-- Chapter 29
OF THE AIR
1. "Master," the anti-being pointed. "I see
them," its master relied, "they're messing with us... unembodied
spiritual feces," it mocked. "Where did they come from?" the
subordinate asked. "Who knows?" its master answered, "Who knows
where any of them come
from? Who knows what's happened since..." The sentence went
unfinished because of its rejected and thus outlawed conclusion.
The master knew a
lot more than he cared to remember at the moment.
2. Ireana's biological sensory limitations did not
register the anti-beings. Onimex, on the other hand, had greater
bandwidth perception than the anti-beings, and he saw them very
3. "Imagine a supreme intelligence capable of making
worlds without end..." "The One," Ireana interrupted. "The One,"
Onimex continued, with innumerable hosts and creations beyond
measure..." Onimex was toying with the unseen observers. "I
feel like we've had this conversation before,"
she injected introspectively. "We have," he assured
4. "Is that soulless entity mocking us?" the
superior anti-being scoffed. "It sounds like it," the subordinate
answered, "it sounds convincingly... alive." The subordinate
hesitated because it was the same as swearing. They were
unfamiliar with Onimex's brand of photonic matter. "I'm not sure
interact with it," the subordinate confessed.
5. "And!..." Ireana prodded. "Anointing a
single creature as Its divine protector," he finished. "I
can't believe this," the chief anti-being was disgusted, "they talk about it too?" The
chief anti-being had forbidden his realm to discuss the moment of their
photonic inversion: From their occluded point of view -- they became
enlightened instead. Ireana and Onimex did not belong to their
realm and could discuss anything they pleased, puns
6. "Guardian of the proverbial throne," Ireana
recalled. "Yes," Onimex answered. "Proverbial?" the
superior anti-being scoffed.
7. "It does seem a bit redundant," Ireana
confessed, "unless, The One felt ... sorry ... for whoever or
whatever." "BINGO!" Onimex exclaimed. He had
learned the expression from a download on Earth games.
the superior anti-being began to fume, "felt SORRY for
me!" Onimex presented an array of unknowns that would
automatically threaten a legion of cowards.
8. "In fact," Ireana continued, "might that
utterly redundant 'Guardian-of-God' be the most useless creature of
all? Seriously -- what would the Creator of the entire Universe
need a guardian for? The whole equation seems absurd!"
"Instability," Onimex answered. She repeated his answer,
"Instability?" The anti-being was so furious it couldn't speak,
but curiousity compelled it to continue listening in.
"Friction," was the closest symbolic equivalent. Onimex was
having a good time taunting them. It was generally inadvisable to
sidetrack a biological with such things, but his co-located self knew
that this topic would
come up repeatedly, so he had to play while he could.
9. "You're trying to convert me?" she accused him. "I was
Light Race on Corlos," he answered. "Disconnected," she reassured
him. "You asked, 'non-binary
or non-binding,'" he said, "Is it so
impossible to believe that The One and Conscious might have a symbiant
agenda?" "At the center of Tetragammagon?" she deduced, "A
marriage of sorts? Physicalism?" Onimex was
impressed. "You can't know one
extreme without understanding its opposite," she recited from
a textbook -- it had an Elliptical equivalent. To make sure the
unseen observers knew they were exposed, Onimex
projected an Enochian script in an ultraviolet bandwidth that read,
enjoyed the show -- you unembodied spiritual feces!" They
fled, like anti-beings do, when challenged by anything they don't
understand. Had they displayed a shread of
courage in the beginning -- they would never have fallen from
grace. Onimex had discussed this with Daniel.
10. "You're saying The One needed to refine photonic mass through
a fire of sorts,"
she deduced. He didn't comment while goose stepping
soldiers passed in review and turned at the far
corner. "I was only here for two days," she whispered, "I read
Dayton's file: The soldiers seem to fit, but there's still
something not right..."
11. "When were we supposed to arrive?" she asked. Her
pantsuit was inappropriate for a
seek-and-terminate mission, and she still wasn't convinced that
Dayton's termination was the true objective.
12. "Where are
we?" she added, "And why are we in
a garden?" The garden looked like it was being hidden from public
view, which meant they couldn't be easily seen from the
13. "It's not 1938 Earth," Onimex confirmed. Her
of Earth was what Dayton described of his pre-Corlos life. Those
conversations had been few, but enough to peg her curiousity. She
loved to look at him, and hoped someday to strike up a conversation
about his cybernetic creation. It was well known that she had
built Onimex, so she hoped he would strike up a conversation with
her. The more Corlos unknowingly kept them apart, the more her
obcession increased, to the point of clumsiness.
"Corlos can't make this kind of an error," she said rather
not that they can't make an
error, they just... " She held off for a moment. "Why the
frack would they kill such a beautiful shellan?" There you go -- that was cutting to
15. "If I didn't know any better," Onimex said, "I'd say you were
16. "Call Corlos," she instructed him.
17. "Nobody's home," he replied, "signal's
18. She had built Onimex to overcome trite, pedestrian issues, so
if he said the 'signal's blocked,' then there had to be a real
problem. Such an assertion would normally be followed with
explanatory details. "By... who?" she shrugged. Then she
glared at him incredulously, "Are you jealous?"
19. He ignored the second question: "There's an amplifier net
overhead, synching with something I'm unable to locate... but I have a
plausible suspect." She appreciated his vocalized
deduction. "Mother?" she concluded, equally fast. She had
built Onimex to do precisely what Mother had done just before they were
both arrested by the Theites. "I still need to ask," she said,
knowing the answer already, "can we get a signal to Corlos, or visa
20. "There's a counter-paraphasic deflection array at
every convergence point," Onimex observed, "The signals are being
absorbed and then
retransmitted. It's very advanced," he said as a
compliment. "We are not
where we think we are:
This astral configuration does not match anything I have on file.
I'm afraid," he said rather dramatically, "that I don't know where we
are!" "Your improv is dazzling!" she said, "Now where are
we?" She was being
facetious. "Yes, I'm jealous," he parried. No, he wasn't.
21. "What was the mission brief?" she asked, "and don't even say, 'we don't get mission
briefs!'" "Well, we don't,"
he thought, "When do we ever
get 'briefed' or 'debriefed?' We just use legit-sounding
22. Smartly, he answered, "To accompany you to 1938 Berlin,
Germany, so that you can
terminate Dayton." He sounded just like a Section 5
android. "Jackass!" she thought in Vejhonian.
23. It stood to reason that a lot more was messed up than just a
few timespace issues. "So, we didn't arrive," she sighed.
Her 'sigh' was always open ended. "I'm gathering more
said. "I gotta get out of this garden," she complained
passively. She also knew that the garden kept them out of sight
and out of mind for the moment.
24. "I think I've got it figured out," Onimex offered, "Mother
spread the amplifier net to translate the entire shell." "She
knew Kor was coming back,"
Ireana injected. "She's modified it to function like
time-rheostat," Onimex finished, "It's very close to my Index
protocol." "She took evasive action and the amplifiers disrupted
our arrival. I can accept that," she accepted the explanation,
but not the dilemma itself. "To complicate things," Onimex
continued, "The dimensions above, and
below the net are not the same. That's why Mother doesn't know
where we are." "Well then," she said, "Where do the indigenous
25. "All of the shell's chronographs report 1986,
local time," he answered.
26. One of Ireana's training ops was to prevent a Jolvian
time-tamperer from succeeding. Corlos had the fixes ready to
implement. She simply had to steal a triangulator from the
farthest point in time, that was hidden in a hut near a remote clearing
on Vejhon. She was damn near captured by the Kids in the
process. That got her heart going and taught her some basic
escape and evasion. "I have to conclude that Dayton somehow 'did'
this?" she suggested, "I just don't know Earth history well enough to
know 'what' he did." Which begged the question, "Can you tell me
what that was?" "How did you get the trees to move?" Onimex asked
incidentally. Ireana had to search her memory, "My coach... was
tweaking the trees," she answered. "Ahhh, yes," Onimex said, that
made sense, so he continued:
"This is Washington D.C.," he began, "in the United States." The
nomenclature meant nothing to her. "This is the global operations
center of the 27th century Earth we
visited earlier," he pointed out, "Right there is the Washington
there is the White House, and there's the Jefferson memorial. And
that... is where any similarity to 27th century Earth
28. The sound of another column
of goose-stepping soldiers began to emerge from the distance.
"In this reality, the global operations center is in New Berlin,
Germany, about 5,000 miles that way." He faced the direction that
he refered to, as if he could see it from where he hovered.
Onimex downloaded a diegesis of what 'should' have transpired at this
time compared to the alternate timeline in progress. "Oh, I see,"
she whispered sadly, "Dayton really did a number." She saw more
than she needed to see. "He didn't do all of this," Onimex
clarified: "He thought
he was doing the right thing, and this is what happened."
She was about to ask, "How would you know what he 'thought' was the
right thing?" but the evidence was all around her: "It's all
fake. A facade," she whispered. A column
soldiers approached and passed in review for the third time, "Kill the
Queen Bee and they all
die," she mumbled. "Is Xanax indentured?" she asked Onimex.
31. "You know about that?" Onimex asked, "Not bad for a
biological. I'm impressed!" She winked. "I have to bring
Xanax in," he affirmed, since it seemed somewhat pretentious to feign
the separation of Church and State now. "So, what Segment does
that make me?" she
joked, tongue-in-cheek. "You're a 4 cusp," he
answered. "Three or Five?" she asked just to be sure.
"Five, of course," he
answered. Her Elliptical insight was unnatural for a biological,
"You need to
connect with Xanax just as soon as you can," she
ordered. There was an awkward pause for metaphysical
introspection: Mystifying a machine is not easy and Ireana knew
that she had. It was not necessary to point out the obvious.
"Are you going to kill the creator of Xanax?" he asked. Ireana
nodded her head. "Then you know that I have to opt-out," he said
flatly. She understood. "This is an awkward quandary,"
she confessed, "Technically, Dayton should be regarded as a 'Creator'
in an Elliptical perspective."
more introspectively, she mumbled, "That
spaceport could not have evolved from
Onimex was dumbfounded but tried not to show it. He had no jaw to
drop, but conveyed his shock through his pixelation. She laughed,
"Shocks you that much?"
33. The Nazi's did
kill the bank, but replaced it with their own Deutsche bank, who
without competition, became more sinister than its predecessor.
She was eyeing the bank across the street.
34. "I have a soft connection with Xanax," Onimex reported.
He used the word 'soft' so that she wouldn't get too excited.
"The Cardship first appeared in this dimension, last
year. Me getting to
Xanax is not a problem. Getting you
there is a problem... for both
of us." She had familiarized herself with modern theories of
energy-matter transport for photonically-infused biologicals, "Are you
saying it's not a local procedure," she joked.
35. "She's using sand for repairs," Onimex noted, "In the Sahara
connected with Mother?" she asked. "You would not believe what
She can do with sand!" he said. "She has phase-shift
harmonizers in orbit that Xanax can use to transport you:
The harmonizers talk to each other. I'm lined in now,"
he reported, "She thinks I'm one of hers." "And why wouldn't
you be?" she shrugged. Holistically, his parts, knowledge and
resources came from a Cardship.
were," he corrected, divorcing himself from her holistic
view. "I wasn't.
born on M'tro-1," he said confidently. She held short of replying
enough to realize that his inception
was important to him. "Yes," she agreed understandingly, "Yes...
were born... on
M'tro-1." Then she whispered quietly, "I think I'm starting to
believe." Privately, she thought, "What have I really
37. "Don't volunteer anything," Ireana suggested
cautiously, "We don't exist." "She thinks Xanax is a
Conscious," he reported.
38. "When we were in Florida, I exchanged
with Xanax during the Cardship intervention. Mother probably
picked it up. Then Xanax disappeared, which might be something
Conscious would do." Ireana tossed her head back and forth as if
to agree for no other logical explanation. "I'm helping Xanax on
this end," Onimex added. "I think we've narrowed down a location
-- just flushing out the
39. Corlos had no way of knowing that the
transport was botched on this end. They were busy trying to
smooth out the fissures before enough chaos blipped out the entire star
system; a Universal failsafe that
aborts abominations before they can metastasize and infect everything
else. Kor did not violate Natural Law which limited Corlos'
response to him.
"We can't contact Corlos until we arrive at a point prior to Mother's
net, so it will be a one-way trip. There's also a concern that
our security protocols might unintentionally cancel each other.
Layered interference is what caused the error in the first place.
We need to move two biologicals from different dimensions in time and
space to a common location. Xanax has a co-located self on the
outside, who is the only sane one out of all of us... Corlos logged a
successful transport," Onimex said anecdotally.
41. "The actual Xanax is in 1938, in an alternate
timeline, in which Corlos
doesn't exist. We almost stranded ourselves." "Where
are your other selves?" Ireana asked. "Not knowing that saved you
once," he answered, "... are you sure you want to change that?"
"Good point," she conceded. "I'm out gathering neon," he joked.
"Neon!" She laughed. "Neon is banned!" "Because
Vejhon has a
watershell, and Constitutional Law applies no matter where
a shellan lives." "That's retarded," she remarked.
"Vejhon's watershell filters crimson
bands that prevent the creation
of Neon 17, 18 and 19." "Lazers?" she interrupted.
"Eco-terrorism," he clarified, "we're getting off the
subject." "You started it," she accused him, "lazers don't
be neon based..." "That kind of thinking will land you in
jail," he said. She conceded.
"Have you ever heard of Hawaii?" he asked. Ireana was
moving you and Dayton to 1962 Hawaii, but I do have to go up and
calibrate a new Index. See, I get to do something too!" She
was hiding a belly laugh. "By all
means," and she went through the motion of pushing him up like a
"Fasten your seatbelt," he said. She shrugged and made a frowny