Prologue

In Which We Learn the Events Surrounding Our Beginning


II.

Gilbert sat outside his brother Alfred's hospital room with Queen Madgelie. She wouldn't stop pacing and this annoyed him to no end.

"My brother won't die. He's stronger than that and you know it," he snapped. Madgelie stopped and looked at him blankly and sighed. She sat down next to him and folded her hands carefully.

"I just…he had to have known this would happen…so why would he do this?" she asked. Gilbert shrugged.

"In the name of science, I suppose," the younger boy replied. "I'd do almost anything for the sake of science. Now we know that we can teleport eight thousand people with one giant teleporting pad. I'm so glad all our efforts weren't for nothing. It took months to get that set up."

"At the price of Alfred's life," Madgelie lamented.

"Alfred is not dead. He won't die," the red haired boy said. His brother was not some paling lab coat. He was a true man of science; living it as opposed to just observing and studying it. That was why, at the age of thirteen, Gilbert was enrolled in the Military Science Army as a Junior Cadet in the Alpha Division specializing in research and development. He worked directly under his brother, and he was making great strides as a scientific genius.

A doctor finally exited the room and grinned. Madgelie stood up, Gilbert only smiled half-heartedly.

"Alfred is going to be fine. He actually came to just a few minutes ago," the doctor told him. Madgelie breathed in relief and Gilbert only pushed past both of them to see his brother. Alfred was reclining against his pillows, and grinned upon seeing his brother.

"Gilly, I'm surprised you stayed," he said. Gilbert narrowed his eyes.

"Don't call me that in public," the younger red head snapped, crossing his arms.

"Psh, you act as though I haven't heard that name before, Gilly," Madgelie said, nudging the boy in the ribs. Gilbert grumbled and sat on a chair beside his brother. Madgelie sat on the bed and took Alfred's hand in hers.

"How are you feeling?" she inquired. Alfred smiled weakly and squeezed her hand.

"I'm fine, Madge. Everything went perfectly," he answered. Madge shook her head.

"You passed out and stopped breathing! The doctor told me your heart stopped and they had to resuscitate you! That many people takes far too much energy to teleport," she protested. Alfred's blue eyes sparkled with childish accomplishment.

"Yes, but now we know we can do it. With teleportation in such rudimentary stages, this is phenomenal! Imagine what we can do when we develop the technology more! We can teleport whole buildings!" he said. Madge grimaced and snorted in disbelief.

"You always were about progress. It didn't matter what the cost to your own health was, you'd do it for the sake of advancement," the blond haired woman said. Alfred reached for Madgelie's face, she closed her right eye and his fingertips ran gently over her eyelid.

"I like to think I'm a bit more cautious as to what I stake for the sake of scientific progress. This demonstration was more than for just advancement," he said. He withdrew his hand but she caught it and held it tight.

"What happened to my eye was not your fault. That was a miscalculation I made years ago," she said. Gilbert rolled his eyes. When they talked about their days under Professor Coolidge, things always would get very odd between Madgelie and his brother.

"No, no… I should have checked our readouts more closely, then the machine wouldn't have overloaded," Alfred protested.

"How could you have known that the temporal lights would have done this to my eye…" she replied.

"Spatial manipulation is always quite dangerous, I should have been more careful."

Gilbert growled, "Madge regained her sight in a few months. Her eye still works fine, right?"

"I-it does," Madgelie replied. "But—"

"Does it matter what happened back then if she's fine now?"

Alfred breathed sharply, "I thought I'd lost Madge. Every time we do an experiment, I work so hard just to make sure I never feel like that again."

"How do you think I felt when I saw you collapse?" Madgelie said softly. "Please…"

Alfred understood, "From now on, let's just work extra hard to make sure all our experiments go relatively smoothly."

She agreed and patted his shoulder. Gilbert had no idea what Madgelie and Alfred's problems were, but as long as it didn't slow the advancement of science, he didn't care.


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