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 Fellowship in Desperation: TimeSaga B3 (All 7 Chapters)

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PostSubject: Fellowship in Desperation: TimeSaga B3 (All 7 Chapters)   April 23rd 2015, 11:17 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga:  The Advance Story Three

Chapter One

It surprised all of us to hear a clank as if something solid came upon us.  The soldiers had weapons at the ready.  Even after a few days they had not lost their fear of our situation.  There was some comfort that the life support facilities sealed behind the walls did work.  None of us were happy with our existences, and we all had complaints to make to the ones that designed the modular room, but the fact was that we were still alive.  Considering the situation that had caused us to be stranded, we did not expect to hear any sound of rescue.

"Ahoy!  Anyone alive in there?"

We screamed and yelled to assure the voice that we were indeed alive.  I cannot say if he paused to hold his own celebration, or simply to clean his ears.  It was only after a definite period of silence that he spoke again.

"Okay, well, we have a lady here threatening us to rescue you.  How she has survived in outer space I cannot say.  Anyway, we will have your door set up to an airlock shortly.  Just wait."

It brought me comfort to know that FER-RON was still operating.  She had been built to combat the korlocks.  Considering that they were space aliens, she had been designed with airless and weightless environments in mind.  While FER-RON had performed on Earth, she had not been truly tested under deep space conditions so it brought me comfort to know that she had survived.

I woke up the Annapolis series androids as I felt the movement of our room.  To conserve our air and food, they had shut themselves down.  I considered both to be living people, but knew that their design made them much more machine than human.  They proved such by dropping inert only supported by the straps of their chairs.  With just some prodding while I spoke to them, both of the Annapolis series androids returned to consciousness.

As they assured us that they were all right, one of the soldiers asked, "Who is it rescuing us?"

Annapolis Fifty-three answered, "It is registered to the Shell Oil Corporation."

"Shell Oil?"

"It is listed as being the Kayla.  The captain is a Henry Burbank."

I was glad for the information, but the soldier did not display that emotion.  "What is an oil company doing owning a space ship?"

"I will attempt to update my database upon gaining time on board the Kayla."

The other soldier, one I had come to know as Corporal Andre Flanders, said, "She just said that she does not know.  Ease up, Dresden."

Sergeant Dresdon Huvache looked to the android and apologized.  "I'm sorry, Fifty-three.  I mean, you just woke up.  Thank you for shutting down.  I do not know if we would have survived without you and Twenty-two doing that."

Annapolis Twenty-two said, "This room was rated for eight people to survive for a week.  It has been only four days with three active people.  You still have adequate food, water, and air for at least a week more, although it is understood that none of us expected rescue so quick."

Both of the Annapolis series appeared as girls.  They had white hair cut in a page-boy style.  They had blue eyes.  While I knew that there was a sicko attacking those of the Annapolis series, the soldiers had been propositioning me for certain activities and not considering the young artificial bodies to satisfy sexual desires.

Not having gravity, none of us knew whether to stay secure in our chairs or not.  Expecting to move to the door, we basically floated holding onto the furniture set to the floor.  Hearing activity, we waited to learn whether we were rescued by friends or another faction that had made it into space.

I should have known to see my robot.  She expertly used her thrusters to propel her to me.  While moving to appear as if standing in front of the door, FER-RON looked at each other person in the room.  I knew that she would speak to me, so watched her wondering what she would actually say.

"It is good to see you, Debra, and the others in good condition.  The korlock threat has been maintained, but I found myself at a loss concerning rescue.  There are other survivors, and it seems that the Kayla had even found people in the Rothman Tube they used to get here.  Captain Burbank thus had many considerations, but my programming had me demand that you be rescued first."

I replied, "You did well, FER-RON.  I will need to check your databases, but considering the events on board the Rhinemaiden I was going to have to check them anyway.  Expect to be shut down for a time, but right now let me say that I am glad to know that you have performed as you did."

"Yes, Debra."

A man that did not appear in the best of health, and not exactly in what one would call a proper uniform, floated into the room to say, "That robot is quite a lady.  You seem to be as well, Queen Debra.  Glad to have you and the others on board."

I floated to the captain while saying, "Glad to be rescued.  I understand that there are others to be rescued.  So I will allow myself to be stowed while you attempt to find others."

"Yes, well, this is not that large of a vessel.  It was supposed to be only a prototype.  None of us knew what we were doing, but Shell said that where there were people there would be a need for oil.  When word came of the Rhinemaiden being attacked, those of us that had anything near completion were rushed to finish.  This crate is not the best, but it is holding air tight.  The Rothman Tube technology also worked, but everything you see is hot-wired prototypes.  We need to get you and the others back just to make room and hopefully refurbish some things."

Leaving the conference room, I spoke as I watched the captain prepare the airlock to release the chamber that had kept us alive.  "We have with us two Annapolis series androids.  They should be able to help you detect others as well as make other observations about your vessel."  I thought about my words, then hoping a smile would cover my confession I added, "Whether what they mention is what you want to hear or not."

"As long as we are in space, I probably do not want to hear it.  Once we get back, yes, it will probably be best to hear everything.  These two are not the first however.  Rescued two people, a pyramid, and one like your androids here.  She had pink hair instead of white however."

The two Annapolis series said together, "Our sister!  It's Mary!"

I had heard of Mary.  Working with Dr. Beyonce, I had heard of Mary quite a lot.  I thus found myself wanting to follow the two androids.  The captain seemed to sense my desire, as I heard him calmly give me a command.

"Follow them.  All of you make yourselves comfortable.  I am going to check on things, then hopefully get you back to civilization."

The inner corridors of the Kayla did appear as some sea vessel.  Everything was painted gray with colored lines that I assumed helped guide those lost.  I guess the soldiers understood the color code, as they had me follow the yellow line.

We came to a room that I felt to be a combination of dining room and sick bay.  Medical devices along with a controlled substances cabinet was along one wall.  Microwave oven and MRE packages along the other.  One long table was near the medical wall, which I guess could double as an operating slab.  Two round tables could only be for socializing or eating.  In the room were indeed two people I did not know, although I could recognize the two others.

I stopped in front of the cyborg to say, "Pyramid Eight –"

"His name is Perry," Mary declared.

"I believe it is Barney, Mary."  To assure the girl that I was aware of her, I said, "I also know who you are.  I work for your mother, Dr. Beyonce.  She has been looking for you."

The cyborg said, "Barney Douglas committed suicide.  I thus do not use that name.  Mary has called me Perry, and I have no problem with that name."

"Okay, Perry.  I am Queen Debra.  I work under Dr. Beyonce to build a prototype robot, FER-RON."

One of the men I did not know whistled before saying, "The ones alive are just girls, and the beautiful babe is a robot.  What is a man to do?"

"I would say, 'Chase real women,' but I have to say that I am not of that type of mind."  I looked around while mumbling, "As it seems that I am the only real woman on board."

The man I did not know, and had not yet spoken, did his best in the lack of gravity to rise while saying, "Charcoal, and that is Sandstorm.  We are both mercenaries, as is Perry.  We were affected by some aliens as we tried to rescue Mary.  Luckily, we ended up in the Rothman Tube as this ship moved through it.  None of us have any idea about how coincidental that was."

I looked to the wall containing food, and hoping to break the ice I said, "I would like to have something other than MREs."

"Oh, they're not so bad.  Sit down, however, and hopefully we can be again on solid ground soon enough."

Mary spoke in support of those words.  "Yes.  The captain is preparing to open the Rothman Tube and take us back home."

I set myself in a seat while replying, "Hopefully, Dr. Beyonce will show up with her yacht.  It will be nice to learn more about you in some comfort."

"I have a brain.  I was not programmed."

Feeling that she was defensive, I calmly replied, "I have studied the notes of your father.  There are some components that work with your brain.  How they manage to convert their information back and forth could help me in designing logic for future robots."

I saw the girl look to my robot, then she looked back with a perplexed expression.  "She is not all there – sort of."

"She should be all there. Each manifestation of her is complete.  When one system is replaced in our time with another, the change should be complete as if she always existed in that configuration."  Hoping to improve Mary's mood, I added, "That is your mother's technology."

"She is more complex than my body."

"Yes, as we had to simulate things that your biological systems do naturally.  Getting her to look like a woman took a number of people to achieve.  Getting her to act like a woman was my job, so let me know if you think she is not acting properly."

I cannot really say what she was observing with my robot, but after looking at FER-RON for a little longer the girl looked to me to say, "I am Mary Worsheim."

"I am Debra Washington.  I am glad to meet you, Mary.  Note that I am also looking forward to seeing your mother, as I have things to discuss with her.  You probably have much more, so I will not intrude.  I have a robot that I need to check out, so I will keep myself busy while you acquaint yourself with your mother."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome.  I look forward to being your friend."

TimeSaga:  The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

    [

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PostSubject: Chapter Two   April 28th 2015, 11:19 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Two

The ship did not have gravity. While it probably could fly in a manner to simulate gravity, the maneuvers it had been performing to affect the rescues did not allow that. All of us did not show any discomfort in a lack of gravity, although we also tended to keep ourselves strapped to a seat instead of floating about.

Without anything else to do, I tried to focus on FER-RON. She set herself in a position next to the door and even though her hands appeared as the normal appendages for a lady I could tell my robot was prepared for trouble. That was how she had been programmed to perform. I wanted to talk with her, but there were others in the room I wanted to speak with as well. I had heard about the Pyramid program, and even followed what I could of Pyramid Eight. Him being called Perry was something I did not know about, although I allowed that there was much about him I did not know. Dr. Beyonce had given me files on Mary, as she wanted my opinion of her programming. Strangely, she did not have programming, but large amounts of special circuitry incorporating Dr. Beyonce's time affecting technology with various receptors and receivers. While the Annapolis series was almost completely robotic, so did have programming, Dr. Beyonce's husband felt able to have the human mind work with the wealth of available information. I thus found myself wanting to speak to my employer. Without anything else to do, I however sat quietly listening to them speak to each other.

The one called Charcoal went to the cabinets to check on available food while asking, "Mary, do you eat?"

"Yes, although I mostly only need rough carbohydrates and some protein. Father always thought it funny that I would do better with fried foods. My system will infused oxygen into my bloodstream to assure the ability to process the stored food in case I am stressed. Perry also has such a system as part of his metabolism, which is not as developed as mine."

The cyborg replied, "Mine was once very developed, but has just been cut back – literally."

Charcoal said, "Perry can handle talking about himself. He does not like it, but he can do it. I needed him to have that attitude if I was to work on him."

I believe that Perry attempted to change the subject. "Dr. Beyonce told me that she could give me a more human appearing body. Considering my job, I think this body suffices."

Mary replied, "If you look human, people expect you to act human. I look like a little girl, so men have expected me to be a little girl. I'm not."

Twenty-two countered, "You are much more human than us."

"They used me as a prototype was to be used. I became the pattern for the Annapolis series. They wanted to make you more human in the areas that men desire. It would have been possible with me, but having a mechanical frame it would not be wise to have my human part grow up. Father thus put equipment where certain reproductive organs would develop. There is enough to keep me a girl, but not enough to spur the processes to make me into a woman. With you there is just enough muscular growth to give you some outer human tissue, and to help assure the proper movement of the mechanical parts. Considering how important leg movement is, they had to put equipment where they really did not want it. Of course, the more mechanical parts means that it would help you less to grow up."

It was Sandstorm that commented, "It must have been rough kept by the people that had you."

"What was rough was knowing what they planned for those I would be the prototype for. Hearing of their plans, and how they would make them even less human, hurt me more than their actions to try and do things with my body."

Charcoal said, "So, we have mostly human, mostly machine, and completely machine."

I had to add, "The forskins are completely human."

"Gee, a whole range of possibilities."

Sandstorm commented, "I believe making children the old fashioned way to be the best."

Mary replied, "Yes, but Daddy said that the human race no longer needed to just repopulate, but needed children that could handle the needs of the future. That is what he said I was. He said that I could do things other children could not, and I needed to be happy that I could do the things that would enable the other children to know what they needed to do. He admitted that I was a tool, but he told me to be happy with having a purpose to my life, as most children seldom understand their purpose."

It was Perry that said, "That is very true. Even if they find it, the way I once believe that I did, life can completely disrupt your place in life."

I believe that he intended to say more, but suddenly we felt the ship lurch. Those of us strapped to chairs felt yanked, but those only holding onto something to stabilize themselves as they floated were thrown. We all exclaimed about the lurch, but I wondered about where FER-RON was in her code when she made a statement.

"I need to leave the room."

"Wait, FER-RON," I commanded. "Where are you going?"

Mary said, "We were struck by an energy weapon from the Iliad, a vessel owned by the Zychi Corporation. They are apologizing for the strike, but korlocks have appeared in the area."

Sandstorm asked, "Korlocks? I thought we were taking a Rothman Tube back to Earth."

"There is a lot of debris in the area. While attempting to get a clear area, those of the Kayla checked for other survivors as well as anything that might be profitable for them to scavenge."

"Great."

FER-RON asked, "Debra, do you wish that I should stay here and protect you?"

I answered "It would do you no good to rush in one direction only to possibly need to rush back."

"No. Mary, please let me know if you can detect a better need for my services."

To assure a proper chain of command, I instructed, "Yes, Mary, let me know if you can detect a need for which FER-RON might be a use."

The girl with pink hair turned her head back and forth between my robot and me, although I was glad to hear FER-RON speak a conclusion. "Yes, Mary, it would be better to first inform Debra. Not that I won't be listening."

Annapolis Fifty-three asked, "Sister, you are able to sense korlocks?"

Mary answered, "Yes. They are using Rothman Tube technology, but it does not seem to have a strong manifestation as if they are not coming from far away. Oh, those are different. They are big, and the strength of their signal says that they came from a distance."

As if to verify, suddenly I felt pressed into my straps as if the Kayla was making a hard turn, and the voice of Captain Burbank supplied some commentary. "Hold onto something people. Korlocks, big ones. Whatever they are doing seems to be blocking our use of the Rothman Tube. Considering our options here."

I hoped the speaker system was two-way as I advised, "Captain, remember that you have two Annapolis series androids present and the much better designed prototype at your disposal."

"Honestly, not really in need of information at the moment, as I have too much by my estimation. Still, if you think they can safely gain the bridge maybe they can give me options that I do not see."

As I tried to undo my straps, I heard the voice of Perry say, "I can assure that they get to the bridge."

I replied, "There is FER-RON as well. Each of us gets one, then we all help each other to safely move."

My robot moved over the table to demonstrate her capabilities along with her words. "I was made for weightless environments."

"FER-RON, you were, but this is the first time you were tested. Glad to see it working, but it is one of the things I want to evaluate once we are back in laboratory conditions."

"Until then, my present operation will continue."

"Ah, yes, of course."

It took me by surprise that Mary focused upon me to help her. I would have thought that her mentality would have her choose one of those who would be more secure. Mary however instructed Fifty-three to go with Perry and Twenty-two to travel with FER-RON. I however found a reason for Mary to focus on me when she asked a question.

"Debra, what is Mommy like?"

"Your mother is a very driven lady. Luckily, I have become a rather driven lady as well, so we get along very well. My boyfriend – fiancé –was killed by FER-RON when she first activated, and he was a driven person. From what I hear, your father was also driven."

There did not seem to be a straight line corridor from the room we were in to the bridge. I knew from visits from my brother that military ships also did not have straight line corridors. The sections kept units focused on their own activities, and enabled the vessel to be sealed creating isolated air pockets to protect those working as well as provide buoyancy to the boat as whole. I thus did not find the weaving path strange, although it took Mary and the Annapolis series to keep us going in the right manner to the bridge.

I expected to see a tight little grouping around the main control instruments as in the bridge of one of my brother's vessels. However the room was quite different. The room appeared as the nozzle of a speed boat. In keeping with that appearance, the pilot sat in a chair near the front of a cone with clear plexiglass instead of walls. Behind him the room opened out with consoles on each side. I believe two people were to man the left and right, but on the left one person kept track of things on both set of terminals. Over him sat the captain in a chair lifted by some crane mechanism. The appearance of the room was nothing like I expected, but the three men seemed very at ease even in the midst of chaos visible outside the clear panels.

Captain Burbank ordered, "Annapolis series, if you don't mind, check those computers to the right."

Both white-haired girls chirped they would, but as they had trouble moving to them, then stand in front of the consoles, Perry said, "I will go get them chairs."

"Miss RayWeight, do you have any suggestions?"

I assumed that he meant me. He could have possibly meant Mary. Neither one of us actually worked for RayWeight, although I did have some clearances with their computer database and was actually on their medical plan. I thus assumed he meant me.

"I don't see a tactical. However, are you attempting to land or return to Earth?"

Mary said, "There is something, a pattern, generated by the larger korlocks blocking access to the Rothman Tube. The debris and scattered fire of the Iliad makes maneuvering into a descending pattern toward the planet not feasible."

Fifty-three managed to work the computer while holding onto the station. Her needing to reach for a grip prevented Twenty-two from working with her. Both seemed relieved when Perry anchored chairs in front of the terminals. As Fifty-three moved to her seat, she let it be known that she had gained some information from what work at the station she had managed to accomplish.

"If the Iliad would put up a coherent pattern of weapon firing, I could provide navigation to the planet."

"HEY!" the one at station in front of the captain exclaimed, "I handle navigation."

"You were doing weapons. I thus took over navigation."

The captain kicked his foot on the metal brace over the head of the man before saying, "What were you doing with the weapons?"

The man replied, "There are korlocks out there."

"Darling Annapolis series, keep tracking the clutter so if I give the word to head to the planet or somewhere else you can quickly do so."

Both of the white-haired girls replied, "Yes, Sir!"

I looked out the hull to see in the distance creatures that appeared as whales. What other creatures I could make out were the usual vague shapes I knew as korlocks. I believe FER-RON also looked, as she reported a plan before I could.

"If we could knock out those large korlocks."

Captain Burbank replied, "Darling, we do not have anything large enough to attack those."

"The Iliad should."

Mary chirped, "Yes, they do. At least the schematics say that it should. It has not been tested."

Captain Burbank said, "This would be a great time to test it."

"Well, the bridge is out of commission. There is no one to authorize the ship to fire the larger weapons. That is why you are getting the barrages you are. Only independent gunners are alive."

"Anyway that you can override things?"

I could not tell if Mary's expression was one of being insulted or just embarrassed as she replied, "I am an observation unit."

"Right. Okay, so we need to get a team over there."

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Chapter Three   May 3rd 2015, 2:25 pm

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Three

The four of us on the bridge: FER-RON, Perry, Mary, and me were chosen to go over to the Iliad. FER-RON was an obvious choice, since any breech of the hull would not affect her. While I had designed wonderful logic for her, it was easily understood that situations on board the Iliad might stress her computations. Mary was thus needed to provide information. Perry volunteered to act as protection. I volunteered myself to provide a level of oversight, especially concerning my robot.

The two Annapolis series did manage to provide our helmsman with directions to dock with the Iliad. While they provided Butch, the usual navigator of the Kayla, with firing instructions at times, I listened as the two white-haired girls gained communications with those firing the weapons of the other ship. The voices spoke of being amazed to hear young females, but with a few barks from Captain Burbank the gunners accepted that we were approaching to help and not inflict further harm. When we had an agreement, a command to the Annapolis series to update the directions to the helmsman was given, then we had to hold on as the Kayla went through a number of tight maneuvers.

Neither ship was constructed under any unified design concept. The Kayla had a feel of being a military vessel, so had its main airlock on the side as if the crew would be moving on and off by means of a gangplank. Captain Burbank commented that the Iliad had been designed by people who had watched too many science-fiction movies, as their primary airlock was on the bottom as if the intent had been to load people and cargo through a service hatch. It was thus strange when the airlocks allowed passage to see us 'walking' toward the roof of the other ship.

"All right, stop right there!"

FER-RON did not fire, but her mass-fire gatlin-like weapon replaced one arm. While her ammo was actually charged blasts intended to provide almost unlimited damage capability while harming korlocks, people could be hurt as well. I however had programmed her to get authorization before attacking people. While she also had defensive protocols should they attack, I was glad to hear her call my name.

The Zychi security person that had spoken earlier now asked in a very frightened voice, "Lady, where did you get that weapon?"

I stepped up to say, "I am Queen Debra. This is my robot, FER-RON. She was built to combat the korlocks. Our intent, which we did state to those on board this vessel, is to fire your main weapon at the larger korlocks."

"Yes, we receive the communication, but were really uncertain who we were talking to."

"Now you know. The ones with me are Perry and Mary. Trust that they are not all they seem either."

Instead of a further challenge or just another question, the man signaled for the others to lower their weapons as he said, "I recognize the man. I know of the Pyramid program."

"Okay, any problems?"

"No, ma'am. The way to the bridge might not be clear. Follow the blue line."

I sternly said the name of my robot, and felt relieved to see her arm return to the state of being a regular appendage. While some of the men probably did not trust her, I felt some of the glares were simply them looking over her form. Considering her appearance was done just for such a reason, I actually felt good seeing FER-RON getting the eyes of the men. It however caught me by surprise when a soldier mentioned the name of the cyborg in a less than respectable manner.

"Perry, huh? Pyramid, Perry – I get it. Changing the name does not change anything however."

I was relieved to hear a calm statement in return from Perry. "No. Even the technology of Dr. Beyonce cannot make such complete changes in one's past. We can however do things to improve our future."

"Okay, Perry, what about that girl?"

She spoke for herself. "I am Mary Worsheim. My father created me to be the prototype for a series of special androids meant to be especially aware of thing around them."

Another soldier supplied some information. "She is the prototype for the Annapolis series."

The one that had been speaking thus asked, "Okay, so what type of things is she aware of?"

Mary answered the question by supplying the name, job history, and was starting into his medical facts before he said, "Whoa, whoa – okay, little darling. I get the message. Does that little head of yours tell you the layout of this ship?"

"Yes, and it tells me that you were correct to tell us to follow the blue line."

"Good. Listen, I cannot speak for the value of your plan. That weapon you are thinking to fire has not been tested, really cannot be aimed, and draws a lot of power."

"One of the missions of this voyage was to test fire the weapon, so you are at fault for not doing it. It can be aimed within an eight degree arc, which hopefully will be enough. As for power consumption, it has its own batteries to enable it to fire and not bring down other systems, although this will admittedly require time for it to recharge."

While I felt Mary was doing a good job, I did not see any benefit in us continuing to chat. "That should be enough to allow you to let us proceed."

"Uh, yes. Go ahead. Our only problem is that the Rhinemaiden did not survive."

"I did not have Perry or Mary with me, and the captain of the Rhinemaiden was a little overbearing. His attitude did not have him fully prepared, and I was focused on finishing my work on FER-RON. She is now fully operational, and has kept me and others alive proving her capabilities. I think the korlocks will find us better able to take up the fight against them."

I really could not tell the ranks of the security personnel. While one had been speaking, there was really nothing about his uniform I recognized as having him in charge. No one however challenged him, even though I saw the body language and heard the comments of the others giving him the confidence to speak a decision.

"Okay, go on. I cannot argue with what you are saying or your qualifications to perform the mission."

I replied, "Thank you. Hopefully, we can succeed and manage to open us a way so we can rescue the survivors and bring some peace to this area."

After thanking the soldiers we moved on. I believe all of us voiced our annoyance in not having gravity. There were ways for ships in space to simulate gravity, but it also demanded the freedom of movement that being in a dangerous part of space did not allow. I stopped and looked back wondering about how the ship was moving. If there was not enough internal communication to allow the gunners to orchestrate their fire, who was directing the vehicle. Remembering that I had my own source of information, I went back to moving while asking my question.

"Mary, who is piloting the vessel?"

She answered, "No one. The bridge has been taken out. Luckily, the main gun does not need activation from the bridge."

Perry asked, "What if we need to turn the ship to aim the gun?"

"Right now we do not, so let us get there."

As if the korlocks had heard the statement and set themselves to stopping us, a couple came through the hull. All of us griped as we needed to stop our momentum. While there was air, so air resistance, we learned the hard way how much gravity usually was the force limiting our movement. FER-RON however had been made to move in weightless environments, so easily came to a stop and set herself to fire upon the korlocks.

While my hair was not long, it had enough length to lift from the charge produced by my robot's weaponry. I never questioned the power of the arms. My own experience had me understand the seriousness of the threat of korlocks. While it was true that I had also seen what the weapons could do to a person, I had no doubt of the need for such power and set myself to have my own device charge.

Perry also had the armaments for fighting korlocks. His however did not operate with the time-loop technology of Dr. Beyonce. He had to worry about ammo. His metallic body also had more mass, which made moving in the weightless environment more troublesome. Only Mary had no weapons. In attempting to reposition his body to aim at another korlock coming through the hull, he noticed the young lady attempting to hide while staying out of the way. I do not know exactly how his body worked, but a part of his thigh opened. Perry then reached to grab a rather odd device, which he handed to her with words concerning that she should have a method of fighting the korlocks.

I saw her look over the odd length of metal. It appeared as a pipe covered in circuitry. One end had a number of projections capped by what appeared to be a strange shimmering mesh. I actually looked at the device thinking it to be more of a magic wand than a serious weapon.

Perry pointed and said, "That is the dangerous end. The other end has buttons that were intended to fit my fingers, so you might need to practice how to activate them. It is supposed to radiate a burst of energized sound. I really have not played with it, so Charcoal would be glad to get some type of report of what it actually does under actual battle conditions."

Mary replied, "I really do not want to get into combat."

"I hope that you do not get into combat. Still, if you do, Charcoal would be pleased to hear some report on how the item actually worked."

"Okay. Thank you, Perry."

"Barney might be dead, but I am trying to stay alive. You do the same."

I felt that Mary fully understood the statement when she replied, "I never considered suicide. Daddy worked so hard with me to get me to live. I had all this data coming into my head, and I believe he feared it making me suicidal and not just crazy." She laughed, but I did not sense that her thoughts were humorous. "Those that captured me did not really do anything to make me regret living. They spoke about some horrible things, but were too worried about destroying what my Daddy had created. They mostly kept me locked up, although the time helped me further deal with how to process all the data."

"Well, I did not just consider suicide, but did it. Those thoughts are really dark, and I felt bad when I found that I was not dead." He was silent for a moment, then after dispersing another korlock he spoke to Mary some more "I guess that is why I want Barney dead. I really do not want to think those dark thoughts again. I want them gone. Perry is okay. This is not a good life, but my thoughts are better."

I said, "Hopefully, we can make this a good life. That is what I am hoping my robot to do."

Perry nodded, but did not speak to me. "Mary, use that device if a korlock comes upon you."

She chirped, "I will."

"Good. Now, I believe we are about to clear the way for our advance. Make certain that we stay going in the proper direction."

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: First half of Chapter Four   May 8th 2015, 11:23 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Four - Part One

Commander Stapleton only smiled when he was identified with positive words. He liked being in the military, as the chain of command gave him benefits he fully enjoyed. The fact that he had to kill to get the promotions made his rank even sweeter. The military gave him a number of pleasures, and he smiled with the positive words letting him know that they would support him as he did more killing.

It helped that he now had an enemy. Not one that was just another person from another country or set of ideas. Korlocks were honest-to-God you can kill them without any remorse being felt by anybody. Even animals on Earth had whiny assholes who would speak of loving them. No one was however crying about the death of korlocks, and Commander Stapleton thought it was wonderful having such an enemy.

It hurt not being able to stop the destruction of the Rhinemaiden. The damn robot had taken too long to be put into operation. The korlocks were just too many for the regular soldiers. They had weapons that would help, but the power necessary to produce the charges quickly drained the batteries. Most of the weapons that Commander Stapleton had picked up from the corpses were spent. He felt proud of the soldiers for not going down without a fight, but in his own efforts to stop the destruction it did not help when he was without means of inflicting damage upon the enemy.

No feeling of loss came to him in knowing that he was unable to prevent the destruction of the Rhinemaiden. He had done what he could, so did not feel responsible. If any asked him for whom needed to be held accountable, it was the damn civilians in their tempered manner of preparing for the attack all knew would be coming. The robot not only had the better weapons, but the special futuristic energy system enabling it to keep firing far longer than the limited batteries of the weapons of the soldiers. Those working on the robot however worried about things Commander Stapleton considered of minimum importance in war. It did not matter if friendly casualties resulted, but only that the majority of the suffering and death occurred with the enemy. In victory the feelings of loss became pride in the sacrifice, but in not being able to claim victory Commander Stapleton felt that some things he did would be held against him.

The objective was to protect the settlement on this new planet. It did please him to think that the korlocks he killed would never make it to the planet to bother the settlers there. Commander Stapleton understood the sacrifice of his fellow soldiers, so felt it unimportant if one of them died in the process of meeting the objective.

He fully believed that. It did not trouble his mind at all that he had sent some bullets into the bodies of his fellow soldiers. Most were being grabbed by the korlocks, so their lives were in jeopardy anyway. A few were simply between him and the korlocks, but Commander Stapleton believed that their spirits would not condemn him as the enemy did die.

The fact that they did not drop as a normal opponent, but dispersed as if only some figment of one's imagination, did not help his attitude. Seeing those grabbed by the korlocks change into white powder and explode also challenged his sense of reality. All he could do was drop into his training of assuring his own survival at the expense of the lives of his enemies. There was some concern for those soldiers who prevented a direct shot at a korlock, but Commander Stapleton was not going to allow anyone to prevent him and his cause from gaining victory. Considering how unrealistic the combat seemed, only by maintaining an attitude of focusing on the ultimate objective did he manage to keep functioning.

When he could, Commander Stapleton yelled at the soldiers to keep their focus and continue to hurt the enemy. He had to smile seeing a few move to fallen comrades in order to check their weapons for any remaining charge. Accepting that he was not the only one with the fortitude to keep returning hurt to the enemy, Commander Stapleton yelled words of support to those soldiers still fighting.

When the signal to evacuate the ship sounded, he first thought to stay with the captain. Commander Stapleton did not feel that he would be going down with the vessel, but remaining to secure the victory. Feeling the ship shake, he however realized that the integrity of the ship had been compromised. It was not like it had years of service or a quality construction job. The Rhinemaiden had been put together from pieces that would fit through the Rothman Tube. He remembered the celebration that occurred when the vessel came into operation, as there were many speaking of the rushed and haphazard manner it had been designed. Commander Stapleton accepted that the ship had managed to provide a security many did not think it would accomplish, but as another shake was felt he knew that if he stayed he would be going to his death.

Feeling it to be part of his job, he had studied the ship. He had no training in electronics, physics, or any other technical skills. Commander Stapleton had thus only focused on the personnel, what weapons they had available, and the map of the Rhinemaiden. With that knowledge, he rushed to the room where the spacesuits had been stored. He cursed seeing none of them taken, but with a feeling of his own superiority he donned one of the special garments. Feeling that the korlocks should fear the fact that he would continue to take the war to them even should the ship break apart, he went back to where he heard the sounds of other soldiers still fighting.

He advanced hearing screams. Not only were a number more korlocks coming through the hull, but the outer shell of the ship was cracking. Space really was not cold. Those who worked in space usually had problems with heat. It was not that space was hot, but that it was a much better vacuum than could be created in an atmosphere. What that meant was that there was nothing to absorb energy. The heat from your body stayed with you, and any radiation from other sources, such as the sun, would join you. Now, warmth could radiate away, but clothing to maintain an atmosphere around you would also retain warmth. In any event, the metal of vehicles in space usually did not suffer the brittle effects of super cooling, although the constant stresses of no outside pressure and ever present vibrations from those living inside along with their machines would trouble the vessel. Worse, combat put further strains on the bulkheads. Commander Stapleton thus advanced hearing screams from the attacks of the korlocks along with the flow of atmosphere from rips in the outer hull.

Commander Stapleton could not accept that they would need to retreat. It did not matter that the call came not because of some yellow bureaucrat, but of a simple necessity that the fight could no longer be waged on this field. The regular soldiers did not have on the garments for space. They could not breathe in the lack of an atmosphere. The vacuum would also not retain their heat, so slowly their body would chill to where it had almost no energy to radiate. While the regular soldiers turned in order to assure their own survival, Commander Stapleton smiled inside his suit with the knowledge that he would not be forced to retreat.

The problem he found however was that there was nothing enabling him to assure his movement. The spin managing some sense of gravity had been disrupted possibly due to combat maneuvers, so he felt himself floating off the floor. It further troubled him that the rush of air to the vacuum beyond applied a force sending him toward the widening rip. He suddenly felt that his chance to continue the fight would not be assured as there would be no method for him to enable the accurate application of retaliation upon the enemy.

He saw a piece of the Rhinemaiden move away. It bothered him at first, but then he remembered that most private compartments were designed to be self-contained. The escape pods of science-fiction were just make-believe. People needed a feeling of security, so their rooms were designed to provide necessities even in the worst of situations that space could provide. Commander Stapleton felt it to be cowardly to separate the quarters from the ship, as it reduced the integrity of the vessel. In leaving not only did one prevent any support to those continuing to fight, but weakened the vessel making it less of a threat. Commander Stapleton however looked to one compartment moving away from the ship and felt that it could provide for him a platform for him to continue engaging the enemy.

Korlocks were in his way. That did not bother him at all. Commander Stapleton actually felt joy in delivering hurt to the strange vaguely humanoid shapes. Seeing forms disperse had him cackle out sarcastic phrases, which he hoped were being heard by others who might need encouragement to continue their own fights with the korlocks.

By the time that he made it to a place in the separation in the hull that he could move through, the escaping compartment had moved off beyond his ability to reach. The suction of the escaping air had pulled a number of bodies to the rip. Commander Stapleton went about checking their weapons for those still having charges while keeping an eye out for the next compartment of those running from the battle they had joined the military to be a part of.

He smiled seeing another part of the ship release itself. This one would provide an easily accessible platform for his determination not to quit the fight. He launched himself through the emptiness hoping that he had judged distance and the power from his legs properly to meet up with those attempting avoid the danger. He smiled seeing korlocks in various directions, as he felt that he could do further harm while using the recoil of his weapon to adjust his course.

Meeting the surface of the compartment jolted his body along with his mind as he felt himself unable to stay on. While the outer hull was mostly smooth, there were projections once used to secure the container to the greater vessel. There was some relief finding his fingers to gain some friction with the metal. Losing things in space often was a one-time experience, so they had made the gloves out of material that would help retain a grip. It was enough to enable him to adjust his position, then grab the end of a tether and latch it before he slid back into space. Feeling the jolt of his momentum being stopped in relation to the compartment, Commander Stapleton grabbed a weapon and prepared to rejoin the war.

He laughed with the realization that those in the container who had thought to escape the battle had instead become the focal point for his fight. Taking a standing position really was not necessary. He however wanted any video to show that he proudly kept the war continuing with the korlocks. Commander Stapleton wanted a lasting record of his dedication to his duty. Unsure of any video, he stomped his feet, which sent him away from the container only to be jerked back by his tether. Laughing with the knowledge that those inside would hear his presence, he emptied the charges of his weapons into the korlocks that came close to his position.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Second part of Chapter Four   May 13th 2015, 11:13 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Four - Part Two

Commander Stapleton had read a report of the Iliad, but at the time only considered it an American attempt to assert its authority where Allah had clearly bestowed His graciousness on those who followed His prophet. Commander Stapleton could only smile as he saw the vessel in the distance, as he considered it something expendable granted to him to use.

He moved as he could without jeopardizing his present position while considering how to get to the Iliad. It not only was not close, but it did not appear to be coming near his position. He would need to get to it.

The gauge showed his air supply as strong. With the compartment once part of the Rhinemaiden, it had attachments for its life support to be managed by the larger vessel. While the occupants were now using their internal storage for breathable atmosphere, Commander Stapleton had tapped his suit into their air system. There were connections for such, as if the designers expected men in spacesuits to latch themselves to the outside. Water and food however were not available options. He was starving, and his water supply had not lasted the first day. He thus looked to the Iliad and thanked Allah for its presence.

Commander Stapleton quickly discounted simply releasing his tether and launching himself with his legs. While it would work, his speed would not be anywhere near sufficient to manage the crossing. He then looked to the container he was attached to. There were jets for supplying a force to fully release the room from the larger vessel. He however knew that by design they did not work once the compartment was separate from the parent spaceship. With those inside not being able to see to steer, and with the situation causing the room to separate surely being serious, no one wanted a strong acceleration that would meet with any debris. Commander Stapleton looked at the nozzles and felt that they would supply the force enabling him to quickly move to his objective.

With everything about the Rhinemaiden having been thrown together without any true plan, he knew that the containers of propellant were not built into the structure. Carefully moving to the position of one, he smiled seeing the heads of screws securing a plate over the cylinder. He had already checked his suit, so knew that it had some basic torque-less tools secured with it. Feeling certain that he could make use of unused technology, he moved to where a propellant tank waited.

Indeed the wrench did fit the bolts, and the special handle enabled him to apply force without also overly stressing his own body. As with any earthly effort, after an initial rough application of force the part began to turn easily. With the success of one propellant tank, Commander Stapleton set himself to gaining another. Both were large cumbersome cylinders, but he released his tether and set himself to the stresses of having them propel his body to the still operating ship.

Those on board the Iliad were firing their weapons, but Commander Stapleton felt it should be obvious he was not a korlock. His use of propellant, however misguided at times, he felt should have separated him from the enemies. Exactly how they moved through space he could not comprehend, although seeing such illogical behavior had him easily relegate the korlocks to simply being monsters. He felt that those firing the weapons should be able to recognize that he was another human, so not a threat needing to be targeted.

It was not easy working with the propellant tanks. Their round cylindrical sides might have made it easy for them to be turned in order to provide some maneuverability to future designs of the compartments, but it also made them hard to hold onto. Commander Stapleton basically hugged them, although that position prevented him from easily steering his flight. Further, once he had momentum there was nothing in space to slow him down. While the increasing speed with each use of the propellant helped him feel that he would cross the distance in time, his direction often had him wondering if he would manage to target his destination. Nothing in his efforts declared that he would learn how to manage such an odd means of traveling in space, although he felt determined to use what he had to perform the task at hand.

His focus was on managing to turn his body in order to assure a better direction for his movement. The law of for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction really was a pain in space where there was nothing to react against. To turn one way meant that he needed something else to turn in another, and space provided nothing for that purpose. Luckily, the human body was a rather complex mechanism. He had managed to perform other little alterations in position, so contorted his body to again correct his course of travel. While focusing on the actions, he felt something odd about his body that did not match what had occurred previously.

Seeing the korlock did not scare Commander Stapleton. He had been in other situations where he found himself facing a deadly threat. He well knew that the worst response was to give a damn about his life. What one needed to do was make the enemy give a damn about its life. He worked with one arm to assure that he did not lose his hold on the propellant tanks even as the other released a weapon from where its harness wrapped about his body in order to scare the korlock.

*Peace-*

Commander Stapleton fired while laughing at the thought that came into his mind. Peace was something for idiots. There was no such thing as peace. Life was cruel, and to think that one could simply exist without any demands being placed upon them was a dream better left to some higher realm where wings and harps were handed out freely. Commander Stapleton however did not believe that there would be peace even then. He felt certain that should he leave this life for another there would be demands placed on his time. He would never truly know peace, and laughed at the korlock for attempting to subdue him with such a concept.

Killing the monster, assuming its dispersal meant that it no longer lived, Commander Stapleton took a minute to assure himself that no other enemies were around him. Feeling again safe, he again set the weapon where it would not float away. His focus then returned to directing his movement toward the Iliad. He saw the signs of those on board the craft attempting to kill the monsters, and felt that he would again be able to fulfill his mission as he headed to where the monsters were congregating.

His next problem was that a korlock moved to block his path. As he again readied his weapon, Commander Stapleton gained the impression that the monster had not acted intentionally. It had maneuvered to gain a position upon the Iliad. Why it felt that place would benefit it, Commander Stapleton could not say. All that he could be certain of was that to gain the ship he would need to travel through the korlock, although that thought actually did not trouble him at all.

The body did not disperse. Commander Stapleton hit the korlock while still firing blasts at the monster. Experience told him that with the death of the enemy it would lose any tangible nature. He certainly felt that he inflicted more than enough harm to kill the korlock, but impacted the body feeling the texture of its skin and the substance of its composition.

*Peace-*

Commander Stapleton wondered how that emotion could exist in the monster. Acting in an aggressive manner was far from any concept of peace that he knew. He certainly did not feel the emotion had importance in the middle of outer space. Maybe in the comfort of a spacecraft he could consider taking a break, but again not if it was in a state of war. Commander Stapleton continued to fire finding comfort, if not peace, in finally making the monster no longer exist.

He could not help but feel amazement upon gaining the hull of the Iliad. He tried to stand and find the container that he had used to escape from the Rhinemaiden, but as he did so more korlocks moved upon him. Commander Stapleton really did not expect to be able to find the object upon which he had begun his travel to the Iliad. He did think himself better than the scared little turds who had secured themselves inside the container instead of keeping to the battle the way he did. He could not help but feel joy, not peace, in being able to remove more monsters from being threats.

Having reached his destination, he did not need his propellant cylinders. He thus allowed them to float off into space. Realizing that his weapons were running out of charge, he found himself accepting that he was also running out of fresh air. Commander Stapleton thus turned wondering where he would need to go in order to reach an airlock.

He felt a need to curse Americans realizing they had designed some unique adaptations to their vessel. The Rhinemaiden had been built according to recognized naval standards. Commander Stapleton could not determine what bizarre ungodly mindset had created this ship. He spoke a curse thinking that the Americans had probably gotten their plans for this craft from crashed alien vessels. Wondering why Allah had blessed these infidels, Commander Stapleton looked at what he could of the ship hoping that he could actually recognize an airlock even if he saw one.

He started moving to the rear of the vessel accepting that Americans would need to work on their craft. Their technology was made to be disposable to force people to buy the new and improved version the next year. Something in space however had to last, but the only way to make that possible would be to keep replacing old parts. Seeing an airlock there he cursed the Americans again, then thanked Allah for having him look toward the engines for a way into the craft.

When he reached the portal, he found the outer door already open. Commander Stapleton could not help but look for signs that the airlock had been damaged. Through a window of the inner door he however saw a face with a hand in front of it signaling for him to enter. Accepting that the man could tell he was not a korlock, Commander Stapleton stepped into the portal.

He did not remove his helmet until the inner door opened. Seeing the men before him having weapons did not trouble him. The fact that they were Americans did, but Commander Stapleton removed his helmet accepting that they were presently not the enemy.

One of the men dressed in a military uniform said, "I would call you a dumb-fuck, but many of the people in your part of the world would not accept that it was meant as a compliment."

Commander Stapleton did understand English. He also had learned some things about Americans. He did not want them to think bad about rescuing him, so felt that it would be best to return a half-joke in return.

"There are good dumb-fucks and bad dumb-fucks. Hell yes I am a good dumb-fuck."

The Americans cheered. One indicated for him to turn over his weapon. Commander Stapleton actually felt bad for not releasing it into space, as it was out of charges. The American took it from him, actually loaded it with a new battery, then handed it back.

"I would tell you to get some rest, Soldier, but I also have to assume that you had a reason for coming here."

"Commander Stapleton, Irani Regular Army." Some saluted, but most just nodded. "I just left the Rhinemaiden determined to continue the fight."

"Captain Phillips, U.S. Marines. You did not answer my question, Commander Stapleton. Are you in need of rest, or do you have another reason for being here?"

Commander Stapleton had to look around, but then had to ask a question. "Are you losing to the korlocks?"

"We don't know. Me and my men are here to keep this bucket operating. That is all we can say right now. This ship is not about to fall apart the way the Rhinemaiden did. I would thus suggest that you take some time and refresh yourself. Get some food. Get some sleep. If things get to where we need to get replacements, it would make us all feel better if we had someone not only as willing as you are to take the fight to the enemy, but physically and mentally able to take the fight to the enemy."

As Commander Stapleton took another look around to estimate his situation, he felt his body suddenly get heavy as all the activity he had forced himself to perform suddenly registered. When he mentioned that he did need food and rest, the Americans smiled as they directed him to a table stacked with packs of MREs. They pointed to a door and told him that any available bunk could be his. Commander Stapleton however had to turn to look when one soldier spoke of something else he might want to perform.

"Front of the ship is considered North, toward that bulkhead is considered East. Our home base is in Gulf Port, Mississippi, so Mecca is considered in that direction." When Commander Stapleton just glared at the soldier, he added, "We're Americans. We accept all religions."

Commander Stapleton had to reply, "So you accept the religion of the korlocks?"

"I guess, but right now the korlocks themselves are on our bad side. Pick a fight with America and, well, you picked a fight with America. It thus sucks to be korlocks right now whatever their religion is."

"Yes, it sucks to be korlocks right now."

The Americans cheered. Commander Stapleton had to smile. He was not at peace, but at the moment he felt that he was among enemies of his enemies, and that was a good place to be.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Chapter Five   May 18th 2015, 11:30 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Five

I listened as Mary mentioned some of the problems she had with gaining information. The communications network had been severed. While locally wireless, the shielding in the bulkheads forced it to function from a direct wired connection to a central server. Local units could speak with each other that were within the limited domain of a still working router, but communications with other units on other routers was not available. With the larger source of data down, Mary had to mention that what information she could detect only had limited relevance to their immediate surroundings.

One door had been shut. The fear always was that there would be a lack of atmosphere on the other side. Mary could usually determine that. I heard the hesitation each time, and finally came to the conclusion that the young android wanted to be one hundred percent correct. She wanted to know the information she supplied would be completely supported by the facts. There was a child-like desire to please. I felt that to be a positive sign, as it meant that Mary's treatment by those seeking her for answers in making their own androids had not destroyed the core mind. While there were surely scars, the young prototype still had a good mentality. I thus sought to ease the tension in the words from Mary as we checked the shut door.

I said, "We can just crack the door."

Mary replied with tones of worry, "It opens away from us. What if the vacuum pulls it into the room?"

FER-RON answered, "I can do it. I have the necessary strength to maintain a hold."

"I do as well," Perry stated.

I knew that FER-RON's statement came from her programming of taking charge in dire situations. Perry's probably came from him asserting his male status among the ladies, although it was also possible that his history had him acting as a strong member of his mercenary team. I had written routines to mitigate FER-RON's desire to dominate, but unsure of how Perry would deal with the situation I spoke to assure my robot would act properly.

"FER-RON is closer to the door, Perry. Still, I can step back to allow you to get close where you can help her if need be."

He replied, "Yes, thank you."

FER-RON waited for Perry to move up next to her. She then opened the door. She had not been made to appear as a powerful female. While neither a delicate damsel, more attention had been placed on making her a very lovely specimen. Women were not made to have their bodies display thick cords of muscles, so simple tubes helped the feminine appearance of the robot. Without any sign of her lady-like body being stressed, FER-RON opened the door. Without waiting for me to give a command or Perry to react, she then moved into the next room.

He just watched. I could hear the sound of weapons that I knew FER-RON possessed being used. Mary did not move up to look, but the way her eyes did not focus on things around me had me believe she was watching what was happening by another method than direct sight.

The eyes of the girl then focused on me as she asked, "How do you work on FER-RON if she is not all present?"

"We have all her components in a virtual computer simulation. We make alterations and perform tests, as well as we can with the data we have, with the simulation. When we have what we feel is the proper development, special nanobots are built according to our specifications. FER-RON has a special container where the nanobots can operate upon her independent of her actual configuration. Once they are finished, we test our alterations to just verify the work done and update our data for further work with the simulation."

Whatever Mary was going to say next was interrupted by Perry informing us, "The room is clear now."

It then surprised me to hear FER-RON say, "Debra, I await further orders."

I advanced into the room to ask, "Why, FER-RON? You know the objective."

"I do not believe that I can perform the objective. I also have the prime responsibility to keep you alive. Since I believe that you can perform the objective, keeping you alive has further importance. Thus, I will wait for you to assess our present status and relate instructions as to what we do next toward achieving our objective."

"Each member of our group has their assets, FER-RON. Mary is the best source of information concerning immediate situation and specifics of obtaining our objective. Perry is like you in that he is also capable in a fight. Keeping both of them alive as well should be important to you."

"Of course." She paused to look at each of us, then said, "I was thus correct in what I did."

I had to admit, "Yes, FER-RON, you were correct. I am not scolding you, but only assuring that you understand the importance of the other two besides me."

"I understand. We still follow the blue line?"

Mary replied, "Yes, FER-RON, although we should continue to check before opening any other doors."

My robot then turned to the cyborg to ask, "Do you have any concerns with me taking the lead and eradicating all of the korlocks myself?"

He answered "No, FER-RON. It seems that you were more than capable. Just, if you have any doubt in your ability to eradicate all the korlocks, assure that I am able to move with you and give you help."

I advised, "FER-RON, the korlocks are able to move through the hull. It thus might be wise to have Perry move with you in order to assure that no korlocks moves upon you in a direction you are not aware."

"My time manipulation circuitry seems to be able to detect korlocks as they pass through solid objects, Debra."

Mary said, "I was made by Dr. Worsheim, the husband of Dr. Beyonce, so I have time manipulation circuitry as well. I can also detect korlocks as they evade fourth dimensionally. I can thus alert Perry, but, FER-RON, please do not fire upon him if I send him to you."

I felt it best to add, "Or if he happens to fire in your general direction."

The robot replied, "He is important, so I will not fire upon him. Please, Perry, do not fire at me."

I put stress in my voice as I said, "Yes, Perry, don't do that. She does have an evaluation algorithm in such a circumstance, but I would recommend not chancing it."

Perry said, "FER-RON, I have never fired upon a comrade, so you should feel safe with me working with you."

She replied, "I have fired upon someone I should not have. I do not desire to repeat the mistake. You should thus feel safe with me as well, Perry."

I said, "I programmed her to say that, but you should also trust that certain flags were tripped with that statement that should have her never fire at you."

Perry asked, "Just what are the odds that she will choose to fire upon a human instead of a korlock?"

"Right now very low. Dr. Beyonce however does hope for a future where we will interact with korlocks instead of fighting them. The value for korlocks in general is thus a variable." Wanting to answer the question and display my control over the situation, I turned to my robot to ask, "FER-RON, what is your present base value for korlocks?"

"Zero," she answered.

I looked to him as if expecting to be satisfied, but he asked, "What about humans?"

Not afraid of the answer, I spoke to my robot. "FER-RON, what is your present base value for humans?"

She replied, "The base value is point five." She then impressed me by looking to the cyborg and saying, "Perry, I will not fire at you."

He said, "I assume that my value is a variable as well."

"Yes and no," I replied. "That man she will admit to firing upon was my boyfriend of many years. He was also the designer of FER-RON. I made certain that she will place certain individuals into a database as protected. You can be removed, but not without a serious demonstration of no longer being trustworthy."

Perry turned to my robot and said, "I am honored, FER-RON. Come on. We need to achieve our objective."

"Yes, Perry. Mary, we will need to check the next door."

I moved behind the group whispering notes into my private record. I honestly felt that FER-RON was doing very well. She was responding to the conversation in an appropriate manner. Some responses did not come in places where I thought they should be present, so I made notes about what I heard and where to check in my robot's program flow. While I considered my comments important, I stayed behind the group so as not to bother their own focus upon having us advance safely.

The voice of FER-RON brought me out of my own activity. "We cannot go on."

Mary replied, "I think we can. The breech is not in that room, but the one beyond. If you can go into that room and shut the door beyond, we can then open this one and allow the atmosphere to fill it. There is another door we can then use."

Perry asked, "Another door? Isn't that the mess hall we are coming to?"

From what I knew of the cyborgs created in the Pyramid program, they basically relied on their human senses. Their mechanical bodies had power. Their brains had been wired with special communications to gain instructions and transmit data, but such was really no more sophisticated than most with special hearing or seeing components. I however did remember Perry studying the layout of the Iliad, so suspected his question came from his memory and not any advanced sensors.

Mary answered, "Yes, but there are the food supply rooms. I am sensing that they are still sealed. You and FER-RON I believe both have weapons that can slice through a bulkhead."

I saw my robot look to me, although I stayed silent listening to Perry's reply. "Yes, but that will seriously drain my batteries."

"FER-RON has Dr. Beyonce's time-loop technology powering her. Her batteries will thus recharge."

I had to support Mary. "Yes, FER-RON has the capability and her batteries will recharge." I looked at my robot while adding, "She also can move through a vacuum. However, FER-RON, are you detecting other problems with Mary's suggested plan?"

"No. There is korlock activity, but I do not believe that they are an immediate threat. The soldiers are creating enough activity to draw their attention."

Mary said, "Yes, that is my assessment as well."

Perry then asked, "Sounds like a plan, but exactly how are we going to do this?"

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Chapter Six   May 23rd 2015, 11:16 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Six

The Americans did not cause me any problems. I was who I said I was, so did not fear any research into my fingerprints, photo, or what I might say. I do believe that they did check things, and it was nice when they started including me in their assignments. Them being assured of my identity caused them to not see any problem in my presence, which meant that they did not care if I overheard a certain piece of information.

One if the enlisted men said, "Sir, a team is moving toward the control room for the Concurrent Chaos Causator."

Americans and their tendency to name things. Everything had a name assigned to them by Allah. Americans were always wanting the recognition for discovering or creating something new, but I had to listen upon realizing that what they were speaking about were simply new corruptions of the blessings of the Almighty God.

Captain Phillips replied, "I have done some research on the Pyramids, so can recognize Barney Douglas. Debra Washington, I guess you can tell me about her. How about the others?"

"Debra is the young lady that has been working on the private research for Dr. Beyonce. That is her creation there. A robot named FER-RON."

The officer whistled, as did other Americans also looking at the picture, before asking, "That's a robot?"

"Yes, Sir. She is the prototype." I had to suffer through jokes involving the words 'proto' and 'type' before hearing the enlisted man supply further information. "The girl is also a prototype. She is the android created by Dr. Worsheim and stolen to be referenced by the Straw Sapien Corporation."

"Okay, what are their chances of reaching their objective?"

"Our ship has been fucked over, Sir, and the korlocks are still a real and present danger. Honestly, this group can probably make the control room, but their resources are surely limited."

Another enlisted man, one that I had actually done an assignment with, said, "We can travel on the hull, Sir."

The captain admitted, "Our resources are limited as well."

"If they can fire that weapon, we might have a chance to get out of this situation."

"We have four suits."

"Commander Stapleton also has a suit."

I saw most of the men look to me, but I had no problem with the discussion. "I will go."

Captain Phillips said, "You don't have to go, but just allow someone to use your suit."

"That is an Irani space suit. It would be an insult for an infidel to wear it."

The officer turned to look at the one proposing the mission to ask, "Do you have any problems with Commander Stapleton?"

"No, Sir. In fact, he would probably do better on this mission than he did on the previous one I served with him. He is a good shot, and for a fire fight he has a rather good, calm mentality."

Another enlisted man said, "His tanks have been recharged, Captain. The suit, all suits, should be good."

"All right. Jordan, pick your other men. Chu, I want you to tell them everything you can. I know that I heard the word 'prototype' twice. That means you probably cannot tell them everything, and what you can tell them will probably be denied. Do what you can however. Note, Jordan, if you see the opening to accomplish what they hope to accomplish, go ahead."

I had information on FER-RON and Debra Washington. The men listened to me as I spoke of having the group on board the Rhinemaiden, but of them not activating the robot until it was too late. I had no information on Mary, and nothing on the Pyramid that the Americans did not have. We all considered it strange that the two were now with Debra and FER-RON, but felt that the objective to fire the main gun was a good one.

Walking on the hull the problem would be getting back into the ship. No airlocks were on that part of the ship. Since they were Americans, they had explosives. They however did not consider that a solution in itself, but wisely discussed the best places to use them. As I suited up, I however heard the others discuss another problem.

An enlisted showed up with a box to say, "Jordan, put this on the hull outside the airlock. It will enable us to stay in contact with you. Now, if Mary is this great receiver, she can probably pick up your transmissions. That however does not mean that she can reply. I would thus advise to act as if this other team knows what you are doing, so taking any appropriate caution."

Sergeant Jordan replied, "What I heard was to not give a damn about them, but do the mission."

Captain Phillips loudly voiced from where he was listening, "It is their mission, Jordan. They thus have dibs. Support them, but if they drop the ball feel free to run with it."

"Got it, Sir."

"God speed."

All those of my team thanked the captain for his words. I really had no problem with them, so also voiced my appreciation for his well wishes. With a few more words to assure that we had the appropriate information and blessings, we finished suiting up.

The airlock fit two people comfortably, but to prevent having to cycle it a third time I jammed in with two others. I joined the first two with us immediately having to engage korlocks. In the battle I found myself remembering the sensation of my contact with the creatures. What I saw in their movements however did not speak of peace. Their wavering forms and need to attack spoke of them not being in peace at all. I killed one wondering if it thought of itself as already in Hell, so felt peace in being dispersed. Being with Americans, I wondered about these enemies that forced me to accept a place among infidels. Hoping to gain a moment when I could take the time to consider my thoughts, I joined the others in moving toward our objective.

*Peace*

I spun with my weapon set to deliver pain. My action had my comrades take action as well. No korlock however could be seen in our immediate vicinity. I guess that no one considered it strange that one of us was on edge, as they simply turned back in the way we were going. I however kept my weapon at the ready as I followed.

The thoughts of what I considered peace distracted my focus. I did want peace for those on the planet. Under the guidance of the prophet, I felt that all of humanity could use peace. I however found my path to be of those set with the purpose of protecting the peace. To me, peace was a state others gained from my hard work. If the korlocks thought that sending me the impression would calm me, they had better consider thinking again.

*Peace*

This time I spun looking for where to aim. The sensation had been strong, so I knew the korlock was close. I could not see it, which had me not get upset with the question from Jordan.

"What is it, Commander?"

"There is a korlock, close," I answered. "I was out among those things once before."

"None of us doubt that, Commander. What exactly are you sensing?"

"It tries to send me a message of peace. Damn peace. If it wants peace, it should go away."

A mixture of disgust and satisfaction passed through me in hearing the Americans agree with me. A few spoke the infidel word, 'Amen,' which had me speak a praise to Allah and his prophet. I found myself thinking over the words of others who did not want the Americans with their Christian religion to gain the blessing of this other world. I however had to admit that I had found no indication of the korlocks worshipping Allah and his prophet, although I wondered if it would be better to continue our antagonism against the aliens without also having to suffer the American arrogance.

Returning to advancing toward our objective, I thought of the wonder of simply moving through space. The universe was vast with a grand multitude of wondrous sights. Not being confined to spacecraft or even protective suits would allow one to go where they desired and see things as they truly were. The thought did not calm me. I looked to the gathering of korlocks wondering why they did not disperse through the universe seeking those sights they individually found pleasant. It further bothered me that they had congregated for war instead of promoting the wonders of the creations of Allah. I felt that the korlocks were not acting toward achieving their objective.

*Peace*

This time I did not just spin bring my weapon to the ready, but I moved. I had not only felt the sensation, but I sensed the direction in which it had come from. Moving closer to an edge of the vessel, I saw a long tendril. Not wanting to fire at the hull of the space ship, I knelt down and set my weapon low before firing. As hoped, the tendril reacted with a section dispersing. I then heard the Americans gasp in amazement while moving to me and bringing their weapons to the ready as a large korlock looking like a roach with tentacles instead of legs rose from a position on the side of the Iliad.

Two of the Americans were taken out almost immediately. Tentacles came around them. Before enough harm could be inflicted to cause their release, they were drained of their essence with their suits collapsing when nothing but dust remained. I heard prayers to the Christian God, and knowing that I would not see my companions in the world to come I did what I could to end the life of the korlock. Another American became wound up in a tentacle, but while the other sought to help his comrade by destroying the tentacle I kept my weapon aimed to take out the entire monster.

I thought of peace. I thought of giving my fellow worshippers of the true God and his prophet a home where they could live out their lives without any influence of the infidels. To have Allah's gift that He guarded and protected through time to allow those of us of the true religion to be available to the Americans I felt to be a major stain on the blessing. To have peace, the Americans could not claim victory.

The remaining soldier with me cheered upon seeing the great korlock disperse. I however stayed silent knowing what I needed to do. In one quick fluid motion I turned and directed my weapon at the American. Feeling the satisfaction of removing one blemish upon the future, I looked to the korlocks accepting that they would need to go as well.

Luckily, the spacesuits remained. While I had seen the clothes on people turn to powder as well, the thick fabric of the protective garments did not fully get absorbed. I thus was able to claim the equipment I would need to finish the mission. Praying to Allah that I would remain to see the completion of my life purpose to protect His people, I set myself to doing what I needed to do.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

_________________
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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 Seven   May 28th 2015, 11:23 am

Fellowship in Desperation
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Three

Chapter Seven

It helped having FER-RON and Mary able to detect korlocks. The girl proved herself to just be aware of everything. All I needed was for my robot to vaporize a substance, and Mary could tell us its composition along with advice about how best to deal with it. She could identify where the wires ran, and if they were communication cables she could tell us what information was being transmitted. FER-RON had been built with the technology that it seemed the korlocks either were affected by, or used themselves, so could detect their presence, but I found myself amazed by what Mary could detect.

Our plan to travel through the bulkheads did not go quickly or without being threatened. The Iliad had the same construction technique of the Rhinemaiden in that all rooms were treated as separate units. We therefore did not have to just cut through a wall, but two with both built to withstand the forces of being conceivably released alone into the vacuum of space. It was suggested by Perry to use the slag of the weld as material to seal the break between the two walls. I found myself amazed to watch as FER-RON accepted the instructions, then performed according to them. While part of her programming was to store and manage information provided by people, most of it was to use for conversation purposes or simply relate in debriefing. Combat often necessitated dealing with immediate circumstances, so there were processes where she could transfer information to more active routines. I found it wonderful to watch as she recognized what was being told to her, understood that the data could be useful in what she was doing, and make the proper adjustments. While I thought to check the code later, I felt that FER-RON had managed our plan as well as shown forth her advanced logic.

Perry had stayed behind to guard our rear against korlocks coming through the bulkhead. FER-RON had gone first through the hole in order to protect against any frontal threats. I however had to move back as I found him not willing to advance.

"I don't believe my body will fit," he told me. "Go on."

I replied, "I had FER-RON basically use up her cutting fuel. Let me add that I did it against her complaint, in that the fuel is used for other more offensive reasons. The hole is big enough."

Mary moved back to say, "Perry, she said the truth."

He confided, "I was not built for crawling."

"But you can do it. Now, come on."

It took both me and Mary to instruct Perry on how to move through the hole. It seemed that he truly was not made for crawling. While his legs appeared to have normal knees, they were built for strength and did not provide that much flexibility. He ended up basically laying down and using his arms to get himself through the hole with the aid of us pulling on him. While I was not a mechanic, I had learned some things in handling the creation of FER-RON. I thus instructed Mary to remind me once we had Perry in a production area to hopefully figure out how to give more movement to his legs.

With all of us together, Mary led us out of the freezer, through a kitchen, then into a hallway where she said, "We now need to follow the red line. The bridge is out, but there is a secondary command post that is actually a better location for firing the Concurrent Chaos Causator."

Perry asked, "How much further?"

"A ways, but I cannot detect any further problems. We should be there soon enough."

After having a few fights with korlocks, I believe we were all jumpy about meeting the creatures again. Hearing a sudden boom caused us all to react. Seeing warning lights turn red outside a door did have us prepare weapons, although we spoke of finding it strange for korlocks to act in such a manner. Wondering about what we would possibly meet had us turn to Mary.

She noticed our looks, and said, "I believe it is someone entering. There is however something strange about him."

Perry stated, "At any rate, we should not be here if the door to the room is blown."

"Correct. Let's go."

We hurried along using the red line to guide us. There were bulkheads in our way, but Perry easily opened the heavy doors with FER-RON using her strength to shut them behind us. We felt glad for hurrying when a warning light came on over a door we had just passed through, then go off.

Mary said, "Whoever it is, worked the controls to allow him to pass even with the computer indicating a lack of atmosphere in one room. Still, the door was shut behind him."

I commanded, "Let's keep moving. Surely he is not heading in the same direction that we are."

It did not seem that long before we reached the secondary command center. Of course, having to pant from the rush of our movements did let me know why it seemed so little time had passed. As I regained my breath, Mary inspected the consoles and began activating them.

She explained to Perry who watched her. "I am hoping that by targeting the closer large korlock that it will be enough to disrupt whatever is being done to prevent us from using the Rothman Tube."

He replied, "You said that the batteries for this weapon would recharge. About how long would that take?"

"If the ship was fully functioning, about fourteen minutes. Presently, it would take approximately thirty-one minutes."

Perry checked his weapons, then the items on his person before saying, "I think we could hold out for thirty-one minutes if necessary."

FER-RON interjected her own support. "Yes. I am losing fuel for my thrusters, and have almost expended my flame fuel, but against korlocks I still have adequate ammo."

"Do what you need to do, Mary."

I moved up to watch the girl work. She did not seem to look at her hands, but kept her eyes fixed on monitors. Displaying complete control and awareness of things, she lined up the sight of a whale-like korlock before throwing the switch having the weapon fire. Being a prototype armament, there was a series of checks before the Concurrent Chaos Causator actually released its energy, but we all calmly waited for Mary to go through the procedures. I heard the door open behind us, but kept my eyes watching the large korlock as it took the attack.

Instead of cheers at seeing it disperse, a voice I did not recognize said, "Well, American infidels add another tool of Satan to their arsenal. Since the korlocks are Allah's enemies as well, I must approve."

I actually was surprised to recognize the man, so managed to calmly say, "Commander Stapleton, it is nice to see you."

"Yes, same to you Queen Debra. If only you would have had your robot ready just a little sooner."

"She has performed remarkably, considering the extreme circumstances that she has been put through. I will have her out of commission again for a time in order to check everything."

"I don't believe we have the time."

Mary said, "Yes, we do. The korlocks are fleeing." She adjusted the view from one monitor to show another of the whale-like korlocks moving back out of our location. "I suspect we can return to the Kayla within the hour. I am having the Concurrent Chaos Causator recharge just in case we need it. Whether we fire it again or not, I have instructed the Kayla to move to an airlock that we can reach from this location."

Commander Stapleton reached for a place to hold himself steady as he said, "A pink-haired girl?"

I answered, "She is Mary Worsheim, the special daughter of Dr. Beyonce's husband."

"Are you okay with that, Queen Debra? Does your God allow you to co-exist with such deviants of proper life forms?"

"I believe that our, my, generation will face legal issues concerning those like Mary and the forskins."

"I'm not talking about that." Anger sounded in Commander Stapleton's voice. "You Americans and your laws. I am talking about your God. Does your God find it acceptable for you to live with such man-made life?"

"I believe they have souls like we do, yes. It is not my place to decide things. I am living in a world where they exist, and I am going to allow them to prove themselves to myself, to others, and to God."

"I don't believe Allah will be pleased. The problem is that I am going to have to leave you to face his wrath. I am tired, Queen Debra."

Mary interrupted him to say, "Commander Stapleton is losing body temperature."

I asked, "Is he sick?"

"No – uh. He seems to be losing substance."

Commander Stapleton said, "Yes. I feel Allah is calling me to him. I have proven myself. I have taken the fight to the korlocks only to find comfort with Americans, then having to watch as corrupted humans win the battle. I am surrounded by enemies. I will march with Allah's armies when he comes to wipe out all the infidels, including those who are not truly of His creation."

I rushed to the commander, and felt some relief that I could feel his arms. "Commander Stapleton, we need to get you to a medic."

"No, peace."

"Peace?"

"Yes. I thought it was the korlocks speaking of peace. I laughed at them for attempting to tempt me with such a word. I now know that it was Allah. He was telling me that my time had come. This war is too much for me. Everywhere there is an enemy. I will march with Allah when he comes to clear away all the infidels."

Having my arms pass through Commander Stapleton frightened me. I looked to those with me hoping any of them were skilled in medical training. If any did, it would be Mary, but I saw her shaking her head while showing a scared expression. I however became frightened seeing FER-RON have an arm exchange with a reality of it being a serious weapon.

"Step away, Debra."

I obeyed seeing Commander Stapleton look more like a korlock, although had to ask, "Is there no other way?"

Mary replied, "I don't – no."

FER-RON said, "I agree," before firing her weapon.

My robot was supposed to check before firing at a human. I honestly could not decide if she had. I simply looked to where Commander Stapleton had been even as I made a mental note to check one more of FER-RON's routines.

Not having another target to fire upon, we left to return to the Kayla. Along the way we informed some soldiers about the successful use of the Concurrent Chaos Causator. They spoke of having noticed along with words of feeling bad for not attempting to use it themselves. Feeling that we had done enough to help our cause, we left to Kayla more than glad to be heading back to the world we knew.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

_________________
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