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 Two Brothers and a Girl: TimeSaga B7 (All 7 Chapters)

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PostSubject: Two Brothers and a Girl: TimeSaga B7 (All 7 Chapters)   August 26th 2015, 8:00 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga:  The Advance Story Seven

Chapter One

I returned to our building on Mission to have Li yell at me as I walked up the stairs.  "Queen Debra, Captain Roy says that he is sending a shuttle down to you!  Claims to need FER-RON!"

Lenny, who had been out with me, muttered, "What?" as he ran up the stairs ahead of me.

I heard Linda say, "Hey, Lenny, Captain Roy will talk with our Queen, but not with you."

He was not a talkative person.  Lenny however started his career building robots to battle against other robots.  He thus did have a strong competitive core to his person, and I heard an indication of that as he replied to her.

"Listen, I was just with our Queen overseeing FER-RON as she fought korlocks.  I even helped Queen Debra as she rescued a man.  I am going with her."  He turned to see me approaching, and stated, "I am going with you."

I replied, "Let me see what Roy says.  The Galahad is his ship, so he has to approve any personnel coming aboard."

I knew Roy before he became captain of the spaceship Galahad.  With him being less than ten years old, I also did not consider him an elder.  I thus did not feel like I needed to use any title with him, although I did respect his position.

No sooner did I activate the transmission than I heard the voice of the specially bred lad say, "Hello, Debra.  Having any problems with FER-RON?"

"None whatsoever," I replied.  "If you send for her, Dr. Beyonce will probably charge you."

"Listen, I know Dr. Beyonce better than I know you.  Considering that her daughter was abducted, it might be her paying the Solomon Foundation."

I heard my team make some exclamations, but I had enough history with things to make a conclusion.  "Not if it was Al that took her."

"Good, so I don't have to explain things to you.  Listen, the Annapolis units up here say that they can detect her.  I however am not going into korlock infested territory without the ability to fight well.  That presently means FER-RON."

I looked at Lenny, then had my eyes move to each member of my team as I said, "It might be more than just my robot and me."

"Whatever.  Whatever you feel will be best for us to –"

The way he stopped talking, I felt that Roy could hear the heavy sounds coming up the stairs.  They worried me at first, then I realized that the aliens were barely substantial, so would not make a noise.  Seeing the head of the one that came into the hallway, I realized that the sounds could have only been made by one person.

The cyborg body of Perry came toward me while saying, "Mary was taken.  I need your help to go after her."

I informed him, "I am speaking with Captain Roy right now."

Over the speaker came the voice of the lad, "You are more than welcome, Old Man.  No promises about payment."

Perry replied, "She was with me.  I kept up the fight against a korlock while she helped someone who was hurt.  When I returned, the man had his throat broken and Mary was gone.  This is thus personal."

"I like a guy that is motivated.  Okay, listen, the shuttle is on its way.  Debra, get you and FER-RON and whoever else you feel could help, to the landing area."

After spending time on board a few spaceships, I had some experience with what I needed to bring.  Again I heard comments about a uniform as I packed some clothes   Honestly, I did not like wearing the same clothes for over a day, and the thought of having the appearance of wearing the same clothes did not please me either.  I had the same philosophy toward FER-RON.  Hoping to avoid some of the problems I had in the earlier spaceships, I packed for FER-RON and me to have some options even in the worst of situations.

Lenny had Li drive the vehicle to the landing area, as he let it be known that he would go with me and somebody needed to drive the jeep back.  I noticed him squirm and look about as if nervous.  Strangely, he did not look to me or FER-RON, but mostly glanced at the buildings.  I thus wondered if he would back out.  Once arriving at the landing area, he however jumped out to head to the mercenaries.

As I had nothing else to do while waiting for the shuttle to land, I eavesdropped on what Lenny asked.  "Can you guys give me any pointers on using a gun?"

The one I knew as Charcoal asked what type of gun he had.  In working with FER-RON, my team did have access to weapons.  Worse, I had people capable of building them.  I knew that Charcoal could also manufacture firearms and the ammunition, and in listening to him speak to Lenny I found that he had also had some knowledge of the special weapons for use against the slightly insubstantial aliens.  The men spoke of their guns and how to best practice with while I had Li help me perform some checks of FER-RON.

When the shuttle landed, I believe most of us were surprised to see Captain Roy come through the hatch.  While I had known him for some time, he showed no signs of aging.  Usually children would show changes as their body slowly adapted to the coming maturing process.  His height and face still appeared as I had last seen him.  There were signs that his black hair had grown, then cut in a different manner, but otherwise he still appeared as the same lad of about ten years of age.  While he had the responsibility of being captain of a spaceship, he bounded through the hatch acting more like the lad he physically was than the specially created human experiment.

"I cannot be certain when Al might do something, so I felt it best if I came down.  There are people on board the Galahad to protect the Annapolis series.  I however do not believe Al will attack them."

It was the mercenary called Sandstorm that asked, "Are you speaking from your own mental connection with Al?"

"No, but from the fact that we can detect Mary.  He wants us to go after her.  Since you are the people capable of bringing the fight to him, I am actually worried more about you."

He came around speaking to each of us.  I thought it cute when he shook hands with FER-RON.  She had certainly been programmed to be polite to people, although I still thought of her as the machine I had programmed.  It was with the mercenaries that the socializing became business.  While they were providing their services for free, they also let it be known that they did not have unlimited resources.  Roy ended up calling us all together to speak of what we knew of Al and how best to coordinate our efforts.

I said, "Mary is the daughter of my employer, so I feel a personal connection to her.  Also, I have a familiarity with the technology that operates her along with the technology to attack the korlocks.  If Captain Roy can direct us to Mary, I should be able to affect a rescue."

Charcoal asked, "Are you saying that you are putting yourself in charge of this mission?"

"FER-RON is my robot.  Mary is my employer's daughter.  Those weapons you were discussing are based off of designs and concepts of my employer.  I believe that I rank higher than just some personal vendetta."

"Oh—kay.  You hear that Perry?  Queen Debra is in charge."

The cyborg replied, "I have nothing against working with her."

Captain Roy said, "Having Queen Debra in charge also helps me, in that I can feel free to get distracted by business with my ship or with Al."

I interrupted anything else he might have said to command, "Let us know about any new information from Al."

"Of course."

I then gave orders for the men to help load FER-RON's container along with the other stuff I had decided to bring.  Charcoal recognized certain things, and mentioned that he also loaded up on battery packs and ammo.  Feeling that we would have enough firepower to take on whatever we faced, I helped the men load their stuff.

With everyone agreeing that they had what they needed, Captain Roy had the shuttle lift to take us to the Galahad.  While I had a lot of questions, I found most being answered by the voices of the Annapolis units from the larger vessel.  I thus sat back and mostly listened to the chatter between Captain Roy and those on board the Galahad.

I thought I heard something, but the lad started looking around even as Perry sounded a loud vulgarity.  I did not know what was going on, but allowed that something was disturbing the two males.  Perry started glaring at each of us as if we had done something wrong, but it was Captain Roy that asked the question.

"Don't any of you hear that?"

Attempting to give a response, I said, "You mean whatever that music is that someone is listening to?"

"It's not music, Queen Debra."

I saw a questioning expression on Lenny, so asked another for information.  "FER-RON, are you able to hear anything unusual?"

"Yes, Debra.  There is a wave function that seems to be affecting the time suspension states of my various configurations.  It is not affecting my power supplies, so whatever the wave is influencing is not generic."

Captain Roy said, "Whatever it is, it seems to be in my mind?"

Perry admitted, "Yes, as my head is hurting."

Charcoal told the cyborg to relax, then went to his equipment speaking of needing an instrument.  I looked at the container for my robot, but considered the shuttle not to be a good place for checking her out.  I thus thought about how I could make sense of the situation.  Feeling that Charcoal could be trusted to gain insights to the cyborg, I worked out ways I could help the forskin.

"Roy, does it feel like Al?"

He smiled as if glad that someone was trying to help him make sense of his experience.  "No.  I can tell you that this is not Al."

"Well, FER-RON said that it was a wave.  I think I am hearing some type of music.  Does it sound like a tone, or set of tones?"

"A tone?  A tone."  I saw his features indicate that he concentrated for a moment, then said, "Yes, a series of tones."

Just attempting to continue to help the lad make sense of things, I asked, "Is there a suggestion to do something?"

Charcoal was hooking up contacts to Perry even as he asked, "Well, is it affecting the korlocks.  If this wave is not affecting us, might it be affecting the monsters?"

Captain Roy replied, "Well, we aren't out of the atmosphere yet to see any korlocks."

Before he could act to ask, a female voice from the Galahad said, "Little Master, a strange ship appeared, then our Annapolis units began complaining about headaches."

"Yes, Darlene, I am having one as well, as is Perry.  FER-RON says that there is a wave affecting her time suspension configurations.  Do you have any way to check for that?"

"We are a science research vessel, so we should.  I was going to have our scientists check out the Annapolis units."

I instructed, "I believe that if we can find the source of the wave and negate it, then you will solve the headaches as well."

Darlene did not ask who I was, but spoke to Captain Roy about something I had questioned him about earlier.  "Little Master, do you think this is the work of Al?"

He answered, "No, but it might be those he is with.  You said there was a ship?"

The voice of another lady answered, "It's really big, Little Master.  It is also substantial.  This is not your usual korlock, but something actually alien."

Charcoal spoke of what his instrument was telling him.  "I can verify a wave.  It is not electromagnetic, but there is a disturbance in the time correlation connections between Perry's more exotic parts and his nervous system.  That is surely what is causing his headaches.  You have such interfaces, Captain Roy?"

I replied, "He was made using time regression processes."

Captain Roy put a hand to head indicating the pain he was feeling as he said, "And what Dr. Pathulma wanted to create was a lad with a super mind.  My head is killing me."

Suddenly over the speaker came the sound of a number of young female voices declaring, "It's Mary!"

Darlene then said, "We have just picked up a smaller craft moving toward the alien spaceship."

Captain Roy replied, "Then we need to go there as well."

"Your shuttle does not have the resources to make it."

"How about you?"

"I believe it will be best if we study this phenomena and attempt to find a way to counter it."

I asked, "Is there another craft that could pick us up and transport us?"

A male voice now came over the speaker, "Miss RayWeight, if you can verify payment, the Kayla will be more than glad to pick you up again."

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.


Last edited by TerishD on September 25th 2015, 7:48 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter 2   August 31st 2015, 7:49 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Two

Captain Roy looked to me and asked, "How much authority do you have to spend money?"

I answered, "I have the authority, but I will have to explain to Dr. Beyonce."

"Oh, don't worry about that. I will speak to her for you. Tell you what though, let's go half. I am here to do research, so really have to explain if we don't do any of that."

I had to admit that I found the terms agreeable. "Considering that we are going after Mary, Dr. Beyonce will probably be mad at me if did not do anything as well. I will thus agree to go half with the Solomon Foundation."

"All right!" He then activated the microphone and said, "Come on, Kayla! You have paying customers here."

From the speaker came the voice of Captain Burbank, "On our way. Shell Oil will be glad to know that we are actually attempting to earn our keep."

The Kayla was in orbit around Mission waiting for some instructions from their corporation or someone to hire them. We could have made the transfer anywhere, but Roy correlated our position against that of the Galahad and the Kayla with the projections showing that we would be picked up by the vessel before the shuttle returned to its parent ship. We made use of the time to assure that we could quickly get us and our equipment to the corporate boat once we met up with it.

We made the transfer quickly with the pilots Roy had brought with him soon disengaging from the airlock and setting their course to the Galahad. Captain Burbank and Butch were present to welcome us on board the Kayla and help us move our equipment. While FER-RON’s container had the greater size, it was mostly complicated electronics. What Charcoal brought with him was much more dense, so required more attention to concerns of controlling its mass. All of were now rather familiar with the demands of being in space, so did the necessary work quickly and efficiently.

FER-RON, Perry, and the Annapolis units were given places to rest. Having mechanical bodies, they needed to be effectively shut down while certain components were being compromised. Charcoal and I checked the weapons to see that the wave phenomena was also affecting their time-loop power sources. Luckily, they all fed the power into batteries, so they could be safely fired, although it was questionable just how dependable they would be to sustain a period of heavy use. Agreeing with the mercenaries, I went to the bridge to allow those resting to have some peace while we determined just what type of situation we needed to prepare for.

The alien vessel appeared as a tall triangular structure. The actual term was a tetrahedron, as it had four sides. A pyramid had five sides, as its base was a square. This object had a triangular base, equilateral in dimensions, much smaller than the isosceles sides that had a height about four times the height of the base triangle. None of us spoke of being frightened by the alien, but commented about our hope that having something substantial and in working order would enable us to actually learn something about their civilization.

It helped that we saw no korlocks in the area. We found ourselves surprised at that fact. Then wondered if the wave we were noticing was the cause. This gave us a further hope that those in this vessel also were enemies of the korlocks.

When Butch said that it would take us over two days to cover the distance to the vessel, Charcoal asked, “Queen Debra, do you think that we can create a device to cancel the influence of that wave? It will give us something to do in the meantime that could assure the comfort of friends and effectiveness of our attack.”

I replied, “I really am not the mechanical person. I know enough to talk to those who can understand the technology.”

“You programmed the logic behind the technology however?”

“Uh, yes, why?”

“Because that is what I need. Listen, I need someone to check the code running Perry. You can do that while I see what I can do. Hopefully, we can help each other.”

Bringing the container for FER-RON gave me access to all the components and software for checking her status and keeping my robot running. Charcoal had a laptop with a program that gave him access to the processes connecting what was left of Perry’s humanity to the mechanics of his cyborg body, although he trusted his own capabilities to recognize and fix problems with the non-biological parts. Lenny recognized the screens showing on the small computer, and spoke of recognizing the software from his days of building battling robots. I had to hush him speaking of what improvements he had made in our own programs for FER-RON before letting him know to allow Charcoal access to our components should they be needed.

Lenny did have a history of building robots, so had some mechanical skills. Most of the time Jimmy had built the original structure for FER-RON I had been in school. While I knew a good bit of the mechanics of my artificial person, I could not say that I actually worked on her. Lenny could say that he physically put devices and components together to make a robot, so he became the one Charcoal worked with.

Considering that most of FER-RON existed in separate configurations held in stasis using an artificial time distortion, I had the expertise in recognizing the waves coming from the strange vessel and adapting processes to generate my own waves. Lenny wanted to dismantle the mechanism for generating the nanobots we used to alter things about FER-RON, but I warned him that the microscopic machines cost too much money to spill on the floor. I directed him to the instruments used to assure the integrity of information coming to and from my robot. Between the three of us, eventually we had a device we felt would cancel the problem waves in local area.

Roy suddenly shouted, “Oh, Allah, thank you! That’s a relief.”

He then drifted off to sleep with Perry saying, “The noise was very disturbing. My mind wants to rest as well, although I believe it was only my mechanical body that was troubled.”

Charcoal said, “That would be true, Perry, although you have a lot of feedback from your mechanical body enabling you to know what it is doing. Go ahead and rest.”

Shell Oil had retained one of the Annapolis units that I brought on board with me from the destroyed Rhinemaiden. Sandstorm went and got her, and she calmly took a seat when brought into the room. She looked at Roy and Perry, then spoke of what really had not been retained in the making of her.

“I have very little humanity in my body. I can stay awake and help you.”

I looked at my robot, then asked in a general manner, “Is there a way we could miniaturize the device?”

Charcoal started listing the specialized parts we needed to make the one. I however saw Sandstorm looking around the room as his fellow mercenary spoke. He then mentioned some of the specialized instruments he saw about him.

He then concluded, “This ship was made using the time-loop technology for generating a Rothman Tube. Who knows what else they might have.”

Those words had the men leave the room to speak with Captain Burbank. I checked on the two sleeping, then told the Annapolis unit to rest what part of her human mind she had. I then decided to speak to my robot.

“How are you doing, FER-RON?”

“My component integrity is back to normal. I however understand the limitation of my surroundings. What should be my response in this matter, Debra?”

I thought for a moment to assure that my words would speak to the computer mind of my robot. “We are not in danger, so you are not needed. That is not the answer to your question, but intended to assure you that there is no need to feel stressed. Toward your question, you should understand that we recognized the problem and have taken steps to deal with it. Your response should thus be to wait for us to finish our work.”
FER-RON did something I did not expect, and moved to look at the white-haired girl and ask, “Annapolis Fifty-three, what is your assessment of our situation?”

She answered, “Other than the broadcast of the time distortion wave, no threat can be recognized from the alien vessel. As for our status, it is good.”

My robot then turned to look back at me as she stated a conclusion, “Yes, Debra, I can wait.”

I did remember programming that action into her, but this was the first time conditions were such that the routine had been activated. As in previous situations, I felt joy in seeing the success of my achievement in creating FER-RON. She was a lot better robot than I believe even Jimmy imagined her to become. He however had the faith in me to develop a good set of instructions to make his dream something other than a mindless korlock killing machine. I found myself remembering my time with Jimmy as he planned this creation, then as I saw the early stages of what was now sitting next to me.

The Annapolis unit asked, “Queen Debra, why are you crying?”

I hugged my robot while answering, “Because she works. I was in love with the man that created FER-RON. I think he would be very proud of her.”

“Yes. That is the fault in my own design. I have so much new information constantly needing processing that I seldom have time to think back. I know knowledge is there only because I am able to make sense of new data. It pleases me that I know who you are, who FER-RON is, but I really cannot gain the pleasure in reviewing why I have those memories of knowing you.”

“You are unable to shut down your recognition of the incoming data? I mean, we humans are able to simply ignore what we are looking at or hearing.”

“No. Every signal must be processed.”

I wiped my eyes while saying, “That cannot be good. I would think you would need time to review. It helps me, those of us human, to recall things from our past. It helps us understand our present, as well as often provides clues about how to direct our future.”

“I have no future. Everything is just a present. Those that built me said that I should be able to operate for maybe twenty years. Not only would my brain wear out, but my parts. Unlike FER-RON or Mary, I was not built with the best parts or concern for my future. Queen Debra, did you program FER-RON to remember her past?”

“Probably not in the same way I do, but I did give her some analysis of her past. The knowledge helps her judge the quality of advice from people, and possible actions in a present situation. When I hug FER-RON or simply praise an action, it increases certain variables about the success of certain operations.”

“I am just an observation unit. I must depend upon others to make sense of my data.”

Not wanting the girl to feel bad, I tried to give her hope. “Well, I will certainly carry the memory of you saying that. Maybe in the future I will gain a chance to work on later versions of you, and I will see what I can do to make them better able to understand things about themselves.”

“Thank you. Oh, the men have found equipment they believe they can use. They are now returning. Please, help us affected by this strange wave.”

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.
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PostSubject: Chapter 3   September 5th 2015, 7:54 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga:  The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Three

Lenny spoke of a desire to miniaturize the devices made.  Charcoal however spoke of having a more dependable unit than the one previously made.  Since the Kayla had redundant equipment, another one was made enabling me to replace the parts taken from FER-RON’s container.  Lenny did help me, but as he did he spoke of not knowing what to do with the sizeable devices.

The choice of Perry was an easy one.  He had been built for strength, so one unit set on his back really would not trouble him.  The devices really were not that heavy, but the bulk did hinder the small body of Roy.  I then suggested myself, although heard Sandstorm speak against that choice.

“I can do it, Queen Debra.”

“No,” I replied, “as I will stay with FER-RON.  She is actually the better choice, but I do not want to hinder any configuration she might desire.”

Charcoal asked, “What about her clothes?  If she can wear those clothes, she should be able to carry a backpack.”

Lenny said, “I think we did design FER-RON to operate with a backpack, Queen.”

I asked, “What is your judgment, FER-RON?”

She answered, “It is not too large.  It will not hinder me.”

With that response she was fitted with the second unit.  While we actually wanted to bring the Annapolis unit with us to aid in locating Mary, it was decided to do that by radio.  Roy had the luxury of coming with us simply because we allowed his authority to make the decision for himself.  He spoke of understanding that he needed to keep himself within a certain distance of either Perry or FER-RON, but clearly make the response that he felt the need to be present should we encounter Al.

I did settle down to get some sleep of my own.  With the others also feeling at peace and FER-RON not speaking of any issues, I actually found myself without anything to do.  Telling Captain Burbank of desiring rest, he mentioned a cabin I could use saying that he was glad that the alien vessel we were heading toward was not being aggressive.  I did not settle until getting an assurance from my robot that she would wake me if the ship or its crew faced trouble.  Finding myself without any other demand on my time, I did lay down on the bed in the cabin and went to sleep.

Waking up, I found myself hungry.  I thus put on my clothes and went to find the galley.  On the way I saw Lenny, and I found him taking a stance in front of me.

“Queen, you have not slept for long.  Go back to bed.”

“Not long?”  I checked my data device and found that it had only been a couple of hours, but I still felt hungry.  “I don’t think I will sleep right now.  Let get some food.”

He sighed, then said, “Okay.  I’ll go with you.”

“You are not my doctor, Lenny.”

“No, but someone who is dependent upon you.  Not only are you my boss, but you are the one with the authority to have FER-RON obey you.  The Rhinemaiden might have been saved if FER-RON had activated sooner.  Other people have been saved by FER-RON.  Right now she is a serious weapon to use in our rescue of Mary.  A lot of people are depending upon FER-RON, my job depends on FER-RON, so I need to keep you at your best.”

I pushed by him to head to the galley as I said, “Well, you better not tell me what to eat.”

He followed while saying, “Your choices will probably be better than mine.  On the island neither one of us cooked, but you usually chose better meals to warm up, or chose the better options when someone else cooked.”

What he said did have me recognize that we had memories to share.  I thought of Annapolis Fifty-three as I spoke with Lenny about the things we would eat when working on Dr. Beyonce’s island.  We then discussed what food items we had brought to our present operation on Mission.  I had to say that I enjoyed the conversation and the food.  While the thought crossed my mind that he was attempting to get close to me, I recognized his earlier intentions when he told me to go back to bed as I cleaned my plate.

I had to admit that I did feel the need for more sleep.  As was my routine, I thought about all the other demands on my time.  When I spoke on checking on FER-RON, Lenny assured me that the robot had not done anything to spoil her wonderful operation in the time since I left her.  He further spoke of the others on the vessel assuring that they had not done anything to disrupt our plans.  I gained the understanding that he would not hush until I returned to my room.  Returning to the bed, I however found myself agreeing that a little more sleep would be best for me.

Lenny might have been upset to know that my rest was disturbed by a dream of Shame coming to me.  I saw her swinging outside a building I did not recognize.  The area appeared as a playground for children.  It surprised me, as it had her seem to be a human girl in a human city.  I however knew enough about her to know that was not the truth.  I thus became a little upset, and stepped up to Shame to accuse her of lying.

“Why won’t you face me as you truly are?”

She stopped powering her swinging.  Shame did not quickly come to a stop, although she did have her feet drag on the ground to slow her back and forth movement.  When she finally stopped swinging, she answered my question.

“Because we will not face you as we truly are.  There is no simple story of our past, and no easy solution to our future.  I would not face you at all, except that we are going to have face each other eventually.”

In my belief that deception was not a good thing, I had to ask about something else I did not consider to be a good thing.  “In war?”

“I believe we both do not want that.”

“I intended for my question to be an accusation of your intentions.”

She stood.  I watched as she slowly spun as if to look around her.  Maybe her intention was to get me to look, but I held my place focused on her.

She said, “I am Shame, Esnarion,” I heard a strange tempo of stressing each syllable as she said that, which I believed to be a necessary step in forcing my understanding through whatever means our words were being translated to each other, “in my language.  I am sorry to say that we knew war, but am ashamed that we rushed to our doom.  Your people also know war, and I will feel sorrow should you also rush to your doom.”

“Our history shows that we usually bring doom to those we meet in our rush into new territories.”

“I will feel even more sorrowful should you join me as the representation of shame for your people.”


I let those words slide, although considered her to have opened up a question that I felt needed to be answered.  “How about those we are going to meet?  Are they your people?”

“No.  We came to call them the Instigators.  When they came upon my people, their presence drove us to unify in thought in opposition to them, which ended up being our doom.  We now know that they really mean us no harm, which is something our own Instigator, Irquillator,” again she staggered her speech to assure that I heard the syllables and not the translation, “cannot tolerate.  That is my purpose in coming to you.  Keep your focus on your goodness.  Do not become ashamed of your actions.”

“Are you certain that you are not ashamed of the actions of others?”

“No.”

The image of the little girl wavered, then slowly expanded.  I saw a tall creature with arms long like that of an ape.  No hair on the body however.  It did not look human at all.  What I saw covering it was a set of clothes that fit close to the body.  A hat was on the creature’s head.  Seeing a number of ornaments on the outfit, I understood that the creature had been highly decorated with honors and status.  The image of the little girl then returned.

“I gave the orders.  I am not ashamed of those who obeyed me, but of myself.”

I did not know whether to be sorry for the one before me, or pleased that she came to me.  There were so many unknowns in my situation that I was glad someone was attempting to supply me with wisdom.  Wondering about the quality of the information I found myself wanting to touch the one before me, but instead asked the question that I knew my hands would not be able to answer.

“Are you really female?”

She smiled at me, then said, “Yes, I was physically the bearer of children.  Like some of your kind however, I let my profession become my marriage.  I never actually produced any offspring.”

“Were you old?  We, I, am not old, but I am older than most I am with.  This technology is not old with those being products of this technology really young.”

“Our government, which I supported, sought to contain the technology.  We thus were able to do a lot.  Once the public gained an understanding of what was possible, we thought we had control.  The people had the imagination and qualities to however advance the technology in ways those of our government had not even conceived.  That was when the technology overcame us, and the arrival of the Instigators only force us to come together and make a crucial decision.  By then I was old and set in my ways, and that doomed us.  I am glad that you are still young.”

Just curious, I had to ask, “Why do you appear so young?”

“I want you to understand that I am ashamed, and not pathetic.  I don’t want you to sympathize with me, but to speak to me and hear my story.”

Hearing things that troubled me, I sought more information.  “You have control over your form?”

“Yes, and we studied your people.  The fact that I am speaking to you, and appearing in the form that I do, was all conscious decisions by me.  Other decisions by others were not as calculated.  We were not like you humans, but we had our complications as well.  Should you ever learn the full story, I doubt that you will understand all the intricacies.  Still, my objective, and I hope yours, is to not repeat mistakes.”

“I feel that you do not truly humanity.  We will advance without claiming to have made any mistakes.  Only in hindsight will others claim that things we did were wrong."

“Well, you are going to meet the Instigators.  Let us see how you deal with them.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 4   September 10th 2015, 7:52 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Four

I woke up to see a number of people in my room. Seeing FER-RON beside my bed brought me comfort. I rubbed my eyes, then again looked to her to see what configuration she had chosen to possibly handle my situation. The plasma blade I felt was a good choice, but instead of speaking to my robot I chose the one in the room who might have actually been able to detect the situation I was in.

“Roy, were you able to read my mind?”

“No, Queen Debra. I however did not sense a threat. FER-RON was worried, as she simply detected korlocks. The same with the Annapolis series. We came in worried about you, but you were sleeping peacefully, and I could not sense your mind as suffering.”

“No, I wasn’t suffering. I was speaking to a korlock that names herself Shame, or Esnarion in her language. She said that we were going to meet the Instigators. They are a strange race that will seek to get us to react, and Shame says that it was her decision to their arrival that doomed her people.”

They, of course, wanted more information than that. I had them leave my room so I could get dressed, but promised that I would give them the full story. FER-RON stayed with me, but that did not bother me at all. Once I was dressed, I went to the kitchen where I related everything I could. They listened to the information, then I was glad that they shared their thoughts with me.

It felt good that the opinions we voiced improved our mood about going to the strange vessel. With positive words passing between us, we advanced to the bridge to look through the clear front of the Kayla as we continued to converse. While Captain Burbank did try to speak some words of warning about the vessel we were advancing upon, his statements did not spoil our mood.

No weapons fired upon us as we closed with the foreign spacecraft. Butch used the cameras on the outside of the Kayla to get magnified images of the outside of the vessel. Looking over his shoulder, I had to agree with him that no weapons were visible. We all however knew of methods to hide such. While nothing could disprove the existence of means of aggression, no signs of harm being able to come upon us were indicated as we approached.

Frances alarmed us upon saying that an opening was being made in the foreign vessel. Butch directed his monitor to show the image the girl referenced. The spacecraft was large. While some estimations of its size had been made, it was only as we approached that we began to accept its true measurements. While the opening was not large enough for the Kayla, we realized that our boat would appear really small when docked against the foreign vessel.

What bothered us upon arriving was not the sight of weapons, but of technology we did not yet possess. No nozzles for engines to spew out power to accelerate and maneuver. We could not detect any great amount of heat from a generator to provide heat and light to those inside, which had us check for solar arrays with us not being able to detect those either. The smooth sides of the craft had no mounts for weapons, communication dishes, or various sensors. While we saw the opening, it bothered us that no airlock was present to hold in the internal gases of the ship.

I heard Frances mention there being livable gases in the corridor beyond the opening, but gave my own order. “FER-RON, I want you to advance first and check the atmosphere.”

My robot replied, “Yes, Debra.”

Butch said, “We have an air seal tube to act as a generic airlock.”

Captain Burbank added, “Although I would still recommend spacesuits.”

Perry said, “Queen Debra, your dream clearly indicated that we could be entering enemy territory.”

Sandstorm added, “And we have nothing to say that those in this spaceship are friendly.”

Lenny mumbled, “Words of wisdom, Queen.”

I concluded, “Yes, but no reason to start gaining actual facts. Dick, get us into position. Butch, let’s use the air tube. FER-RON, once a passage to this vessel is secure, go over and perform on-site tests of the air while seeing if you can detect those inside the ship and their attitude toward us.”

I had given orders to the crew of the Kayla, but appreciated Captain Burbank doing nothing more than repeating my words to his men. The mercenaries gave an order for Lenny and Chu to go with them and check out the spacesuits, and I authorized the action. There was a feeling that us ladies were left to stand around and look pretty, but I looked at Frances accepting that our specialty was in gathering data and making sense of it. I thus exchanged words with the Annapolis unit about what could be detected and what the readings meant.

Each step of docking with the alien craft did not reveal any additional information. Our anxiety about an eventual meeting with those inside the vessel did increase, but our knowledge about those who we would meet did not. We watched both the signals from the camera set in the air tube and those in my robot as she advanced to the alien craft.

Frances suddenly exclaimed, “There’s gravity!”

Proving that she was also receiving communications from us, the voice of FER-RON came over a speaker, “Yes, I have encountered a gravity field upon stepping into the alien corridor. It is at point eight eight standard Earth gravity.”

Captain Burbank commented, “That is technology I would like have on board this vessel.”

I replied, “And all the others I have worked upon.” I then changed the tone of my voice as I spoke to another. “FER-RON, can you detect where the passage goes?”

“Other than further into the vessel, I cannot. Should I proceed?”

“Yes, if you lose contact with us, return, but go down a ways and see if we can determine where the passage goes.”

“Understood.”

We continued to watch the monitors showing the images from a camera in my robot. The passage appeared to be straight with plenty of room for FER-RON to move. I however opened up my own computer to access other signals from my robot when I saw a familiar lad run up.

“Oh, yes, I should have expected. They sent in their mechanical dog.”

“Al B2, we are here to retrieve Mary Worsheim.”

I did not have to override any of FER-RON’s programming. My coding of police procedures gave her the proper response to the situation. I however did listen prepared to help my robot should her programming be insufficient to handle the forskin.

He replied, “I was looking forward to this meeting. Looking forward to taking you on, FER-RON, but I am not in the mood right now. You see, these bastards here took Mary!”

I found myself surprised to hear the voice of Roy yell, “AL!”

The white-haired lad replied, “Go away, Brother, as the robot was doing fine. Our ties are severed, so just go away.”

“No, Al. I still feel you.”

“Ah, my brother cares about me because I am such a constant annoyance to his heart. This is more than simple relationship issues, Roy. This is about the future.”

“We’re working on that, Al. Come back.”

I had already assumed Al was lost, and he spoke to support my feelings as he said, “Come back? I plan on going back, but I am going to get Mary first. I am going to prove my superiority over you, over Father, even over this new technology.”

I had FER-RON say, “Mary Worsheim is not your property. Your taking of her was a crime.”

Al replied, “Ah, the robot thinks she is a policewoman. Nice. I would love to play cops and robbers with her, with you too, Roy, but I have a girl to take back.”

Roy said, “Al, come back. Mary is a very nice girl. You should get to know her.”

“Know her? Oh, I plan on coming to know her. Of course, she was not really built to get to know, not that either of us are developed in that manner either. Still, there are things she can let me know, and I want that from her.”

I saw Al appear to concentrate, then he mumbled, “Oh, no, you bastards. You just caught me by surprise. Your power is not that good.”

Roy screamed out the name of his brother when Al disappeared. I however closed my computer and turned to the door of the bridge. I had to stop to open the door, so when ahead and answered the captain who screamed out what he usually called me.

“Al said that the aliens are not that good. Well, we need to get to Mary before Al.”

I heard weapons moved as the voice of Sandstorm said, “I have to agree there. Our little mercenary group has a rather good reputation at saving mechanized girls. We are with you, Queen.”

Not stupid enough to deny the help, I spoke to another. “Frances, you should be able to track FER-RON.”

She answered, “Yes, Queen Debra.”

My robot obeyed the command to wait, but Roy had moved on ahead. Upon gaining the company of FER-RON, I had her advance with me. The mercenaries had been following, but upon the passage opening up into a cluttered room they moved on ahead with Charcoal moving up to where Roy studied a panel.

I saw a number of openings in the basically circular walls around us going up to a height. The men discussed what the panel did concluding with what I considered obvious being that it managed a way to reach the openings above. Sandstone and Perry opened a few crates to speak of finding nothing but what they called dirt. I sent FER-RON to examine the substance, and she spoke of it in a confusing manner. Frances and the others on board the Kayla helped us to identify the material as the non-watery material in a comet. While curious about the substance, I had to agree with the men that our primary objective needed to be to get to the openings above so we could advance further into the vessel.

It took the mechanical strength of Perry and FER-RON to move a couple of the crates to a space Charcoal stated was an elevator platform. There were some comments by Roy and Charcoal concerning lights on the panel when the first crate was placed. They then started yelling about the lights going out when the second crate was brought over. That had me called over to again work with FER-RON to determine the material in the crates. I felt that Mary would have been able to quickly determine the differences in the crates, but it took FER-RON working with Frances to figure out some things about the substances as the men went about opening the crates.

Some sensor on the platform identified a crate as being primarily iron, lithium, or carbon. By having Perry and FER-RON move containers on and off the space, we figured out how to get the panel to light in different manners they associated with having the platform rise to various floors. While I considered the information useful, it however only stressed to me that we had no way to identify which floor we needed to access.

It was Sandstorm that boiled down our discussion by asking, “Do we start at the bottom or the top?”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 5   September 15th 2015, 7:54 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Five

I had to agree with the suggestion to advance up the floors just doing a reconnoiter of what could be found. Roy wanted to go, as he clearly indicated a desire to hurry and rescue Mary if at all possible. Sandstorm told me to go with FER-RON, as he admitted that we could be less antagonistic should unknown presences be encountered. Of course I desired to put my robot through more tests, so agreed with the suggestion.

The platform went up to the first doorway as the men said it would. We moved into the hallway beyond to find a set of three corridors angling off instead of being perpendicular junctions. I guess being curious, Roy went up to open a door in the most distant passage. I heard him exclaim in a manner that I took to be pleasantly surprised, so moved up to look into the room. I saw what I have to say was furniture, although in strange amorphous shapes not really meant for humans. Roy was in a lower section of one large padded structure holding the body of an Annapolis unit.

With tears in his eyes, he looked to me to say, “She’s dead.”

I looked at the body, then turned to command, “FER-RON, relay the message that we found Annapolis Eighteen.”

Roy took off in what I at first considered frantic behavior. He however acted with some sense of control as he went from door to door looking into each room. He found the corpses of Annapolis Eighty and Five before moving to the middle hallway. The body of Annapolis Forty-three was found, then Roy went to screaming that one was still alive.

We did what we could with Twenty-six. Roy cried and held her with me having to order him away when he went to wailing. I believe Charcoal still worked the platform, but the crew of the Kayla had come to help us manage the corpses. Having one alive, we worked to give mechanical and biological aid to the android. As some drugs helped ease the pain from the damage done to her form, Twenty-six whispered something to me that let me know why Roy was acting as he did.

“I told Roy that it was Al that did this to me. Not the aliens.”

I replied, “I have come to think of Al as being an alien.”

“They have their own agenda, but it is not interested in us who are not truly human. They are interested in those who are human. Like Al, they think you will become corrupt.”

“Hopefully not. I still see good in people.”

“Yes. Are you taking care of my sisters?”

I felt it to be a good change of the topic, so calmly answered, “Well, their bodies. We are hopefully going to take care of you. I don’t have my team with me, but they are probably qualified to work with your framework. I however feel that you will need a highly qualified doctor as well. Give us time, and we will have you on the road to recovery.”

“Help my sisters.”

I guess that feelings were not that deep. The wailing of Roy surely did not help my attitude. I replied a little stronger revealing feelings that I would have preferred staying deep within me.

“I am going to help all of you! There is just nothing I can do for them! I am here with you because I see that you can actually be helped.”

While others looked at me with a shocked expression, even Roy hushed, Twenty-six smiled as she mumbled, “I believe there is hope for the human race.”

We found Eleven, Thirty-four, Fifty-one, and Fifty-seven in the final corridor. As the men prepared their corpses, I worked with FER-RON to safely move Twenty-six to the Kayla. I wanted my robot to help me, because she was designed for moving in a weightless environment. Even she however had trouble staying steady when Frances came to us. The Annapolis unit serving on board the Kayla cried seeing her sister. She had been working the communications, so knew the facts, but seeing Twenty-six up close made a connection that even her vast awareness could not transmit.

Frances touched her sleeping sister while saying, “She does have some structure damage, but mostly what was done to her was in her mind. Something has disrupted her neural connections.”

I replied, “Roy said that a medical team was on their way from the Roland.”

“I don’t know if they can do what is necessary.”

“Listen, Twenty-six spoke to Roy and to me. I believe there is enough humanity in her, in you, to make all of you a lot stronger than you would think. She will get better.”

“Thank you.”

Frances kissed her sister before heading back to the bridge. I found myself wondering about the growth of the Annapolis series. They could not have any sort of a childhood like normal children. They however seemed very devoted to each other, and I found myself considering that they used their sensor capabilities to connect on what I would consider to be a mental level more than physical interaction. Thinking to ask Frances about her early days should I get an opportunity, I secured Twenty-six to a bed before heading back to the alien ship.

No sooner had I stepped into the room with the crates than Roy declared, “Queen Debra, I say that we need to go up to the next floor.”

I looked to the mercenaries, and heard Perry provide an answer I sought. “We were waiting for FER-RON.”

Actually, I agreed that it would not be best to stop. I also had to admit that we had no option but to simply progress in a methodical manner. Our first excursion had paid off in a way that we did consider worthwhile, although what we found brought me fear of time not being on our side.

I headed to the platform while saying, “Twenty-six said that she did detect Mary, but that they had her sedated. Only basic identification and status could be picked up. There is no telling where she is at.”

Roy said, “Yeah, I’m worried about her too.”

“But, Roy, she also said that it was Al, and not the aliens responsible for her condition.”

“Let’s just go.”

This time the platform lifted to the second story. The corridor here did not extend far in either direction, but ended with an opening away from the central room. We looked in to see an expansive chamber with thick square columns seemingly supporting the room at regular intervals. The heavy steps of Perry could clearly be heard reverberating in the space, although I could make out the lighter feet of the rest of us. While we all expected trouble, the time passed with us not finding ourselves opposed.

A panel with lights was set into the back wall. Above it was thin, wide rectangular opening. While the men looked at the panel, I tried to see through the window. All I could see were sparks of energy lighting up a space that appeared to fill the inside of the ship. As I was attempting to understand why the aliens that built the vessel would have such a void in the craft, I found myself shocked by some sudden message that I barely comprehended to be from Mary. Roy however spoke his understanding of the psychic broadcast as he slammed him hand on a button set into the panel.

“We need to get below!”

As I put my hands to my head attempting to sort through the mental shock, Perry asked, “Below?”

“Yes. She’s below with Al. He however is being bothered by aliens, so she is presently unharmed.”

I did feel that the words were right, although I really could not make out anything from what passed through my mind. Hoping to gain some sense of the signal, I looked to the panel. Most of what I saw appeared to be gauges reporting on things I could not relate. While I felt whoever operated the panel probably used the view through the wall to verify some readings, I really saw no controls other than the single green button. Wondering how much Roy understood, I voiced the words to a question I thought would help us.

“Could she tell you anything more?”

The lad replied, “Uh, yeah, the fourth or fifth floor. She was not brought all the way up top. There is a more functional area, then another area she really did not understand, then we can find the elevator to below.” As if understanding that I was not really making sense of things, Roy added, “She could see you when you looked through the window, or at least make out something she felt to be you. The thought was so strong that I picked it up, then I believe I responded by hoping to let her know we were coming. You might have registered that.”

“Well, good. Come on. Might as well see this through.”

Even though eager to go to Mary’s rescue, the men still had us stop on the third floor. This had a straight hallway to the right and left. We saw creatures and machines. Cannot really describe the people, as I just got a glimpse before machines activated. There was a sense of them having more limbs, like an insect, although I only saw two legs being used for movement. The machines coming at us definitely moved on a set of appendages, which had me further conclude that the aliens moved like us. Our rescue of Mary had to wait as we dealt with the threat.

The robots did not present us with too much of a problem. Again it was Roy who had the least effectiveness. The bullets from his gun were easily deflected by the metal bodies. Sandstorm, Perry, and I had planned for mechanical opponents, so had options that either penetrated armor or caused problems without having to penetrate armor. Having built FER-RON as a weapon, she also had ways of dealing with other robots.

After dealing with the threats, Sandstorm and I studied the remains of the robots while Roy and Perry went down the hallway checking doors. What we saw really was not complex in construction. Sandstorm spoke of the military probably preferring these robots over those they had, and especially not one capable of independent logic like FER-RON. I noticed how most of the robots was just sections of metal with nothing vital in the locations, and spoke of dealing with future threats.

“Direct confrontation really has no hope against these things. You have to target joints, sensors, or vital areas.”

Sandstorm replied, “Yeah, these are basically walking metal. The motors at the joints seem solid as well. We don’t have that technology.”

Over our communication system the voice of Charcoal commanded, “Get a joint.”

“These are almost solid metal.”

I gave my own command to FER-RON to cut a leg at what would be the middle of a thigh. We saw the difficulty she had in performing the operation, which had Sandstorm also tell Charcoal to test the alloy. Since she was working with the metal, FER-RON was able to identify some elements. While we recognized what she told us, I had to agree with Sandstorm that we probably would learn something of the aliens’ alloy processes along with their motor construction. As we dragged the leg to the platform, Roy and Perry came back speaking of what they found.

The lad said, “There are doorways, but Perry spoke of them not leading anywhere.”

Perry replied, “Oh, they surely go somewhere, but we need to focus on rescuing Mary.”

I added, “And we really do not want these aliens to think we are their enemies. We want to show ourselves as strong, but not actually aggressive. It would be best if we took on the problem of Al together.”

The voice of Charcoal was loud enough that I heard the echo of his voice with my ears and not just over my ear pieces. “YES, THEY COULD TALK TO US!”

Sandstorm replied, “Well, let’s go on to the next floor.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 6   September 20th 2015, 8:19 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Six

Other than curiosity and masculine logic, there was no real reason to have visited the third level. The fight did prove beneficial, but it also could have ended up with one of us hurt. The fourth floor did have a reason for us to check it out. Worried about what we would find, I had FER-RON perform some checks of her logic to assure that our visit would not have us suffering.

I was glad that I did when we met another group of machines on the fourth floor. While we had studied and prepared, it seemed that the intelligence behind the robots was not so adaptive. We had an almost decisive victory this time.

Looking over the remains, I found myself concluding, “These machines are not using Dr. Beyonce’s technology. I would say that they are using some type of ‘free energy’ system for power.”

Over the communications I heard Charcoal ask, “Free energy?”

“Making use of latent energy in the environment. I am trying to think of how FER-RON might be able to detect it. I feel certain Mary could.”

“Wouldn’t it show itself by static in our clothes and distortion of our communications?”

“If they use it, surely they have perfected it.”

The men began to debate the topic among themselves. That did not bother me. I had presented the concept, and was actually glad they considered it valid enough to talk about. The men did take the time cutting up one robot looking for batteries or some internal generator, but ended the topic allowing that my suggestion had some merit.

While considering the topic, they did go with me to check out the fourth floor. This level had a central corridor with a number of large rooms connected to it by doorways. The rooms were not standard, although all appeared to be some type of work-related space. A number of the chambers did appear to have some terminals, making the level appear to have some importance in managing some aspect of the operations of the greater ship. Exactly what the consoles did however we could not determine. All we could conclude was that the fourth floor did not have a passage further into the vessel.

Going to the fifth floor gave us all pause. There was a hollow sound to our steps that had us wondering about a number of things. I gained the impression that the corridor was a little wider and taller than the others, and the material was different, so that the change in acoustics was a manufactured reason and not something foreboding. I still needed to pause with the others to assure myself of my conclusion.

Perry said, “With as much noise being created, I guess we can be certain of no one coming.”

Over the communications came the warning from Charcoal, “Still, you need to stay alert, Perry.”

“Roger.”

It was Roy that rushed ahead, but we all saw him suddenly stop. That had us take quick, but cautious, steps to place us behind him. What we saw ahead of us was a strange bridge over a massive volume. I had to remind myself of the size of the structure making our spaceships look tiny. The volume before me could have easily housed all of the vessels we had moving through the cosmos around Mission. The bridge crossing the volume appeared to be composed of some type of energy. Its structure shimmered with great sparks of energy flashing around its outside. I agreed with Roy in stopping, as I also felt a need to consider the wisdom of going forward.

I came to a conclusion, then stepped forward. I suddenly felt a strong hand grip my shoulder. The power had me think of one of the men, but I turned to see FER-RON. She stepped ahead of me as she explained herself.

“I will go ahead of you, Debra.”

I returned, “FER-RON, you were built for weightless environments, but you cannot fly. You are also a machine, so rather heavy. It would be much easier for you to catch me than have me catch you.”

Perry asked, “So you think we should go on ahead?”

“We cannot get to Mary otherwise.”

“Oh, yeah!” Roy exclaimed.

He rushed ahead. Since he was already in the front that was easy for him to do. I noticed that the reverberations from his steps ceased, although he appeared to be standing on a solid surface. None of us rushed to join him, although we did take our own steps forward.

After the first few steps, we found the confidence to continue across the bridge. The flashes of energy about our bridge, as well as those about other structures, helped give us a sense of the architecture. I could only see distant slits that I assumed were windows like that I looked through earlier. While I had to assume there was a reason for the large volume inside the alien spaceship, I could not help but think of it as something almost as scary as the vast immensity of the volume outside the vessel. As I crossed the bridge with the others, I found myself slightly losing the confidence that we could win a war against the race that could build a spaceship like this.

Those thoughts did not help my attitude in seeing a group of aliens move out ahead of us where the bridge connected with another passage in the structure of the vessel. These people had legs like an animal with them walking naturally on their toes. Their torsos were bulky with what appeared to be short tentacles moving about joints and growing in place of hair on their heads. The group of aliens pointed what were easily recognized as weapons at us, then a loud voice sounded around us as if coming from speakers set somewhere in the volume around us.

“Why should we let you pass?”

“Why you,” Roy started to say.

I stepped up to put a hand on his shoulder, which caused him to go silent and allow me to speak. “I guess that you should not. I guess that our meeting with Al earlier stated your acceptance of him and his ways. Just note that he is seen by us as a murderer, as someone who works against our ways, and as someone we need to remove from advancing his cause. The reason you should allow us to pass, is to say that you also do not approve of his ways, or at least willing to give us a chance to show our own ways and desires.”

There was a pause, I guess to enable a translation of my words, before the voice returned, “We have no standing in your war.”

“We fully understand that what you say and what you do might be two complete things. Right now we are concerned with what was done. Someone close to us was abducted with the evidence pointing to her being held on this ship. Right now someone who is a threat to our society is moving about, seemingly with liberty, about your vessel. Right now, what you say really is not that important to us.”

Roy blurted out, “That’s the truth!”

Since there was a pause the previous time, I calmly waited. Considering that I had said a lot more, I have to say that I was willing to allow for a slightly lengthier period to pass in order to assure a translation. The reaction however came in after almost no time at all.

The aliens continued to hold their weapons at the ready. Those at the front however stepped back. I suspected trouble, and from softly made comments and subtle movements of my comrades I suspected they also sensed something going wrong. Instead of the aliens using their weapons, I however saw them pass into the distance as the bridge we were on suddenly dropped.

The feeling from watching thing around me had me feeling that we were traveling fast. No sensation of falling however could be noticed. I did feel a breeze, but not a strong wind that I felt should be a part of such a rate of movement. The men had short hair. I did not notice mine going up from the drop, and in looking to FER-RON I did not see her long blue strands lift either. All I could conclude was the artificial gravity present inside the ship held us steady. Things went by us very fast, but the feeling was that they were rushing by us and not that we were the ones moving.

I remembered that the ship was built in the shape of an extended tetrahedron. Seeing the walls enclosing the volume coming toward us, I assumed that we were coming close to the bottom of the ship. Whatever the substance of the bridge, it reduced in length to fit the shrinking distance across. When it finally settled, one end of the span connected to a landing before a great door. The other end stopped at what appeared as just a blank wall of the ship.

Sandstorm began walking to the door while saying, “Roy, sorry to say this, but it seems these aliens are not too fond of your brother.”

The lad followed mumbling, “If he did anything to Mary, I… I… I won’t be happy with him either.”

The rest of us followed. Sandstorm came to the door, then banged on it once with his fist. I had already seen that it did not have a latch. In looking for options, I saw the panel to the right of the landing. Like the one I saw before, there were a lot of gauges, but only one device that looked like it could perform an action.

Perry said, “I guess we push the button.”

I replied, “For people with such superior technology, they seem to really complicate performing a basic action.”

“I am sure that a lot of what we do seems strange to them as well.”

Roy commanded, “Push the button.”

I replied, “I am going to look before I leap, and recommend that you do the same.”

Sandstorm said, “Listen to the lady, Lad.” Just as I was about to thank him, he added, “Queen Debra, how long do you plan on looking at a single button?”

Just as I was about to glare at him and make a reply, I felt an image come into my mind. It was not a painful experience, although I felt a great amount of physical torture powered the psychic signal. I saw a scene with Al B2 close, but a number of korlocks around what I considered the other side of the great door. As I recovered from the vision, I saw Sandstorm move to one side directing Roy to the other. Perry was given directions, as was FER-RON. I told my robot to obey, as we had been given information about the way the enemy was set up. As she moved into position, I looked to Sandstorm with my hand over the button. As I saw him nod, I slammed down my hand before setting my own mind to enter the battle.

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 7   September 25th 2015, 7:49 am

Two Brothers and a Girl
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Seven

Chapter Seven

We all had weapons for dealing with korlocks. I actually felt it spoke against humanity in that we had quickly determined a method of destroying the partially incorporeal forms. With a number of almost humanoid korlocks supporting some larger forms, it should have been a tough fight. I however had a robot built to fight the insubstantial aliens, and two mercenaries who had experience in battle tactics. While Roy and I might have had limited experience, we proved ourselves able to deal with the korlocks, which prevented our group from having a weak link in the combat.

The same rule did not seem to hold for the other side. While I had a number of indications that the tragedy that affected the korlocks happened millennia in the past, it seemed that they had not used the time learning fighting techniques. Further, the presence of Al B2 was also not an asset to his forces. His bold, confident commands to the korlocks really did not help his side of the conflict.

I did hear Roy yell to his brother. Understanding that he and I were the least competent members of our squad, I moved up to help him focus on Al while trusting the others to handle the korlocks. If we could secure Mary, Roy and I would have proven our worth by achieving our mission.

As we rushed into the room, Al screamed, “I don’t know why you like her, Roy! She is not useful!”

I yelled back, “Have any of the girls you taken been useful to you? Haven’t you learned anything from those you abducted?”

“Not what I wanted to know.”

“Why not? What do you want to know, Al? I’m human, and female. What can I not tell you?”

As if oblivious to the combat, I stepped away from the wall. Al seemed to be distracted by the fight, but he looked to me as if trying to come up with an answer to the question. He then stepped to me as if discounting the combat as being important.

“Father made Carnation. Why did he make a girl? Is she to have our babies? She doesn’t act that way. You made your robot a girl. Why?”

“You, Roy, and Nick did not come out as he had planned and hoped. He needed a check on his processes. He needed some indication that he had done the right thing. Making a girl was something completely different, and he felt it would tell him to take an entirely new path or stay committed to his present project.”

“DID HE LEARN? She stays with him. WHAT DID HE LEARN?”

Those words coming from a boy just did not sound proper. I found myself having to laugh. Understanding that I was dealing with a boy, I worked to keep my expression inside while finding an answer to his question.

“That he made a girl. What can you learn from children? All three of you boys are being boys. You are most special lads, but you are growing and following your own path like all children. With Carnation he has a girl. She has her own mind, and is also seeking her own path.”

“YOU’RE NOT ANSWERING THE QUESTION!”

“What type of answer are you expecting? I am a girl. What do you think I know of men? I grew up with my father. My mother died! I had a relationship with a man. I cannot say that I know men. I like men, and want to share my life with one, but I doubt that I will ever understand them.”

I could see the body of the lad shake while he shook his head in wide motions, so I felt a need to say more. “Al, are you understanding these aliens? Tell me, do you understand what the korlocks are thinking, planning, and hoping to achieve? How about those that built this ship? Really, Al, how much do you understand?”

The fact that the conflict was coming to an end was made evident as Sandstorm entered the conversation, “Yeah, Al, how much of women are you really expecting to know?”

Perry said, “I was married, and loved my wife. She was something fantastic.”

“And that is probably all he learned about her. Accept it, Al, you will go to your grave wondering about women.”

I sensed frustration in the boy’s mind as he pointed to Mary while saying, “I did not learn anything from her either.”

Again feeling a need to laugh, I said, “And she is mostly machine. Her mind is mostly electronic. The Annapolis androids are even more computerized. If you cannot understand them, I doubt you could ever understand me.”

Al turned to point to FER-RON. “What about her?”

“I wrote her code. Jimmy told me that he was building a female robot, so needed a woman to write her logic. I have. I understand how she thinks. I can usually follow her logic even as she speaks to people. It was men writing her code in the beginning, and Jimmy died because of it. Now that FER-RON runs from my code, she is operating wonderfully. Try and explain that, Al.”

Sandstorm spoke his conclusion. “You can’t.”

The lad screamed, then his form faded along with I believe only one remaining korlock. I turned to see Roy already with Mary. She was conscious, but seemed glad to have my more experienced presence. Considering the conversation, I had to also think that she just wanted another female to treat her. She screamed when I checked parts of her body, but worked to supply the information to help me heal and repair her.

“That was interesting.”

I tried to keep my focus on Mary, but had to turn my head enough to see who spoke. I noticed a form like those I had previously seen in the ship. He floated above us in a manner that I felt indicated that he was just a projection. I thus turned my head to put my focus on Mary while only listening.

It was Sandstorm that spoke to the alien. “Sorry that you had to host this battle of our private war.”

“Actually, we encouraged it, and I am glad that we did. We need to learn about each other.”

I continued to work on Mary, so mostly mumbled my own belief. “No. If we could learn about each other, there would be evidence of you on Mission. The fact that you have not settled that world, and I suspect none of the worlds that the korlocks lived upon, says that you are too different to relate to us.”

Roy, who was close to me, replied, “We are breathing the air.”

“The same air the korlocks breathed, when they were alive. I suspect they changed the composition of the atmosphere to satisfy us, them, and not for their own benefit.”

I heard the alien ask, “You don’t trust us?”

Accepting that I had been heard, I turned to look at what I believed to be an image of the alien while answering, “Oh, I hope that we can become more than able to trust each other. However, right now we are the ones stepping into the unknown, while you have been here for some time. You can thus play to advantages we cannot even imagine as being possible. I thus feel that it is better if we continue to learn independent of you.”

“You are correct about us not inhabiting the worlds that the Nerisus did.”

Sandstorm asked, “Nerisus? I have gained the impression that the korlocks are more than one group of aliens.”

“By the time my race encountered them, they were united in a federation and called themselves the Nerisus.”

I heard Mary tell me that she could move. I accepted the words feeling that I could do a much better job of helping her back where I had access to my equipment and a proper medical facility. I thus helped Mary stand while giving instructions to the men.

“Tell the alien ‘thank you,’ then let’s leave.”

The alien said, “You’re welcome. You may refer to us as the Okagaki.”

“Does that mean ‘instigator’ in the language of the Nerisus?”

“No – well, that word would be ‘osakeri.’ I guess it is close.”

I was moving to the door helping Mary walk as I replied, “Knowledge of the language could be a means of trade, but not right now. Right now we need to learn some more.”

“We are learning and watching as well. Get back on the bridge, and it will lift back to the original position where you came upon it. I trust that you know the way back.”

I could not help but look to the image of the alien as I said, “Thank you.”

“Again you are welcome.”

Perry came to my side, probably to offer help in caring for Mary, but I was glad to hear him say, “That went well.”

Mary replied, “They are not like us. I really cannot detect them or make sense of their electronics. That is why Al wanted to bring me here. He knew that I would have to focus on him. He really is not sane enough to ask good questions or make sense of what I could tell him.”

I said, “If the Okagaki knew of the korlocks, and the korlocks knew of us, then we have to assume that the Okagaki knew of us. In all that time they did not come to us, and certainly did not work to destroy us. We thus have to trust that they do not mean us evil. Shame however warned me of them, so let us stay guarded for the moment. This was however a good initial meeting.”

Again I felt no force as the bridge obviously moved through the volume inside the craft. The evidence was clear to me that the aliens were far ahead of us in technology. I thus was grateful to find them gracious, or simply non-aggressive. I however felt that those of the craft would soon learn how adaptive we humans were.

We did make it safely back to the Roland. I had studied the notes of Dr. Worsheim, who had created Mary. With proper equipment, I was thus able to restore her. The human tissue would take its time to heal, but she went to her bed in the Roland verifying that I had put her mechanical body back in working order.

As I laid her down in her bunk, I asked, “How much of being a woman do you think you know?”

Mary answered, “I doubt I will ever know. Father did not make my body so it could be a complete woman. I will never be able to have a life, or a man, like you.”

“The Baltimore series is to be like the Annapolis series, but I am told that they are also creating a Chattanooga series that are to be sexbots. One day we thus might be able to provide you with a more human form.”

“No, as my entire body is made up of inter-related equipment. I have a lot more sensory inputs than the Annapolis, Baltimore, or any other set of androids could have. I am what I am. I know things no one else could know, and I am happy with that.”

“Sounds like you are a woman of mystery.”

She smiled at me, then said, “I really want to meet Mommy. I want to know what she is like.”

“She is very driven. I believe that we got along because I am driven as well. If you meet her, it will probably only be in passing, as she stays busy.”

“I will probably have things to do as well, but I would like to have that knowledge of directly being in her presence.”

Thinking on the words, I felt it best to keep my reply simple. “Well right now we have work to do. Yours, at present, is to heal. Relax and let your body do its thing.”

“My body still detects a whole lot.”

“And humanity needs you, as there is a lot we need to learn. However wrong your father was to make you like he did, I have to say that he created a child that could truly benefit the world. Be proud of yourself, Mary.”

“I am grateful that you came for me.”

Thinking back on how I became aware of her abduction, I had to admit, “It was Roy that came for you. I think he is sweet on you.”

“I like him. Will you talk about men with me?”

I really had nothing else to do. If I had left, I would have only gone to check routines on FER-RON. She had been operating wonderfully however, and I knew would get a full system check once returned to my team. I thus sat with Mary and did nothing but talk about men.

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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