart you are, how talented, how cute… ”

Yunmi chuckled. ”How would you know, youve never seen me? ” She was still teasing, but her tone had gone warmer.

Alinas lips pulled into a seductive smirk. If Yunmi was there with them she would have winked at her. ”I can tell. ”

Davi rolled his eyes intensely and muttered something under his breath that could have been, ”This again…, ” and then left in the direction of what Ivo assumed was the bathroom.

Thiago shook his head in amusement and looked towards the monitors. ”Im more of a hardware guy as you know, you think you could run a systems check on him now that you have remote access, see if you can find something I missed? ”

”On it, ” Yunmi said, and the blue light that had been winking in an out in one of the consoles blinked out for good.

”You think youll stop poking around in my head anytime soon? ” Ivo asked, not hiding his annoyance.

Thiago placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. ”Believe me kid, you don want to stay in the dark about that kind of thing. ”

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