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 Gift of the Stars: TimeSaga 11 (All 7 chapters)

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PostSubject: Gift of the Stars: TimeSaga 11 (All 7 chapters)   January 13th 2015, 9:57 am

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter One

Ted looked exasperated as he asked, “Are you certain that you cannot see the science of what the Zonon is doing?”

I replied, “No.  Not that it matters.  Listen, I have opened up the science to the application of time in the equations.  Surely there is another researching into the science who can take what I did and extrapolate into what that device is doing.”

“For a price?”

There was no way that I could prevent a smile from showing on my face.  Ted had the position with RayWeight because he could focus on the money.  My bank accounts stayed at high amounts even with maintaining an island, a yacht, and highly qualified people doing expensive research.  Not only that, but while I held the patents to numerous technological advances, I really did not own RayWeight.  Others who held controlling amounts of stocks did not feel that they were rich enough, so were trying to push our influence.  I could not help but smile in pleasure at Ted seeking to force me to make myself even richer.

I replied, “Yes, if they need to extrapolate my science.  You and I have discussed what we can and cannot take people to court on.  Let me also say this – if you feel that someone is close, come to me and discuss what you can of what they are doing.  A little corporate leap-frogging can help our bank accounts.”

“There you go, Leanna.  That’s what I needed to hear.”

“Let me also say, Ted, that I have no connection with the Flags of Freedom.  They have contacts with the Solomon Foundation, and with Zychi, but not with me.  Depending on how I am contacted, I could have no bad feelings about taking advantage of them.”

“Well, let me admit that some of your investors are also invested in the Flags of Freedom.  Their problem however is that there is little chance of recouping their money.  The cost of the ships is barely covered by the price of those wanting to emigrate.  They however see some financial hope in the technological advances of what might be gained, and the first thing is the method of travel.  We need to get a handle on that, Leanna, and many see you as the best person to do that.”

I had been keeping up with the reports of the Flags of Freedom.  The vessel that launched itself through the Rothman Tube had safely landed on the planet.  While there was a threat of more korlocks, the Flags of Freedom convinced the Solomon Foundation to regularly activate the Zonon in order to exchange communications.  Roy would tell me about his work with Nick and Carnation, but of their lack of success to even contact the intelligence that had overcome Al.  It was as if the Flags of Freedom had been given the blessing to investigate what our ancient humans probably never saw.

The messages that came spoke of the atmosphere indeed being breathable.  The men spoke of strange odors along with more sulfur in the atmosphere and less nitrogen.  They also sent pictures of strange architecture along with really bizarre artwork.  There were also transmissions of odd technology with messages being passed that answers to our questions about the Rothman Tubes indeed being available.

I said, “Those of the Solomon Foundation are attempting to keep me out of that loop, Ted.  Tell your fellow investors, the ones with inside connections, to get me the information on what is actually found, and I will do what I can to assure RayWeight some claims to further profit.”

“Okay, I will pass the word back.  Now, about FER-RON.”

If he wanted me react, saying that name would have me do so.  “What about FER-RON?”

“She is a complete financial black hole.”

“I’m paying for her.  She is only connected to RayWeight in that she is using some of my patents, but there is a lot of original developments there.”

I watched Ted as his face showed him attempt to assure the proper words.  I considered him a good friend, but at the moment he was representing RayWeight and not himself.  He had not crossed certain lines in his two relationships with me, and I watched him as he again assured that he kept his place of confidence with me and others.

“Listen, Leanna, there are some investors in RayWeight that wished FER-RON was a RayWeight product.”

“She, or rather the production design from her prototype, might become a RayWeight product.”

“Why ‘might’ and not ‘will?’”

“Because there is a lot in her AI, and in her just being a very dangerous weapon, that might not be allowed to become a public product.  I lost Jimmy Belgard.”

Ted was quick to say, “But she performed excellent otherwise.”

I made certain to take control of the conversation right back.  “And my lady taking over FER-RON is doing some excellent AI modifications.  Yes, I expect to be pleased with FER-RON, but everything is speculative at this time.  I knew she would be a financial black hole, Ted, so I made her my personal project.   You tell those wanting FER-RON as a RayWeight product that they are going to have to fill my financial hole.”

“Now, that was the answer I expected.  Okay, Leanna, you keep doing what you are doing.  I haven’t had any complaints, at least none lasting, up to now.”

I did exchange some personal information with Ted.  Not only was I interested in hearing about his family, but I felt it best if he heard me stay positive about my lack of a family.  Both my husband and daughter were now dead.  There had been some interest in the relationship between my lead designer and potential lead programmer, now actually my lead designer and programmer, but Jimmy was killed.  I thus did not have personal problems, although I spoke with Ted for a time to assure him that all was well with me.

Ending the call, I almost contacted Roy.  He did have a most positive attitude, although with the activities of the Solomon Foundation he was kept rather busy.  Roy would contact me, and I appreciated it, which I tried to show by not bothering him.

As I decided to head to bed, I however noticed another phone message.  The name that showed was one that I had cleared to have access to me.  I however never expected to actually get a message from that person.  Curious, I picked up the phone.

Hoping to put the one that activated the transmission at ease, I spoke first.  “Tammi, I am grateful to hear from you.  What do you need to talk about?”

“You… you – you know me?”

I had two daughters from a first marriage.  The relationship I had before I used my own process on myself.  My wife had not wanted anything to do with me now I was a female as well, although she continued to receive child support and alimony.  I actually never thought I would hear directly from my first life, but would not deny my first daughters if they sought me out.

“Yes.  Time might have made a change in a certain chromosome, but it did not change my memories.”

“Are – are you busy?”

“Constantly.”  Hoping to put the young lady at ease, I said, “But actually not at the level that I was when married to your mother.  I can give you some time.”

“Uh, well, what’s it like being a female?”

“It’s safe.  I made the change because of problems where I would not be safe.  Ever since, I have felt safe.  As tumultuous as my life has been, I am still safe.”

“Uh, okay – I, uh, well – it’s strange talking to you.”

I thought it was wonderful, but felt it better not to mention that.  “Your mother would have relayed any message through a lawyer.  I am glad that you took the initiative to actually call.”

“Yes, well, I thought it best.  I was wanting to know if you could help me get on board one of the Flags of Freedom.”

I could not help but release a chuckle before answering, “Actually, Tammi, I can’t.  It is not because I do not have influence, but that the countries in control of the Solomon Foundation will not authorize a woman to travel at the moment.  Yes, it’s sexist, but at the moment only men are being sent.”

“But they are going to have to allow women eventually – soon.”  The tone of the voice had the strength of a person set upon a course of action, and it actually pleased me to hear it.  “Is there a way that I can position myself to be one of those selected?”

“Your college transcript is not that good.  It however is good that you have maintained steady employment.”

In case she asked, I would not deny keeping track of her.  While my gender might have changed, I was still responsible for her birth.  I had long ago faced the fact that I had been a horrible parent.  I did however take an interest in things that I felt responsible for.

Tammi said, “Surely they will need nurses.”

“No, not at first.  A nurse is a support position.  Right now they will want people with multiple assets to fill a number of positions, as well as be support should the situation call for it.  It might be a while before they actually need nurses.”

“If they go to war...”

My reply to that was quick.  “We are trying to prevent war, Tammi.  When the korlocks did make a major attack, we took the fight back to them.  That is nothing to be proud about, but we are hoping that whatever mentality is behind them will think to change tactics even as we advance.”

“Do you need a nurse?”

Not the response I expected, and attempting to make sense of it I asked, “Why would you want to leave your present hospital?”

“I just want to get away from mother.”

Yes, I could understand that, although I felt another fact needed to be brought out.  “If I pull you into RayWeight, you will need to accept that you might need to deal with me.”

“Do you mind?”

Certain historical facts were still true about me, and I felt it best if I admitted to them.  “No, but I am still a busy person, Tammi.  Still, I am presently working on the situation with the korlocks, and I do have contacts with the Flags of Freedom.  Thus, if you will come work for me, I might be able to get you on one of the ships to move through a Rothman Tube.  Nothing is assured.”

“Thank you, Da – I cannot call you ‘daddy,’ can I.”

“It really does not work, but you can call me whatever you will.  Do you mind staying in my house in Australia, or would you rather have a separate apartment?”

“If you do not mind, I would like to spend time with you.”

I got some information from Tammi, then ended the phone call wondering about my life.  Things had gone wrong with this life just as it had for my first one.  I however felt something was attempting to get me to realize that what I did was not bad.  My life had not been a series of punishments, but just a series of bad results.  Many things had gone good, and it felt good to know that my children would come to know some information about my present life.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


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PostSubject: Chapter Two   January 18th 2015, 2:34 pm

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter Two

Roy could feel the anger in Lt. Yoshi. Usually, almost always, Roy could not detect the minds of others. While he had been breed, genetically manipulated, to be psychic, the fact that he could detect his siblings seemed to be the extent of his abilities. There had been others, but those were rare exceptions. Lt. Yoshi did not seem to be a mind that Roy could actually read, except that his anger was so strong beneath the surface.

Dr. Nicholas Pathulma also seemed to detect the attitude of the military officer, as he cautiously asked, “Would you rather wait for the next assignment.”

“Yes, Sir.” Lt. Yoshi could not keep a soft growl from his voice. “I would rather babysit a walking talking doll than your fake boys.”

Roy felt relief as the one he considered his father turned to a superior officer nearby to state, “I will accept his decision.”

General Iasaki replied, “Then I will assign him to the squad protecting Dr. Beyoncé’s team. Lt. Yoshi, return to your quarters and await your orders to proceed to your chosen assignment.”

Lt. Yoshi turned and saluted the superior officer, then strode off. Roy could not detect any relief. The man radiated a strong deep hatred that could not be subdued by gaining a desired mission.

General Iasaki said, “I will find you another.”

Dr. Pathulma replied, “I did not know it could be such a problem.”

“Everything is new, and not everything new is good. The science of Dr. Beyoncé troubles many, as there is something just wrong in having men become women. We then had the cyborgs, and turning men into robots did not settle well on peoples’ minds. We are now hearing of created people. To some it seems that at every turn the will of Allah is being supplanted with some corruption by men.”

“As men, are these our first mistakes, and have all of our accomplishments been mistakes?”

“I agree that we all try our best to do right in the midst of the path set for us. I will find another. Would a female be all right with you?”

Roy attempted to clear his mind of the negative impressions from Lt. Yoshi as he said, “We do have Darlene and Barbara, and they are the ones that probably need protecting.”

Dr. Pathulma supported the words. “Yes, General, a lady soldier would be acceptable.”

“I am going to contact a Major Anita Delilah. She has a rather strong attitude, but I believe would be a good one for this situation. I would hope to have her contact you within the hour.”

“Thank you, General.” Roy saw the man he considered his father turn to him to say, “Come on, Roy. I believe the general has done all he can for us at the moment. No need to keep him further.”

Walking away from the meeting, Roy thought of what would be next. The first group to move through the Rothman Tube to the other world had sent back positive reports. More than their survival, the videos of what waited there to be found spurred on a number to seek to move to this other world. There were remnants of cities. What people saw were not the ruins of stone buildings covered by tropical growth, but spires of metal and glass covered by the patina of age and a strange orange algae. They thus gained the idea that life on this other world would not be the isolated life of hardship that most explorers faced, but a culture with amenities. Hearing that he and his siblings would be going to this other planet, Roy could not but wonder what type of life would await.

Since he had a source of advice with him, he asked, “How much of this other world has actually been developed?”

“Very little. You and the others are young, Roy. Going off and exploring is what youths like you and Nick, and even Carnation, should be wanting to do. Since the three of you are also able to possibly detect the alien mind, you are further qualified to be sent. It might be rough at first, but I believe all will work out.”

“How about Darlene and Barbara?”

Roy could sense that his father really did not want to answer that question. There had been some discussion with the ladies that had bothered them. In the end they had signed certain contracts, but Roy knew that something had happened that had caused the adults in Roy’s life to not want to speak on certain topics.

Dr. Pathulma said, “They will be fine. Women were part of this world even when we did not have all these modern conveniences. Honestly, I worry more about someone else.”

Considering that he had been allowed to listen in on plans, Roy thought it strange that he could not place the reference. He looked to his father wondering if he should ask, as Roy had not fully assessed his authority. He was the oldest, but it was Nick who was considered the actual success of the genetic experiment. Luckily, before Roy felt he would need to ask, he saw his father change his posture as if to move to another. Looking ahead, it was obvious by listening to this elder gentlemen advancing some references would be explained.

Dr. Pathulma shook the elder’s hand while saying, “Floyd Kuliak, have you and Roy met?”

The elder man turned to shake hands with Roy while saying, “I do not think that we have met. I definitely know about him however. It is good to meet you Roy.”

It had been Dr. Floyd Kuliak that headed the research team that originally found the Zonon. While Dr. Rothman gained credit for the discovery, the work had been overseen by Dr. Floyd Kuliak. At that time the Solomon Foundation had been nothing more but a research financial structure used to assure an easy transfer of funds from foreign sources. With the death of Dr. Rothman, Dr. Kuliak had stressed the authority of the Solomon Foundation to keep the governments of Iran and India from shutting down activity, and its existence had been supported by many sources, native to the controlling countries and foreign, just to assure any benefits of the Zonon staying accessible.

Roy replied to the man, “I have heard about you from a number of sources. Dr. Beyoncé speaks well of you, and she was saying that you would be someone that I needed to meet.”

“Ah, Leanna, yes you did spend time with her. A very interesting lady. People are again working to put her in my life, but just as many are putting stress on me to reaffirm my standing.”

“Your standing, Doctor?”

“Something in the Zonon is doing something with time, and that is Dr. Beyoncé’s science. They are thus wanting her to figure out what the Zonon is doing. The Zonon is however the property of the Solomon Foundation, and you, Roy, are also a part of the Solomon Foundation. There is thus the stress on me to figure out what the Zonon is doing to keep things within the province of the Solomon Foundation.”

Suddenly, Roy felt himself understanding a lot of things he had heard said. “That is why I and my brother and sister are being allowed to go.”

“Yes, but the next big project to pass will be Dr. Beyoncé’s. As nice as you might think her to be, she is still a competitor that we must best.”

Actually enjoying the conversation, Roy cheerfully said what he could. “I have not seen her robot, but I have heard about it.”

“Oh, I have as well. Further, others prefer what the robot has done. They understand the idea of attacking the aliens. While even Dr. Beyoncé speaks of us of the Solomon Foundation having the better stated goals, her robot has more support. We need to take advantage of our lead in order to assure our dominance.”

“Dr. Beyoncé has told me that she wishes me the best, but even the best of people have black sheep in their family. She has told me that peace through friendship is what she would like to see as well, but that I might find myself pleased to have FER-RON on duty.”

“Our goal is not to make FER-RON useless, but just to keep our more peaceful objectives as the one in the forefront. If the human race turns to FER-RON first, I believe only tragedy will follow.”

Feeling that even Dr. Beyoncé would approve, Roy happily said, “You got my support, Dr. Kuliak.”

The elder shook his hand again, then lifted to look Dr. Nicholas in the eyes while saying, “Who would have thought our world would have come to this? Still, Nicholas, you have something to be proud of.”

“I cannot say that my children actually meet my objectives, but they are proving themselves as blessings. May our work continue to be guiding them along a proper path.”

“Allah be praised. Come on, let’s go assure ourselves of our vision of the future. Roy, would you mind going and getting your siblings. Oh, and your nurses as well. Might as well assure that we all have a full meeting of minds.”

Feeling his father pat him on the back, Roy shook hands with Dr. Kuliak again before heading off to meet with Nick and Carnation. As Roy headed through the institute, he checked mentally to determine where his siblings were. He had problems contacting Carnation. He felt that it was mostly because she was not of the same batch as he and Nick. She was not a B2, but actually a C1. Roy heard it said that Al and he would have been discarded had Nick not come out so well, and suspected that Carnation had been stopped because the positive development of the boys had made her process unnecessary. Expecting her youth and gender to keep her relegated to her room, he headed there first.

“Oh, yes, Roy, let’s go spend time with our sister.”

He did not feel fear in seeing Al, although knowing what he did with Sally did cause Roy some concern. He still felt some joy in seeing his twin brother still alive. While feeling a desire to hug his brother, Roy felt it best to check on certain details.

“Where have you been, Al?”

“Oh, not anyplace exciting, Roy. Actually wish that I was here with you, especially now that I know I have a sister. I could actually learn things of girls from her.”

Roy tried to search his own mind, along with using his power to detect the thoughts of his brother, about the desire to know about girls. There was something strange in the mind of this brother. A train of thought that could not be isolated warped any reading of Al’s mind. Hoping to gain some foundation for what he was sensing, Roy attempted to consider his own thoughts of females. Not able to come to any conclusion, he offered what he felt was a workable alternative to the thoughts of his brother.

“There is Darlene and Barbara. We can go talk to them.”

“No, as they have grown up. They are now used to what they are. They are no fun. I am growing up, changing, as you should be as well, Roy. Carnation is still a little younger than us. She thus is not yet at the stage in her life that we are. She might not be fun yet either, but she might give some baseline data.”

Still confused, Roy had to ask, “Why does this matter?”

“You, people, are going to this planet, Roy. They have a whole planet to take over. They are going to have babies. To have babies, you need women. I think we need to be a part of that.”

“They say women will be coming, Al.”

“I say that we need to be ready, Roy.”

Roy had no choice but to do something. It hurt him to do it. Al was his twin. All that Roy could do to keep himself calm was the recognition that Al should be able to detect the psychic signal. Realizing that his twin did not react to the mental message had Roy feel that something needed to be done to restore Al.

His brother asked, “Aren’t you interested in girls?”

“What? Yeah.” Realization of what had been asked caused Roy to scream, “You killed Sally!”

“Oh, was that one yours? Sorry. I guess that I should have asked.”

“Al! We were not made to kill. We were made to contact, mediate, and attempt to converse with the aliens. You are doing everything wrong.”

Before Al could respond, the voice of the other brother declared, “Step back, Roy. Let the military handle this.”

Al looked at Nick with almost pleasure. “Oh, I believe that I have over-stayed my welcome. Maybe next time we can have more of a conversation.”

The military might have shot, but Roy saw eyes look to him as if scared that a bullet might go toward him. Al appeared to step away, but where he went was not into normal space. Roy just looked at Nick, and wondered if they might be able to discuss what just happened.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Chapter Three   January 23rd 2015, 11:38 am

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter Three

I did say some things to Nick and our father. My brother was as mystified by what Al said as I was. I detected a sense of relief in him when father directed him to stay with the military. Father however telling me to spend time with Darlene and Barbara had me say a response to him.

“I don’t know what to tell them.”

“Roy, my boy, I am trusting them to know what to say to you. All you have to do is tell them what you told Nick and me.”

Not really wanting to talk to the ladies about girls, I replied with what I felt to be honest words. “I will be embarrassed.”

“Oh, I suspect you will quickly start chatting away with them. You know your nurses, Roy. You grew up with them. They know you. You’re not unfamiliar with each other. I believe you will quickly start blabbing away with them.”

Those words did not comfort me, but they did have me succumb to going to meet them. I calmly entered the room. Hearing father simply tell the ladies that they needed to speak to me about girls, then shut the door, had me feeling that this meeting would not go well.

Barbara asked, “Why do we need to speak to you about girls, Little Master? You are a little young.”

Darlene softly added, “And Carnation is far younger.”

“No, no – you don’t understand.”

They calmly listened as I spoke to them of Al. As father had said, Darlene and Barbara knew me and my brothers. I also knew the ladies. I thus really did not have any resistance to speaking after some statements. The conversation then slowly developed to range between some really embarrassing topics and some really enjoyable stories. As much as I listened, I however could not find anything that would explain the behavior of Al.

It was Darlene that asked, “Are you certain that you cannot detect the mind of Al? The two of you have almost always been alike.”

I replied, “He was always weaker than me. He needed me. I definitely do not sense that from him. He does not need me.” Attempting to seek a deeper answer, I found myself saying, “But, I really cannot contact him at all. There is something else there, but I cannot touch it.”

Barbara asked, “Something alien?”

“I guess. I mean I know that something is there, but I really cannot make sense of it.”

Darlene said, “Maybe that is Al’s gift, Little Master. Maybe Al can make sense of it. Not completely, as displayed by his behavior, but he is able to at least communicate at some level. What you might need to do, Little Master, is try to help Al continue to talk to you.”

I liked the words, but the only response I could come up with was, “I guess that is why I needed to learn about girls.”

“Oh, in a few years you will be wanting to know more than what we have told you. Al however seems to be interested in something other than what we talked about, or might talk about later. Still, hopefully we have told you enough to have a better conversation with Al next time.”

“Yes, I miss him.”

Barbara replied, “I know you do, Little Master. Next time maybe you both can go back to talking like you used to.”

I left the ladies glad to have taken the time to speak to them. It helped me to know that my elders were not horrible people. Not that I actually thought that way about them, but as my elders they had acted at times in manners of which I was very unappreciative. To have spent time with them in simple conversation, even if on a topic I really did not consider important, I felt helped me to see the ladies in a completely different light.

Not really knowing where now to go, I sought the mind of Al. It would have eased my thoughts if I could gain proof of my time with Darlene and Barbara actually helping me speak to my twin brother. Strangely, I did make contact, but not with Al.

I actually heard the mental voice of Carnation before she stepped through a door into the hall. “We don’t need Al.”

Thinking she did not understand, I replied, “He’s your brother too. We are not complete without him.”

“He left us. We need to go on, and we can.”

“I don’t think you understand. He is able to come back, and we need to take those opportunities to restore him.”

She stayed silent for a moment, then said, “I did not think of that. I was only told that we did not need him. Of course, he did show up once, so could show up again.”

“And be careful, Carnation. He killed Sally, so might kill you.”

“I’m sorry, Roy.” She did not turn to me, but back to the door. “I wanted to comfort you, but I guess that I did not do that.”

“It’s okay, Carnation. Wait!” She had not started to open the door, so her glance to her elder brother was as if I acted improperly. “We really do not know about each other. Nick and I – and Al – did not practice with you.” Even after that explanation, I really did not know what to say. “Still, thanks. I am glad that you are so accepting of us. Al was weak, so what you can do might be enough. Still, we might not need Al, but we should care for those not with us. Don't be cruel, Carnation.”

Softly, the girl asked, “Can I play with you and Nick? It gets lonely in my room.”

“Sure, Carnation. I don’t know exactly what we will be doing, but you can be with us.”

I felt my sister was glad she went with me when we found Nick rushing to us mentioning a test of our upcoming journey through the Rothman Tube. There really was nothing to the procedure. The officials from the India Space Administration just lectured to us, had us take seats in a simulation of the spacecraft created by arranging folding chairs, then lectured some more. I accepted that I could not communicate with Nick, as we would start telling jokes and acting in ways that would make it obvious we were not paying attention. I however thought to use my silence to work on developing a contact with my sister.

Suddenly I stopped sensing a mind determined to get others to like her. The ‘her’ concept astounded me. I found a dedicated personality to succeed that I felt similar to Dr. Beyoncé, but this mind was easily understood as being young. Fascinated, I sought to understand this mentality, then stopped seeing a glare from Carnation.

“Don’t you do that again,” she hissed.

“But,” I stalled as I sought to secure my thoughts, “that is what we do. That is what makes us different.”

“You should –“

I could sense that the next word would be ‘not,’ but was glad to hear my father say, “Carnation, you need to accept the mental link with your brothers. That is what needs to happen if you are to truly help them contact the alien mentality. Retain your own identity, of course, but you need to share your mind with Roy and Nick.”

“And Al,” I felt the need to interject.

“Yes, if he can be restored to you. Carnation, you should be able to provide another with your strength, your wisdom, your foundation. The one I am speaking about is Roy, because he somehow has the ability to initiate the contact. Nick however provides a power to the process. As weak as Al was, he also had his benefits. You have not been working with the boys, although trained to work with them. If you are actually to fulfill your purpose, you need to allow your mind to become acceptable to the presence of your brothers.”

The eyes of the girl stayed on her older brother. I looked back at her wondering what she was doing. Worried about the act, although having no other way to resolve my own questions, I checked my contact with her mind. Her thoughts were clearly of attempting to erect mental barriers. I saw in her eyes an understanding of me again reading her thoughts.

She growled, “I guess that I have no choice.”

Nicholas put his arm on my back as he said, “Go gently with her, Roy, but she does need to become used to you. Work to have her sense Nick as well.”

Nick moved over to Carnation with me only hearing in his mind, as Nick whispered, “It is not like he is raping you.”

She spun on him, but hissed her reply so softly that I only heard her through my mind. “No, neither of you are old enough yet.”

I did not doubt that my siblings sensed my mental presence, but to assure understanding I also spoke out my thoughts, “We are your brothers, Carnation. We mean you no harm.”

Nicholas said, “Yes, Carnation, you should trust Nick and Roy.”

I wanted to again add, ‘And Al,’ but found myself stopped by a thought from my sister. Her reaction was not just mental, but she screamed as she spun to glare at me. I however lifted my gaze as I felt the impressions of her being contacted by our absent brother. The vile thoughts that were directed at her were those even I recognized as psychological rape, which had me want to somehow help her deal with.

I only found myself able to say, “You need to tell us these things. We cannot help you if we do not know.”

A feeling that she was working past her mental torture came to me as she admitted, “It hurts.”

I had no doubt of that, but wanted her to know that she did not suffer alone. “He’s my twin. We shared our hearts. What has happened to him, what he has done, hurts me as well.”

“LEAVE ME ALONE, ROY!”

I looked to my father as Carnation left the room. The man however simply used his phone to call Darlene and tell her to see to the care of the girl. He then signaled Nick to come over, and with his other hand on the back of the other boy our father spoke.

“Be gentle on her. Roy, that was good. You and Nick however grew up sharing thoughts. Both of you need to continue to include Carnation, and with time she will trust you.”

Hoping to inform both of the others, I said, “Al has been in contact with her. That is why she fears the contact.”

“She probably would resist you anyway. Being a girl, it probably is uncomfortable to have you in her mind. Still, sharing the mind of a woman, and them sharing our minds, is a potentially very rewarding thing. Thus, you continue to reach out to her, Roy. You as well, Nick.”

The younger brother said, “Yes, Father.”

“Good. Now, we do not have that much time. Thus, you boys keep up your own training. While Carnation has shown herself willing to help, you two might have to continue on your own.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   January 28th 2015, 11:27 am

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter Four

It did not bother me to speculate with Floyd. He had a recognized degree in physics, and earned his position of being the head of the Solomon Foundation. The type of science of the Zonon however did not fall into his exact expertise. He was more mechanical in theory with papers on developing materials that could handle high electron flow while undergoing extreme stress. I accepted that Floyd could provide wonderful advice for spaceship design, but our problem at present was figuring out how to get those spaceships to move.

Probably to spur some extra thought from me, he said, “Surely you would like the extra profit from having control of the Rothman Tube technology.”

“That won’t happen, Floyd. It is already demonstrated to be ancient technology, so not patentable. If I did figure it out, your foundation would have the better chance of making money off it than RayWeight.”

“Well, I would pay you just to prevent the destruction of the Zonon, Leanna. You cannot believe the number of requests I have to move and disassemble the Zonon.”

I actually supported Floyd for not allowing the ancient device to be tampered with. I also had a number of requests from my own stockholders to lay claim to the technology of the Zonon. Thinking of how to help Floyd, I however considered that I presently had little stress upon my own time. My technology was operating without problems. My robot was in good hands. The only issue presently troubling me I felt could be resolved by Floyd, so I felt a need to aid him in preserving his device.

“Listen, Floyd, I am going to send Rudy to you.”

“Rudy?”

I thought about his own messages of being bored, but enjoying the time with some boy-toys, as I replied to Floyd. “Yes. Let me speak to him, then when he arrives you allow him to do what he will. I promise you, Floyd, that he will not hurt the Zonon.”

“Do you really think he can figure it out?”

“No, but I know he can get the information a number of us physicists need. Not only that, but when we – whichever of us figures out this ancient technology – propose our ideas, Rudy can make it practical. That will give him, and RayWeight, an advantage in the modern mechanics of the ancient technology. We might not be able to patent the process, but we can take a lead in manufacturing modern Zonons.”

There was no pause for Floyd to think about my offer. “I am already on record offering a welcome to whoever feels they can gain secrets from the Zonon without bothering the device. If Rudy can do that, I would be more than glad to see him.”

“Okay, so let me discuss it with him. Rudy knows my technology, so what I would be looking for. We have also discussed what we might need to see to get a handle on what science the Zonon is using.”

“That sounds good, I will expect him to be contacting me within a day or two.”

I did not immediately contact Rudy after closing the connection with Floyd. I spent time considering exactly what I would like Rudy to do for me. As I thought about what he could check for, I considered what evidence we had. I then thought to my process. Suddenly, I felt that I had the connection.

Ted was not called, but I simply sent him a message to leave me alone. The intent of such a message not only commanded him not to call me, but not to get worried because I had not called him. Closing myself in my office, and turning off all communication devices, I set to work hoping to have news for Ted when I sent him my next message.

The complexity of my process had nothing to do with going back into time. Honestly, from what we now knew it had probably been done many times. The amount of energy transmitted however was but a minute fraction of the expended power. My process put a drain on any electrical circuit, but all that resulted in the past was enough of a force to jolt an egg. Not only did my signal go back in time, but it moved a distance. I could use lasers, because the distance between now and then was a straight line. While the Zonon had a completely different result than my process, both used time and distance, so I felt a similar answer could be found.

What had bothered me up to now was the simple knowledge that what I did with my technology and what the Zonon did was two completely different things. A connection between my process and the science of the Zonon had to be completely different. What I suddenly realized was that it did not matter how different my process and that of the Zonon might be. The equations of each used time and distance. Where I turned to for the answer to Floyd’s situation was thus in the equations from which I had derived my science. While others did study the equations and how I developed my theories, I went back to the old science with the knowledge of what I had done while looking for what the aliens might have done.

When I finally turned my communication devices back on, I called Rudy and not Ted. It was someone else that answered. I told the boy-toy that I did not want to speak to him. I guess Rudy heard what I said, as he took the phone before the boy-toy could gain my wrath.

“Rudy, I am sending you to the Zonon. I will also transmit a whole lot of math to you. At the bottom I however have a diagram with what I want you to do and what I am expecting you to find.”

“That’s the way we work, Leanna. Getting your name on the Rothman Tubes?”

“I will let the historians give credit to who they will. Beyoncé Tubes however just do not sound like something you want to use in mixed company.”

Yes, he did laugh. Rudy usually had a positive attitude, which I greatly appreciated. I had meant my comment to be humorous, so I enjoyed hearing him laugh.

He then said, “Okay, Leanna, will be checking what you send me to assure that I have what I need. I will then start my yacht to the Zonon.”

“I could contact Floyd and tell him you are coming, but he should be expecting you to call him. So call him when you have an ETA.”

“I can do that. What are we playing this for, Leanna?”

“For FER-RON. She is being built to help those going against the aliens. When Americans first came to America, they brought guns to protect themselves from the Indians. When the korlocks attacked, I helped Floyd figure out how to combat them. We, as humans, do not need to be developing weapons. Let us get the cavalry, which is FER-RON, out there now. Let our explorers go out there not having to worry about having to fight for lives, but just surviving.”

I could not say what Rudy expected me to say for an answer, but he was silent for a moment before replying, “That sounds like something I can approve of, and tell others proudly.”

“We haven’t failed each other yet, Rudy.”

I suspected that he was looking over what I sent him as he said, “Well, we both do excellent work. I believe what I don’t have I can get from your island, Leanna. Call your people there and let them know I will be coming.”

“While there, tell Debra and her group to get ready to put the robot under some tests. It is time for FER-RON to start meeting people.”

“I don’t know how they will take that message, Leanna. I doubt Debra will let FER-RON go before they are certain of how she will act.”

There was no doubt in my mind that such was true. The horrors of watching the robot kill her boyfriend was still very clear in her mind. My honest opinion however was that memory had driven her to up her level of AI instructions. I could not follow the programming logic, but what I managed to comprehend overwhelmed me in the ability to make use of all available data to come up with a proper response. There was thus no doubt in my mind that my robot would be able to operate in whatever environment it might be placed.

I replied, “Just putting some pressure on them, Rudy. Even if this is the answer, it will take time to implement. Don’t want people getting lazy however.”

“I haven’t seen your island in a while, Leanna. I will keep it friendly.”

Rudy and I spoke on a few more topics. We were good friends, so could trade information on personal issues. Assured that Rudy and I were back up-to-date on our lives, I closed the connection.

Considering that there might be problems with the equations I had recently written down, I decided to relax and consider the math in detail. Honestly, I enjoyed thinking about the physical reality that explained the science. Without the equations, it would be impossible to understand how to truly manipulate the forces that affected our lives, and I looked at what I had done wondering how much more power I had granted the human race over time.

Finding what I wrote to actually make sense, I had begun transcribing the equations into the computer. This helped to put the symbols into a clearly readable font while also forcing me to check everything again. While I was not an engineer, I looked at the development of the math wondering exactly what type of machine would be built to apply the science. I found myself wondering if something like the Zonon would be considered the best instrument. While the device was ancient, I felt the true worth of those that built it would be determined by how large and complicated our own applications of the technology would be. I thus not only focused on the equations, but on how practical the ability to put the science into operation would be.

My phone activated. I saw that it was my answering service, so just put my phone on speaker. I was working on my computer in my office, so felt that whatever would be said would be private. The voice on the phone seemed relieved that I answered.

“Dr. Beyoncé, there is a call from a young lady named Carnation C1. She says that she is a sister of Roy B2, and that you would agree to speak to her.”

I agreed, so soon was exchanging greetings with the young female forskin. “Dr. Beyoncé, I am really having a hard time getting along with Roy and Nick. Father said to speak to you.”

Wondering if Nicholas had made a good decision, I replied, “Men are a part of the world, Carnation. Roy and Nick are your brothers, so all you have to do is tolerate them until you grow up.”

“No, as I am supposed to have their children.”

I did have girls in my first marriage, but I was a man then and not a good parent at all. In my second marriage, I had a girl as well, but a most unusual one. I thus wondered about what advice Nicholas thought I could provide to Carnation. Still, as having been a lady for a number of years, I accepted that he felt I could do a better job than he.

“Biologically we females are the ones to have children. As for having the requirement of marrying, or simply being the womb for your male forskins, I cannot say. You should still be young, Carnation, so having some years before that requirement is placed upon you. Give yourself and the boys a chance to mature further, and you might find the requirement less repulsive or possibly other options to consider for your life.”

“I am just as good as Nick, and if father had done more with the C series I could have a sister equal to Roy.”

“You’re still a female, Carnation. So still the one that bears the children. That is reality. When I married, I understood who had the womb in the union. There is my technology, but I doubt it can work due to the manner of your conception. Your father’s process of creating you was not in the manner my science is set to disrupt. I believe that you need to accept yourself as a female. Honestly, though, I have more men wanting to become women than women wanting to become men. There is nothing wrong with being a women, or having babies.”

She went quiet for a moment, then asked, “Well, I don’t want to be like the women around here. Darlene and Barbara are basically useless. I don’t need my diaper changed, and dressing up all pretty and having my hair styled is not fun.”

“I agree that we women need a little more time to make ourselves appear attractive, but I like what I see in the mirror after all the trouble. The looks from the men please me as well. Just wait, Carnation. You will find yourself wanting to look good for the men. Don’t fight it, but learn to enjoy being who you are.”

“I don’t like having my mind being invaded by Roy and Al.”

I felt that I was finally getting the girl to speak of her real problem, but one thing she said really bothered me. “Al?”

“He’s creepy, Dr. Beyoncé.”

“He killed my daughter, Carnation. I would thus consider it creepy to have him inside my head as well.”

I felt the following words came a little stronger, as if she considered me to better able to understand her. “I don’t want them in my head, Dr. Beyoncé.”

“You need to work with Roy, Carnation. Nicho – your father – created you to work with the boys in enabling mankind to relate to the aliens. If you fail, Carnation, then it will be up to weapons, such as the robot I am having created to deal with the aliens. Mankind, and I would think the aliens, do not need another war. Working with Roy can end up being something to be proud of, Carnation. Maybe not as a husband, but as a working partner, you need to learn to accept Roy. Al, well, if anyone can help you with Al, it would be Roy.”

The girl groaned before saying, “That is what the adults are telling me as well.”

“Listen, Carnation, considering the reason for your birth, you could be in a lot worse situation than what I have found. Nicholas is treating you and the boys a lot better than I expected when I first heard about his development to create you. Al, yes, something went wrong with Al. Roy spent time with me, Carnation. I was very grateful to get to know him. Nick seems to be a good lad as well. Don’t let yourself go bad, Carnation. As the only female forskin, you need to keep us women looking good. Be proud of yourself, and do what you must. Stay strong, and work with Roy. Whatever you end up thinking of him, he is the one that can help you.”

She groaned again, but her tone of voice this time was more positive. “Yes, okay, thank you Dr. Beyoncé. Oh, I wish that I could spend time with you.”

“I would not mind, but I believe you are about to go through the Rothman Tube. Oh, but my male work partner is coming to you. Dr. Rudy should be there in a week or so. Spend time with him. He’s homosexual, so should not feel like another man. You might find him someone enjoyable to spend time with.”

We spent time talking about Rudy and his reason for going to where Nicholas was at. Rudy was really going to spend time with Floyd, but they were all presently at the same general location. I assured Carnation that I would notify Rudy to visit with her, and possibly allow her to work with him as he did things with the other adults. I assured her that I would speak to Nicholas and mention things, and after a little more time she closed the connection with me feeling that the conversation went well.

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PostSubject: Chapter Five   February 2nd 2015, 11:29 am

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter Five

Roy looked up from where he was polishing his pistols to see Carnation. He wondered why she was staying silent. He did not touch her mind, because she really got mad when he did so. She spoke of not appreciating anything he did around her or with her. He thus looked at Carnation wondering why she had approached him.

“I need you to get Al out of my head.”

The words excited Roy and bothered him at the same time. He wanted to speak to Al, but the recent contacts had not gone well. He felt a need to work with Carnation, but her recent attitude had been really antagonistic. He thus did not know how to take her words.

She approached to sit beside him and say, “Al is inside my head. I don’t want him there. I really don’t want you there either, but I guess you are the better option.”

He laid his pistols down, then looked to her. There was no need to say anything, as when he touch her mind they could share knowledge in a lot better fashion. He did touch Carnation’s hands. Not having her pull them away, he looked into her eyes wondering about how she really thought about him.

The mental image of Carnation tensed up resisting something, or being constrained by something, appeared to Roy. He thus accepted that while he was not appreciated, the presence of another truly bothered her. Hoping to recognize Al, Roy went to his sister hoping to gain a better sense of what was troubling her. There was a fear that it really was just him, but he found another mentality attempting to make itself as evident.

He mentally informed Carnation that it was not Al troubling her. Roy then sent a signal to Nick to have him come. He then informed his sister of why he called the other brother.

“We are to work together, Carnation. You will need to open yourself up to us so we can do this.”

“What do you see when I do that?”

“See?” The question did trouble him, but he did feel a need to answer. “We have yet to truly make contact. I thus really have not seen anything. A vague pinkish mist is about it.” Hoping to put Carnation at ease, he sought to joke. “I guess it is female, so we really need your help.”

“It does not feel female. It feels like Al.”

“Al should feel like me. We are twins. I feel like I am talking to myself when I speak with Al – or, at least I did until that day he killed Sally.” He turned his attention to the other presence, and found himself having to admit, “Yes, this is what I recently felt affecting Al. Maybe we can find him there, and bring him back.”

The presence of Nick made itself known before he mentally spoke. Roy could feel his brother’s touch psychically and physically. The presence of Carnation also felt stronger, so Roy suspected that Nick also had placed a hand on her.

There was a fear that Carnation would react negatively to the second presence and just the stronger connection. She however stayed tensed up without any sign of knowing how things had changed. Hoping that she would not work against the psychic activity, Roy did as he had been instructed to work the connection between his siblings and direct them toward the other presence.

“Of those I sent, less returned, and none joined. Why did you not join?”

Roy barely understood. The psychic communication was barely recognized, and then definitely not in any language that he knew. Somehow in attempting to discern the presence focusing on Carnation, actual words became understood.

“We are not against joining.” Roy felt his mouth speaking to help him form the mental words. “Who are you?”

“NO! Not join! Why not join?”

“What? But we want to talk, to share –“

“JOIN!”

Roy could tell that others were rushing into the room. Luckily, they stayed back and let him and his siblings work. Not worried about the others physically nearby, he kept the focus on the strange entity.

“We want to communicate with you. I am Roy. I am aided by –"

“JOIN!”

Another voice suddenly sounded in his head. If he would have actually heard it, he felt the communication would have been disrupted. As it was, he mentally adjusted to allow the connection from Al.

“I could not speak to it either, Roy. Still can’t. At least it now it can be understood.”

Feeling that his missing twin could help the communication, Roy put strength into his thoughts. “Al! Come back!”

“Oh, no! I can’t come back, Roy. I thought it was female. No particular reason, except that both are strange to me. I see Carnation with you. It means she can learn. This thing is beyond learning.”

Nick said, “If it can now be understood then it can learn.”

“Oh, no, but now it can be recognized as not understanding. This insanity is what I am now having to deal with.”

Even though mostly focused on the mental communication, Roy still felt the physical connection with his brother. “Al, come back. Work with us.”

“You don’t understand, Roy. We’re tools, instruments, machines. We were created for a purpose. I am doing my job, Roy. I was holding you and Nick back, as I was physically weak. Now my body is unimportant, and with my mind I can hopefully be strong enough.”

Nick asked, “Al, surely you can provide answers.”

“Answers, younger brother? No. I can barely hold my own sanity.”

Somehow Carnation found the strength to mumble from her protective position, “Why me?”

“Oh, sister, because you were different. I had no other option but to try something. You, girls, were different. Girls are still different. Very, very different. I thus sought to learn how you think. As my sister, as one who was created and raised as us, I felt that you would be able to help me understand. You however are not that different, Carnation. I will need someone different. I think I have them. I think I can do this.”

“Al!” Nick shot out what seemed to be a command.

“Oh, no, younger brother. I am not yours to command. Tell father that I am still working. Oh, and go on to the planet. You can take it. There will be problems, but none you cannot handle.”

Suddenly the mental pressure rushed away. Roy had always learned that a vacuum would suck things in to fill itself. He was thus surprised when thrown back. He hit a chair, then felt the long hair and heard the cowboyish voice of Barbara. He opened his eyes to see Darlene moving to Carnation. Nick of course gained the attention of their father. Roy pushed Barbara away to stand and try to get things back to normal.

“I need to record my thoughts before I forget anything.”

Barbara said, “Of course, Little Master. Is there anything special you feel the need to say to everyone?”

“What? Oh, yes.” Roy looked to his father to ask, “Are there more in the C1 batch of girls besides Carnation?”

It did help his mood to see his father look to him while answering, “No. Carnation was actually only a check. Too many babies would create too much attention. You boys were enough to almost get me into trouble.”

“Al said that there were others.”

“Let’s get your thoughts down, Roy, then we can attempt to make sense of things.”

The three main adults in his life spoke to the others to get them back to work. There were questions concerning anyone being hurt, even mentally, but with a negative from all three – and it did relieve Roy to hear Carnation say that she was all right – the room and hallway were cleared. Barbara directed him to a private room and set up a computer to record his statement. Accepting his duty, he went to work.

When he finally related everything he could think of, Barbara informed him, “Little Master, Carnation wants to speak to you.”

“Sure.”

He turned to see that the door had been cracked open. Roy had no recollection of that happening or Barbara speaking with someone else. His focus had been completely on remembering the events and what associations he connected with the mentalities as the events occurred. Looking at the door, he smiled upon seeing Carnation step through with Darlene following.

“Roy,” his sister said, “Al said that I was not different enough.”

Having just worked to put down his thoughts, he was easily able to reply, “Al did not want to probe Barbara or Darlene, as they were already mature. He wanted the mind of a developing female. That is why he went to you, Carnation. What he meant was that your mind was not different enough to help him deal with Urnaquay, assuming what we met this time was the same as what we met before.”

“Just how different is he going to have to get?”

“I don’t know. He doesn’t seem that sane right now. Getting any more different might not be good for him.”

“Maybe if I had opened up to him.”

Roy heard both Darlene and Barbara tell Carnation that she was wrong. He agreed with their words, but found himself unable to speak his rebuke so quickly. He thought about Carnation said, and about events, before making his own statement.

“You could not have stopped him.” Both of the adult ladies turned to look at him, but Roy kept his focus on his sister. “You were trying. You were even taking out your anger on me, but that just made me sense how weak you were. No, you cannot blame yourself. Maybe I will take liberties with you, but let me apologize now. Hopefully, I can work with you and teach you how to block me off, and Al. I feel that you need to stay willing to open yourself up to me, but hopefully we can learn how to limit what we share.”

She nodded, then asked, “Do you see me naked – in there, in your mind?”

“No.” He slurred that word, as he did not even like the thought, although seeing the expressions on the ladies Roy sought to explain himself. “I was taught to work with Al and Nick, and I never wanted to see them naked.”

Strangely, it felt good to hear the ladies laugh, and Carnation say, “I really have not managed to see anything, but only hear the voices. If you could teach me to see with my mind as well, I promise not to visualize you as naked.”

“Yes, I would like that.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Seven   February 12th 2015, 11:55 am

The Gift of the Stars
TimeSaga Story Eleven

Chapter Seven

Butch Matheson had contacted me a few times. As a fellow theoretical physicist, I did feel that he qualified as a knowledgeable person to speak with. He also had connections with the military, which meant that he sometimes provided useful information. While I still felt that he was after my body, I did not mind contact over the communication networks.

After some preliminary greetings and easy avoided innuendoes, he finally blurted out, “Come on, Leanna, you have to throw some bones our way.”

“Butch, surely you have the capabilities to grab your own bones. Most of what is being done is public domain. Those of us that are attempting to claim patents are having to weigh the cost of defending them. Surely your military has its own minds to run with what has been made available.”

“But we should not be on the outside. We should be going with you.”

“The threats are not what we see the military as able to handle. The forskins were sent. My robot is going to be sent. As far as where mankind is going, we are hoping to leave war behind.”

“WAR?” Butch immediately calmed himself. “I’m sorry, Leanna. The goal of the military is to serve and protect.”

No, I would not allow him to make that claim. “That is the purpose of a police force, Butch. The military – no, we see no purpose for the military.” Before he could rebuke, I added, “That however does not mean that various militaries cannot go.”

“There are governments behind the Solomon Foundation.”

“And our own government is behind Zychi. Don’t tell me that the U.S. is going to stay put because no one else is giving them seats.”

I got the impression that he had others speaking into his ear the way he cocked his head before replying, “Are you telling me that you trust these other militaries?”

“I am telling you that I do not like the fact that the assholes who contact me are with my government and military, while those from other countries are clear-headed.”

He calmed down, then changed his approach. “I noticed that you got one of your daughters from your first marriage on a ship. When are you going?”

“I have no desire to go, Butch. This is not my technology. I did help those wanting to go understand the probable technology of the Zonon, but I like the life right here. What is happening is the dreams of others, not me.”

“Okay, Leanna. You are right. We should have our own resources. Send you mail from the other side.”

I stared at the computer screen at the close of the conversation. I found what Butch said to bother me on a number of levels. It took some thought, but I remembered an association and decided to have a conversation with an employee of mine.

It surprised me to see Debra bleary-eyed with the view of her office behind her. “Yes, Dr. Beyoncé.”

“Shouldn’t you be taking a break.”

“FER-RON doesn’t eat. There is a plastic sack to keep anything from affecting her internals, but she still has to handle situations where food or drink is offered to her.”

Debra did not explain further. I got the impression that she expected the routines to be a minor concern, but had found herself committed to the project even as it proved to be more demanding. I had been in such circumstances as well. In my case it cost me a marriage. Debra presently did not have a relationship, and I agreed with her that the end results of her dedication would make the extra work worthwhile.

To hopefully ease the stress on her, I lightly commented, “I would think a simple, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ would be sufficient.”

“No, Dr. Beyoncé, because it was simplistic logic like that which resulted in Jimmy dying.”

Her words struck me deeply. I suddenly wished that I could be there with Debra to help her get those routines correct. I however realized that I had hired the right person for the job, and sought the right words to keep her in a good frame of mind.

“A tired mind can make mistakes, Debra. Learn your limits. Your bed is not that far away. You can rest, then come back. FER-RON will wait for you.”

I could tell that the lady was tired, as no change of expression came to her features. “I am almost finished. I just decided to give her preferences. She really has no smell, but her visual range is vast. I thus am giving her preferences based on color. Since her hair is blue, I am having her favor things that are blue. Most food is not blue, so it actually gives her a rationale for not preferring most foods.”

While her words came out very bland, I found myself relieved to hear some sense in her statements. Seeing her eyes fighting to stay open, and the stress on the upper arms to keep her torso from collapsing to the desk, I felt worried about her reaction to what I would say to her. Not wanting her to suddenly feel an increase in her work load, I found myself wondering what to tell her. I then smiled realizing that she was not at her desk attempting to juggle multiple assignments. She had one thing on her mind, and was only up late due to the time it was taking to get correct. I thus worked to have my words sound sensible and not just blather the same old requirements.

"The Solomon Foundation is moving forward, Debra, and they are interested in FER-RON. With the failure of the cyborg program, they are interested in our robot. We thus could be having you move to southern India in the near future."

"I will have Li look at what I have done and assure that the words will be translated properly."

Again I heard a sensible reply. I thus accepted that Debra was doing the best she could. I simply reminded her that I expected my usual reports. Understanding that she recognized that she had obligations to me, which included keeping a clear, rested, mentality, I accepted her reply that FER-RON would meet expectations.

Still being a little worried about Debra, I found myself unwilling to relax. I could not help but review my conversation with her to assure that my conclusions were valid. Not feeling that my concern was with Debra, I turned my thoughts to other things on my mind.

Being an important person, I really could not go to people for advice. People adjusted their stock portfolios according to what I chose to eat. I thus usually guarded my comments to certain people I knew that I could trust, at least on certain topics. Considering what was troubling me now, I felt that I needed a new source of advice, and looked through my files for a number of someone I hoped would be willing to speak to me.

"Major Washington," came the answer over the phone.

"Clyde, this is Dr. Leanna Beyoncé, the one that hired your sister."

"Is there anything wrong?"

I heard the concern in his voice, so quickly spoke to soothe the man. "No, but I am calling on a slightly different matter than your sister. I spoke to a Dr. Butch Matheson, and he tried to get me to include him in plans of the Solomon Foundation to go through the Rothman Tube. I told him that a country like the United States, of which I am a legal citizen, could surely fund their own mission."

"Yes, Dr. Beyoncé, I am aware of such things. I doubt that I am breaking any confidence in telling you. With my sister already a part of such a project, I have been contacted to go as well."

I felt those words to be a good opening. Not really having contact with Clyde, I was not certain how the conversation would go. Since he was open with me, I felt the need to state some confidential words as well.

"Let me say that I assume the technology of the Rothman Tubes is ancient technology, so cannot be patented. Some devices might be claimed to be independent, but I will save that for the courts. I am advising RayWeight to focus on industry and not the patents themselves."

"So, if we do need advice on our developments of the technology, you could provide it?"

Not the response I expected, but I had a common answer to such questions. "I might charge you consulting fees."

He did not laugh, but the words he said in response did have a lighter tone. "Have you been in contact with Debra?"

"Just finished. She is working hard. I however felt that others might be watching out for her."

"She is very protective of her work for you, Dr. Beyoncé. This robot is something she has been preparing to work on for years, and with the death of Jimmy she is driven to see it perform as always imagined." As if he had not truly answered the question, he added, "No, I do not get my calls to her answered that often."

"Well, don't think that you guys attempting to follow, or join, her on the other side of the Rothman Tube will be given the cold shoulder by me. I am scared that the korlocks, along with any other aliens, will be treated as the enemy instead of as co-occupants of this great universe. I will speak against you if you go forward with guns a'blazing."

"Well, we have been the world's police force for some time, Dr. Beyoncé. I thus can say that we probably will prepare ourselves for trouble."

I mentally thanked Butch for his phone call as I said, "It is the job of a police force to serve and protect, Clyde. That does not mean inciting war."

"Honestly, Dr. Beyoncé, we in the military do not want war either. I can assure you of that. If it comes, it will not be because we wanted it to come."

Voicing my own belief, as well as checking those of the man, I said, "This could well be one that we cannot win."

"The United States has pulled out a number of victories. All we need to do is keep the bureaucrats out of the way. If I call, Dr. Beyoncé, that will probably be what I desire - a solution that does not involve government officials."

"I can accept that, Clyde. I will even promise you that if I find such to be the case, I will waive any consulting fees."

"Then I am glad that you called, Dr. Beyoncé."

After some pleasant words in return, I closed the call. Feeling that the future could be a good one, thought about the children. From Debra, to the forskins, to the daughter I lost, I hoped that the future would indeed be a pleasant one.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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