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Answers -- Chapter 25

1.  Onimex was investigating a newly terraformed world that nobody had claimed.  Corlos had asked him to visit and observe.

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 Onimex.  

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 and leave. 


7.  Dal 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 scoffed. 

9.  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 be OK.  "Covert operatives must be known to 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' intelligence gathering agency of the Universe?"

13.  "They sent her here... on purpose?"  Kor was truly dumbfounded, "This will go down into Tactical Hell," he bemused.

14.  Underestimating Kor had been his adversaries' last greatest mistake... but Ireana's daring made him admire her because she actually got right next to 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 operative?"    

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 knew better.   

17.  Dal was under a lot of 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..."

20. She stopped Onimex from accessing, "No don't!  Dump it!  Don't access!" she told him.  Ireana could not possibly have 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," he concluded.          

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 staged.           


24.  Tetragammeton 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," he said. 

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 Sol. 

37.  The symbols used were the ones Ra gave to Thothma's mathematicians.    

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.

"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 exist.  

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," Azoth said.

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 proceed. 

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 function 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 assured Uhura.

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 barbarian battle. 

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 d


53. Kor 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.     
54. “I 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, they could."   

55.  Ireana did not know whether Kor was reading her or not - if he was - his ability to conceal it was as good as her acting.  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 thought."

56.  Kor was glad that she still had her humor.  "Keep going," he silently encouraged her, "I haven't had this much fun... ever."           

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' ... won't."  

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 Earth is 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 her: 

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: 

62.  "Conquests don't have a name," she had already figured out.  She learned "919" from a planner in scheduling, "The third body's conquest number."  She grieved over M'tro-1, "whose conquest number was..."  a yeoman who was on that mission remembered "868."  

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 uttered.    

64.  Without an Enochian key, the intonation for "Earth" did not exist... anywhere. 

65.  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 her book.  

70.  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 bad." 

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 told her 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 Constitutional Vejhon 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 you are."                    

75.  "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 conversation. 

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 attraction to 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 some open-ended 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 remember, "You forced the law abiding shellans to flee."  Her passion was being shaved by a razor, and then she realized that her heart belonged to someone 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.           

79.  Kor 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.     

80.  Now it was Kor's turn to come to his senses.  He released them both from this trance-like overindulgence, "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...