Answers -- Chapter 25
1. Onimex was investigating a newly terraformed
world that nobody had claimed. Corlos had asked him to visit and
2. He set down to a hover near the edge of
a forest clearing and was about to skim across the wild grass when he
spied a Theite saucer streak laterally through the atmosphere and
stop. Purely as a precaution, he phased out of the planet's
resonance to appear invisible.
3. If the Theites
had seen him, they would be discussing whether to contact,
attack, ignore or abort. Onimex had a thousand questions
pervading his knowledge of Theite SOP and had always wanted to observe
a genetic extraction in person.
4. The saucer descended to the opposite edge of the
forest clearing and landed. Three beings Universally recognized
as 'greys' descended the saucer gangplank and began to collect samples
of the indigenous fauna. They did not notice
5. The greys
were robotic explorers programed by Theos to collect genetic materials
abroad. SpaceCom preferred to deploy biological robots for
genetic extractions and hazardous interaction in unfamiliar
territory. Each robotic avatar had a symbient operator
on a base ship that could feel and sense everything the
avatar body felt and sensed. The greys could also perform limited
functions in automatic mode without an operator.
6. To Onimex,
this was a genuine
treat! He watched the scavengers complete their mission
El avoided casual references to Ireana because he was certain that she
was a covert operative who belonged to Kor. He also wanted to
avoid appearing completely inept on the subject of covert
operations: The less he thought about her -- the more in-the-loop
he would appear.
8. It was considered courteous to ignore data until it was
offered, and Kor was no less obliging. "Priceless?" he silently
Kor read everything there was to know about Ireana: Her life on
M'tro-1; recruitment by Corlos... creator
of that 'fracking little bastard' that had vexed him his entire
life. He didn't know whether to kill
her or kiss
her for finally ending the intrigue.
10. Ireana's performance had dazzled Dal El, and so far,
Kor had not acted even remotely suspicious of her facade. Daniel
said she would
OK. "Covert operatives must be known
someone other than these two?" Ireana wondered, "Can he, or can he not read me?" Kor admired the
absent part of her anatomy
commonly found on guys.
11. "The little
bastard has a name," Kor discovered, "'Onimex,' she calls it, also a Corlos
operative." Ireana was a virtual encyclopedia of everything he
wasn't supposed to know... he retrieved so much disconcerting
information that he abandoned the tedious pursuit: "I make history," he assured
himself, "I don't need to read about it from somebody else."
12. "Could Corlos
really be this
stupid?" he wondered, "the so-called premier 'non-existent'
agency of the Universe?"
13. "They sent
her here... on purpose?" Kor was truly dumbfounded, "This
down into Tactical Hell," he bemused.
Underestimating Kor had been his adversaries' last greatest mistake...
but Ireana's daring made him admire her because she actually got right
him unscathed... invited even.
15. Ireana's uniqueness
gave Kor some rather avant-garde ideas. Maybe he could convert
her into the image that Dal El already thought she was. He owned
a Psionic Guard and two SGKs: "Why not add a Corlos
16. Dal El would always be held in the highest
esteem by Kor, but it was
truly baffling just how psionically inept he was; impeccible intuition,
"but not even remotely suspecious?" Dal's guesses were usually
more accurate than most shellans' facts, and many believed that he was
a closet psionist, but Kor
17. Dal was under a lot
stress for losing his ship and Kor understood that.
18. What Kor really wanted to know was, "Why has
that pesky little bastard been spying on me for my entire life?"
He probed Ireana's memories and could see that Onimex was the
consumation of her life's
work, but she could not answer his question. "How is that?" he
wondered. He knew the machine was from the future... "If it can
travel back in time, then it must have originated from her future."
19. Kor saw
the moment when Onimex became aware of his 'other' self, "..the other
unit is accessing..."
She stopped Onimex from accessing, "No don't! Dump
it! Don't access!" she told him. Ireana could not possibly
predicted, that her prudence then, would save her now. Her motive
was for the machine, not herself. He saw
Onimex vacate the messenger sled just prior to her arrival,
"because Kor knows who I am," Onimex told her. Dal never saw
Onimex at all, but Ireana's awareness of Onimex was the only proof that
Kor needed. "What a glorious asset she would be in my arsenal,"
21. Onimex was co-located -- Ireana wasn't. Her invention
moved through time -- she didn't. It's movement through time
isn't the issue: "How do I
short circuit its meddling?" Kor wondered, "Maybe I should go back to
the moment of its creation and kill it?" That was precisely why
Corlos authorized Onimex to return to his birth
-- to intercept any potential threat to his own existence. Had
Kor's Kids moved their
attack time table back one minute, Onimex and Ireana would not be
here. Then he entertained a ludicrous thought, "Maybe she'll just
give me the damn thing, so that I can tear it to pieces?"
22. There was no reason to torture Ireana for information that
she didn't have, so Kor chose to indulge Dal El's version of
reality: She was one of his special agents.
23. At some point the charade would end, but until then, Kor
would validate the reality his Vice Elite had innocently
reached to every point in space and felt every moment, every heart beat
and every thought.
25. A ball of fire morphed into a fiery cube with each face
representing a polarized extream with unlimited gradients in between.
26. "Knowledge to one extreme can not be assessed without
experiencing its opposite," Uhura said.
27. The fiery cube
represented the time construct and the parameters in which time exists.
28. Any act of ignorance could unravel the fabric of time,
where time is a filter for experience.
29. Anti-time is contractive - it destroys the canvas of
sensory perception and music.
30. Azoth pointed out lust, "It is a carnal state of mind,"
31. A Reptillian species appeared. "It is a different
type of carnality," Uhura added.
32. Tetragammaton reached to every point in space again and felt
every moment, every heart beat and every drop of blood.
33. The construct that I-20 created, appeared encased in a round
luminous ball, with silky gold, gently swaying wings.
34. "Matter," Azoth said, "powered by light and death."
35. The fiery cube disbursed into a Milky Way
representation; zoomed far into the new spar of Andromedea, glided past
Alpha Centuri and stopped in orbit around the 3rd body circling
37. The symbols used were the ones Ra gave to Thothma's
37. In orbit was I-20 and his entourage, although they had no
idea that they were being watched. Tetragammaton was shifting to
various points in time at will.
38. Uhura could see that their thoughts had tremendous
potential. "Beauty and Savagry," she said.
39. "Chaos has
to occur in a temporal construct." The Reptillian symbol for
chaos was disobedience. Reptillians oppose machines because they
chose life over knowledge in a chaotic construct, where machines chose
knowledge over life in a cosmic construct.
40. "I-20's construct is in our likeness," Azoth said, "it
ignores disobedience." Tetragammaton assumed a gentle infinity
symbol. "Lust is imperative," Uhura said, for matter to
41. "If they learn to control their passions -- they will become
like us," Uhura observed.
42. Uhura and Azoth were very much aware that thoughts became
reality in their environment; their glory was knowledge. "The
construct will have to chose," Uhura said. "The entire construct
is about 'choice,'" Azoth said.
43. "We will create an introversion filter to remove anti-light,"
Uhura said. "Tetragammaton will shield them from Perdition,"
44. "Have Conscious seed the planet here..." Tetragammaton
displayed the Earth with it's watershell intact.
45. I-20 and his entourage were signaled by Conscious to
46. "Ready the Children to inhabit these bodies." The
form of a Human man and woman appeared.
47. "Some of the Angels are restless, My Love," Uhura
said. Tetragammaton showed the Light Race hollowing out the
caverns on Sunova.
48. "I-20's construct is inately chaotic; cosmic in
and serves the fusion of light into biomass. The restless Angels
will mate with mortals at the appointed time."
Tetragammaton showed Daniel in one of his dreams; always on the edge of
reality. Azoth smiled, then returned his focus to Earth.
49. "We can collapse the watershell and start over," Azoth
50. "But save the best family," Uhura cooed.
51. "So that they can build a tower and shoot arrows at me?"
Azoth said incredulously. Tetragammaton presented an epic
52. "You can change their languages like usual, Darling," Uhura
said. "They don't call you The One for nothing." "Yeah,"
Azoth said, "sometimes I think they do."
ABOARD KOR'S DESTROYER
made it a point to honor Ireana everywhere they went. He thought
the over-exaggerated antic would eventually force her to break; he was
truly impressed by her unwavering fortitude, “They
don’t even want to question you,” he said, handing her a
copy of a Theite-issued APB. It was a warrant for her
execution; the usual "Dead or Alive" sans
alive was a new first for
Theos. Even Dal El was wanted alive. That's probably why
they were extra pissed at her.
imagine, if I was truly one of them, I
would be proud of this,” Ireana thought. Kor could read her
thoughts as if they were his own, and gave no reaction. "Besides,
I'm Vejhonian," she thought, "They can't just 'issue' an execution
warrant -- I'm not even Theite." In this alternate reality, "Yes,
Ireana did not know whether Kor was reading her or
not - if he was - his ability to conceal it was as good as her
She handed the APB back to him, and thought she should frame a copy for
posterity, "See what a bad girl your Mommie was? ...perish the
56. Kor was glad that she still had her
humor. "Keep going," he silently encouraged her, "I haven't had
57. "I've invited you to a special event," he
said, "To glorify your valiant performance with helping the Vice
Elite to escape." She gave him her undivided
attention. "We are going to return to where the Cardship
crashed, and just in case it
survived... 'Earth' ...
58. Ireana avoided
'thinking' about anything that might provide actionable
intelligence. She had no way of assessing the vulnerability of
her thoughts. If she could have known just how transparent she
was to him, she would have tried to rip him to pieces for mocking her
like this. He sensed her repressed hostility on a hair trigger.
59. "Somehow, I feel like a giant clue just sailed
by, and I missed it." She imagined the Vejhonian symbol for deja
vu, "Is Corlos truly gleaning
anything by my presence here? Are they going to 'stand by' while
destroyed too?" The deja vu hit her again, like something she
would see every day in her lab for years, and then
when she needed it -- it was gone.
60. Kor was going to annihilate an entire shell because a
Cardship crash landed on it. "Is he completely oblivious to the
fact that..." she paused because the deja vu suddenly enlightened
61. "Sol III... Earth..." Her
composure deflated into a full-blown blush. She kept herself
from hitting rock bottom by jumping to the next logical question:
"If he's onto me -- why is he playing this out? What does he gain
by indulging this stupid charade?" She eased up on her guard to
more liberally probe the asteroid base personnel:
"Conquests don't have a name," she had already figured out. She
learned "919" from a planner in scheduling, "The third body's conquest
She grieved over M'tro-1, "whose conquest
number was..." a yeoman who was on that mission remembered
63. Section by section, from top to bottom:
Nobody knew Earth's local name. The
nearest approximation was, '10-planet system.' "Nobody cares what
it's called." Two officers
called it "Sol III" because the legend on a Cacci Dai map said
so. There were a few who saw the word, "Dirt," but nobody knew
the word, "Earth" because it had no
etymological relevance in any known language except Jolvian, which had
a similar symbol. The word had never been
64. Without an Enochian key, the intonation for
"Earth" did not exist... anywhere.
Kor had learned the intonation from her. This is why Daniel said,
"Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be
OK." "I need to have a little chat with him," she thought, "as
soon as I get back."
66. Kor had been reading her from the
beginning: The next awkward moment was, "How do we go off-script
now that the show is over?"
67. A simple, accoustical error.
68. Kor quietly followed the sequence of Ireana's
realization. He was there when she opened the door to her
mind. Her soul,
like water, fluctuated between ice and vapor.
69. Ireana found herself quietly chuckling; feeling like a fool
and perhaps a little pissed at Daniel. He responded with feigned
indifference and whispered to her psionically,
"Unfortunate that you aren't truly one of mine." He had already
proclaimed her to be an Elite heroine, so it made sense that he would
maintain the charade. "A safety net," she realized, "he never intended
to let me hit rock bottom." That raised him up a notch in
Since her attempt at Guardianship had failed miserably, she pried into
him, and he let her wander to wherever she wished. "He admires
me," she read, "from fortuitous beginning to sinful
end... no... those are his thoughts about me!" And powerful
thoughts they were, like paddling a canoe through partially submerged
monuments. He had studied her
every move and read her every
thought. "For being so open, he doesn't seem to be so
71. Kor had never granted this license to
anyone, and she could see that. She searched vainly for a key
that could reverse his destructive
tendencies. It was like searching the Library of Theos for a
single Act of honesty. It didn't
exist. "Why me?" she asked. He wasn't the demonic terror
that the Constitutional media
painted him to be. His agenda was wide open. In some
ways, Ireana found him to be more noble and holistic than the evil and
twisted figure that she read about. "You forget that two Billion
shellans chose to stay with me," he said. He was suggesting,
"There had to be some reason why they chose to stay."
72. "What are you doing to me?" she whispered.
73. "What do you want me to do to you?" he answered. He had
publically elevated her to a status virtually equal with Dal
El. She was the closest thing to a Goddess the Elite would ever
know. She was staring at a chance to become Kor's Queen.
"Did Daniel know what he was doing?" she wondered.
74. Ireana felt like her allignment had been willfully
violated. "You did it --
not me," Kor defended
himself. "What's happening?" she asked. Her parents had
about the darker side of psionics, but she felt no need to pursue the
matter because M'tro-1 did not have the psionic polarity that
did. "Truths that you feel deep inside you," Kor answered,
"Truths that you already know. The pin that holds everything you
believe together -- has been removed. Now you can find out who
"Is that an evangelical way of saying that my entire life has been a
lie?" she wondered. Kor's
personal psionic shield protected her, reinforced by his Elite
guards. Her own effort was like a soft, fuzzy ball of yarn
compared to their lightening wrapped tungsten. "I
should be able to hear my voice echo in here," she thought. A
psychic prison has no bars. Then
she said to him, "I can see how you won them over with charm.
Did you drug me?" There were known psionic techniques for
inducing a drug effect. He rolled his eyes, "Would I be so
pedestrian?" he asked. "No," she read from him. It was
obvious that Kor did not routinely engage in such light hearted
76. Were it not for his brute ruggedness and commanding face,
he could have passed for a 24-year-old athlete in faultless physical
condition. Kor was reckoning with the idea of having a physical
someone for the first time... to his absolute opposite. She
wasn't a Psionic Guard, but her potential had barely been tapped.
77. With no previous experience to guide him, Kor surrendered
thoughts of his own. "I will admit, that 'Queen Ireana' has a
nice sound to it," she said, "if you're not playing me for an
idiot." Then she came to her senses:
78. "You hunt us down and kill us," she forced herself to
forced the law abiding shellans to flee." Her passion was being
shaved by a razor, and then she realized that her heart belonged to
else; someone who did not belong to this time. Indeed, if nothing
else, she came to terms that Kor's proposal, if it had been a
proposal, was not going to happen.
gazed upon her sympathetically; his compassion was genuine. Even
El Sha had never seen this side of him -- Ireana would be the only
one. Resuming the former charade, she let him believe that she
felt guilty for breaking his
heart, and he let her believe that he had always know their
relationship was destined to fail.
Now it was Kor's turn to come to his senses. He released them
both from this trance-like
"The whole Universe may be a woman," he admitted, "but not today, and
not now." Ireana felt a touch of relief.
81. For a
fleeting moment, he found himself wanting to be…’Human’…
a word he gleaned from her thoughts; regarding the indiginous at
919. Especially one Human in particular...