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 Adapting Non-Human: TimeSaga B6 (All 5 Chapters)

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PostSubject: Adapting Non-Human: TimeSaga B6 (All 5 Chapters)   August 1st 2015, 6:17 pm

Adapting to a Place Non-human
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Six

Chapter One

"Good Morning, Debra."

I looked at my robot, who had just risen from her containment module, and said, "We had just finished a simulation, FER-RON. You should thus not consider yourself as waking up. You might be getting up, but you are not waking up."

"Of course, you are right, Debra. I will make a notation."

She does not call me Queen. Due to the history of the development of FER-RON, I gained the unusual title. Honestly, I do like it. I often have to hide a smile when I hear myself called by the designation out in public. I however did not program my robot to refer to me by that title. I planned on working closely with her, so wanted a more friendly relationship. While I assured that FER-RON would pay attention to me, and obey me, I did nothing to have her call me Queen.

I heard a tone, then saw Lenny begin to type away on his terminal. Chu moved over to look over his shoulders. I had two men and two women serving under me. One couple were assigned to work with the mechanical nature of the robot with the other man and woman working to assure a full programming of data along with a multitude of checks on the code to assure no problems in the multitude of configurations FER-RON could assume. Lenny was my programming man with Chu my male mechanic. It made me feel good to see them working together, and I heard the report from Lenny feeling that it had approval.

"Queen, the efficiency checks of FER-RON's zero gravity routines shows them to be exceptional. I understand that we had no way to test them. Still, since we had access to real rocket scientists, Chu and I set up a comparison routine of what FER-RON did against what the mathematics said would be ideal conditions."

I interrupted feeling that I heard a problem. "Wasn't FER-RON designed to operate under such routines?"

Chu provided the answer. "She was, as best as we could determine them. That was my and Linda's concern. We had the math, but we had no true quality controls on what FER-RON's jets, mass, and other practical data."

Linda, my female mechanic, added, "Not to mention how everything changes when FER-RON alters her configuration."

"Right, so we really did not know. I did not want to compare FER-RON against ideal conditions just to finesse the quality of her routines, but simply to get an appraisal about the quality of the mechanics."

Lenny interrupted to say, "Queen, FER-RON actually changed out her configuration when the jets in her standard form began to run low on fuel. Her efficiency rating however stayed high."

I replied, "I believe I gave Li that assignment."

My female programmer was not one to speak unless spoken to, so I was not surprised to see her simply give a thumbs-up sign. Lenny however would talk. He had a nervous type of speech that would have him rattle on. While it was usually on a topic, I felt that he was simply glad to have someone to talk to, as he kept on and on even after I had tuned him out. I listened politely, as he was presenting the results of the comparison, but after a time I had him just jump ahead and speak of what he expected.

"Oh," Lenny nervously looked about before answering, "leave FER-RON out of her container. She needs real experience. She has been handling herself marvelously, but if there are any glitches in her operation we are only going find them outside the simulations."

Wanting to show my own support for what we had done in building the robot, I looked to her to ask, "What are your thoughts on what Lenny said, FER-RON?"

"I also appreciate what I gained from my time starting with the tragedy of the Rhinemaiden. I have the memory of what occurred, and I can tell that certain improvements in my logic and the design of some components resulted from the practical experience. I want to thank all of you, and I look forward to what more will happen in the future."

"Well, FER-RON, I am hoping that much does not happen. We are presently on the Roland about to head to Mission. I am hoping for a long, peaceful period of exploring this alien world. All I hope to test with you, FER-RON, is your Full Emoting Robot routines, and not your Reactive Offensive Neighbor routines."

There was a chorus of agreement from my team after which FER-RON said, "I believe Captain Roy is hoping for such as well, although he seems worried about his brother Al."

I replied, "I believe one of your programming changes was in associating Al with the korlocks, FER-RON. That alteration came with approval from Roy and Nick, as well as others. If Al appears, you have the authorization to have us not worry about him any more."

Again there was a chorus of agreement, although FER-RON kept her focus on me. "I am aware of it, Debra."

"Yes, but I know how your mind works, FER-RON. My intention is to not only have the facts in your head, but for you to now have support for those values in your memory. I want your mind to not only have a certain reaction when you come upon Al, but to have verification for those actions. I know that you are to question any action that might hurt a person with you preferring not to take such an action, so I want you to understand that you are fully authorized to harm Al. If you go into a situation where Al is present, I want Al to be the one worried."

"I understand, Debra."

I had said what I felt necessary, at least for that topic. While I considered what else to mention, allowing for an opening for another of my team to speak of what concern they had, I heard a ping from the speaker in the ceiling. I thus listened for what another felt was a necessary topic.

The voice of Roy asked, "Is your team prepared, Queen Debra?"

I answered, "We are not in our chairs, but can be. How long until launch?"

"We are going into final system checks at the moment. When you hear the countdown over the speakers, you better be where you can secure yourself." I felt that was enough, but then Roy mentioned something specific. "Mary says that FER-RON is active."

"Yes, and she will be active. Unlike the situation on the Rhinemaiden, FER-RON will be active should the korlocks attack."

"Glad to hear it. It's a new ship, so we have a number of things to verify. Still, expect to launch within the hour."

There would actually be no launch, as the Roland had been built in space. All that would happen was the vessel would fire its engines and start upon its actual mission. Considering that FER-RON was becoming active as well, it actually meant that my team was considering what their next mission would be. The plan was to start production on a retail model of FER-RON, but many had concerns about creating a production model of what was actually a weapon. Many looked to our robot as proving a humanoid form could be made practical and able to relate to people. Dr. Beyonce regularly sent queries to me about making a different type of robot, especially one that could perform as a butler and maid. I felt the stresses placed upon FER-RON would prove the viability of a multitude of other robots, but I did not know if I could relate to programming those mentalities as I did with her. Something about knowing my robot was to be a bad-ass inspired me to perform at my best, and I did not know if I would have the same attitude toward a machine that would simply be ogled at as she went about dusting the pictures on the walls. I actually felt good being in space, as it allowed me to keep a focus on my present mission without having to face any concerns about how boring my next period of employment might be.

A number of speeches came over the speaker as the Roland was brought into operation. It actually belonged to the Solomon Foundation. While all the other vessels in operation or being built had official duties relating to military operations or advancing company profits, the Roland had no other purpose than to advance mankind's knowledge. Considering the presence of my team, I saw smiles when we heard the voice of Dr. Beyonce give her own speech of support for the future of the vessel.

We did strap ourselves to secured chairs when the Roland finally fired her thrusters. My team however had already spent time on other vessels, so did not consider this movement as anything special. Actually, we had other plans for this mission. As we sat in the chairs and felt the movement of the vessel, we spoke of our future.

Chu said, "FER-RON did well when we were on Earth, but I believe Mission will present more complications to her operation."

Lenny asked, "Yes, Queen, any update on when we will be able to go down to the planet?"

I replied, "Everything has to be built, including the shuttles. What I am being told is that the shuttles operate in the same manner as the Roland itself. Thus, once she checks out with a flight plan around some of the other planets in this solar system, they will finish the work on the shuttles. We are scheduled for one of the first flights down to Mission, but I believe all of us know the dangers of allowing something to operate before being fully tested."

The soft voice of Li had me listen for one of her few verbalized comments, "Well, I hope this time korlocks do not attack."

Chu strongly gave a reply, "Well, this time we have FER-RON already active."

I spoke of another difference in this mission and our time on board the Rhinemaiden. "This ship is also a little more formidable. It has weapons and defenses built with the korlocks in mind."

I thought back to the report from my brother. It had actually been hand delivered by a military officer who let me know that it was only due to my work with FER-RON, which had put me directly into situations with korlocks and probably would again, that I was getting the information. I was glad to hear of how Clyde handled the situation, and felt that working with Jericho would actually be good experience for him. The report however did give me evidence pointing to certain conclusions. While I could not discuss the specifics, I could voice certain ideas to get my people talking or thinking about our own future.

"I believe the korlocks will stay a problem, as I believe we will find evidence of more worlds bringing us further and further into their original civilization. Even if we get rid of Al, the original mentality of the korlocks will need to be dealt with."

Chu asked, "Are you saying that we are the ones to do it, Queen?"

"I am saying that our work with FER-RON will have us advance along with the discoveries made. There is more to this world than just another place for mankind to call home, and if we are to overcome this new frontier there will be more required of us than just assuring that we have a weapon to keep everyone safe."

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

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


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PostSubject: Chapter Two   August 6th 2015, 10:38 am

Adapting to a Place Non-human
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Two

I took FER-RON with me on a tour of the ship. The Galahad was a large craft. Built for research, it provided spacious areas for what appeared to be useless purposes. Public areas however were where large populations could be provided for in order to evacuate them from one place to another. The recreation areas could be 'taken over' by large projects needing the room to assemble machinery. I heard some speak of the large rooms as the look of the future, while others spoke of the financial drain in operating such a grand volume of useless space. Many came to meet FER-RON also speaking of her as either an advancement of technology or a dead-end concept.

I was proud of the way she handled the conversations. Managing ways of responding to the chatter of people gave me the greatest challenge in writing the code for FER-RON. Many wanted to meet her, and seeing a very human form most treated her as a regular person. My robot proved herself capable of responding to the various comments and questions, and I could not help but be proud of my work.

While in the other spaceships the people tended to keep active at their jobs, I found most of those on board the Galahad to about the public spaces. Many were like my team, and considered their work to actually be on the planet. Others found the spaciousness of the vessel to inspire them, so they moved around feeling glad to be part of such a ship that did not limit their freedoms. Many mentioned comments of possibly being goofing off, but felt that their time in the public spaces enhanced the periods where they were active at their jobs.

To provide a variety of experiences for my robot, as well as satisfy my own curiosity, I visited the compartments of the various work areas. Most were glad to discuss their work with others. A few did mention secret aspects to their projects, but they still related some basic information. All however were rather interested in my own project, so spoke with FER-RON to satisfy their own curiosity about her.

I found it strange how much we did not know about this solar system. The astronomers on board the Galahad were taking as many pictures as they could in the hope to begin to identify any outer planets, comet clouds, or other satellites orbiting this sun. Lenny was with me as I made a tour of the ship, and he commented about certain programs being able to digitally check one picture with another. The astronomers gave him a lengthy lecture about there being more to an identification than just pixel movement between images. While it was slightly funny seeing Lenny survive the ordeal, he came away glad to speak with me about what we still had to learn about this new potential home for humanity.

After the tour of the ship, I had FER-RON return to her container so I could check her routines. Honestly, she had performed very well, but I still felt that I had noticed things that might indicate problems. It caught me by surprise to hear Lenny mention a potential conflict in my altered code with another configuration of FER-RON. I looked around to see my entire team at work. Accepting that the open spaces of the Galahad had proven their benefit to refresh the people toward their attitudes about their jobs, I set myself back to focusing on improving the routines for my robot.

My team fell into a regular pattern of working four hours, then resting or playing for eight. The cycle would then repeat. Hearing that the day on Mission was less than twenty hours, we all spoke of wondering if we could adjust. I reminded them that our type of work usually was away from any indication of what was going on outside, so periods of light or dark should not trouble us. My team however spoke of the beauty of Dr. Beyonce's tropical island, so could not help but wonder about the coming scenery outside our next working location.

Even though mankind had discovered the technology to transverse the distance between Earth and Mission, we really had not figured out a way of moving through space with any great velocity. We had unlimited power, but only in a constantly available capacity. What Dr. Beyonce's time-loop technology did not give us was vast quantities of energy. While the engines of the Galahad would ever produce a certain level of thrust, it could not suddenly roar with a great burst of acceleration.

With the distances between objects in space still being vast, it did not surprise anyone when Captain Roy announced that we would be turning back. He did admit that the purpose of the Galahad was for exploration, so the desires of the astronomers would probably be given some priority. Captain Roy however allowed that many of us were looking forward to checking out the planet before a mass of humanity decided to cross over and make the world a home for something other than aliens. I did not cheer when it was mentioned that shuttle schedules to Mission would be posted in the near future, but I did smile thinking the announcement was a good surprise.

FER-RON became an almost constant presence among us. We found less and less in her words and actions that we felt needed to be checked, although we continued to watch her. Not only did we not feel stressed having FER-RON constantly active, but I found myself with the feeling that I could take time away from my work.

There was a botanical section to the Galahad. While it raised a number of plants for providing food, there were some present simply for their beauty. It had become a pleasant rest area for us on board the vessel. While I really was not someone who would spend time growing flowers, I liked them enough that I would visit the botanical section of the ship just to look at what was blooming.

It surprised me to see the pink hair coming from the head of a young form. I did know that Mary was on board, but really had not spoken to the girl. My focus had been on my robot, which everyone did treat as special, so I had ignored the other special female. Hoping to make up for my lack of social interaction, I approached hoping to share a moment with the young android.

She turned to me before I could come close and said, "Hello, Queen Debra. I thought that you would be here with FER-RON, but I detect her still in your work room."

"If she were with me, I would be thinking of ways to test her routines. At the moment, I am trying to get away from work."

"Oh, yes, I can understand that. The ship is not big enough for me to do that. It is big. Captain Roy has a really big ship, but I can detect everything about it. That is why I want to go down to the planet. Maybe there I can get away from work as well."

Hoping to get our conversation on something other than work, I tried a different topic, "They are finding a lot of stuff left behind by the korlock civilization. I guess that you cannot really be put to work until you can translate it."

"No, but are hoping that I can sense the range of the original equipment and suggest what it was supposed to do. Those already on Mission are having trouble figuring out how the society managed its basic infrastructure. I am told that they found the sewage lines. That was pretty easy. How the korlocks processed the waste material however is not apparent. They are actually thinking that a certain section of pipe was a great centrifuge, but whether it was and how it managed to keep from clogging up they are uncertain." She smiled, then said, "I think that I am going to be shown a lot, but I am hoping not to find the great sensation of noise that I am constantly having to deal with."

Actually worried about her, I asked, "Can you sleep?"

"Not really, but I do what I can to relax at times. Everyone tries to give me some sort of helmet, but my whole body was designed to support my purpose. Honestly, it is not my normal senses that bother me, but all the other information that I detect and process."

"I guess that you would want a containment chamber like we have FER-RON rest in."

"Then I would feel like I am sleeping in a coffin."

Hoping that she would appreciate the humor, I quipped, "It would give the words, 'dead to the world,' a different context."

She chuckled more than laughed, but the smile on her face pleased me. "I do not hear FER-RON joking."

"No, as humor is a constantly developing process. What I did have to deal with were situations where what FER-RON said was taken to be funny."

She smiled, then surprised me by changing the subject. "I detect some of my own technology in her. Did you work with my daddy?"

"No. The original designer of FER-RON, King Jimmy, however came to the attention of Dr. Beyonce through Dr. Worsheim. I have found some communications between King Jimmy and your father. If your father was not married to Dr. Beyonce, there might have been a custody battle as to who owned some of your technology."

"Mommy has a number of lawsuits against those that made the Annapolis series and are attempting to create further androids."

I knew for certain that Dr. Beyonce did everything she could to locate Mary. The fact that what she found were others using her own technology, some of which she gained from the death of her husband, gave her a number of legal rights to press forward on the investigation. I however did not want to get into a deep conversation on criminal and corporate proceedings, so simply gave a short answer.

"Yes. I work with your mother closely, and stay aware of her activities."

I believe that she understood my desire to keep the conversation light, as she politely asked, "Can I speak to you of mommy sometime? I believe that we could be working close to each other."

"Certainly, Mary. I would be glad to consider you a friend."

"Thank you. I am not like FER-RON. I am a real girl."

Those words troubled me, so I tried to let Mary know how I thought about her. "A very special real girl. I like to think of myself as a very special girl as well. As two very special real girls, maybe we can develop a very special friendship. I think that would be good."

She closed to hug me while saying, "Yes, thank you. I think that would be good as well."

I noticed that she felt like a real girl. There was a suppleness to her skin that my robot did not have. Her pink hair was not a special wig, but actually grew from her head. While I knew there was a mechanical superstructure to her physique, I noticed in the hug that what had developed around it was indeed a real person.

Mary reacted in a very pleasant way to my turning the conversation to the flowers. I gained the impression that no one had even spoken on the topic in the manner I did. She could tell me a lot about the flowers and the plants they grew from, but simply to appreciate their shape and color she reacted in a manner stating that she considered the perspective quite novel. I believe in the time we spent with each other a foundation was laid for Mary and me to form a good friendship.

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

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Chapter Two   August 11th 2015, 8:01 am

Adapting to a Place Non-human
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Three

We were not the first shuttle down to the planet. I had done nothing to make our descent a priority, and I certainly did not feel like wasting my time making demands that really would not matter. I had work that could be done in a lab on a spaceship as well as in a room on some planet. When we finally loaded a shuttle with our equipment and made the trip, I however gained the impression that those on the planet had been attempting to give us a grand welcome.

There was a crowd waiting. It quickly became apparent that they were interested in FER-RON. That did not bother me at all, but I easily stepped back to watch as my robot dealt with the situation. While most of those in the crowd did focus on FER-RON, I saw a couple speak to my associates who directed them to me.

It was two men that approached, both appearing in wonderful physical condition, with the taller speaking. "Queen Debra, you can have your choice of almost any of the surrounding buildings. We believe that we have figured out the power grid, but they had put a lot more sophistication into it than we did. Just turning the power on is not a simple affair at all. Still, you do have your own generators, so claim whatever unclaimed area you desire."

I knew to ask, "What about water?"

"Honestly, we can just turn that on. There are both potable and non-potable lines. Usually there is a sink with a potable line, although it is best to check. We have not had any major plumbing problems, but we do run a check of the building when we turn the valves."

"My team has worked and lived on a tropical island away from civilization, so can handle most basic habitat problems. What about the alien architecture has given you the most problems?"

"Mystification about what the stuff is. Beds, chairs, even doors can have you puzzled. We are right now assuming they slept on couches or the floor. There do not seem to be separate bedrooms. Baths are with non-potable water, although there is a basin with two potable water lines with us assuming one had hot water."

I had watched the videos about things on Mission. They had mostly been about what the teams were doing in establishing certain basic necessities of life. I thus was familiar about problems with the electric power, water, and sewage. What I however wanted to know about were the topics I suspected had been avoided by the producers of the videos.

"Have you been exploring the water or areas outside the city?"

The shorter man replied, "There are fish in the water, with some actually tasting good. We can only guess that the aquatic lifestyle forces certain evolutionary designs. We have not been active outside the city. The primary fear is korlocks. It however has been noted that there are no indications of natural wildlife invading the city."

"Any identification of databases or archives about the people who lived here?"

"None. Not even any sign of them having a communication network. No satellites about the planet. The theory at present is that they had implants in their skulls."

The taller one interjected, "Although we have not found any graveyards either to check corpses. One would think that there would be a hospital, but we have not identified one." He then moved his head to look toward the crowd, then turned back to me comment, "You don't seem worried about FER-RON."

"What? No. She was never a threat to people. She killed Jimmy because he was between her and a korlock. Even after committing that horrible act she responded properly and willingly allowed us to put her back in containment. Someone in the crowd might manage to take her logically to a place I had yet to take into account, but I am more interested in what that might be than worried about my robot acting inappropriately."

"Well, you just relieved me of one problem I felt we might have. Glad to have you and your team here, Queen Debra. Like I said, take your pick of accommodations."

After a period of visiting, my team and I did get to work looking around at the various buildings. Our buildings had lobbies, but these seemed to open directly into hallways or work areas. Those going with us let us know that there did seem to be a common floor, but it was neither standard in design nor on a certain floor. We moved through the various buildings with our level of conversation with the others reducing to nothing as certain facts settled upon us.

The elevators did not work, although many spoke of hoping to figure them out as without cables the only option was that they used some sort of anti-gravity. Of course, the fact that the rooms were bare could also mean that they used some type of force field generation for their furniture. I somehow doubted either option, but I also could not imagine an alternative explanation for why the buildings had been gutted. On our world, people did not have the time or nature to store away things for a disaster. I could not help but make a comment as I looked into another empty elevator shaft.

"Could this world have just never been used?"

A man that I now knew as Captain Musahi of the Iranian Air Force replied, "That is a possibility, but that poses other questions, Queen Debra. The only Rothman Tube we know from Earth comes here. Another possibility is thus that we were supposed to occupy it upon our advance into the greater congregation of beings."

I believe it was Chu that commented, "But we didn't."

A voice beyond those near me that I could identify said, "Which is probably good, considering what seems to have happened to the others."

I clearly recognized Lenny as being the one who concluded, "Queen Debra, I do not see how our work with FER-RON is going to answer these questions."

"It's not," I replied. "FER-RON is supposed to protect the people who come here. We are to give our robot opportunities to interact with people and situations, and evaluate her responses. Just as Mary has been used for the prototype for the Annapolis series, and coming series, of androids, FER-RON will be the prototype for other useful robots. They," I made a wide motion with my hands to indicate all around me, "are to find answers to these questions, or do whatever their mandate is to do. FER-RON, and other robots based off her, are to keep them safe as they do it."

Captain Musahi announced, "And we are glad to have FER-RON and her team with us. Please, find a place and make yourself at home."

I do not think that Dr. Beyonce expected to become an owner of property on Mission. My team chose the building with the shape that they approved. The outside had a curved, slightly bell shaped appearance except for the northeast section that rose about five stories higher. Those of my team spoke of wanting the elevated floors to be their personal spaces, and I gave them permission under the assumption they would make the climb up there daily to use them. That had all but Chu speak of settling in a room close to where we set up our equipment. When I informed those already established on Mission of our decision, they left to get their equipment for turning on the water and when they came back they also had a deed to the property made out to Dr. Beyonce.

Ownership of the building gave us certain rights, and protected us from the dictates of others unless a certain community process clearly indicated a problem with one of our alterations. With the water running, I thanked the local people then gave Chu and Linda the authority to make what alterations were necessary to get our operation up and running. Everyone spoke of hoping we found ourselves comfortable in our new home, and left us to do what we felt best with the building.

Having complete control over the building had my team suggest an idea that we had considered previously. They wanted to provide FER-RON with her own room, although with us having rooms to each side to monitor things. I had actually been the one to originally speak of it, so could not veto the option now. The only thing I had to point out was that we could not go to a store to get whatever items we might desire. The large open floor, what everyone considered the 'common' floor, was the fourth in our building. My team chose the one below, the third, for our operation work with certain rooms designated for each of our needs. All except Chu decided the fifth floor would be for our private quarters, and we wished our male mechanic a good rest as he spoke of climbing to the upper floors to find his room.

We went to bed when the sky became dark. While we knew the cycle of the planet operated on a less than twenty-four rotation, until we got our generators operational we did not have any method to fully illuminate our surroundings. The events of preparing for coming to the surface of Mission, then our activity here had however worn us out, so we settled into our rooms feeling that nighttime had come at the proper finish of our day.

Chu came down the next morning praising his choice of room, although complaining about the lack of drapes. It seemed that his room had grand windows giving him a wonderful view of the surroundings. He spoke of staying up and enjoying the sight of the land bathed in darkness except for those buildings inhabited by others. We however all laughed when Chu mentioned the same windows giving the rays of sunlight access to him, and unable to stop the glow around him he went ahead and started the day.

Lenny and Li were put to work taking notes as Chu and Linda began making our building operational. While it used time-loop technology, which was relatively quiet, it was still decided to put the generator on the floor below our operation room. I gave the okay, then left to make a simple map of the building while my team did their work.

I heard the yells, and came running to Li. She directed me up to the operations floor, then into what would become FER-RON's room. There I saw Chu on the floor, and heard him call me over to verify what he had found.

He pointed to a couple of strips of silvery metal and declared, "Those are our power cables, Queen."

They were set against the grain of whatever substance was making the ceiling of the floor below. The silvery metal was also not round, but flat as if an extended bar. I however saw that it had been coated with a plastic-like substance. It did look right, but before I verified the claim I felt a need to check with others that had more time inspecting the substances making up the buildings.

Ours became the first building completely lit. Our generator was rather powerful, but not really strong enough to sustain the entire structure. Enough was done however to verify that the strips of silvery metal were the power lines. No on/off switches were found, along with no electrical outlets, so we wondered about how to make use of the supposed cables. Luckily, Mary came down with the mercenaries, and she managed to determine things when we again hooked out our generator to the metal. It seemed that they operated by sound with the words, 'Hoosha Nufo,' causing the strips to glow in a room and the words, 'Hoosha Ikkaf,' putting the room back into darkness. Holes in the floorboard gave access to strips coming off the main lines that could be used for power to items. For a brief period we had our building completely lit, then went through turning off the lights on the rooms we were not going to use.

A number of people worked with my mechanics to test and verify things about the electrical lines. What had been discovered was verified in the other buildings. The silvery metal was found to have very low resistance. The sections doped to produce the illumination did pull some power, but not enough to consider them inefficient. By the end of the day I had a number of people working with my mechanics to determine work loads of a fully functioning building.

All the work of a general nature had not allowed us to get specific about powering our own specific work stations. I did not consider it proper to officially call an end of the day, but I did let my own team know that they had worked their regular shift. Chu and Linda were in their element however, so told me that they would break after finding a suitable stopping point in their work. Having water and lights, I felt that I could get to work making my room my own apartment.

I turned as Mary approached and asked, "Queen Debra, could I make my home here? I would rather be with family."

"I don't know about us being family, Mary, but I accept that as being Dr. Beyonce's daughter you have family connections to my operations. I also believe that there is room here for you."

That was intended to be a joke, and I appreciated seeing the girl smile. "I liked being a help today. I feel a lot more useful here than I did back on Earth."

"Well, as long as I am away from Earth with my boss' daughter wanting to stay with me, I have to say that my job is secure. Thus, I'm glad to have you. Of course, you mother owns the building anyway, so I doubt I could refuse you."

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

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   August 16th 2015, 8:18 am

Adapting to a Place Non-human
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Four

We were actually prepared to light up a building. Of course, the one that we had chosen was much larger than the simple construction we had planned upon. What we found however was that the central wiring to the building was very efficient, so what drain we put upon our generator stayed within the power capabilities of our generator.

With the power turned on, we found that we had hot water. Others had already set themselves to dismantling a building to learn some things. The fact that we were newbies, yet had discovered something not yet realized, had set those who had already been on Mission for a time to reassert their status. Having us mention taking hot baths only had those already determined to find out some secrets speak of what more might be realized when a building had been fully deconstructed.

As I moved about with FER-RON, others came up to talk to her. In the discussions, it was admitted that no one had actually set themselves to taking a building apart and seeing how it was constructed. A concern for being attacked by korlocks along with a sense of not desecrating the remains of an ancient civilization had people just accept the buildings as they were. Everyone spoke with pride of the attempts to fully document things as they had been found before doing any damage to what had been present. The conversations really were not topics my robot had been programmed to handle, but I was glad to see her do enough to have people relax and talk in her presence.

Beside giving my robot some more direct experience around people, the walk about town also enabled us to learn about those of what I considered my new neighborhood. Some came to us speaking of the alien architecture that surrounded us, but I had to inform them of my previous years working on a tropical island. Just being around people, around a community, was different to me. Hearing those words caused people to let me know what facilities were present, or they planned to provide, helping me to learn about my new neighborhood.

FER-RON and I did provide help to some people. There were minor problems that demanded very little effort, but helped us meet even more people while proving ourselves as willing to be friendly. I was grateful for FER-RON's memory in some cases helping me to assure certain details in what people had asked of us, but we ended the day having a number speak words of thanks for our help.

The big question on everyone's mind was the type of aliens that had inhabited Mission before us. One man listened as I spoke of my own vision of korlocks, then drew what I felt to be a good representation of the race that appeared closest to the human form. While we had no furniture to base any assumptions upon, the fact that we found the architecture comfortable, if not how we would do things, had us feel that the ones that constructed the buildings had been basically humanoid in form.

I returned to my room focused on examining what information was present. The latches to open the doors did feel strange, but my hand operated them easily enough. There was more of a bulge to the handle with a tiny release mechanism causing me to think of the meatier palms with the fingers coming out appearing small. The knobs on the water spigots and release mechanisms on the windows both helped me to believe that the picture did illustrate the type of person who I felt was meant to live in this room.

With the lights on, I thought about the color scheme. It was not white, but a grayish orange. I guess it could be considered a neutral color, but not what I felt to be a pleasant one. I remembered hearing others speak of wanting to paint the walls to their rooms. Wishing that the buildings did have more information about those who had built them, I turned off the lights and went to sleep pondering problems other than those dealing with my robot.

I went to the window the next morning and looked out wondering not just about this world, but the people who lived here. Not being happy with the view, I thought of Chu and left to climb to the upper floors where he had claimed his residence. Climbing the stairs, I thought about focusing upon what it would take to get the elevators operational. Upon reaching the height of the top floor, I however regained my reason for desiring the view as I looked over this alien terrain.

I heard the footsteps climb the steps, so was not surprised to hear Chu say, "Queen?"

"Those are plants out there," I replied.

"Yes. Did you come up here for the better view of the countryside?"

"At least where would be the best direction for exploring. FER-RON is to protect the people, so should acclimate herself to the various terrains and potential threats. While no one has spoken of seeing anything, we should assume that there are creatures, maybe just insects, that feed on the plants."

He moved up to stand beside me as he answered, "Yes. I mean, there is fish in the water, so we should be able to assume there are animals in the forest. There are flowers, so this is not a primitive ecology. It is thus logical to assume that animals have evolved. Plus, this is part of what we know once was a star traveling society, so they should have brought things in at the very least."

Chu did well in giving a developed response. We did deal with simple technology. Everything we worked on had a high degree of sophistication requiring a number of advanced procedures to enact. Any problem we faced we thus had to consider at a very deep level just to be able to grasp the necessary level of complexity. Yes, I felt that I had something to puzzle out, so someone who would present a developed foundation for my thoughts was desired.

I asked, "What type of weapons do we have?"

"You mean non-korlock weapons?" He waited for me to nod before continuing. "Nothing with massive fire capabilities. Just as with FER-RON, we want no casualties from friendly fire. A couple of rifles, a couple of pistols, but a good deal of ammo for both. You can thank the military for the latter."

"Good. I will want a rifle and a pistol tomorrow. FER-RON actually has a couple of physical weapon options, but I might spend the day checking her accuracy with normal weapons. No need for anyone to go with me, but let the others know that they can volunteer."

"I can assure you that Lenny with go with you, Queen. Linda and I have stuff to do here. I cannot say anything about Li. But, Queen?" He paused, and right before I was simply going to ask him for his thoughts he went ahead and voiced his question. "Is there an actual reason for this?"

"If you don't go look for answers, you really should not expect to find them. Also, I am getting the impression everyone in town is afraid of the forest. Well, I think they are just afraid of the unknown. If they were going to be afraid of that, they never should have come here. Me, I think facing whatever is in the forest to be a lot less dangerous, and a lot more rewarding in possible food and just information about the ecology of this planet."

"That's my Queen. Listen, I might let some locals know. Your boldness might inspire a few to go with you. When facing the unknown, there is safety in numbers."

Considering that I had spent the previous day dealing with the locals, I found myself speculating who might go with me. Most had reasons for being present on Mission, and were about those duties. Others I felt had sought to simplify their lives by marking the forest as off limits. I told Chu that he could inform others even as I speculated on who might actually show up.

I did spend some time in my room assuring myself of what facts had already been presented of Mission. There were pictures from space of the planet. I read geologist reports speaking of the possible age and development of the planet. Their preliminary conclusions was that Mission had existed before being found by the korlocks, but had its native ecology disrupted, if not completely exterminated, by the aliens when they decided to make their home on the planet. The native plants were thus probably suffering from the advance of non-native species with the native wildlife in serious decline due to the complete loss of their habitat. The material only interested me due to my desire to head into the forest, and after a period of studying I decided to move on with my own plans.

As I went over the basic operations of the rifle and pistol with FER-RON, I heard the voice of a little girl ask, "Queen Debra, can I go with you?"

I turned to see Perry with Mary as I answered her, "Of course you can."

"Well, Charcoal gave me a pistol, but I still have the wand as well should we encounter korlocks."

Perry said, "Not that we are expecting trouble, but most people do not expect things in the forest to be pleasant."

I replied, "The only way to know for certain is to go look. I personally believe that they are afraid of the unknown, and not the creatures in the forest."

"Charcoal and Sandstorm are working with some others to get some vehicles operational. They are not hoping that we find wildlife, but signs of a road."

"I was looking at the pictures taken by spacecraft last night, and they really do not show other cities. I thus do not know where any roads would go."

Mary must have been able to pull the information from the network, as she started speaking of features on the space photos as if having a clear image. Perry gave me the impression that he really did not care, but was simply to provide protection for Mary and me. I however had gained enough information to have chosen a route of travel, and I discussed my decisions with the girl as I packed up and prepared.

Lenny did accompany us, although did little talking. I was glad he came. He was a good member of my team with a background that helped to provide a perspective on FER-RON's code that I felt helped her performance. In the lab he could be a spirited debater. Among a group of people not associated with robots or computer code, he however said little. While Lenny stayed present on the journey, I did most of my talking with Perry or Mary.

The road I had chosen stopped at the forest. The pavement ended at what I felt could be an avenue marking the outer perimeter of the city. In looking both ways, it was FER-RON that spoke of one route extending past the boundary highway. Since finding a road going out of the city had been what Perry's associates had asked of him, we turned to head toward that extended pavement.

We did find what we could only associate with a type of dog. It was about the size of large dog, but with what appeared to be a hairless leathery skin. The bluish tint to the hide along with yellow markings had us actually not considering it creature native to the forest. They did make a yelping sound between growls while acting as if we were intruding upon their territory. Perry aimed his gun at a dog while asking me if we should provide a specimen to those back in the city.

I aimed my rifle, fired, then answered the question. "Let me get into any potential trouble instead of you. As a mercenary, you might suffer from any criticism."

Seeing the one I shot drop and the others run off, he replied, "Thank you. Oh, and good shot."

"Remember, I am the one who worked through the simulations with my robot. I know how to handle weapons."

"Well, I thank you for allowing me to walk with you, even though my need to protect you seems to have been in error. Do you want me to carry the carcass back to the city?"

"Yes. Might as well go back and supply everyone with some substantial facts of the forest."

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

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Chapter Five   August 21st 2015, 2:30 pm

Adapting to a Place Non-human
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Six

Chapter Five

Seeing the creature, most could not understand why they had not strayed into the city. Their appearance as canines had others consider them to be scavengers. All that they could conclude was that the city had not been inhabited by enough people and for enough time to build up a reputation among the wildlife as having available worthwhile garbage.

Verifying that the road had at least gone the distance we had walked without showing signs of coming to an end, others spoke of finding out to where the original inhabitants felt a need to travel. Getting people to see past their own hesitation of exploring this world had been one of the goals of my excursion. I thus listened to them speak with pride in being successful. Not really caring about where the road led, I headed back to my building thinking of what I might do next to test my robot.

Of course I took FER-RON back to our building and began examining her behavior while on the expedition. I really had not noticed anything wrong in her actions, but there were moments where I felt a need to assure the flow of her logic. It was as my team and I studied the processes during the encounter with the native animals that we heard someone rush into our building and up the stairs.

"We need FER-RON!" a man yelled over and over.

It was Linda that stepped outside a lab and asked, "What exactly do you need FER-RON for?"

"Korlocks!"

I looked to my programmers, and Lenny said, "FER-RON is not showing any problems, Queen. We have been checking her just to make sure and not because we felt there was anything to be concerned about."

Li supported him by saying, "She was built to handle korlocks."

As I typed in the authorization to bring FER-RON out from her chamber, Linda spoke back to the one that came. "It takes less than five minutes to revive her. She will be active real soon."

The man asked, "Can I wait here?"

We had the man explain where the korlocks had been seen. What he did not know was that as he stated approximate number along with their location, I had FER-RON listening in. She thus rose to assure the man that she was prepared, then moved to leave the building and take on the korlocks.

Li said, "She did not tell us good morning."

I replied, "We did not put her to sleep. She was merely rendered inert so we could do a full check of her mental processes. She understood what we were doing, and came alert understanding that she was merely being re-engaged and not newly activated after a period of being off."

Lenny supported me by saying, "And she knew we had not spent any time sleeping. I liked the fact that she recognized Charles."

Charles Shanarbin was an architect sent in to make sense of the alien constructions. Until Chu tore into the space between floors, he had merely been making drawings of what was present. He now was active in identifying the components of the buildings. I had to agree that I was also pleased that my robot recognized the man and spoke to him in the professional and assuring way that she did.

I assured that I had the bracelet with the weapon stored in a time adjusted location, then left to follow FER-RON only to hear Linda ask, "How is that weapon working for you, Queen?"

"It has been working wonderfully," I replied. "Thank you for it."

"You think I could work a deal with Dr. Beyonce to manufacture it?"

"It is her technology, Linda. Still, it works very well. You might be able to get some concession from her. She might have an idea for you to work on, so you can gain your own division."

As she said, "Will think about it," Lenny asked, "Where are you going, Queen?"

I answered with words I felt had already been stated, "With FER-RON."

"I I I will go with you."

Linda told him to wait as she turned back to dash into the room for the mechanics, then came out with a weapon while saying, "Here, you can use this."

"Oh, I I guess I might need it."

"We were just told that korlocks were out there, so, yes, you might need it."

Linda's manner of laughing while she spoke I felt embarrassed Lenny. I stayed quiet, because I felt she was correct about him needing a weapon if he was going outside. I however had my own concern. As if understanding why I looked to her, Linda did not laugh as she spoke to me.

"Yes, Queen, we have other weapons. Chu and I became familiar with the weapons on FER-RON by playing with others. That weapon you had was not built from the only parts we had."

I replied, "Those other weapons better work and not be in states of disassembly."

Chu said, "We will both be on it, Queen. Now, go watch over our robot."

I took off. I had to stop upon moving outside our building, as I needed to determine where FER-RON had gone. Lenny actually provided help in scanning the surroundings and coming up with a direction. I took off in the direction we had settled upon as having the best possibility of finding our robot, and sure enough we saw her as we came to the next intersection.

It was a different battle than my previous ones, as the people had weapons. FER-RON did go about as the only active resistance to the aliens. Those that came to Mission knew about the aliens, and had brought methods of dealing with the threat. I found myself glad for the difference in these battles, as it tested my robot in situations she had not previously seen action.

There had been armed soldiers on board the space vessels. They however were trained with their guns with a clear set of rules in how to handle their engagements. The compartmental construction of the ships also tended to break up any conflicts into more personal conflicts. In the city, the people firing did not have a consistent skill level with their weapons. Some only knew which end of their guns were dangerous, while others demonstrated a clear understanding of handling their weapons in a crisis. Also unlike a space vessel, the streets of the city provided large open spaces with a number of friendly associates along with enemies.

I had trained with FER-RON, so knew her manners from an active presence with her and not just from her code. Lenny mostly only knew how she had been programmed. He had watched me with the robot, and had studied all results from the simulations and actual previous encounters. I thus did listen when Lenny spoke of predicting FER-RON's next move, although I times I acted differently having a more personal knowledge of how she thought.

There was no way of knowing how many korlocks there were, or even why they had initiated combat. While the feeling was that the monsters were destroyed when their forms dispersed, for all we knew they regenerated to attack again. Up to now the battles were fought until some other condition brought about the end of the conflict. My weapon, Lenny's weapon, as well as most of those of FER-RON worked off the time-loop technology. While some time waiting for batteries to recharge would occur, we knew that we had the firepower to survive until the korlocks were gone or something else ended the combat.

I found myself needing to rescue people as their weapons began to lose the energy to sustain their resistance. Due to them taking the fight to the korlocks, some had found themselves without power in some very dangerous positions. FER-RON was holding her own, but her own need to take the battle to the korlocks tended to have her in places where I did not want to disrupt her own tactics. It helped having Lenny with me, as with his help we managed to recognize those needing to be rescued and how to provide the aid without endangering ourselves.

One man gave me a difficult time. His company had sent a large amount of food and basic supplies. They were the group of botanists and biologists who were supposed to be studying this world, but had so far only gone to the beach to look at the fish. Even if they did kill something, their company understood that they would dissect and study it before eating. The man however did not have any reservations about attacking korlocks, and had climbed up on top of the metal crates to gain a position to fire on the aliens without harming other humans. When his weapon ran out of energy, it seemed his courage had drained off as well and he was having a difficult time warding off attacks while looking for an easy way to get down.

FER-RON had stopped to probably find a way to help him. I commanded her to continue battling the korlocks while I sought to find a way to rescue the man. As she went back to being dangerous, I told Lenny to help me.

I looked at the large beach umbrella amazed that it had been shipped, and flabbergasted that it had not been brought to the beach and left there. The thing was heavy. It took the help of Lenny to manage to spread the canopy. I then looked to the man and told him to drop to the top of the umbrella, then he safely drop on down.

The one question that everyone tended to ask was the purpose for the attack. I of course had no way of answering. From the first there had been no statement of the purpose for the aggression from the aliens. Even in my encounters with various entities, a real explanation for why our peoples had to fight each other had not been made clear. While all accepted that we were advancing into their territory, why no declaration of intentions with possible methods of obtaining a truce had us all perplexed. Humanity felt themselves as not being at fault, since we had not made the first attack or claimed the first victims. Why we had been attacked without us making a provocation was a question that I heard people continue to ask.

I allowed such statements to pass as simply a hope to make sense of the situation. Once the battle was over, people would go back to focusing on whatever they felt was their own purpose to their lives. While they surely would discuss the battle, most would only focus on preparing themselves to be able to fight better the next time. Any statements about hoping for no more attacks would probably only be made in prayers.

As fast as it started, the korlocks suddenly moved off. I had every intention on checking with those in space to hopefully find out some information that might give a better perspective on the situation. While they could conceivably simply state their own problems, I felt that we both could use the others' perspective about the actions of the korlocks.

The first matter of business however was just to check on everyone else. As I spoke to people, I heard them also calling to me asking about my health and those of my team. I thought it cute when one man went up to my robot and checked with her concerning how many of the korlocks she had killed.

She answered, "In this engagement, I registered fourteen fully dispersed."

"Fourteen, huh? Damn, I only got five. I need to get better. Of course, you have better weapons."

"Yes, Daniel, I do. For your sonic pulse rifle, five is actually a good number."

I was glad to see that she remembered the man's name, as I did not, and he spoke a little more pleasantly I assumed because he was also glad to find that she acted as if she knew him. "Well, thank you, FER-RON. Listen, glad to have you with us."

"And I am glad to help. Have a nice day, Daniel."

The man saw the direction FER-RON headed after speaking, then ran past her to rush up and shake my hand. "Thank you for coming, Queen Debra. I am so glad to have you in our neighborhood."

It felt good hearing those words. Lenny had his hand shaken as well. He and I wished the man the best, then we turned with FER-RON back to our building. As we walked, we spoke words of considering this alien city our new home.

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

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