Vanishing Act -- Chapter
1. Daniel felt his body free floating in the vastness of
2. It was not his corporeal body, but his
3. In the distance was a layer of colorful rings
made of luminous material. As he approached the rings, he
realized that he had greatly underestimated their size.
4. At first, the rings seemed to be made of an
ever-shifting solid material; a fusion of light and metal held together
in an inexplicable fashion.
5. He thought he saw gemstones, then the stones
dissolved into liquid jewels. The effect was heavenly, and seemed
distantly connected to a previous life.
6. "Isn't 'everything' connected to my mind?" he
contemplated. "We live in our minds," he once said to B'jhon
about co-location and timespace.
7. The rings spanned in excess of 1,000 miles in
diameter. In the central area of the rings were billions of
dressed in luminous robes surrounding a glorious personage in the
center. Had it not been for the infinitely expanded bandwidth of
his photonic eyes, he would have captured very little detail.
8. "Is it really?..." Daniel lipped, breathless in his energy
body. Breathing is not a photonic necessity, but it is a hard
habit to break.
9. The central personage sat upon a throne made of
jewels that rotated slowly on three invisible axis. It was
the zero point upon which all existence is predicated.
10. All life, energy and bandwidths seemed to
originate and end at this point in space, and the point was movable and
could be co-located according to the Will of God. His photonic
mind felt like it had access to information that his corporeal body
could not contain or even imagine: Life is a filtration
process. We are evolving.
11. "Clearly, I'm not dreaming this..." he told
himself, "I couldn't come up with this if I tried."
12. His movement stopped within 50 miles of
the center, and seemed to establish an aesthetically perfect berth
between the Billions of beings and the nucleus. It had the
effect of a literal nucleus, with The Author of Creation at its
13. There was an indescribable music
that could not be heard in corporeal form. It flowed through the
soul as a creative force. Apart from the ethereal
sounds, there was a humbling, reverent silence.
These creatures were accustomed to being in the presence of God; in the
rhythmic cradle of creation.
14. A streak of light sped from its vanishing
point straight to Daniel, who was holding fast at a predisposed point.
15. The being was breathtakingly glorious beyond
had ever imagined; beyond his dreams of the Light Race.
16. The being only looked at Daniel, and
downloaded a conversation into Daniel's mind that would take the rest
of his natural
understand. "You will remember parts of this conversation at
specific times in your life," the being explained.
17. Daniel guessed one keyword right:
Tetragammaton. Then he awoke on the sofa in his office in a
wonderful daze. Incredible!
18. Coming into focus was B'jhon's face, who had
been standing there, waiting for him to awake.
19. "Yes?" Daniel asked, without so much as
twitching an eye.
20. "Dayton has returned to Earth." B'jhon
said rather flatly.
21. Daniel shot up, gave B'jhon an uncomfortable
and strolled to his enormous wall-length window. He held his
hands behind his back in military fashion and slowly paced, his
thoughts well removed from God's throne.
22. "I think this is the first time anyone has
ever done this," he said.
It wasn't a simple matter of going back to Earth to retrieve him;
during the ten minutes that lapsed, a million different variables
changed. That's why deployments and redeployment were always
calculated in advance to intercept and compensate for quantum
vulnerabilities. B'jhon read Daniel's next question and answered
it, "Station keeping," he answered. "After you left, Alma went to
station keeping and then he suddenly ran out of operations in a
24. "Well, who was manning the station?" Daniel
asked. "We were using it to backup analytics," B'jhon answered,
"there was nobody there." Both of them took for granted that the
maturity level of a Corlos operative had to pass the simulator test in
order to arrive. "We've ALL experienced it!" Daniel nearly
yelled. What he meant was, "Curiosity is NOT an excuse!"
B'jhon could only shrug in agreement. It was pointless to ask,
"Who let him do this?" because Dayton should have known better.
"And I'm not going to blame Alma, because he was in Ops at our
request," Daniel said. There was an understandably awkward
silence, "What possessed him?" Daniel asked truly mystified.
could only gesture with his hands and face that he hadn't the foggiest
idea. Yes, everybody has 'thought' about it, but nobody has
actually done it. In the realm of God, thoughts and actions are
one and the same, and mortality is a proving ground to test one's
ability to exist with God.
25. "You know," Daniel said, barely more
composed, "I've never
had to terminate an agent before... at least not for this
26. B'jhon felt that it was very unfair to stick Daniel in this
position, "He made the choice for you,"
rationalized for him. Daniel nodded meekly and smiled
thinly. He appreciated B'jhon's concern for his mental
27. "OK," Daniel agreed, "reassemble them."
If it wasn't for these constant psycho tropic meetings -- Corlos
wouldn't have anything else to do.
28. Alma had already forwarded the simulator user
log to the conference room. The simulator wasn't networked on
purpose, to safeguard its technology. That's how it had always
been, and would always be.
29. Everyone watched Dayton flirt with disaster,
struggle with morality and ultimately choose suicide. Everyone
had experienced the same temptation more than once. It even
gratified some to finally see somebody actually do it. Now they
could all witness the consequences. The Glory
of God is Intelligence -- but the Valley of Death is
prerequisite. It wasn't just disobedience on trial, but a
scornful lack of common sense. "Is he wanting
to die?" an operative asked just as Daniel entered. They all
began to rise, Daniel motioned for them to sit. They went through
that same rise half-way and sit down antic every single time.
30. "My thought exactly," Daniel said psionically to the agent
who asked. Then to everyone, "I never thought this day would
happen." Daniel found their discussion to be much more robust
than the usual morgue-like silence. It was unfortunate that it
took an unprecedented act of stupidity to provoke such
Nobody of their lofty caliber wanted to admit that the forbidden was
31. "Who was Dayton's recruiter?" Daniel asked.
32. "I-40," came a choral response. "Oh, there you go!"
I-40 rebuked them, "Blame this all on me!" It
wasn't necessary to point out that I-40 was also a machine. That
sort of profiling was beneath Sunova etiquette. But it was also
curious, since I-40 seemed to have connections that nobody could
resolutely prove or disprove. I-40 was above
33. "I-40 is always dead pan accurate," Daniel
said introspectively. Everyone caught the unspoken, "If anything
went wrong -- I-40 wasn't the problem."
34. "We need a retrieval agent," Daniel
added. "What are the dynamics of extraction?"
35. The images of three extraction agents appeared
on both walls; the room had an ovular shape.
36. Gryffyn was considered the official Corlos executioner.
His image was one of the three.
37. Everyone recognized the third image, who was on
assignment near Alpha Centuri and the 2nd closest agent to Earth.
38. The center image was Ireana, who was aboard an Elite
Destroyer enroute Earth to destroy it. She was the
closest and practically there
39. "Well, Ireana is probably in the mood to kill somebody, so
why not send her?" The voice at the other end of the
table was safely out of range.
40. Daniel allowed himself to laugh quietly at the
sentiment, "Maybe this is The One's way of getting me back for sticking
her with Kor," he thought privately. The others were a little
more cautious, since Dayton's
termination could one day be their own if they messed up as
41. "The intrigue is killing me," Daniel
replied. It was another abbreviated
42. The same voice on the other end surmised,
43. Another voice amended, "No, I think it's
44. There was a mutual, "Oh, that's right!" on
everyone's faces. Daniel had to re-assess the
verdict. The Ellipsis forbade the conviction of machines
indentured to chaos, and Dayton's situation was a perfect
example. Xanax made the magic happen, but under
45. "You know what?" Daniel whispered, "We really
can't kill Dayton."
46. That was a revelation because the word "can't" did not exist
in Daniel's vocabulary.
Xanax was an A.I. statement whose full potential had not even scratched
the surface; the closest thing to cybernetic alchemy ever
concocted. "We can't kill the inventor of such a thing," was the
silent conclusion. "We don't even understand it yet: He
messed up -- but we've got to find some other
48. The voice at the end of the table was right --
Ireana was the only choice.
49. "We've got to get her off Kor's ship," Daniel
came to. What they heard was, 'we need to
secure the industrial vulnerability ASAP.'
50. Daniel touched a button on the onyx table
surface. "I need an analysis on moving Ireana from Kor's
51. "We're on it," came the immediate reply.
At the same time, another operative's voice could be heard in the
background asking, "Where's that?" Everyone appreciated the
sarcasm but repressed the urge to laugh out loud. B'jhon was
about to solicit theories on the missing Cardship when operations
called back. "Yes," Daniel answered.
52. "Did I mention that four quantum
distortions are congregating at one point in space if we move
her? And Dayton -- he's in an alternate timeline
altogether. We just barely even know where to
start! Alma is working on the timeline issue -- he doesn't have a
report yet. I think he's close..."
53. "Can't Xanax or Onimex buffer such a
transport?" Daniel asked. Onimex rose to the occasion, "Xanax
can," he said, "and I can help him if I go." Daniel gave Onimex a
nod and lipped the words, "You're going. Thank-you." Onimex
used his diagnostic pixels to reveal emotions, similar to how Jolvians
used their natural skin cells to do the same. In this case, a
transparent beam passed through him from left to right, of his own
54. "We have so many slip calculations to navigate
that we might as well let Onimex do this, if he's going," Ops
said. "Why is all this
attention focused on Earth? All at once and right now?" Daniel
asked no one. "Onimex, get your Ops briefing and report to the
55. Before Onimex could make his exit, Daniel
added, "And Ireana can be briefed during transport?"
"Very easily," Onimex assured him.
56. "Good-luck," Daniel said.
57. The door rematerialized after
58. Alma's assistant scurried into the room
with a data recorder from the simulator.
59. She set a hockey-puck shaped disc onto a
reader at Daniel's station. "You'll want to see this," she
said. Evidently, Alma had loaded quite a bit of stuff on it.
60. A red "Y" symbol, just like the alpha-numeric
"Y" appeared on every wall. It was the most serious event in the
Universe and precisely what Corlos was chartered to
interdict and prevent. Anyone who thought the meeting was over,
sat back down. The symbol represented a forced time split.
Naturally occuring splits were identified with a green "Y."
Forced splits typically contain bridges between alternate shards that
must be collapsed before the forced shards will terminate.
61. "He messed up like you wouldn't believe,"
the librarian reported. Then she noticed that some of the agents
looked very willing to 'kill the messenger.' She spread her hands
toward the agents, alluding toward herself, and said, "What!" to rebuke
62. "Thanks Angel," Daniel said, dismissing her and sitting back
down, finding it harder to hide his disgust. This was the 2nd
instance in one day where he was tasked with terminating the same
person. "Blessed Be the Machines," he said to himself.
63. Before the alternate reality had a chance to play, Daniel
pushed the disk off the receiver.
64. "That reality will not happen," he said sternly, "so we
might as well not watch it."
65. He rose to his feet once again, dispensing with any
and Terminate. Meeting adjourned." "Damn!" somebody
remarked at the spontaneity of it. It was starting to look
slightly hopeful for Dayton, but not anymore.
67. Operations chimed back in, "We have a lock on Ireana
and we know when to move her. It'll be any second."
68. "You got Onimex in the stream?" Daniel asked.
"He's actually better at this than we are," Ops confessed, "We're going
to add him just before we add her." "You got the conjoining waves
at their widest oscillation?" Daniel was just checking.
Sir," Ops replied.
69, "Just..." he started, and then let out his
breath, "I know
you know what you're doing. Thank-you." Conjoining waves
are a small part of navigating energy through a convergence of
anomalies. It's prudent to allow for as much space as
possible. Linear motion was the smallest denominator of the
quantum dynamics involved.
3 gradually enlarged on the main viewer as 30 Elite destroyers
decelerated and approached conquest
# 919, soon to be annihilated.
71. "A beautiful blue shell," Kor observed
indifferently. The Elite empire believed that God too, was
indifferent. If The One really cared, He would have intervened
long ago. Kor was not superstitious, but just in case
the Jolvian tale of Me'thosha's Tower was true... there was no reason
to tempt fate without cause. "Did I not drive every vice from the
shell?" If anything, the future of folklore was entirely vested
72. In spite of Earth's logically conceived defensive
posture, it was grossly maligned for this type of attack.
knew that 'the proverbial aliens' had been dwelling among them for
centuries; that the best defense would be inadaquate against a
determined telestial foe. There was nothing to gain for the bank,
except the fiction earned by recapitalizing on credit to finance
73. By the time Earth's sensor grid registered a
crack in their defenses -- the shell would be reduced to a
septillion bite-sized pieces: There would be no evidence that a
shell had ever existed.
74. "Meet me in my throne room," Kor instructed Ireana. She
couldn't escape the ship, and Corlos had not
retrieved her, so Kor gave her free reign of the ship. The crew
adored her as a heroine and future Queen, so they respectfully stepped
aside with veiled smiles of approval when she passed. "Let
sleeping droids lay," the Cacci Dai
say. Rigidly gaunt facial expressions are trademarks of
Kor's super kids, so the act of smiling was reserved purely for
her. Shellans wanted a matriarchal figure to complete Kor's image
and she felt it very strongly.
75. Ireana could also feel the solemnity of those on board. In
own piously misguided way,
shell destructions were necessary to rid the Universe of
evil. They were not villains in their own eyes -- the deserters
were. "Just how backward..." she stopped herself. "Don't
think," Onimex had suggested. She desperately wanted to hear his
76. Earth was within minutes of eternal
77. The throne in Kor's audience chamber had been forced to fit
aboard a ship otherwise void of pomp and circumstance. Extra
monitors were added so that he could observe ship
operations. His prized feature was the full-length
observation window which came standard for the recreation room.
As long as he was happy -- the ship's
carpenter was happy. The crew could have their
rec room back when His Majesty no longer required it.
was purely figurative although he was held in high esteem. He was
seated in one of the lounge chairs facing the
observation window. Elite SOP was based on his
operational knowledge of the Theotian Spaceforce, which he adapted for
79. Kor greeted Ireana at the door and escorted her to a
specially made seat right next to his; she was, after all, his
El rose in salute. Kor accepted his greeting and motioned
for him to sit back down. Ireana was thinking, "If only I had an
IED..." She perished the thought. Dal smiled at her and
nodded kindly. She returned a forced grin and slight nod, "If you
only knew..." Dal did not perceive himself as a bad guy, but he
was the one who unknowingly bequeathed the art of shellicide with his
soul, while Kor blessed it with his heart; "What more sanction do we
80. Operations was visible on the deck below:
Elegant, sheik, stylish, purposeful and ordained by Kor to kill
sight. The entire apparatus made wholesale murder appear
nostalgic and necessary if not
At times, her rational mind would seep through the cracks, "How did he
hypnotize an entire culture to do this? ...a cultural addiction... to death?"
82. She scanned the crew for a shred of
apprehension or remorse: Nothing. They found the mission
intoxicating, "We share The Master's vision: He wants what's best
83. "They ...enjoy... what they
do. They're not just brainwashed -- this is what they are," Kor
clarified for her. She looked away as if she needed to hide what
he said. She asked, "Does it really defy all rationality... " She
stopped. It seemed pointless to finish her question, "... to
include 'live and let live'
somewhere in the equasion?" He indulged her deeper thought:
"Without knowing anything about a shell -- you annihilate it without a
second thought?" He even read her justification for him, "It's
too pedestrian for Kor." "You can't beat a soulless avatar," the
She asked instead, "You promote wholeshell annihilation because ... they... enjoy it?"
84. "You imply a moral prerogative that doesn't
exist," Kor answered. They were on opposite sides of a very wide
moral chasm. He no
longer felt a pressing need to follow every synaptic thread. Her
individuality posed no meaningful threat. She also realized that
there was no possible way to win. Kor was, as she discovered for
herself, as close to an absolute deity that anyone could hope to become
while mortal. If someone was going to be the Emperor of the
Universe: He was overqualified... "But why this?" All
rationalizations seemed to funnel back to that one question:
"Why?" "Wouldn't someone with absolute power impose a more
85. As the veil of Elite psychosis lifted, she understood why
Daniel wanted her here. Daniel was like a savage beauty, always
two steps ahead; somewhat of an enigma himself. "What was that
expression?" she searched her
memory, "Life through Light and Death, Beauty and Savagery." It
fit somehow. She turned her head toward Kor and then back toward
the window. This was the closest Corlos would ever get to
Kor. "Daniel knew exactly what he was doing," she thought, "And
who is his
handler?" Kor was barely paying attention to her now, "Too
pedestrian for him," she imagined.
think I'm one of them now... no, ... that
I have always been one of
them." She scanned the crew for symbols of herself:
87. "The Secret Sorceress. The Elite
Queen." It was like stepping into a royal treasury and finding
your name written on everything. Only she wasn't who they thought
she was, like a typical Jolvian tragedy. The crew liked her, akin
to a matriarchal figure -- they thought it was time for 'The Great
Father' to 'get a woman.'
88. "Guards!" she mumbled under her breath, "They
love me -- they think He needs me... that He
needs... a mate." An awkward juxtaposition.
89. "A marriage by acclaimation," he clarified
nonchalantly. "But aren't you..." she started. He
may not think so, but I'm a product of what they wanted." His
candor surprised her. "The
Constitutional rhetoric that the whole Universe revolves around me is
simply untrue," Kor shrugged, "You hear them -- you can decide for
yourself." Ireana cocked her head back incredulously -- for a
second, it sounded like he was proselytizing her into the
fold. "What would it take?" she asked herself
introspectively, "I can't believe my allegiance is on the
90. "This moment," Kor alluded to the lull in time
before destroying a shell, "is what we call the Black Mass."
91. His voice reflected reverence and solemnity for the
dead. "If there's a definitive, two dimensional point where
and Hell meet -- I'm there," Ireana thought. It was her
quantitative way of
reconciling a marriage between good and evil. "Did he, in a
round-about way, say that he would marry me? And if so, we need
to work on
our priorities: Shellicides are out. If I am to be Queen -- cancel this
now!" Kor did not disturb her intrapersonal
92. "You don't have to do
it," she said, "You don't have to do this -- you can make a
choice. You can save this
shell by not destroying it. There are no Vejhonians there -- I
was the only one, and I'm here now, so... just... stop."
She turned to Kor as if she was already proclaimed Queen, "Don't... do
this," she said calmly. There was still a tinge of frustration in
her voice, but it was within her newly acquired right to make such a
was truly taken back and cocked his head
inquisitively toward her, as if she was pleading for perdition.
"Are you trying to bargain with me..."
he asked, "for their lives?" "Making deals with... the devil, a... Human might
say?" He had to plod through that question, but he was
serious. Ireana felt like he was talking 'at' her rather
than 'to' her: "Am I even a part of your monologue?" she wondered
openly. He could read it if he chose
94. A cold fusion fire cracked through the gates of hell and
her soul like an icicle. Kor thought that he had captured her,
but clearly, something got lost in the translation. She knew that
could extract her at any moment, making this the shortest love story in
history. But if she could save one life, then she could save them
all, and Cacci Dai would plant an astral swril in her honor in the
Museum of Chaos. "Could I really change him?" she wondered.
They both had an agenda: Corlos couldn't have picked a more
perfect agent to play this particular role right here and now.
95. Her breathing stiffened. She became conscious that Dal
El was in another shell, far from the one outside the window, or
maybe just giving the love birds their privacy. Dal El struck her
more like a cartoon character that had come to real life.
96. "Would you?" she asked. Kor captured the two
additional words that she didn't say, "for me?" "You've got to be
frackin' kidding me?" Kor shielded from everyone. It was the most
incredulous thing anyone had ever asked of him. In a mischevious
way he was thinking, "What sort of God do you take me for?" He
too had to struggle with this 'relationship' dynamic.
97. Of course, he could do any damn thing he pleased, and had
indulged her passion once already, "I could give you
shells without end," he replied, "like pearls on an unbreakable
string." "So who bears the burden of
sanity now?" Ireana retorted. Kor read her logic, "If he can make
that choice, then he can make the right choice, right now -- he doesn't
need anyone's permission or consent; he can simply decree this shell
'off limits' and and it's done." "Do we even
live in the same Universe?" he questioned. His tone accused her
of ruining the moment. "Mirror,"
Ireana replied -- because she truly wondered the exact same
thing. For not being a Psionic Guard, she demonstrated clear
98. A crack in her brass fortitude revealed a tear attempting to
escape from her eye, "Is it so
unthinkable?" she asked.
99. "Give me this world and I'll do whatever you want," she
whispered. Kor also heard, "... and don't tell a soul, because
I'll deny it." The moment had come: The
decision to cancel 919 was now or never. She was
weakening, but not philosophically. She would find a way to
make the best of an inexplicable situation, "But
the price is Earth." She had barely lived there for 2 days
while observing Dayton. M'tro-1 had not been that long ago.
He was thinking about his brother. It was her tear, the
archtypical symbol for, "Every Dan Must End," that reminded him.
"Maybe I have a chink in my armor," Kor conceded; he kept that
expressly to himself.
100. Dal El interrupted politely, "All ships are reporting
'GO.'" Even his intonation suggested that Kor and Ireana were
already a thing. She returned a tight smile to acknowledge his
ludicrous presumption -- he didn't have a clue. "Such an
extraordinary mind," she sighed. "...caught up in all of
this." She looked more penetratingly into Dal El's eyes as if
some part of the contradiction could be explained if she probed deep
enough. Dal froze like a popsicle. She looked away and
smiled in apology.
101. Kor nodded toward a yeoman who stood invisibly by; he was in
of holding the main fire button until The Master required it. The
invisible jobs were sometimes the best ones.
102. The ships Captain called Kor and reported, "We
have a teutonic lock. All systems are synched. Awaiting
your order, Sir." Ireana was forcing her diaphragm to function
because she couldn't breathe otherwise. He had given her hope
that he might abort the mission, but then she realized that he never
intended to abort the mission -- not for her or for anyone. The
Earth was enlarged on
the viewer. The destroyers were parked at a very safe distance,
encircling the shell.
103. "Well Done, Captain," Kor acknowledged, "I'll fire from up
here." Ireana didn't know what else to do. She had
offered herself to him, and that was all she had to bargain with.
Kor rolled his eyes. "If Onimex was here..." she started.
massacre the son-of-a-bitch, and still destroy 919," Kor
injected. Then he backtracked slightly, "I know... Onimex... was
your greatest achievement." The situation was crushing her, "I
could throw myself in front of the disrupter beam,"
she scratched for ideas. "Now, you're just being stupid," Kor
gently swayed his head, as if their dilemma was nothing more than a
104. He rose for the occasion, took the detonation switch from
the yeoman and approached the observation window as if the additional
10 steps made a tremendous visual difference -- it was
105. Monitors throughout the fleet were focused on Kor's every
move because whoever held the switch was the celebrity for
the occasion. Sometimes that honor was bestowed upon someone who
had demonstrated great valiancy in the face of grave danger to protect
the Elite. Ireana felt a joyous sentiment sweep across the entire
fleet and unanimously elect her to push the
button... a 'wedding' present of sorts. She was not the feinting
type, or she would have passed out on the messenger's sled when Onimex
106. Kor motioned for her to join him near the window and
offered her the remote. She was utterly and morbidly stupefied,
"Director bless me," she said.
She had never even met a Psionic Guard, let alone the Director.
Her sentiment did not travel far, compliments of Kor.
107. Kor tempted her with the remote
like one might offer a drinking
buddy some pretzels, and even feigned comic puzzlement by her
hesitation. She made
a customary bow to ingratiate herself, and declined the honor as one
unworthy. Everyone watching throughout the fleet thought that she
was being respectful and modest, which deepened her endearment to
them. 'Button pushers' had their own club, like 'ring wearers' in
the Theotian SpaceForce -- nobody declined the honor when it was
offered. She had made a huge sacrifice.
108. Ireana thought that she was losing consciousness, when in
fact, she had become familiar with the feeling. The psionic
shield was temporarily disabled in order to fire the primary
weapon. This time, they were prepared to defend against a
surprise attack by B'lines
if they suddenly appeared. Nothing was left to chance.
109. Kor returned his attention to 919. He
pressed the fire switch and a weapons officer said, "Weapons Free!"
into his mic. That was the last time Ireana saw
110. As the ships activated their primary weapons, Kor
peripherally noticed that Ireana had disappeared.
He spun around to see where she went. She was nowhere in
sight; she was not in an adjacent dimension, the door had not been
opened. Her psionic imprint was vacant. "How the
hell?" he wondered.
111. He returned his gaze to the window and there was nothing to
but thousands of miles of empty space in all directions. There
was no implosion: Conquest 919
disappeared before any disrupter beam could impact the upper
atmosphere -- the
entire armada witnessed it! Some thought it might be a spacial
distortion, because the weapons were never known to fail -- Dal El made
112. Kor dropped his arm to his side and numbly fumbled with the
remote, "An Act of The One?" he entertained, "...and if so... why now? Why such a 'delayed'
interest Universal affairs?" It really didn't make
sense. "Did we destroy the shell, or not?" several ship
commanders asked in unison.
113. "We're still in the 10-planet system," cartography reported,
"but 919 vanished. They would need to re-name it the 9-planet
system now. "Our weapons did not impact the shell.
No joy," the chief weapons officer reported. A psionic clamor
crescendoed throughout the fleet,
understandably. Nobody noticed precisely when Ireana
disappeared because all eyes were on Kor.
114. Energy blasts from ships positioned 50,000 miles away were
beginning to streak past Kor's destroyer, having impacted no target at
all, to confirm the fact.
115. Earth's moon had been clipped by the energy casings of two
disrupter beams, and
without Earth to hold it in orbit, drifted injured into space.
The anti-matter pellets sailed through the casings without resistance
to who knows where.