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 Redefining the Source - TimeSaga D10 (Finished)

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TerishD


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PostSubject: Redefining the Source - TimeSaga D10 (Finished)   March 31st 2018, 7:55 am

[size=24Redefining the Source[/size]
TimeSaga:  The Source Story Ten

Chapter One

A feeling of wanting to argue with the soldiers looking over the vehicles came over me.  It was a strange sensation to be surrounded by all the futuristic technology only to find us using what we had.  While we all had lived surrounded by the architecture, there had been an unfinished or incomplete feeling in what had been found.  This planet had not been destroyed, and everything showed the age of actually being proven equipment.  I could understand how one would feel that rocket jet packs and all the other things of science fiction would be available, but it had suffered from the passing of time just like all creations of men.  The decision to use our vehicle was not made easily, but I had to agree with Roy when he mentioned that our shuttles were still operating in their warranty periods.

That final thought I believe is what made Perry comment to Mary, “I guess I will get a new body, as I might as well get regular replacements.  I mean, I can’t have them heal like a regular person can.”

She replied, “You can be replaced.  My mechanical body is internal.  It is me.  I feel that I am in a race seeing whether my physical body or mechanical body wears out first.”

“Well, my physical body has years on you.  I guess I still have the usual life expectancy.”

She pointed a finger in his face while saying, “But the soul is eternal.  No talk of Hell.”

“That’s another topic.  If you plan on going to church after this, I guess I will join you.”

“We can have that conversation when this is over.  Right now however we need to stay positive.  You walk through this with me, and no talk of us walking over Hell.”

Sandstorm interrupted us by saying, “Although we might walk through it.”

Perry replied, “Been there.  It’s the life of a mercenary.  I really don’t want to do that anymore.”

“Don’t you worry about it, Perry.  There will be job offers for you.”

Mary commented, “You already have job offers, Perry.”

We strapped ourselves to our seats as our pilot said, “All right, we hopefully should have an easy ride.  Our concern is fuel.  Shuttles are meant to get down, then just enough lift before using a Rothman Tube to get us back into space.  This over thousand miles of basic travel is not really part of our fuel allotment.”

Over the speaker I heard Clyde ask, “Are you saying we might not get there, or one of our shuttles might not get there?”

“No.  All of us prepared for the unusual.  I checked with the other pilots, and all assured me that they can make the trip.  I’m saying you better do what is necessary so we can count on the others to come down for us.”

“Well, you should be authorized.  Let’s get moving.”

There were three shuttles in our group.  Clyde had a team of American special forces with him.  He also had a member of the Japanese military, because of a hopeful romantic entanglement with the mechanic that worked on FER-RON.  Family and honor still had importance in Japan, which they hoped were virtues worthy of promoting in our rush to other worlds.  None of us disagreed with Clyde accepting the lady.  Chaos had also been the pilot of his shuttle, but our situation on the planet of his actual body had called him away.  My brother luckily had people capable of filling other roles than their primary duties.  Anyway, that was who was on the shuttle from the Achilles.

Roy had a group of Irani military with him.  While the Roland was built by those of the Solomon Foundation, their ties to India and Iran were strong.  They professed their beliefs as strong as others, although I appreciated them also displaying a tolerance that prevented any internal hostilities in our groups.

I had the mercenaries with me on the shuttle from the Engendered, but they were actually the only fighters in my group.  Besides two PASSIONS, there was Mary and FER-RON.  Chu and Lenny we also on board to support any needs of a non-organic nature, although not really active participants.  It was an exotic group on my shuttle, but I found myself enjoying my place.

Shuttles did not fly as planes.  While the vehicles were designed to travel through an atmosphere, they were intended to operate in space.  To reach our destination, the pilots probably would have used a Rothman Tube to put us back above the atmosphere, then descend to our coordinates.  Fourteen satellites however shielded this world, and had displayed their ability to protect the planet from incursions.  I thus did my best to settle while feeling the power of special jets propel us through the air.

Mary said, “The True Guns are basically around the cities.  If we can avoid them, we should be all right.”

The voice of Roy came over the speaker, “This world is almost completely settled.  Cities are everywhere.  I suspect True Guns as well.”

“I’m not sensing that many, although at present they are recognizing our authorization.”

Clyde’s voice came over the speaker saying, “I did not think you were supposed to sense them at all.”

“I’m that good.  Honestly, they were not supposed to activate until an enemy was close, and that inactivity was what would make them difficult to detect.  With them active, I can sense them rather easily.”

Since Mary had bragged on herself, I decided to ask, “Mary, how about signals from the Engendered?”

“None.  I know they’re out there, as I can pick up what I believe are diffractions of their signals.  If I was not built of instruments designed by humans, I probably could not pick them up.  Recognition of certain wave forms are however a natural part of my internal components.”

Clyde asked, “Mary, could they be detecting us?”

“No.  We are under the shields, so their dampening is completely covering us.”

Suddenly Mary grabbed her head.  I did not ask her what was affecting her, but expected her to tell me.  While her face displayed irritation, when she looked to us she explained what was her problem.

“The satellites activated a different signal.  It is similar to opening a portal, so affecting the time stream.  I believe the intent is to call korlocks.”

It was Charcoal that asked, “Why would they call the korlocks?  You do not call monsters.”

“They did not think of them as monsters.  Remember, the evolution of the people of the Nerisus Federation was thought to be a good thing.  I believe the intent of the signal was to call everyone home.”

FER-RON said, “We can fight korlocks.”

I replied, “Yes, but we are not here to fight korlocks.  FER-RON, FIM-23, and FIM-31, you protect us if necessary, but understand that our purpose is not to fight korlocks.  If we give you other orders, you obey the other orders.”

The voice of Clyde came over our speaker saying, “Yes, FER-RON.  If Debra gives you other orders, you should expect my squad to take over handling any korlocks.  We need Debra to succeed.  Should she succeed, the threat of korlocks should become less and less of a threat over time.”

My robot replied, “Understood.”

Clyde then asked, “Mary, how soon should korlocks be arriving?”

The pink-haired girl replied, “The satellites are calling them.  We could see them in the air, but that should be all.  I don’t sense them being ordered to attack.”

I had to say, “But the Nerisus Federation should not know about korlocks.”

“They knew the signal would evolve the people.  They had also done tests to learn something about the transforming process.”  She paused, then said, “I believe they are simply calling everyone home expecting them to work to protect their planet from a threat.”

The voice of Roy came over the speaker, “Yes, but we should not be a threat.”

I heard Clyde reply, “Maybe the okagaki showed back up.”

A different voice speaking the words of English crisply, as if assuring that each syllable was produced properly, said, “No, you are the threat.  However, you have managed to gain proper authorization.  This has entirely limited the options to be used against you.  Consider the return of my peoples as just a desperate cry for help.”

Roy asked, “Will they help?”

Clyde answered, “They’re monsters.  They will probably attack, although not because of any intention of protecting the planet.”

I saw the robots react as a voice, could not tell if it was someone with my brother or Roy, commanded, “Gunners, at stations.”

Perry’s mechanical body was too big to fit in the seats for us people.  He was thus easily able to grab a weapon.  Charcoal and Sandstorm however moved before I could order the PASSIONs to take on the duties.  To see what the weapons would be firing upon, I used my computer to bring up an image from the cameras outside the craft.  Perry moved over saying that if he could not act he could at least watch.

The shuttles were really not made for flying through an atmosphere, so the pilots had them ascend to an altitude where the air was thin.  While the satellites were about a hundred miles up, they were large enough to make them visible.  The sight was however obscured by a blur caused by a multitude of partially insubstantial forms.  I had seen korlocks on numerous occasions.  While they could easily exist in space, and would pass through barriers, they still tended to settle on floors and otherwise react as if being affected by gravity.  I guess it was their partially substantial nature that caused some to drop from the height of the satellites to be seen by the pilots of the shuttles as potential threats.

I did not hear any reports, or notice any blasts on the images, and I thought of those at the weapons having some wisdom as I believe one of Clyde’s men asked, “What is the distance?”

Mary answered, “They are passing though the upper atmosphere, so I can detect some distortion.  Still, I believe slightly less than sixty miles to be the closest.”

“Above us.  Not in front.”

“Correct.”

“What would keep one from appearing before us?”

Suddenly, I heard the pilots making exclamation and blasts being fired as Mary answered, “I guess nothing at all.”

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


Last edited by TerishD on April 20th 2018, 7:43 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Two   April 5th 2018, 7:51 am

[size=24Redefining the Source[/size]
TimeSaga: The Source Story Ten

Chapter Two

One advantage of energy weapons was that one did not have to worry about the shots dropping over distance. The disadvantage was the atmosphere would absorb the charge. Seeing a haze indicating a korlock was dispersed had me realizing the monster had appeared relatively close. While it pleased me that we were not facing a large mass of monsters, I still looked to Mary while wondering if there was something for us to worry about.

“There is no way for them to know where they are entering this space from wherever they are coming from?”

The pink-haired girl replied, “Not that we know of. Of course, that is really a question for my mother. I expect she or someone in her circle of associates will figure it out.” She then activated a link and said into a speaker, “Pilots, if given a choice of going up or down, choose down. We really do not want to get any closer to the satellites.”

I expected at least one to mention how far away the satellites were above us, but all spoke nothing more than an agreement. Those on station at the weapons spoke of seeing korlocks above. There was some speculation about them descending, although all mentioned that our rate of travel would make it hard for a korlock to intersect with us.

Considering just how much we knew of the capabilities of the Nerisus Federation, I could not help but wonder what threats we could face. We had duplicated some of their technology, but still were uncertain about a lot of the specifics. Many spoke of what might be possible once we had figured out a number of the variables giving us the precision we had accomplished with other sciences. Worried about what dangers we might face, I sat and considered exactly what I knew of the Nerisus Federation that might threaten us.

Just not wanting to see if others were also attempting to predict future problems, I said, “Every city simulation we experienced had korlocks.”

I saw eyes turn to me, although the only response came from Mary. “I believe the fact that the simulation technology uses the time-loop energy is what pulls the korlocks.”

“No. Even in the simulation where we saw the development of the transformation signal, it had korlocks as a part of the simulation. There were some that came to the simulation, but there was the scene where the children became korlocks.”

Over the speaker came the voice of my brother asking, “What is your point, Debra?”

“I guess the usual conspiracy theory, which is that those in charge knew.”

“But they still did it to themselves as well.”

“Shame is ashamed of what her people did. Saprello told us there was no hope.” I went quiet attempting to follow my thoughts, but could only say, “I believe I am getting scared of what we might find.”

“Which is the reason to face it. Not just to end the fear, but to learn what it is. The Nerisus Federation have not just presented us with worlds, with technology, but with lessons. What we are going to present to our children is not just the foundation of being the good aliens, but of being the smart aliens. That means that we present them with the lessons on what mistakes can cost a person, a people, a whole civilization. I am sorry for the human race, as what we leave them will be the answers, so their fall will be greater than any society.”

Any response by me or another was cut off by the sound of the guns on the shuttles firing. Words of concern in having one of the grand plant-like monsters ahead of us brought us some concern. Noticing a change in the sound of the engine I however found myself relieved by what our pilot said.

“Queen Debra, we are beginning our descent. There is a beacon from the tower in Megistry, but no signs of anyone working. We could probably come down anywhere we want.”

I heard Clyde say, “The simulation I was in had Megistry pretty much in ruins.”

It was to my pilot that I asked, “Can we make a circuit of the city? I want to find a building with horns.”

More than just the one flying my shuttle replied, “Horns?”

Suddenly a blue mist filled the interior of our craft with us able to hear, “Horns? Oh, what to do; what to do? These humans are actually attempting to use the information provided to them.”

I saw FER-RON and the two PASSIONs ready energy weapons. Their heads however moved as if uncertain where to direct their shots. I did not know if FER-RON could understand my smile, although felt she had been with me long enough to understand some things about my body language.

“My robots are waiting for you to provide an answer to your question.”

Did all I could to recognize eyes, or some distinguishing features in the blue mist as it asked, “They are trying to kill me, aren’t they?”

“Yes.”

“You are going to kill the signal?”

“Yes.”

“Shame. History. Fascination. They won’t talk to me.”

Wanting the entity to understand that we have learned things, I replied, “I can understand, since you are the one who created the signal.”

“It won’t be easy, but this is actually the only way. Honestly, I believe it is the way you should go. It might help you understand.”

The pilot exclaimed, “I just picked up a second beacon outside the city.”

“Consider it an invitation.”

As the blue mist faded, I said, “Roy, I have no reason to trust Instigator.”

What I heard from the lad was, “I see the horns.”

Clyde then said something just as strange. “I see where the second beacon is located. I vote to accept the invitation.”

Mystified, I turned to Mary who said, “I can corroborate what your brother sees. I believe we should accept the invitation.”

All I could say was, “I trust all of you. If you feel the beacon Instigator activated is the place to land then we land there.”

Roy said, “It really is not that far from the building, Debra. Closer than the airport.”

“I said I trust you, Roy. Honestly, if those with you are not arguing, I guess it is all right with me.”

I believe it was an Irani officer who said, “And if we are agreeing with the Americans, there must be something really special about the place. We might become the good aliens after all.”

The pilots accepted that a decision had been made, and started telling us to strap in for the landing. I wanted to use my computer to check the images about our landing spot, as I was curious about what had caused the others to agree. I however understood that this was not the usual arrival from space. I also accepted that the pilots had other concerns as warnings sounded about korlocks being present.

Our shuttle came down hard. Even with the jolt from our struts meeting the ground, the robots quickly rose to head out the door. I prepared my gear as quickly as possible, although I really did not believe FER-RON or the PASSIONs would cause any problems. Not hearing either military group complaining about the robots, I calmly exited the shuttle.

I looked around to see what appeared as a large meadow. On the ground I saw a type of tiny leafy fern acting as the grass. The trees had a spread out arrangement as if originally planted, but the organization had not been supported by Mother Nature. Looking where I heard the shots of blasters, I found myself relieved to see regular korlocks.

The color of plants on the alien planets tended to be the same as on Earth. The process of changing light into food was a common need, so a similar chemical process would have evolved. While there were some plants with a bluish pigment, I recognized the color as coming from a mist rising from the ground.

“Mary,” I asked, “why can’t we target on Instigator?”

The pink-haired girl replied, “We probably could if he would show enough of himself.”

“Surely in a space this large he has to be localized somewhere.”

Roy had moved up. Before Mary and I could move off, he reached out to grab her shoulder. We both saw the lad close his eyes and focus, then he pointed. Knowing there were monsters in the area, I had already activated my shield-like weapon and Mary had her wand in a hand. Roy drew his pistols as he moved in the direction he indicated.

Around us suddenly rushed FER-RON and four PASSIONs. I knew Clyde had two on board his shuttle, although really did not expect his team to activate them. As if sensing the threat, what had been rising as if only a ground fog quickly faded back into the ground when all five robots pointed their weapons.

FER-RON said, “Debra, I assume we have authorization to kill Instigator.”

Clyde replied, “My PASSIONs do, and I assume those operating under my sister do as well.”

I simply admitted, “Yes, FER-RON, you have the authorization. While there are some entities who can make the decision to be treated as good aliens, this is not a moment for us to be lenient. We have to accomplish this objective. Those that presently come to us either work with us, or we have to assume our future will be better without them. Instigator is definitely one we probably should go into the future without.”

Roy said, “I agree with that. You have my permission as well to kill Instigator, FER-RON.”

Moving around the shuttles, I made out one path through the trees. It was not a road, but just a wide dirt trail. Wondering about the location the men had chosen to land, I moved about some more and stopped seeing something I did not suspect.

Another path, probably just the continuation of the one I saw on the other side of the meadow, led down to another opening. On Earth the plants would have covered the path, and I had even seen evidence of the foliage of these other worlds doing the same. The sight through the trees was however very clear, as if the path was regularly traveled.

I had to ask, “You wanted to visit a church?”

The Irani officer said, “It’s not an American church, so it could be all right.”

Clyde informed us, “That is the place where I first met Shame and History.”

I replied, “I guess it makes sense for it to be close to the building where Saprello says that her body is located. Okay, let’s go check out the church.”

_________________
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   April 10th 2018, 7:41 am

[size=24Redefining the Source[/size]
TimeSaga: The Source Story Ten

Chapter Three

We were a cautious group moving along the path through the trees. While we none of us spoke of the passage being a good place for an ambush, the way we acted clearly displayed that we had the thought in our heads. As we approached the clearing where the small church sat, a strange sound suddenly could be heard around us. We rushed out of the trees with our weapons at the ready accepting that we would be involved in another fight.

The sight of a multitude of korlocks moving caught us by surprise. They were not coming upon us, but simply traveling as if called to a new location. The robots did fire their weapons at some, but none of us acted as if threatened by the korlocks.

Mary said, “I cannot tell why, but suddenly there is an adjustment in the signal from the satellites. There is a stronger pull to the west, so the korlocks are going in that direction.”

One of Clyde’s men asked, “Could it be due to the church?”

“I don’t think so. I also do not believe it truly helps, as we cannot wait for all the korlocks to move. It does however change their focus. While it possibly will increase the number of korlocks we face, they will just be moving due to the stronger signal and not actually coming upon us.”

My brother replied, “So we could just be subjected to aimlessly wandering korlocks.”

Before Mary could say anything, I commanded, “FER-RON, FIM-23, FIM-31, you should fire upon any korlock that comes in range.”

“FIM-8, FIM-9, you should fire upon any that come in range.” I saw my brother look to me, then say, “Debra, you have not named your robots?”

FIM stood for FER-RON Industry Military. The number was the production identifier. Publicly they were called PASSIONs, but those that bought one learned of them having the other designation. All branches of the military and a few police departments were given early models to test, and I guess eight and nine were sent to work on the Achilles. Being part of the company that made the robots, I had some early models as well. I answered my brother by pointing out something he should have known.

“I have not named FER-RON either. Her name means Full Emoting Robot – Reactive Offensive Neighbor. It’s an anagram of what Dr. Beyonce wanted, and not a real name. The DARLINGs actually come with a name, but the PASSIONs do not.”

Mary said, “These are not her robots anyway. Only FER-RON actually belongs to her.”

Clyde replied “Same here. These two were sent to the Achilles. They were placed with my team as it was assumed we would see battle. I was told they were FIM-8 and FIM-9, so that is what I call them.”

I said, “We are naming those of the Annapolis series, because they are real ladies. They are not machines. What my company makes are machines.”

Sandstorm commented, “Really gorgeous machines.” I was pleased that he added, “Now, can we check out this church?”

Clyde looked up to the steeple and said, “Not a cross or a moon and star. I really don’t know what to expect, but I would simply like some authentication of this place.”

The rectangular stone building would only hold a congregation of a hundred people if they sat close on the pews. Considering the size of some of those of the Nerisus Federation, the actual capacity had probably been no more than fifty. With over twenty in our group, we could have provided a good congregation to any preacher if all of us entered.

Just as the symbol at the top of the steeple had not been similar to any religion I knew, the front of the church was slightly different as well. There was a place for the preacher to deliver a sermon, but other things about the raised platform did not match any memories. As my brother described his meeting with Shame and History, the young girl came from a door at the rear left to move to a place on the platform.

We waited for her to speak. “Already things are proceeding in a manner that was not expected.”

I felt a need to say, “I hope we can have you no longer feeling ashamed.”

“I feel that is what you will be fighting. We are no longer what we were, but what we have been we feel to now be our reason for existence. If I am not ashamed, what am I?”

“Our friend.”

She increased the volume of her voice as she said, “Then let me pronounce my doom upon the human race. You are coming to claim the foundation laid by my people. What you hope to achieve is something we could not. Your foundation will thus be insubstantial. You cannot build anything lasting here.”

“Hopefully, we are showing you that we can. Hopefully, you are seeing that we come with our own foundation. All you are providing is spaces for us to build, but we are not building upon your own foundation, but our own. What I hope is that our foundation is stronger than yours.”

“From what I have seen, those words might be true. With that acknowledgement, I will grant you my blessing. I am hopeful that with your success my reason to exist will pass. I would like for my shame to go away as I become part of a people who give me pride in my existence.”

It was one of the Irani soldiers that asked, “To what god is this church to?”

Shame answered, “This place was not to any god, but to ourselves. We were our own gods, and we glorified our successes. We then failed, and there was no deity to claim us. It should not surprise you that we became godless creatures, monsters.”

“We will build places for the real God.”

“Sorry, but you will build places for yourselves. Still, maybe you will be correct, and when you fail there will be a deity there to claim you. If you save yourselves from becoming monsters, you have done better than us.”

The Irani turned to leave, although I stepped up to ask, “Shame, as a friend, any guidance?”

“Don’t go through the city. As Clyde can tell you, it is devastated. There is a passage to the west. Follow the path. Mary should be able to recognize the code. That tunnel will bring you to the warehouse for the government information bureau. There will be a smaller elevator that will bring you down near where you need to be. I will try to be there to direct you, but a little wisdom of what you know about us should help you if I cannot.”

I waited for someone else to say something, but in the silence I felt a need to add, “Mary and I have claimed a building on Lechinell. You will welcomed should you visit.”

I saw a smile on Shame’s face as she replied, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

Seeing the girl fade from view, I turned to leave the chapel. Coming outside, the robots spoke of firing upon some korlocks, although the others mentioned that none truly seemed to approach as if to attack. With us informing them of what was said, we all turned to move on the indicated path.

The path really was not large enough for a group our size. We thus moved in a strung out arrangement with me able to hear various conversations about the scenery. I spoke with some of the regular soldiers who had not been subjected to any of the simulations about what I saw in the things around me that was different from the generated representations. We all however turned as an Irani soldier moved quickly up the path to me.

“Queen Debra,” he graciously said, “is what Shame said correct? Did they not worship Allah, or any version of God?”

I replied, “That would be a question for those going through the databases of the Nerisus Federation. It is possible that they had a number of religions like we did with some possibly being considered as having truths we agree with. Let me however admit that we have found no buildings on the planets we have discovered that look anything like a church.”

“Then Allah will not mind that we destroy them.”

“They destroyed themselves. What God, Allah, will mind is if we destroy ourselves. Those of the Nerisus Federation we have found, I believe we should show them the love, the acceptance, that we feel God wants to show them. Let us also show each other love. Preach to us, yes, as we should speak of Him and His ways. Still, we are all part of the same family and all hope to one day be a part of His family.”

There was a moment of pause, then he said, “But we are going to destroy the one who created all this.”

“No. We are going to destroy the source of the transforming signal. Should someone try to stop us, we will do what we must. This is war. When the war is finished, we however need to work on building the life we feel is right.” I moved to put a finger on the chest of the Iranian soldier as I said, “That means we show love to each other. We do not isolate ourselves and preach hate.”

“Americans have made a lot of bad decisions, but they did good in choosing you as their queen.”

“I wasn’t chosen. I was hired.”

“No. You were hired to program a robot, but they accepted your title as queen. That was a good decision. We of the prophet have accepted you as well. After we end this threat, Queen Debra, we will work with you to build a good society.”

While I actually did not want to argue with those words, I did calmly let the man know my own thoughts about my future. “I am hoping to settle on Lechinell and start a family.”

“As a lady should. You will however find that people still consider you their queen. Please, do not deny the honor.”

“I will have to wait and see how well it pays.”

I assumed that he accepted the humor, as he smiled before saying words of parting along with some statements of his religion. Nothing in his statements bothered me. I was glad that he came. It helped my attitude when those I had been speaking with made statements of supporting what the Irani soldier had said.

With such a large group of armed individuals, we reached the other end of the path safely. Through the trees we could see the tops of buildings. Why a path from a church would lead to an underground access tunnel I could not say. This however was not the first time a place like this had been seen, or used by us, so we accepted it as just the way those of the Nerisus Federation handled some details of their lives. Those among the group spoke of seeing the remains of a road as Mary stepped up to have us enter the complex.

Looking down we saw the bottom of the passage covered in water, which had my brother ask, “Debra, the robots are not bothered by water?”

I answered, “No. Not only does their ‘skin’ protect their mechanics, but it has been painted, then coated with a sealant to protect their wonderful skin tone.”

Perry said, “My legs are not so well protected, but I have been active in a number of situations without malfunction.”

Charcoal added, “We just have to make sure to check you afterward.”

There were lights, but that did not surprise me. The silvery bands the Nerisus Federation used to carry their electricity actually handled adverse conditions very well. What bothered us was not being able to see the bottom of the passage due to the murky condition of the water. Finding the liquid only over a foot deep had us confidently start moving through the passage, although we all stayed alert so as not to be surprised by any animal or defenses.

We spoke of snakes, bats, and other creatures that we would worry about in such a dark and damp environment on Earth. Some tried to mention how the passage had been sealed, although others told how animals or plants would often still find or make a way in. A couple stated an appreciation for the lack of scum or other plants in the water or on the ceiling. Wondering if those of the Nerisus Federation had eradicated their wildlife, or if other factors had contributed to their demise, we continued along the passage.

As Shame had said, the route did come into a huge complex for storing items. We did not see signs of machines or machine parts, but grand shelves with most still having bins present. With us wondering which way to go, I heard words of appreciation when the image of the girl appeared before us standing on top of the water.

She simply said, “This way.”

Seeing the door to the elevator at floor level, meaning the bottom was under the water, had us wonder what to expect. Mary stepped up to the access panel, but I did not see her begin to punch buttons. She instead stepped back and signaled for Charcoal to step up to the door.

She instructed, “We should be able to simple go ahead and activate the speaker.”

Charcoal spoke his mystification of what she had said. “The speaker?”

“Typing in the code will only buzz the one below. It needs to be authorized from below. Since we do not expect him to simply allow us to descend, might as well try to speak to him.”

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   April 15th 2018, 7:48 am

[size=24Redefining the Source[/size]
TimeSaga: The Source Story Ten

Chapter Four

Shame stepped up to ask, “You mean that this elevator will not open from up here?”

Mary answered, “No. I usually can detect the system, and from seeking how it reacts can reason out the passcode. I did not detect any complex circuitry here, and realized that the actual control mechanism was on a different system.”

“I can go down and give you access.”

Having Shame disappear from our presence left us will nothing to do except stand around. Looking at the door, we speculated on what would happen to the water, how large the actual elevator was, and other details. We knew that Shame had done something when Mary told us that the elevator was rising.

Water rushed into the car, although we could tell some poured through the division between the room and the vehicle as we looked inside. There was more space than expected, although not near enough for all twenty-plus of us. I stepped in with Mary, although FER-RON came behind us, shot out some speakers, then simply held her place. Charcoal told Perry to trust that he and Sandstorm would be down next to support any combat that might break out. Roy joined us. Clyde entered with a man, then told the Irani to choose a couple. As they did so, Lenny broke forward to step into the car.

“I’m going with you, Queen.”

I replied, “Are you sure, Lenny? We shouldn’t need you.”

“No, but… I want to say I was there. When we talk about this later, I want to just say that I was there… with you.”

The Irani officer stepped to say, “A man must pick his moments. Just, this is your decision. Don’t make us regret it.”

“No. Queen, I need to go with you.”

I had to say, “No one is telling you to leave, Lenny. Do you have a weapon?”

He pulled out a bracelet similar to mine, and put it on his wrist while saying, “Actually, I do.”

The Irani officer pushed the bottom button inside the elevator car, then said, “May Allah be with us.”

Clyde mentioned the lack of elevator music. I mentioned not hearing it in any of the places of the Nerisus Federation I had visited. There was then some general conversation about a society that developed such wonderful speakers without anything to play over them. Roy pointed out the damaged speakers, then spoke of possibly hearing some music after we no longer felt the need to destroy means of playing it.

Lenny then said, “Talking about elevator music. I doubt anyone will believe that one.”

I replied, “It cannot all be business.”

“It has been.” As if he had spoken wrong, he quickly added, “I’ve enjoyed it though. Really, Queen, this has been a wonderful experience.”

“I have done things beside business.”

“No, Queen. Everything you have done has been with FER-RON, and usually with the company of Mary. That is business. I have tried to get away and do other things, but, you know, I kept wishing I was with you.” He reached out to touch the robot on a shoulder while saying, “I like FER-RON. I see the friendship you have with Mary.”

“I’m enjoying myself, Lenny.”

“Yes, I know. I’m glad that I made this decision to come down with you. I feel this is where I should be.”

I heard Clyde whisper to Knuckles, “Stockwell isn’t here, is he?”

The big man replied, “Nope. Felt he would better serve up top where he thought more korlocks would show up. Can’t say that he wasn’t warned.”

Knowing my brother, I looked to Lenny wondering what to say, but then the door opened. Before us was a massive chamber. Odd lights helped bring out the presence of the far walls. Disrupting the view were a number of korlocks flying around the perimeter of the room. A very strange contraption of bizarre parts appearing more as large Christmas tree ornaments than actual components filled the middle of the room, although I looked and recognized something that disturbed me greatly.

Others called my name as I rushed forward. I noticed FER-RON stay with me. I however saw compartments holding creatures. The one in the center was lifted more in a vertical position enabling me to easily see the agony in its frail form. Sapprello was of the larger race of creatures, but I almost thought her of as a different race due to the lack of substance around whatever skeletal system she had. I called out her name, but another large creature, one I easily recognized as a Bulecko stepped out to prevent my advance.

“I would not go any further.”

Without any fear I said, “When will it no longer be evil?”

“What?”

“The horrors you inflicted on these people, on all your people, on our people – when will it no longer be evil?”

I really could not say what it intended to do, but I felt some relief that it decided to try and answer and my question, although I was not pleased with what it did say, “I don’t believe you understand.”

“WHY NOT? I’m here. I had to come a very long way and go through a number of challenges to get here. What makes you think I don’t understand, or cannot understand?”

“Uh, yes. I apologize. Could I have your name and the name of the one beside you? I assume you know mine.”

Really hoping for a peaceful ending, I allowed myself to reply. “I am Queen Debra Washington. The one beside me is my robot, FER-RON. The others behind me are friends. One is my brother. All have supported the advance to this place to stop the evil that you, the one I assume is Authority, maintain.”

“So, you are here to kill me?”

“I did not say that.”

FER-RON did have her major weapon ready as she said, “You are a korlock.”

The large entity had a substantial presence, although the fact that he was still alive did have me accept my robot’s conclusion, even as he asked, “A korlock? Is that what you call us?”

I answered, “No, but that is what we call the monsters you created from innocent people.”

“I don’t believe –“

“THEY ARE MONSTERS! YOU TURNED YOUR OWN PEOPLE INTO MONSTERS!” Hoping to get him to understand, I calmed my speech as I said, “Why didn’t you realize that? Your own transformation should have revealed it to you. The pleas from Saprello, Urnaquay, and the others who somehow managed to rise above the fate of the others should have convinced you. I can understand someone living a life of shame in having committed a very serious wrong. Someone however who perpetuates a crime is only a monster.”

“Can you imagine all the trials, effort, and time it took to build what you see here?”

I turned to point to FER-RON as I said, “Look at her. She is my robot. I am proud of her. She is the result of a number of people devoting their lives to new technologies. I trained and trained to gain the programming skills to give her the mind she has. People are right now spending money to gain lesser duplicates of her. They want a version of her in their lives. I am sorry, but there is nobody wanting what you created. It is a horror, a crime, a wrong, an evil. My robot is better than everything around you.”

“So, I’m to be brought down due to marketing forces?”

“No,” I said with an exasperated tone. “I told you that what you have here is a crime. You are going to be brought down for acts of corruption done to your own people. FER-RON, you may fire.”

Authority acted as if to attack my robot, but hesitated realizing that others were also firing. FER-RON had been trained in combat, so did not stay still. Displaying a knowledge of the other weapons as well as the enemy, she moved to make it difficult to be targeted even as she continued to send energy toward Authority.

I did activate my own weapon, although tried to find a way to the encased bodies. Having an explosion suddenly go off near my objective actually brought me relief. Against korlocks the best attacks were with energy weapons, but I was glad that somebody thought to prepare for other methods of destruction.

“YOU FOOLS!” Authority shouted. “Don’t you understand what I’m doing?”

It surprised me to hear Lenny say, “Didn’t Queen Debra explain it to you? What you are doing is a crime, a wrong, an EVIL!”

As another explosion erupted around the enclosures, Authority said, “You have no idea what you are up against. I have unimaginable power! Look around you. I – I…”

I saw flashes in the surrounding walls. The size of the room became apparent as the sound of explosions and the crackle of electronic components losing their integrity reached me moments later. While I did think to be concerned with the walls collapsing, I felt the immediate need of ending the threat before me.

“What is this?” Authority seemed unconcerned about the amount of energy being directed upon him as he turned to the cases holding the bodies, although seeing another explosion had him turn back and say, “I have prepared for a threat like you.”

I heard Mary say, “I believe the age of your system is showing. It is rather stressed by what is going on.”

“That’s foolish. I have been maintaining it. There is more than enough capacity…”

I often saw a look like Authority’s in Mary as she paid attention to what her body could tell her. I had no idea of what he could sense. His transformed body should not have been able to be incorporated into electronics. I thus wondered how Authority gained information, although could not argue with what he concluded.

“The satellites are being stressed. How are you managing that?”

Clyde replied, “What makes you think my sister came here alone? A good people will rise up to defeat any evil they find in their midst. WE ARE THE GOOD ALIENS!”

I want to say that those of the Irani military cheered with my brother, because I heard more than just a couple of voices. I however worried about my location, and that of my robot, so did not turn to look. I however did smile when I heard the elevator door open and another set of voices.

Charcoal yelled out the question, “Queen Debra, what do you need?”

I pointed while answering, “Take out Saprello’s chamber!”

“You got it!”

I heard the swoosh of the missile, and actually dodged noticing it pass near me. I however flew back when it suddenly exploded. I felt hands come upon me, and rose seeing Lenny support me as I heard Authority state his challenge.

“You cannot stop this! I built it, and have seen it in operation. Expect to suffer as you join us!”

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PostSubject: Chapter Five   April 20th 2018, 7:50 am

[size=24Redefining the Source[/size]
TimeSaga: The Source Story Ten

Chapter Five

I thought of our conversation on the way down about elevator music. The sounds of distant electrical displays along with the reports of our weapons had me wonder about any threat of the transforming signal being activated in the room. The acoustics just did not seem capable of truly supporting any sound, much less something as complex as the transforming signal. I however thought of what we needed to do, then grabbed Lenny while delivering orders.

“You and I do not have the right weapons, but FER-RON does. We need to cover her.” I then raised my voice to sound out, “Attack the walls! We’re going for Saprello!” As I heard confirmations, I commanded, “FER-RON, your blade. You are to cut into those containers holding bodies.”

“Yes, Debra.”

“Come on, Lenny.”

The man did not hesitate before saying, “You got it, Queen.”

Authority was suddenly overwhelmed by the variety of attacks sent against him and the room. I believe he expected the korlocks to come down upon us, as he turned to look upward. While he did not say anything, I gained the feeling that he was using some network to activate some devices to work against us. I did what I could to fire between Lenny’s shots at Authority to keep a constant barrage upon him while we moved to defend FER-RON.

She ran, then jumped to come down sending her plasma blade into the clear section of the central container I had assumed contained the body of Saprello. I at first considered the explosion to have been from Charcoal sending another missile toward the containers. Looking back, I however saw him aiming above us then realized that Authority was growing in size. I then turned back to my robot only to see a dignified female form helping FER-RON rise from where the explosion had thrown her.

The sound of Authority was barely understood from his voice echoing about the room. “You cannot win. I have prepared for every situation! This day shall be mine.”

I heard what Saprello was saying, and spoke to assure my robot would obey. “FER-RON, cut through the other containers.”

Authority said, “Your robot will be destroyed.”

Not just him knowing what I had said, but the way his voice sounded gave me the impression of Authority being close. While he appeared as a giant growing to fill the grand room, I somehow connected his situation to that of Saprello. As FER-RON moved to obey, I began moving around examining the floor. It did help me to see my robot strike at one of the other compartments without incurring an explosion, but as Authority had his voice boom through the room I noticed something about another spot where I felt I heard it.

The mechanical body of Perry could clearly be heard moving toward me. He had been built to promote a mechanical presence. Those of the Pyramid Program had wanted people to see the inhuman results of their tinkering with replacing the bodies of humans. FER-RON had been created as a machine that people would be comfortable in having among them. She did not appear menacing, or sound unnatural as she moved around. The only thing about Perry that had you think of his humanity was his voice.

“What do you need, Debra?”

I replied, “I hope you still have some explosives on your person, as I need this section of floor destroyed.”

“Well, move back.”

“I’m going to cover you. When you move back, as I will as well.”

Sandstorm took up a position next to me as he commanded, “You heard the lady, Perry! Get to work!”

Charcoal joined us to begin undoing something about his waist while saying, “I have the primer cord. Get the material in place, Perry.”

I doubt any of us cared for what Authority was saying. He was issuing threats, but none of us were relenting in our attacks. FER-RON worked at destroying the containers. The military worked at simply performing destruction, if not actually harming Authority. I worked with the mercenaries to do what I felt was necessary. As we stepped back with Charcoal working to connect the wires to the firing device, I thought to listen to Authority only to have the entire room suddenly go dark.

From the floor where I had Perry set the explosives, I heard the voice of Authority ask, “What have you done?”

I replied, “It is not what we have done, but what we are going to do. EVERYONE BACK! Charcoal.”

He said, “I honestly never feel far enough away, but I do like explosions.”

As the reverberation sounded, I believed I saw a chunk of floor fly toward us. In the flash of light from the ignition of the explosion I however saw FER-RON rush in our direction. While my ears reverberated from the noise, everything sounded quiet until my robot spoke.

“Debra, I’m hurt.”

The military begin igniting chemical light sticks, and when Sandstorm did the same I saw my robot holding a shoulder as if to keep an arm connected to its slot. She could transfer out alternate body parts, but at the joints there was no way to make things better. Lenny and I moved up to check on her condition. I did not mind him watching as I played with pulling a section of her dress over a boob. I then told him to take off his jacket, and as he covered the modesty of my robot I told her my appraisal of her condition.

“We can fix you, FER-RON. You did well. You more than deserve to be fixed.”

Roy asked, “Is it over?”

Mary replied, “There is no more transforming signal. I am also in contact with those of the Roland, Engendered, Achilles, and the okagaki vessel Stellar Arc. Mommy is saying she figured out how to put stress on the satellites, but it was the return of the okagaki vessel that had the satellites overload.”

I moved up with the mercenaries to check on the floor section I had destroyed. There was indeed a corpse in the space below. Wondering if we actually killed the one called Authority, I asked a question of the darkness.

“Saprello, are you here?”

Suddenly, she was standing next to me, and I heard, “I would not have expected that. Authority actually was also a part of this room. In all my time here, I never suspected another. Someone else however was supporting and protecting him. I will need to go over the records to learn who that was.”

Shame appeared to say, “It was Fascination. He always was a supporter of the transforming signal. Humans, you have done well. The mistakes are now yours to make.”

I replied, “But do not think your history will be forgotten. We will study the things you left behind. Just as Mary has your furniture in her room, others of us will seek out things of your civilization.”

Saprello said, “Death did not come to me. I now feel a sense of relief, as the tragedy that dominated me is no more.” She moved to the containers that were on each side of her own while saying, “I do not sense them. I hope they passed on to a better place. While their existence could really not be worse, I tried so hard not to let them know the torments they truly suffered.”

Roy moved up to ask while asking, “How do we get out of here?”

Freckles answered, “I guess we climb up the shaft.”

Mary said, “We are very deep. I can show you how to connect to the motors for the elevator.”

As she moved off calling some of the military personnel to her, I looked to those around me. Seeing my robot holding a shoulder, I did a visual check of others showing damage. I felt some were moving in odd ways, but none were acting as if they could not recover from the experience. That had me smile, although feeling Lenny hug me had me look to him with a more serious expression.

I said, “Don’t get your hopes up.”

He replied, “I am. I might not be able to claim the history you had with King Jimmy, but I can claim some history with you. I was here. Expect to see me more often, Que – Debra.”

Clyde slapped the man on the back, which also shook me since Lenny held me, then my brother said, “I wish you luck. Where will you be staying, Lenny?”

“Debra has a home on Lechinell, and RayWeight has a building there. I have an apartment there.” Lenny then released me to say to my robot, “Debra will need to send you there for a full repair, FER-RON. I will take care of you.”

I had to say, “I will do that. She’s my robot, and I am still an employee of RayWeight.”

“But they will probably keep you busy on a number of things. Trust me, Debra, FER-RON will get wonderful attention.”

FER-RON said, “I trust you, Lenny.”

I said, “Chu is the mechanic.”

“I trust Chu as well.”

Lenny said, “Chu has his own girl. I want it said I will be going after Debra. That means I will be certain FER-RON is returned to top performance, as I do not want anything to spoil my chances.”

I was going to say something, but I heard Mary say, “Elevator working. First group can go up.”

Clyde said, “Listen, I know some of you want to study all this, but save it for later. Still, I will have my group go up first and give you egg-heads time to look things over.” He then slapped Lenny on the back again, then said, “She’s worth it, so keep fighting for her.”

I heard Charcoal call to Sandstorm and Perry to go up with the military, but as the cyborg moved away I said, “Perry, while they are working on FER-RON, have those at RayWeight start the design on a body for you.”

Mary sounded out, “Yes, Perry!”

Perry replied, “This is over, so I guess the Pyramid Program can die as well.”

Charcoal said, “My family will be telling him the same thing. Trust me, we will do what we can to get him to the RayWeight building.”

After the elevator doors shut, I looked to Lenny to say, “If we do end up back on Lechinell, I guess we can talk.”

He replied, “A lot, I hope.”

“We’ll see.”

Saprello said, “I do not see the need for Chaos any longer. My essence is no longer being torn. I look forward to being a part of the human expansion. Debra, I will stay in touch with you.”

She did not just fade from view, but I saw Shame smile and wave as her form also became no longer visibly present. I moved about attempting to make sense of the objects and machinery. Looking back to the containers that had housed real bodies, I however shuddered thinking of what had been done in this place. I guess Lenny saw my body react to my thoughts, but as he rushed to me I explained things to him.

“I would like to destroy this place, but I guess the information will be found all the same.”

Mary said, “Those that do not learn from history tend to repeat it. It would be best if we assured everyone learned from this. Maybe turn it into a museum.” She then smiled as she said, “I do like that idea. It will give me something to do with this knowledge. I think I will try to make it happen. Debra, while I would like to watch you and Lenny become a pair, I might be here trying to assure this becomes a place of learning and not duplication.”

Roy commented, “Yes, and I believe that sounds like something the Solomon Foundation can support. I think I will stay here as well.”

We left to return to our spaceships. The threat of korlocks no longer was an issue. While the monsters were seen, they now tended to flee instead of attacking. Wondering just how much things had changed, we all returned to our spaceships speaking to each other of the lives we hoped to live.

This is the end of the story arc I had planned so long ago. Yes, there are probably more stories in this setting that could be told, but I really do not know where to go with it. I also would simply like for these characters to live happily ever after. Thus, at least for the moment, I will considered this finished.

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