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The Birth of Onimex -- Chapter 18

1. Ireana keyed in 6.67 x 10-11Nm2kg-2 on her PDA and tweaked the formula to compensate for M'tro-1's gravity and density.  Her life revolved around a disc shaped object that hovered above 3 feet of empty space in the center of her lab.  It was roughly 1 meter in diameter and 11 inches thick.  The top side was a highly polished onyx color that had a scrying bowl effect.  The exterior circumference was smooth with interactive features flush behind hidden panels.  This was her masterpiece. 

2. The machine was anchored by a tevatron umbilical so that it wouldn't drift away when left unattended or bumped.  Most of her touching was through an interactive tablet.  She ran through the diagnostic report for a third time and could find no faults.  Once activated, the droid would burn-in and could never be turned off, so everything had to be done right the first time.  "This is the moment we've been waiting for," she lipped softly under her breath.  

3.  She keyed in a numeric sequence, "7, 129, 6, 105 and 195.  The square of 1.618 = 1.272."  Those numbers had launched her interest in existential mathematics when she was only 5.  Now the sequence called for a "Pre-initialize?" response.  It was the first time that she had seen those words since she began composing the fundamental formulas for this project 4 years earlier.  It would be the only time that she saw those words, so she didn't hurry.    

4.  Fourty-one years had passed since the Cardship evacuation, and as planned, Mother resettled qualified colonists on sustainable worlds to maintain shipboard stasis.  Ireana's parents volunteered to become colonists and settled on M'tro-1 when she was 4.     

5.  M'tro-1 was two systems beyond the Cacci Dai, and the farthest any shellan had ventured from Vejhon up to that point. 

6.  "Pre-initialize," Ireana said.  The droids exterior illuminated several thousand tiny red pixels that each represented a diagnostic pre-boot prior to burn-in.  As each pattern satisfied a prescribed checklist, the pixel color would change from red to orange, then yellow, green, blue, and rest at a hazy violet before turning off again.  For an inspiring moment, the droid was ablaze with color as the checklist for each pixel was not at the same speed.  

7.  It looked like an aurora surrounding a black hole in her lab.  Cumulatively, the level of thought that went into that machine was unprecedented.  Just watching the pre-initialization was convincing enough.  Eventually, the droid exterior glowed with a purple plasma haze and then resumed it's former black sheen as before.  The pre-initilization sequence completed without a fault, and historically speaking, perfection was the bare minimum expected.  

8.  There was one thing left to do, and it would only happen once, so she felt no compulsion to rush.  
9.  "Vacuum-level matter, re-organizes according to the expectations of the observer," Ireana said to the object, even though it wasn't switched on yet. 

10.  She took a moment to admire her masterpiece, knowing that this would be the last time that it lay dormant, as an insentient object. 

11.  "Consciousness is the building block of the Universe," she said.  She keyed in her formula for hyper dimensional travel on a transparent keyboard, "Ruv - (guvR)/2 + guvΛ = (8πG/c4)Tuv," and whispered, "faster-than-light," like a maestro before an orchestra at the grand finale.   The background formulas had already been keyed in.

12.  "The process of observation creates what we see," she thought out loud again. 

13.  Ireana did not know that she was being observed by an object that was not yet operating; her particular crowd did not speculate on non-existent organizations either. 

14.  The painting was finished.  There was nothing left to do but run through one last checklist.  
15.  She picked up her slate and opened the cancellation dialogue:  "Paraphaseic rippling.  Index annihilation.  Quantum entanglement.   Non-synchronous cymatics.   Parallel signatures.  Spacial rifts.;" rhythms she knew forward and backward because she had written them.   "Is there anything that I left out?"  Because it's now or never.  This was the moment:  Her monumental achievement was complete, there was only one last step, and that was to turn it on. 

16.  She found her attention drawn toward the window, "Am I changing time?" she asked herself.  "Am I doing this again, for the second time?  Am I hesitating or am I supposed to hesitate?"

17.  "We create reality," she told herself.  "Everyone gets these feelings."  "Fear is a very slow, dense vibrational state."  "You are not afraid."  Ireana took a breath.

18.  One word displayed on the diagnostics panel:  "INITIALIZE?"  "Another word I'll never see again," she thought, "I will now 'speak' it into existence," she whispered. 

19.  Ireana chuckled at some of the correlations, "It all reduces to that one question, doesn't it?"  "Note the time," she said to her PDA.  "Initialize," she said calmly and clearly.

20.  Several internal gyros began winding up and then faded above the shellan audio spectrum so that no sound was heard.  Internal stasis was achieved.  A few umbilical disconnect lights illuminated and subdued to a deep blue color.  The machine became autonomous.  It was spiritual... like creating life.  Her eyes were wide and bright from her own inner light.  The machine dissolved the tevatron umbilical and became an animated biocybergenic being.  She looked worried, and afraid, happy, hopeful and expectant...

21.  And then the machine's first words, "I have a parallel signature -- Is there is another unit identical to me?" it asked.  Her face was flushed.  His voice was soothing and collected. 

22. "Check your philosophy base," she instructed.  "Honestly, has it 'gone there and back' already?"  Her chest tightened at the quantum possibilities.  

23. “The other unit is accessing,” Onimex said, with a slight inflection.  "NO! DON'T!" she yelled.  She clutched Onimex on both sides as if her grip alone could prevent the wind from blowing.  "Dump it!" she demanded, “Don’t Access!”  She smacked him, "Don't do it!"  She calmed down, believing that Onimex had complied.  "Abort," she said rather calmly, self-conscious of her unprofessional outburst.  The machine's first memory would be getting smacked by its creator... just like a live birth.  Maybe that was planned too.    

24. "The signal terminated at the source," Onimex said, "The other unit is myself," he confirmed.  Ireana sat back on her laboratory stool with a years worth of stress expressed in only 8 seconds.  The other unit knew better than to access himself.  For a brief second -- they were in communion.   Trans-time dialogue is less cumbersome if conducted serially.

25. "Quantum entanglement?" Ireana questioned. She knew that she would never know for sure.  If in fact, the other unit was himself, it was clearly not from his past.    

26.  Her nerves reported a ground tremble beneath her, which might have been a cardiac reaction to stress.  She had never felt a ground tremor before, ever.  She needed a sip of water, or maybe something stronger.  She picked up the portable refuser laying next to her glass and and pushed the button.  She just wanted enough to wet her lips.  

27. The ground shook a second time, dislodging loose objects in her lab.  That was not an ordinary explosion.  "Are we being attacked?" she asked in disbelief.  "Have they found us?" she whispered.  No other explanation seemed plausible. 

28. She darted to the window to get a better view.  A beam of light emanated from orbit and struck a nearby facility.  That light beam had caused the previous two shellquakes.  A third beam struck close enough to nearly collapse the building.  'Matter' was sinking into a hole... "but how?" she asked.  The sink hole indicated an impending big implosion.  She glanced at Onimex, "Did I cause this?"  She meant, "Did you cause this?"  Then she asked, "Did you?"  Like any parent, she could never truly accuse her own. 

29.  Corlos had been watching this event closely; a moment that could not be missed at any cost because the past, present and future was hardwired to her -- right here and right now.


30. While the Cardships were out peppering the known Universe with colonists, Kor had improved his war machine to be more lethal than before.  By keeping the Theites at bay, he had built a new fleet of uncompromising magnitude and power.  His new ships made the old ones look impotent.  These new monstrosities were planet killers and four of them were above M'Trol-1, toying with their prey before finishing it off.  

31. A lot had changed on Vejhon since the evacuation.  Nearly 30% of the population had become slaves and the surface had been strip mined for raw ore.  Kor's super youth were running the regime; obsessed with conquest and optimal efficiency.  Kor was the spirit who moved all things, but no longer controlled them.  The youth had seized power from Kor but still protected him as the Great Father.     

32. The new youth had been engineered to look, think and act like Kor.  With training, some could perform the miracles that Kor performed in his younger days.  An entire generation of Kor hybrids ran everything including the military.  Only those who could keep up were accepted into their fraternity.  The hybrids recognized each other and protected their collective as a single organism; motivated to preserve the State.  They replaced the antiquated Elite but romanticized Elite accomplishments and revered Secret Society traditions.  It was an adrenaline rush for all, whether among their ranks or dumbfounded in their wake.                  

33. However impressed Kor was with his prodigies, he had to modify policy when one forcibly removed him and Dal El from a destroyer because the mission was too dangerous for either of them to accompany.  When Kor realized what was happening, he turned to squash the marble sculpture, whose hypnotic determination and faultless loyalty was terribly distracting; whose indomitable spirit displayed no fear in his lazer-blue eyes.   Kor read the kids altruist intention etched in stone; 'Death meant nothing compared to protecting The Master.'  Dal didn't need a translator, "A National Treasure," he observed accurately.  The kid grinned thinly.

34.  Kor felt a cold fire in his soul, "He is absolutely, utterly unconcerned about how I respond."  There was no contest because the kid had already won.  Dal was standing right behind him, who was himself, picked up like a potted plant, and set inside the docking collar next to Kor.  For the first and only time in his life, Kor had to reconcile with mixed emotions, "Can I kill something that I created?" he complained to Dal El, "We can't possibly be that obsolete?"  The youth had been engineered to surpass Kor, and that kid in particular didn't think twice about it.  These baby snakes made their 'Kid' predecessors seem rather docile. 

35.  It was an awkward moment, alone in a docking collar, while the retinue embarked on a dangerous mission without the need for presidential fanfare.  "Non-essential personnel?" Dal scoffed.  He was awed at how powerful the hybrids had become; obsessed with finding Cardships.  "I'm glad they like us," Dal added with relief -- he always found the most proactive view.  The subsonic vibrations and machinations of technology had drifted away.  The collar became eerily quiet.

36.  Kor indulged the absurdity since nobody else was around, "You looked stupid being hauled off the ship like a... vegetable," he said.  Dal had not been forced to do anything since becoming the Vice-Elite.  "He didn't even ask me to leave!" Dal complained, "He just picked me up like a stanchion and planted me here!"  "I will admit," Kor said introspectively, "that this is a new experience."  Dal pointed at himself to add himself to the list, then swirlled his arm overhead, "We run this entire fracking system, and here we are in a docking collar with no one around!"  He alluded to the empty corridor, "Does anyone even know we're here?"  Kor looked sternly into Dal's face, and then suddenly busted up laughing.  It was probably the first time since the campaign that he had found anything this funny.  Dal cracked a grin because Kor's laughter was surprisingly infectious.  Their command was not imperiled or in any serious jeopardy. 

37.  "That kid was actually daring you to do something," Dal mused, astonished that the kid was still alive, "Did you see the look in his eyes?  He was fracking burning holes through us!  What the hell is that?"      

38.  "Don't worry," Kor reassured him, "eventually I'll get somebody to let us out of here."  He intoned it like an actor playing the part of a stranded tourist.  Dal started laughing because Kor was never at a loss for anything, ever.  "How do you 'plan' for shit like that?" he was thinking.  Everyone would automatically assume that the Vice Elite belayed the embarkation fanfare for tactical reasons, wary of 'invisible observers,' per memorandum by Dal El.  "That ship isn't coming back, is it?" Dal wailed stupidly.  He wasn't being serious.  Nobody was watching; if ever there was a moment to let their guard down -- it was now.      

39.  "If it kills me," Kor added.  Now Dal needed a medic because the comedy of errors was unbearable, if not desperately refreshing, "Don't grid the kid," he petitioned Kor, "he's still a good kid."  This was an avant guard moment that would only happen once.     

40.  They weren't literally stranded -- all they had to do was go back to the yard station and call somebody, not to mention that Kor could psionically summon anyone he wished.  Out of habit, Kor firewalled himself and Dal El from casual penetration, so nobody knew they were stranded in spite of the comical circumstance.  Kor did not know for sure how to explain what happened.  "Did the ship even tell someone that we were kicked off?" Dal wondered.  Typically, red carpets, limousines and special treatment preceded them everywhere they went.  "Well, at least we know... " Dal held short, but Kor read the rest, "... that things can still run without us." 

41.  For the sake of avoiding any future bad precedents, Dal El composed a policy that permitted him and Kor to accompany the fleet on dangerous missions, "...whether Kor'An D'seas likes it or not."  And they named the exemption after the kid, which got his Captain's attention. 

42.  Kor'An D'seas was summarily pardoned by Dal El for doing what he had trained his entire life to do: Protect Kor.  From then on, ship captains ensured that the antic was never repeated.  Kor'An D'seas became somewhat of a folk hero for Kor, who believe it or not, highly admired him.  To rub it in, everyone began asking 'the Kor apparent' for permission before they did anything dangerous, and The Master himself began staging events behind-the-scenes to train Kor'An D'seas as his surrogate.