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With three of the Psychic Knights back together they push to find the other two, their desire to rid the galaxy of the Techpsychers burning brighter with each addition to the team.
Their next stop is Seseen. A world of seven moons that are mined for their precious materials. It’s technology was well known throughout the galaxy, not least of all for the Oracle, a technology that monitored the vast world and even larger moons.
A Techpsycher inhabited world, the Knights have to be careful while looking for their friend or their bid to reform could be over before it is completed.
Book three in the Psychic Knights series.
Reformation – Part 3
The Onyx System. So called because of its darkness due to a cosmic cloud that masked ninety per cent of stars, contained just three habitable planets. These planets acted as centre points to the many moons that circled in their orbit. Only one thing kept these planets inhabited and that was the rich resources for mining.
The whole set up was quite odd. Each planet was twice the size of the Earth. The moons, and there were seven for each planet, were three times the size of the planet. The planets were colonised by three different races that never mixed with each other. In fact there would often be disputes over trade routes that ended up in short lived wars. This resulted in each planet having its own fleet of space pilots specifically for these wars.
What was also unique about this area of space was that each of the planets moons had their own unique material that was mined. No one planet could boast a multitude of materials other than the one that was common to each of their moons. This provided a lack of diversity on each of the planets, compounded by the conflicts which made trade between the planets impossible.
Soshaan had cities made from the Gourdon material from its moons that gave off a yellowy green glow. It was inhabited by the Moorhans. They arrived from the neighbouring galaxy and discovered the planet on a solar migration across the galaxies. Chindra was populated by the Bulthons. This was their native home. They had never been anywhere else and were happy and content to live off of what they mined. The material that was common to their moons was Screelon. It had a mystical quality for them that only they could see and benefit from.
Seseen was home to humans. The Borean that could be mined from its moons was a sought after material throughout the galaxy and because of this the mercenary war machine that the mine owners paid handsome wages to were kept busy. Here the mined material wasn’t used as extensively in buildings as on the other planets. It was much more like Earth and resources on the planet itself were utilised instead.
The Shafian approached Seseen on its trade route, noticing along the way debris of the most recent battles.
Some distance from the planet a squadron of fighters came to meet them. The Shafian dwarfed the ships, but Enyar felt sure that he wouldn’t have stood a chance in a dog fight against them, even with the weapons that were installed on a stop off at Rollus 5 on route.
“Identify yourself and purpose,” came the abrupt command over the comms link.
“We’re here for some R and R as you humans say. We have been on our travels for some time now and it’s time for a break. And maybe a little business afterwards,” replied Enyar.
A brief silence was followed by,
“Continue on the following co-ordinates and be prepared for inspection when you dock. Do not deviate from the given co-ordinates or you will be fired upon.”
“A little security conscious out here, aren’t they,” Ifor said to Thorn.
Overhearing, Enyar responded.
“We’ve arrived in some troubled times. We’ve been hearing reports of heightened activity from the neighbouring planets. There are also rumours of an alliance between them. Something the humans are afraid of. Not a good time to be launching a rescue mission.”
“I disagree. I think it’s the perfect time. There will be plenty of distractions around that will help us,” said Ifor.
“Let’s see if we can find him first before we start making our plans for a rescue,” said Thorn.
The Shafian arrived at the dock and was immediately boarded by a team of security. They thoroughly checked over the ship before anyone was allowed off and then placed small droids at its entrances. Akarn stayed aboard with the Mystic and Torst while Thorn and Ifor went to the surface. They had no clue as to where to look, but the place to start was in the main city of Astra. Here, according to Torst, was a database of everyone on the planet. The old term ‘Big Brother’ had been taken to the extreme and every detail about its inhabitants and visitors was recorded. A field around the planet recorded all DNA details about everyone who passed through it which was stored in the database. This field constantly monitored the position of everyone on the surface and detailed their every movement.
Access to the database was available to everyone, but for the last hundred years it hadn’t been used as extensively by the inhabitants as when it was first introduced. Now only planet security used it regularly. A local database in every city on the planet had connections to the main database. This allowed the planet security to monitor the rest of the planet. The database had an immediate effect on crime and now very few incidents required the planet security to get involved. This allowed for most of the security force to be deployed into the trade routes to help defend the wealth of the planet.
The city had a familiar feel to the two men. Although the planet had been populated for over five hundred years with not much direct contact with Earth, the architecture of the buildings still held a familiar sight. Some designs would not have been possible on Earth because of the materials only being found on Seseen, but you would easily identify the place as being occupied by humans.
Towering skyscrapers dominated the skyline and poked through the low lying cloud that hung around the city. This cloud was familiar to all cities on Seseen. The constant restructuring of the populated areas and disturbance of the planets natural materials left a blanket cover a hundred and twenty metres from the ground that only ever cleared during the rainy season. Only the tallest buildings got to see the sun as they stretched through to the other side of the cloud.
Thorn and Ifor got out of the shuttle that had brought them to the Centre, as the building holding the database known as the Oracle was called. It was a pure white, bulbous building that had self cleaning properties which gave it a constant sheen. At the entrance the two were met by a Locator. He was there to operate the Oracle for off-worlders.
“Good afternoon gentlemen. My name is Easton. I’m here to assist you in your search. If you have lost a loved one or are catching up with old friends, I’m here to make the search go smoothly. Our Oracle tells us that you have not been here before. I hope you had a pleasant trip and we can find who you are looking for quickly.”
Thorn smiled and said,
“We hope so too.”
“Do you have a DNA sample we can use to match up?”
“Not a sample, but a complete description of the DNA.” Thorn handed over the details of Roman’s DNA.
“If you would like to follow me we will enter the details into the database and begin the search. It should take no more than a minute.”
Inside the Centre the vast space created by the bloated framework was bright and warm. A light mint fragrance masked any unwanted smells. The floor space, the only visible level, was broken up by white pod like stations that housed the terminals for searching the Oracle.
Easton’s small frame seemed to scuttle along the floor rather than walk until he reached one of the pods. The three of them sat on the seat that ran round the terminal itself and Easton entered the details. His spindly fingers moved like spider legs crawling across the input glass. When he finished he sat back in the chair.
Suddenly a holographic image appeared of a female in a revealing outfit.
“A match has been made, but the person cannot be found.”
Easton looked puzzled.
“Oracle, please try again,” he said.
Again there was silence for a short while until the Oracle reappeared.
“A match has been made, but the person cannot be found.”
What does that mean?” asked Ifor.
Easton looked across at him sheepishly.
“I’m not sure. This has never happened before. Please follow me.”
Thorn and Ifor followed Easton to a waiting area that provided refreshments.
“If you would like to wait here I will just go and find out what the problem is. Please make use of the facilities while I am gone.”
With that he hurried away leaving the pair puzzled.
“What’s going on Thorn? Something’s not right. I got the impression he had seen that problem before.”
“Yes, I got the same feeling. He seems to be covering something up. Try reading him when he comes back while I keep him talking.”
They didn’t have to wait long. Easton came scurrying back shortly afterwards and seemed a little more relaxed than when he left.
“Sorry for the delay gentlemen. It seems the database was running through some diagnostics when we tried the search for your friend. The message we got was a glitch. I just re-ran the search and your friend could not be found.”
“I see,” said Thorn. “How do you explain the original match if, as you’re latest search suggests, he has never been on this planet?”
“As you can appreciate there are billions and billions of samples in the database. It must have stumbled upon a very close match in DNA structure as your friends by some freak accident during the diagnostics.”
Thorn picked up a flinch in Easton’s eye as he spoke.
“We have come a long way and had our hopes, first lifted and then shattered by a ‘glitch’ in a database that has the reputation for being one of the most advanced in the galaxy. We are very disappointed in the service we have received here and hope that this is remedied for the next person you search for.”
“Please accept my humblest apologies for the disappointment you have gone through. I have been authorised to offer you, on behalf of the company, a visit to any place on Seseen. I know the disappointment cannot be easily overcome by a complimentary trip, but we would like to personally make your stay here a pleasant one as compensation for the error the database has made.”
A short lecture on disappointment was about to erupt from Thorn’s lips to give Ifor some more time in Easton’s mind when an idea came to him. He changed tact.
“Where is the most technologically advancement in the use of machines you’ve seen in the last fifty years?”
Easton thought for a moment.
“That would be on the moons. The machines used for mining are of the latest technology and their advancements are unparalleled.”
“I love technology…” Thorn began, “…and hope to see as much of it as I can while I am here. Perhaps you could arrange a trip for us to the moons.”
“I’m sure that wouldn’t be a problem. There are many trips that take place there. If you would like to find a suitable place to stay I will contact you with the details.”
Thorn and Ifor found somewhere to stay a short distance from the Oracle. On the journey there Ifor questioned Thorn.
“What’s all that rubbish about loving technology? Why do we need to go to the moons?”
“What was…is Roman’s thing? Machines, right. So if, as has happened with us, his brain power has been increased it’s likely that he would be using it with machines. If that’s the case then wherever advanced technology is I’m betting that’s where Roman will be.”
Ifor thought about it for a second.
“Sounds plausible and as good a place to start as any I suppose.”
After settling in to their accommodation Thorn reported back to the Shafian and filled them in on what was happening. By the time he had finished it was getting late so they both settled down for a good night’s sleep.
The next day saw another cloudy beginning with a hint of sulphur in the air. There were no birds flying in the sky and no insects landing on plants. In fact there were no plants at all and no trees within the city. It was the materials that the buildings were made of that gave off oxygen as a by product of the wear and tear time wrought upon them.
The call came through from Easton around mid morning with details of their trip to the third moon. It had been arranged for that afternoon as requested for by Thorn. A shuttle would pick them up and take them on to join a party that was already arranged for the tour of the mining plant.
“How do you think Akarn’s getting on?” Ifor was staring mindlessly out of the window onto the street below. The quietness reminded him of his cabin back on Jornaer. The surroundings couldn’t be more removed, but the feeling of solitude was unmistakable.
“I’m a little worried. I think the need for revenge is going to eat him up. He’s spent so long thinking about what he’s going to do that I don’t think he’s going to be able to put it on the back burner now that he is free. It may have an effect on the team.”
Ifor could see Thorn’s reflection in the window and the concern on his face after his reply.
“Don’t we all have similar feelings deep down? Even before the neural bomb. We joined up with the old man with revenge in our hearts for the things we went through. For the people we lost.”
Thorn stopped himself just before he replied. He thought for a while.
“Maybe. And maybe it was originally for selfish reasons. But we formed a team. A successful team that helped thousands of people. My fear is that Akarn’s desire to fulfil his own personal revenge could put us all at risk.”
“I think he’ll be fine. Like all of us, deep down he knows what’s at stake. He knows we can end this war once and for all. He won’t let anything get in the way of that.”
Deep down Thorn knew that was true. Where were his fears coming from then? What was it nagging in the depths of his mind that gave him the feeling that things weren’t quite right? That things were going to go horribly wrong. He’d never had these feelings before on any of their other missions. Maybe the cost for his improved mind was an increase in anxiety.