Edward lost track of time until his heightened awareness alerted him to Mary’s presence in his doorway. She had come to fulfil the final part of her duties.
Her demeanour had changed since their last meeting. Where once there was respect and friendship between equals, now there was deference. As she entered, she bowed her head, and then knelt before him, head down, not daring to look at him directly.
He gazed at her - his heart bursting.
"We have come a long way, you and I," he said quietly.
"You must feel that I deceived you," she said, still not looking at him.
His former self considered the kneeling figure before him - the epitome of his earthly life, her deception representing the greater deception of mankind. Their relationship was the last vestige of his previous insignificant existence.
He took her hands to raise her to her feet. His new self saw before him a weak carbon life form, frail, blemished and weak. Her mind was open to him: he could read her thoughts, her worries -and not only her mind, her body: the breakdown of her chemical pathways, precursor cancer, physical cerebral abnormalities. He could read her very soul.
He knew now as never before - he had become truly powerful.
He looked her full in the eyes. She quailed - she was scared.
Mixed emotions filled him: he revelled in his power even as he regretted its impact.
"Please make yourself comfortable. It’s so good to see you after all this time."
He was aware of the banality of his statement and the concept of time used as a figure of speech without considering its significance.
"I have come to honour you and do my duty." Mary stood before him, her head still lowered.
Great sorrow engulfed him as Edward considered the chasm that now lay between them. Within his own Duality, he encouraged his humanity to reassure her.
"Please Mary, don’t be afraid. Our friendship and all we have shared is important. I have great ..." he paused, struggling for an appropriate word "...affection for you - even now."
"I am not worthy," she said.
"You were chosen," he answered.
She shook her head and sat down on the edge of the bed. There was nothing left: she was just a shell, empty, inferior.
Edward turned aside to hide his tears - this was almost unbearable. Their union was pre-ordained. Now there was no possibility of them resuming their previous existences. They would form a connection now - but it would be the final ultimate event in their relationship.
She completed her duties and left, his genetic signature safe within the warm confines of her body, and while the sex was loveless it generated a massive physical release - forceful enough to reverberate across the Duo connection space and echo within Rabyd’s heightened awareness.
Edward knew this was the last time - his biological urge to procreate would now be subsumed by the logic of self. "
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