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  #21  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:11 PM
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“Rekkha what-?” Iko was cut off when Rekkha’s free claw came up with the forgotten Autopistol-5 from the warehouse. The assistant knew exactly where Khavall’s center of mass was. Close your eyes sometime and let someone grab one of your wrists. Simply by how one is held telegraphs their position, stance and how much leverage they can bring to bear on the person grabbed. Though blind, Rekkha Vaikrou leveled the pistol and fired two shots with reverberating echoes off the ice cavern walls. So sharp and loud was the weapon report that more than one stalactite broke free from the upper chamber and fell to the formations below and shattered. Two bloody holes appeared in Iko’s back. When he descended before her, his claws losing grasp on her empty wrist and parka, I knew that he was dead on the floor. There was no point-blank to it. It was closer than close and the Autopistol, Rekkha actually, that had killed Khavall Iko.

I froze in horror. That bitch never shed a tear, never made a face. Such was the stoicism of the Roth Thokken. Paralanguage is lost on the blind ethnicity. Rekkha never bared her teeth. Her tail swished more calmly now that she was freed from Iko’s grasp, his body cooling on the ground of the cavern. A dark pool of his blood was quickly congealing on the ice and rock.

“Ri?” Rekkha asked by calling out to me in the cavern still lit by the watery metal and light of the Artifact ring.

I hazarded a move to maneuver on Rekkha by circling. I did not get two steps when the weapon came up in an exact, killing line on my center of mass.

“We Roth Thokken are born blind yes,” explained the frosty voice of Rekkha. “But we are born psionic too, every one of us. And we are far more powerful than even those who find testing and training at Psionic Institutes, Ri. Don’t move.” Her face turned square to me, her muzzle and nose picking me out as accurately as the Autopistol had.

I was afraid I was next. I had to keep her talking when I asked, “You can see?”

”No, thank the Ancients,” answered the murderess. “I’m a telepath like you. And we both know that my Life Detection is blocked by your Shield. Isn’t that right, Psion Ri?”

So that was the tingling I had been feeling.

“Mm-hmm,” confirmed Rekkha. She wasn’t reading my mind or even sensing me with her Roth Thokken psionics. “You were so busy looking over your shoulder for the source of my gentle probing of you and Capt. Noedhin that you discounted the poor, disabled blind Vargr assistant to Emissary Iko. Your mistake. Oops. She’s not so blind now. Without the vision sense, we Roth have had to hone our hearing, touch and smell. I’ve never missed seeing with my eyes. Don’t try me. Your first step will give your position. Same with your voice. Oh, and pant louder in the reek of fear I smell.”

She had me pinned. I was still Shielded from a telepathic Assault that Uessae and I had learned that power telepaths could employ. But for that gun, I could have overpowered her easily.

“What do you want?” I asked, hoping it was not my last question before dying. Keep her talking, I kept encouraging myself in thought. I was hoping that perhaps Uessae and Lidus might come back through the ring to see what was keeping us.

“The truth,” growled Rekkha. “I am a truth-seeker, Ri. I detected the missing and blank years inside Iko’s head eight years ago, before I joined him. I could not probe for blockage, so adept was the amnesia. But it was the exaction of the beginning and end of the amnesia. I measured it to exactly twelve years, Psion Ri. As a Medic, you know that the diagnosis of amnesia is never so sharp-edged. Curious. I had to know what had done this to Iko. Now that he, you and your team have brought me here, I know it was the Ancients. They did this to him. Even a Roth Thokken cannot block or cut so sharply twelve years of life from a mundane.”

Much like the Lobby handshake, Rekkha Vaikrou the Roth Thokken had detected my protective mental Shield. She was subtle about it, so delicate that I thought the brush against my mind’s Lobby was from someone or someones that had followed Iko and Master Tekkhi the Kokasha during the field excursion.

“Give me the object Uessae slipped you,” commanded Rekkha. “I heard it all. It’s in your pocket. Pull it out and give it to me.” She wanted the Special psi-drug, possibly to dose herself.

“You’re not a Psion.” I tried that. Didn’t work.

“I am a Roth Thokken! I’m not some psionic hack the rest of you test and train to become. I’ve mastered my power since I was a cub!” I was sleaze-haggling more time to live from her. It was working so long as she did not pull that trigger. She could not Assault me without a psionic battle, and I could not rush her with her acute, remaining senses honed since birth. Those pearly eyes finally targeted me, and her empty claw came palm up.
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  #22  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:12 PM
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“You won’t get away with this,” I warned Rekkha Vaikrou. “There are only so many bullets in that gun.”

“How cliché, Ri,” hummed Rekkha. “Miss Ka will fall to my Assault and I can finish her off with a bite. Just enough bullets for you and Uessae. Then the truth beyond that machine will be mine.” Her curling claws demanded the Special dose.

Careful to not startle Rekkha, I placed the single-use injector into her palm, buying more time with the psi-drug. The moment the injector hit her claw palm, the Roth Thokken dosed herself in the neck. When the reservoir of Special was empty, she threw it away. “Move,” she then commanded. Though the Autopistol remained on a deadly aim, her free claw pointed to the Artifact.

“You win, Rekkha,” I tried to haggle. “There’s the opened Portal. Take it. You no longer need me or the others.”

With a snicker, Rekkha Vaikrou answered, “Know what a canary in a coal mine is, Ri?”

* * *
Lidus: Did you have a plan of how to defeat Rekkha, Ri?

Ri: None. I had to surrender everything to her just to keep us alive. And her powers were growing by the minute with the Special spreading in her system.
* * *
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Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
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On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD
  #23  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:15 PM
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138-1106
Lair (Provence 2402) A8859B9-E (or F debatable) Ga Hi Pr Pz Cp (again debatable) Cx K [Vargr] [Amber] VLPr

I could only wish I had an inability to walk through an active Portal at gunpoint. A lifetime of karmic Had It Coming flashed against the back of my skull as I was maneuvered up to the liquid metal barrier of the active Artifact. In fact, being the chicklizard of this group, I had to be prodded at the business end of the Autopistol Rekkha Vaikrou now held. Every karmic cruelty, standard operations outmaneuvering, and vengeful action all seemed to hit me in the back of the skull like rapid-fire boomerangs. What goes around, comes around.

Following me was the blind Roth Thokken, her ears tweaking and twisting to triangulate my position as I was backed up against the event horizon of the alien device we had discovered. There was no use in displaying my empty claws, to hold one’s extremities up in surrender. She couldn’t see the standard gesture anyway.

“A truth-seeker should face the truth head on, don’t you think?” Rekkha could hear my boots scuffling in backward steps. “Aren’t you the least bit curious about what’s on the other side, Ri?” I swallowed hard. I was caught between death and the unknown. My heart pounded and my claws and feet were sweating-...well sweating bullets. To say that I was afraid would be an understatement. Hoping not to be ignobly shot in the back, I turned to face the active Portal.

“Go on,” ordered Rekkha. Her weapon did not waver. Visible gestures, signs or cues were useless on her and useless for her to use.

I stepped into the bright mercury of the Portal barrier. The journey happened so fast. I wished that I could slow my brain down and play it back in a hundredth or even a thousandth of what hit my senses. Jumpspace, black space without stars, a single star, a circle of planets about it, the nearest coming up fast. I fell toward the nearest planet of what I would only learn later was called a Rosette, a perfect circle orbit of planets each equidistant from each other about the small star. It’s impossible, I know. But I had zero time to check my logic or double-check my senses. A bright beacon light was on the surface of this small planet. I shot in a laser-straight line to the beacon as it grew brighter or grew closer. I could not tell the difference.

Before my step through the Portal struck a surface, I found myself almost stumbling into an egg-white, circular room. I held my breath. Was there oxygen here? I’d be dead in seconds if not. Then I saw Uessae and Lidus standing to a side and looking about in wonder. They were alive! I surrendered to the need to breathe.

“Ri!” Uessae called to me as I emerged from the Portal’s barrier in a stumble to catch my footing. The gravity was ever-so-slightly stronger than on Lair. It almost tripped me, though I regained my equilibrium. I stepped immediately to one side of this new Artifact ring and froze.

“Rekkha’s-“ I tried to hiss a warning, my paralanguage screaming of danger.

“I’m here,” answered Rekkha Vaikrou as she emerged from the Portal. The Autopistol-5 was still in her claw, though now it pointed down to the floor. She could not see me, and her ears sought me out for any sounds her hearing might target.

As softly as I could manage, I made a pistol gesture with my claw and shot it twice at the Portal by adding in two index claws of my free hand. Uessae being ex-military picked up on the signs immediately. But poor Lidus did not.

“What?” was all Lidus could ask before Rekkha’s Autopistol snapped up in a deadly aim on the Vilani woman’s kill line. Then the Roth Thokken’s mask of a face centered on Miss Ka. Those pearly eyes were like some angel of death’s eyes.

“He was always treating me like luggage, like a cripple,” accused Rekkha when all of us froze at the threat of the weapon. “I helped him every step of his Emissary career with my Telepathy, giving him subtle clues and insights to those Khavall met. And he took all the credit at the end of every job. If it weren’t for his precise memory amnesia, I would have left him that first year.”

Then Rekkha warned, “I know exactly where Lidus is, Ri. Don’t try anything and maybe we will get to the truth alive.”

Before you kill us, I reminded myself. I gently and quietly gestured that Iko was dead with an index across my throat when Uessae flashed a questioning look at me. Before today, I would have never taken advantage of a person’s inability to see with such gestures and signs. But with Rekkha’s threatening honed senses, the Autopistol murder weapon and her growing psionic power, I was willing to do anything to live through this.

“Lead on, Uessae,” commanded Rekkha. “Try anything and Lidus dies first.”
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Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
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  #24  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:19 PM
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Finally, I took a quick look about the Portal we had stepped from. We four stood in a dim circular room of egg-white walls and a domed ceiling. From the room was an archway exit into a long and dim hall. But it was the faintly glowing tubes of purple fluids with motes of tiny lights flowing down these conduits. The pipes stretched down the halls and seemed mounted against the walls. Was it some kind of plumbing? Each purple conduit turned with the corridor, staying to its wall. The air was clean, and the gravity felt Terran-standard.

Uessae then gently turned and led the way from the room. Lidus shot me a look of fear. My heart broke as we filed out of the Portal room in a single file as Rekkha fell into step behind the Vilani. Thoughts of my fallen friends and crew came back to haunt me as we softly padded through dim corridors faintly lit by the glowing purple conduits of sparkling fluids. Would I have to return Uessae to Atsah and Lidus Ka to her father in the Third Imperium?

The dim corridor turns and dead ends eventually led to fully illuminated halls with more purple pipes. These halls looked more treaded. Since Rekkha did not seem to care for descriptions, we explored in silence.

Then we heard new sounds. Sophonts - no, Vargr - were heard down the lit paths. Then we saw two Vargr, one male and one female walking across our path in a four-way intersection. Uessae did not call out to them as it might make Rekkha start firing beginning with Lidus who was not Shielded and thus psionically visible to Roth Thokken Life Detection discipline.

I tried my best to quietly reach out with my own, piss-poor Telekinesis that I call Move. I needed to tap one on the shoulder or tug a tail or something, anything to get their attention without crying out and triggering Rekkha literally.

Though my Telekinesis is pitifully weak, it did attract the attention of one Vargr. There were no words from them. The one I’d pulled on turned his head and looked directly at me, perhaps to discern if the Move was an attack. I tried to make a facial expression or paralanguage of distress. However, we Vargr don’t have as many facial muscles to fully communicate with simple facial manipulations. Vargr have always added in gestures and bodily paralanguage in addition to the spoken word.

It was then I was treated to a silent shock to the solar plexus. With the corridor lights behind us just then, I was able to see that this male Vargr’s eyes did not reflect light the way mirrored Vargr retinae do. I nearly yelped in surprise. He was no Vargr! Just where were we?

Uessae ever the tactical, who had been searching ways to get the jump on Rekkha, followed the not-Vargr. None of us spoke a word and I had no indication that my Master and Commander had noticed that we were not following Vargr. From behind her mental Shield, she was quickly analyzing the situation against Rekkha. I could tell this because Uessae was walking with her tail rigid and not its usual flowing sweep. Rekkha missed it being blind and among the sounds of our group moving through the corridors.

“There are other Vargr,” noted Rekkha Vaikrou with a whisper. “Yet they do not speak. And I do not hear them. Follow them.” The command was venomous as the Roth Thokken took up a closer position behind Lidus. With her free claw Rekkha grabbed the Vilani by her upper arm, the Autopistol barrel pressed to her back.

Uessae and I looked at each other before complying with Rekkha. We followed the pair of not-Vargr that Rekkha had mistaken for our race. As we moved down more corridors, we beheld open views of the planet outside this-....Downport? The entire architecture outside seemed only to concern itself with just this collection of domes, corridors and intersection nodes. None of it was Lair or even Vargr fashioned. And still the glowing purple pipes lined the lower walls under the observation windows.

The small planet outside the architecture seemed shirtsleeves despite the sealed nature of these structures. I saw vegetation, a distant lake on the horizon and the rising of the star at the center of the Rosette system. It was almost Terran-prime but for its smaller size. The horizon line was much closer and suggested a smaller diameter planet. But no stars other than the single solar body rising above the horizon were seen. Where the Ancients were we?! We continued to follow the silent non-Vargr.

Through a final archway, we emerged from the corridors into a central and vast dome. A holographic or what seemed holographic projection of Lair dominated the air in the middle of the dome. The walls remained egg-white and lined with the glowing purple conduits. More non-Vargr gathered under the projection.

I saw each vargriform nod to a central figure under the holomap of Lair. There were pedestals with single, square panels of more purple, starry fluid under transparent glass or polymer. Each non-Vargr placed a claw palm and digit pads on a panel and concentrated by becoming very still. As we approached, a non-Vargr finished its interfacing, lifted its claw and turned to depart the way it had come into the huge dome chamber. More respectful nod-bows to the central non-Vargr in egg-white robes, then each left by walking back outward from the central location. I hoped I would not have to touch such super-high technology. Fear of being turned into a non-Vargr turned my horror holovid library on its index file, on its head.

Rekkha halted us before this central figure. My guess is that with so many non-Vargr, all of them mentally silent or supremely Shielded, the Roth Thokken was now ready to seek the truth or whatever. At this point, I had nothing to buy our lives with. So, we obeyed and let her make the next move.
__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
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  #25  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:20 PM
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Keeping Lidus with in line-of-fire, Rekkha stepped forward as non-Vargr parted her way to the robed figure. I saw the male non-Vargr regard her peacefully, note the firearm visually and stand calmly. His claws were hidden under the long folds of the robe sleeves. I found no insignia or badges of any kind on the multiple pleats and mantle layers.

“Welcome to Fyutinyu,” said the central male non-Vargr. “I am Idren-Gzal, the warden of Ossobro.” He spoke in Logaksu. At least that’s what I heard in my ears.

Captured in the moment, I burned the name Fyutinyu in my mind. They way this Idren-Gzal pronounced it, I knew we weren’t on Lair and that the name wasn’t a Vargr word at all.

As if she was the leader of our group, Rekkha Vaikrou stepped forward to this non-Vargr and introduced herself, “Ith vue Rekkha Vaikrou khu Roth Thokken.” Rekkha spoke in her ethnic Roth Thokken dialect to Idren-Gzal. That was when I was sure that this non-Vargr could speak in any language our group could understand and voiced simultaneously it seemed. I saw Miss Ka brighten in that she probably heard High Vilani from the non-Vargr figure.

“Rekkha,” I tried to warn her, “you need to know som-.” The Autopistol-5 came up to target me once more, silencing me with its threat. Rekkha never looked my way. She went one action further to cock the pistol hammer with her thumb. It shut me up. I did not want to die. We had no medical gear, not for bullets anyway.

Idren-Gzal never reacted to the threatening weapon. It wasn’t pointed at him, so why should he care? We were obviously the intruders here on Ossobro planet of this Fyutinyu. It- he asked, “What can we do for you, Rekkha Vaikrou?”

Rekkha continued to speak in her native dialect. She asked where we were beyond the Portal. I know this because of the answer the tall Idren-Gzal gave her. Slowly, gently, and purposefully, the non-Vargr placed his palm on a nearby square panel of mote-lit purple fluid connected to the rest of the wall conduits. It was some kind of fluidic computer network! Idren-Gzal was interfacing with the entire planetary system. The revelation must have been on my bodily paralanguage because he nodded at me as if to confirm my findings.

The holographic projection of Lair was replaced by an image of the galaxy quickly zooming in to Charted Space, down further to the Vargr Extents. It zoomed in on Provence Sector and slowed as Grnouf Subsector resolved into focus. Then the parsec of space in which Lair occupied was highlighted. Lettering in legible Logaksu labeled the system and listed its solar, planetary and satellite bodies. Everything on the projection was super smooth in transition. This computer was beyond anything I had ever seen, and likely was beyond anything found in Charted Space.

“You are inside Fyutinyu, on the mainworld Ossobro, Rekkha Vaikrou,” explained Idren-Gzal. I saw the ‘hex’ of Lair then spin, turning over like a six-sided tile to reveal a new system on the flipside of the hexagon. The fluidic computer then listed the names of the star Fyutinyu, Ossobro and the other planets of the Rosette.

“A pocket space,” whispered Uessae but loud enough for all of us to hear her. “No other stars in the sky.”

“Yes,” agreed Idren-Gzal the not-a-Vargr. “The work of one beyond even myself.”
__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
The Pakkrat 0608 X58738-8 S va++ so+ zh+ vi+ da+ 534
On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD
  #26  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:21 PM
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“Who?” Rekkha demanded. Her youthful impatience emerged then. “I am a truth-seeker. I want the truth of us Vargr, the universe - everything. And I want it all now!”

“Rekkha, I-.” The Roth Thokken could not Assault me without taking her full attention off of Idren-Gzal whom I was sure now was some kind of synthetic Vargr or very advanced android. He didn’t seem to need to breathe, show paralanguage or any other sign of life. Myself engrossed in their exchange had no chance to dodge when Rekkha shot me in the upper right leg. I went down with the kinetic energy and gripped the wound in searing pain. She had missed the kill line, my center of mass, perhaps because of her wonder at this repository of answers we had discovered.

Those few non-Vargr in the room stopped as one and regarded fired weapon, its target, and the effects it had on me. Three of the original seven rounds of the Autopistol were now expended. It was a quick, inner joke in my head but I had taken one for the team. The empty shell casing pinged on the floor. One less bullet Rekkha could use on Lidus or Uessae to say nothing of the entities standing in the dome at that moment.

“Now,” growled Rekkha. “Give it all to me. Why were we Roth blinded? Who are the Ancients who made us? Why were we Chosen? Every damn truth that has been hidden from us; I want them RIGHT NOW!” She was crying, her ears flattened, and her muzzle wrinkled in frenzied anticipation. She likely felt so close to the source of her life’s questions.

“Even though such a download would burn you?” Idren-Gzal cautioned in question. “Your weapon will not kill me. I need not be coerced.”

With the Special psi-drug now at full intensity inside Rekkha Vaikrou the Roth Thokken, she must have felt ready for such answers. Who wouldn’t? Life, existence, everything, and all truth available before someone; it can lower one’s scruples in less than a heartbeat’s time.

Snarling, Rekkha commanded, “Then burn me. I have suffered before.”
__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
The Pakkrat 0608 X58738-8 S va++ so+ zh+ vi+ da+ 534
On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD
  #27  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:24 PM
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It was an interface I thought I’d never forget at the time. Idren-Gzal locked his vision on Rekkha Vaikrou the Roth Thokken, his non-Vargr eyes to her pearly blind ones. This was the first time that I saw true facial expressions on her. She went from a blind person’s mask to one of blissful understanding as answers began to fill her mind. Then her reactions became euphoric in paralanguage. Her tail swished contentedly.

Uessae came to my side while Rekkha was receiving the truth. I watched the exchange from behind my own mental Shield as we both worked to tourniquet my leg and fashion a makeshift bandage for my bullet wound. At the range Rekkha shot me, the bullet had left my leg out the posterior muscles. Thank the Ancients she had missed the artery and the bone. But I was not for standing up just then. The silent but intense communication between Idren-Gzal and Rekkha was not one to be missed.

“No...hold up...I have questions about that....wait....STOP. Too much!” Rekkha could not tear herself away from the burrowing gaze of Idren-Gzal. Her claws came up as if to block the unseen connection to slow or halt the download. “Stop! It’s too much at once!” The Autopistol clattered to the egg-white floor when she dropped it.

The truth hurts, was all I could think at the time. It’s a cruel joke I know. Lidus, Uessae and I were powerless to break the download connection between Idren-Gzal amplified by the Ossobro computer and the psi-amped Roth Thokken. We watched as revelation after revelation poured into Rekkha Vaikrou began to cause her spool up something I thought was psionic in nature. But it wasn’t.

It looked like the six or so seconds it takes for a teleporter Psion to begin a jaunt, a teleportation. Rekkha instead faded slowly in a ‘port that took agonizingly too long. The jaunt was not a teleport. Rekkha’s revelations were removing her. She screamed in wracking pain and anguish even as she was still locked eyes to blind eyes in the connection. She fell to her knees on the floor. We could only watch as she faded from view, punctuated by a jaunt SNAP! The air instantly rushed in to fill the volume of her vanished body. Her screaming echoed off the walls of the dome chamber then was silenced.

“Download complete.”

Rekkha Vaikrou was gone. I can’t say if she was dead, blown to oblivion or basking in the truths she had downloaded or withered to a charred insanity from having her psyche burned inside-out from the download. It came out of my mouth, “Be careful what you wish for-...”

Lidus Ka finished for me in Anglic language, “....you just might get it.”

Uessae helped me to a limping stance. Lidus whispered some kind of meditation prayer I had only heard once before, during the misjump from Dzarvaerr to Ath Aghe. Perhaps Miss Ka believed Rekkha now among the Dakhaseri, the Audience of the Stars, the Vilani afterlife.

“...and the truth shall set you free,” quoted Uessae Noedhin. Free alright. Free of mortal existence to be sure.
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  #28  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:30 PM
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???-110?
Fyutinyu (Flipside Provence 2402) F485360-M Lo - - - NaXX 300 G5V

Several bystander not-Vargr came to me and tended my wound. In under a minute of the pair “laying on claws” to my entry and exit wounds, I was healed of the damage. I was struck speechless and dumbfounded. No trace of being shot by Rekkha’s gun was left of the sites. No scar or even fur loss. Was it technological healing or psionic in nature? I did not voice that question after seeing what had become of missing Rekkha. I accepted their help without question during the treatment.

“Thank you,” was all I could push out my mouth once my surprise subsided.

“You are welcome, Ri Dzuerrgksungkorokoutue,” answered Idren-Gzal.

“She was burned by trying to blockade her mind with her psionic Shield?” Uessae hazarded an explanation to Lidus and I. She did not have to turn to the warden of Ossobro and ask. I nodded in agreement. I told them what had happened between Rekkha, Iko and I before the Portal. I omitted the parts where I am a Psion in front of Lidus. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway. The more Rekkha had resisted with her power, the more friction that had built up inside her psyche. Even then, at her maximum PSR, she could not stop the download of the truth.

“The download removed her from the universe. When one has all-truth, what business does that being have still in our universe?” The ladies nodded at my statement. That was no teleportation at the end of Rekkha Vaikrou.

“You were not meant to find that lost Portal, young Vargr,” announced Idren-Gzal.

“What’s to become of us?” asked Miss Ka, a question before a repository avatar of the truth we had just seen transferred. It triggered the judgement of the non-Vargr in the egg-white robes.

* * *
Ri: They made us forget, all of us.

Uessae: I bet we tried to Shield from the amnesia. Why else was Ri able to store what he had recorded in what most sophonts consider unreal?

Lidus: What?

Ri: Remember Lidus, that I had stored some of our adventure here on Lair in a development submission to Red Wizard? It’s a game we play. It’s not real, not to those outside playing it. And since androids don’t imagine, they must have overlooked erasing those ephemeral details. But it was you, Lidus Ka that triggered the re-pathing through our memories of the game and inside the game, back to our blocked memories. You freed us from what They did to us.

Uessae: I had tried to resist.

Ri: My dream-self had been trying to break the blockage, the amnesia all during the Belting operation and return to Lair. But just the name Fyutinyu was not enough. You freed us, Lidus when you asked, “What is Red Wizard?”

Lidus: Now that we can remember, I bet they removed the Portal from the Fothironggen to prevent future intrusions into Fyutinyu, just like the first one in the glacier was. Master Tekkhi tried to resist his amnesia too I bet.

Ri: And that feeling I was getting all that time? We were being watched. I think Rekkha Vaikrou was wrong in thinking it was just her subtle probing of Uessae and I. We were, and likely are now being watched. All of Lair or even all of the Vargr race are being watched. Just how many Portals from Fyutinyu do They have?

Uessae: No one is going to believe us, even if we told our story in detail and under lie detector machines. Sociopaths can believe their lies.

Ri: Even if we did tell our story, They’d likely pull another mind scramble on us for a surety. I don’t want to forget this again.

Uessae: I didn’t want to forget when they were inserting the blockage. That’s why I repeatedly found myself staring at that monadium egg Artifact we found in that asteroid crater during the Belting operation aboard Blacktongue’s Seeker, the Minor Carp.

Lidus: At least They let us stay together after the amnesia. We almost parted upon our discharge from the operation.

Uessae: I encouraged Ri to interview you, Lidus. If he hadn’t let you join the crew on the Thuegueus II, you would have never seen the game console on the table here in the Commons.

Ri: We remember now. But we have to play dumb, as if we are still amnesiacs. All of us helped each other through and out of this Lair interlude. Bucket List checked off: have the adventure of a lifetime. I’m for paying for the ship repairs and putting some distance between us and Them. It’s time again to Travel.

Uessae/Lidus: Agreed!

End of Flipside
(30)
__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
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On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD

Last edited by The Pakkrat; June 9th, 2020 at 06:31 AM..
  #29  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:31 PM
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Timeline
155-1105 Core of Coreward begins
122-1106 Core of Coreward ends
122-1106 Flipside begins
008-1107 Flipside ends
008-1107 Remember Amnesia begins
064-1107 Remember Amnesia ends

Order of Stories
The Thuegueus Charter
Core of Coreward
Remember Amnesia
Flipside

Cast of Characters

Ri Dzuerrgksungkorokoutue - male Logaksu Merchant 7
Ri comes to record the group’s findings in a draft suggestion e-mail to the developers of Red Wizard. Since the file is stored in a folder for imaginative creativity and considered unreal to the public mindset, its fantasy is missed by the psionic android agents of Indren-Gral, allowing Ri to keep a record of how they overcame their amnesia blockage, remembering their Lair and Fyutinyu adventures at the end of Remember Amnesia. By looking at the fantasy, online game of Red Wizard, the trio are given an ‘in’ back to their memories of what happened to them before the belting operation on the Minor Carp.
Will Ri propose marriage to Uessae on Gaksadudha Continent due to a local law of required remarriage? Though the law does not apply to either Ri or Uessae, the intimation for him to take a knee to her is present in his mind.

Uessae Noedhin - female Aekhu Vargr Navy Captain 6
Uessae uses her Predict power to dose herself with Psi-Special so she can Shield herself and enhance her predictive power long enough to activate the Portal to Ossobro in the pocket universe of Fyutinyu. She and Ri have to keep their psionic powers secret from the Vilani Lidus Ka whom they have not divulged their testing and training at the Psionic Institute on Aezorr in Core of Coreward.

Lidus Ka - female Vilani Corporate daughter, Merchant 2
Lidus Ka is the spearhead of curiosity in aiding Archaeologist Khavall Iko. He is a Patron who invites the trio along to sleuth their way through his forgotten past. Lidus’ use of skills in instrumental in digging up clues the Vargr were meant to miss, keeping the hunt for the truth going. As such, Lidus is a pawn of Rekkha Vaikrou who is manipulating Iko to bring in Ri and Uessae, (whom Rekkha has already learned that she cannot breach the Shields of Ri and Uessae without tipping them off, thus inadvertently and quietly outing them as Psions). Though vulnerable to psionics, Lidus flies under the radar of the Psions involved on either side as harmless. Though most heavily mentally blocked by the psionic androids, it is Lidus who eventually triggers Ri’s memory recollection at the end of Remember Amnesia.

Professor and Emissary Khavall Iko - male Logaksu Vargr Scientist 3 Emissary 2 age 38
Khavall came to close to the Portals to Fyutinyu in following clues in a series of seemingly unrelated discoveries in Paleontology and leading further into Vargr Archaeology. These clues spanned locations of sites on Aforrarrang, Safokunggaru Contintent to Gaehfouzdudo, Aerueko Fen Continent and south to a frozen dig site on Gaksadudha Continent. There he saw the fossilized imprint of a Portal in the glacial ice and took a plaster molding of the discovery. The result was a mockup of a Portal to the network leading back to Fyutinyu.
What Khavall did not know was that he was being surveilled by hired agents of the psionic androids who then alerted the androids, (the agents did not know They were androids) who then used psionics to telepathically insert a memory block and a hypnotic suggestion conditioning Iko to seek a new line of employment in the diplomatic Emissaries. While the career change did enrich Iko, coming to the conclusion that he could not recall a reason for the lifestyle change had spurred him to seek help. This was given further impetus by Psion Rekkha Vaikrou the young Roth Thokken truth-seeker who had detected that the Scientist-Emissary had been psionically tampered with using disciplines well beyond even Roth Thokken mastery.

Rekkha Vaikrou - female Roth Thokken Vargr Loner 2 age 26
Rekkha Vaikrou has been a loner far earlier and longer than most young female Roth Thokken. Unsatisfied with the answers to why Roth Thokken are born blind and born psionic, she has skirted law and come to many dead ends. When she discovered Khavall Iko’s memory block, she began to tail him, join with him and telepathically nudge the Scientist-Emissary toward Ri and crew to intensify the momentum search into Iko’s past. This leads to eventual crossing Lair to and eventually to a true Portal to Ossobro in the Fyutinyu pocket world-system, located in the frozen wastes of the southern polar region.
Rekkha manipulates Lidus Ka psionically since she cannot breach Ri and Uessae’s Shield without tipping them off.

Ihdren-Gzal - Vargriform Psionic Android TL-M
Ihdren-Gzal is the guardian of Fyutinyu charged with watching the Vargr race for Grandfather until his return which has not happened yet. Ihdren-Gzal is indeterminably old. His agents have spread out among the sectors to watch the Vargr in the Extents, the Enclaves and over the remainder of Charted Space. With his attention on all of Charted Space, he has let his guard down here on Lair when Ri and the others enter the Portal system through a forgotten and reactivated Portal to Ossobro F485360-M inside the Rosette system of the pocket dimension of Fyutinyu.
__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
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On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD
  #30  
Old June 7th, 2020, 07:32 PM
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Secondary Locations

Portal to Ossobro - hidden in the glacial flows some distance from the ice fossil of the dormant Portal discovered by Prof. Khavall Iko.

Aforrarrang University Department of Paleontology, Archaeology and History

Gaehfouzoudo City - Starport C where Ri moves the Thuegueus II to this port instead of flying the ship’s Air/raft over the west coast oceans of Safokunggaru Continent.

Arrak plains - the original seeding grounds of the Vargr race on Lair by the Ancients.

Lair Psionic Institute – south of Arrak plains is a Dzuengfuerr jungle Institute; Uessae trades psi-drugs for two doses of Special.

Lair World Map

__________________
Virus: When you care to infect the very best.
Empress Wave: Not something done in a local stadium.
Incoming Code: tc 23- mt+ mgt++ tn++ t20- t4- t5++ tp? tg- th? to~ ru+ ge- 3i+ c+ jt- au+ ls+ pi+ ta he+ kk hi+ as++ va++ dr+ ith? vr? ne? so+ zh+ vi+ da+ sy~
The Pakkrat 0608 X58738-8 S va++ so+ zh+ vi+ da+ 534
On assignment: Holoi / Urnian (Foreven 2537) A972772-B He Pi Lk Ho {2} (76E+1) [5976] BD - - 112 10 Ho NaHu K4 IV BD MD

Last edited by The Pakkrat; July 6th, 2020 at 09:10 AM..
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