Part 679 – Bonding With Good Old Dad (?)

Robin ran all the way to the control room and tore the door off its hinges.

Antioch turned in his chair. His mirrored sunglasses covered his eyes again. “The door was unlocked.”

Robin marched into the room and scanned the monitors.

Where are you?

Come on.

Make your move.

Come on out of hidin’.

Come out of your room.

Let me see you.

Isellta.

Let me see your stupid little face.

“I am sorry about that incident in there, son.”

Robin growled and kept his focus on the monitors.

“I’m generally not a violent person. It must have been the heat of the—-”

“Shut up. Or I’ll tear your jaw off your face.” Isellta. Come on. Come on.

His gaze went to the broken monitor. Is he still there?

Is she still with him?

Did he forget all about me?

What does it matter?

It matters.

Why?

Because.

Why?

It does.

Why?

Why?

Isellta, why?

In his mind, he saw Isellta’s face.

His smile.

“Robin.”

He saw Isellta come down on top of her.

He balled his hand up into a fist and punched the nearest monitor. It cracked and shattered into sparks. He punched the next one and the next one.

Robin threw his fist at the next one.

Antioch grabbed his wrist. “Son. You need to stop. Calm down.”

Robin snarled at him. “You ain’t my dad. I ain’t your son. Don’t you DARE play that mind game with me!”

“I am his clone. His exact clone. Do you know what that means, Robin?”

“Don’t care.” He tried to pull his wrist free.

Antioch tightened his grip. “It means I have his memories.”

“Liar!”

He smiled. “I remember the old oak tree in our yard. We tried to build a tree house in it.”

“If you don’t let me go and SHUT UP, I’ll bite your freakin’ arm off.”

“Do you remember, Robin? I painted it red. You painted black spots all over it.”

An image flashed in Robin’s head. “The Ladybug House.”

“That’s what we named it.”

“It fell with the first big windstorm of the year.”

“And blew into Ms. Agrilush’s prized cabbages.”

Robin laughed. “She was so mad. She thought we did it on purpose.”

Antioch laughed. “We never did convince her.”

Robin turned his attention back to the monitors. “But I didn’t do any of that with you. It was with him. My dad. My real dad.”

“Robin. Look at me.”

Isellta was on none of the monitors.

Where is he?

“Robin. Look at me.”

Isellta.

“Robin.”

Where are you?

“I’m sorry.”

Robin broken gaze turned to the broken monitor for Isellta’s room.

“I was wrong to leave you. If I were given that choice today, I would stay. My life has been empty without the two of you in it.”

“You never came. Never called. Never sent a note, a letter, a text, a fax.” Robin punched another monitor dead. “Nothing. Not even once. Not even when I needed you.”

“Robin. I’m here now.”

Robin’s mouth twitched as he tried not to cry.

“Son.”

Robin turned to face him.

Antioch held out his arms. “My son.”

He saw his father laid out. So stiff. So still. So very dead.

Antioch was not dead.

Robin dove at the older man and hugged him.

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