He had spoken to Dr. Caitrin, to Hayley, to Regine, and finally to Lady Maureen before being sent to Shou Sakamato to ask the questions.
Abaddon wasn’t sure why the Asian Languages teacher was the one to ask, but as the old man studied him and stroked his beard, Abaddon thought perhaps it was just because he had the inscrutable old-man face down to an art form.
“You want to know your parentage.”
“Well, at this point, I want to know why nobody will tell me something basic like ‘who are my parents’, but yeah.”
“And so they send you to me. This is amusing. Not to your Mentor?”
“Dr. Caitrin sent me to, uh, to Regine’s secretary?”
“And not to your Keeper’s Mentor?”
“Dr. Mendosa? I don’t know why I’d go to her.” Abaddon frowned. “I don’t know why I’m coming to you, to be honest, sir. No offense, but I only have one class with you…”
“Perhaps because I am as far removed from the situation as it is possible to be while still being here. All right. You have come for answers. Your Keeper does not mind you getting answers?”
“She hasn’t told me not to.” He hadn’t exactly told her what he was doing, but he’d soothed what little guilt he felt by telling himself if it was wrong, Dawfyyd probably would’ve told on him.
Probably. If. Maybe. You never could tell with Daw, although he did like getting those cookies regularly.
“Well,” the professor smiled broadly, “that is as good as permission then. So.” He steepled his fingers and considered Abaddon over the fingertips. “The problem is – the reason they do not wish you to know and are playing hot-potato with you as if you aren’t going to notice – well.” Professor Shou sat back. “How much do you know about the project that is going on here?”
Abaddon swallowed his frustration. “Not much?” He had a feeling this was getting somewhere important, if only he could stand to wait. “I know that our parents aren’t always our parents.”
“Indeed, and yet untrue. Those who raised you are every bit as much ‘parents’ as they chose to be. On the other hand, the genetic material that made you up, that was chosen carefully from a rather small pool of donors. As it happens, your biological mother is the mother who raised you, Joie.” Professor Sakamoto’s eyes seemed to twinkle. “A lovely woman indeed, and a sweet one. You are quite lucky.”
“But my father…?” He didn’t really want to hear the old man, nice as he was, talk about his mother quite like that.
“Your father, yes. The man who donated the genetic material for you is Ägidius, himself the son of Aelfgar Gods-Spear and Greta BroadLeaf.”
The names meant nothing to Abaddon. “Okay…?”
“This does mean that many of the students here – Aelgifu and Yngvi, Ragnavaldr and Arnbjorg and Leofric, to name a few – are your aunts and uncles, children of Aelfgar, and that Howard is your cousin. That is, ah. Not the problem though. That is more… well.” Professor Sakamoto coughed. “Ägidius also provided several other children to the project. Most of them you would not know, but one of them is Genevieve.”
Abaddon stared at the professor. This had to be a bad joke of some sort. “Say that again.”
“Genevieve is biologically your half-sister; she shares a biological father with you.’
“Saying ‘biological’ over and over again doesn’t help! She’s pregnant! With my baby!”
“Yes. She is.” Professor Sakamoto cleared his throat. “So. This is what I can tell you, and why Professor Pelletier or, perhaps, Hayley or Director Regine ought to have handled this. Certain bloodlines have been marked and studied as safe for such, ah, consanguinity. Indeed, it has been tried before to no ill effect. So biologically-” the professor coughed and looked mildly apologetic, which would have been more soothing for Abaddon if he hadn’t also still looked far too amused – “there is no danger to the child, or we would not have let it go forward.”
“I don’t -” Abaddon took a breath. He had heard it in his voice that time. I don’t fuckin’ care, why the fuck do you think I care? It sounded like an echo behind his voice and he could feel the bone spurs on his forehead growing. “Biologically isn’t the problem. The problem is-”
It wasn’t like he passed out. That would have been nice, he thought. It was more like someone was pulling his strings. Which, he was pretty sure, was exactly what was going on. Someone had named him Abaddon, after all, the angel of the abyss. The Other. The thing inside him that had been there since he Changed spilled out and took over.
He was standing and he was shouting. His voice (but not his voice, the Other’s voice) echoed and vibrated through the small office and his whole body was spiky with bone spurs. He lost the exact words but the tone was clear enough – fury. Rage. He dove across the desk at Professor Sakamoto.