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 Will We Have Past/Future: TimeSaga B8 (All 7 Chapters)

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PostSubject: Will We Have Past/Future: TimeSaga B8 (All 7 Chapters)   September 30th 2015, 7:47 am

Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga:  The Advance Story Eight

Chapter One

When we released the files of our encounter with the Okagaki, it seemed that everyone had problems with every decision we made.  Most of the criticism did not bother me, but I did stand up for what I told the aliens.  Many felt that I should have made a deal for gaining knowledge of the korlocks.  I however strongly made my case that we had yet to fully explore the city around us, so possibly would have paid for a lot of things we would be finding free after a little more inspecting of Mission.  I simply told everyone to have a price in mind for when we again encountered the Okagaki, and I would consider those assets in any future bargains.

It did help that I had the support of Roy.  He was the local representative of the Solomon Foundation.  While my conversations with him stated that he had faced his own criticism, he had ended up convincing his superiors that we had done the best considering our objective and situation.

The call that came in however was from Dr. Beyonce, and I activated the signal wondering what type of criticism I would gain from her.  “You can tender your resignation if you want, Debra, but I have been bought out.  You are thus to become a full employee of RayWeight.”

Those were not the words I expected, so I asked a basic question just to buy myself time to think over what had been said.  “Why would I resign?  I was basically considered a RayWeight employee anyway.  Wait!  Does that mean I lose my title?”

“Uh, no, we will let you keep that.  You will get to stay Queen Debra.”  Dr. Beyonce laughed as she said that.  “The actual company will be FER-RON Industries, but it is now under the RayWeight Technologies corporate structure.”

Most of my benefits came from RayWeight anyway, so I considered what would be changing.  “I assume they will want to be going into production on a FER-RON robot.”

“Yes.  They will be in contact with you about changes in the code for certain occupations.  Actually, everyone likes FER-RON’s personality, but I am stressing how dangerous basic code can be for a robot like FER-RON.”

I could not help but think of Jimmy as I replied, “Yes.  We don’t want any accidents.”

“And you are Queen Debra.  You and your team have the experience with FER-RON, and you have created a wonderful prototype.  If you feel a need to throw your authority around, you do it.”

Still in a poor mood from having to deal with the criticism of others, I mumbled, “Everyone is rather dissatisfied with my conclusions right now.”

“Listen, Debra, you still work for me.  Don't you think that I have not been buying RayWeight stock.  You are not hearing any complaints from me or any of those in the management of RayWeight.  Also, let me remind you that we are on the right path.  What we have heard from the aliens, both korlocks and these Okagaki, is that we are following a different path.  Keep us on that different path.”

“Are they going to make a sex-bot?”

I believe Dr. Beyonce paused to stare at me to study my attitude, and not to consider words to hide the truth.  “No.  It was decided that the Straw Sapien Corporation would have the superior product, as they are dealing with actual human tissue.  I assure you however, if we do decide to manufacture a sex-bot, that you will get to oversee the code directing the personality.  We can discuss a bitchiness level at that time.”

The door to my room opened, and I saw Mary enter.  I expected her to rush to speak to her mother, but she stayed in the hall.  While I did wonder about her, I continued to speak to Dr. Beyonce.

“Well, I really cannot complain about FER-RON.  I am thus ready for another challenge.”

“They will be coming, but nothing will happen fast.  FER-RON is a rather complex robot, so will require a special manufacturing plant to be built.  Further, it seems that no one at RayWeight had really seriously considered what they wanted in a robot, so there is presently just a lot of debate going on here.  Thus, keep your focus on developing Mission.  RayWeight wants to be a part of the expansion of humanity.  You have a strong vote of confidence that you are leading us and humanity in the proper direction, so stay our Queen.”

I spent some time asking some specifics about my position in RayWeight.  It helped my attitude to find nothing that I could disapprove of.  I mentioned some of the amenities that I did not have, and Dr. Beyonce assured me that a number of people were looking to move to Mission and what they hoped to bring with them along with what benefits they expected to sell to us already here.  We thus spoke for a time about specific things that should soon be coming to this world.

After the call, I turned to Mary who said, “I am no longer your future boss.”

“Oh?  You were never that bossy.”

She smiled while moving to a chair before saying, “No.  You were – are a good queen.  I could not help but listen as you debated with those people criticizing you.  Unlike most of the information that I pick up, I was actually interested.  You did a good job.”

“It didn’t feel like a good job.  It felt like I was arguing with idiots.”

“You were arguing with idiots, but you did a good job.”  After we spent a moment laughing at that, Mary added, “Mother told me to take you out and party.  I told her that I did not know how we could do that here.”

“Well,” I said, “the answer is to ask a man.  The problem is what man can you trust?”  I activated a channel on my computer, and was surprised to get a quick response.  “Hey, Sis.  Why the call?”

Just to be annoying, I asked, “Why aren’t you working?”

I heard men laughing in the background as Clyde answered, “We get time off as well.  Heading back down to Mission right now.  Hate to say it, but you were the lady I was going to contact.”

“Well, I want to celebrate, but it is due to work.  You never let our discussions of work get too deep.”

“Yes.  Everything I do is classified, although your work has been pretty secret as well.”

Feeling that he needed to know something about what I would be celebrating, I informed him, “I am now an employee of RayWeight.  Benefits are now official, and I am getting a better salary.”

“Still Queen?”

“Yep, so I still out-rank a Major.”

Again I heard laughter behind the voice of my brother.  “Give me a couple of hours, then I would be glad to celebrate with you.”

I ended the call, then told Mary, “Clyde is a horrible person to party with, but he is not a jerk.  He does not drink much, and only eats certain foods.  That means he is a sober, dull companion, but once we decide what we want to do we can dump him.  My problem is that often I don’t find anything I want to do, so end up calling it a night when he does.”

She replied, “I cannot have sex, and alcohol gives me problems.  It is my human brain that controls the handling of all the data my body receives.  If I dull my thinking, I become overwhelmed with information.”

“Then you can make certain that I don’t get into trouble.  Clyde used to help, but over here I would suspect him to be a little relaxed around the ladies.  I mean, usually everything he does is classified, so he cannot talk that much.  On Mission everyone is in-the-know, so he can talk about things he is doing.”

“Is sex really that much trouble?”

“Potentially.  Also, I would rather be bored with Clyde than have to spend time with someone that is a complete jerk.”

Mary did not laugh, but I saw a smirk on her face as she studied mine before saying, “I don’t know if I can identify jerkiness in a man.”

“Oh, you just have not been around enough men, especially those drunk.  The time can thus pay off for you.”

“I am coming.  Daddy always told me that the more things I can learn for myself the better able I could regulate the information that comes to me.”

I felt a connection to Mary in a number of ways.  She was my boss’s daughter, but also a modern application of the merging of electronic, mechanic, and organic material.  That made her important to me in a couple of ways associated with business.  I however had come to find her to be a friend.  She and I could focus on the same topics, and enjoy the resulting conversations.  While I had a good relationship with the other two ladies in my team, and had met others here on Mission, I found myself preferring to spend my time with Mary.

I found it strange that none of the men with Clyde made passes at me.  I figured my brother would have chosen one to be a possible companion for me.  What I however found was that none wanted to talk science or robots, so had not challenged their position with my brother to be seen with me.

As the night went on, the men would joke about me staying involved in my job.  Those words would get me slightly irate, as I did not equate Mary with FER-RON at all.  The men learned not to make such references around me, but simply attempt to get me away with them alone.  As the night went on, I found myself wondering when my brother would get tired and leave, but sat around realizing that my brother was determined to allow his men as much free time as possible.

I looked up with surprise to have a drink set before me as Lenny took a seat at my table.  “You’re not going to find another King Jimmy.”

The words were mumbled in a manner that I felt he hoped I would not have heard.  I glared at him for a moment.  His darting eyes told me that he knew what he said, but his place in a seat let me know that he felt the statement was something that needed to be said.  Wondering just how far he was willing to advance the topic, I replied with words that I felt were emotionally safe and actually true.

“I had a lot of history with Jimmy.”

“Time didn’t stop.”

Wondering where he wanted the conversation to go, I asked, “Are you making a play for me?”

“I don’t know if I can.  I don’t know if I should.”

He spoke those words while stirring his drink with his eyes continuing to dart around.  I had to smile recognizing that he was nervous.  I knew Lenny, as we worked together rather closely.  He had contributed to the programming of FER-RON.  His knowledge of creating battle robots helped to fine-tune the instructions with the actual mechanics resulting in what I felt were the graceful movements of my robot.  I thus did not think poorly of Lenny, so tried to speak in a way to get more words out of him.

“Why shouldn’t you make a play for me?”

“Because you should not date co-workers.”

His eyes only lifted to look at me for a moment, but I felt that he saw me smile.  “Jimmy worked with me.  He in fact is the reason that I took the career path that I did.”

“That does not mean it was right.”

“Yes, it was.  It got me out of the city and a future like everyone else.  Because of what he did, what he offered to me, I am out here on another planet working with fantastic technology.  I am not going back to what everyone else considers a normal life.  If someone is not able to share this life with me, I’m not going to share my life with him.”

My voice went up in volume with those words.  Considering that I had lectured a number of men, eyes turned to us ready to take enjoyment from the degradation of another.  Lenny however held his position without showing any additional embarrassment.  Of course, the man already displayed a lot of insecurity, but at the core I knew this was a man who could determine the right construction to have a basic robot inflict major damage on another robot.  The volume of his voice stayed low, his eyes continued to dart around, but Lenny did not move from his seat as he replied to me.

“I was there that night King Jimmy died.  My time with you started then.  I don’t know how long I need to stay in your life, but I want you to know that I hope you notice my clock continues to accumulate time.”

Softly, I said, “Yes, Lenny, I notice.  I don’t know how long either, but if you don’t give up – who knows?”

He rose while saying, “That’s good enough for now.”

Wanting something to do, and willing to reward the man, I rose as well while asking, “Do you want to dance?”

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.


Last edited by TerishD on October 30th 2015, 7:39 am; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter 2   October 5th 2015, 7:49 am

Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight

Chapter Two

Once I had stepped out on the dance floor, a number of other men had me where they wanted me. Lenny was not the most self-assured in public situations, so was easily replaced by others who had the confidence in crowds. I really did not enjoy dancing, but found myself not wanting to return to simply sitting around. I thus stayed out on the dance floor and enjoyed the company of a number of men I probably would not have entertained elsewhere.

Upon finally returning to my seat, I saw one of the military men holding a chair for Mary to sit back down in. Whoever I had been dancing with had gone to the bar to get a drink, so the enlisted man politely helped me to my seat. I did remember having one part of a dance with him, so thanked him along with saying his name. As he returned to a group of military men, I had to ask a question of Mary.

“You know how to dance?”

“I have access to vast amounts of information. If I did not know how to dance, I could quickly and easily gain the information. Still, what I could call up really did not help. Why do you like to dance?”

“I really don’t. I however just wanted to get away, and dancing is so unlike me. I thus just felt like escaping, and the dance floor let me do that.”

I expected her to say something in response, but she just stared forward. Her eyes went to me, and as if feeling embarrassed she sat proper in her chair. Wondering what she wanted to say, I looked to the man that supposedly went for a drink to find him with another lady. I sent Lenny for drinks while waiting for Mary to finish processing her thoughts.

She finally looked to me and said, “They opened the portal to allow another Flag of Freedom to come through. We thus should have more emigrants rather quickly. What I however also learned was that a representative of the Straw Sapien Corporation is with them. The Baltimore Series is now being released and it is time for ordering those of the Chattanooga series.” Very softly she added, “The sex-bot series.”

Wanting to help Mary get over any feelings of embarrassment, I asked, “How much are they going to cost?”

Setting down the drinks, Lenny said, “It’s nothing, Queen. I paid for them.”

I could not help but chuckle as I replied, “No. I was asking Mary about the Chattanooga series. Eventually, I am certain that there will be one of our robots serving as sex-bots.”

“Yes, but ours will be a robot, a machine. Those built on the technology learned from Mary are human, to a degree.”

Mary said, “Mommy is bringing up that very point. She is suing, because they are using her husband’s technology. Further, she is forcing the issue of the Chattanooga series being partially human.” I saw her smile as she said, “We will probably get one for our own study. Lenny and Chu could end up having fun on company time.”

Lenny replied, “I doubt the Chattnooga series can be lovelier than FER-RON, and I have seen her naked a number of times.”

I spent some time picking on Lenny, as I knew how embarrassed he would get when our robot was naked. I had heard Jimmy speak of his conversations with Dr. Beyonce about how FER-RON should look, so knew certain features were intentional. I had also participated in presentations for publicity where my robot was dressed in a light outfit that allowed for perverts to make out traits a functional weapon would have no use for. Lenny had been present, or helped set up FER-RON for those presentations, so I knew had seen and probably touched her womanly features. I found it entertaining to see him embarrassed by certain facts, but was pleased that he worked through the emotions to actually speak on the topic of what we could verify about those of the Chattanooga series.

Clyde however kept us from getting deep in the topic, as he approached to say, “Just got word that a Flag of Freedom entered our space. My team thus needs to be on alert in case the korlocks attack.”

Mary replied, “You have four men on your boat just for that purpose.”

“If korlocks attack, all of us will need to go into action. Thus, I need to get my men back where they can hopefully sleep off some of the alcohol they consumed. Since I am responsible for bringing you ladies, I am letting you know that it is time for me to bring you home.”

I said, “Well, it was fun, so I thank you, Clyde. I however am ready to leave.”

Lenny said, “I could bring you back, Queen.”

“No, but let us keep work and personal relationships separate. I will go back with Clyde.”

Mary suddenly grabbed my hand and said, “No. Clyde needs to bring us somewhere else. They found another portal.”

Clyde whistled, and the military men who had been standing waiting for their leader to signal their exit suddenly came around to hear him say, “As drunk as you boys are, we have work to do. Look your best, men.”

One with the rank of lieutenant asked, “Kolocks?”

“No, but maybe. Dame Mary has gotten word of another portal.”

While the men did mumble some complaints about their intoxicated state not being proper for actual business, none did anything to deny their duty. While Clyde had his own vehicle, Mary and I were seated in the back with an enlisted man gaining the other front seat to handle communications. The city was rather large with most of us scattering in order to gain some privacy for our own investigations. It thus took some time for us to reach the place Mary identified, but I was pleased that the chatter over the radio was not about the men complaining of being intoxicated.

From a window came a voice declaring, “What the Hell? Oh, Dame Mary. We were hoping you would be asleep.”

It was Clyde that replied, “If it is a matter of again stirring up the korlocks, we need to know.”

Mary said, “Even if I was asleep, most of me would not be, and I believe that your transmission would have caused an alert to wake me up.”

The man replied, “Well, don’t come up here. Go straight back. If you don’t meet someone, I will be down to assure you find your way.”

Mary mumbled, “I know the layout of every building, so can lead us.”

My brother softly returned, “You did not know about the presence of this portal.”

“No, so let’s go add to my wealth of knowledge.” As we entered the building, she informed us, “Dr. Arsenach has called ahead. I believe it will be Dr. Petinabi coming out to us.”

I knew Dr. Petinabi, so could verify Mary’s prediction as a man rushed up to us to say, “There is really nothing we can do right now. We do not have the key.”

I replied, “We don’t really need the key. We have the portal technology. What we need are coordinates. We still do not have light speed, much less FTL, travel. Thus, time for us to explore space on our own is still speaking of larger units of time than most of live, much less want to spend cooped up in a spaceship. Mary?”

She smiled while saying, “I am not that good. The portal we know of does transmit in a manner that I can detect, but that is solely due to father using mother’s technology. It must be activated for me to receive any information. Even then those emanations are not actually native to my information processing. Still, I believe an activation key can be easily developed, but that was partially the reason for the transmission back to Earth.”

Dr. Arsenach had now arrived, and was the one that answered, “Yes, Dame Mary, that is true. It was also to establish that it was my team that found the portal.”

I replied, “We are not here to take away that honor. The problem is solely to claim awareness of another source of potential korlock attacks.”

Dr. Petinabi said, “We have learned that the korlocks really do not need the portals.”

“No. What we have learned is that we have a lot to learn. Still, I am putting out reports of what I and my team learns. My brother has orders to release anything alien or korlock that his military learns, even if it is in otherwise classified documents. It is thus only our concern that you also make your discoveries public so that others can be aware of advancements that could put them in harm.”

We all spun as another voice joined the discussion, “Oh, but there is also a lot that I can learn. And as someone who knows so much of korlocks, I can do a lot more with the knowledge than any of you.”

I felt good seeing Clyde ready his weapon and pointing it at Al B2. I did remember him arming himself when back in his vehicle. I however had left FER-RON back at my building, and only brought things to help keep up my appearance. I however wondered about Mary’s expectations for the evening when she readied her wand.

Al disappeared as a number of bullets came in his direction. We spread out expecting him to reappear or have korlocks attack. Since I did not have a weapon, I stayed with Mary. I heard Clyde speak to his men left at the vehicles, then saw him check the bullets in his gun before speaking.

“Dame Mary, no offense, but if Al B2 can listen in to us, you should be able to listen in to him.”

She replied, “Listening is passive. I will not say that he is not transmitting to others, but I have not been able to discern those types of transmissions. Either father did not include those frequencies in my design, or I have not been able to recognize them.”

Attempting to support Mary, I said, “Clyde, you have people listening to things as well.”

He replied, “Yes, but they sometimes do not seem as adaptive as Dame Mary. I feel that I have a better chance of getting something from her.” I guess to assure an understanding what he said, he added, “That was a compliment, Dame Mary, whether you took it that way or not.”

Her response seemed to indicate that she was willing to drop the matter. “The Flag of Freedom is not reporting korlocks, and neither is the Roland. However, Roy has contacted the Kayla to hire them to transport the key. He has sent a message to you, Debra, and those working here that the Soloman Foundation considers the portals to be their prerogative.”

From somewhere came the voice of Dr. Petinabi saying, “I have an issue with that, but I know better than to trouble the messenger with my anger. Thank you for letting me know, Dame Mary.”

I think she was going to reply to him, but suddenly exclaimed, “Oh!”

Clyde went into a readied stance, then asked, “Korlocks?”

“No. Another spaceship, but – but…”

She looked at me strangely, then knelt over grabbing her head. I knelt beside her hoping that I might be able to help. I sensed that she was being flooded with information, so asked Clyde about what his men were receiving. I also told him to check with the Roland, as they had four of the Annapolis series on board that were built using Mary as their basis. My brother did not argue with me, but as he spoke I saw Mary look to me.

“I gained a large amount of information that I sensed was them attempting to teach me their language. What they are now saying is that they have the technology to fix us who were developed along the science of the korlocks. They are claiming that I can be remade as a normal person.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 3   October 10th 2015, 7:51 am

[b]Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight
Chapter Three

It was the voice of Dr. Petinabi that replied, “Dame Mary, you should not trust strangers bearing gifts.”

I had to ask, “Mary, do you want to be fixed?”

She replied, “Well, I am human, at least to a noticeable level. My sisters really are not with those of the Chattanooga series to be abused. Maybe I can help them.” She then went, “Oh, Roy is saying that he would like us to join him in checking this new spaceship out.”

I turned my head to speak to another, “Clyde, I believe we both need to get to somewhere we can transmit.”

He was talking over his communication system, but looked to me to say, “My thoughts as well, Debra. Still, I am worried about korlocks.”

“Can we use your vehicle?”

“Uh, I’ll take you.”

Clyde did get engaged in a conversation with Dr. Petinabi and Dr. Arsenach. Neither wanted military men present, while my brother thought it to be a wise precaution. They finally settled upon a group being stationed in a nearby building. I walked with Clyde to his vehicle as he engaged in a conversation with his men about all of them moving to the building for the duration.

Chu was outside our building when we drove up. He spoke of FER-RON being about seeking korlocks and Linda active on the communication equipment. Clyde asked about us picking up his transmissions, and Chu admitted that they were the one thing that enabled them to keep our robot from activating her more aggressive routines. I wished my brother well, and I as turned to my building after seeing him drive off, I saw FER-RON run up from around a corner.

“Debra, it is good to see you and Mary.”

I had a concern that I immediately voiced. “FER-RON, I have seen no korlocks, and Mary was with me who did not mention them either. What activated your protective routines?”

“I am not programmed to just protect against korlocks, but any threat. I… I… I don’t know.”

“FER-RON, I will need to check your database. Something registered, and it would help us to learn what. While I will agree with you that there is a potential threat, we are also unable to comprehend what it is. Your information could help us.”

“Of course, Debra, but I feel a need to stay active.”

I knew the method of by-passing certain routines that would block others from controlling my robot. “FER-RON, you are under primary commands to protect me. Stay with me, and once we are certain of my safety then you can be released to again make any necessary patrol.”

“Yes, Debra.”

As I went up the stairs, I found myself hearing the voice of Linda, Li, and Lenny speaking to Roy. What bothered me was that they were not talking about anything of which I was not already informed. I thus went up to my people determined to get the data to hopefully get our focus on what was important.

I commanded, “Li, get a report from FER-RON considering what it is that is troubling her.”

She replied, “Already did that, Queen. Certain data fields can be called up without putting her in the container. The first is that the military activated. Since she is to protect you and the rest of us, it is in her code to be a personal bodyguard while the officials worry about the population as a whole.”

I felt that I should have recognized that, but spoke my understanding that there was another reason. “That would explain why she was close by when I drove up, but not what kept her from telling me that piece of information.”

“Well, that is why we are talking with Roy. It seems that another strange spaceship has arrived. It has sensors, a type of radar, that uses the time wavelengths. Best we can figure is that they are causing disturbances in time to get readings that tell them things. We cannot determine what, but the signals are surely the source of what is bothering our robot.”

Because I knew that I could, I turned to get a verification of those words. “FER-RON, what is your estimation of what Li just said?”

The robot replied, “I must say that I have to accept it. The signals I am receiving are not specific like it would be if a korlock was manifesting.”

Not wanting any to feel that I was ignoring their usefulness, I turned for advice from another. “Mary, do you have anything to add or clarify?”

She answered, “Considering what I have told you, I have to say that I agree.”

Chu asked, “Queen, how much drinking did you do?”

I replied, “Little, and I danced a good bit. I thus do not feel that I am impaired, but at the moment I am not being required to operate at a hundred percent. While I could use some sleep, I feel that I must first determine what should be done.”

From the speaker came the voice of Roy. “Debra, when the Kayla arrives to bring the key, have Captain Burbank bring you to the Roland. I feel that we should again be the ones to meet the aliens. At least this time my brother is not involved.”

“At least it does not seem so, but we did see him earlier.” I thought over the suggestion, then decided that I needed a little more information. “What would be the E.T.A. of the Kayla?”

I heard the girlish voice of an Annapolis series provide the information that Roy repeated. “It just gated back out to Earth. Had a reasonable load of debris from the Rhinemaiden, so it will take some time to unload as well as have the key arrive. Eight hours should be considered a safe estimate.”

“Okay, I am going to get some sleep.” I saw Lenny come into the room, so I felt that I was able to provide instructions to my full team. “I am certain that FER-RON will stay active as long as those signals are coming in. Mary just stays awake. One person needs to be active to assure that whatever happens can be processed with an appropriate response. I leave it up to you to decide on how to manage your time.”

Lenny said, “I went with you, Queen. I am thus getting rest as well.”

Li stated, “I have communications at the moment. I will wake Chu or Linda to assure the status of FER-RON when the Kayla gates back into space over our planet.”

Mary added, “I will wake you, Debra, when the Kayla returns. We can get ready together to go to Roy.”

Feeling that I had a good set of plans, I explained what information I picked up from my brother. Most of it was already gained by my people, but I could tell that they appreciated having some others also aware. Having knowledgeable assets beyond our own group gave the feeling that things were not completely desperate. Feeling that they knew who to contact should a real threat reveal itself, I left my team to go to my room.

I turned hearing light footsteps, and heard Mary say after approaching, “I will stay with communications. While I can hear everything, I cannot reply. I thus want to stay where I can talk back.”

I replied, “Sounds good.” Just curious, I asked, “Do you speak with your sisters?”

“No. They aren’t that smart. Daddy worked with me to get me to understand who I am, and what I needed to do to manage my purpose. Those that built those designed from me did not spend time with them.” Her eyes lit up when she added, “I however do like talking to Roy. He’s like me, but not, but he is also very smart. He also spent time with Mother, so can tell me things about her.”

Having no reason to complain with what I heard, I headed to my room. As I moved I thought of the new portal. The key on Earth had not been found near the portal. Dr. Rothman knew about the key, and was the first one to call it a key. Of course at that time he was considered some space-alien wacko, but with some proper encouragement he showed that he did have a serious core capable of doing good archaeology. He still chose a site that had connections to his space-alien theories, but ended up being proven right. Dr. Beyonce and others spoke of this beliefs causing his death in swimming up into the vortex that we now knew opened into the depths of outer space. In heading to my room I however thought about where we had found the key in relation to where we had found the portal hoping to reason out where another activation piece might be found.

In some situations I had kept myself awake with my mind seeking to solve some problem. I actually hoped that I would this time, as I wanted to be alert should any new development happen. While things did appear to presently be at a stasis, I did not expect it to last the hours I spent asleep. My mind was inebriated and my body was tired, so any problems were ignored as I did collapse into unconsciousness.

Coming back awake, I could not help but reach out to my computer to activate a link. “What’s our status?”

The voice of Chu replied, “Nothing, Queen. Everyone is bored, and have stopped the chatter. Just for your information, no report from the Kayla. Earliest expectation is not for another hour.”

Not really believing that everything was truly calm, I asked, “Is Mary there?”

The young lady replied, “Yes, Debra. For your information, they are pricing the Chattanooga series at the same rate as RayWeight’s chromosomal replacement technology. The slogan, ‘For those not wanting to become a girl, you can get a girl instead.’”

“Great.”

“Mother came out with a statement saying that men should not be proud of needing to purchase one of the Chattanooga series when with the same amount of money they could get a much better deal with a lady.”

“Now go ahead and tell me that they have sold out.”

It was Chu that replied, “They are trying to say that they have perfected their technology to the point of being able to stay in production. What the salesman is telling the locals however is that if they like a particular model they better purchase it before that culture runs out.”

Actually curious about the Chattanooga series, I asked, “Are we getting one?”

“Mary says yes.”

Mary answered, “Mother says that RayWeight did purchase one, and it will be sent to us. The local salesman called to confirm the order. I don’t see what it will tell us that us observing someone else’s Chattanooga series will not, but it could help having one to converse with.”

Chu said, “I promise not to take advantage of the lady.”

I replied, “If you do, expect to have to give a full, descriptive report of your actions.” Just to assure a certain mentality, I added, “I will also expect you to provide video.”

“That’s harsh, Queen Debra. Still, I have maintained my dignity with FER-RON, so will do the same with our new robot.”

“She’s not exactly a robot, Chu. I have done my best to treat those of the Annapolis series with respect, and will try to continue such with any of the Chattanooga series. I expect the same from my employees.”

Mary added, “That is RayWeight policy.”

Chu said, “Duly noted, boss ladies. I guess that you should get ready, Queen Debra, as we could get a message from the Kayla at any minute.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   October 15th 2015, 7:43 am

[b]Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight
Chapter Four

When Captain Burbank called me ‘Miss RayWeight’ this time, I cheerfully moved to him to peck him on the cheek. He looked at me with an expression that was a mix of being pleased and puzzled. I smiled while letting him know why I did what I did.

“I am actually a RayWeight employee now, so the name actually applies.”

“And you’re happy about it?”

“Not really, but no reason to be annoyed with you any longer.”

Unlike most men, he actually paused to think before saying, “Then I guess I will need to come up with something else to annoy you.”

Butch said as he helped load my team’s equipment on board the Kayla, “That’s our captain.”

“Well, I’ll be surprised if these aliens leave a door open for you like the last ones did.”

I replied, “I can only hope that they are merely presenting their welcome to us, and seeking to let us learn something about them while they learn something about us. Thus, I am expecting them to open a door for us.”

“Well, as long as they don’t fire on us, I guess it is okay with me.”

Dick, the helmsman of the Kayla, said, “What the captain means is that as long as he is being paid for an easy mission, he thinks whatever you are doing is wonderful.”

“Get to work!”

“My job is actually to get us to this alien spacecraft. If anyone should be working, it’s you.”

Captain Burbank glared at him, then turned his eyes to those moving the equipment before looking to me to ask, “How do you get your people to work?”

It was Dick that replied, “She probably asks them nicely.”

“Miss RayWeight, as soon as you get your stuff loaded, I will assure you that this pea-brain will get to work.”

My team had by now moved our equipment a few times, so knew the routine. It seemed that the crew of the Kayla had also become used to the design of the experimental space vehicle, as they quickly went through their own procedures to get us ready to travel. Soon enough, each set of routines was completed and we were moving through space toward our destination.

This spaceship appeared in a very thick flying saucer design. We on the bridge thus wondered if these aliens might be the ones reported as UFOs throughout Earth’s history. While covering the distance I kept looking to both Mary and Frances for some report of a transmission from the alien craft, but they stayed silent. Finally, as we closed I saw the pink head of Mary jerk around. As she took some steps about the bridge, she let us know that she was getting some signal from the spaceship.

“It is in some strange language. Daddy made certain that I knew every language used on Earth, and told me that he suspected that all of our variations would help me decipher something strange. This is not just strange, but also seems distorted.”

Frances said, “I cannot detect anything.”

“If I could get a clear signal, I would tell you how to fix on it. It is very erratic however.”

Captain Burbank asked, “Could they be testing you or us?”

“I hope not, because if they are then I am failing the test. Unless…”

I watched as Mary moved to the front of the bridge. Dick started to complain about her blocking his view, but then mumbled that he used instruments anyway. Glad that he would not disturb Mary, I watched as she spread her arms and appeared to concentrate.

“I CAN’T TRANSMIT!” The words from Mary shrieked with despair. “Frances, tell them I cannot transmit!”

The voice of the Annapolis series also sounded with despair. “How?”

“I don’t care how!”

I believe Frances opened up all the frequencies before saying, “This is Frances, Annapolis series number fifty-three. I was made based on the prototype Mary, who is registering your signal. Neither one of us are transmitters however. We are just observational units.”

The front of the bridge was of a very thick Plexiglas, and not designed for anything but a view of space. Those of the Kayla would often use their own eyes to verify things about debris to scavenge that the instruments might not register. As far as I knew, there were no circuits running through the transparent hull section, but it suddenly lit up with an image of a head that appeared somewhat human even as the skin, eyes, and mouth showed a reptilian evolution.

The alien said something, to which Mary replied, “Yes, we were made. I am considered human, but most of my body was manufactured. Frances is less human than me.” Some more sounds came from the alien, who tilted his head as if looking at Mary as she said, “You came to us. Surely you did not expect us to ignore you.” The image of the alien left the Plexiglas section of hull, but Mary spoke as if it had said more. “We have permission to dock.”

I said, “Captain Burbank, I believe we just got word that a door will be left open for us.”

Frances chirped an affirmation, “Have a navigation signal. Sending it to Bruce.”

Dick quipped, “Bruce? I’m flying this crate.”

Bruce replied, “I’m navigation.” He was silent for a moment, then said, “The signal matches the location of the spaceship. Sending it to you, Dick.”

Another moment of silence, then the helmsman stated, “I was going in that direction already. We’re good.”

Captain Burbank said, “Miss RayWeight, I don’t know how you manage these things, but let me say I like working for someone who pays and does not expect me to do all the work.”

I replied, “Well, I just think that I am riding the wave of this advance. It seems that everyone was waiting for us. Luckily, I happened to be in the right industry to put me at the front of the wave.”

“I believe God would say ‘Bullshit’ to that, Miss RayWeight, but I have to say that from your perspective it might seem that way. Keep doing what you are doing.”

“Are you a religious man, Captain?”

“I am not stupid enough to believe that I am in charge. Whether it is God or not, I leave that to God to decide. I just know it is someone or something beyond me.”

Honestly, I could not deny that conclusion. I however did not consider the topic of any real importance at the moment. The only reason to continue the conversation would be to waste time as our craft crossed the distance. I however felt that I needed to consider my thoughts about how to respond to whatever situations this type of aliens would present to us. I thus allowed the captain to have his conclusion unchallenged while I worked to assure my actions would not work against my team or the human race.

The vessel was massive. The fact that it had crossed light years to arrive amazed us simply because getting that mass to move at all would require a tremendous amount of energy. Mary worked with me to assure that our weapons would work, that we had a solid agreement on what we felt we had learned so far, and how we wanted to present ourselves to this new race. I really did not worry about the other team members, as we spoke often and I felt had already come to an understanding on motives and objectives. It was as I assured that my robot would not overreact to certain displays that might be taken as a threat that Mary mentioned something about the vessel.

“Debra, I think those on the ship are broke.” She had been built to translate information, so it did not surprise me that she recognized my questioning glance. “I don’t believe they are being strange or evasive in sending the signals the way they are. I am coming to the conclusion that they are doing their best to maintain and operate their equipment.”

I had gone back into the boat to handle my business, but I heard the voice of Frances reply over a speaker. “But they are being evasive. I cannot get a lock on their signal.”

Mary spoke even as her eyes stayed on me. “The signals come from various locations, but I am getting a sense of when they will come. I believe that their batteries, or whatever they are using to store energy, needs time to charge. If a signal does not come, I am believing it is because the energy for that transmission was used by something else. There is no real alteration in pattern, but only disrupted by certain locations not activating.”

Willing to allow Mary to have some authority, I asked, “Does that information have you form any conclusion about this race of beings?”

“Fourteen.”

I really did not take me any time to identify what the number meant, although it did help verify my quick association to hear Frances say, “Our sister is still alive. They are actually using her to help test certain attachments for those whose bodies suffer major damage.”

Having read certain reports myself, I could not help from mumbling certain conclusions. “They are developing the technology to build a better cyborg.”

Mary replied to that. “You are not the only one to have such conclusions. The Straw Sapien Corporation is heavily watched, but some of their products for amputees have gained them some positive reviews.”

I felt that another needed to be included in this conversation, so called for Charcoal. Frances was in charge of the communications for the boat, and had been listening in, so it did not surprise me to hear the voice of the mercenary come over the speaker. When I requested him to come to me, he reminded me that he was being paid before stating that he would arrive quickly. Charcoal listened to what I told him, then spoke as if I needed to be reminded of certain facts.

“I do make our weapons and ammunition, Queen Debra, but I also understand the cost involved. Sandstorm and Perry know that I pay bonuses for missions where certain assumed costs are not incurred. I thus can promise you that we will not be destructive unless we actually feel a need to be destructive.”

I had to admit, “I continue to hire you because you have been an agreeable asset. I however feel that it is best to state certain concerns.”

“I appreciate that. I also appreciate that what I am doing are things that I believe one day to be very proud of. That is not usual with mercenary work. It is nice being able to think of going home with my head high, instead of just slinking into my garage and playing with my stuff as I try not to think about to what purpose my weapons have been put.”

“Well, get your team ready. I probably will just want Perry, but we will see how this goes.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 5   October 20th 2015, 7:45 am

[b]Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight
Chapter Five

We were not directed to a door on the side of the vessel, but I watched as Dick directed the Kayla to a large hatch on what I considered to be the bottom of the alien ship. While I had been awed by the size of the craft the Okagaki had constructed, this ship was much more massive. While the inside of their vessel had been hollow, the grand hanger the Kayla entered had me feeling that I would find the volume being used.

While some moved into the bridge to look through the clear front section, I stayed with Mary who went to join Frances in inspecting the images from the cameras. Both the Annapolis series girl and her prototype switched images in a quick fashion, but what bothered me was seeing the perplexed expressions on their faces. In what glimpses I managed to gain I saw no one moving about and no machinery left to handle the operations of whatever usually occurred in the room. While there was comfort in not seeing a threat, I looked to the girls wondering what about the images troubled them.

Captain Burbank said, “I would recommend space suits.”

Frances replied, “There does seem to be an atmosphere maintained in the room, but it is not Earth normal. It is not poisonous, but not something you could live on either.”

Mary spoke softly as if feeling I was the only one needing the information. “The oxygen content is low and there seems to be a permeating lipid in the air. With the temperature also being high, it would feel as if you are attempting to breathe the fumes over a boiling pot of oil.”

Charcoal asked, “How would that atmosphere affect someone like Perry?”

“Except for the low oxygen content, it might be good for him.”

Perry asked, “What is the air temperature?”

“Nineties.”

Charcoal said, “Bring a mask in case you feel a need to get out of your spacesuit.”

I quickly gained control of things by commanding, “All right, Perry is my first volunteer. Let me stress that this is supposed to be another initial contact with another species. This time it is not a forced infiltration due to Al, but we have the luxury of allowing a more peaceful contact. I want whoever goes with me to be on their best behavior.”

Captain Burbank asked, “But you are bringing FER-RON.”

“I will assure you that she will be under orders to be on her best behavior as well.”

“Well, we got you here, Miss RayWeight. It is thus your show now.”

I ended up with what I felt was the proper team. Besides Perry, Mary, FER-RON, and me only Roy joined the group. It still presented a rather wide range of gender, age, and technology options of the human race. I thus went through the airlock feeling that these aliens would get a proper introduction to those who were advancing into the unknown.

We stepped out into the hanger with all of us turning around I suspected for the same reason that I did. There was no sign of anyone coming out to meet us. Considering that they had made an introduction with sound and images had me think that they would be more like us in how they presented themselves. I however turned quickly upon hearing FER-RON mention recognizing the presence of another set of creatures coming into the hanger.

“Korlocks!”

We had all faced the semi-substantial aliens. Weapons came out that were designed to harm their non-physical states. We implemented tactics that previous experience told us would improve our effectiveness while preventing the enemy from seriously harming us. Our only concern was the reaction of our hosts. They however did not show themselves, leaving us to face the korlocks in our usual manner.

I was grateful for Sandstorm and Charcoal rushing out of the Kayla to help us, although troubled by his question. “They are coming through the walls! Are the korlocks infesting this ship?”

Roy replied, “They have not hung around the remains of the Rhinemaiden.”

I had to comment, “But they stayed until it was destroyed and all killed.”

“Surely these aliens have figured out how to deal with the korlocks.”

Perry said, “Maybe they work with the korlocks. Maybe they led us into a trap.”

Suddenly, panels turned and a couple of portals opened. Tiny bolts of energy came from the walls. They were not enough to truly damage the korlocks, but they did enough to keep the monsters out in the middle of the hanger where they could be targeted by more substantial weapons. Creatures with the bodies of mechanical six-legged spiders, although had the upper torsos of reptilian humanoids coming from where the head of the arachnid would be, came into the hanger through the portals firing blasts that did seem to harm the korlocks.

As one of the semi-substantial monsters dispersed, one of the aliens of the vessel said, “We did not bring you into a trap. You should have already known of the threat of the Nerisus. We were made as we were in a hope of not needing to war anymore. We have protection from the Nerisus, but not truly able to eradicate them as you have proven yourself.”

While the upper torso appeared to be a living creature, the voice that spoke sounded electronic. I could hear other sounds, so suspected that what I truly heard were the sounds from a translation device. I did not ask how they learned our language, as what I really wanted to know was how they managed to communicate without us detecting them. Feeling inferior in recognizing that even if we had picked up signals from these aliens that we probably would not have been able to translate their language, I waited for the creature to speak again.

“That one is robot?”

An arm pointed a hand even as one of the mechanical spider legs also stretched toward FER-RON who continued to fight korlocks. I stopped concentrating on the battle considering it important that I made friends with these mechanical reptilian aliens. Trusting in FER-RON and the others to handle the fight with the korlocks, I sought to make a full answer to the question.

“Yes, with Mary and Perry also mostly machine.”

“That was our decision for our future. I will not say that we were wrong, but it has not been proven to have been the best decision. We are in need of repair. Could you repair us?”

Knowing the complexities of working with advanced technology, I gave what I hoped would be taken as a complete, but cautious, affirmation. “The team that built FER-RON with me is on the planet. The one that maintains Perry is fighting over there. We have also been able to work with ones such as Mary. Yes, I believe that we could repair you. It would however help us to know something of your construction.”

“That would be in our ship, and it is plagued with Nerisus.”

Feeling that there was a quick solution, I returned with a question that I felt to be the important decision. “Are you going to trust us?”

“You are the first race to ask us that question.”

I saw his eyes shift, and turned to see Mary come to my side. “Debra, the aliens are all in this ship. They have learned to resist the korlocks by creating noise. It does not kill the korlocks, but keeps them from contacting them.”

I replied, “It seems that they have a need of repair. I believe it is good place for our races to learn about each other.”

“Charcoal has learned how to work with Perry, but these aliens are constructed differently. Chu and Linda would be better. They have studied me, and I believe my construction is closer to these aliens.”

The one with us said, “We call ourselves the Verakiy.”

She appeared to glare at him for a moment before saying, “There are Verakiy and non-Verakiy.”

“From your perspective there will not be. You are human, but there is one on board your vessel that would not be considered human, but I will still consider her one of you.”

I had to say, “We are still debating that topic among ourselves.”

“I believe that if you allow us into your debates, we really will not be able to help. We could empathize with your positions, but not really bring you any satisfactory conclusions.”

Suddenly, I thought of what Mary said, so had to ask, “You understand them?”

She answered, “Yes. They opened up the translation routines so all their people could understand us, which enabled me to work the translations as well.”

The Verakiy with us said, “Yes, there are advantages to being one as her, although possibly she, and I know many of my own people, wish they had not taken that step.”

“I was born this way. I had no choice.”

He worked his legs to reduce his height while bending torso to put him close to Mary’s head as he said, “Listen. Do you hear them? I hear many speaking of wishing they were made like you.”

Mary nodded as she answered, “Yes.”

“And they agreed to be made as they were, but are seeing you as a better option. Be proud of what you are. You are while they are not.”

Before Mary could reply, I heard the steps of my robot approach. I turned worried that a korlock had come near. I however saw that the others were checking their weapons no longer having immediate threats. FER-RON approached with her eyes on the Verakiy even as she spoke to me.

“Debra, your actions say that the one you are with is not a threat.”

I replied, “It seems that he is attempting to prove himself and his people to be friends. He however does admit that korlocks are within this vessel, FER-RON. You will need to stay alert.”

“Mary, what is your assessment of this alien?”

She answered, “The same as Debra. I am in contact with the transmissions through this ship, FER-RON. I will let you know should I detect anything to be concerned with.”

“Thank you. What is our priority?”

I answered that question. “The aliens want to know if we can repair them. They are going to show us their facilities. We are going to travel through this ship, FER-RON. If you will stay focused on protecting us from the korlocks, the rest of us will hopefully work to establish a relationship.”

“Yes, Debra, I understand.”

The Verakiy said, “What a wonderful robot. I actually want to say that our programming skills were not that developed. Is she manufactured?”

I answered, “No, but that is in the works. She is the prototype. Mary is the prototype for a number of series that are manufactured.” I smiled attempting to put things in a very positive light. “You are being visited by what I consider are the best we have to offer.”

“We are honored by your presence. Please, come with me.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter Six   October 25th 2015, 7:53 am

Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight

Chapter Six

We were taken on a circuitous route through a storage area. A number of the Verikiy had been incorporated into vehicles. It helped listening to the mercenaries speak of their own experience with Annapolis Fourteen. They spoke of the android originally only being connected to the vehicle in a manner to enable her to directly control the vehicle with later enhancements simply making her appear more comfortable in the driver’s seat, although truthfully having her more incorporated into the vehicle itself. Most of the maneuverable machines we saw had no indication of actually being inhabited by a living creature. To realize that what I would consider a basic tool, or a simple control panel, to also be a member of the Verikiy disturbed me. As I moved through the storage, I finally had to release my questions to what I realized was a crane.

“Sorry, but you wanted to be a crane?”

“I was a crane operator, and I wanted to be part of the space program. I made certain demands of my design, and when approved I allowed the transformation.”

I really did not want to display any anger, so worked to find a non-threatening manner of gaining more information. “Don’t you feel alone most of the time?”

“No, as the design features I demanded spoke to that. I have access to the computer database and cameras. Only to look, of course, but it does give me a sense of not being stuck here. Of course, with us all being mostly machines, things can get where we are all inactive, but that would be true on any spaceship.”

Charcoal asked, “We are being asked to make repairs, so are you in need of repair?”

“No, as most of the crane is just that, the crane. I am actually centralized in a control module. You could actually move me and put me in control of another piece of heavy machinery. My actual mechanical self can be taken apart to be fixed or replaced as would be the case for any machine. Those who are in need of your help are the more sophisticated people who are more integral to the machines they have become.”

Just as with that conversation, I did not get the impression that I was dealing with limited personalities. The Verikiy were more cyborgs than what we called androids. Mary, and those the Straw Sapien Corporation created based on what they learned of her design, were grown with the developing fetus altered to accept a mechanical system as natural to them. What resulted was an individual limited by the functions of their mechanical bodies and by a complete lack of life experiences. Those I met of the Verikiy presented themselves as once being living beings with a full range of knowledge who had accepted a life constrained to a set mechanical existence. It however seemed that their society tended to limit the work requirements, so those that did not have much of a family life actually did not consider the options of being incorporated into a machine to be that restrictive. I gained the impression that I would not appreciate their original world, although I found myself able to enjoy the conversations that I had.

Seeing FER-RON react had me realize that again korlocks had made themselves known. It helped us to realize that our weapons did not really harm the mechanical creatures of the ship. The energy processes designed to damage the strange incorporeal nature of the korlocks could also hurt physical bodies, but usually not in as destructive of a manner as a bullet. Mechanical surfaces would usually just disperse the forces, or simply convert them into heat which their composition usually could handle. While we were told at times that a Verikiy was hurt from an attack that missed an enemy, all spoke of what the korlocks could do being more deadly.

After the fight I learned of the Verikiy using a sonic distortion to protect their own bodies. I knew that one of our first methods of attacking the korlocks was with sound, so accepted that the action would work. Due to some on board the ship having sensitive hearing, they could not generate a general claxon. They however spoke of believing that such an option would not be more effective than the individual means of producing sounds.

Sandstorm asked, “So, you basically have been living with korlocks?”

A variety of affirmations came in response. From what I heard, I gained that the Verikiy had originated on a world that was relatively close to one of the worlds of the korlocks. While they never had any contact with any of the peoples that became the Nerisus Federation, and then the monsters we of Earth called the korlocks, the Verikiy spoke of being able to receive strange signals that indicated that there were other races out in space. From the responses I heard to some questions, I found myself believing that one difference in the development of the Verikiy and us humans was that they had evidence of extraterrestrial life while we never could ascertain any solid evidence of such.

More than willing to do what we could to make our first impression with the Verikiy something positive, we followed the one that had met us through the ship. More fights with korlocks occurred, but each was handled in an efficient manner. As each combat passed, Charcoal brought out information concerning consumables necessary for the survival of the inhabitants and their protection. It came out most of their needs were simply in the form of energy, which was primarily supplied by a nuclear core. They did have other systems of collecting energy. I recognized solar, although the Verikiy spoke of other methods that would give results even in deep space. Feeling that they were making a good first impression on us, I went through a doorway more than willing to help them.

I had to step back seeing the mass of korlocks ahead. It helped that I made such a move, because the Verikiy leading us turned and almost rushed over me to get back through the doorway. I activated my device bring the weapon designed by Linda into this reality while looking to the mercenaries to help me deal with the korlocks.

Mary said, “There are a number of reports from the Verikiy in the room ahead speaking of warning about being over bothered by korlocks, but being ignored.”

The Verikiy leading us said, “The monsters are all through our ship, and all of us are able to fend them off. Whether there are more or less in any one area is just a temporary fact with there being a way to manage.” He then admitted, “There is quite a lot ahead.”

Sandstorm asked, “Can we just go ahead and get rid of them?”

Mary answered, “The concern is that what is ahead is the instrument control units. Any damage to them would prevent what maintenance is presently being performed. We would end up working against helping the Verikiy.”

“Well, I guess we will just have to fix that as well.”

“In a ship this size, and with almost every function being performed by a living Verikiy, any reduction in upkeep could well result in a loss of life, which in this case will also mean a function of this vessel ceasing to be performed.”

Charcoal provided a translation, “So a possible spiral into a completely inoperable ship.”

The Verikiy with us admitted, “Yes, exactly.”

Sandstorm declared, “Listen, there are a damn lot of those monsters out there. I should be able to simply set up my line of fire right there, and simply take shots as the korlocks pass in front.”

Mary went to Sandstorm to assure that he understand where she was pointing while saying, “That is a bulkhead. You can fire toward it.”

“Okay. Perry, provide crossfire.”

The cyborg moved up to position himself at an angle to Sandstorm. Perry then allowed Mary to direct him in where to aim his most powerful weapon against the korlocks. Seeing the strategy being implemented, Sandstorm then gave an order to Mary.

“Darling, now use your little wand on any that get too close. It should not be powerful enough to disturb anyone at range.”

FER-RON said, “I can use one of my limited weapons as well.”

“You have one of those?”

I answered that, “No, she doesn’t. FER-RON stay back.”

Seeing my robot hesitate to obey, I was thankful for Sandstorm to give alternate orders that I knew she would find satisfactory. “FER-RON, guard our back. You know korlocks can pass through walls. In case any seek to bypass our arcs, you can take on them.”

The robot said, “Mary, I will need to know where it will be safe to direct my fire.”

The Verikiy leading us said, “I can do that. Some of your solutions are so simple that it shames me to admit we did not think of them.”

A voice I hoped not to hear suddenly sounded out, “Yes, but simple solutions are also easy to overcome.”

Roy stepped up readying his pistols as he declared, “AL! I swear you are nothing but a blemish on father’s memory, not to mention on what me and Nick are attempting.”

“Oh, Roy, you cannot imagine what I have seen. As you work to expand humanity into the cosmos, I am also being made aware of things expanding my own understanding. I have learned that there is a fight here, Roy. I have learned that I have a purpose besides just giving you and humanity a hard time.”

I saw Sandstorm looking to Mary in the hopes of being directed in how to take a shot, but I had to voice what I considered an obvious fact. “Al’s human. You would need a physical ammunition to take him out, and that is too dangerous in this situation.”

Charcoal spoke his support of my words. “Energy would hurt him, but he would then just escape to recuperate.”

Sandstorm uttered, “Damn.”

Perry tried to put a better perspective on things as he said, “As long as we keep on winning the battles, we surely can win the war.”

“You’re right.”

As Sandstorm said that, he let loose a round that hurt a korlock. With a second and third round the alien dispersed in a manner we had come to accept indicated the death of the monster. Perry also found a korlock to step into his line of fire. As another korlock died, Al let loose with some more words.

“Don’t you understand? These aliens are worse than me or Roy! They are worse than Mary! Perry, these monsters are worse than you, because they like what they are!”

Perry returned, “So you are saying that my condition would be worse if I liked being what I was?”

“Well, yes, because you would be encouraging others to become like you.”

“Yes, but these aliens have discovered what I have had to recognize from the first, which was that mechanical parts break down as well. The care and maintenance of this body is much more demanding than my physical form.”

“Just wait. You help out these aliens, and they will be promoting themselves to the people.”

Perry fired his weapon to take out another korlock before saying, “You know what I was offered by Mary’s mother? She said that she could put me into a body that would be human in appearance. I turned her down, because I knew that I would not be human again. These aliens have made themselves into machines. I cannot see how people would want to follow that path. If they do, that is their decision. The fact will still remain that mechanical bodies do not heal naturally, and wear out in manners that just do not seem proper. No, I will not accept that a large population of humanity will follow in the path of the Verikiy.”

The insane laughter returned in the speech of Al as he said, “Yes, well the Verikiy are dead. All that remains is these who are no longer people. The same will be the fate of humanity. Just wait.”

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

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PostSubject: Chapter 7   October 30th 2015, 7:40 am

Will We Have a Past or Future
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Eight

Chapter Seven

All I could assume was that the mechanical nature of the Verikiy had them build large rooms to assure that they would have no trouble moving about. While having the space in a vessel was appreciated, at the moment it had me looking for locations where korlocks could easily gain a position on my group. A whispered question however had me turn my attention back on the mercenaries.

Sandstorm had asked, “Mary, any Verikiy has itself incorporated into the floor?”

She answered, “No.”

“You hear that Charcoal?”

He stood and lifted his gun over his head, then softly said, “I can’t aim like that. Mary, can you verify my targeting?”

The Verikiy directing us replied, “I can do that. All of my people throughout this ship are on a single network. They are watching, and at least a couple can determine the flight path.”

Mary said, “He is correct.”

Sandstorm then spoke an order to me. “Queen Debra, distract Al.”

Feeling that I had my own responsibilities, I blurted out, “Why me? Why would Al listen to me?”

From the room beyond came the voice of the young lad, “What? Why do they want you to speak to me, Queen Debra? What do you want to tell me?”

It was Roy that replied, “Just girl stuff, Al. They think that they can distract you by having a lady, a real lady, speak to you. Sandstorm was going to say some stuff to you, but thought that it might be better if Queen Debra said it.”

“And what type of trash would you be saying, Sand –“

The loud report could only come from a real rifle firing a bullet and not our energy weapons. The scream from Al stated that he felt real pain. I looked to see blood about the room where Al squirmed on the floor. Suddenly the loud sounds of what I determined were a multitude of natural and mechanical voices cheering almost had me cover my ears.

Sandstorm rose while saying, “Too bad we could not chance a head shot.”

Charcoal put his rifle back into a safe position as he said, “I believe that he will think twice before bothering us again. That’s a leg over there.”

He then uttered a curse, as did Sandstorm. I looked to see the blood suddenly disperse, and since no leg was found I assumed that it disappeared as well. While the mercenaries uttered more curses and statements about taking the head shot next time, the Verikiy with us spoke a positive result of the action.

“Those you call korlocks are gone.”

Mary said, “It seems that they have not been korlock free for a very long time. We are being honored for that.”

I tried to sound rather meek as I replied, “Well, let us see if we can do what we were being brought to do.”

We spent a number of hours looking over the facilities on board the Verikiy craft. In a way the technology was actually crude by our standards, but they had managed to do things that we had not. Their manner of programming was at a machine code level, although it did manage to create very tight routines. Soon enough I had Charcoal talking with Chu about improving machinery and biological connections while I spoke with Lenny concerning developments in logic circuitry. The Verikiy watched and listened as we worked, although after the hours of work Charcoal and I still presented our conclusions in a formal manner.

The response I gained actually surprised me. “Let us know what we can trade in payment.”

Wanting to learn more about these people, I replied, “Knowledge.”

“You had access to our most delicate systems. What do you not already know?”

Charcoal answered for me. “Why? We had our history with what you have done to yourselves. Of that entire group, only Perry is truly still functional. You have done it on a much larger scale with most of you not being as complex, or even as human, as Perry. Why did you do it?”

The Verikiy representative replied, “I assume that you will want to know more than that.”

“Oh, that is a much deeper question than you realize. Not a group mind? Those that speak of building cyborg armies have mentioned connecting them to a central computer system that would have them operate in unison. Anyone I knew who would build a ship of this type would definitely remove individuality. You retained it.”

“Who would we talk to if not each other?”

I believe Charcoal went quiet for the same reason I did not speak. I was attempting to determine if the Verikiy would truly be willing to answer our questions. We had indeed seen some fantastic technology, but it was also obvious that they had seen things we had that they surely wished to obtain. What we each had was a completely different, alien, background that put our developments in perspective. Charcoal and I thus waited to see if the Verikiy would be willing to provide the context to their unique thoughts behind their accomplishments.

Finally, the answer came. “I feel that we must trade knowledge. We need you, but you also seem to be a race that could do much with what you gain in return. Still, it would not be for the best that you follow our path. While there are benefits, there are numerous disadvantages.”

Perry asked, “What happened to those that could fix you?”

“They died. Due to their failure, our society collapsed. We had actually worked to remove the destructive potentials from our lives. We wanted a permanent peaceful society. You might understand the concept of Heaven – a place of perfection where those good would live in a spiritual life beyond. Well, we wanted Heaven in our lives. Even as we were learning the temporary nature of this existence, the korlocks showed us that others basically achieved a living Hell. Our world fell to the onslaught of the korlocks.”

I said, “We can be a very deadly race, but we have grown beyond actually taking pride in our destructive potential. It is still there. It helped us overcome the threat of the korlocks, but it can be used for wrong.”

“We saw what you could do, and we are also seeing that you are sitting here being honest with us. That is a good sign of your ability to control your urges. We feel that we can trust you. We know to be wary, but we also know that a level of trust can be achieved.”

“Well, I guess that I summon my team.” I looked to Charcoal to ask, “Is there anyone you would want?”

He answered, “I will defer to Roy. He has access to medical people.”

The lad replied, “I cannot say that the ones that developed me and my brothers should be involved, but there are some medical people I feel can help Charcoal, yeah.”

As the Kayla was sent back to Mission to pick up some personnel, Charcoal and I worked to assure that everything would be ready for our people to get to work. Mary helped us understand the database in order to locate certain cultures and parts. Charcoal and I asked to see one Verikiy who was in desperate need of serious work, and proved our own capabilities as we handled his infection while improving his ability to work with the machinery to which he had been incorporated. By the time the Kayla returned, those that arrived had some clear instructions about what to do.

Moving to locate another potential patient, I felt a firm grip on my shoulder and turned to see Lenny. “Go to bed, Queen. Li and I can handle the programming. It is machine code, but really not of the complexity of what we work with in your routines for FER-RON. You need some sleep. What troubles we have, you can help us once you get a clear mind.”

“I can still manage.”

Lenny did not respond. I saw him step back in a sign that he really did not want to argue with me. While I could not argue with him, I could with myself. My primary position was that I had started this mission after rising from my bed, but then I started accepting how much time had passed. I moved up to peck Lenny on a cheek as I acknowledged that I had lost the argument.

“Okay, I will get some sleep. I just like what I do, and I also like helping people.”

His hand went behind his head in a sign of nervousness as he asked, “Queen, do you think they will have us advance to the next world found going through the next portal?”

“If there are korlocks, they will want FER-RON. It is thus very possible. There could be a FER-RON series of robots soon enough, but I doubt they will ever be of the quality of our prototype. Still, I think it is good that mankind is making friends. Hopefully, we can maintain those friendships and possibly make more as we continue to advance through space.”

“Well, I’m with you, Queen. Now, go get some sleep.”

I turned to see my robot, and asked her, “What is your status, FER-RON?”

She answered, “I do not need sleep, Debra. I also have an unlimited energy supply. This vessel has artificial gravity, so I have not needed fuel for maneuvering. The fights with the korlocks do not have me use my physical ammunition. My status is thus very good, Debra. My physical body has possibly degraded five percent, but I can be cleaned later.” I believe that I just nodded my head in acceptance, but I had to again look at FER-RON as she asked, “Do you want me to stay with you or with your team?”

“Stay with them, FER-RON, but stay alert. This is a very large vessel. It is possible for an attack to happen, but for you to be too far away to help. When in doubt, stay with those of my team.”

“Understood, Debra.”

I left to return to the hanger where the Kayla was berthed. As I moved to the ship, I heard various sounds that I had come to recognize as positive statements from the Verikiy. I thus entered the Kayla with a good attitude, and the voice of Captain Burbank seemed to indicate his pleasure with things as well.

“Miss RayWeight, Roy told me to take you to the Roland, but I told him that you wanted gravity to keep you against a soft mattress.”

“That I do. I believe that is one secret the Verikiy are willing to explain to us. The Roland could thus end up being a rather nice vessel. Right now, though, I would rather stay here.”

“Well, put the straps on, as I could get called to make a transfer or something. Still, I’m in no rush to go anywhere. Enjoy your rest, Miss RayWeight.”

Feeling curious about his attitude concerning the future, I asked, “What do you think about advancing even further into space through other portals?”

“Mankind has always gone across the water, over the mountain, and through the desert. Those that managed the journeys always made good money. I am thus willing to go wherever. Pay my bills, and I will follow you anywhere.”

“Well, as soon as we learn the secret to artificial gravity, have it installed.”

“I’ll look at how much it will cost first, Miss RayWeight. Now go to bed.”

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

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