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 Who is the Enemy? TimeSaga D3 (5 of 6)

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PostSubject: Who is the Enemy? TimeSaga D3 (5 of 6)   September 27th 2017, 4:27 pm

Who is the Enemy?
TimeSaga:  The Source Story Three

Chapter One

It was a news show where the question was asked.  Many wanted to compare our situation of going through the portals and finding homes on other worlds like the colonization period after the finding of the Americas.  I agreed with those that pointed out all the differences in the attitude of the immigrants and the governments who were working to protect the travelers.  While most of us had countries who wanted us to pay our taxes, our rate was no different than those who stayed home.  The only reason most who went to the new worlds did not have representation with their native government was that they did not want representation.  The military were actually not claiming territory, or defending any territory, but fighting a threat that troubled those back home just as much as it troubled us.  In the middle of a news show where I was invited to speak my views, a military officer who had also been invited asked the question that changed the whole discussion.

“Listen, Queen Debra, what I find troubling is wondering who is the enemy.  The Nerisus Federation could be correct, it could be the okagaki.  I have to agree with your points, but the okagaki have amazing technology.  We are going to have to keep an eye on them.  The verakiy do seem to be a lesser civilization, but once we get them repaired we might find our kindness to have created a real threat.  I understand your concern for the transforming signal of the Nerisus Federation, but in eradicating it we might find something as yet unknown that truly encouraged those of the Nerisus Federation to take this step.  You can call me paranoid if you want, but I am worried that we do not know who our enemy actually is.”

The reporter hosting the debate tried to say something, but I quickly replied, “It is my concern that you of the military will create a threat even if none exists.  For once in the existence of the human race, can we go forward without seeking enemies?  For once in the existence of the human race, can we actually work to have peace?”

“Speaking for the entire military, Queen Debra, we want you and all people to have peace.  However, we have the fear of war because we were not alert enough to see the threat arising.”

“And that is why you have people demanding their independence, Colonel Duplantis.”

“Without the military, I fear for you.”

Colonel Duplantis tried to conjure a feeling of doom in the way he spoke, but I kept my words strongly stated.  “I am moving forward without the military.  Those with me trust in their own capabilities and my robot to protect us.  Honestly, most of the situations we get into would not be resolved by the military.  My brother is in the military, and those of his squad find it better to also work independently.”

“The threat will arise, Queen Debra.”

“We worry that it will be you, Colonel Duplantis.”

The reporter felt that was a wonderful point at which to close the show.  As the cameras were moved to prepare for another segment, the colonel and I were thanked for a wonderful exchange.  The colonel however stepped over to gain my arm as we left, but I did not resist as I felt he wanted to gain his own closure to our discussion.

“Do you truly believe those words, Queen Debra?”

“You should speak to my brother, Colonel Duplantis.  I will give him Hell concerning what I know about what he does, and what I only suspect about what he does.”

“I have spoken to Major Washington, Queen Debra, and I know that he trusts you.  I can also say that you have not betrayed that trust.  You do not leak the things you learn of his covert missions.  That tells me that deep down you accept what he is doing as being good.”

I did not pull away from his hold on my arm, but he simply released as I turned to face the colonel.  “No, but I have to accept that what I have learned of my brother’s activities has not betrayed any trust either.  The lecture is there.  Every time I face my brother he knows I am ready to give him a lecture.  He has not been deserving though, so it has not yet happened.  The lecture is there however, and it worries me that one day I might have to give it to him.”

Colonel Duplantis stepped away while saying, “I thank you for your words, Queen Debra,” then started on his way at a pace that left me behind.

It surprised me to see my brother with Roy and Perry as I entered my building.  The first floor was not a place for meeting people or gathering, but all three were down the initial corridor having a conversation.  Feeling things were not right, I went back down the passage to see what the men were discussing.

Clyde signaled the men to stop talking, but he did not move to hug me.  He simply looked at me.  When I stopped and just looked back, Clyde understood that he needed to talk.

“Debra, I don’t know how to ask this, but what do you think Mary knows about the religion of the Nerisus Federation?”

Considering what I just said to the colonel, I was ready to lecture my brother, but his question had me pause before calmly replying, “Religion?”

Before he could say anything, I pulled my phone and made a call.  Clyde did not stop me.  He simply stayed quiet probably wondering who I felt I could call and gain his answer.

“Corporal Namasaki, this is Queen Debra, have any of those that settled on Chablion seen anything that could be associated with religion?”

“Hello, Queen Debra.  Uh, no, we haven’t.  I guess you know that we have been discussing this on some forums.”

“Well, yes.  Beside simply feeling that you have had a more reasonable discussion than some other groups, I also simply wanted to let you know that Chu still speaks about you.”

Clyde and the other two men waited for me finish speaking with the lady.  All three of the men definitely knew my remaining mechanic to care for FER-RON.  While he mostly worked with the new personnel in the RayWeight building, he lived on one of the upper floors in my building and would come down to visit Mary and me occasionally.  With Roy and Perry also staying in my building, I felt they would be glad to get an update on the lady Chu was working on to be his wife.

When I closed my phone, my brother however asked, “Can you direct me to a library, or database of written material, where those of the Nerisus Federation spoke of their beliefs?”

I did show a little anger to my brother as I replied, “Just how hard-headed can you be?  Why don’t you listen to what people are telling you, Clyde?”

Perry said, “She is right, Major Washington.  Debra just contacted a person who would know something about the religion of the Nerisus Federation if it was to be known.”

“Damn,” my brother softly exclaimed.  “Excuse me, Debra.  You are probably right about me being hard-headed, but I am trying to make sense of things.  I’m sorry, but I have done what I could to test every other option.  Religion is the only thing that I have not been able to rule out.”

I looked at the other two men and wondered what they had been discussing with my brother as I said, “Clyde, you are going to have to tell me more if I am going to help you.”  Seeing his face grow tense, I thought to help him decide.  “In this building is a girl who is going to know anything and everything.  If you don’t consider me in-the-know, you are very foolish.”

“But she doesn’t know, and I believe I have superiors who would like to keep it that way.”

“Yet you are coming here for advice.  Listen, Clyde, I just left a discussion with an Air Force colonel, so don’t cause me to lay into you.”

I saw him suddenly smile.  He then pulled out his own phone.  Soon enough it was his turn to have a conversation with someone else.  I smiled hearing one of his men speak some glowing terms about what I said to the officer.

Clyde then said, “I’m going to reveal my information to my sister.”

“I will be expecting you to pay up.”

As my brother put up his phone, I asked, “You had a bet?”

He replied, “Yes, Debra, and I should have known not to bet against you.  Still, my orders were to keep this completely silent.  With Mary around you, that cannot be assured.”

“She has no way of output except through talking.  All my work, all my corporate secrets, are secure with Mary around me.  You bring Mary in and make certain she is talking to you.”  I turned toward the elevators while commanding, “Come on, Clyde.  You need to apologize to Mary right now.”

“Can’t I just say it right here?”

I spun then had one hand point to the elevator as I replied, “You go up there and face her like a man!”

Coming out on the floor where Mary and I lived, the young android was there and commented, “Somebody got Debra mad.  Doing that after she took on a colonel was not wise.  Oh, those were good words, Debra.”

Before I could thank the girl, my brother said, “Dame Mary, let me apologize for speaking of not being able to trust you.  My sister was correct about her secrets being secure with you.  I stand corrected, and humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

“I might not have been able to hear you down there, but I definitely heard your phone calls.  One of the first things I had to learn with a body like mine is how to decipher security codes.  If I had not learned that, I would probably have gone crazy listening to meaningless noise.”  I said the android’s name, then she curtsied to my brother while saying, “I’m sorry.  Yes, Clyde, you are forgiven.  Now, can we discuss your problem?”

“I don’t mean to be rude after gaining your forgiveness, but is there something we can discuss?”

“Yes, I believe there is.  I picked up something odd recently.  I will need your help, as I cannot process data in the way you can.  You are trying to find pieces to a puzzle, while I have no choice but to just collect pieces.  I can help you find the pieces I believe apply to you, but you have to make sense of what I tell you.”

“Tell me, Mary, how much does your services cost?”

I believe she was going to suggest a place for us to work, but Mary turned back to my brother to say, “I am going to inherit a lot of stock in a very important company.  I am presently a major stockholder in another important company, and actually am seeking to gain complete control as people sell their shares due to the recent legal action against that company.  I have all of that because of who and what I am.  When I say the price has been paid, Clyde, are you going to allow yourself to understand what that means?”

“I’m sorry, Dame Mary, but I do not have the relationship with you that my sister has.”

“The actual gift that my father gave to me was pride.  He had me see myself as a wonderful creation.  I’m not an angry person.  That is the one gift I hope to give to the products of the Straw Sapien Corporation.  I was in contact with the Annapolis series during their creation, and they praise me for being there to guide them.  I am aware of every one that Al or somebody has not killed, and they all are active in some occupation.  The Baltimore series has not faired as well with many of them no longer being alive or in service.  The Chattanooga series is also causing a number of court cases due to their own poor self-esteem.  Let me feel useful, Clyde, and that is all I ask.”

I felt the need to say, “My brother is used to paying people to keep them silent.”

“Yes, but he has also seen his information used by those he has to trust in ways that displeased him.  I hope he does not see that in me.”

Clyde said, “Being with my sister, I assume you would have to listen to her lectures as well.”

“I wish I had known Jimmy.  He listened to her lectures, and loved her for it.  I believe the same with you.  Honestly, I believe, and my mother believes, staying with your sister and the threat of her lectures is a good thing.”

“Okay, Dame Mary, I accept your offer of help.  Again I apologize for any hard feelings.”

“I would accept, but I am wondering just how well we will get along.  Still, Clyde, you are Debra’s brother, so I would forgive you simply because of that.  Come on, and let us learn more of each other.”

_________________
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 17th 2017, 12:36 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Two   October 2nd 2017, 4:53 pm

Who is the Enemy?
TimeSaga: The Source Story Three

Chapter Two

If there was one thing my brother and I had in common, it was our ability to stay focused on a topic. I remembered times I fell asleep, then woke up to return to what I was doing without any sense of having lost time except for a need to rearrange my desk. With Mary constantly in need of processing the wealth of data she could perceive, she could not help but stay conscious at all times. My brother and I stayed busy with him drinking herbal concoctions and me guzzling coffee in order to find some resolution to the topic.

What drove us both was a fear of war. While everything between the various factions of humanity and the aliens had been peaceful, there was a fear of someone in power making a drastic decision to try and gain an advantage before someone else. What had saved us so far was that the advantages were not in any ancient fashion. Land was no longer a treasured commodity, as we had worlds available to us. While money still had its influence, knowledge had proven to be even more valuable, but that had been spread out in a manner that mankind as a whole could benefit. Those who had a claim on power saw their grip on people slipping with even Clyde worried that his military occupation could become a tool of war and not peace.

Fueling our desire to discover an answer was the knowledge that powerful figures in the Nerisus Federation had caused the doom to their civilization. Without any clear sign of a possible religious influence, the only other reason for the entire population to become monsters was that their leadership had forced the transformations. What evidence we had gained clearly supported that conclusion. What Clyde worried about was our authorities discovering one of the other options those in charge of the Nerisus Federation seriously considered, and having us subjected to it.

Learning that the strange signal Mary detected activated at close to the same time as other events we had undertaken had Clyde accept that there was something more to be found. We matched up a transmission with the entrance of him into the complex out on the distant moon, another with the opening of the chamber in this city, and then we found another indicating an earlier discovery on Mission that was certainly the source of the information we received. The evidence of the times matching helped us accept that we were on the track of something we surely needed to learn about.

It did take Clyde some time to learn how to work with Mary. She was not a computer database that could be searched through. She could not help but continually stay active processing the wealth of information that flowed around us. There was always a desire to make use of her memories, but she had to work through her thoughts just as we had often had to dredge up some useful fact from our minds. Clyde became frustrated at first in finding Mary not as responsive as he desired, but slowly learned how to work with her to get her to uncover the piece of information he felt was important.

Roy proved his worth in being able to triangulate the signals. I knew that he had been put in charge of the Roland, but really thought it was more a political advancement than anything actually deserved. Roy however showed that he had been studying astronomical navigation along with other topics important to commanding a spaceship, and with his help we found ourselves able to determine a destination.

Clyde continued to seek information. I also would have liked to know what was there. I finally had to voice a conclusion that those of the Nerisus Federation had their secrets just like our governments, corporations, and political groups had theirs. Clyde finally accepted the fatigue of his own body, and looked to me with the hope of reaching a conclusion from the information we gained.

“Debra and Mary, can I have your aid in finding the source of this signal?”

I replied, “She has the ability to gain the information, and I have the robot to handle the unusual.”

“Yes, I was also thinking of her. Perry, your help would be appreciated as well.”

The cyborg asked, “Why me? You have your own men.”

Mary chirped, “You are to protect me, Perry. If I go, you go.”

Clyde said, “Well, yes, but I also want some control over this. While I trust my men, they are under certain oaths. I believe this is something that should be outside military intelligence.”

Perry asked, “Do you believe you can convince them otherwise when they find out?”

“Either I can, or I won’t need to. The other option is the end of my military career, hopefully outside a military prison.”

I said, “If it is on this planet, so we can easily establish a cover story of just exploring. Honestly, we can have your men tag along to help our cover.”

“Yes, I can do that.” He checked the time, then said, “Will leaving tomorrow morning be too soon?”

I replied, “What do we need except some sleep? This is not the first expedition I have taken. The fact that it is on-planet means that we do not need that much provisions. Since we have agreed your men can accompany us, I take it that your shuttle can provide transportation.”

“Yes. Okay, tomorrow morning at my place.” He grinned as he said that. “Thank you for your time.”

Since my brother was the only one who did not live in the building, we all traded parting words while walking with him to the lower floor. After seeing him move to the front door, we discussed what few details we felt would be necessary before we took off. Agreeing to what we needed to do, we traded parting words before heading to our rooms.

The next morning Clyde had a reporter at his shuttle. I listened to his cover story accepting that it was mostly true and probably what he wanted his men to believe as well as the public. The reporter did come up to the rest of us to get us to make statements. I simply stressed that my brother and I were both active in seeing to the advancement of mankind through the remnants of the Nerisus Federation, so it should be expected that we would stay moving even as others felt a need to stop and study certain things. The reported ended the interview by wishing us luck, and realizing that we did not have others worried about what we were up to we left on our mission.

I sat back and listened as the soldiers found our destination fascinating. To me it did not matter where we were going. I however listened as the soldiers spoke of the ocean, then of their problems in finding a place to land, and simply waited for us to touch ground.

Stepping out of the shuttle, I felt the ocean breeze then looked out to see a grand building. It appeared as a large round structure rising from the water supported by curving struts. Holding my hand up to my face to block the wind I found myself understanding why the soldiers were impressed by its architecture. I however felt that the size of the building should have provided some landing place for the shuttle.

I saw Mary walk out toward an extended pier or road out to the building with some soldiers. Soon enough they were leaning over a railing and climbing over some barriers. Just worried about Mary and the men, I moved to see what they were doing.

I heard a soldier say, “Yes, Dame Mary, there is something there. It seems they were trying to hide it, but as we know some of those of the Nerisus Federation were rather large it is rather obvious once you know to look. I however cannot see how we are to get to it.”

As they moved about looking for something, I asked my brother, “Clyde, how much did you tell your men?”

He replied, “I told them they could either go with us, or stay around our compound. It should not surprise you that they wanted to come with us.”

“You were speaking about wanting things kept secret.”

“I am actually trusting you, Debra. If you feel that whatever we find needs to be kept secret, I am trusting you to have the words to convince my men to keep it secret.”

We both turned hearing some rather disturbing sounds. Roy rushed ahead seeing that an area of the pier had dropped down to provide a walkway to someplace beneath the surface we were on. I worked to guide Perry through a section of railing as Mary and the soldiers went down the ramp. There were some more disturbing sounds, then a soldier came up the walkway to make a report to my brother.

“Major, Dame Mary says that the car will operate. It is a monorail type of vehicle appearing to be a type of mag-lift technology. Being out over the ocean, one would think the line would have corroded or been covered by more than a patina of crude. There does seem to be some coating on the line, but only a thin layer with the magnetic lift able to ride over it.”

My brother replied, “I don’t believe I heard you, Sergeant. Did you just say, ‘Hell, no, we will not come rescue you should that worthless piece of ancient Nerisus Federation technology break down on you?’”

“I hope that whatever distance you cover will give you a better view of how to get into that place than we were able to gain from the air. Sorry, Major, but our shuttle is not rated for operating in water.”

My brother then shouted, “Mary, what are the odds of us making it all the way?”

The soldier’s communicator activated, and after listening to the message he said, “Dame Mary says that she is able to read power all the way along the line. As long as you keep the weight to just your core group, there should not be any problems.”

“We will stay in contact. Well, Debra, did you bring a swimsuit? Just in case.”

I replied, “My robot was built on a tropical island. It can handle water and can even swim. Considering the number of men who would be around me, and that I knew this location would be close to the ocean, I did bring something to wear in the water.”

Clyde raised his voice as he asked, “How about you, Perry? Can you swim?”

The cyborg replied, “I can handle water. I cannot swim.”

The soldier said, “I believe with the capabilities of your group and our own capabilities a solution can be put into action should something break down.”

My brother said, “Okay. Let’s go.”

I had noticed the ramp drop. As I went down I noticed a simple understructure of metal braces set into whatever substance had been used for concrete. If not for the larger size, surely to accommodate the more massive members of the Nerisus Federation, it appeared as something that would have been built on Earth. The plain appearance of what I saw had me wonder about the use, and I pointed out some things.

“There are some bins, but not what I consider to be storage for a facility that large. Could those things simply be lockers for the workers to put things?”

Clyde barked, “Lt. Smithers!”

A soldier actually near me said, “Queen Debra, we did check the bins, and your assumption matches our own. We found some things, such as clothes, that indicate personal belongings. There were also these.”

He handed me a number of flat objects. They were obviously frames for pictures. While the material of the objects survived, the chemicals used in the ink to create the images did not. Some were destroyed as the humidity of the environment seeped inside the frame and completely ruined the picture. Some I could believe were picture storage devices, and if the internal components survived we could possibly recover the actual photos. I did look at a few faded images, but one object held a piece of paper on which was what appeared to be a child’s drawing. I handed the items back to the minor officer while making a simple statement.

“No one has ever denied that those of Nerisus Federation were real people. In fact, I feel it drives all of us that what happened to that civilization was wrong, and we definitely do not want it happening to us.”

The man carefully put the objects back in his pack as he said, “Yes, Queen Debra. That is why we are supporting you.”

Suddenly I felt a jolt pass through my head. I could not help but move to grab a strut for support. The next thing I knew was a feeling of passing out.

_________________
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PostSubject: Chapter Three   October 7th 2017, 12:40 pm

Who is the Enemy?
TimeSaga: The Source Story Three

Chapter Three

I saw myself surrounded by a pink mist, and from experience I called out, “Urnaquay, is this you?”

“Debra, Debra, Queen Debra. You are Queen Debra?”

“Yes, Urnaquay, I am Queen Debra.”

I did not feel as if I was floating. There was however an unsteadiness to my stance as if I was not standing on a solid substance. Worried that if I moved I might physically go over a railing into the ocean, I held my place. My only comfort was that I did not feel threatened.

The encompassing voice of Urnaquay said, “You are going into danger.”

“Your name in our language means ‘fascination.’ I don’t find danger fascinating.”

“You are actually trying to help. That is what I find fascinating. Go on, Queen Debra, but be warned that there is danger.”

The mist faded. As things went dark around me, I heard voices calling my name. I came back conscious feeling men lying me down even as my robot stayed near.

To negate whatever program FER-RON was operating under, I quickly said, “I’m all right. It was Urnaquay.”

I heard Mary say, “I recognized the presence. FER-RON was still concerned, because she recognized the presence of a korlock.”

“She has been in the presence of an intelligent remnant of the Nerisus Federation, so knew not to attack.”

My robot said, “Yes, Debra, but where there is one korlock there could be more.”

I could not complain about that response, as I had programmed it into my robot, so moved on to those who probably needed some instructions. “Clyde, you should have your men follow. Urnaquay said there would be danger. He however also implied that there was possibly something that could help us.”

Lt. Smithers said, “There does not seem to be a method of us calling the car, Queen Debra. Hopefully on the other end there is a way to send it back to us.”

“I promise you that after the warning we will do all we can to assure some security.”

Clyde said, “We will have Mary with us. You should assume that any communication you make will be received by her whether you are receiving anything from us or not.”

The soldiers spoke their acceptance of the implied command. We entered the car to see a large space almost bare. My only assumption was that those that rode did so standing up. Mary however went to a panel with a flashing green light, and she spoke a basic question after we came into the car.

“Do I push the button?”

Clyde asked, “Any reason not to?”

“No. I do sense that it connects to the motor, but still thought to ask.”

It was Roy that replied, “Go ahead, Mary.”

We all reached out to the walls of the vehicle as it roughly started moving. Mary spoke of the magnetic properties of the car being troubled by varying thicknesses of material covering the rail. We all concluded that the ride would be rough, but smiled as the vehicle continued to move forward.

The stop at the other end was not pleasant. It seemed that salt had built up in the box where the rail terminated, so we were jostled as the vehicle suddenly ceased moving. We exited the car to see a structure like what we saw at the other end, then found ourselves stopped at a gate clearly intended to check the identity of those who entered.

Clyde took off his backpack while asking, “Mary, beside us needing to pass, I assume the switch to send the car back is in that booth.”

Before the girl could respond, Perry said, “Major Washington, I feel that your need for explosives will come at a later time.”

We watched as the cyborg simply stepped up and opened the gate. He then walked up to a window and tapped it. Nodding as if he recognized the material, he reached to a slot on his body that opened up and retrieved a device. He actually put something over one of his mechanical fingers, then etched a circle in the clear substance. After assuring some depth, he pulled off the covering off a digit to put on a full glove. I watched as Perry’s whole arm vibrated until the circular section of window material dropped into the room beyond.

My brother said, “I am impressed.”

Perry replied, “You forget that until being hired by Dr. Beyonce to protect her daughter, I made my money doing covert activities.”

I could not help but say, “Clyde made his living doing the same, only he was paid by a government.”

My brother barely glanced at me before speaking to Perry. “From one professional to another, glad to have you on my side. I assume you need me to reach through.”

The cyborg replied, “Yes. Usually it would be Charcoal or Sandstorm.”

“The personnel with me changes as well.”

Clyde did check with Mary before pushing a button. We heard a buzzer that caused us to ready weapons, but Mary simply said that the gate needed to be closed. It seemed that only one person was to be allowed at a time. Clyde however managed to stay with Perry, and once the rest of us closed the gate after squeezing in together there was no alarm when he pushed the button.

I heard my brother scream to Mary about the button to send the car back. Luckily I had held the door open for him, so the girl was able to go back and point out the control. Clyde watched the car leave, then sent a message to his men about securing a rear before telling us to move on.

There was some discussion about gaining entrance to the guard station, but we decided to move on into the building. We found ourselves surprised to encounter a regular motor driven elevator. When we climbed on and pushed the button, there was the grinding of gears. Luckily, the motor did still work, although at its slow pace the men discussed how they could manage the shaft on their own.

It surprised all of us to step into a large room that still had the appearance of luxury. I saw light coming in through large clear panels. In that direction was an opening in a carpeted floor where a flight of stairs came up that I had to assume the visitors and upper echelon employees would use. The view clearly indicated that we were not on the lower floor, although I had become used to that architectural design in moving through buildings of the Nerisus Federation. Across the room was a large opening blocked by barriers surely intended to act as a second level of security. What caught our attention as we stepped into the room was seeing two large okagaki human-like vehicles to the left and right of the opening.

Mary said, “They’re models, not actual craft.”

While I did appreciate the information, I still had to ask, “Were the people here attempting to duplicate the technology, or develop weapons to use against them?”

Clyde replied, “Well, their posture is assertive. They are holding weapons. You could read that as something to inspire those working here to duplicate, or as a threat they needed to set their minds to eradicating.” I saw him look to me as he admitted, “I guess that means I do not know. What is stopping us from continuing?”

Perry moved up, then said, “Probably nothing. At this point everyone should already be cleared. Security here should be more to handle problems than – yes, I see it.” We watched as the cyborg walked to one side, then proclaimed, “There is no gate here. This would be where someone with certain needs or lack of credentials be allowed by pass.”

Roy spoke as he moved with the rest of us, “You really know about security checks, old man.”

“It is necessary when you have a body like mine. Debra, if I get a body like what Dr. Beyonce is offering, will I still have problems with security?”

I answered, “Yes. FER-RON, and even Mary, will set off metal detectors.”

Mary said, “I’m built a lot tougher than I look.”

Beyond the gate appeared normal hallways. Of course they were scaled a little large, but I was getting used to the need of the Nerisus Federation to build things for larger bodies. Beside one going straight ahead, there was a junction to another hallway that turned to move parallel to the main one.

Roy rushed ahead to exclaim, “There’s a door!” He pressed a button on the wall to the right, and after entering the room he came back out to say, “Nothing. It’s not even comfortable.”

Having seen a number of furnished rooms for those of the Nerisus Federation, I entered to see a chamber with a round design set into the square room. There was a center area for some purpose I could not determine, and the corners were filled with fixtures to force a circular path. There were seats, at least what I had come to consider those of the Nerisus Federation used as seats, but I had to agree that the room really did not appear as being good for socializing.

As I was about to leave, I looked at the floor. It took me a moment to realize what I was seeing, then another moment to accept it as real. I guess my brother saw me looking at the floor, and he tried to make sense of what he saw.

“I guess their children did things they were not supposed to. I see markers over against the wall.”

I replied, “That’s not a face of someone from the Nerisus Federation, Clyde. That is a human face. That’s Shame.”

Others gathered around to look even as Clyde said, “Well, she is from the Nerisus Federation, so that is possible.”

“No, it’s not. She might be from the Nerisus Federation, but she was a member of the Nerisus Federation. She did not take on a human appearance until dealing with us. In fact, you speak of meeting a programmer who was working to get our minds to operate with their system. This picture is recent, Clyde.”

“That can’t be, Debra.”

“Clyde, their technology works. Even after a number of centuries, their technology still works.”

My brother moved to pick up a marker before saying, “This is not technology, Debra. This is a child’s drawing.”

“I don’t see why you have to be pig-headed when we are going to learn the facts one way or another.”

“You can face facts just like I can. If I am right, I want to hear you apologize.”

I looked at the drawing one more time, then said, “I don’t know if it will trouble me more if I apologize, or if you do.”

“After being exposed to the fantastic, I guess finding something mundane will be disappointing. Some of us however would prefer if life went back to some level of being predictable. Lead on, Debra, and let’s find out what is here.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   October 12th 2017, 5:38 pm

Who is the Enemy?
TimeSaga: The Source Story Three

Chapter Four

Thinking the side passage to be another avenue for the regular workers, we took it interested in what they might have been doing. What we however saw was a number of rows of what appeared to be computer consoles on tiers facing in the direction of huge arena. Awed by the immensity of what I was seeing, I walked down to look beyond the railing. Once again my brother accompanied me, and spoke his interpretation of what they might have used his room for.

“I guess the Nerisus Federation enjoyed simulating combat as well. There is enough room here for a large-scale tactics maneuver.”

I pointed around as I replied, “There are no seats for spectators. This was a testing area.”

“Why couldn’t they use cameras and broadcast it?”

Not wanting to simply argue with my brother, I asked, “Mary, what were these computers set up to do?”

She replied, “These are just terminals. They would access information from a central server placed there,” she pointed, “although there are connections to access data remotely.”

Clyde asked, “Dumb terminals?”

“Wiped terminals. Whatever they did here, they did not mean for the information to become public knowledge. Whatever memory capacity these terminals had would not hold the information for long after being turned off.” She pointed off to our right as she said, “The same is true up there. Whoever snuck in with the intent to download data, or someone with my capability of just absorbing data, would find themselves having to manage the task while everyone was here.”

Roy commented, “Our evidence says that they did consider themselves at war with the okagaki.”

Clyde added, “And with the display out front I would assume that those here were attempting to develop weapons.”

I had to speak of wanting to see more. Moving back to the main passage, I found us coming to a larger section of computer terminals. We spoke various assumptions about the reason for the two areas, but really could not convince ourselves of any hypothesis being worthy of truly having any supporting evidence. Finding another door, we could only hope that what more we would see would help us understand what this place was about.

Beyond this door the corridors split giving access to a number of areas. This had me accept the fact that the larger set of computer terminals were to connect to the processes of whatever was being developed here while the others were probably for competitive companies to test their product. That just had me look for signs indicating what could be found in certain directions.

As I was about to ask Mary the translation to something I saw on a wall, I felt a strong pain shoot through my head. Looking around I saw my companions and the area around me obscured by a blue mist. A deep booming laughter gave the impression of a throbbing headache, and I was glad when I could hear the rhythm broken by speech.

“You cannot come.”

I felt I knew this intelligence, and chose to be a little dominant in my reply. “Come where and how are you going to stop me?”

“Stop you?”

“Your technology is hundreds of years old. It does still seem to work, but it is not at its best. Also, there is no one to guide it, to direct it. We are able to dismantle it without opposition. Anyway, have you liked being alone?”

“Alone?”

Suddenly, a new voice broke into the conversation, “Alone? NO! Come, come, come.”

“NO! Away, away away. They cannot come!”

I felt my head hurt as the two began to bicker. The deeper voice actually sounded like Al in the way it would laugh while speaking. The other voice gave me the impression of being young. I felt it winning the contest of wills due to pure focus on wanting its way while the deeper voice seemed to be working to be manipulative. Working through the pain in my head, I sought to end whatever I was experiencing.

“You cannot –“

Suddenly, a blast tore through whatever type of reality had surrounded me. The strange voice told me to come, while the deeper voice attempted to maintain control. Another blast however completely disturbed the blue mist, and as a couple of different sets of energy further disrupted my experience I saw a hand of Mary.

Finding myself lying on the floor, FER-RON asked, “Debra, all you all right?”

I replied, “Physically, yes, but I have a hell of a headache.”

My brother asked, “What was that?”

“I believe Instigator.”

Roy said, “Yes, Irquillator in their language. He is the mentality that affected Al.”

“Not pleasant at all.”

My brother gave me something strange, but told me it would help. I knew he worked with herbal remedies, although I did not truly appreciate them. While I did not refuse what he gave me, I expected to follow it with some man-made drug to relieve my headache in a more immediate fashion.

Clyde showed some relief that I took what he offered me, although seeing me open a pack to get some pills he asked, “Do we leave?”

“No,” I answered. “There is something else here. It is lonely. I want to say it is what drew the picture, but only because what I sensed had a mentality young enough to do something like that. We need to find it.”

“Are you certain you can continue?”

I popped the pills, then said, “Now I am.”

We spoke of what we knew of the language of the Nerisus Federation as we tried to learn what we could of the industry that had supported this place. Considering the vast arena and other things I had seen, I accepted that the intent was military related. There however were exclamations of surprise to find most passages to lead to what appeared as medical research laboratories. Feeling that what we found would be better left to those who could understand biology and then complexities of organisms, we sought another passage that would lead to something we could make sense of.

Mary pointed at a sign over a large panel as she translated, “Freight elevator. That sign there says that personnel are to use the stairs.”

Perry asked, “Do you think we could go ahead and use the elevator?”

Roy quipped, “Feeling like freight, old man?”

“I do not think that corporate rules should apply to us.”

Mary said, “Whatever you think, the elevator does not have power. We will need to use the stairs.”

I heard no grumbling as we moved to the stairs. I looked as we moved down the risers wondering about the number of people who had once trudged these passages. The size of the facility suggested that a great number of people worked here, but I felt the corridors stated that they worked independently, almost alone, with only those in authority having a big picture about how all the projects actually were to come together. I heard none of the others with me speaking of things that matched my thoughts, so I walked with them silently.

There were comments as we came upon various storage barrels, crates, and bins. Some actually contained mechanical parts while others were chemicals for unknown uses. The materials of the devices did not show any rust or deterioration, although the smell from the chemicals had us very unsure about them remaining as they had been produced. After seeing enough to accept that this had been a productive industry, we advanced again making comments about what type of business actually operated the facility.

I guess we became lost in our conversations, as our response upon opening a door was not as quick as it probably should have been. Maybe if we would have reacted faster we could have avoided the fight. A number of korlocks however had time to recognize our presence, and we found ourselves in the middle of combat. Having experience fighting the monsters in the limited corridors of spaceships, the large passages built for those of the Nerisus Federation gave us plenty of room for our tactics. While we did speak of feeling exhaustion after facing wave after wave of korlocks, we kept up the battle until we found the threat of what was behind the door no longer worrying us.

Opening the door back up we were able to see a large cylindrical shaft. Looking down we could make out some rather large components whose purpose we could not determine. Above us however was something that disturbed us, as we saw a large korlock somehow constrained. We found ourselves looking up the shaft while commenting on whether the korlocks were present to try and help the one caught, or if whatever had lured the monster into its situation had also attracted others.

Seeing FER-RON ready a weapon, I told her to wait then asked, “Mary, what can you tell us about that korlock?”

The girl replied, “All I can say is that it is a time manipulation signal being used to keep it in place. Mommy probably could make sense of it.”

“I would like to vote that we do not kill it, but leave it for others to study.”

My brother replied, “Do we want it to be left to be studied? That technology led to the destruction of the Nerisus Federation.”

“The evidence is going to be there, somewhere. My goal, hopefully our goal, is to provide the wisdom to accept the warnings. To believe we can have this blessing without comprehending its disastrous potential is to curse the future of mankind.”

Perry said, “As the last remaining active cyborg, I have to agree. I would rather mankind understand the faults in certain lines of research than have them believe that it can only be used for good.”

Clyde replied, “Then I will have it go on record that my recommendation was voted down.”

“Publicly,” I stated. “You make your report public. If this is kept a secret then those with nefarious purposes can redevelop this technology in secret, and the fate of the Nerisus Federation can be repeated. The evidence is before us that this great civilization did not know what their leadership planned. One thing we need to do for the future of our civilization is to keep as much as we can public knowledge.”

Perry said, “That was what I was trying to say as well.”

My brother spoke his acceptance, “I understand. I will place in the public record that my recommendation was voted down.”

“Good,” I said. “Now, let’s move on.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Five   October 17th 2017, 12:41 pm

Who is the Enemy?
TimeSaga: The Source Story Three

Chapter Five

It actually did not surprise us to enter a room with a view of the trapped korlock through a large window. That did bring up a discussion concerning those of the Nerisus Federation knowing what their transformation process would do. It however presented to me evidence of my position of needing to make the knowledge about our discoveries public. The trapped korlock clearly showed that there were people of the Nerisus Federation who knew what was going to occur, but who still, whether of their own volition or not, enabled the process to occur.

Feeling that we were on the right track to discovering something truly important, I had the group press on. What surprised me however was to find an elevator. Looking in, I had to ask a question.

“Mary, haven’t we been going mostly down?”

She answered, “Yes, Debra, and that elevator goes even further down.”

“To where?”

“We will just have to go down to find out.”

I held the door as a sign for the others to enter. There was some hesitation with my brother attempting to contact his squad. Finding only static on his communication device, he looked to Mary who replied that whatever was containing the korlock was also disrupting any transmissions. With his expression acting as a sign that he was worried about what we might find, my brother did step through the doorway onto the elevator.

There were a number of buttons, and I pressed the one I believed would be the upper floor of whatever area we would be entering. We did drop a while, but then I felt a jarring sensation. The elevators of the Nerisus Federation used a type of anti-gravity that enabled an almost momentum free ride. One could travel a good distance without feeling any sense of having gone anywhere. The jolt thus bothered me and the others, and I felt us dropping below the floor of the button I had pressed.

I had not particularly paid attention to the elevator itself. What I realized upon hearing sounds of amazement from the others was that the sides of the car were clear. The smooth shaft had provided the illusion of walls, but the elevator now dropped into a large chamber with a rather distressing view for those who were bothered by heights.

There were construction machines helping to provide scale as we dropped through the chamber. What we saw suggesting the need for a room so big was a great semi-humanoid appearing construction like those used by the okagaki. Those of the aliens were larger than people, but only by a few multiples of our dimensions. The one we were witnessing as we dropped down was on a scale greatly expanding upon the size of any okagaki vessel I had seen.

We stopped upon a platform that moved in front of this gargantuan craft at about what could be called its waist. I heard the men speak in wonder of how those who built it intended to get it outside for testing, or even to the vast arena. It did appear to be close to completion, although I saw open parts that had me speculate what more had been needed to finish it. Simply curious of the great mechanical project, I moved to where a section approached the craft only to be stopped by another mental shock.

“I am not there,” the young voice said.

Relieved not to feel the ache I suffered earlier, I replied, “I am responsible for building a robot. If you don’t mind, I would like to look at this closer.”

“Are you going to complete me?”

This time it seemed that I was conscious and still present with the others. FER-RON did not rush to me, but I saw her looking around. Mary and others simply asked who I was speaking to. All the voices made it difficult to concentrate, so I signaled the others to become quiet as I made a reply.

“I cannot answer without a complete evaluation of what would be required. Just how complete do you think you already are?”

The voice replied, “I cannot move.”

“Give me a little more time and I will be there.” I did look around as I said that, so was able to add, “I assume you are through the doors at the other end of the walkway.”

“Yes. I am waiting.”

I said to the others, “It sounds like a child. Maybe those here were attempting to make someone like Mary.”

Perry said, “The other option, that they were using children for their cyborg experiments would be even worse.”

I looked up at the great construction, then said, “I guess I can study this later. Let’s go check on whoever this is.”

The others walked with me to the set of doors. Coming through we saw what was obviously a workroom for building mechanical parts. I actually could understand what a number of the machines, devices, and other items about the shop were for. The grips for holding them and other details for using were alien in design, but I could tell for what use they would be put. As I was looking at the crafting of fine mechanical pieces, the others rushed by me speaking of recognizing something still under construction in the middle of the room.

Hearing gasps and muttered exclamations, I approached the object. Machines were still operating, but I could tell their efficiency had greatly reduced over the centuries. That troubled me, as I felt the one we were going to meet was still alive. Approaching the object still under construction, I had to gasp as well understanding the reality of the one I had hoped to meet.

I believe the only reason I did not cry was that the form inside the construction was alien. It also was not of the race of roughly human-like creatures, but clearly just an infant of a race that required the passages and rooms of the Nerisus Federation to be rather large. I could not tell whether the child was a victim of those in the room not fully understanding the process of creating a cyborg, or whether the machine they were intending the young mind to learn to operate instead of its own body was that complicated. I looked at the construction around the alien, and held myself back from crying as I had to give a conclusion I did not like.

“I don’t believe we can help him.”

Suddenly, a blue mist filled the room and I felt everyone could hear the laughing voice say, “I told him you would kill him.”

“Kill him?” I replied. “I am surprised that he is still alive. I am surprised that he is not wanting to be killed.”

“Kill him. Kill him. Kill him.”

Perry asked, “Debra, can we help him?”

I replied, “Look at yourself. Look at Mary. I am sure we have the technology. What we lack, if anything, is a knowledge of his physiology. We could kill him simply by our ignorance in how we help him.”

After a bit of maniacal laughter, the blue mist continued to say, “Kill him. Kill him. Kill him.”

Mary asked, “Debra, can you understand him? I know something of the language of the Nerisus Federation, but not enough to make out what I can hear.”

I shook my head while saying, “He must have a powerful mind. He spoke to me in the manner of Shame, Urnaquay, and others.” Just to check, I asked, “You do hear Instigator?”

Clyde answered, “Yes, and I am understanding why you got the headache. Do you think we can help this person?”

“You heard me answer that, Clyde. I believe we might hurt him by attempting to help him. Still, it would be wrong not to try.”

Suddenly I felt a strong mental presence ask, “You are not going to kill me?”

“If you have held onto life for all this time, it would be wrong to do so.” I then asked, “Mary, can we get a signal out?”

She replied, “I am sensing there are ways, but I would need to look over the equipment.”

The voice of the youth said, “I can get a signal out.”

“You can?” I replied. “Then why are you listening to this idiot?”

I believe that he recognized I intended to mean the maniacal voice of Instigator, as he laughed before admitting, “No one else came.”

“Yes, I intend to hold others at fault for that. Call out for Saprello, History.”

From the blue mist I heard, “NO!”

I screamed back, “Why are you so determined to continue the curse that wiped out your civilization? Of all the horrors those on my world has done, we have tried to rise above it. Yes, we might still have our deviants, but they are deviants and not the norm. YOU ARE A DEVIANT! Stop trying to continue to doom others.”

“No one will rise. No one will rise! NO ONE WILL RISE!”

FER-RON had an arm change out to one of her more powerful weapons to use against the korlocks. Clyde readied his weapon, as did the others. Even Mary pulled out her wand. I spoke to FER-RON mentioning the care we used when battling korlocks around the verakiy as I touched my bracelet to pull my weapon from whatever alternate timeline it usually existed in.

As the first volleys were released at the semi-material monsters, I asked, “Young man, how have you been fighting these?”

I felt the youth reply, “Young man? They only call me child.”

“Then child – uh, how about a name?”

“Abel.”

“Abel, how have you been fighting these?”

“What is your name?”

I felt the question was not exactly appropriate for the middle of combat, but did not want to get into an argument with the simple mentality. “Debra. My friends call me Debra. You will hear others call me Queen Debra.”

“Are you really a queen?”

“In a way. The word is ancient, and I am not like an ancient queen, but there is a real reason why I have that title.”

“I know a queen.” I felt the youth start to cry as he said, “I know stories of kings and queens. I always wanted to meet one.”

“If there is any hope of keeping you alive, call History.”

“NO!” Instigator screamed.

I yelled, “Abel, call History!”

While the blue mist of Instigator had continued to be present around it, it was only noticed because the equipment maintaining the room had kept the dust to a minimum. Now I felt a headache as a blue fog started developing. Feeling that we would be enveloped in world of Instigator’s creation, I set myself to overcome whatever problems beset us.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
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