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 The Depth of Secrets: TimeSaga D2 (All 4)

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PostSubject: The Depth of Secrets: TimeSaga D2 (All 4)   September 7th 2017, 1:55 pm

The Depth of Secrets
TimeSaga:  The Source Story Two

Chapter One

It did not surprise me that Ted wanted to talk to me after the meeting with the other board members of RayWeight Technologies.  I might not have had a high percentage of the stocks, but I was responsible for most of the patents.  Just as I had the ability to go off on my own and create a robot design that RayWeight felt necessary to buy from me, they feared me doing things with their own technology that they would have no control over.  Ted was a friend, but he was also worried about the future of the company.

He asked, “Leanna, what did you learn in going through the portals and seeing the alien worlds for yourself?”

I could not help but give him an answer to a question he did not ask.  “What I learned is that I have a most amazing daughter, Ted.  All the reports I had read of Mary really did not prepare me for actually spending time with her.  She needed me, Ted.  I am glad that I went to be with her.”

Ted still looked good, although the signs of age were coming   The white hairs were really apparent against his black skin, but he still had a more dignified air than my graying tresses would provide for me.  I however looked at him realizing that the qualities of men helped them as they age.  The word ‘firm’ really did not apply to us women.  Our soft bodies just became flabby with us needing garments to help our physiques appear as still having some integrity.  I however looked at Ted feeling that a little reduction in his muscle tissue helped make him appear closer to the gentle man I had come to know.

He proved he knew me by working with the information I provided.  “Does that mean you are going back?”

“I am thinking about it.  Not just to be with Mary, but to actually help her.  It’s my science that gave us the use of the portals, and it is my science that is telling us what destroyed the Nerisus Federation.  I thus believe I need to be there to help those exploring put together certain clues they are going to find to try and secure humanity’s place as the ones to assume the worlds of the Nerisus Federation.”

“I want you to take two PASSIONs and a DARLING with you, Leanna.  Not just because I want you protected and cared for, but I want others seeing you using your own technology to be protected and cared for.”

I knew better than to argue with him on that point, and admitted it to him.  “After what I said in our meeting, I guess I need to.  Send them to me with a bill.  If I break them, I want it said that I broke my own robots.”

“Good.  Listen, there is news of us gaining information on the extent of the Nerisus Federation.  The Islam peoples are still speaking of claiming worlds for themselves, and there is a fear they will divide up the worlds before anyone has seen anything.  If you can help mediate that, it would be a help.”

“Well, Mary and Debra gained a building on Lechinell.  RayWeight also has a building, but the girls took one to get away.  That sounds like a good idea for me as well.  The buildings on this world even have working elevators, so I am thinking on taking them up on an offer to move in with them.  I know both will be involved in chasing down the source of the transforming signal, but I expect them to eventually come back to Lechinell.  It does appear to be a central world of the Nerisus Federation, so once everything is safe it should be a good place for them to settle and make a regular life for themselves.”

“How about you, Leanna.  Besides my suggestion that you play politics, what are your plans?”

I ran my hands through my graying lengths as I said, “What you suggested, but not.  I have no control over who controls what world, but this is my technology.  FER-RON is my technology.  What was done to create Mary, and the forskins, is my technology.  I need to mediate the uses of my technology.  The Nerisus Federation also had my science, but took it in their own direction.  Mankind will find themselves having all the genies I tried to keep in the bottle and more.  I need to be there to help them deal with that.”

I guess he read into my handling my hair, as he asked, “What about the claims that your time-manipulating process could reverse our aging?”

“I haven’t read anything that gave me the impression that the writer had any real knowledge of the science.  We don’t go back in time, Ted.  We only send an impulse into the past.  What the portal technology does is keep time fixed on the moment while our position is drastically altered.  Everything my science has provided has not reversed the movement of time, and we have not brought back anyone from the dead.”

“Well, let me know.  I might allow you to use me as your guinea pig for that, instead of forcing you to again be subjected to your own science.”

“You’re looking good, Ted.  My boobs are sagging and shaving my legs is more of an exercise in stretching out the skin so I can get a good pass for the razor.”

He laughed before saying, “I hear the some of the same things from my wife.  Still, we men have our vanity as well.  Keep me informed, Leanna.”

I closed the connection after saying the usual parting statements with Ted.  While I had honestly spoken my plans with him, I sat and thought about my own timetable.  The girls had invited me to Lechinell, and I had honestly considered it a good idea.  I however did not think it wise for me to quickly open a connection to make those plans a reality.

“I’m glad I heard that conversation.”

I knew the voice of the young man that said that, and comfortably held my place as I replied, “Jericho, I thought you were with Major Washington.”

“I was, but we found something.  He told me to come to you, because it would make a scene if he sent one of his own people.  He also knew that you would listen to me.”

I now turned in my chair to face this unique forskin.  While Nicholas had genetically modified his children toward psychic powers, those that worked to produce Jericho were hoping for a different type of soldier.  Just as Roy, Al, Nick, and even Carnation had become their own individuals, Jericho fled his developers having his own plans for his life.  My reputation had him come to me, and it was my delight to have him stay with me for a period and learn what I felt he needed to know.

Seeing a lean lad, I had to ask, “Are you hungry, Jericho?”

“Yes, Ma’am.  I also know that you will talk while you prepare and eat food.”

It pleased me that he did not rush to discuss business.  He was not my child, although had learned that I took seriously the activities of others I considered close to me.  Originally he also wanted to know about certain people, so listened to me just to gather information on others he considered potentially worth knowing.  Now that he had direct experience with those I considered important, we spent time before business just assuring that any personal references would be understood.

I found him not wanting to discuss another young lad, and after confronting Jericho about it he said, “I really do not want to confront Roy right now.  I am seeing Carnation, and I don’t know how he will take it.”

“Carnation?  She lets you into the room?”

The female forskin had been abused by Al, who saw her as a hope for his own lack of knowledge.  Further, there were rumors that her father did things with her that were not fatherly.  Nicholas had denied the accusations when I privately mentioned them to him, although admitted that his process did require him to be a little intimate in certain checks of her physical health.  Whatever the truth, Carnation had shown herself to be very antagonistic to those who intruded on her personal space.

Jericho replied, “Carnation became curious about my ability to avoid being seen.  I don’t know, but she actually did not get upset with the idea of me being able to watch her.  She said that she appreciated that I did not touch her, but then tried to kiss me.”

My own experience with Carnation had me say, “That could be a good thing.  She needs someone to simply be a friend with her.  If you allow time to pass, it could end up being good for both of you.”

“You are talking about having kids.”

I saw the red in his face, and replied, “I am talking about a normal life.  Neither of you have had that, and she really has not had a friend.  Just be a friend to her, Jericho, and allow the years to pass for both of you.”

“Don’t tell Roy.”

“Not right now, Jericho, but I suspect he or Nick will find out eventually.  Nicholas also watches Carnation.  Do not think you are going to keep your time with Carnation as a secret.”

He nodded, then said, “There is more to the portals than worlds.”  I saw him pull out a memory chip, then slid it to me while saying, “Major Clyde wants you studying this.”

I looked at the device, but did not touch it as I asked, “Why me?”

“It was your science that gave us our portal technology.  If anyone can understand what this is, it is you.”

“Did Clyde tell you to drop this off and get back to him?”

“No, Ma’am.  He told me to wait for an answer from you, and to hopefully come back with you.  I heard Mr. Chemill say that he would be sending you some robots, and you spoke of going to Lechinell.  I figure I can stay with you while you look at what I brought and wait on your robots.  We can then all go to Lechinell together.”

I smiled while considering what was said, then reached for the memory chip while saying, “Well, your room might need a little dusting, but should be as you remember it.  I don’t know how serious Ted was about sending the robots to me, but I will check on that.  In the meantime, feel at home and let me know of anything you might need or want.”

“I’m not good in outer space.  I’m not talking about on board a ship, but with a spacesuit.  What I do will put me outside the suit, and in outer space that is not good.  If you could design a spacesuit for me, it would be nice.”

I did not know how this revelation followed from our conversation, but willing to speak with the lad I replied, “Well, your clothes follow you, so was the spacesuit you tried just not fit well?”

“I don’t know, but there is something about outer space that does not seem right with me.  Maybe you could think about it while you are thinking of other things.”

Thinking about other things we could do, I asked, “Any movies you want to watch?”

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


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PostSubject: Chapter Two   September 12th 2017, 12:43 pm

The Depth of Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Two

Chapter Two

I almost did not buy my robots. They wanted too many decisions from me. Military or police force PASSIONs came with white hair, but those for private citizens came with red or dark blue hair. I finally chose dark blue. Those for private citizens however did not come with substantial fire power. I thus had to call up certain officials to get clearances on certain armaments. The DARLINGs could come with any color hair you desired, and with a multitude of outfits in various colors. I got upset while checking on the options for my DARLING, and called someone who I thought could help.

Debra answered the call with a question I did not expect, “Do you have work for me, Dr. Beyonce?”

I replied, “Are you getting bored?”

“No, just frustrated. Mary got word of you possibly coming, and has been at work attempting to clean this entire building while telling those in the RayWeight building to do the same with their building. I would like some actual work so I don’t feel bad not helping Mary.”

“Well, I actually am planning on coming. RayWeight wants me to travel in the company of company robots, so I am getting two PASSIONs and a DARLING. Debra, are there any weapon options for the DARLINGs?”

“If you check the forums you will find that those who purchase DARLINGs also buy a number of quality knife sets. The home models are not certified for weapons, but they are programmed with wonderful hand-to-hand tactics and can throw things very accurately. Just got the thirteenth report this morning of someone killed breaking into a home with a DARLING.” Before I could ask, she added, “Sales of DARLINGs are increasing.”

We spoke of the differences in FER-RON and the robots going into production. It seemed neither model came with zero-gravity capabilities. FER-RON had been planned to go into space from the beginning, so had little jets to assure stability and movement in a weightless environment. She however also had a team that could keep little containers filled with propellant, which most who ordered the robots did not. Debra mentioned that with the spaceships still mostly without artificial gravity, the zero-gravity option could be ordered, but it took knowing to ask. She however then mentioned things about FER-RON that no robot would acquire.

I said, “I gained the authorization for my PASSIONs to have some serious energy weapons, as in my line of work it was understood that korlocks might be a problem. They would only authorize small arms however.”

“You should not be going against heavy weapons, Dr. Beyonce. I’m glad FER-RON has those weapons, but again she has people who can tend to her after using them.”

“Just how much maintenance do these robots need?”

“Almost none as long as things are quiet. FER-RON mostly takes care of herself. I do have to pick out clothes for her. You do have to comb her hair while using a special treatment. It depends on your own lifestyle as to how often you need to do either. Hire a young man, and they will almost do it for free. I mean, they’re robots, so really have no modesty about someone watching them. There are reports of men who have their DARLINGs walk around the house without any clothes.”

I laughed remembering my conversations with Jimmy Belgard, the actual original designer of FER-RON, about how I wanted the robot to look, although then remembered another young man. “Debra, I have Jericho staying with me.”

“Clyde told me he sent the forskin to you. Any problems?”

“No. Jericho is a real fine lad. I like him even more than Roy. He brought me something however that is giving me some problems. Do you have an updated file on reading the Nerisus language?”

“I do, and will send it to you, but you really should talk to Mary. She has things in her head that it would probably help her to share. Remember, Dr. Beyonce, that she has been on okagaki and verakiy ships, as well as been traveling through the portals. She has probably accessed a lot of information on the Nerisus Federation, but just did not have the ability to truly translate or process the alien knowledge.”

From a distance, I heard my daughter say, “I’m always listening, Mommy!”

I had to ask, “Will we be tying up your communication channel, Debra?”

Debra replied, “I can switch you to another line.”

The ladies yelled at each other in a way that told me they had the capabilities to have separate communication lines, but just seldom used it. It was not long before Mary was letting me know that I had a direct connection with her room. When I mentioned that what I would be talking about might be boring to her, I heard tones in her voice speaking of how much she truly missed me.

“I am always listening, Mommy. At least this will be your voice.”

“Well, if you go to sleep, I will understand.”

“I really do not sleep, Mommy. I will however get interested in things. If I start asking questions, will it bother you?”

I knew things about my android daughter, but really thought of her as a real girl and not something my husband had conceived in his own way. “It actually might help me. Up to now, I just had to show people the amazing things I found my science enabling us to do. Your questions might help me understand some demons before they get released.”

“Get to work, Mommy. I’m here.”

I actually enjoyed a period of discussing the language of the Nerisus Federation with Mary. She seemed fascinated when I began moving chucks of text with the realization of how the writing was not in a linear fashion. Forming my own translation of the material, I silently worked on my own understanding of the prose. Acting on my own perception of math being a universal language, I could not help but begin retyping things to match my own equations. Slowly I started seeing certain developments in my own science as an actual organized progression in the calculations became obvious. Soon enough I was mumbling about how certain symbols correlated to variables and scalars in my own writings, and Mary became no longer a part of my discussion.

I heard her chirp when I exclaimed, “That’s why our portal technology works!” I then said, “Mary, I hope not to lose you, but I am calling someone else.”

“Go ahead, Mommy.”

I was glad to hear my daughter chirp out the name of a certain homosexual man as he asked, “Leanna, where are you?”

“I will be leaving, Rudy, but I am Australia right now. I have been working for,” I looked at the clock and realized I did not want to admit how long I had been working, “a long time. I got it, though. I know why our portal technology works. Sending stuff to you. I need sleep. This stuff might put you to sleep, but I need you to look it over.”

“Well, give me the short version. What are you wanting me to build?”

“Nothing, Rudy. This is answers. Debra and the others away from Earth are going to need answers, and I believe this gives us answers. Debra is attempting to contain the genies that the Nerisus Federation released. Up to now there has been my science and the alien science. We can duplicate each other, basically we have been duplicating them, but without any understanding of why we were different when the science should be the same and why we were agreeing when our methods did not match. When Debra and others are in need of understanding what they are up against, we need to do our part as the elders, as those who should know, to provide them with wisdom.”

Rudy spent time speaking with Mary. I believe he intended to get her to speak on my equations. What he instead received was various lectures on the language of the Nerisus Federation. It seemed that while I was interested in the math, my daughter was able to make sense of things in the writing from what I said and did with the equations. Speaking of receiving the documents I sent him, I left the conversation between Rudy and Mary to gain my bed.

When I woke up, I found a message from my daughter saying she and Debra had finished my order for the robots. I looked over what they had decided with me making only a few changes to the final specifications. I then had a message from FER-RON Industries informing me that some of the requirements of my robots would cause a delay of about a week, so it would almost be a month before receiving my robots.

Wondering what I would do with my time, I looked for something from Rudy commenting about what I had sent him. I did not know if I caught him with a need for sleep, or if he was simply having trouble with the equations, but I found no reply from him. What I did find was a message from Clyde, and wondering about it I went about calling the name of Jericho.

It was as I stepped outside that I heard a reply, “Dr. Beyonce, Major Clyde called telling me to tell you not to speak to Ted Chemill.”

That was not something I expected to hear, so curtly said in return, “I will speak to Ted. However, tell me why you do not want me to.”

“Well, Mr. Chemill called, and I told him you were now sleeping after spending a lot of time on something. I believe Debra spoke to her brother, and Major Clyde called me. When I told him about Mr. Chemill, Major Clyde commanded me to tell you not to speak to him.”

“Well, I got a message from Clyde that I wanted to discuss with you. What you said however is going to have me just speak to Clyde.”

Jericho asked me if he could listen in. When I replied that I felt he was in-the-know, he smiled and came to me. I looked about my yard wondering what he had been doing, but hoping he had just been acting as a boy I turned to join Jericho in going into my home.

When a secured connection had been established, Clyde said, “Dr. Beyonce, what I sent to you is something we found on that moon on another planet in the system with Lechinell. Considering what Debra found, I believe we could have an additional problem with the remains of the Nerisus Federation than just the transformation wavelength. Dr. Beyonce, anything I say beyond this point is highly classified.”

I replied, “Considering some of the things I have just been working on, I would say the same.”

“Yes, well, you have the problem of having Jericho with you. I am trying to teach him to keep a secret, but he is rather open with those he trusts.”

“I have no problem with Jericho, and most who hear things of my science cannot understand it.”

Clyde laughed, then asked, “Well, can you understand the message I sent you, and can we, with our present equipment, make use of that information?”

Reluctantly, I admitted, “The answer to both is, ‘Yes.’”

“Dr. Beyonce, while you are waiting on your order of robots, I would like to take you out on a joy-ride. There is something in the universe that I would like to see, and it would be my pleasure to have you accompany me.”

“Clyde, I am not military.”

“Yes, but you are someone who can understand, and I really want to understand before I relay any information to my superiors.”

I really did not have to think before replying, “That sounds very wise, Clyde. Yes, I would be glad to join you.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Three   September 17th 2017, 2:47 pm

The Depth of Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Two

Chapter Three

It did surprise me to see the Kayla at the airport. Seeing the spaceship quickly built by Shell Oil and not a shuttle from the Achilles I considered very unusual. Having a man from Clyde’s squad dressed in a set of coveralls with the company logo of Shell Oil boldly showing further intrigued me. As he spoke of escorting me to the Kayla, I softly had to ask a question.

“Just how covert is this mission?”

“Very,” he replied while showing a wide smile. “It is just that often the best way to hide something is to not act as if it is hidden at all. Oh, Dr. Beyonce, is Jericho with you?”

“No, as he mentioned some problems he had in space.”

“Yes, we almost lost him. His ability put him in outer space. Luckily, we were right at the airlock, so managed to quickly get him back in an atmosphere.”

I really had not heard the situation as being that serious, but calmly replied, “Well, I promised him that I would consider some answers for him, but he opted to stay at my house.”

“That was probably wise, but let him know that we did like having him around. Now, Dr. Beyonce, please follow me.”

Keeping with his statement, the man did not hurry me through the airport. Those who either connected him due to his coveralls with the spaceship or recognized me had moments to spend with us. I did however note that he did not let his picture be taken. With those in the airport politely allowing me to move on after only a pause, I did find myself passing through a security door with the statement for me now to hurry.

Stepping toward the spaceship, I found Captain Burbank to meet to say after a pleasant greeting, “As a ship that has been active in space, we did get an allotment of gravity plates. I believe they were however simply to get Shell Oil to purchase more. Crew quarters have gravity, but the bridge and other areas do not. Is RayWeight going to manufacture them and could we get a discount?”

I replied, “Every new piece of technology gets studied, but those without clear patents is seen as having a competition problem. The problem with RayWeight is that they have made a ship and are making others. They will thus probably be making gravity plates. As for you getting a discount, I am willing to see what can be done for you, but your vessel was merely a prototype.”

“Yes, but my boat is holding together, and we are managing a profit. I thus feel that we should get some benefits.”

Not really able to say anything definite, I replied, “Let’s go see where Clyde takes us. Depending on what we find, he might be willing to have the U.S. government pay for a number of upgrades to your boat in order to keep you quiet.”

“You think it is going to be something like that?”

“Captain Burbank, we are so far into the unknown that we are unsure of a lot of things. The other option is that you might consider your bonus simply to be listed as one of the first to see a place.”

“Well, welcome aboard, Dr. Beyonce. Let’s go see where Major Washington wants to go.”

I was glad to see that Clyde had not brought his entire squad. The Kayla was not that large of a vessel. While built to move crew and cargo, at the time of its construction people were very uncertain of the technology that had been made public. I spoke to Clyde and those of his squad before moving on to speak to the crew of the boat.

Having been on the Kayla before, I warmly spoke to those on the bridge. As I showed Butch how to navigate to the coordinates Clyde had provided, I also assured Dick that his job as pilot would not change. Frances interjected questions about Mary, as those of the Annapolis series considered my daughter their older sister. While those of the Annapolis series gained their genes from another source, I warmly spoke with the communication officer of the Kayla understanding their shared history.

Since we were lifting from a gravity well, namely the surface of a planet, we needed to be secured. I had been on a number of vessels, so found a place to strap myself in place. With all the military also having experience with space travel, I soon felt the forces of the Kayla lifting from the ground before leaving through a portal to a place outside a gravity well.

No gravity plate had been installed on the bridge, but everything there had already been adapted for a weightless environment. I easily moved to the station manned by Frances. I saw Butch do the same thing the Annapolis series was doing, which was to start answering the questions their captain asked before he could say the words.

“Is that asteroid all that’s here?”

Frances replied, “There is no nearby sun, so it is not in any orbit as part of a solar system.”

Butch said, “Uh, Captain, this is odd.”

The authority on the vessel used his position above and behind the navigator to kick the top of his chair while saying, “You could tell me what is odd about it.”

“Well, Captain, there is an atmosphere.”

“What? How big is it? How far from it are we?”

“Not far at all.”

From over the speaker came the voice of Clyde ordering, “Get us in closer.”

Dick replied, “I’m wanting a better view as well, Major Washington. Let me however say that I am registering a gravity well.”

Frances spoke to support those words. “Yes. At the surface of that asteroid one should feel a point nine three Earth standard gravity. Oh, and not over the whole surface.”

Captain Burbank replied, “Not over the whole surface?”

“No. It is like the gravity source is on the bottom of the asteroid. It’s artificial.”

As the Captain was starting to make a question, Dick interjected, “Is that green?”

All of us, I even heard Clyde over the speaker, asked about the maximum magnification of the cameras on the outside of the Kayla. As Dick continued to move the boat closer, I moved to look at an image of what I found us calling a land mass. What we saw was a circular surface about seventy miles in diameter. Plant life and even liquid water could be made out. Beneath this was a half-sphere of substrate as if a complete piece of a planet had been removed separately. All of us could not help but speculate on what we were seeing before us.

Clyde came on the bridge to float toward me and Frances as he asked, “Is there any indication of a factory, space port, or anything constructed?”

Frances replied, “No, Major Washington. This vessel was constructed to operate in an atmosphere, but that does not need to be done. There is a habitable atmosphere, but it extends only about a mile over the surface. Dick only needs to come within about fifty miles for some high-resolution cameras to let us know what is possibly beneath the foliage.”

“Captain Burbank.”

The authority of the vessel said, “Yeah, no problem. Dick, you heard the man.”

The pilot mumbled, “He’s lucky, as I don’t see any problem. This however is too strange.”

I however had to declare, “Clyde, you brought us here. What were we supposed to find?”

The military officer answered, “I suspected we would find something the Nerisus Federation expected to use against the okagaki. I expected a large military complex.”

Butch stated the obvious, “That is not what we have here.”

“Get us close enough to take those pictures.”

More speculation passed among us as we tried to make sense of what we were seeing. Not just the unnaturalness of it, but how it could exist. Considering that my value was in knowing the science of our technology, I found myself amazed by the view. While I could conceive of such a place existing, the fact that what I saw had no supporting construction prevented me from making any reasonable speculation about what we were seeing.

The only rational thing I could conclude was an accusation. “Clyde, you need to release what you found.”

“No.” He replied. “Listen, Dr. Beyonce, this is important. Not just the science that built this place, but the reason it was built. Captain Burbank, we need to land.”

“Land?” the one with authority over the vessel replied. “Listen, Major, find us a place to land, and we can discuss it.”

I sought to support the captain by saying, “Clyde, there is presently no way to determine if what you want to find is not beneath whatever plants you plan to destroy by landing.”

Clyde exclaimed, “Damn! And we were starting to think we could understand the Nerisus Federation.”

“If you ask me, this could make more sense than them transforming all their people into monsters.”

“Frances, this is not a hologram?”

The Annapolis series replied, “No, Major Washington. This is very real. Dick, level off here. I am calibrating the cameras to get us as full of a scan as possible.”

From the front of the bridge came the voice of the pilot, “You got it, Frances. Major Washington, are you going to tell me that I cannot get any free drinks by speaking of this?”

Clyde replied, “Not unless you come to me to speak. This is all classified.”

Captain Burbank said, “I made that agreement, and got a bonus because of it. You speak of this, Dick, and I will take my bonus out of your paychecks.”

“Dr. Beyonce, you’re not going to argue with me? Queen Debra would.”

I replied, “The only reason I would speak would be to explain how this place exists, and I cannot do that right now. I am not saying it should be classified, only that at present I would not do any good by speaking of it. I would sound like Barry Rothman before we got him to return to solid science.”

Suddenly new panels opened up on the monitors in front of Frances with her exclaiming, “Detecting okagaki personal vessels coming through a portal.”

“All right!” Clyde exclaimed. “Now we can possibly get some answers.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   September 22nd 2017, 12:57 pm

The Depth of Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Two

Chapter Four

We noticed that the okagaki personal craft, which looked like large mechanical humanoids, arrived in the same location we did, although smiled when we heard one ask, “Humans, what have you found?”

I activated a microphone to say, “Okagaki, this is Dr. Beyonce. If you could explain this, we would be grateful.”

“This is something of the Nerisus Federation?”

“It is.”

Dick asked, “Hey, okagaki, do you drink?”

A different translated voice asked, “Do we drink?”

“Yes. Major Washington said this was classified, so the free drinks I would get telling about this to others is denied. Maybe I could tell it to your people.”

There was a pause, then a reply came. “You are speaking of special drinks?”

“Yes, those with some special effects.”

“We do need to learn more about each other. We do have special things.”

“Sounds like a possibility.”

I detected a more serious tone in the next statement, “Humans, can we speak?”

Clyde activated the microphone at Frances’ station to say, “This is Major Washington. Okagaki, you cannot handle our atmosphere, so what is wrong with how you are speaking now?”

“Major Washington, we are here due to your actions in the system of Lechinell and subsequent actions. Let me admit that we are watching you humans. Due to our lack of knowledge of you, close association is desired on issues that we consider of possible importance.”

“This craft is not large enough to accommodate you in your vessels. Maybe we could meet outside?”

“If you can come outside, that would be appreciated.”

Clyde switched the microphone to internal, but once he did that I said, “I am going out as well.”

He replied, “If you think it necessary.”

“I don’t have a handle on this at all. I however have the better source of knowledge to possibly get the okagaki to reveal something.”

“Okay, Dr. Beyonce, let’s see if you can handle being inside a spacesuit.”

As I went with Clyde, I had him speak about Jericho. What I heard helped me understand the forskin’s lack of desire to travel with me. Clyde admitted being very scared of the situation even as he admitted everything that went favorable to prevent Jericho from dying. I heard more of the situation with Jericho from the other two men Clyde indicated to join us, and as we climbed into the spacesuits we discussed things about them that worked against the young forskin using them.

With all of us checked out, those on the bridge opened the hanger. The rear of the Kayla dropped out in a manner that would allow it to act as a ramp for loading things on the surface. In this case it provided a landing space for the personal craft of the okagaki. Two humanoid appearing mechanical craft maneuvered to gain a position before us as we stood in the hanger.

I knew the voices of the okagaki were translated, but somehow still managed to provide individual tones that gave a personality to the speech. “Humans, how did you learn of this site?”

Clyde replied, “You first. How did you follow us?”

I answered that question. “The portals are real corridors through space. Being able to recognize a portal can allow one to identify the coordinates of its source and destination. What I just learned, what assured me that we could reach this location, was understanding the coordinates. It must be said that up to now my technology simply allowed us to duplicate the portals with it being amazing that we could match up our readings from our instruments with the ancient Nerisus Federation portals. What I now know is that there is an established coordinate system in the universe. Just as absolute zero is a set value for some equations, there are base zero points for locations as well that will affect other equations. While we can define the units of measurements, some base values are established by nature.”

The voice of an okagaki said, “Dr. Beyonce, thank you.”

“Well, I was showing off. Still, things like that will keep the military in line. Still, if Clyde would have thought, he would have realized a greater situation. Namely, there is the problem that we left for here from near my home on Earth. Were you watching Earth?”

“We were watching Major Washington. We admitted that. We knew he had found something among the asteroids. His communications also indicated that it had something to do with a war with us.”

Clyde replied, “What the Nerisus Federation did to themselves was horrible. It could not have been the first response. Surely they had other means of aggression. While there are possibly those who are seeking ways of protecting ourselves from any aggression from you, there is simply the hope that what we find will give us knowledge about you.”

“We have not been aggressive.”

“But you are an unknown. Most fear, some say the only fear, is from the unknown.”

I added, “There is also the fact that you are more advanced than us. There is also the fear of what you might be able to do, or planning to do, that we are presently unable to defend against.”

“Humans, we have no plans to become aggressive against you. We have not bothered these worlds of the Nerisus Federation, because they offer us nothing. However, it seems that you are showing us to be ignorant. You are finding things in what we avoided, I would even say what we considered trash, that show us the unknown. Please, humans, continue to accept us, and it seems that you will find us allowing you to learn more of us.”

Another okagaki voice said, “We are even having to acknowledge your own capabilities. I have to admit, humans, that you have caused us to fear, because we do not know about you.”

I heard Frances break into our conversation to say, “A message was just sent from the present okagaki and there was a reply. I am registering an immense portal being opened.”

The first okagaki said, “Dr. Beyonce, we can show off as well.”

Suddenly, a lot happened. All of us were troubled by something. The sight of an enormous vessel coming into view awed me, but I felt troubled the military. Even at a great distance away, it dwarfed the asteroid we were observing and the Kayla. The mass beneath us began to glow, and that caused the okagaki to lift probably to get their own view. Feeling the Kayla suddenly shake with those of us in the hanger being flung into space brought all of us some concern. Attempting to gain some sense of what all happened, we all began speaking to gain information and issue orders.

It took some work to stop me from feeling out of control. Nothing was actually stopped in space, but it did help to have a feeling of not being subjected to all the surrounding forces. With us doing more in space than simply going from one gravity well to another, our suits did have jets for working without gravity. Just as with FER-RON, there was not enough fuel to go flying about, although enough to maintain some control over a period of time, although it took some work to remember what training I had to stop things from rushing around me.

While I focused on regaining my control, I heard the screams of those on the Kayla along with advice given by the okagaki and Clyde. None of that seemed to help, as I found myself unable to find the craft through a shimmering covering around the asteroid. I heard Clyde ask me for advice, although I had to speak of my ignorance as I tried to find the Kayla.

“I cannot believe all this happened without us detecting any type of industry.”

Clyde replied, “Yes. Where did the power come from?”

Hearing that, I felt we had overlooked the obvious. “Power? Of course, the gravity well. Something was powering the gravity well.”

I suddenly heard a translated voice of an okagaki. “Did you study what was generating the gravity?”

“No. We were attempting to simply study the place. The gravity well was actually the least of our problems.”

“Humans, do you need us to bring you home?”

I thought over the offer then said, “It would probably be good to see something of you, even though I know it would not be long for you to return us. Thank you. Yes.” I then considered saying, “Clyde, you and your men will need to see your way back once in Australia.”

He replied, “We can have the Achilles pick us back up. How about you, Dr. Beyonce?”

“I ordered some robots. I am going to wait for them to arrive, then have the Engendered come for me. I guess we can let Jericho decide what he is going to do.”

We both turned seeing okagaki personal craft come for us. The ship was enormous. It appeared as filaments forming a large bulb on one end then tapering only to rise back out around another bulb appearing as a sphere like a planetary globe. I had no idea how it propelled itself, but the same could be said for the humanoid personal vessels that came to grab us.

While we had to stay in our spacesuits, I had a good time with the okagaki. They seemed pleased to meet us, and had us speak on a number of topics. I actually detected some sorrow that the one who wanted to know if they drank was now trapped on the shielded mass. The okagaki however did let us know some things about themselves, and we spoke of somehow designing a place where we could exist together without spacesuits.

News agencies covered the story of the okagaki bringing us back. Clyde actually seemed glad to speak to the reporters, as he probably felt the novelty of aliens would cover any other questions that might be asked. Of course, once brought to my mansion he had private conversations with the military even as I mentioned our story to those I could trust.

“Gee, Leanna,” Rudy said, “no sooner do I start understanding what you sent me than you present me with another problem.”

“It’s a whole new culture,” I replied, “and there is no telling what we might find. The fact that Clyde did not find what he thought he would only stresses that we are facing the unknown. You and I brought the human race to this point, Rudy, so we are the ones they will turn to for wisdom.”

“More you than me, Leanna.”

“Maybe, but you know I turn to you, Rudy.”

There was a pause, then he said, “I’m coming to you, Leanna. I will have a sleeping bag and a couple of pillows this time, I assure you.”

_________________
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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