Birth of Hope
Days had passed since Number 96’s escape. Things had gotten quiet. There had been no more incidents since then, much to Django and the other’s surprise. No new Numbers had surfaced, either, leading to a possibly peaceful end to the year. The leaves had almost finished falling off the trees and the cold chill of winter was in the air. The holidays were approaching, much to Tempest’s curiosity.
She approached Django, asking, “Django, what are these holidays that I’ve been hearing about lately? They’re not ones we Elementals are familiar with, so what are they, anyway? The TV talks about things like this ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ stuff, followed by various food ads, like Swanson’s Broth, showing families sitting down around a great feast. What is all this?”
Django turned to her, “There are several holidays coming up in the next two months. The first one is Thanksgiving, which is an American-only holiday. It came to be because ancient European settlers sailed to this country to start life over and remove themselves from the oppressing rules against them. But, other than that, it’s basically a day to feast, be around family, and give thanks. It’s more of a human holiday, but Psykinoxes do celebrate it as well, as I remember my parents making Thanksgiving dinner when I was a child. Thanksgiving always takes place on the forth Thursday in November, which is why you’re hearing a lot about Black Friday, which is a major shopping day that happens the Friday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is the same idea in mind, but that’s usually for internet shopping. Both days are big shopping days due to the fact they offer various, and oftentimes large discounts on items.”
Tempest’s eyes widened, “Did you say a ‘feast’? A day to feast is a popular idea in an Elemental’s book. While we’re generally a hunter/gatherer type species, we love a good feast. My race is, admittedly, a gluttonous one. If given the chance, we’ll eat large amounts of food in a single sitting, even bicker between each other over a piece of food. So the fact that this Thanksgiving offers a feast as a tradition would be a dream come true for my race.”
Django chuckled, “I had noticed that, though I didn’t realize it was a species trait. Whenever you get a chance, you will scarf down as much food as possible. Chili cheese dogs, fried shrimp, pizza, double cheeseburgers, fried chicken, fajitas, Chinese orange beef, ice cream sundaes, cheesecake, the list goes on. Whenever the opportunity arises, you will become a black hole. You can even outdo Cody and Jack when it comes to stuff like that, and you know how those two react to large amounts of food. I often wonder where you put it all. So this holiday would be of interest to you, I take it.”
Tempest nodded, “Yes, indeed. So are we gonna have our own Thanksgiving?”
“Yes and no. We won’t be having our own Thanksgiving, but my grandpa invited us to celebrate with him, Zephyr, and Melody this time. He did ask that I bring a prepared dish or two to help, as he only has a moderately large apartment for him and my cousins, so that means his kitchen isn’t very large. So I agreed to bring over my sausage cornbread stuffing and double-decker caramel pumpkin pie. I’ll have to make the pie the day before, then the stuffing on Thanksgiving morning to keep it fresh. How does that sound to you… eh?!”
Tempest was looking up at him, her eyes were wide and sparkling, while clasping her hands in an eager way, and was constantly licking her lips. Django got a bit nervous as he looked down at his ravenous girlfriend.
He said silently, “Oh, boy, I shouldn’t have mentioned what food I was making. Now I’m not sure if my pie and stuffing recipe will survive the trip to my grandpa’s apartment. She wasn’t kidding, her race really is a gluttonous group, and at the thought of a feast, it’s got her into hyper drive. I just hope my recipes will last long enough to make it to the table before she devours them. Might have to keep an eye on her for a while, or at least tide her over with something until we get there. I’ll have to plan this carefully with her around, as Elementals are opportunistic; at least, that’s what I’ve been told.”
With great caution, Django managed to make his Thanksgiving recipes, though he had a little trouble keeping Tempest from sneaking a taste. On Thanksgiving, the two of them, now in more formal wear, made their way deeper into Cyber City. They came to a large apartment complex. They parked in the parking garage, took the food, and rode up the elevator to their desired floor. After a short walk down the hall, they came to an apartment door. Django knocked on it, and after a short wait, Zephyr opened the door.
He said, “Hey, Big D, you’re here. And, wow…”
Zephyr took a moment to look Tempest over, who was dressed in a blue tunic that showed of some cleavage, long sky blue dress, silver shoes, and emerald earrings. She tilted her head curiously at Zephyr, quirking an eyebrow.
She asked, “Is something the matter, Zephyr?”
He replied, “Damn, girl, you’re gorgeous. You polish up nicely. Big D hit the jackpot with you.”
Django blushed feverishly, “Zephyr, please don’t say something like that.”
Tempest giggled, “Django’s not the only one who hit the jackpot in this relationship. He’s made me a very happy woman, and I’m forever grateful for what he’s done for me.”
She smiled at Django warmly, whose blush got even deeper. Chuckling, Zephyr allowed the two of them inside. The apartment was a fair-sized one, larger that Cody’s, with a few bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the kitchen merged with the main room. Noble was busy at the stove with Melody helping him. They noticed Django and Tempest, smiling as they approached.
Noble said, “Glad you two are here. And I see you brought the food you said you would. Good, that’ll make things easier for us. We’re actually nearly done here, so your timing is perfect. Zephyr, make sure the table is set. Django, you can put that stuffing on the table when Zephyr is done setting it. Tempest, you can put that pie in on the countertop over there, we’ll get to it later.”
Everyone did as they were told and barely a half an hour later, everything was ready. Tempest’s eyes were as wide as saucers as she observed all the food being placed on the table, feeling her mouth water.
She said silently, “This is a tradition I can seriously get behind. And the rest of my race would feel the same way. Too bad they’re still stuck in delusion land, but hopefully my brothers will prove my example to them. But enough of that, time to eat.”
They all sat down, said a small prayer, and began to eat. Tempest had to execute a lot of self-restraint to keep herself from going overboard. Django, however, ate in silence, while Zephyr, Melody, and Noble chatted happily. In his mind, memories of his parents and himself celebrating this holiday danced in his head. He could feel the pain in his heart return, but he managed to keep it hidden, trying his best to keep his “mask” on.
He said silently, “These holidays are days of dread for me, as they bring up too many unwanted memories. While I’m grateful to still have grandpa, Zephyr, and Melody, along with my lovely new girlfriend Tempest, this is still a hard time for me. But I cannot allow that to ruin this day. I can imagine how hard it was for Zephyr and Melody, too, but they seemed to have weathered their pain better than I did, especially since they still had grandpa. I guess I still have some emotional shackles that need to be broken, but maybe soon I can put my horrid past behind me. But I doubt that day will come right away. Probably not until the day Lucifer is vanquished and the world is rid of that Bloodlust. But, for now, just go with the flow and I’ll be fine.”
Dinner was soon cleared, leaving only dessert left. After the pie and ice cream were gone, Django and Tempest lingered a little bit longer before deciding it was time to go. After saying goodbye to Noble and the others, the duo headed back to their car and returned home.
Tempest purred, “That was great. Your grandpa is a good cook, Django. Not as good as you, but he’s still very good. I guess because he had to raise Zephyr and Melody himself, so he couldn’t just order take-out all the time. I know that other Elementals would love this holiday.”
Django replied in a wry tone, “Your race is really a gluttonous one. Considering how much you ate, it’s pretty obvious that your kind would like a holiday that involves a feast. I still wonder where you put it all. But enough of that, I’ve got some work to do before going to bed, so I’ll catch you later, Tempest.”
She turned to him, “Even on a holiday you never stop working. Just don’t overwork yourself again, like when Number 96 escaped. Okay? You don’t have to worry about getting any new items on the market, as two of your newest inventions will be on Spirit Tech shelves very shortly. So don’t work too hard, okay?”
He turned to her, “I’ll be fine, Tempest. Besides, this is an important project I want to finish before Christmas. I won’t give any spoilers to what it is, but let’s just say it’s a big deal when it arrives. You go and take a rest, Tempest. After all that food, you’ll want to lie down. Seems to be a tradition when it comes to this holiday, as everyone just conks out after Thanksgiving dinner. So go and take a rest, I’ll be fine.”
She gave him a kiss on the cheek, “Okay, but don’t work late. You need your rest, too. Let’s just hope that Lucifer and Number 96 don’t rear their ugly mugs anytime soon. So we need you at full power when that happens. But so be it. I’ll see you in the morning, Django.” As she walked upstairs, however, she thought, “I still have some work of my own to get into play. There is another big day coming up. Not a holiday, but a big day regardless, that I’ve been preparing for. And the gang will help make it a great day that Django will appreciate.”
Django went down to his workshop and pulled out six items. They looked like the touchpad part of a D-Pad, only lighter, more streamlined, and more high-tech, each a different color. He started working on them, trying to finish them.
He said to himself, “I have to finish these before Christmas, as it’s very important that I do. While these are not scheduled for release yet, I have to finish this batch as soon as I can.”
December rolled in quickly, but Django was prepared. Down in his workshop, he was placing several wrapped items into various boxes, a small smile on his face. He was now dressed in winter clothes, though very little had changed, now sporting camouflage cargo pants, a long sleeved shirt, his usual vest, and his trademark accessories.
He said to himself, “I finished these just in time. Now to send these items to their designated targets and everything will be set. Of course, I won’t have to worry too much about some of them, as it’ll be sticking around in this house. I just hope they like what’s here.”
Upstairs, Tempest was admiring their Christmas tree. A beautiful pine tree decorated with lights, ornaments, a long ribbon, and a star. She was now dressed in her winter clothes, consisting of a blue long sleeved shirt, red long pants and silver boots.
She smiled, “I’m glad Django’s more in the spirit of things. According to Alpha-1, Django hasn’t put a Christmas tree in his house since his parents were still alive, so it’s good to see him like this. I know he’s still in pain, and these holidays are a double-edged sword to him, but I also know that he can overcome it, especially now that he’s part of a group of loving friends. I’m sorta in the same boat right now, too, as I won’t have my family with me for this holiday. But Cody, Jack, Leo, Fiona, and of course Django are like my new family, so that more that makes up for it. I just hope the other Elementals are doing okay, as I do want what’s best for them, even though I was discarded by them.”
She then heard something. Turning around, she saw Django carrying up several boxes that were of equal size. He noticed her and gave her a sheepish smile, which she returned warmly.
“So, looks like you’ve got all your gift-giving done. Do you need any help, sweetie?”
He blushed lightly, replying, “No, no, I’m good. They’re not heavy or anything, so I’m fine. I just need to send them off. I’ll be using Insta-Wave Ship, as it’s much more effective than the post office. Plus you can send out multiple items to different addresses at once with it, and it won’t get lost or destroyed, which the post office still needs to work on. Besides, these items are secret and special, so I don’t want the contents being known just yet. Just give me a few minutes and I’ll join you.”
As he went into another room, the doorbell rang. Tempest walked over and opened it, noticing several packages at the doorstep, the postman walking back into his mail truck. She waved at him, which he returned, gathered up the items, and brought them inside, closing the door behind her. She placed the items on the coffee table and started to sort them, gaining a smile.
“These packages are from Cody and the others. Those guys are the best. I’m almost too curious to know what they are. First things first, gotta get them out of these shipping boxes. Alpha-1, report.”
Alpha-1 appeared, “Hello, Tempest, do you need something?”
She nodded, “Yes, I need you to open up these boxes, as they’re from the gang. Would you please?”
“Of course. Just leave it to me.”
Alpha-1 retracted the “fingers” on one of his “hands”, replacing them with a single barb. The barb fired a small laser that gently cut open the tape of each box. Once the last box was opened, the barb retracted into his “hand” and his “fingers” returned.
Tempest smiled, “Thank you, Alpha-1. By the way…” she quickly looked around for Django before saying in a hushed voice, “Are the preparations nearly complete for our little plan?”
Alpha-1’s voice got quieter as well, responding, “Everything is moving along perfectly. All the preparations are nearly complete. Just a few more steps are required and everything will be ready to go. And Sir Django is still unaware of it. Usually, due to his paranoia, along with the fact that Lucifer and Number 96 have been oddly quiet lately, he’d be more alert to possible surprises. But he’s not right now. As we get closer to that day, he may get more aware, but so far so good.”
She nodded, “Right. Excellent work, Alpha-1, that’s just what I wanted to hear. I know that day is usually hard on him, but this should make it all worthwhile. Keep a low profile on it and we should get it off without a hitch.”
“Affirmative. And if he does start getting suspicious, I know what to do.”
Tempest responded with a nod, which Alpha-1 returned before he flew off elsewhere in the house. She then focused her attention on the packages, which she opened up, revealing several wrapped gifts. Smiling warmly, her eyes sparkling, she gently took them out and placed them under the tree. Just then Django appeared, still carrying a couple of boxes. His eyes widened when he saw the gifts under the tree.
“Tempest?” he asked, “Are those… for us?”
She replied cheerfully, “Yep, from Cody and the gang. We also got some from the Goldwing Family and from Noble and your cousins. Isn’t this great? We have some really great friends.”
Django nodded, “Yeah, it’s hard to believe how we’ve all come together like this, and how things have improved for all of us since we crossed paths. It… it feels like forever since I last had a reason to celebrate these holidays. I just don’t know what to say to all this.”
“Yeah, I can understand that. It has been a long haul for you over the years, and I know how you used to dread these holidays, but I know that this is just the beginning of our bright future. Our struggle isn’t over yet until Lucifer is gone for good, but once that happens, then the possibilities are endless. By the way, what’s that in your hands?”
He gained a blush, shifting his eyes away, “Well… umm… these are… your gifts. I… I hope you’ll like them…”
A blush formed on her face as she closed her eyes and placed a hand on her heart. She walked over, gently took the presents, put them down, and wrapped her arms around his neck. He responded by placing his hands on her hips.
She purred, “You’re the greatest gift I could ever receive. You, and the rest of the gang, have given me a real reason to live and enjoy life. I no longer feel like a rejected, worthless woman who thinks too radically, but a wanted, desired, and accepted individual who has value to others. I feel that fate brought us together, woven our destinies together, giving each of us the gift of friendship and love. So, thank you, Django, for everything you’ve done for me.”
She pulled him in for a kiss, which he responded with tender affection. Their lip lock lasted for only a short time, but it was long enough to satisfy them. They pulled back, gazed into each other’s eyes, then let go. Django placed the gifts under the tree, stepped back, looked at Tempest lovingly, then the two of them went back to their routines.
Finally, Christmas arrived to the snow-covered metropolis of Cyber City. In their respective homes, the gang was busy opening gifts and being with family. However, all of them were in for quite a surprise.
At their condo apartment, Leo and Fiona were with their parents. Their father was drinking his coffee in a comfy chair while his wife warmly watched the twins open their gifts. They both came to the gifts Django sent each of them.
Leo said, “I’ve been dying to see what Django sent us. He mentioned that what was in here was ‘top secret’, so I’m really eager to see what it is.”
Fiona nodded, “Yeah, me too. I bet it’s one of his awesome inventions. Maybe we’re getting sneak previews at new Spirit Tech products?”
Mr. Cloud chuckled, “I’m glad to see that Django takes good care of you two. I admit, while I was very proud of you two saving your school, it also made me worried about your safety. I hope you two aren’t getting into trouble.”
Leo replied, “Don’t worry, dad. As long as Django is around, we have nothing to worry about. He’s one of the most reliable and trustworthy people out there.”
Mrs. Cloud said, “I’m glad to hear it. But I’ve always thought he was a distant and reclusive person, not the person you two say he is.”
Fiona stated, “He’s had a rough life, so out of fear of losing other valuable connections to him, he kept to himself. But he’s changed since then. He’s really a very kindhearted and caring individual. He’s like a knight in shining armor who, despite his losses, always looking out for those in need. So Leo’s right, he’ll always be there for us. Plus he’s given all of us gifts in a different sense. Like he taught me how to be braver and Leo how to be calmer. So he’s really a great guy, despite the pain and suffering he’s been through.”
Leo said, “Come on, let’s see what’s in here, Fiona.”
The twins opened up the gifts from Django and nearly toppled over in shock. Inside were two gizmos that looked very similar to the touch screen part of the D-Pad, only more streamlined and high-tech, one was blue and the other was purple.
“What’d you two get?” Mr. Cloud asked.
Fiona sputtered, “N-No way! Infinity Disks!”
Mrs. Cloud asked, “What are Infinity Disks?”
Leo replied, “They’re the next generation of Dueling technology, the successor to the D-Pad. They can create Augmented Reality Duels without the need of a Duel Gazer, along with being able to produce Touchable Solid Vision holograms for a different style of Dueling. Even the Monster Card Zones are made from Touchable Solid Vision energy and can be customized at will. They’re still compatible with Duel Gazers, but they’re not required, so you can Duel without one if desired. They are also high-tech tablet computers that can be used for a whole bunch of other purposes, even more than custom D-Pads. But they’re not scheduled for release until next spring.”
Fiona picked up a note that was with the Infinity Disks, “Let’s see… Dear Leo and Fiona. I hope you like your new Infinity Disks. As you may know, they’re not scheduled for public release until next spring, but I made these ahead of time just for you and the gang. They’re my gifts to you for shining a wondrous light on my darkened life. These Infinity Disks are fully functional and ready to use, preprogrammed and fully registered. You don’t even need to trade in your old D-Pads if you don’t want to. These Infinity Disks address the flaws that the D-Pad possessed, such as now having a Banished Zone and a section for your Extra Deck. You’ll be the coolest kids in class with this pre-release special. Enjoy and Merry Christmas. Django. How cool is this? Django is so awesome.”
Leo then noticed some other items in the box, “Look, sis, he even gave us two new Card Repairoids, one of the latest items from Spirit Tech. They can repair and restore any worn, beat up, or even torn cards back to brand new condition just by placing it in the main cavity for a few minutes. Wow, and we were just thinking about buying two of them the other day. Not to mention two piles of new cards and even two checks. Django really knows how to cover all the bases.”
Mr. Cloud’s eyes widened, “I must say, Django is really quite a generous person. I admit I wasn’t expecting him to give you such gifts. It’s obvious he values the two of you, so I hope you’ll remember to thank him for such nice gifts.”
Leo turned to his sister, “Let’s call now and thank him. After all, getting Infinity Disks months before they’re even supposed to be released is a real treat.”
She nodded, “Yeah, and I’d bet he’d like a call from us on Christmas Day. Let’s go.”
At that time, in the Spirit household, Tempest had just finished opening up her own Infinity Disk, a green version. She was happily hugging Django, nuzzling her head against his shoulder.
She said, “Oh, thank you, Django! I can’t believe you gave me an Infinity Disk. You’re the best ever! Now I can make Vanessa really jealous. Did you give one to the rest of the gang?”
He nodded, “Yep, one to Cody, Jack, Leo, and Fiona. I managed to make a few ahead of time, which is what I’ve been working on for a little bit before and after Thanksgiving. I figured they’d make good gifts, as they’re not scheduled for release until May, so you guys get special sneak previews of their capabilities, enhancing your game even further.”
She kissed him, “You’re the best, Django. Who would’ve guessed that you were a completely different person before we met? You really are something special.”
Just then the phone rang, so Django and Tempest went to check it out, and noticed the caller ID.
“It’s Leo and Fiona. Guess they opened up their Infinity Disks, too.” He tapped the screen, the twins appearing on the other end, “Hey you two. I take it you opened your Infinity Disks already?”
Leo nodded, “Yeah, for sure! How totally awesome! Thanks so much Django.”
Fiona added, “It’s such a privilege to have such a wonder gift, and such a wonderful friend like you. Thank you.”
Django blushed, “I’m not that wonderful, but I appreciate the kind words. And I’m glad you two… hmm?” he noticed the caller ID flashing another name, “Huh. Cody’s calling. I’ll open up a line for all of you.” He tapped the screen, allowing Cody’s face to appear. “Hey, Cody, how’s your Christmas going?”
Cody stated, “Hey, D-Man, Tempest, and even Leo and Fiona are on the line. Awesome. Listen, bud, I gotta say thanks for the super-cool Infinity Disk, cards, and even a big check. You rock, buddy. I can’t wait to rock the Duelin’ world with this bad boy. Even Kain will be jealous when he sees this!”
Django chuckled, “Glad you like it, Cody. But I really owe… huh?” The caller ID was flashing again, “Hold on, Jack’s calling. Let me open up a line for him, too.” He said silently, “Good thing video phones can have up to ten lines open at once for conference calls and such. Much more efficient than the older speaker phones.”
He tapped the screen again, with Jack appearing on it, who said, “Django! And Tempest, Cody, and the twins, too? How are you guys. Listen, Django, thanks so much for an Infinity Disk, those cards and a nice check, too. I may not play much, but having one is still great, as it can be used for other things, too, like work. But I thought they weren’t gonna be released until next spring.”
The inventor replied, “Hey, Jack, glad you like it. Yeah, they’re not gonna be released to the public until May, but I decided to give you guys a sneak preview, as well as an early taste at some new, state-of-the-art technology that I’ve been working on. But I’m glad that all of you like them. You may not know this, but they have a special, hidden function that won’t be made publicly known. Unlike the D-Pad, which can’t really handle the strain of Psychic Duels without eventually getting fried, the Infinity Disk is designed to handle that kind of energy easily and without taking any damage. That’s the hidden power of the Infinity Disk, to better accommodate for Psychic Duels. While I hope you guys will never have to get involved in a Psychic Duel, the Infinity Disk can help make the Duels more manageable. On top of that, your versions are special, as I’ve embedded a fragment of the Spirit Crest’s power into them, which will help protect you from threats like Number 96. That way you’ll be better guarded from sneak attacks and whatnot from Lucifer and other threats. Cool, right?”
Cody exclaimed, “No way!? That’s totally awesome! Look out, Lucifer, ‘cause the dream team is gonna make ya pay fer all yer evil deeds! Thanks so much, buddy. You’re the best.”
“No, Cody, you guys are the best. You helped me overcome many of my personal boundaries and shake off the poisonous traits I had developed from years of loneliness and distrust. You guys are the reasons for shedding light on my dark life, giving me new-found hope for a brighter future. So these are just a small token of my appreciation for what you guys have done for me, giving me the ultimate gift: your friendships. You’re like my new family now, giving me your trust, faith, and loyalty, which is something that I desperately needed. So this is just a small thank you for what you’ve done for me over the time we’ve been together.”
Tempest hugged him from behind, “Of course, Django, that’s what friends do. But I’m glad that our bonds mean that much to you. You’re the glue that binds us together, creating our own family of sorts. I know you had a hard time after losing your family to Lucifer, but know that we’re all behind you. So no matter what, we’re always together.”
Cody nodded, “Couldn’t have said it better myself, Tempest. We’re the dream team, so when we unite as one, not even the dirty tactics of Lucifer and Number 96 can stop us.”
Jack, Leo, and Fiona stated in unison, “That’s right.”
Django’s eyes started to quiver, a smile forming on his face, “Thank you, for everything. You guys are the light in my life. I’m glad we’re friends, as you make everything I’ve been through worth the struggle. Now enjoy your gifts and have a Merry Christmas, guys.”
They all said in unison, “Merry Christmas, Django.” After that, they all hung up, leaving Django and Tempest alone.
Tempest said silently, “Just you wait, Django. We have one more surprise for you in a few days. One that’ll make you smile.”
After Christmas ended, the days slowly ticked down to New Years. Before long, New Years Day was upon them, along with another important day.
Django solemnly thought, “Today’s my 21st birthday. Like Christmas and such, this day brought me nothing but pain since my parents’ deaths. But maybe… just maybe, things will be different.”
After doing a few chores he walked over to the door, placed his jacket on, and prepared to leave.
He turned to Tempest, “I have a few errands to run, Tempest. Will you be okay by yourself for a little while?”
She smiled, “No problem, Django. Besides, I have something that’ll keep me entertained for a while. Just don’t stay out too long, Django.”
He quirked an eyebrow, thinking, “She’s up to something. I’ve been noticing that she’s been doing something behind my back lately. But what?” He said aloud, “I won’t be gone long, just need to get a few things. I’ll see you in a little bit.”
As he got into his car and drove off, Tempest gained a large grin.
“Showtime!” she stated.
About an hour later, Django was returning home. To his surprise, when he pulled up to the front of the house, there were several cars there. Quirking an eyebrow, he drove up, parked his car, and slowly got out. He looked at the house and noticed that the blinds were down, blocking the view of the living room. Now very suspicious, he cautiously approached the front door, grabbed the handle, and opened the door. As he did, several party streamers burst, small pops could be heard, and several people were there to greet him.
“Surprise! Happy Birthday Django!” they all said.
Django nearly stumbled back in alarm, eyes wide with shock, his heart racing, his breathing quick. As he slowly calmed down, he took a moment to observe who was in the house.
He sputtered, “It… can’t be. Tempest, Cody, Jack, Leo, Fiona, Alpha-1, Noble, Zephyr, Melody, Chronos, Carver, Cosmoz, Maxwell, and even Draco and Rai!? What’s going on!?”
Tempest stated, “What do you think, Django? We’re here to celebrate your birthday. The day that the future hope of our world was born. And the day that a wonderful person was brought into this world.”
He said slowly, “You… did all this… for me? I… I don’t know what to say. But how did you pull this off?”
Alpha-1 chuckled, “To be honest, Sir, we’re surprised we were able to. You’re usually very cautious and suspicious around this time of year, so we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to pull this off. However, with careful planning by Tempest and the others, we managed to slip this little surprise under your radar. And it looks like we got you good.”
“Got me good is an understatement. It takes a lot to drop such a surprise on me like this, and yet you pulled it off flawlessly. But… I can’t believe that you did all this… for me.”
Draco said, shifting his eye away in an embarrassed way, “Yeah, well, I’m just here for the food.”
Noble was about to scold him when both he and Draco noticed the ferocious look on Tempest’s face, both of them recoiling and cowering at her angry glare.
She snarled, “Draco! Do you want to be blown into the stratosphere? Then be truthful, or you’re on the next flight out of here!”
Draco stated nervously, “Uh, yeah, sure, that’s what I meant to say. I’m here to see you, uh, pal.”
Rai couldn’t help but chuckle, “At least I’m honest about my feelings. So that means I won’t face the wrath of an Elemental.”
Maxwell laughed, “Who would’ve ever thought a Psykinox would cower before an Elemental. Usually it’s the other way around. Tempest, my girl, you are one fierce woman.” He then said, “In all seriousness, though, 21 is an important age for Psykinoxes. It’s when their powers reach full maturity, enabling them greater capabilities. While most half-Psykinoxes take a little bit longer, usually due to strength of the family’s blood, 21 is still an important age for them. And with you bearing the Power of Numeron in its full glory, your powers are pretty much going to erupt with new-found energy on this day. If your parents were still alive, they’d be very happy to see you on this day. As I’ve said many times, Django, you look just like your father, but have your mother’s eyes. So no matter what, they’re always with you.”
Chronos smiled, “We’re here for you, Django, so let’s celebrate to the best of our abilities. You’re one of the greatest Psykinoxes in the world, so let’s celebrate in your honor, my friend.”
Django gained a warm smile, “Thank you, all of you, for this wonderful, and completely unexpected, surprise. So let’s do this. Time to have fun!”
Cody put him in a friendly headlock, “You bet, buddy! Now let’s party! I call dibs on the fried shrimp!”
Tempest countered, “Oh, no you don’t! That shrimp is mine!”
Everyone laughed and began the party. Much to Django’s surprise, Tempest and the others spared no expense for him. He could feel his spirits brighten up dramatically and started to enjoy every bit of the party. Watching over him, his Duel Spirits nodded approvingly, smiling broadly as Django and everyone enjoyed themselves.
Dark Magician mused, “Django, you’ve come so far. You’ve changed completely, and it was a change for the better. Your parents would be so proud of you. Even with the looming fight against Lucifer coming up, you have learned to be more upbeat and enjoy your life to the fullest. That’ll take you very far. We’re all proud of you, and I’m sure your parents are, too, as they watch you from the stars.”
After several hours, the party finally ended, and everyone returned to their homes. The Sentinel Security Drones took care of cleaning up, allowing Django and Tempest to relax. They gently nuzzled their heads together lovingly, enjoying each other’s company and the peace after the party. Finally, after a while, they two called it a night and went to bed, full and happy.
Django said to himself, “This was the best birthday I’ve ever had. While I wish my mom and dad were still here, I know they’re watching over me. Thank you, Tempest, Cody, Jack, Leo, Fiona, and all the rest of my friends, for shining a brilliant light into my life, and giving me a reason to fight and live. My life has changed forever, and it’s a change that I’m glad took place. My life has never been better, all because of you guys. So thank you, my friends, for everything. Thank you for making this Psykinox a better person.”
As he slept, high among the cosmos, two stars sparkled brightly. And, even deeper into the cosmos, a rainbow comet was slowly making its way toward the planet, releasing a strangely dragonic roar.
Next Chapter: Prime Material