Pain. Lore had a splitting headache as three years of their own memories forced their way into their head. They vomited but were confused as they saw nothing come out. The second cube began to play.
“This cube is the Identity cube. The context cube gave you a rough idea of who hates you and why now let’s focus on something more important.” A familiar voice moved from the shadows. “Us.” Lore stood before themselves once more. “If you can’t remember, your name is Lore. Like you, it has no gender. You chose it when you became an inquisitor and kept it because it sounded mysterious and it’s way better than our real name.” Lore paused. “Judging by the time zone this cube has been activated in, you should be somewhere in the Quatarrian Empire. Since you’re not I’ll assume you’re us from the future. This is the end of the us portion of the cube. Now for the important stuff.” Lore smiled at themselves.
Surrounding them now were tall buildings with architecture similar to that of Earth but more utilitarian; there were few real windows and their metal walls were designed to imitate brick. They were on one of the human colonies.
“After our exile, we jumped here. Rigel colony three. Just outside of the Protectorate’s reach and surrounded by heavy radiation storms. You can breach in but not out. This, coming here, was the most important decision we ever made.” Lore smiled and gestured across the street.
There was a flash of light as Lore materialised in the middle of the road. The two Lore’s watched hesitantly as a vehicle ploughed towards them. Before the vehicle hit, Lore jumped and dove to safety. Barrelling straight into a young woman.
“Oh to be young and in love.” Lore swooned as Lore stared questioningly at themselves. “Oh what, look at us, mid-twenties and single.”
Lore and the woman stood together, helping each other from the ground.
“So sorry about that. Shan’t happen again.” Lore said calmly at the woman who was still dusting off her legs.
“What do you think you were doing Breaching into the middle of a road. Don’t they teach you anything… Wherever you trained?” Lore’s lack of uniform was excellent for blending in and doing the job but terrible for brand recognition.
“They must have left a few things out.” Lore tried their hardest to look the woman in the eye to show their sincerity but couldn’t succeed.
“Do I have something on my face?” She noticed.
“My apologies. Must be going. Thank you.” With that, Lore retreated.
“That’s Char. Is this the day you met?” Lore asked themselves.
“Yep. She blunted my fall and as it happens was the person I needed to see.” Lore continued. “Sure I had executed my plan flawlessly and gotten away with it but that was only the first part. I came to Rigel three because I needed an untraceable Breacher. I didn’t know at the time she was the mechanic I was looking for.” Lore and Lore were following Lore. Occasionally, Lore would turn around. Both Lore and Lore would follow suit. The three of them were being followed. Trailing them, Char. Every now and then, Lore would duck around a wrong corner, take a wrong turn to make sure they weren’t being followed but every time they attempted to move towards their actual destination, she was there following them. They reached their destinations at the same time.
“Can I help you?” Char was both confused and annoyed by Lore showing up at her house. “You’ve got five seconds to tell me why you followed me home and then I’m sweeping you up.” She removed a familiar blaster.
“I’m looking for a mechanic. The name’s Lore.” Upon hearing their name, she returned the gun to its holster.
“Is that what I think that is?” Lore asked.
“Yes it is now shush.” Lore replied waving wildly at the scene before them as it faded to black.
“Char was instrumental in getting us off of the network. She even hooked us up with work every now and then. Slowly, over the years we worked together, we became friends and then something more. We had our differences of course. But we respected each other.” Lore smiled sadly, at least Lore thought they were sad, twisting the ring on their middle finger.
The blackness faded into a small apartment, big enough for a bed and a small dresser but nothing more. Lore lay on the floor talking up to Char on the bed.
“I don’t want you going!” She looked towards the floor at the end of the bed.
“They need help. They’re one of the good guys.” Lore protested.
“I don’t care who you think they are, if they were on that battlefield, they’re not to be trusted.”
“You and I were both on that battlefield…” It took Lore a moment. “You don’t trust me?”
“That’s not what I meant.” Char sulked, angered by the smile creeping across Lore’s face. “Go if you must but be quick. Knowing your history, you’ll somehow manage to stretch a quick visit into a few centuries.”
The two of them laughed and continued talking but Lore couldn’t hear them.
“That next day, about a year ago by Char's reckoning, was the day I went in search of an old friend. Now an exile like me, they needed help. I wasn’t going to let them down.” Lore patted themselves on the shoulder. “Now you’re up to date. The Lore she was expecting went off in search of a war hero from a war that ended in a race’s near extinction, leaving her behind for years. Even if you don’t mean it in that way, even if you don’t remember how they felt, give her a hug for me, for you.” Lore removed their hand. With that, Lore awoke. Surrounded by sick and feeling like their head was about to explode, they were roused by a voice behind them.
“I’ve found them. Silus is alive.” Char smiled despite Lore’s embrace being accompanied by yesterday’s lunch. New Beginnings.