The Revolution was short-lived, however. The uprising, though detrimental to the Council's hold on the population, was soon almost extinguished. Many of the Ghost Children were sent to the Prison Centers, mostly without even a trial. Blame was of course put on Glass and his 'insane mutterings' and 'treasonous thoughts,' an unbalanced individual trying to start an illegitimate, dangerous cult.
And then there was the Machines of God's second album, which went off in a direction many of the fans didn't like. It didn't sell nearly as well as the first one, and likewise a disgusted Mr. Valentine refused to promote and fund the band.
Snakeytooth wasn't happy with the experimental sounds Glass was meddling with as well and wasn't shy about expressing it. Exasperated, Glass began working on side projects. The self-proclaimed Messenger was having a mischievous streak in the studio this day for he was sneaking up on June with some fake pointy ears and big googly-eyed glasses to scare her with. He thought she was glancing toward him so he hid behind a potted plant, stifling giggles. When he judged the time was right he burst from his cover growling.
"Ah! You big nerd," she gasped in startlement, then chuckled at his ridiculous getup. Sometimes he could be like a big kid, completely opposite his at times self-posessed dignity and righteousness.
Taking off the glasses he wondered, "What're you up to?" She told him she asked the other guitarist in the band to come to the recording session to have a talk with him. Glass wasn't really in the mood to make up with Snakeytooth at the moment and said so.
"Oh come on now, all the other bandmembers are here."
"Actually, I was recording something with Tanya."
"Uh huh." And the way she said it let him know she wasn't pleased. Not at all. Tanya was an all-around musician, permanently hyper, and had been a friend of his for a long time. She was also devastatingly beautiful, having been genetically altered by extremely vain parents before birth. She had naturally violet eyes, silver hair and a an impossibly slim physique--she looked for all the world like an elf queen. June wanted to hit her. Very hard.
Glass stomped back to the mixing room before she could say anything else. Shrugging, she stayed in the lobby until Snakeytooth arrived in all his ebony shaggy-haired thrift-store glory. "Heya, June," he greeted her. "Is he bein' weird?"
"Normal-weird or weird-weird?," she responded.
"Meh. About half and half."
Seeing her stressed-out look he touched her arm lightly, smiling slightly. "The great ones are like that, especially when you love them."
"Yeah, I s'pose so. Well, come on."
Crystal blue eyes narrowed as he watched them calm jangled nerves by their company. Could he trust his beloved, after all? She'd kept things from him before. Even though she was no longer on Transformer. Even though...
We must never be apart.
The Ghost Children drank their experiences and knowledge like good tea, steeped themselves in wisdom and prided themselves in camradarie. United in their common bond they protected all the banned books and media and guarded it like treasure. They met in warehouses, abandoned buildings, and at their Prophet's house. It was there many of the ones that hadn't been captured or killed were at right now.
"I remember going to all his concerts," spoke Blue, a big lad aptly named for his myriad blue tribal tattoos. "I loved Zero's music but as Glass he spoke to my heart. I started reading up on the I of the Radio movement." A cast-off, a specimen bred for heavy labor but deemed unsuitable for the factory's specifications, he'd always been rejected. Now he was learning from the Prophet's consort, June, how to protect those weaker than himself.
"I was a pickpocket," giggled Lily in her too-big clothes. "He knew I was there, even though I'd been doing it for years and had never been caught. He grabbed my arm and asked me what I was doing away from home," she looked down. Like many of the Children she had no home, at least none to speak of. "He showed me a new way to live and think. He takes care of me now."
"I dealt in junk, in all the old electronics nobody wants anymore," put in Stark. "And I felt just as used as the old telephones and vidscreens. He came in the store one day wanting an old radio set repaired. It wasn't the only thing repaired that day. Glass shines out like a ray of sunlight from a dark cloud."
"He found me in a brothel, where my psychic powers were used to heighten sensation and take credit ID numbers. Despite my doubts he didn't go there for pleasure, he came because the Great Beyond told him that's where he'd find me," said a young woman known only as Psyche. "He took me out of that godsforsaken place and gave me a chance." She was a clone illegally sold and used as a slave her whole life.
The two hardest-looking of the Ghost Children stepped forward, a man and a woman, both red-haired--or perhaps the woman was a girl. Her youthful appearance and bearing contrasted with the glint in her pitch-black eyes; they were ancient orbs in her round face. She began quietly, "I was a government trained assassin, used to off those targets deemed by the Council too risky to imprison or leave to their own devices. A prominent Councillor illegally hired me to kill Glass, despite the Council's official decision to merely observe." The newer Children present gasped at the tale. "So I tracked him and watched him, and when the time came to move his lover June batted me aside like I was nothing. Even after I tried to kill him again neither would kill me, as so many would. He reached his hand out to me, and I took it. So now I work for all of us. I am the Girl Named Sandoz." Most of the members knew this already but the later converts listened raptly.
"I'm her brother, Shaman," the man beside her spoke up. "I'm a clairvoyant and tracker, and when Sandoz joined the Children, so did I." The man on first glance was older than his sister but from their behavior it was evident who was the elder. The siblings had been genetic experiments to breed the perfect assassin and psi-op, but their creators failed to consider the fact they were sentient beings.
It was things like this that banded them together, for they didn't just have to take Glass's word for the situation the world was in. All they had to do was look at their neighbor and see the injustice. They all knew that things must change.
It was time, it was agreed, for all those playing at God to stop.