After thinking about it for a while, Richard realized he’d heard very little about his father, even though he knew there were a lot of things to explain. He supposed even if he had learned more, if it had all happened at the same time he would have had some trouble processing it. As it was, he had a hard time believing that his mother had infiltrated and apparently destroyed and illegal cloning facility. However, there was also no reason to lie about that, otherwise it would have been a more believable story. Besides, Richard trusted his parents.
As for Susan, believing she was a clone wasn’t really a point of debate. After spending some time with his mother and her in the same room, he could basically tell that. It would also explain the gaps in her experiences. As for whether or not that changed how he felt about her as family… Richard didn’t think it did. His origins might have been even more strange. Besides, he enjoyed her company. He also felt very close to her, but that might have been Jot’s Xevaronian culture rubbing off on him, and the fact that they had spent most of the few weeks he’d known her together. Xevaronians at least recognized that that built stronger bonds, though Richard wasn’t sure whether or not that actually changed any of the effects. Richard wondered what kind of course that would be covered in. Would it be biology or psychology? Perhaps it would be both, or some specialized class.
Before Richard could come up with any specific questions he wanted to ask his father, he went away on a business trip. That was of course another thing Richard was curious about, but as he thought about it he wasn’t sure if he really wanted or needed to know what was going on. The same with his father talking about being a “bad person”. Richard wasn’t sure what that meant. He kind of wanted to know, but he also didn’t want to ruin his image of his father. The important thing was that he wasn’t a “bad person” anymore. Assuming that was true, which Richard believed. Then there was the fact that he was, or had been, cursed. That was an interesting thing to hear. He also had an explanation of why his father and grandmother rarely stayed in the same room, though they seemed to get along alright. This also indicated that his grandmother had the ability to curse people. Did that mean she could remove his curse? Based on the fact that she hadn’t already offered, Richard suspected the answer was no, but he knew he should still ask. And he would… eventually.
“You’re in one of your more-distracted-than-usual states, Richard,” Jot stated in a manner of fact matter. “What happened this time? Do you want to talk about it?”
“Well…” Richard thought for a moment, “I’m actually not sure what I should say. I learned some things at a family meeting that have really made me think a lot.”
“Is that so? Anything you want to share?”
Richard shrugged. “Most of it is a family secret kind of thing. Maybe they wouldn’t mind people knowing, but I sure wouldn’t want to share without asking.”
“That’s alright, I don’t want to pry into secrets that aren’t any of my business.”
Susan spoke at this point. “Actually, I’m a clone.”
Richard’s eyes went wide at the fact that she had said it so bluntly. He also noticed Elena seemed to be looking on in interest. For some reason, Hiroshi had no reaction, which was strange since he usually showed his feelings and thoughts on his face.
Jot, meanwhile, just nodded. “Okay. Of who, if it’s okay to tell me?”
Susan pointed to Richard. “His mother.”
Richard wanted to say something, but he wasn’t sure what. This was her secret after all, she could tell it as she wished to. He wanted to say “you shouldn’t tell people your secrets so easily.” On the other hand, he felt a strong friendship and trust with everyone here. In the end, he said nothing.
Jot rubbed his chin. “Interesting. I assume this wasn’t something well known, or your appearance wouldn’t have been such a surprise.”
“That’s right. Anyway, since I wasn’t really raised normally, that’s why I hadn’t done some important things like having ice cream.”
Richard chuckled. “I’m not sure if ice cream is really important.”
Susan nodded seriously. “It is. Much more so than the things I learned about.”
“If that’s so, maybe we should go again sometime soon.” Richard tilted his head. “Though, I’m not really fond of being in situations where I almost die. Thanks for protecting me by the way, you two.” Richard vaguely gestured to Jot and Hiroshi. “Actually, Jot, can I ask about that? I know you’re very tough, but I don’t know how you were so completely undamaged… and also the ground below you.”
Jot nodded. “Hmm, yes, indeed. Physics dictates rather different results. However, that is without application and manipulation of additional energy.”
“Yes. That… still leaves it unexplained.”
“Well, that is what I did. While you apparently have a sort of second self made of energy, I have a different type of energy that resides inside of me. This isn’t an exclusively Xevaronian thing. However, it is not particularly common. Depending on the application, it might go by different names. Magic… ki… psionics. These things exist, but it is not so easy to discover how they work. Methods of how to train these abilities are generally kept secret… because… well, people like their secrets.”
“Hmm, wouldn’t it be a problem to talk about it then?”
“Not really. It’s not as if I’m explaining it in detail to you, and most people don’t even believe in such abilities. Consequently, it makes it so they can’t use them.”
“Hmm, okay. In that case, I kind of want to equate the glowiness I see around people to this… but that can’t be right, because you don’t glow at all.”
Jot shrugged. “That may actually be correct still. It’s just that Xevaronians don’t leak power outside of themselves… unless they want to.” To Richard’s senses, Jot glowed- only slightly, and only briefly. “Well?”
“Okay, yeah… I saw that. However, if these abilities are rare, why does everyone glow?”
“Who knows. There might be more to it, but people can still have this kind of energy without training. It’s just they can’t do anything with it. It could also be something else in addition.” Jot scratched his chin. “Though I can’t say what that would be. As far as my experience goes, I just hit things with extra force. Speaking of which, it’s time to go train.”