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For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Of Dreams and Secrets: TimeSaga D9 (4 of 5)

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Number of posts : 1263
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PostSubject: Of Dreams and Secrets: TimeSaga D9 (4 of 5)   March 6th 2018, 7:41 am

Of Dreams and Secrets
TimeSaga:  The Source Story Nine

Chapter One

I looked up from my chair to hear a voice over a speaker ask, “Dr. Beyonce, aren’t you worried about Queen Debra, your daughter, and the others?”

The source confused me, because it sounded like a personal question, but it had not come over my own equipment.  While I did need some links through the spaceship, in building the vessel there had been provisions made for private lines.  Calls to me were personal.  My own daughter verified the security of the signals, although admitted she had other ways of detecting various communications besides reading the wires.  Over the speaker in the ceiling the one that spoke should have been a member of the crew, so it confused me when things about it told me it had been as private as something over my own equipment.

Making a number of assumptions, I replied, “Okagaki, don’t you have children?”

“Children?  Ah, I get what you mean.  Our environment is a little more dangerous than your own.  We test and assure the quality of our offspring a lot more than you do.”

“Okay.  I’m listening.  Tell me about all the insecurities and lack of skills you see in those now on the planet.  Do all you can to increase my anxiety about what they are doing.”

There was a moment of silence, then I heard what I could tell was a translated voice asking, “That was sarcasm?”

“It could have been taken that way,” I replied.  “It also could have been taken as an opening to do exactly what I said.”

“Oh.  We are finding your race to be a lot more confident than we expected.  I mean that in a good way, but also as a fault.  I would think you to be worried.”

“I am worried, but not because I believe those down on the planet as incapable.  I am worried simply because I care about them.  My own daughter is down there.  My robot, the one I proposed to have built then hired the people and spent my own money to build, is down there.  A young lady that I believe is one of the most exceptional people I have come across is down there.  The others have also come to mean something to me.  Yes, I am worried, but incompetence is not what has me worried.”

“I have to agree that their competence has been proven.  Still, Dr. Beyonce, think back to one of the first times we met.  We challenged the vessel you were on.  You said that what the vessel was transporting of value was you.  Well, you are on another vessel, so this vessel should have some value because of you.  I would say that you should be worried because of the value of what you have on the planet.”

I felt the words to be a good counter, so thought for a moment before replying.  “If I did not have the people down below that are down below, I might worry about incompetence.  As it is, I worry for them only because I care for them.”

There was a moment of silence, then the voice said, “Let me propose a question.  If they fail.  We overheard the discussion of very powerful weapons, bombs.  If they fail, say we come in and annihilated everything on the planet.  Would that solve your problem?”

“I’m a physicist,” I replied, “so thought questions do not trouble me.  We call them thought experiments.  As a thought experiment, I will see if I can come up with a response.”  After only a short pause I felt able to say, “My answer is, ‘No.’  A quick reasoning would present the fact that there were four races in the Nerisus Federation, so the signal should have four sources.  Evidence does point to there being something special about this planet that could result in the complete termination of the signal, but surely safeguards against something so vulgar as a great bomb would not meet the conditions for termination.  The fact that the Nerisus Federation did what they did fearing an attack by you, the okagaki, should be evidence that whatever they did should have had protections against war.”

“If only we would have realized at the time how devastating our presence was to the Nerisus Federation.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it.  I believe we have also uncovered evidence that the fear of you was only a show.  Whoever did this had their own private designs.  The fact that it certainly did not result in the way expected does provide some satisfaction, but it was still something tragic.”

There was a pause, then the voice said, “I propose another thought experiment.”

“Wait.  Are you just chatting, or is there another purpose for your contact?”

“Actually, Dr. Beyonce, I am having my people listen to you.  Our contact with the Nerisus Federation did not go well.  Our contact with the verakiy did not go well either.  With the verakiy nothing tragic happened, but we also did not provide the aid you humans have provided to them resulting in your better relations with them.  That marks you humans as something different.  We, I mean my people, are interested in you.”

I thought to mention that I should be paid for my time, but another concern I felt needed to be said first.  “If they look, they will find some bad things about us.  We are trying to rise above our past, but history speaks of members of our society that seek to pull us back down.”

“Queen Debra is down on the planet saying the same thing.  She continues to preach to those with her about them being the good aliens.  She would not say that if she did not fear humans becoming the bad aliens.  That complexity, that conviction, is what makes you humans interesting to us.”

“It was said that you did not bother the derelict spaceships around one of your planets because you used them as an example of stupidity.  I hope that at the worst you tell your children that there were those among us humans that tried to have us rise above our past.”

“What if I said that those of the Nerisus Federation would have wanted to say the same?”

While I did enjoy thought experiments, I once again had to let the speaker know that his question had a quick and negative answer.  “I am sorry to say that the evidence we have found does not support that.  It supports a corrupt government, or at least a corrupt segment in the government with a lot of power.  The fault of the people of the Nerisus Federation is that they trusted their government, so the evil segment was able to do what they did.”

“You don’t trust your government?”

“Not at all.  I am a woman because of my government.  While our governments served their purpose, they often did it in the wrong way.”

I believe the okagaki intended to have me speak about the governments on Earth, but no sooner were the first syllables coming than screens alerted and I heard over the speaker the sound of the captain calling everyone to their stations.  Looking at my monitors, I saw that a view of the planet with the fourteen huge satellites glowing.  While I could not determine any damage to one of our spaceships, or any real threat to the surface of the world, I agreed with the officers of the vessel that we should be alarmed.

Being called to the bridge did not surprise me.  While I had good equipment in my room, the captain certainly wanted my involvement with me able to make suggestions and observations in real time and not wait for me to ponder any evidence.  I grabbed a couple of things, then headed to the bridge assuming the okagaki I had been speaking to was now simply watching.

Moving through the halls, there were only members of the crew rushing to their stations.  There was none of the confusion and chaos resulting from people attempting to make the best decisions on how to survive.  I came upon the bridge seeing everyone in their place, so moved to one of the Annapolis units knowing she could supply me with any information to help me give advice to the captain and crew.

I tried not to think of the white-haired girl as just a crude copy of my daughter.  Fellandra had not been made with the quality of instruments that were in Mary, or allowed to have as much of her humanity develop.  While those of the Annapolis series, and truly all the people generated by the Straw Sapien Company, were lacking in capabilities, I worked to think of all they did to rise above their limitations and serve in what capacity they could.

Seeing me, Felladra softly said, “I cannot find it, Dr. Beyonce.”

As if he was unaware, the captain barked, “Cannot find what, Fellandra?”

“The signal being produced is like the one the verakiy use to ward off the korlocks, Sir.  I can feel it, so I am attempting to localize it.”

While setting up the devices I brought, the captain asked, “Dr. Beyonce, do you think you can help our Annapolis series?”

I only nodded.  Sound could not travel through space, but I knew the complexities of our science could promote things that would not normally exist.  Electromagnetic signals could travel through space, because they were in part physical.  Time was prevalent, so could provide a medium for sound even as it was distorted and used as a signal as well.  I actually did not look to the graphic images of what my devices could detect, but to the equations generated to show those pictures.  I nodded as I recognized certain overlapping wave effects.

“Captain,” I barked to assure the man gave me some attention, “we have to assume –“

“Assume?  I do not want speculation, Doctor.”

“Speculate on what, Captain?  Is it a threat or is it not a threat?  Those are defensive satellites, so one must conclude that they went active due to a perceived threat.  Why did they activate?  Was it us?  I doubt it, as we have been here a while and even managed to get our ships recognized by their system.  Was it the okagaki?  I doubt it, as they made an earlier overt appearance and this did not happen then.  Was it our people on the ground?  Well, if it was then activating the satellites is a little extreme.”

Captain Iwasaki glared at me, then his features softened as he admitted, “I brought you here to hear your advice, Doctor.  Go ahead and speculate, Leanna.”

“The devices are calling the korlocks.  Prepare to battle a whole lot of korlocks.”

“Calling the korlocks?”

“We know the korlocks are present.  Those of the Nerisus Federation inhabited worlds.  That means millions, billions, possibly trillions of people were transformed into the monsters.  That makes it rather understandable that there are groups available to bother us every time we open a portal.  We know the transformation signal, and this is not it.  We know various ways of dealing with the korlocks, and this is not one of them.  There is also the fact that the Nerisus Federation really did not intend to become monsters, so they would not have developed anything to ward off the korlocks.  The transforming signal was however designed by a dominating segment of the government.  It was forced upon the people.  If there is one thing we know about those in power, it is that they do not want to lose that power.  While what we have found speaks of the transforming signal as being a way of evolving those of the Nerisus Federation into a higher state, I would say those in charge wanted to retain their status even in a higher state.  They figured out a way of controlling the people even after they had transformed.”

While I was working at a station manned by one of the Annapolis series, who was built to receive information of all types, the reply came from the okagaki.  “Humans, our devices have lit up with disturbances in the hyperspace around us.  Dr. Beyonce is correct.  You have a massive amount of korlocks coming upon 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.

Last edited by TerishD on March 21st 2018, 7:51 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Two   March 11th 2018, 8:12 am

Of Dreams and Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Nine

Chapter Two

Captain Iwasaki must have given the command to charge up the main weapon of the Engendered as soon as I gave the warning, as no sooner did one of the great whale-like creatures appear than I felt the jar of the massive amount of energy being directed and released. Not wanting to disturb those attempting to protect themselves and others, I did things on my personal device to gather information on the monsters. Something about what I was doing bothered me. Realizing what it was, my body must have shivered or made some noticeable motion. It did not surprise me to see Fellandra lift her eyes to look at me, but she must not have been the only one paying attention to me as Captain Iwasaki asked a question.

“What is it, Dr. Beyonce?”

Not wanting to have anyone take their attention from their duties, I kept my voice low and my speech personal. “Nothing, Mark. I was just here getting a good image of each of the monsters. There however is a variety. We know of the four races of the Nerisus Federation, and some of the other forms have become rather familiar to us. What I just thought of was that there are possibly other civilizations that followed this route.”

“Or they were not so aggressive in attempting to remove the threat from their lives. I guess that would not only make us the good aliens, but the intelligent aliens. Who would have ever thought humanity would rise to such a status?”

“Let’s not fall from that height.”

“Oh, I cannot promise you that, Leanna. History says that we will. Still, I have you here with me. You work to keep us acting intelligently, and I will work to keep you alive.”

As if wanting to support the words from the captain, Fellandra said, “Mary has Queen Debra and other very capable people with her. They will be all right. Let’s work at giving them a reason not to worry about us.”

I asked, “Can you detect Mary or the others?”

“No, but I would not be surprised if our big sister can detect us. The satellites are blocking signals, but she has learned how to work through the noise.”

“Well, honestly, the only thing I can think of to do is to support those working to kill the monsters. I am gathering some information, but only to keep myself busy while the others work.”

Fellandra then said, “That one turned.”

As if she had yelled out her statement, Captain Iwasaki replied, “Which one, Fellandra?”

The Annapolis series lady isolated the one she had noted, then sent her result as a panel on the main screen. I believe the captain verified what she presented with his own view of things before giving a command to another. I heard the voice of one I assumed was the gunner of the main weapon reply to the orders he had been sent.

“Captain, our main gun does not have that much of a firing arc, and we are out of position. Request going ahead and firing at present target, then allowing the ship to turn while recharging.”

The one in charge of the ship replied, “I agree with not allowing the time to pass without hurting something. Go ahead.”

As I felt the energy of the large weapon being released, an unusual wave of something passed through the ship. Looking around, I saw those on the bridge continue as if nothing strange had occurred. The face of Fellandra had an odd expression as she looked to me with I believe both of us were glad to hear a voice from the Roland.

“Engendered, I sensed something. Did you recognize it? It was directed at you.”

The one that spoke was Nick, the brother of Roy. While he was not as active, I had nothing against the lad. I also recognized that he showed signs of physically maturing that Roy did not. Nick however was brought to life under the same process to try and develop a line of humans with true psychic powers, so I wondered if he spoke actually feeling some mental contact.

I felt my thoughts were realized when Fellandra replied, “Roland, this is Fellandra of the Engendered. I sensed the question, ‘They do not scream. Do you kill them because you do not sense their suffering?’”

Over the speaker came the voice of Nick saying, “I didn’t know an Annapolis series could sense such things.”

“It was rather strong. It however also had a time component.”

Captain Iwasaki demanded, “Fellandra, what are you talking about.”

She replied, “Captain, I believe the one that turned spoke to us.”


I found it strange that the captain would look to me, although I was with Fellandra and did have some authority. “I sensed something, Mark, but that was all.”

“Are you going to argue that we should not kill that thing?”

“I do not see anything positive in doing so. It is not like we can talk back.”

Over the speaker came the voice of Nick saying, “Maybe I can, Dr. Beyonce, but what should I say?”

“Always the truth, Nick. Tell it the reason we kill korlocks is that they kill us.”

“Oh. Of course.”

There was a period of silence. I knew the main weapon took time to charge. The Engendered also needed to turn to put the desired korlock into the firing arc. Before all that happened, I saw Fellandra squince her features as if attempting to listen to something. She only nodded in silence, although it was the voice of another Annapolis series on board the Roland that spoke.

“It said, ‘Yes, I understand. I have no way to call them back.’”

Fellandra declared, “Captain, it is turning away.”

Captain Iwasaki reacted, “Damn! Main gun, can you target another?”

Over the speaker came the reply, “Sir, as long as those huge korlocks are in our area, we cannot open a portal.”

I saw the captain look to me as he said, “Main gun, I asked if you could target another.”

“Yes, sir. Left and down. Barely in range and barely in my firing arc.”

“Do it.”

Fellandra then said, “Captain, it is turning again, but toward the Roland.”

Over the speaker came the voice of Nick saying, “I tried to send it another message.”

I knew the Annapolis series on board the Roland, but having been created in the same process they did sound the same. “It said, ‘I understand, but there is a demand I be present. Did you summon us to kill us?’”

Hoping a microphone was active, I ordered, “Nick, tell it that they were summoned to kill us. We are trying to stop the process that created many of the korlocks around us.”

The voice of the lad replied, “Yes, Dr. Beyonce.”

I then heard another voice of a lad asking, “Nick, you’re talking to it?”

“Yes, Al. I was created in the same process that created you and Roy. I am also a B2. We’re brothers.”

“You just always seemed normal.”

“And yet I was the one father said matched the specifications he was desiring. Strange, huh?”

I had no way of knowing what was occurring on the Roland, but could only wait out a pause hoping for the best before Al said, “You’re going to have to kill them, Nick, even the one you are talking to.”

As if to give advice, Captain Iwasaki said, “This is war, son. You could well need to make a decision of that type.”

“Hear that, Nick? Somebody agrees with me.”

The other brother replied, “But that is not what we were made to do, Al. That is not what drove you along the path you took. We were made to work with the korlocks. We were to have the talents that would allow us to learn from them.”

“Haven’t you been paying attention, Nick? There is nothing to learn from them. They were stupid, stupid, stupid. If I was wiser, and listening to those who were guiding us, I would not be what I am. I told Roy that he was going to have to kill me, and now I am telling you the same. First, however, you are going to need to kill them.”

I heard an energy beam, then the voice of what I assumed was an Iranian soldier making a religious statement. I believe we all went quiet waiting for something to happen. I felt Nick had suddenly grown up a little more as I heard his voice.

“That hurt, but probably for the best. Dr. Beyonce, the Roland will work with you. Not because I believe I have poor guidance here, but only because I feel we need to work together.”

It was Captain Iwasaki that replied, “We were listening to you, Roland. Hopefully by listening to each other, and making the decisions we feel will be the best for all time, we can come through this with our heads held high.”

There was a moment of silence, then the voice of the Annapolis series on board the Roland said, “The one we had been speaking to said that it understood our loss, but also our conviction. It would like to speak to us further, but says that as long as the summons remains it must as well.”

Captain Iwasaki said, “Main gun, do your best not to target that one.”

From the speaker came the response, “I would ask that you do not put that one in our firing arc, Captain.”

“Leanna, I am hoping that your silence says that you approve.”

I replied, “We both know the reality of having to live with our decisions, Mark. I believe so far we are doing the best we can.”

“Can you offer me any hope, Leanna?”

“I believe I am going to have to, Mark. These korlocks were not called because of us, or the okagaki, but because of what our team is doing on the ground. We can fight this, but we cannot annihilate the korlocks. That means that we cannot prevent whatever is supposed to happen to our group on the ground. That is what is going to drive me, Mark. I need to shut this down not for us, but for Queen Debra, my daughter, Nick’s other brother, and the others who are dear to us.”

“Ellen, I know this is your time off duty, but this is war. We need you on the bridge.”

Over the speaker came the voice of another Annapolis series saying, “You know that I am always awake, Captain. Will be there shortly.”

“You will be working with Dr. Beyonce. I know Fellandra is doing what she can, but she needs to focus on this ship.” Captain Iwasaki then said, “Leanna, use Ellen however you need her. Give me, us, hope. In the meantime, there is a war I need to fight.”

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 Three   March 16th 2018, 7:49 am

Of Dreams and Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Nine

Chapter Three

Not being able to open a portal did not affect our vessels, as they were where they wanted to be. The limitation however was that I wanted to contact someone that was not in our immediate location. While I might have come up with ideas that drastically changed the direction of the human race, I needed another to build the devices I conceived of. I was looking over the vessels that were around the planet with us when Ellen showed up on the bridge, and I called her over even as I opened a private communication with the Roland.

It was Darlene, one of the nurses who had cared for the young B2 children, that replied to my call. “Yes, Dr. Beyonce, how can I help?”

“I am hoping you have some of the technicians who helped Dr. Pathulma create the devices that is responsible for Roy, Al, and Nick to be designed.”

“They really did not have –“

The voice of Nick broke in to say, “Help Dr. Beyonce however you can, Darlene.”

“I am not refusing to help, Master Nick. I am just – wait. Dr. Beyonce, we have a Dr. Cohorlic. He is one of the actual doctors that was used to check the health of our children. He is not a technician however.”

I asked, “Does he know the process? Was he a reference for determining what needed to be done to create what Nicholas wanted?”

“Dr. Pathulma definitely trusted him, Dr. Beyonce. I will reroute your transmission.”

The man that I heard spoke in Arabic. Luckily, I knew enough to reply. Upon realizing who I was, I was glad to find him able to switch to using English.

“Nicholas was definitely using your science, Dr. Beyonce. I am familiar with the equations and how they can be used on the human body. I must confess that I am presently studying the transforming signal.”

I replied, “I am not looking for the transforming signal, but something like it. The korlocks are being summoned somehow. I want that signal.”

“I don’t believe I am set up for that, Dr. Beyonce.”

“Is there somewhere on the ship where you can set up for that? I am here with an Annapolis series, and I am going to be looking for it. I am looking to you for some guidance, and possibly someone to bounce ideas off of.”

“There are Annapolis series on board this vessel, Dr. Beyonce. Let me get those not on duty, and they should be able to advise me on where we can possibly help you.”

Ellen whispered to me, “You can call me Eleven. There is another Ellen on board the Roland, and thirty-one is not so easy to say.”

I hugged her to let her know that I would not think of her as a machine. She did not feel like a normal girl, even less than my own android daughter, but I did not want to belittle what humanity the girls had. We had brought them into our world, and made them a part of our world, and I wanted them to know that we were accepting them. She smiled in a manner that let me know there was more than a machine mentality to her, then started to work with me in a manner letting me know she would do all she could to support my plans.

I found Dr. Adavi Cohorlic to be someone I would expect Dr. Pathulma to hire. The man was informed on my technology, but not really understanding the science. He treated my equations as magic, and not as evidence for some repeatable, verifiable, manipulations of the time stream. I lectured Adavi on my science as I directed him in the device I was having built.

When I had men disassembling one of the speakers built by those of the Nerisus Federation, I heard Adavi ask, “Leanna, those on the Engendered will allow you to do that?”

I replied, “I have been lecturing you on the science and what I was doing. What part of that do you have fault with?”

“Don’t you fear something going wrong?”

“What part of the science do have problems with?”

“That is the device transforming beings.”

Hearing his mind reach a barrier where I felt none should exist bothered me, and I let some anger show in my voice. “The components were assembled in a way that would support the transforming signal. Will what I am saying to do support the transforming signal?”

“Uh, no.”

“Okay, so why do you have a problem with what is being done?”

“Those speakers are tools of evil.”

“A hammer used by an evil person is still a hammer. It is only a tool. How it gets used depends on who is using it, and not on who has used it. All you are doing by resisting doing the work is allowing us on the Engendered to have the final device without you on the Roland having one as well.”

Another voice, probably that of an officer in the Iranian military, said, “Dr. Beyonce, we trust your intentions and competence. We will continue to support you. May Allah guide your path.”

His words did not calm me, but I sternly replied, “This isn’t a religious matter.”

“Allah is there, Dr. Beyonce. At some level, it is, or will be, a religious matter.”

“If you believe He is there, why don’t you trust His science?”

“I would rather – You are right, Dr. Beyonce. I will concede at this point in the discussion you are right. However, I hope one day you will see that we are right as well. We of the Roland will continue to support you.”

I did not give a command to close the connection. My focus simply changed to assure what was built was along my specifications without any guiding lecture to another. Those working with me could see the equations I was scribbling as I worked, hear my mumbled words, and do their own performance checks of the components. None gave me a command to stop, but we kept at our work until eventually feeling we had a finished product that needed to be tested.

Hearing the Roland’s Ellen, “That is the proper signal,” caused me to smile.

I activated a link with the bridge, then asked, “Mark, how do you want us to use this device?”

“Leanna,” the captain’s voice quickly replied, “I doubt your device is powerful enough to counter the full influence of those huge satellites. What I would recommend is that we use it to pull the korlocks from the side of the globe our team is on. That use will hopefully also pull the monsters together where our attacks can be much more useful.”

I looked it over, then said, “I believe it can be released out into space, but I am going to check things.”

“How much time will you need?”

“When I started my life as a female, I baby-sat a satellite for a number of months. Trust me, I know about them. You let me know when you are ready, and I should let you know that I am ready.”

After saying that, I knew that I had made a mistake. Not in my abilities, but only in the place my mind went to as I worked. After becoming a woman, I had been assigned a job with a stalled research satellite. While I studied what it was supposed to do, how it was to do it, and what had been done to assure it would gain the data desired, I dealt with the changes of having a different gender. Life as a female required a number of adjustments in my routines, as well as how I went through my days. My body did not react in ways I was familiar to certain stimuli, and I had to learn how others would respond to me. The association with my present project with that past project was a mistake in that I found myself reliving certain moments in my mind refreshing just how much my life had changed.

When a senior technician commented, “You appear disturbed, Dr. Beyonce,” I replied with, “Only by myself. As the person who created this path we are on, the changes at times overwhelm me.”

“Yeah, it must be strange. We are trusting in you. If you managed to keep from getting yourself a sex change, I guess we can trust you to prevent us from changing into korlocks.”

I just looked with wonder at him while saying, “I’ll tell you about that after all this works out.”

Having an actual history with putting scientific equipment into space, I easily recognized a couple of changes to make in the device I had created. Those with me quickly understood the problem, and followed the steps to improve our project. By the time the captain had a team set up things for delivering our package into space as he thought best, I knew any problem would not be due my device not working.

With it no longer my activity, I decided that I might as well get a nap. I figured that the team launching my device would take their time assuring things. While they had already been at work, weight distribution and other minor details just could not be evaluated until everything was put together. Moving to my cabin, it felt good to feel the pull of artificial gravity, although my aging body let me know things about the exertion it had been putting out to do the activities.

As I found myself drifting off, the phrase, ‘They do not scream,’ began to bother me. Thinking back over the evidence we had gained, there had been a lot of pain during the transformation process. Some of those of the Nerisus Federation did not transform completely, and their remains showed the agony they were experiencing. The corpses of those that survived did not speak of them able to continue living. We were not finding communities of the original inhabitants working to hold on to life or even rebuilt what was lost, which told me that even those that might have been unaffected were no longer able to manage the struggle of survival. Finding the phrase, ‘They do not scream,’ continue to bother me, I lifted myself from my bed.

Activating a microphone, I asked, “Mark, is Fellandra on duty?”

“Yes,” the captain of the vessel replied. “You were working with Ellen, so I had Fellandra stay here on the bridge. It might sound cruel to have them work through their off-time, but these ladies do not sleep.”

“I am going to use her.”

“You were working with Ellen before.”

“Yes, but I know Fellandra heard something.”

I was glad to not hear him ask a question, but simply say, “Then it seems you need Fellandra. I guess you will be coming to the bridge.”

“Yes, as when I am disturbed I tend not to sleep either.”

This time when I entered the bridge I saw the white-haired girl look to me. Usually, she would stay at her assignment simply using her excellent senses to track my movement. This time she knew I had come to see her, so looked to me wondering what I would have her do.

I however first asked another question of the captain, “Mark, are you still firing at korlocks?”

As if he had been doing some thinking of his own, “Why would they have done this, Leanna? Those huge whale-like monsters cancel our ability to use Rothman Tubes. How would they know?”

“They didn’t,” I replied. “What bothers me is just how much they did not care.” I turned to Fellandra, and asked, “The one that I had Mark avoid attacking said that they did not scream. They don’t scream. What however does happen when we kill them?”

She replied, “I don’t know.”

“We are breaking up their pattern. We use sound, and other energy created waves to disperse the korlocks. That means we basically rip them to shreds. Why don’t they scream?”

It was the captain that replied, “I would say because they no longer have a normal body. No nerves to feel pain.”

I turned to the white-haired girl and asked, “Fellandra, do you remember the whale-like korlock saying that they did not scream.”

She answered, “Yes, Dr. Beyonce.”

“Where is it right now?”

“Over there.”

While she said that, she picked up a view from a camera that showed me the specified creature. I pointed, with her and Mark assuring that I knew where the monster was in relation to the vessel. After studying a view of the planet and the strange huge bronze satellites, I asked another question.

“When does my device go into action?”

A light activated with Mark replying, “That is it right there. Any reason not to give them the okay?”

“No, that’s fine. Fellandra, get ready, as I expect we are going to hear some screams.”

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 Four   March 21st 2018, 7:56 am

Of Dreams and Secrets
TimeSaga: The Source Story Nine

Chapter Four

We did not hear screams, but we did sense something when the mass of korlocks began to move. It must be said that the monsters did not rush upon us. They had only been called. While those in power surely created the signal to show their control over those transformed, they did not have enough knowledge of what would happen to their essences to generate any real authority. The korlocks massed around the planet, although in seeing them shift due to my earlier device gave me an idea on what to do next.

My ability to form practical applications from equations gave me the skills to do more than simply theorize on possibilities. The actual concept came to me as a special extrapolation of the science I had used to build the device now active in a stationary orbit. I had not tried to overcome the signal from the satellites, as their size and number could surely drown out anything of moderate size. A noticeable increase in one area would however have an effect. Having a knowledge of the signal along with the original transforming signal, also conceived of by the ones that designed the satellites, I felt could have an effect on the system. At the worst, I felt putting my idea into operation would trouble the ancient system and possibly cause disruptions giving those on the ground moments of ease where they could conceive of how their own skills could advance their plans.

The electricians on board the Engendered were good. This was the vessel designed for the company I was responsible for bringing into existence. Those on board were not simply regular sailors and technicians advancing their skills, but people connected with building devices that changed peoples’ pasts, created limitless energy, and put together sophisticated robots with the desire to continue to push the limits of state-of-the-art technology. When I spoke to the electricians of my plans, they did not look at me with glazed eyes while thinking to just put together the circuits on my schematic, but they looked at my sketch with their minds already working on solving problems.

One of those listening said, “I believe I know why the Nerisus manufactured the alloys they did. We’re going to need power, Dr. Beyonce, and that is going to stress the materials we have access to.”

I replied, “I hope saying this is a short-term situation to mean long enough to get our job done.”

Another commented, “If this is just a function of power, Dr. Beyonce, probably not. I mean, we have wondrous power, but we really generate very little. Our circuits are highly efficient.”

“I am talking power. You might not know about the devices altering peoples’ genders, but they require a large amount of power. I can put together some really power tolerant components. We are going to be fighting fourteen huge satellites capable of commanding a vast collection of korlocks.”

“That really does not take much power, Dr. Beyonce. I mean, we call them with just the opening of a Rothman Tube. Most of the power in those satellites is in generating the anti-gravity maintaining their orbit. I believe a good deal more is designed to be put into physical attacks against a physical enemy, namely the okagaki. While they do have the transforming capabilities, I would say most of the power is not directed toward that.”

Another replied, “I would agree, considering that it was new and conceptual at the time the satellites were built.”

We all turned when someone from the back said, “I believe I can suggest an answer to the power problem.” The man seemed embarrassed to have us all look to him, but he composed himself and said, “It is the usual tactic of us humans. We find the weak link and exploit it. It has been centuries, millennia, since these satellites were put into service. There has been wear and tear. I believe seven and ten show the most dents from possibly meteors getting through their physical defenses. The north and south satellites, thirteen and fourteen, have taken the expected erosion from solar radiation.”

I smiled while admitting, “Yes, that will be wonderful. If we can get the stronger satellites working to compensate for the weaker, we should be able to figure out things about how they operate. That will give us an even greater advantage.”

The one I recognized as being one of the chief technicians asked, “How are we going to put this into operation, Dr. Beyonce? Admittedly a lot of this will be conceptual on our own part. Also, we really do not know the true power and type of aggressive attacks those satellites can perform. We could be putting this entire ship in danger.”

“We will install out device in a shuttle with controls to make adjustments. I will then have one of my PASSIONs operate the shuttle.”

One of those that spoke before asked, “Can a robot pilot a shuttle?”

Another commented, “We can pilot a shuttle by remote.”

I added, “The robots can obey orders, and I mean in real-time. Unlike Debra with FER-RON, I have no attachment to the robots I have with me. I can lose them without any concern, and definitely have the money to purchase others. I would rather not lose any of us.”

The head technician then declared, “We have work to do, people! There are people on the ground possibly depending on us! Now that we have a plan, we need to get it operational!”

I actually called Rudy for advice on one power hungry component, but after listening to him I had to say, “Sorry you are not in on this. You were there at the start with me.”

“It’s all right, Leanna. I can say that I knew you when. I really did not know how wild the ride would be with you.”

I guess the words ‘wild ride’ had me think a certain way, as I replied, “I bet my wife is sorry she did not stick with me.”

“If she had, the decision we made for you would not have happened. Still, I guess it did not need to, but with you in the situation you were a lot of things fell into place that I do not believe David Neibener would have handled so excellently. Humanity needed Leanna Beyonce, and I can always say that I gave you to them.”

“That you can.”

“Go knock them dead.” He laughed, then said, “I guess I meant that literally.”

I had to chuckle as well before saying, “I guess you did. Keep them hanging, Rudy.”

“You know, I’m waiting for a male robot to be manufactured.”

“I need a programmer. The one I have is female.”

“I’ll look into that, Leanna. Now, get back to work.”

I did as he commanded. The technicians saw what Rudy had advised, and began doing what was necessary to put it into action. I kept Fellandra busy looking over the readings I was gaining from the satellite to verify or make suggestions about the waves I could detect. As certain things were being built and installed, I gave some commands for altering the designs due to what information I received.

Everything ended up being handled by remote control. One of my PASSIONs was put on board the shuttle just under the acceptance that something physical might need to be done. She however was considered only as a desperate solution to a problem as a remote would enable us to directly make changes to every circuit designed.

A number of monitors watched probably every camera signal on board the shuttle. I had people studying with me the information from various instruments on board the vehicle. It was strange hearing some speaking to my robot. I really did not consider the constructs as something needing interaction. The PASSIONs I purchased usually were simply told to stand in certain locations. While I did speak to my DARLING, it was only because I accepted speech as the method necessary to direct it. It surprised me to hear the PASSION able to hold a simple conversation, although only admired the programming skills of the one I hired and did not consider forming a better relation with the robot. As I watched the data on my monitors I promised myself that should trouble happen to the shuttle, the only concern I would feel would be for my bank account.

Cheers occurred when the major device was used. No one spoke of success, or of the shuttle with my robot surviving, but the data clearly showed that the satellites were not prepared for what we did. I honestly expected a physical response. While I saw a pattern in the numbers that matched what we hoped to achieve, I found myself looking to other instrument readings and images from cameras for warnings of things we expected to happen. Many had proposed that the satellites had expended their physical weapons, so we could ignore those problems. Seeing the shuttle not bothered did give support for those theories, although I watched the data feeling that our device was simply something those of the Nerisus Federation had not expected.

I did hear others mention a distortion in our data, but I was the one that identified it. “Okay, prepare another shuttle.”

One of the project leaders asked, “What is wrong with the shuttle we have?”

“Nothing, which is why we need another shuttle. Get another shuttle prepared. I will authorize my other PASSION to work with you.” I pointed to another project leader as I commanded, “We need to get another instrument prepared.”

Fellandra said, “That is a transforming signal.”

There was an expectation that others in the room would have recognized the data, so I spoke to the Annapolis series in the manner of hoping others would understand. “It’s the pattern, but not the signal. You have to understand that we are at two completely different technology levels. Those of the Nerisus Federation developed the transforming signal, so surely understood its operation far better than us. We however are much more familiar with the results of that signal. We actually have a better grasp of what that transforming signal can do. That gives us the ability to better manipulate the signal than those that designed it. They probably intended that signal to have one result, but we are going to have it bring their little system down.”

Over the speakers I heard Captain Iwasaki let us know he had been listening. “Why do you need a shuttle, Leanna? Would another probe do?”

“No, because we will need to crank up the juice on this device. Something is going to happen when this device goes into action, I assure you.”

“You don’t believe the distortion will build up on its own?”

That was something I had not considered, although I knew we had to stay on top of the situation. “Keep watching the data, Mark. If it does, good. If not, we will get something out there to help it.”

“You have the authorization to use another shuttle, Leanna.”

While there were power requirements with the first set of devices, I wanted what I built this time with the capabilities of being power hungry. Those working with me could understand the need of certain components, but had been taught to be conservative of resources. I spoke of car engines, loud speakers, and other devices built simply to perform at the high end. When they asked me why I made alterations in capacitors, I simply smiled in return. A couple of times I needed to contact Rudy about some specifics in what I was doing, and hearing me speak of the power I could siphon from the engines of the shuttle I could hear him smiling in the way he spoke.

“It sounds like you are having fun, Leanna. Wish I was there.”

“There could be fireworks, Rudy. I just want it to be the Nerisus Federation putting on the show, and not us.”

“Everything you have done has been grand, Leanna. I’m your biggest fan, and glad that I have been part of your story.”

There was only one thing to say in reply, “I love you, Rudy.”

“Love you as well, Leanna. Now, send me a video.”

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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