Chapter XII: Bold

                                                                                            An excerpt from
                                                                                          Diary of the Bold
                                                                                                Entry 15: 139
                                                                                     Date 66 of 7499 SC

Diary, I am writing quickly and we don't have much time. This will be the last entry I shall write for a while, I think - my quarters don't provide enough protection for either of us.

I finally met my half brother today, the one from whom I took my current name. At first I was inclined to believe the story that Mother told me the other day about his illness, for he was clearly delirious and exhausted when I first saw him.

He had clearly been running from Father's many manifestations. They're not particularly bright so it doesn't surprise me that he managed to avoid them for so long. The first I heard of him was a crash on my door - I came through to my reception room and there he was - sprawled on my floor.

"Hi there Bold," he said, "it's been a long time."

I could hear approaching droids from the corridor outside, so I ran to the door and closed it as quietly as I could. I saw the droids pass speedily by through the one-way glass in my door.

I barely recognised him - I hadn't seen him in over a year, and his face had changed. Drained of colour, dry and flaky. His eyes flickered fitfully, his hair was greasy and his overgrown beard was unwashed. He seemed ready to die right there and then.

I hurried to fetch him a beaker of water and some energy blocks and after that he seemed to revive a bit.

"Bold," he said hoarsely. "You need to know -"

"Look, just shut up and drink this," I interrupted, pushing the water insistently into his hand. "You're in no fit state to -"

"You don't understand," Forsaken croaked, "I'm not ill, I ... I need to ... to tell you ..."

He took a massive swig of water, coughed, and tried to speak again, panting.

"Eat thest first, I dion't want you fainting on me," I said.

Forsaken drank the remaining water, crunched a block and coughed again. He was looking better already.

"Bold," he said quietly, "I need to get out of the Colony."

My surprise increased as I raised my eyebrows. Forsaken had just voiced such an unfamiliar concept that I struggled to comprehend it.

"Get out of the Colony?" I said, mouth open. "There isn't anything outside of the - well, of course, you're i-"

"I'm not - ill, Bold," Forsaken said tersely. "You've got to understand ... Father was keeping me prisoner."

"What? Mother said -"

"Mother lies. Father lies. Don't you understand, Bold? Anything they don't - want you to know they ... hide behind restrictions and locked doors."

"So ... you were hidden?" I said hesistantly. "Like Time Out?"

"Time Out?" Forsaken laughed. "Yes, I suppose, except that this was a permanent Time Out. I would never have been let back in ... I knew too much."

"What do you know?" I pressed. "What more could you possibly want to know? Did you bypass a restriction?"

"I ... can't tell you yet, Bold. They've drugged me ... I'm not thinking straight. You need to get me out of here before Father's droids break in here, so we can plan to -"

"There's nothing outside of this Colony! We're the only ones, what could you possibly want outside of -"

"You don't know, any of you, do you? You've never been inside that big building near the Wall, the building where our food, water and clothes magically appears. Didn't you ... ever wonder where they came from?"

"The Warehouse makes them -"

"From what?"

I paused. Forsaken was getting his breath back, and the old temper that I had forgotten.

"You got into the Warehouse, didn't you?" I said. "Is that why they imprisoned you? Because it's a Restricted Zone?"

"I found out ... I found out where the Union is," said Forsaken. "Father was there, carrying out their orders ... and these - vehicles, I think they're called? - came into the Warehouse from the other side of the Wall ... and there were other droids there, droids that weren't manifestations of Father ..."

I was staring at Forsaken in awe and slight terror, wondering if he was hallucinating.

"... and have you ever noticed how Father's Master manifestation leaves the Colony for weeks at a time ... no-one ever knows where he goes -"

"He's gone at the moment," I said, "he took Loyal with him -"

"He took someone with him?" said Forsaken incredulously. "Why?"

"I don't know," I said quickly, "loads of things are happening properly ... the mating policiy's been changed, the Children can choose their own p-"

"That doesn't matter, we need to get out of here."

"What? Why should I trust you?"

"Because if you don't, this whole world is going to be turned upside down."

There was nothing for it. Something about him, maybe his relation to me, convinced me he was telling the truth. And now the droids are banging on my door, and my mind is made up.

I can't interrogate him any more, the door's being batted like hell. Whatever Forsaken's done, though, seems to be against Mother and Father, and that's fine by me. We've got to go - I don't know when I'm next going to -

The End

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