A strange sight was visible if one closely observed the late night streets of the south side of Mining Colony 7. A pale little boy, about 5-6 years old, was sneakily approaching the apartment complex the Freeman household was located at. Buildings in the colony were semi spherical structures plated with enchanted steel to protect them from the corrosive desert winds.

Of course, around 3/4 of structures in the colony were dilapidated due to planned neglect. The Jameson clan had a policy of allocating the poorest performing colonies with the fewest annual resources to support them. Lord Brandon tried to compensate for the lack of operating funds and quality institutions with a more lax enforcement of the mining regulations.

It was a vicious cycle but, to most of the populace, preferable to the alternative. High death tolls would follow any strict enforcement of the rules as there were no awakened willing to mine the ”eastern pits ”, as they were known. Without awakened miners, the mortal miners would die in droves attempting to keep up with the quotas.

Awakened were individuals who activated the trace amounts of ascended beings blood in their body. Usually this meant that they entered the first level of the first realm of energy or body cultivation. Many progenitors of the ascended races seeded their bloodline on lower planes as something of a gamble. When their seeds ascended and received the dimensional baptism, they were able to receive a kind of kick back in form of both karma and cultivation.

Tristan heard Thoth sarcastically refer to this process as a shakedown or mafioso-type vig. Of course they both had no problem giving some benefits to their mother Gaia who nurtured them on her very being, but they both resented their absentee fathers.

It went without saying that Tristan hated Belphegors guts, but Thoths configuration was a little unique.

Thoth, who ironically claimed to be a god without a mother, came from two separate patrilineal lines of descent: Horus and Set. Horus brought their mixed essence to Gaia for incubation and, being the generous deity-like figure that she was, she accepted. So much for the ”god without a mother. ”

Ascended beings could be required to ”awaken ” their bloodline or, as was the case for Tristan due to his parentage, be born awakened. These bloodlines litter all levels of creation due to the design and incentives of the Creator and his experiments in tempering his future subordinates.

Those who would claim that the archangels serving under him were all he needed were unaware of the more frightening realities hiding just beneath the surface of the universe. Besides, the archangels, with all the mystery surrounding them, were most likely clones formed from different aspects of his personality rather than actual creations. Therefore they needed no tempering.

Tristans thoughts wandered through all these topics and more as he slid and slunk around the walls of the apartment complex Isaiah was currently living in. Being the superlative sorcerer that he was, parallel thinking was not beyond him. As a matter of fact, in this body of a child he was marooned in, he was capable of maintaining three parallel lines of thought.

As he approached the Freemans window, he used telekinesis to toss a small fragment of concrete at the twice reinforced glass.

*Tink*

Hearing their window being struck, Dolores who was waiting patiently nearby immediately pulled open the door-like window.

”Oh my, if you aren just the most precious little boy the Creator has ever dreamed up, ”

”Please don drag the Creator into this fiasco. This is all at the hands of Solomons broken ritual, ” grumbled Tristan, unhappy at being reminded of his predicament.

”Tristan, is that you? I thought youd be older and well… more grey? ”

”Are you going to let me in or are we going to start running scenes from Romeo and Juiliet? ”

”I don know that production, you know Isaiah never takes me anywhere but has the nerve to go drinking with his crewma- ”

”DOLORES, ” he hissed, trying to bring her scattered attention to the task at hand.

”Okay, okay jeez, what an ornery young boy ” said Dolores, backing away from the open window and smirking the entire time.

If any of the other tenants on the left or right of the Freemans window were to take a look, theyd see a small boy in a green spandex suit floating with the nights sky as his backdrop.

After deftly landing on the sill, he performed a front flip, landing in hero pose with his fist down.

I have to manage my mental and soul energies better now that they are so diminished. Even floating 1.5 meters above the ground takes me out, thought Tristan, peeved at the limitations he would face moving forward.

”Bravooo! Bravooo! You are so talented for such a little young man. ” It was clear that from the flow of the conversation so far that Dolores was dedicated to teasing the old man in a young boys body.

Dusting himself off Tristan retorted, ” I can see why Isaiah is out late drinking all night. You
e an absolute joy to be around. A-b-s-o-l-u-t-e joy. ”

After going for a few more rounds, tit for tat, he was suddenly embraced by the pregnant woman.

”You
e an absolute gift from the gods-no the Creator himself. You have no idea how much your curing our fertility problems means to us. This minor help we gave tonight is the beginning of a lifetime of love and dedication, ” Dolores said, teary eyed and emotional about the past few months events.

”It was a small favor, small favor, ” he said, blushing from the neck up from being hugged by a buxom caramel-skinned beauty.

”Let me fix you a plate. We have sand hippo fried rice on the menu. Hows that sound? ”

After scarfing down the strangely delectable meal, showering, and changing, Tristan passed out on the Freemans sofa couch. Their apartment was shaped like a slice of pie. The 23 sq/m crust was where the bedroom and bathroom were located and the point was where the entrance was built.

There was a 60 sq/m center which was where the kitchen, dining room, and living room were located. Here the Freemans held each other looking down on a cute little sorcerer who was so deep asleep, he wasn aware of the saccharine sweet moment he was a part of.

”I like him better this way. No horns, no silver hair, no problem. It would have been too suspicious if we adopted a child that looked like the idol I was carrying a few days prior, let alone a man in his prime. ”

”This whole thing has been a confusing blessed mess. I wonder if Tristan was ever truly a failed ascended to begin with? ” Dolores shivered as her husband held her in the early hours of the morning, stroking her short, bob cut black hair.

Isaiah was a bald, statuesque obsidian-skinned man whose dedication to hammering, chiseling, and hauling left his body in peak physical condition. A lot of his physical exertion came from the frustration with being unable to join Lord Brandons personal forces.

”Whatever happens, I will protect this family, come hell or high water. ” Isaiah made this promise between himself, Dolores, and the Creator.

”What high water have we ever seen here? ” said Dolores, jabbing his hard, smooth shoulder.

”None, but its something my ancestor Falco was supposed to have said. Anyways lets get to bed. Its not good for you or our baby to stay up late. ”

Isaiah put a end to their conversation and helped his wife to the bedroom.

===

Meanwhile, deep within the recesses of Tristans mind, he was dreaming of a giant peregrine falcon flying high in the blue sky. Grasped between its bloody talons was a serpent eating its own tail…

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