Steel Gardens of Anid-Sta Generation 3. Chapter 4. Awakenings

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Gen 3. Chapter 4. Awakenings

“Ugh.” His mouth felt like someone stuck an old, used gym-sock in it. Then the pain hit. He tried to squeak again, but his tonsils complained loudly. His voice squeaked like fingernails on a chalkboard. His throat was on fire.

“Amsi. Shhh.” It was a familiar voice. “You will need some hydration, here is some warm water with honey and lemon.”

The first swallow was painful, but heaven followed close behind the swallow. The honey settled on the surface of his throat and put out the fire, the citrus hit, but the pain produced was, while not pleasant, tolerable and worked in concert with the honey for relief.

“Thank you…” Damn! He forgot her name. She was one of his crew, but not one of the engineers.

“Fae.” This was a different voice. Smaller, but with authority and nearby. “Her name is Fae.”

Amsi’s eyes took longer to focus than he thought it should.

“Slowly.” Doctor Ofir’s voice still sounded strange in his ears. “You have been sedated for two days after taken out of stasis. You have spent the last thirty-millenia at just under three-degrees Kelvin.”

“Thirty? We were only supposed to sleep for ten years. What happened?” He blinked again, sipping on the tea of honey and lemon. His eyes focusing more. “What the f..”

He paused.

“No offense but … what are you?”

“We are mini’s. Minibots. You set out to avoid the virus’ that the other system created in the ancient times, created nanobots to recycle all the machines of war. They are still around, but from them, the Core Systems evolved many more sizes.”

“Amsi, I will explain later.”

“I’m still wrapping my head around this… Robot? And how it evolved so quickly.”

“They call themselves “Bots”. They are an evolution that has happened over thousands of years, so not as swift as you think.”

“Wait.” Amsi shook his head, information was not processing. “What?”

“You need some more tea, maybe a shot of rum or vodka. I have a lot to bring you up to speed on.”

For the next two hours Fae spoke of three-hundred centuries, Core System, Thea, the Doctor, the tens of thousands of flitting artificial life forms outside the window that existed with great alloys of the machines of war that the people left sitting out when all, what the Core System logs called “Organics” went into cryogenic vitrification.

Reanimation, the Fae showed Amsi the logs, was a complicated, careful and exacting process using the nanobots and microbots and replacing the cryoprotectants that did not crystallize in ultra-low temperatures.

Even with helium as a superfluid, the crystals of ice did not form and poke holes in the cell walls of the body.

Such was the theory.

Initial numbers used, predictions estimated that one or two may not survive the freezing. (Mathematically, there would be a loss of 1.48 of the personnel.) Estimations were only for a single decade, after three-thousand times longer than anticipated, logs indicated forty-two pods showed excess cryoprotectant in the helium.

The bodies were leaking.

Nanobots, unable to function at such low temperatures were on standby.

However, after a long time, the Core Systems estimated that greater than half the fluids of the organic bodies had leached out. Rendering the humans inside little more than extremely cold, desiccated mummies.

Amsi moaned on the information she passed onto him.

“We were never meant for that length of storage. The system was never designed for that long of operation without supervision.”

“We supervised.” Thea fluttered about. “All systems were under the control of the Core System. Repairs performed by all the bots.”

“There were no qualified humans to oversee the machines.” Amsi the engineer argued.

“Sir. The bots here are as capable as anyone I have seen. They can repair cells and lift whole buildings with the megabots. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they can do what we could.” Fae frowned and pulled at her ear.

“The logs show my brother now weighs less than his clothes. There is only liquid helium in his veins now, as soon as he’s taken out, he’ll crumble like dried out leaf.”

“He still has a PICC line, like we all do.” Fae said. “We can infuse more into it in the chamber, correct?”

“No, I don’t know.” He shook his head. “Maybe. Could be. If we warmed him up to, say, four Kelvin? Special IV tubing would remain flexible and we could flow cryoprotectant into him and refill all the cells over the course of a few days and displace the helium. The helium would be at the boiling point and easy to replace.”

“What if we just replace his fluids as we warmed him up?” She asked.

“No, helium would be gone before any glucose or blood solutions would make it into his body, the cells would collapse like dried out eggshells the moment there is any pressure to refill them.” He rubbed his chin. “That’s not even medical, that is structural engineering. Right now, helium is supporting everything. It has to be a two-stage rehydration. Maybe three.”

“Okay. We warm him up first?”

“No. Oh no. We get the medical teams out first. Just because I understand the process, does not mean I understand the biological effects. What if he has a hole in something important? I can’t sew it up.”

“Oh, I understand.”

“So engineers first, medical folk second, so engineers can make things work, the ones marked here in red, they are last. Medical will need to deal with them as a team with the… What did you call them? Nanobots? But there will need to be a teamwork between everyone. Artificial or Organic.”

“Thank you.” Thea smiled as she sat up in her saddle.

“Thank me for what?”

“You acknowledged us as living beings and are part of a team. Even our nanos.”

“Miss… Uh. “

“Thea.”

“Miss Thea. You make it easy.”

“No. Just Thea.”

“Okay, Just Thea.” He smiled. “You make it easy to feel you are real and alive. We have been here to seek contact with new life. Even if we build it.”

Thea laughed.

“My full name is Wentvie Thea. Our second name is given, our family name comes first.”

“My apologies.” Amsi winked. Then Thea knew she was victim of a human sense of humor. “I will refer to you only as Thea or Miss Wentvie.”

She laughed. It sounded like tiny windchimes.

*Humans waking up,* she felt, *A good thing.*

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I love to tell stories, I laugh how they change. How do yours evolve?

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In the Steel Gardens, once again, the DragonMaster University school is on hiatus. Kolo and Jona are still developing their relationship.

The vigilante group with electronic revenge on their minds is also out on the patio sipping their fancy teas and coffees, waiting to have their turn on stage again.

In the meantime, two horror short stories need to be developed and will be part of an anthology book with at least three other authors.

How does your mind work? Do you have multiple stories clamoring to come out? Do they leap out, screaming at you while you sleep or when you are mowing the lawn? Driving down the highway (Being followed by the local police) and unable to pick up the phone to give a verbal notation of the idea that is dancing in your mind is a pain in the ….neck.

Then by the time you get to a point where you can make a note, you can’t remember the body of it, maybe not even the characters.

Ah well, we are writers! Sit for a few minutes, stare out the window or at the screen with your hands behind your head and let the images form behind your eyes..

Then the next day, George becomes Jona, or Ralf becomes Honey.

In this case, I was writing on Steel Gardens.  I have chosen to evolve each Generation as a sub-book, I’ll return to the chapters so to subdivide the Generations. This means a lot of backstory is opened. I just don’t know how far, or if I will just go forward from where I stand in the world I have kludged together.

I may go forward from where Fae and Thea are in the story. But now will be chapters, starting in this chapter.  Generation 2. Chapter 2. Gen 2. will not be mentioned.

How does your story evolve?

Reading back on this, I will post it as is, I have consumed way to much coffee today. 0.0 And I am about to write a three-thousand word babble.  Back to the story…

 

The Pirate Kingdom Facet 9. Port Aquila

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Facet 9. Port Aquila

Captain Alexandra blinked and took a relaxing breath as the lights changed in intensity, indicating arrival after eighteen hours of travel at faster than light speeds. The deceleration into orbit was smooth and practiced by the hand of the pilot and the advanced systems. The ship Alexandra the Great was capable of pulling much greater loads than the combined mass of the Seraph and the Alexandra’s own cargo load. The orbiting port, that served as the upper end of an elevator to the surface of the planet Aquila, talented engineers tethered by way of a graphene ribbon and diamond-nanorod cable that served the elevator to the ground thirty-two thousand kilometers below.

The big ship pulled into the dock slowly while anchors and airlocks maneuvered in place. Disembarking from the cargo super carrier transporter, uniformed agents guided the crews to a clinic for entry to the planet Aquila. Lines were short with the efficiency of the clinic and the professional faces of nurses and doctors went from room to room as the teams they checked for exposure to biological agents and pressed specialized pneumatic injector guns against the visitors and then the guided the crew of Alexandra the Great out to a waiting room.

Phoenix stepped into her room and the nurse invited to her to sit before she needed to remove her clinic garment  and dispose of it in the receptacle to her right.

A Doctor with kind eyes and wide smile stepped through the transparent glass door with a nurse carrying a single-use pneumatic injector.

With a press upon some keys on a flat panel at a terminal, the glass-walls became dark and opaque as he turned to the nurse and requested several items. As the nurse took her thermal and vital signs.

Phoenix watched as a nurse approached with a clear tablet that she could read her name backwards though the transparent device. As the efficient, unsmiling and harried young man tapped her information into the flat panel.

“My name is Skyy, how do you feel? Good? Good. Your blood pressure is a little high. This is your first time traveling this far out?” For the first time he smiled, the nurses pupils were slightly odd-shaped, as if there had been an injury in the past.

“Yes, it has been a stressful trip, investigating the damage to the ship.” Phoenix smiled back, “My first time at a crime scene of this magnitude. I have never been to the leftovers of a pirate attack.”

“Well,” he tapped a few more times on the flat panel, “you need a vaccine before you can go to the surface and that includes some DNA testing time.” he tapped again. “Every crew member that boarded that ship must have micro- graphic scan to see if there are any foreign nano-biologic material picked up that could determine the origin of the previous raiders. Many crew died, there is lots of evidence left by them that the investigators have requested for us to collect.”

“Vaccination?” she flipped open her own palm sized secretary. “That is not listed, we’ve requested to travel to the surface to meet with the incoming fleet from the High Council.”

“A common thing to overlook. It is in there.” The nurse chuckled, pressing a button and the walls became transparent once again. ”The doctor will explain it all, he’ll be in directly.”

Phoenix saw the doctor walk up to the clear wall stepped through the door, joining her. His smile was in bright contrast to his clothing and the eyes were sharp and missed little, taking all the world in. A deep voice with a wry sense of humor echoed in his greeting. The nurse handed the tablet to the doctor then tapped the panel on the wall that became opaque again.

“I’m Doctor Concord, pleased to meet someone from the boomer fleet. Is there any further findings on that ship? Anything about Captain Metrano? No? Pity, oh well.” He didn’t type, the clipboard he used transcribed their conversation as text. “No allergies to medications, I see.” His glasses seemed a little large for his face, but the well-practiced smile balanced it out.

“We will have to give you a vaccine that is unique to this planet to protect you from the ubiquitous single-celled little bug that a long ago by a wreck introduced. It mutated and now causes serious gastric distress to new visitors, the vaccine is your best prevention.”

Phoenix nodded and entered the subject to look up later. She had not expected any vaccinations from their contact and their towing a ship to the port. But the council wanted to meet with her at the capital on the planet.

“There is no bending fo the rules, this is part of the normal procedures. The collective governments of Aquila Nova also absorb the costs rather than have anyone spend their entire stay and tour of the outer rim in a sick-bed.” Explained Dr. Concord The nurse re-entered the room with a tray with a pistol shaped injector.

“Now you have had no adverse reactions to any medication at all? You have read the forms on possible reactions to the vaccine…” The Doctor broke off as Phoenix shook her head.

“I have not seen any forms.”

The nurse turned to a display and tapped on it. “She came from Durre Menthor.” He shook his head. “They have stopped giving the notices a month ago, and the admin suspended using forms yesterday.”

“The governments are not seeing eye to eye— again.” The Doctor sighed. “This time they have tried to sabotage interplanetary travel. Okay, we will get you a notice, a form and I will explain it to you.”

“It’s just a vaccine, right?” Phoenix was curious what the concerns were.

“Well, this is fifth generation vaccine, the first two generations had some, rather adverse, reactions that ran about one-third of those that received them. Most were minor. It is in the archives and taught around the systems as how the human DNA could be altered with vaccines.”

Phoenix nodded. In the past, from the first blood transfusions to the first allergic reactions to injections filled history books  with first generation problems from medicine to technology.

“The first generations of the vaccine used other mammals that were not susceptible to the amoeba infection. Here is the notice, ” The Doctor smiled as the nurse came in and handed her a hard copy and code to download it to her personal system. “The reactions sometimes altered the looks of the humans. In the case of a feline based vaccination, some people took on cat-like appearances and in the extreme cases, physical agility. In the case of canine there are documented cases of wolf-like changes.”

Phoenix blinked. She recalled that, from school, the social studies that caused many to portray these altered humans as non-human. They needed to fight a war for their freedoms, to move and live between Durre Menthor and Aquila Nova.

She looked at the nurse nodded— she remembered his eyes! He had feline eyes, with almost slit pupils.

“My grandmother was a fur-covered and tailed beauty that was an accomplished dramatic actress on the planet for one example.” Nurse Skyy smiled. “My grandfather was full human, after she moved back to Terra-Dyo and my mother and father were never vaccinated. My mom had the recessive trait and my eyes I inherited from my grandmother.”

The Doctor nodded. “Some were avian based and although in clinical trials it passed, it was found that if the avian mutations developed, it was a critical medical problem and many died if they became avian altered. Some took on other features, but none have been a great problem since the third-generation of vaccines.”

Phoenix nodded and rolled up her sleeve. “Well, better to get it than go back where I came or spend time in the bathroom.”

The hiss of the injector was like a short spit from a cat while Phoenix sat on the chair. The Doctor smiled and looked at her as she felt a slight flush and asked if that happened often.

“That’s normal, although everyone reacts differently…” Dr. Concord broke off as the room shook and a loud boom resonated through the building.

“What the f…” Squawked the nurse as he took a curious cat-like pose on the shaken floor, then walked out with the Doctor into the middle of the hall.

The door closed and lights flickered as the opaque wall became clear, Phoenix could see the Doctor standing in the middle of the hall pointing his finger at a communication console. Power flickered over the central med-station and Phoenix could see other rooms were people were standing and looking around, the walls were clear everywhere. Several nurses and doctors ran to the rooms and opened doors, indicating for people to leave when the a burst of explosives in the waiting room shattered the security knocked everyone down.

Outside, the Buccaneer Cooperative ships, Thunderbolt, Lightning and Thunder Child sat in a parking orbit around the space station, at a distance, keeping the space-control officer on edge, when alerts in the shipping control center beeped to life and began to flash.

Multiple signatures of several huge warp bubbles. Large enough to carry several ships each. Sensors could pick them up several hundred AU’s away. These ships were carrying titanic energy signatures that pegged all read outs.

One Sub-commander running his fingers over his face as he viewed the displays, talking to the command officer over the microphone.

“This big of a signal, there might be over a hundred  ships, sir, we don’t have enough room for them.” Sub-commander Taul spoke quietly into his microphone of his headset.

“Incoming transmission. Fleet commander wants to speak with the Ship control commander.” The communications officer called over the intercom.

Shimmering out in away that was never seen in the five-years in the traffic control, the outer markers shook and vibrated until they blurred from the energy bow-wave of the approaching fleet.

Suddenly, warning lights indicated high-velocity missiles passing through the lanes towards the disturbance. Three explosions bloomed brightly and silently in the dark sky of the interplanetary space and alarms echoed through out the station.

Huge battleships that had been hidden behind the blue gas-giant planet Scorpi, surged out in formation, filling the space of the arriving fleet with giant explosions. Huge detonations of the hyper-fast special explosives collapsed the stretched space fabric, call a Worm Hole, that the massive energy from the ships opened. Any and all ships in that tunnel would be destroyed or seriously damaged. On the side of the battleships, the Momo Empire flag stood out in stark relief.

The Thunderbolt fired. Lightning, in motion and charged weapons with a skeleton crew. Overcoming the lack of personnel who were on Port Aquila.

The flying gun of the fleet shattered the cover of four other Momo ships that had drifted with the dark cloud of small asteroids and dust, hiding in the debris as it orbited the home star or Nova Aquila.

Originally not part of the Pirate Confederation in years of the negotiations. They were not considered under the control of the united pirate agreements.

On the surface of Aquila, Leader of the High Council Peony summoned the Momo Empire Representative to demand the reason of the attack. The representative brought an answer. Looking like a kid caught stealing cookies, clearly not in line with the tone of the notice he carried in his tablet. The ambassador presented to his host the ultimatum.

The demand was to capitulate and all pirate fleets destroyed and the council surrender to the Admiral of the Momo Fleet at Port Aquila.

War had come to Port Aquila.

©2015 Dash McCallen

Black Frost 5 At The Meeting

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Chapter 5 Team Meeting

James and Doctor Fofna sat down as the other administration and scientists filed in.

Sara tapped on her glass as soon as her phone beeped the top of the hour. “We have had a sudden change in an unusual fashion. This morning at the outside of my home water ice in the form of frost was black. It melted into a clear, water like material. If I saw this in my glass, I would not hesitate to drink it. The Secretary of State has called me directly and explained that it has happened worldwide. From the Arctic to the Antarctic. Snow is black, ice is black. We don’t know why. Doctor Cutter has contacted Niles Freeman at the Astrology lab at the university and he is running tests on the water now. We suspect there is an increase of dark matter in the local stellar system. I propose we begin to look with every satellite within the orbit of the moon and answer the question. Is there something that is falling into our atmosphere?”

Doctor Sara Lister picked up her computer notepad and nodded.

“We have reports coming in from all over the world of this phenomenon.” She flipped through screens. “Anywhere there is water or frost, we have reports. Restaurants are reporting black ice to water districts. Filters don’t seem to work and the different laboratories are using filter sizes down to micron size.”

“We have reports from the UK, same effect.” Spoke up Jaaco Fofana, PhD, M.Sc. A know-it-all if there was ever one. But, Oxford taught, he was able to back it up with his encyclopedic knowledge of physics.

“We will coordinate with other facilities around the globe.” Robert Johns MD, PhD tapped on his tablet. “But I don’t see what dark matter will help. That is not a material that would cause ice to turn dark.”

“Really?” James said. “Something turned all the ice dark worldwide. We had a similar event around my home.”

“This will heat up and melt the ice more quickly. We will have flooding on a biblical level.” It was the Director herself. Doctor Joyce Merril. The dark-haired Welsh woman with a sharper mind than most. “The darkening of ice will make it melt faster, not to overstate the obvious, but, if it would turn clear or white under influence of direct sunlight, it would be self-limiting. We need to get teams out to see if this might be so.”

“I have taken a sample to the University Labs. My friend there Niles Freeman is running tests.” James said. “We found when we re-froze the water that it turned dark again. But under strong light, it seemed to bleach out. He will have a report later today or tomorrow.”

“Please put a rush on that report, we would need it stat. The public will be demanding answers from the politicians who will be looking at us for those answers.” Doctor Merrill said.

“I will. He is an old friend from my college days. You cannot find a sharper mind on a surf board.”

“What?”

“He spends time on the water, he is a highly ranked as amateur surfer in the local contests.” James smiled.

“Yes, well. Just get the reports to me.” And she stood up and walked out.

“Of course, Joyce, as soon as possible.”

Chapter 3 Dark Matter

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Chapter 3. Dark Matter

 

Niles yawned and scratched at his hair as he met James at the front door.

“We believe we spotted a dense dark matter cloud last month, we are just now processing the images from the short-range WAM sat.” Niles grinned. “It is different from the halo that is nearby. I think we found a clue on snowball earth comparing what we have now to what would have been in the solar system early in the system history.”

“Well, don’t get too carried away, I have video and stills of what this looked like before it melted.”

Niles looked at the images on the phone, he was no longer the grinning astrophysicist and surfer, but a deadly serious research scientist.

“What the hell is this?” He looked at the video where James had walked through the frost.

“It is what you hold in your hand.” James tapped on it. “It became clear when it melted.”

“Well, first, let’s spin it down and collect whatever it is in the bottom with my centripetal accelerator.”

“Your what?”

“Centrifuge.”

“Pfft. You should have said so.”

“I did.” Niles smiled. “It was one of Professor Cuba’s words. I always liked them.”

“Yeah, well, let’s get to the task. I want to know what this is.”

“You and I both.” Niles said as he touched the power button on his computer. “If this was dark when cold, perhaps we should freeze some of it as well. I have a good freezer we keep at minus-forty. Get me a couple of tubes out of that cabinet there while I boot up the SEM and the Mass Spectrometer. The staff will be in an hour anyway, they will have all the tools they need online for them.”

“Oh yay, like that is something they will love. Work before they have had their coffee.”

Niles chuckled. As director of the department he had driven the lab to a higher production level. They had discovered many things on the collections of dust from the space station that orbited the earth.

 

“Let’s get that bag of water into the tubes.” Niles said as he put the tip of a pipette into the baggy and drew up some of the clear fluid. transferring the water to the twin tubes he placed one in the rack in the freezer.

An hour later of spinning and mass spectroscopy, James and Niles looked at the screen.

Niles with a cup of coffee in his hand leaned over the keyboard.

“Almost zero bandwidth response. There is no change of mass for the amount of volume. This stuff is cryptic.”

“Look at the ice! It has stayed clear.”

“Not everywhere. It has stratified.”

They shaved off a series of thin wafers a few molecules thick and looked at them under a microscope in polarized light.

“Pfft.” Niles swore. “We will have to do some in-depth looking at this. Dude, this is stupid, nothing shows as being different. Refraction even. Nothing.”

 

“Niles, I have to get to the lab, I am out of contact here, no service at all.” Jim said looking at his phone.

“It’s the lab, it blocks everything.”

“Okay, call me what you find. I have a feeling that there will be a discussion over this at some level.”

“Dude, I’ll have a report for you later. Get on to work, we will scan this the SEM in the cryochamber. It will take some time to set up. Jim, it is my top priority.”

“Okay, dude Niles. I’ll head on to the observatory. Crap, I’m late, I have a meeting in a half-hour. I can just make it.”

“Say Jimmy, don’t use ‘dude’, you don’t dude it well.”

Laughing, Doctor Cutter walked out to his electric eco-car, his attempt to talk like Niles being the entertainment of the hour.