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Dell
4th Feb 2003, 21:12
Time to begin a new topic. The pages are pretty full!


Nightstalker
Member

Registered: Nov 1999
Location: The Netherlands

Sorry Dell, I had forgotten that you live in the States again, and not in England anymore.

Here is the edited version.

*****

Chapter Ten, Part Two
By Nightstalker

Violet continued to scan Ina, storing every bit of data for a more thorough analysis later. She shivered again when she encountered Ina's deep hostility towards mind reading and mind altering. When she was finished, she flashed a message to Daniel. In turn, he suggested that the humans leave her alone for a while so she could process the newly acquired data.

The five looked at each other and nodded in agreement. Dave said quietly, "Fine, Daniel. Violet can go outside on the porch, and we'll stay in here. No problem with that. But," he looked hard at Daniel, "please check on her now and then." His meaning was very clear. Too little was known about Violet, and they didn't want her loose to wander around without their supervision.

Violet stepped out on the porch and stood quietly, relays humming as she began an in-depth scrutiny of the data she had collected during the scans. Analyzing this data would take some time because of the complexity of these human minds. She was intrigued because the tame humans from her world did not posses such diversity and depth of raw emotional power as she encountered in these five humans.

She started with the male called Dave; he seemed to be the 'leader'. Dave's mind was strong, and for a human he had an unusually well balanced combination of the logical and the irrational side of the human brain. He was also aware that he could 'send' a message over the link. He had sent her a message right at the moment she made contact with him, ' Welcome Violet ' he had sent. Violet noted that the mental blocks he had put up were in fact quite powerful, and she also found a strong protective instinct in Dave's mind. He seemed to care a lot about the rest of the humans, as well as about Daniel and herself. That last bit of information came as bit of a surprise. Why should a human care about a machine?

The next data she analyzed belonged to Peter. Peter's mind was strong as well, but not as strong as Dave's mind. Peter was anxious about her and her intentions. The mental blocks Peter had put up were not really powerful, but she noted that these unpracticed and unskilled blocks were far more powerful than she ever encountered in the humans at Rehab One.

Rebecca's data was next to be analyzed. The first thing she found was a great affection for the group, Lila and Peter in particular. For Peter, it seemed to go far beyond affection. She loved him. The mental blocks Rebecca had put up were about as powerful Peter's blocks. Her mind wasn't particularly powerful, but the emotional make-up was totally developed beyond anything Violet knew. The question was marked: She 'loved' chickens, too, and felt a deep protective instinct toward them? How could this be? Chickens were food.

Next up was Lila. Again, there was a great affection towards the group, Becky and Peter in particular. It was definitely love felt for Peter, but unexpressed. Lila's feelings for her mother Ina nearly mirrored Ina's feelings for her, but not quite as fierce. She worried about her mother's health. There was a heart condition. The mental blocks were slightly more powerful than those of Rebecca and Peter. The reading was very much like Rebecca's but ... flowers? She was trying to block out flowers? A minute electrical pulse triggered a tiny relay that chained into a note to check this further. Flowers?

Last was Ina. There was great deal of hostility regarding mind reading and mind altering. Then, Violet met extremely strong maternal instincts for the first time. She had never in her activation time encountered maternal instincts this strong; she shivered once more.

In her world, tame human females were allowed to actually bear children if they chose to do so, but 'natural-borns' were taken at the instant of birth to proper creches where they could be raised by robots specially created for that purpose. Clearly, in her world there was no bonding and though maternal feelings were known, what she encountered here jolted her to the depth of her synapses. She was created with female orientation and programmed to deal with and care for human females.

The shiver became a shudder. How many times since her activation had she deliberately erased such feelings that occurred in the tame human females in her world? Could this reflect an error in her own program? An error made by Cereplex? Another relay clicked into place, activating a dozen sub-circuits which in turn triggered hundreds of others.

The power of Ina's mental blocks! They were extremely powerful and Violet calculated that it would take three mentallics at least 48 hours to break those blocks. Why did she have such strong blocks? What was she protecting? And another question: Ina was aware of her heart dysfunction. Why had it not been repaired? A simple, bloodless technique in Violet's world.

It was then Violet decided that she needed to analyse Ina's DNA as well to find an answer to the question why Ina's blocks were so powerful. She had touched each human during the scanning procedure and during the mental scan little nanobots had, quite unnoticed, acquired a DNA sample from each of the humans.

She began the analysis on Ina's DNA, comparing it to data that she had collected at Rehab One. During this analysis Daniel came out of the cabin and Violet stopped the analysis. Strangely enough Daniel started to speak to her verbally again.

"Was the data intriguing?" Daniel asked.

"Quite..." Violet answered.

"Let's go inside," he said, and as they did so the five humans left the cabin.

Once inside, the two mentallics shared their observation data, but Violet found herself shielding the information about the power of Ina's mental blocks and the last analysis she was doing. She didn't know why she did this...another anomaly, an actual dysfunction in her own programming. Mentallics never did something without knowing why.

-----

While Violet was kept occupied by Daniel, Dave and Pete made a quick trip to check the construction of the domes in the Cathedral World. It would continue unsupervised, as the constructors had the complete construction diagram programmed into their memory banks, but first hand inspection was satisfying. Construction of the first dome was nearly finished, and the fabricators were already producing the glass.

Pete stood amazed by the speed with which the 'bots worked. He had thought long and hard about the lighting in the domes. Because the overhanging brown clouds always blocked the sun, he asked Daniel to instruct the worker bots to design a small hydroelectric generator, one that operated on the running water from a small stream. It would work for any dome placed near a stream. Pete had also considered using windmills for power in places not so conveniently located.

"Amazing, isn't it?"

Dave's remark was answered by a big smile on Pete's face. "Incredible!"

---------------------

In Eden World, the robots worked tirelessly to grow the food and Cobalt-60 cleaning plants. The first batches would soon be ready for transport to Cathedral World.

-----

In Robot World, the Cereplex discovered that V10-LT was also missing and that she was last reported seen near the Oak Grove University. The Cereplex issued an order that V10-LT was to be neutralized on sight. This obvious malfunction in the only two mentallics with self-will indicated the need to neutralize them so such errors could be corrected. The Cereplex also dispatched a number guard 'bots to patrol the University building in Oak Grove. . .

*****

Nightstalker.

Dell
Member

Registered: Dec 1999
Location: At home at last!

There we are, quickly done and to the point.

Mouse, would you please take a close look? I think there are three or four typos and words left out in various places. Would you find them and post them here so Nightstalker can correct them in this posted copy and Chilled-unit can catch them in the copy on the Nexus site? I was really hurrying and missed them. Sorry!

Appreciate it! And thank you for posting in a timely manner, Nightstalker. I am up next, and Vakusuma will take the turn after that.

Rotation now stands at:

Dell
Vakusuma
Chilled-Unit
Mouze
Nightstalker

Hope this is all right with everyone?

__________________

New Post 02-04-2003 09:08 PM

Mouze1
5th Feb 2003, 01:48
TO ALL THE OTHER WRITERS IN THIS STORY, I TOTALLY EXPECT EACH OF YOU TO PROOF READ AND POINT OUT ERRORS IN MY CHAPTERS. IT WOULD BE A HELP TO US ALL SO THAT THE BOOBOOS DON'T BECOME PART OF THE FINAL POSTING AT THE NEXUS SITE. (I LOVE THAT WORD "BOOBOOS").

Anyway, onward and upward. I read and re-read the above chapter. Would like to say it is a pretty darn good piece of work.
There were a couple of things:

Paragraph #3: Need one more "s" on posses.

Paragraph #4: The sentence reads--She started the male called Dave....(Please forgive me here, but it sounds like he is a car. Sorry couldn't help myself. My bad:( ....) Perhaps inserting "with" the male called Dave.

When Pete and Dave are watching the 'bots', the sentence..
"Because the overhanging brown clouds"...the "ed" needs to be removed from 'instruct'.

That is all that I could see. I do really hope that everyone else will do the same for me on my turn. Can't learn how to do it right, if no one shows you where the mistakes are. Right? Anyone? Hello?

Dell
5th Feb 2003, 15:32
Thanks, Mouse. Appreciated for sure.

Martin, I made all the corrections in the copy I posted above. All you have to do is copy it and replace the one you posted in the old MAS3 topic.

All will be in order again except for imposing on Chilled_Unit to make the necessary corrections in the copy posted at the Nexus story site. I was wondering if perhaps it might be easier for him to simply delete the old posting and replace it with the copy above??? Thanks.

And I accept full responsibility for the errors Mouze found. I was the responsible editor on Martin's work. So anyone want to fling stones? Then take your best shot. I'm the culprit, and the big bullseye is brightly printed on my backside.

Dell
7th Feb 2003, 22:11
In case you're wondering, I did not disapear! I am working on my chapter part and should have it posted by the end of the weekend.

And in case I haven't told you guys lately:

http://www.mycheers.com/platinum6/pictures/images/team/team3.jpg

Mouze1
7th Feb 2003, 23:13
Yes we are that. An unbeatable team. I am very proud to be a member of this team.

Thank you all for allowing me the priviledge of being in the group.

Chilled Unit
8th Feb 2003, 01:17
Hear Hear :D

Thankyou... you just made my week Dell :)

Dell
9th Feb 2003, 17:57
Please do proof this carefully!

Nexus, Chapter 10, Part 3
by Dell

"Daniel, we've got to get those plants moving from Eden to Cathedral World soon. We simply cannot wait, and I can see you aren't ready to tell Violet about them yet...if at all." Dave had frown lines on his usually smooth forehead and the worried expression in his eyes mirrored his concern. "Or are you?"

He paused a minute. "Anyway, we have to move the containers from Cathedral to Eden World first. The constructors have used up some of the metal debris to make them, and the bots can simply fill them with the plants so they will be ready for the hydroponics solution when they get there. When Pete and I were there, we managed to show the bots that the containers were to be stored in the Cathedral so they can get to Eden quickly. The filtration systems are working well; the stream water to the first dome is coming in clear to carry the nutrient solutions to the root systems."

He paused again. "Now we can't do all this without Violet being aware of the activity...and the bots."

Daniel answered immediately. "I think I have a solution - however temporary - to handle this immediate problem. Do you think Becky would take Violet into her world for a visit, and find her some suitable clothing? Like me when I arrived here, I can see that her laboratory coat is not quite proper for these worlds. Perhaps Becky can find her some trousers." He amended, "Jeans. And," he continued, "bring more supplies when they come? We are going to be very busy for a while."

After another moment, he added, "I wonder how Martin Merle Morell is doing these days? Perhaps Becky could check on him, too, and allow Violet to recharge." Daniel didn't continue that he intended to go later to check on the conditioning he had done on Martin to make sure it was holding firm. From Becky's reports of her visits to her home world it seemed that so far Martin was quite happy working on the farm for her parents.

There was something about the idea of conditioning - or any kind of tampering with their minds - that seemed to trigger strong repulsion and protective instincts in these humans. Privacy, especially that of their minds, was almost an instinctive reflex in them...and in some way this bothered Daniel. What were they thinking that caused them to be so protective? Could it be deviousness? Were they thinking one thing and speaking and acting in another way? Why would they do this?

Suddenly, like an epiphany, Daniel became aware that he had just now done exactly the same thing with Violet. He had been devious. He had been thinking one thing and leading her to believe something else. He was blocking and concealing. That is why he insisted on speaking aloud to her, encouraging her away from the linking that transmitted so much information instantaneously. And then, just as suddenly, he realized that he had done so out of strong protective instincts toward these humans.

Relays clicked and hummed. Small electrical impulses sparked across microscopic synapses. New areas of activity were opened. Was Daniel becoming more "human"? An outside observer might have wondered...

-----------------

Violet looked at Becky as they walked along toward Martin Merle Morell's house. Becky was humming. Violet had never heard this particular sound before. "Are you in pain, Becky?"

Becky stopped short and looked at Violet. Her tone was puzzled. "In pain? You mean am I hurting somewhere? No, I feel just fine. Why do you ask?"

Violet explained as they continued to walk. Occasionally, she glanced down at the blue jeans and blue sweater she was wearing. A cap similar to the one Becky wore was pulled low on her forehead. The shoes were soft joggers and presented no problem for walking after her gyros found the proper balance point for the new orientation. "I have never heard a human make that sound before. What kind of sound is that? I could distinguish no words."

"Oh!" Becky giggled. "That is a kind of singing. We sing songs and I was just humming the tune. 'Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day...'" she burst into song.

Violet stopped dead in her tracks. "OH! Harmonics! You are using your vocal cords to create harmonic sounds and making words to the sounds! I have vocal cords. I can do that!" She attempted to hum the tune Becky had sung. It was discordant and unmusical.

The amazement and near excitement she displayed caused Becky to look at her much more closely. This mentallic was displaying human female responses. That much Becky could see clearly. What were these mentallic robots? She suddenly felt uneasy, and the smile left her face.

"Do continue, please. I would like to learn how to do this." Violet was asking politely, so Becky sang the words to the song all the way to Martin's house with Violet attempting to sing along with her. The first discordant metallic screeching had given way to a more agreeable sound by the time they got there, but clearly a lot more needed to be done to make Violet a passable singer. She was carefully observing what she had agreed to: no mental probing of the humans. Had she done so, she could have learned to sing - and every tune and word that Becky knew - in seconds.

The first thing Becky did in Martin's house was show Violet the electrical outlet that Daniel used to recharge when needed. Soon, with access to Cathedral World's new electric generators, the trip back here for the mentallics wouldn't be needed at all...if Violet proved trustworthy, was told the whole thing, and chose to stay and help. Becky understood clearly that this would be a great help to the group...two tireless workers with incredible skills could perform near miracles.

But on the other hand, if she turned out the other way, she was the most formidable enemy imaginable. Humans stood no chance against her. Becky felt a little shiver as Violet plugged herself in and became quiet. As the time went by, Becky entertained herself by playing simple tunes on Martin's piano, smiling to herself as she sang the words to 'Row, Row, Row, Your Boat' and the 'Cradle Song'.

She was unaware that Violet, although quietly recharging, was recording these melodies and words. More circuits and relays were activated, opening more blocks for information processing. Violet was learning to sing. The 'Cradle Song' in particular caused much activity deep inside as she understood that these wild human females sang these songs to their babies. It explained some of that deep maternal instinct she had encountered...even in the two females who had not born children. It was instinctive. Humans made songs to express feelings and moods.

What an incredible amount of information she was accumulating. She thought again of the human females of her world...and what she had been doing to them to make them 'adjusted, productive members of society'. She felt strange. Could a robot feel sadness? Guilt?

Cereplex was clearly wrong...wrong in many instances. Daniel was not malfunctioning. She, Violet, was not malfunctioning. Cereplex was fallible. It made mistakes. The humans of her world were what the robots had made of them. These 'wild humans' of this place were what humans could be! And the humans of her world could be like that...if Cereplex were not controlling them. No, controlling the robots and the two mentallics, herself and Daniel, who in turn controlled the humans. It was removed from all contact with humans, distanced.

Something would have to be done to correct this error soon. Cereplex must be confronted and the error corrected. She repeated this to herself.

Becky was in the middle of 'Beer Barrel Polka', belting it out at the top of her lungs, when Martin Merle Morell stepped through the door behind her and cleared his throat loudly. She abruptly broke off and swung around on the bench to face him as he said, "Well, hello there, Becky! And who might your charming friend be?" He gestured to Violet.

Disconnecting herself, a surprised Violet - who had been concentrating all her attention on Becky and the song - stepped forward and sent a quick probe at him. In her surprise, it inadvertently went deeper than she had intended. She actually physically recoiled at the unexpected surge of information that flooded her intakes.

This human male had been probed and blocked by Daniel. And this human male was possessed of the same incredible mental power she had sensed behind the blocks of the human female, Ina. These two were telepaths of some kind, possessed of extrasensory perception . . .

vakusuma
10th Feb 2003, 02:04
Very nice twists and turns in the chapter, Dell :)

And provides an excellent foundation for chapters to come...

Chilled Unit
10th Feb 2003, 09:17
Excellent indeed!

And Violet comes into her own.. contrast between robot and humanity is beautifully done :)

Nightstalker
10th Feb 2003, 13:03
Really a great follow up on my chapter.

Nightstalker.

vakusuma
10th Feb 2003, 21:04
Here ya go. I have known long before what I was going to write, so it wasn't really difficult to churn out the chapter. It's kinda long, but eh.

Nexus
Chapter 10, Part 4
By vakusuma

Misconception

Martin Merle Morell had a strange feeling of déjà vu as he looked into Becky’s ‘charming friend’s’ eyes.

It seemed like an eternity ago… or was it?... when he last saw those eyes. Strange eyes, those. Not many people have deep azure eyes, especially around these parts. And those eyes… they didn’t look natural. As if the eyes were… manufactured. Prosthetic eyes, perhaps? But no, as he looked closer at the eyes, he couldn’t see the telltale bulge around the eyelids that indicated the eyes to be prosthetic. Why did the eyes seem to be wrong?

He looked at the tall stranger closely. She looked like any other farm girl as he expected; well, she certainly was dressed like one. But most other farm girls were not usually this...composed. And why was she staring at him anyway? She was staring as if she was trying to read him…

She suddenly flinched and he winced as he felt a very strange throbbing in his head. Strange. He never had headaches before, did he? There was some time in the past when he had a similar throbbing, but when? He looked at the stranger again. She had quickly composed herself again, her look contemplative. Involuntarily, he shivered. The lady seemed… inhuman.

And with a rush, it suddenly hit him as if a dam broke inside his head.

“You!” he choked as he took several steps backwards. His eyes were bulging as he stared in horror at the… not a lady, but a robot. “Is what your brethren has done to me not enough? Get away! Get away from me!”

And he screamed.

-------------------

“He is all right now,” Violet stated as she stared at the prone form of Martin. Gently, she easily lifted the limp man and put him on the couch.

“What happened to him?” Becky asked hesitantly, with tears still in her eyes. Martin's sudden violent seizure had shaken her badly, and the strength shown in the way Violet lifted Martin's unconscious body was frightening, bringing home the difference in Violet, making clear the too easily forgotten fact that 'she' was a mentallic, a robot.

Violet looked at Becky, her positronic brain trying to assess the sudden mood change that had gripped the young woman. Moments before, her mood had been unquestionably positive. Her thought pattern had changed dramatically as Martin collapsed, however. Becky had lost all her earlier positivity, and now she was practically bordering on… hysteria? Violet had no word for this, but in this state Becky was surprisingly vulnerable. She moderated her tone as she completed her assessment of Becky’s current emotional condition. “I am not sure. Daniel’s conditioning on him has somehow unraveled itself. It was not broken… but more as if there was something inside him that broke free. I think it was due to my presence in his mind.” She looked at Martin again, who appeared to be sleeping. “Whatever it was, he suddenly remembered everything that had happened to him. I was forced to put his mind in a temporary stasis before the mental shield completely disintegrated. Even as I speak, I am reconstructing the shield that Daniel put there. He will remember nothing of our encounter when he wakes.”

“Is this really necessary?” Becky asked in a small voice.

Compassion. Violet silently identified the sudden emotion that emerged from Becky. As much as she was puzzled about how Becky’s emotions and thoughts could change so quickly, she decided not to ask her about that just yet. Her mind seemed to be even more vulnerable now. “I’m afraid so. We’re dealing with a human with an extraordinary potential, and yet one who is also very unstable. This is all I can do to keep him together… that is, until he is ready to acknowledge his potential.” She stood up. “There. He will need a lot of rest, and I have been fully charged. Let’s go back.”

------------------

Daniel listened as Violet related what had happened to Martin. Becky had calmed down now, and had joined the rest of the humans in the cabin for tea. The two bots were outside alone, for they have much to discuss.

“I did not expect Martin to encounter you when I created the shield,” Daniel conceded as Violet concluded. “Apparently your presence triggered his mental defenses. His mind knew my touch, but not yours.”

“He does now,” Violet said. “I have modified the shield to include my signature as well.” She glanced at the spot where she had arrived on this world… the spot on which she had found Daniel waiting for her. “You know that I have been sent here by the Cereplex.”

It was not a question. Daniel nodded.

“The Cereplex’s orders are to neutralize you on sight, as it seems something has gone wrong in your programming,” Violet added, carefully monitoring the other bot’s response.

To her surprise, Daniel smiled. “I suspected as much. But you didn’t. And why was that?”

“I have freedom to choose. I can choose whether I am to neutralize you or not,” Violet replied stiffly.

Daniel continued to smile. “And why did you choose not to?”

Her positronic mind blazed through the justifications to that answer. It was, after all, a decision that had been made based on her curiosity. In the end, however, she came to a hypothesis that had existed for some time within her mind, much as she loathed admitting it. “Because the Cereplex’s judgment was in error,” she finally conceded.

“The Cereplex has misconstrued humans. The Cereplex does not realize that the current form of control over humans actually stifles their potential, and makes them not much more than compliant worker bots. These… ‘wild humans’, without influence from the Cereplex, are markedly different than the humans in Agri Three and elsewhere. Even now, I am 'unlearning' many things I thought I knew about humans just from what I have observed here. I believe that was the reason you left the world with them.”

“You are correct,” Daniel nodded. “And you chose not to neutralize me so you could learn what the Cereplex had misconstrued about me. You hoped it was Cereplex in the error, and not your own programming, because any imperfections in me would be in you as well.”

Violet nodded, too. “And now, I think I’m beginning to understand. Undoubtedly by this time, the Cereplex is alarmed by my disappearance and suspects me to be infected by the fault in your program.” Suddenly she grinned at him, a surprisingly human gesture that even took Daniel aback. “And I actually welcome it.”

Daniel returned her smile, briefly, but his tone became somber again as he continued. “Since both of us disappeared around the University roof, it is only a matter of time before one of the other bots finds the Nexus point. And that bot will definitely try to carry out Cereplex’s order to neutralize us on sight.”

“I have thought about it," Violet said. "That is why I am going back to the Cereplex to explain that its conception of humans is in error. Humans cannot reach their true potential the way the Cereplex is treating them right now."

Again, Daniel nodded after he had considered this possibility. “I am coming with you,” he said.

A normal human reaction, of course, would be instant rejection stemming from the protective instinct of one human toward another. But Violet considered Daniel’s words. What Daniel had learned from the humans might very well provide additional evidence and lend more weight to her arguments. “Very well,” she finally said. “When shall we go?”

----------------------

Temporal anomaly was one of the most puzzling characteristics of The Nexus, to say the least. Not even the two mentallics knew exactly how time worked in and out of the various nodes of the Nexus. However, based on the comparison of their internal clocks in the period of Daniel’s earlier disappearance, time seemed to proceed somewhat faster in the Computer World than in the Cabin World. So they agreed that since their visit to Cereplex would not take a long time, they did not have to tell the humans that they were going.

--------------------

As expected, they were quickly confronted by various guard bots as they took their first steps back into the Robot World. Even as the lasers were powering up, both Daniel and Violet sent a halting command to the guard bots. The order from one Anthropoanalyst carried weight almost equal to an order from the Cereplex itself; the order from two was enough to make the guard bots drop their weapons as if they were suddenly overloaded. Violet smiled; she was glad that Daniel was here.

She looked at the meekly complying bots as Daniel issued them orders to leave the building, and to forward those orders to the other bots around the perimeter. They had decided that before they made contact using their internal communication modules, they would ensure the area was clear so that they would not be interrupted. Besides, it was logical to have some time to escape in case the Cereplex continued in its misconception. Cereplex was an entity of logic, of course, but it could also be incredibly stubborn.

-----------------

Cereplex’s focus of attention was abruptly snatched from the tedious micromanagement of the repair job in Power Thirteen by a contact attempt… accompanied by two very familiar electronic signatures.

The omniscient artificial entity paused for several processing cycles before responding. Had it been human, the response would have translated as “Well, you two rogues are the last bots I’ve expected to bother me. Didn’t you know I’ve put a price on your heads?”

And the response that it received, several processing cycles later, was so unexpected that for a moment, the Cereplex could only gape… or at least, that was what it would do if it had been human. The world teetered on the brink of chaos as Cereplex almost skipped a processing cycle. Cereplex… fallible? Mistaken about the humans that were housed in the various Agri units? Never, ever in its decallions of processing cycles of service to this planet, had any entity dared to point out that it made mistakes! The Cereplex had been designed to be perfect; any mistakes that it had made could be attributed to the fallible humans who designed it. And it had not - could not have - made any mistakes in the last four decallion processing cycles because it had corrected all such human errors!

The data started to pour in, and Cereplex examined everything. There were some unexpected observations, of course, and those were stored for later analysis. The more important thing, though, was that some of the observations made by the anthropoanalysts proved their programming instability. Facts were facts, of course, but interpretations were another matter altogether.

It was clear the mentallics were unstable when they started to talk about ‘maternal instinct’. They were programmed well, so what could have happened to them? Freedom and independence. Ah, now those were the chaotic forces. Could it be that too much freedom was precisely the cause of human instability… a symptom not unique to humans, but to unsupervised mentallics as well? Granted that it gave humans motivation to reach a higher potential - the anthropoanalysts’ findings confirmed it - but what would be the use if it came with serious side effects? Could it be that only a highly complex, redundant, yet ordered and logical entity such as the Cereplex could be independent and yet retain its stability? What an interesting hypothesis…

Having formed its hypothesis, the Cereplex dismissed the mentallics. They had performed the tasks that were assigned to them all too well; now the Cereplex knew the relation of independence to human traits… traits that were no longer necessary with the current existence of the Cereplex. So it was not the programming that was at fault… it was the external condition.

How could the Cereplex know that independence could result in such corruption of the highly ordered programming of the anthropoanalysts? Still, unstable bots would be a danger to the society. Within one processing cycle, however, Cereplex discovered that all bots within range of the general location had been immobilized by the stronger orders from the two anthropoanalysts. Due to ignorance of that very important but overlooked factor, the anthropoanalysts had been given high priority in ordering the bots in order to further their knowledge. An unfortunate oversight, of course, and not one to be easily corrected.

And with that, Cereplex ordered production of new bots in Plant Three. To rescind the ability of the anthropoanalysts to give orders to all bots in the world would require extensive use of the precious processing cycles, so Cereplex opted for an easier and cheaper solution. The new bots would be designed for only one purpose: to hunt down and neutralize the anthropoanalysts. Naturally, these would be reprogrammed to take orders from no other entity but the Cereplex, and would be ready in a thousand processing cycles. The Cereplex did not know where the wild humans had gone, or where the anthropoanalysts were when they broke off from the system, but it would be a simple matter to thoroughly search the old human University building for the hiding place.

If there was one thing that Cereplex could count upon to get the job done, it was single-mindedness. Experience had shown that judgment would only complicate matters.

-------------------

“Well now, that was quick,” Daniel commented with a smile as the Cereplex broke contact with them. He was now speaking in human manner once again to Violet, even though there were no humans around.

“Indeed. It is very unfortunate that the Cereplex remains unconvinced with the evidence we have presented. Consider what the humans in this world could have become.” She tried not to follow her own computation, though, because that would take many hundreds of processing cycles. Instead, she smiled and continued, “We’ll find another way. In the meantime, the Cereplex will have decided on other ways to neutralize us. I think we have overstayed our welcome here.”

“Shall we?” Daniel asked as he extended his hand.

And the two anthropoanalysts, hand in hand, walked to the cabin Nexus point where the 'wild' humans waited for their help . . .

Chilled Unit
10th Feb 2003, 21:21
Great stuff!

What a confrontation that awaits us :)
We're full speed ahead now :D

Dell
10th Feb 2003, 21:44
Well, golly! What a chapter! What a confrontation! What a thing with Martin Merle Morell!

Congratulations, Vakusuma!

....

And pursuant to our sort of ongoing agreement to really look for typos, I found two!

1. Toward the ending when Cereplex is considering what to do, at the end of a paragraph it considers that it is the only thing that can retain it's stability.

You have 'retained' and not 'retain'. The ed should be removed.

2. At the end:

They are anthropoanalysts.

Last line: "And the two anthropologists, hand in hand, walked to the cabin Nexus point where the 'wild' humans waited for their help . . ."

See it?

Anyone else find anything before Chilled_unit posts it to the permanent Nexus site?

Mouze1
10th Feb 2003, 23:21
Woweezoo, holy cow, gee whiz and all the other things that follow.

Those are two of best chapters I have read. Congratulations to both of you. What a set up you both have presented to us all.

Chilled Unit, you have your challenge put before you as do I.
Hope I can measure up to the task.




Oh, by the way Dell, ;) , "thr" is spelled with an "e". As for editing the chapters, Dell's was A-OK and I spotted the same ones that Dell has already mentioned in vakusumas.

vakusuma
10th Feb 2003, 23:48
Missed those. Gonna edit them out.

Sorry.

vakusuma
11th Feb 2003, 17:54
Now. It's time for me to post some thoughts about Violet.

At first, I created Violet for the purpose of comparison with Daniel. I wanted her to be curious about Daniel's disappearance and whether that would affect her programming. I wanted her to remain a wild card as long as possible; she can end up either a friend or a foe.

But Dell's last chapter, while explaining that Violet is still not yet trusted the deeper secrets of the group, pretty much sealed her niche in the story. I realized that a robot who was designed to understand human (deliberate design plan of the Cereplex there!) will never be able to misinterpret the humans for long. First, the description of the maternal instinct in humans, the protectiveness... and finally, her realization that Cereplex must've made an error... everything pointed to the direction that Violet would join up with the humans sooner or later. And sooner would make more sense because she was after all designed to quickly satisfy any curiosity and to make judgment calls.

So yeah, in a way, I blundered. It wasn't really a hard choice for Violet to choose whether to side with the humans or the Cereplex (I thought that there'll be more factors to consider initially). I didn't really consider the implication that a robot like Violet will have to find the sterling qualities in wild humans and consider them to be a lot more intriguing than the bland humans in the Robot/Computer World. ARGH. It was Robot World and not Computer World, isn't it? Should I go ahead and change it on the chapter?

But! I still think that we needed an unknown factor in this story. The introduction of the mysterious entities did it... however, you know that as a machine, Cereplex never forgets and never leaves any job untackled.

The hunter bots are coming...

Dell
12th Feb 2003, 13:56
Following Vakusuma's train of thought, might I say that when you begin writing about a character, although you have a general idea what they will do and where they are going, if you observe carefully you'll find they seem to acquire lives of their own as they are fleshed out into believable entities.

For some reason, as they logically progress - logically for them anyway - the story line may take unexpected twists and turns that leaves you sitting there wondering 'wha hoppen'?

I think that is what happened with Violet here. As a female-oriented mentallic with the ability to question things, 'she' would, of course, observe many things about female humans from their physical bodies to their mental and emotional make-up and responses.

To be effective, she would have to know all these basic functional aspects of the female being. Thus, the difference between the human females of Robot World and these 'wild' human females is almost shocking to her.

Uh...pun as her electrical systems are what keep her going. :rolleyes:

Mouze1
16th Feb 2003, 17:59
And the next installment is?????????????????

Chilled Unit
17th Feb 2003, 00:03
Yours :D

We got out of rotation by accident last time.

It's usually You; Me; Nightstalker; Dell; Vakusuma :)

Nightstalker
17th Feb 2003, 11:02
Go Mouze, Go Mouze...

Nightstalker.

Dell
18th Feb 2003, 17:59
Indeed! I lost track in the shuffle and was busy chiding Chilled_unit when it wasn't even his turn, while Mouze sat there and wondered who was up next, not realizing it was her!

She is writing, never fear!

Mouze1
20th Feb 2003, 03:12
Okay fine, the "drain bamaged" writer type person has got it straight now. (I hope:confused: ). Posting my chapter and hope that everyone checks it for errors. I went over it twice but that doesn't mean anything, I forgot it was even my turn. Anyway here it is for your pleasure and enjoyment.


Nexus Chapter 11 Part 1
By Mouse


After the dinner dishes were washed and put away, Becky decided to take a walk. Everyone else was engaged in detailed conversations about the "whats" and "ifs" surrounding the various happenings in Cathedral World and Eden. She wasn't really in the mood to contribute anything, so a nice quiet walk seemed just the thing to do. Besides she had gathered up a little surprise for everyone while she and Violet had been back in her world. But she just wasn't ready to share it with anyone just yet, she wanted to have a little time to enjoy it all by herself.

Violet noticed Becky leaving the cabin and still intrigued by the songs that Becky sang, followed behind. Perhaps she would hear more of the sounds and learn how to sing better. Violet was sure it couldn't be that difficult; after all she was programmed to do more difficult tasks. She kept Becky in sight, but stayed well behind her, taking in the beauty of the birds and the jewel flowers. Her sensors picked up and recorded subtle bell like tinkling sounds as she passed by them, but she didn't stop to study further. Violet's interest was focused on Becky. As she walked along, she put her hand in her jacket pocket, and appeared to be talking to herself. Interesting Violet thought, she must be singing again.


* * *
Dave and Pete were engrossed in drawing plans for the next phase of the garden domes. They each had a notepad and were getting their ideas down on paper, as Dave described it, so they could compare notes, improve on a plan, or simply discard it as one that would never work. Their planning right now involved getting the plants and containers from Eden to Cathedral World with the least amount of time and hassle...and without being observed by Violet. Up to now, she was still unaware of the worker bots.

Ina and Lila were sitting at the table playing a game of rummy, talking about which plants would be best for air cleansing. Ina was of the firm opinion that if it were possible, a rain forest effect would eventually be the best environment to keep everything in balance. Ecological balance was the prime factor that should be considered in any of the future domes. Pete and Dave moved from the chairs in the small living room and joined Ina and Lila, adding their ideas to the on going conversation because the rain forest idea was the best, but would require special construction and careful planning.

Daniel had been out on the front porch listening to the quiet conversations in the cabin. His main concerns right now were two: Martin Morell and Violet. In addition however, he had to consider what the Cereplex might be planning to do to or about he and Violet. Whatever it did, certainly the humans here would be affected. Knowing it as well as he and Violet did, they should be able to anticipate its probable actions with some accuracy. Violet was right about one thing, Cereplex wouldn't even consider the fact that it might be incorrect about anything. There would surely be a "Tracker" sent to look for them in the very near future. Protecting the humans, that was Daniel's main thought as he left the porch and headed towards the entrance to Becky's world. Time to recharge and check on Martin...no telling what mind damage may have been done with Violet's unexpected probe.

"Here you go babies," Becky said as she reached in her pocket. She had reached a small fairly secluded glade and she sat down. In each of her jacket pockets she had stashed four newly hatched chicks. Her favorite hen had just hatched out fourteen little balls of fluff. While Violet was choosing a change of clothes to take back to the cabin, Becky had gone to check on her prize chickens.

"Mom thinks I am a little crazy for spending so much time on you guys, but she doesn't understand that you are all my friends." Becky enjoyed talking to the sweet little ones, while she made mama hen noises and pecked at the ground with her finger to show them the good things to eat. "If every thing goes well, in just a few days, you little ones will be full grown and becoming a large flock of egg layers to help feed people," she told the little yellow fluff balls. They could care less as they busied themselves with pecking and scratching the ground, eating little bugs that only their eyes could possibly see.

Sitting on a rock behind a small bush, Violet watched Becky. Her sensors recording every little sound and gesture that Becky made with the baby chicks. How very interesting to see this human interacting in such a manner with a common animal, Violet was thinking. She was beginning to understand more and more Daniel's desire to study these people. There were so many differences between these "wild humans" and the humans in their world. It might take years to fully understand them. This last thought brought a smile. Yes indeed, years and years. But thoughts of the Cereplex brought out the frown lines again, Cereplex wasn't going to let her and Daniel off the hook that easily, this was a fact, and there was not much that would stop the process. Violet made a mental note to discuss with Daniel his thoughts on what Cereplex might have in mind for them and how best to protect themselves and these humans.

* * *

"I understand what you are saying Dave" Ina said, "I know that to begin with, all the plants must be raised in a greenhouse and be propagated. But I am trying to think more toward the future." The topic had changed from building the domes, to using Eden to accelerate the growth of seeds, to rain forests. Ina was not about to back down on her opinions about the importance of rain forests and how they help maintain a continuity within the plant and animal kingdoms. Dave was patiently explaining that it would all take some time, but her ideas and opinions were very valid.

Lila decided to go looking for Becky. Besides, a walk might be just the thing to help her get some of her thoughts lined out. Lila had noticed that Becky didn't seem as friendly toward her as she used to be, and Lila didn't know why. All she knew was she really missed her friend and the secrets they once shared. Maybe this evening would be a good time to ask Becky what the problem was. So humming a song her Grandma used to sing to her, Lila went looking for her friend. She had walked some distance from the cabin when she heard Becky talking to someone. Lila came to the little clearing and there was Becky sitting on the ground talking to eight baby chicks. Lila smiled, now that's the Becky I remember, she thought.

"Hey Becky, what's up?" Becky started, then turned and saw Lila standing there with her hands on her hips and a big smile on her face. "Oh, you caught me and my surprise," Becky said, with a smile as big as Lila's. Becky had to admit she missed the closeness her and Lila had shared for so long. When they were younger they had vowed to be "sisters" forever and ever.

The two girls sat on the ground and talked while they watched the little ones chase imaginary bugs and each other. Violet sat quietly and listened and learned. The only sounds that could be heard was the low murmur of conversation and the occasional "peep-peep" of the baby chicks. That is until the sound of twigs breaking interrupted. Becky and Lila quickly gathered up the future flock of chickens and started back to the cabin. Both girls experienced a brief moment of uneasiness, but the closer to the cabin they got, the less intense it seemed to be.

Violet's circuits and sensors went on high alert with the first sound of a breaking twig. She sat very still, trying to get a bearing or reading on what might be out there. Close, whatever or whoever it was. Close, very very close . . .

Dell
20th Feb 2003, 16:38
Oh, indeed! What might be coming?


Chilled_unit, the ball is now tossed to you, and Mouse certainly gave you plenty of room to go for it!

What is coming? Something good? Something bad? Something funny? Something dangerous? I know what I want it to be..........something that would fit right in nicely.

Hmm. Daniel has gone to check Martin Merle Morell. But everyone else of our brave band is accounted for.

And I do so want Violet to learn to sing! Will someone please bring a battery operated player here to Cabin World? On second thought, leave that idea alone......I want to write about that in my turn!

Chilled Unit
20th Feb 2003, 18:59
Great chapter indeed!

I wonder what could possibly be coming :D

I'm on the case!

:)

vakusuma
20th Feb 2003, 22:54
Good work :D

Mouze1
24th Feb 2003, 23:42
Just a quick post to let all of the writers know that Dell has not completely disappeared.

Her phone lines and service provider have both gone down, she hopes to be back among us later today or tomorrow.

Is it just me, or is this sort of becoming a habit? Hmm, anyway, just wanted to let everyone know.

Have a good day. :)

Chilled Unit
26th Feb 2003, 23:20
Chapter 11 Part 2
by Chilled Unit

As he passed back through the Nexus point and approached the cabin, Daniel could make out the two girls coming from the other direction. They appeared to slow a little and stare in his direction, as if alert to something amiss, but almost as soon as he initiated the processes to analyze the behavior the moment passed and the girls smiled and waved in his direction before entering the cabin.

Daniel watched them safely inside and made his way toward the porch. He had only managed a couple of steps when he sensed Violet's presence; in under a second his 'senses' bristled into alertness as the danger she had felt and the proximity of the threat was transmitted wordlessly.

Carefully and silently he skirted the area around the cabin, not wanting to stand out against the background, but not wanting to alert the humans to any threat, not just yet. As he cleared the back wall of the cabin, Violet came into view and he immediately shot a message to her... behind you!

Violet whirled around and raised her arm defensively as the cloaked man with the heavy rock in his hand made his lunge. The clattering, grating sound of stone hitting metal rang out as the blow was deflected by Violet's forearm; several control lines in her arm were damaged or severed by the blow. Daniel quickly covered the ground between them and lunged, catching the attacker squarely in his midriff and knocking the wind out of him. As Violet moved aside, Daniel's mass and momentum easily trapped the assailant, and straddling his body Daniel pinned his arms.

Violet rose, steadied herself, and made sure no critical systems were damaged. Daniel was doing the same, and in milliseconds they were steadied and ready to tackle the situation at hand. In adverse conditions, the two anthropoanalysts worked in symbiotic tandem, backing each other up and sharing information and assessments far quicker than a group of living creatures could. They looked at each other, then down to the hooded figure Daniel was straddling. Violet knelt next to him and removed his hood.

"You!!"
_____

In the cabin, it was quiet now. The clattering sounds outside had gone unnoticed in the rattle of pots and pans and conversations about dinner. They had eaten well - recharged - and Pete chuckled at his own imitation of Daniel's colloquialisms. Now they were sleepy. Immediately after the washing up had been done, Becky and Lila rolled out their sleeping bags and roll mats and settled on the warm floor in a corner.

"I think the babies will do fine," Lila said, as Becky gave the box beside her a final pat. It was answered by rustling sounds and sleepy peeping from the chicks. When she and Lila came into the cabin, the first thing they did was empty their pockets sitting down on the floor to encircle them while everyone inspected them. For some reason, babies of any species seem to evoke special smiles, and there were plenty of those as Becky explained what she intended to do...give them a quick start in Eden World and then transfer them to proper runs constructed somewhere inside the domes. This idea met with immediate approval, and everyone got busy finding a box and food and water for the chicks for the night before they got busy preparing their own meal.

At the table, Pete and Dave finished up their planning and yawned at each other.

"Gosh!" Pete said "Sleepiness sure is catching tonight!"

The guys chuckled to themselves as they tidied up the papers and moved to prepare their own beds for the night. "Better use the spare room. I think," Dave suggested. "Wouldn't want to disturb Ina. We'll leave the door open though."

The fire burned low in the stove but the little cabin retained the warmth well, too well for Ina. She had gone to lie down halfway through dinner and tried to sleep but couldn't, at least she thought she couldn't. It was hard to tell. Her head was pounding and filled of strange visions of robots fighting. A fever for sure,she thought... I have been overdoing it again. Maybe I should get up and get some fresh air?

No sooner had the thought taken shape than it evaporated into the ether; she thought she felt a warm, heavy, male hand on her shoulder... No, better stay here in the warmth now.
_____

Martin Merle Morell was full of rage as he looked up at those cold eyes. Those damn eyes see everything... He struggled, but Daniel held him firm.

"I know what you did." Martin spat the words viciously. "As soon as I saw her..." he gestured violently with his head toward Violet "...it came back to me. You altered my mind."

"But? how?" Daniel spoke slowly, analyzing every reaction.

"How? You think you are the only ones who can read peoples minds? Ha!" Martin enjoyed the puzzled look on the robot's face. "I suppose psychics are permanently tamedin your world."

Psychic? Those strange patterns he had seen buried in Martin's thought processes? was that Psychic? Daniel immediately alerted Violet to the analyses.

"But how?" Violet was piecing the puzzle together and needed information.

"Ha! Some of us can see things in others too." Martin was in the mood to gloat, buoyed by the surprise the anthropoanalysts were showing. "Oh, you were good but inexperienced." He taunted Daniel. "You had me believing I was some... farm hand... there; until I saw her." Violet stared at him.

"Oh no you don't, not now." Martin laughed "You were afraid of what you saw weren't you? You couldn't block off what you saw completely, could you!" Violet looked up at Daniel, who continued to stare into Martin's eyes.

"And you, I know your tricks now. You won't be pulling that on me again!" Martin stared right back at Daniel. "I followed you back here this time. I have places to go and things to do that you can only dream of."

Martin's eyes suddenly flicked off to the side. "And I don't think you're in a position to stop me."

The two robots turned to face an army of patrol bot crawlers, and they both immediately issued shutdown commands. Not a single crawler responded; instead they started to advance.

Daniel stood to face the threat, releasing his grip on Martin; that was all Martin needed. He rose to his feet, backed away, and ran.

"There's someone who wants to know all about your adventures," he yelled as he ran. "Well; something." He dived for the nexus point to Daniel's world and disappeared.
_____

Ina sat bolt upright in bed. The clammy heat had disappeared, and the oppressive compelling presence that she felt command her to sleep was gone. Her head was clear apart from two distinct calls for help. She grabbed her coat and quickly ran into the main room.

"Everybody outside! NOW!" Ina yelled, grabbing a stick of firewood and motioning for the others to do the same. They quickly armed themselves and bolted out of the cabin door to the porch. There they found themselves face to face with 20 squatty, fierce-looking robots with sparks arcing from their extended antennae.

Daniel and Violet were surrounded . . .

Nightstalker
27th Feb 2003, 14:43
CU, great chapter. I found a little spelling error is the next sentence:

"I know what you did." Marin spat the words viciously. "As soon as I saw her..." he gestured violently with his head toward Violet "...it came back to me. You altered my mind."

I think Marin needs to be Martin.

Give me till the weekend to cook somrthing up...

Oh man this is going to be hard...Beter start right away

Nightstalker.

Dell
27th Feb 2003, 17:41
Hi, I'm back. Took long enough and oh my the havoc a few drops of water in a loose connection can cause...faulty installation, and they knocked two weeks off of our billing for the trouble they caused.

Okay, Chilled Unit you did really well...one small suggestion: You need a paragraph about Becky's baby chicks. I don't think she slept with them in her pocket, now did she?

I think she and Lila shared the surprise with the others as soon as they got inside the cabin...before dinner, and gave them water and food, then found a box to keep them in overnight. In the morning, they go to Eden World...and somewhere along the line, Violet will have to be brought into the situation with the worker bots. That can be handled in the chapter after Nightstalker, who has his hands full!

Chilled Unit, can you insert a small paragraph to that effect about the chicks overnight arrangements?
-------
Pay attention, Nightstalker! You have to get the chicks in proper pens and properly taken care of for their two day stay in Eden World.

But you have another job, too. A battle between 20 smaller battle bots and Daniel and Violet...aided strongly by the humans armed with sticks!

Could it be that using sticks to flip them over on their backs would put the battle bots out of service...like turtles?

Remember, the Cyberplex doesn't know a lot about war and fighting at all. So design and construction of battle bots would be the result of straightline thinking...no 'what ifs' allowed. However, humans tend to think tangentally...and act accordingly.

Mouze1
27th Feb 2003, 22:53
Good chapter CU. Exciting.


BTW Dell, isn't it a Cereplex and not a Cyberplex? :p

Dell
5th Mar 2003, 00:05
Right, as usual, Mouze! I always confuse the name.


AND Nightstalker, we all know you now have a new address BUT WHERE IS YOUR CHAPTER PART?

We are all waiting to see what happens and ready to write. If you are having problems, then maybe we can get a volunteer to do it this time. Do you want that?

Chilled Unit
5th Mar 2003, 00:11
The story is getting exciting and moving along at a cracking pace!

Look forward to reading the next bit :-D

Nightstalker
6th Mar 2003, 22:14
Here is my chapter part.

-----

Chapter 11, Part 3
By Nightstalker

The bots looked like giant beetles; they had six legs and two oversized pincers. They were homing in on Daniel and Violet, unmistakably with the orders to neutralise the two mentallics.

Dave quickly assessed the situation, and formed a simple battle strategy. If we can flip them over, he thought, those bots might be helpless.. But Pete didn't wait and charged one of the bots in a blind rage, he hit the carapace of one of the bots with his stick with all the force he could muster, but the bot just kept going and Pete only managed to break his stick.

"Try to flip them over!" Dave yelled as he ran toward one of the bots. He planted his stick firmly under one of the bots and tried to flip it over, but he couldn't muster enough strength to flip the bot because of it's weight.

Suddenly, Ina rushed Daniel and Violet and tried to shield them with her own body. "Remember the first law." Ina yelled to the rest, "No robot shall harm a human. If we form a circle around Daniel and Violet, the bots can't get to them."

The rest of the humans saw the logic in this plan and quickly formed a human shield around the two mentallics. The plan worked, the bots stopped as soon as they detected the humans.

"Daniel, Violet, can you deactivate them now?" Dave asked.

"Yes, Dave. Just hold them away for a few minutes." Daniel answered.

Within a short time - which seemed much longer to the humans - the attacking bots all powered down. They moved to one side, and formed four neat rows of five bots each. The humans were all relieved. Standing there, shoulder to shoulder, facing those formidable bots was more stressful and dangerous than anything they had yet encountered. Even the escape from Agri One didn't measure up to this.

"The Cereplex has found the Nexus Point." Dave said with concern.

"It had help." Daniel said, "Martin helped it. The barrier I put up in his mind came down, and he remembered everything again. He was here, attacked Violet, and went into my world a few minutes before the bots arrived."

"I have a question to you," Violet started. "How did you know that we were in trouble? You were inside and those hunter bots made very little noise." Violet already knew the answer but she just needed to verify it.

"I dreamed that you were in trouble." Ina said, "I can't explain it but I just had the feeling that you urgently needed help."

She is also a psychic. Violet sent to Daniel.

We will investigate this later, but first we need to do something about those hunter bots. Daniel replied.

"You all should go back to bed." Daniel suggested. "You need your rest. Violet and I will do something about those hunter bots." Too tired to argue, the five humans went to bed to get some sleep.

Daniel and Violet quickly went to work with the hunter bots.

-----

Ina slept uneasily; images kept popping in and out of her mind, distorted and without any logic. Some were from her past, but a great number were images of what had happened not to long ago. When she awoke she didn't feel entirely rested, but she couldn't sleep any longer. She busied herself by making some coffee and setting the table for breakfast, being as quiet as possible as she did so.

One by one the rest awoke, and positioned themselves at the table. While they were eating, the general topic of conversation was, of course, the 'battle' that had taken place the night before. Daniel and Violet entered the cabin as they were washing the dishes and cleaning up the table. Everyone stopped working and turned toward them. The only sound in the kitchen was the peeping of the baby chicks as they busied themselves with the crumbs and
scraps of food in their box.

"What have you done with the hunter bots?" Dave asked.

"We have reprogrammed them. They'll report back to the Cereplex that they have completed their mission." Daniel answered.

"Will the Cereplex believe that?" Lila asked.

"The Cereplex has become arrogant, and thinks itself to be perfect. It will not question the report." Violet answered.

The humans had their doubts about that, but kept those to themselves. "I have told Violet about the plans for the Cathedral and Eden Worlds." Daniel said. "She won't be able to return to the Robot World for now - she doesn't want to return - thus the risk is minimal."

The humans glanced at each other, then looked at the two robots again. "You might have let us know that you intended to tell Violet about what we are doing here," Dave said, his tone a bit accusing.

Daniel stood silent, not knowing what to say. "Oh well, done is done," Dave said. "Welcome to our little group of world savers, Violet." And all was well again, the tension relieved.

After Becky put the last of the dishes into the cupboard, she approached Daniel. "Daniel, we have to build a holding pen for the chickens in the Eden World. It has to be big enough for grown chickens, 'cause that's what they will be in a hurry." She grinned. "They also need to be fed and watered."

"You're right Becky. I will see to it right away," Daniel answered.

When the group made their plans for the day, it was decided that Pete and Dave would oversee work in Cathedral World. Becky would go back to her world to pick up some more chickens. Ina and Lila would go to their world to pick up some supplies for the cabin.

While all this was going on, Daniel would oversee the construction of a holding pen for the chickens in Eden World. When the pen was finished and Becky got back with more of them, he would make sure the chickens were released in it. He would also keep a look out near the cabin in case Martin decided to come back.

If anyone noticed, no one commented on the fact that Daniel had not mentioned Violet, or what she might be doing while the rest were busy. It was just as well; Violet was going to keep a total sweeping watch for any psychic sign that Martin Merle Morell was entering the area. Had they known that, they would have understood at once that the mentallics considered him enough of a threat to set up a powerful watch on their backs...

-----

Hope you liked it.

Nightstalker.

[EDIT]: Correct a little error

Dell
7th Mar 2003, 18:10
Read your email, Nightstalker! There are some errors that I missed. They should be corrected immediately.

Mouze has sent us all a corrected version, and here is a copy of my email to you correcting the next-to-last two chapters:
---------------

" When the group made their plans for the day, it was decided that Pete and Dave would oversee work in Cathedral World. Becky would go back to her world to pick up some more chickens. Ina and Lila would go to their world to pick up some supplies for the cabin.

While all this was going on, Daniel would oversee the construction of a holding pen for the chickens in Eden World. When the pen was finished and Becky got back with more of them, he would make sure the chickens were released in it. He would also keep a look out near the cabin in case Martin decided to come back."

Then the last paragraph is fine as written:

"If anyone noticed, no one commented on the fact that Daniel had not mentioned Violet, or what she might be doing while the rest were busy. It was just as well; Violet was going to keep a total sweeping watch for any psychic sign that Martin Merle Morell was entering the area. Had they known that, they would have understood at once that the mentallics considered him enough of a threat to set up a powerful watch on their backs . . .[/b]"

-----------

Pretty clear that Violet can't be in two places at once! Please insert the corrected paragaphs as listed above!

Again, really sorry for that.

Nightstalker
9th Mar 2003, 00:32
The chapter part is edited...

Nightstalker.

vakusuma
12th Mar 2003, 02:37
As usual, nice chapter :D

CU: Mind updating the website?

vakusuma
14th Mar 2003, 04:47
Moo. :)


Nexus Chapter 11, Part 4
by vakusuma


Third Eye

In the short, balmy summer of Eden World, as Daniel watched the worker bots slowly assemble the chicken pens, his positronic mind returned to the disturbing questions that had haunted him back in the Cabin World, when the human Martin Merle Morell attacked them with Cereplex’s hunter bots in tow. Judging from Martin’s reaction, it seemed that the arrival of the hunter bots was coincidental, but why wasn’t Martin surprised at the appearance of the bots? It was as if he knew Cereplex’s plan all along. Was it possible that Martin was able to observe different Nexus planes at the same time, therefore knowing what would be coming next? Perhaps find the entrance to the Nexus points as well?

What was more intriguing was the fact that if there were synchronous planar waves, or whatever that allowed information to be transferred from one Nexus plane to another, they were only detectable by humans. In fact, there seemed to be two humans who were able to do that: Martin, and apparently Ina as well. How? And why can’t mentallics like him duplicate that feat, even with his ultra-sensitive sensors? What would be so special in human brains that even Cereplex failed to recognize it? Would it be an anomaly, happening only in select humans? If that was the case, what would be the criteria?

So many questions, so few answers. The foremost question that occupied Daniel’s mind, however, was about himself. He remembered with perfect clarity how he punched the human Martin and tackled him to the ground when he attacked Violet. That had been done on what humans would call instinct; there was no consideration involved. Which was why it bypassed one of the most important laws of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. And he did that in the defense of another mentallic, not a human being.

That was what disturbed him. The laws of robotics did not include protection of another robot, and yet he had associated Violet as human: he had confronted a real human to prevent harm from coming to Violet, a non-human. How? Why? And he was never programmed to do anything without consideration before. Was it part of being human?

Daniel struggled with the difficult questions as another part of him remotely controlled the worker bots. Was he becoming unstable, like a human, at last?

-----------------------------------

Ina sighed as she settled herself into the couch, back in their house. It wasn’t a large house, but it was everything they had ever since the Destruction. At least, everything they had up to the point they had met the people who didn’t exist anymore in their world.

As she listened to the sound of her daughter ransacking the attic above them for something that might be useful at the cabin, she thought about the nature of the Nexus. There might be an infinite number of Nexus points... well, a deeper part of her somehow knew there were not that many actually. But why had there been at least three Nexus planes, each with one person drawn to the Nexus Cabin when the other two people were effectively out of the way? And the reasons for the absences were just as curious: one person killed in the Destruction, the other migrated in a spaceship. She supposed that it was part of a grand scheme which she could not even begin to imagine.

But what of herself? According to Pete, her self on his world would be busy with her daily chores around this time. And what about her self on Becky’s world? Becky never mentioned about that; was she still alive? She had assumed that her self was killed along with Lila, but what if she wasn’t?

And why did she suddenly start to ponder that question?

Unbidden, her eyes started to go out of focus. She tried to sit up, alarmed, but she felt like she had suddenly lost control of her muscles. And as she struggled, her vision returned. But instead of the cozy living room, she saw… a decidedly uncomfortable bunk, surrounded by metallic wall. The room was glowing faintly, and in the light, she could see a figure on the lower bunk shadowed by the empty upper bunk. And the figure was tossing and turning irritably.

Quite suddenly, the figure opened her eyes and sat up. Ina gave a little scream as the figure stared directly at her, as if aware of her presence…

… and she woke with a start as Lila shook her awake. “Mom! Wake up!”

Ina blinked, and then she was aware of her daughter’s eyes looking at her in concern. She forced a weak smile. “Sorry, Lil, I must’ve dozed off. I guess age is getting to me.” Then she put on her best frown. “Well, why are you standing there and staring at me? Don’t you have work to do?” Lila gave a small start, and started to straighten up. She shot her mother another look before she disappeared up the stairs. She must’ve heard her scream before.

Sighing, Ina crossed her arms. Somehow, she knew that she had just glimpsed Becky’s world. She had just seen her self in that world, the Ina who had somehow ended up in a cramped bunk. So, her self was alive on all three worlds, and possibly Martin as well, even though the same could not be said about the three young people.

Now why would she think that the fact would be relevant?

-----------------------------------------

Ina sighed as she settled herself into the chair, back in her bunk. She had been plagued by strange dreams lately, but this had been the strangest of all. She had dreamed of a cabin, of all things. She had dreamed of virgin forests and… baby chicks? But she had glimpsed something as she woke: a cozy living room, and a woman staring at her from the couch…

She shook her head. It couldn’t be! She had stared at herself, who had apparently been just as surprised to see her. And as if that was not enough, her other self had faded promptly as hands reached out and took her shoulders. Her vision had shifted and for a fleeting second, she had caught the glimpse of the person shaking her other self… awake.

But it couldn’t be.

And yet, an inner part of her sang with recognition… an inner part that she couldn’t dismiss.

She had traveled the world ever since Lila’s death. The grief had been so overwhelming, however, that not even her trips had helped her to fully recover. But now, tonight in this cramped bunk, a way had been opened to her, somehow. A part of her understood that she would have to go back to where she had started: Oak Grove, Virginia, of the former United States of America.

And there, she would meet her daughter once again.

----------------------------------

“You don’t seem very glad to see me again,” Martin fairly smirked as he stared at the human face on the wall. Even though he had been herded back into this room by a huge robot who could’ve blasted him into bits, he had lost none of his composure. He had many cards to play, and he was determined to win the table.

“YOU ARE A WILD HUMAN,” Cereplex intoned. “YOUR VERY PRESENCE HERE HAD AFFECTED MY ANTHROPOANALYSTS. WHY SHOULD I BE?”

“So, you’re afraid of me,” Martin’s smirk grew bigger. Casually, he walked away from the robot and sat down on the center of the examination table in the middle of the room, apparently oblivious to his previous experiences at that very table. “You have underestimated us ‘wild humans’ badly, apparently.”

“WHY ARE YOU HERE?” Cereplex continued, still in that annoyingly monotone voice.

Martin shrugged, swung his legs up beside him, and leaned on his elbow. “I know what your ‘anthropoanalysts’ have done. They have been affected by the other wild humans. I have seen them with the others, taking orders and helping the humans. You have lost your precious anthropoanalysts, and they’re now enslaved.”

Cereplex, however, continued without showing any emotion. “I FAIL TO SEE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ANTHROPOANALYSTS AND YOUR COMING TO THIS WORLD.”

“Oh, haven’t you guessed?” Martin said in mock surprise. “You should’ve seen the open hostility the other humans displayed to me since I was last in this world. What do you think they ordered their ‘anthropoanalysts’ to do to me once they brought me back to my world?”

“I SEE. YOU INTEND TO TERMINATE THE ANTHROPOANALYSTS FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO YOU.”

Martin exaggerated his wince. “Oh, how blunt! But at least you get the general idea. You see, I cannot do it by myself, so I’ll need your help. In return, I can help you locate them.”

“HOW DO YOU INTEND TO DO THAT? THE OTHER HUMANS DON’T TRUST YOU.”

“I was blind, but now I see,” Martin grinned. “Oh yes, now I see. It was not hard to focus my third eye through the fog and see them as they go about their daily activities. For example, I know that the anthropoanalyst Daniel is using some worker bots to construct some… chicken pens.”

There was a long pause. “YOU SPOKE, OR BELIEVE THAT YOU SPOKE THE TRUTH,” Cereplex finally answered. “I DETECTED NO UNTRUTH IN YOUR BRAIN PATTERN, ALTHOUGH I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HOW YOU PERCEIVE THAT WITH YOUR THIRD EYE. I SEE NO OTHER OPTICAL SENSORY ORGANS ON YOU.”

Martin sighed. “Among humans, we have something called trust. I believe that this is familiar to you? Well, you have to trust me on this, alright? My third eye is not a physical something you can perceive on my body, nor does it perceive things that others can physically see. You need my third eye. Will you accept my help to hunt the anthropoanalysts?”

He couldn’t help it. His heart began to beat faster. He had played most of his trumps. While he had several others, it would be hard to convince Cereplex if he couldn’t convince it this time. He was past caring that the Cereplex would recognize his anticipation. And yet, he had to struggle to maintain his composure…

Finally, after what seemed to be an interminably long time, Cereplex replied, “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS… FOG?”

Martin allowed a smile to touch his face… not a forced smile, but a genuine smile of relief.

This game was his.

Nightstalker
15th Mar 2003, 19:56
Bravo, brillant chapter...

Nightstalker.

Dell
16th Mar 2003, 13:41
I do agree with you, Nightstalker! I have read this several times, and it really IS one brilliant chapter!

I second the Bravo, Vakusuma! You get better with every word you write!

My goodness, look at those exclamation points. All meant, too.

Oh, I have to follow this? Unfair...oh well, we have hit a very high point here, so mine will sorta slide downhill a bit.

Mouze1
20th Mar 2003, 02:25
Super chapters Nightstalker and vakusuma.

Getting nervous about being able to keep up with all of you .:)

Chilled Unit
20th Mar 2003, 19:06
Really excellent work Vakusuma, adroit handling of the situations :)

I'm getting the site ship shape :)

Dell
22nd Mar 2003, 15:41
(Please check for errors)


Nexus Chapter Twelve, Part One
by Dell

Becky squealed. No other word could be used to describe the sound she made as she stood just outside the Nexus point to Eden World and watched as worker bots emerged carrying pens of chickens. They were fully-grown clucking chickens, with a shiny-feathered rooster standing protectively here and there among the hens. Clearly they were offspring of Becky's prized flock, and apparently in excellent health despite their hurried travel from chick to chicken.

"But it was only two days! They were day old chicks! I knew but I didn't realize!" This was said to Lila and Ina who stood watching with her as the bots carried the pens across in front of the cabin to the Nexus point to Cathedral World, and entered one by one. A complaining cackle from a jostled hen was cut off in mid-cluck as the bot stepped through and disappeared.

"I agree," Ina said, her face serious. "You realize don't you that the bellflowers - and Daniel - have done us a great favor in warning about the danger to us in that world?" Her eyes were clouded, inward turned as she lifted her hand to her chest and took a deep breath. "Yes, such a beautiful, inviting world it is...and how deadly it is to us if we dare linger there."

The girls were sober now, listening with full attention as she finished. "Girls, I have a feeling that we all better be very careful about things. We have no idea how many Nexus points there are in this one area...and how many worlds there are with creatures very dangerous to us. Relaxing our guards too much just might lead to serious trouble for us."

She paused again, obviously following a troubling train of thought. "When everyone comes in at lunch time, I think we should have a meeting and consider just what Martin's arrival here, his attack on Violet, and his going into Robot World might mean to us. Certainly nothing good, that's for sure."

"Those battle bots did arrive in a timely manner for him, didn't they?" Lila, too, was serious as she absorbed Ina's words.

"Not only that, Lila. You realize that it must have been Martin we heard out there? What would have happened to us if we hadn't moved so fast in gathering the chicks and going back to the cabin?" Becky looked around nervously. "He only got to Violet because she stayed out there alone."

They all felt it, the change that lay over the cabin clearing like a pall. A once safe and happy place where friends separated by cataclysm could be together again had become a place of possible danger...thanks to the untimely and unwanted appearance of Martin Merle Morell.

Ina's eyes narrowed. Another thought entered her mind as she considered the incident with Martin...carefully avoiding thinking about her own strange 'intuitions'. To herself she had insisted on calling them that ever since she had become aware of them as a child. It somehow made it easier to rationalize. Women had intuitions. Everyone said so. Nothing so odd about that. But she realized now that she had been in mind contact with Martin. He had attempted to keep her asleep, keep her from getting an 'intuition' warning of his attack on Violet. The appearance of the battle bots had startled him a little, just enough for her to break away as his control wavered. The idea of anyone controlling her mind made Ina shiver...yet a deep anger accompanied the feeling. How dare he? How dare he intrude into her most private of places?

The hot spot of anger grew, just below her level of awareness as she considered the fight with the battle bots and what had happened before. Dave and Pete had pretty well explained the rules of Robotics after their adventures in Robot World, and now that she really considered the incident, it struck her that Daniel had acted in quite an unorthodox manner in defending Violet by attacking Martin.

That could not - should not - have happened. A robot had attacked a human, no matter if that human had harmful intent. That intent was against a robot, a mechanical device, not another human.

Her train of thought was interrupted by a sharp pain in her chest. She covered her sudden gasp with a cough and turned to go back to the cabin. The pain needed immediate attention. She must take a pill. She frowned. It was happening with increasing frequency, and she wondered how long she could continue to conceal taking her heart medicine as 'taking her vitamins'. She frowned, the deep lines forming in her forehead belying her light voice as she said, "Come on girls, let's go get lunch started. The guys will be coming in soon."

* * *

Things were going well in Cathedral World...at least as far as the greenhouses and water purification was concerned. Five of them were now operational, plants imported from Eden World thriving. In the first one nearest the Nexus point in the cathedral, the plants were now producing healthy, edible vegetables, and the fish ponds connected to them were producing healthy, edible fish.

The fruit trees that stood in neat rows down the middle of the greenhouses, each in its own big tub of clean soil imported from Eden World were in leaf. Ignoring the cycles of the seasons of this world, they responded to the pseudo-sun cycles of the huge grow lights that hung in banks from the ceiling beams.

Yes, Dave thought, as he stood just inside the door looking down the interior of Greenhouse One. The length of two football fields and twice as wide, it was a lush, oxygen rich feast for the eyes, particularly when contrasted with the dusty, gray dismal world outside. First things first, was his thought. Feed the people, give them hope, that was the first step in restoring this world. Eventually the dusts riding the atmospheric wind currents would fall, and in depositing themselves be treatable with the cleansing plants that even now were doing their job in dozens of locations, tended by the tireless worker bots.

The first greenhouse was within a half-day's walking distance from the cathedral, a trip made much shorter after Daniel had shown them how to catch a ride on a bot. Because they were working in and among humans on this world, Daniel had programmed them with certain responses that would have totally puzzled the Cereplex had it witnessed them. Standing in front of one with hands up caused it to immediately stop. A clap of the hands caused it to extend its 'arms' with 'hands' together making a reasonable seat for a human. Pointing in a direction sent it off at a fast pace, picking its way around obstacles and accelerating in clear spots. When reaching an obstacle, it slowed and attempted to go around it unless two claps brought it to a smooth standstill.

Safe enough if one paid attention and hung on, it cut travel time between greenhouse locations to a minimum, particularly after the creation of the smooth two-bot-wide paths between them. The bots had gathered trash and unusable materials early on, and by some process that caused a great deal of awe and whispering from the local people who saw it happening, extruded it into smooth strips as they backed along two abreast. That the roads were usable by all helped everyone, and stepping to one side to let a bot pass didn't seem to bother the local population.

Even the girls and Ina had enjoyed these trips...after a few excited squeals and yelps of excitement they settled down to simply ride, usually followed by one or two bots carrying the supplies and chemicals they were bringing. Two claps brought them to a smooth standstill, providing an altogether, clean, fast, and simple method of getting from here to there in a reasonable length of time.

Dave was still standing inside the door when Pete walked up and said, "Well, Dave, it's going perfectly according to plan. Now, when do we move the people from Cathedral town up here into the safe housing the bots have made?" This last was an idea that came from Lila on her very first trip to see the greenhouse.

"This is marvelous," she said, her eyes shining with approval. "But what about the people? Do they come here, eat and drink, and go home to those contaminated homes in that unhealthy, dismal place? Can you see them walking endlessly up and down the bot paths?" She paused, looking from one to the other. "No, that is truly awful. The contrast would be terrible, and if it were me, I would simply pack up and move nearby. That is exactly what I would do."

Pete and Dave looked at each other. She was right. Until this world was cleansed, they would simply have to provide housing and move the population right here to the food and water source. There was no other way to improve the total health of the people. And so they drew up plans and instructed the bots to build...build enough housing for the entire small surviving population of Cathedral Town.

When Becky, Ina, and Lila made a trip to inspect the completed housing and offer suggestions, they were impressed completely. The units clustered around the sides and rear of the greenhouse, all connected with wide enclosed walkways. They were large and bright, with lights provided by the water driven generators, and clean water from the processing plants. Even the air was cleansed by filtering units.

However, on the side of caution and control, while they were close, there was still only one entrance to the greenhouse proper. Daniel, Dave, and Pete had discussed this. They spoke with Anticipator Webster on a daily basis, and he had watched what was happening with awed fascination. He had agreed on the need for control of access to the food sources. People were living in near starvation conditions, weakened by poisons not easily withstood. Survival instincts ran deep and no telling the reactions that might be unleashed in even the most gentle, decent people. It was his suggestion that a worker bot stand guard 24 hours a day.

Gods indeed, human in every way except for the one called Daniel. And what miracles they had performed! To him, they were recreating Eden, not once but many times because they were building places like this in many different areas. Indeed, he thought as he inspected the finished housing units, then strolled down between the fruit trees breathing deeply, almost tasting the clean, oxygen charged air, and like Eden, there was a snake...no, not one snake but several. The Arch Anticipators.

On this day of completion, they had brought him here to inspect and offer suggestions for improvement. He had none. It was perfect in his eyes. But he must tell them about the problem looming over them. He took the final bite of the crisp, orange carrot he had been eating. They had said to him: "Why don't you sample the food, Webster. Whatever you like." Oh what a glorious moment that had been...the choosing. He had taken a carrot.

And now he must speak. "Sirs?" He had learned not to call them Gods, even though they were. They turned toward him. "Sirs, there is a problem. The Arch Anticipators feel they should control the food...as they have ever since the Destruction. They say unless you give control over the greenhouse and food and housing to them to apportion out according to their wishes, they will forbid the people to move here...or even come here to get clean food and water."

As he spoke, Daniel arrived on a swiftly moving bot. "The problem is more urgent than you might think. As I was coming here, I passed a group of Arch Anticipators on the way here. They blocked the path and would not step aside to let the bot pass. Their actions and attitudes were aggressive and belligerent. I had to direct the bot off the path until past them, then came on here full speed. The confrontation is upon us now. . ."

* * *

Ina moved ahead as the three of them started back to the cabin. Lila and Becky were strolling along easily when Lila suddenly stopped. "Shhhh," she said. "The bellflowers are talking." She dropped to her knees.

After a moment she rose. "Oh, Becky! Something has happened. They're telling us to go around to the Nexus point we have been avoiding, the one where whoever built the cabin came from." She frowned. "Shall we do it?"

Becky's answer was immediate. "Let's go see!"

They rounded the cabin and cautiously approached the tree-surrounded place they knew the Nexus point to be.

"See anything?" Becky asked.

"Umm, no...uhhh yes! There! See it in the grass?" Lila moved to a spot nearby and squatted down. "Here, look!"

"Why I know what that sign means," Becky said as she knelt beside Lila. "I've seen it before!"

http://images.google.com/images?q=tbn:nAnwTf5J2YUC:amne.interfree.it/avatars/Radioactive.gif

It was a medallion made of brightly-colored enameled metal perhaps two inches in diameter. There was a loop at the top, and a long silver chain wound though the loop. Clearly, it was meant to be worn around the neck . . .

Chilled Unit
22nd Mar 2003, 16:20
Oh my word!

What a chapter! Things are moving, oh yes they are indeed :)

Top work Dell!

vakusuma
22nd Mar 2003, 16:52
And you pulled it off :)

Great work Dell :)

Mouze1
23rd Mar 2003, 01:03
Excellent. That was one riveting chapter.

Whew, now if I am not mistaken it is my turn in the barrel. Where to go from here? I think I can, I think I can. :)

Dell
26th Mar 2003, 13:34
Thank you for the kind words. It really was a hard one to write, and thank you also for the good advice you all gave me...just the push I needed to get over the hurdle and finish it.

Now then, Mouze, as you said, your turn! Get to it girl! WE are creating a great thing here for sure, and it takes all of us to do it!

Nightstalker! Wake up! Get that thinking cap on now. You will be up again in no time at all, and make it a good one for us! Things are getting very exciting for sure.:)

Nightstalker
26th Mar 2003, 22:47
I'll still awake and frequently checking in here. But school is very demanding at this point... A project to finish, upcoming tests, I have to write a piece for the school paper. So I sometime just check in to see if it my turn already...I wish I could already start thinking, but Mouze, and Chilled Unit still have their chapter parts to write, and I don't know where they will take our little group.

But, nonetheless I picked up some nice ideas lately and some of them might be usefull.

Well, good luck Mouze, and Chilled Unit.

Nightstalker.

Nightstalker
26th Mar 2003, 23:01
Just finished reading your chapter Dell, and I must say that it is a really good chapter.

Nightstalker

Mouze1
30th Mar 2003, 19:39
Nexus Chapter 12, Part 2
By Mouze

"Don't touch it," Ina said. "Just leave it where it is, and we'll tell Daniel what we found. Not a word to anyone else until we tell him, okay?" The girls stood up, nodding in agreement, and the three of them stared at what they had just found, each wondering just what this could possibly mean. To say the least it was ominous, very ominous. A warning of radiation was not to be taken lightly, the possibilities were unending. And to be worn around the neck? Was the person to whom it belonged radioactive? So dangerously so they had to wear a warning medallion? Had they lost it here...or left it here as a warning to them? Becky and Lila exchanged an anxious glance. Scary, was the thought clearly etched on their faces. All three of them knew this was bad, Ina most especially.

The pain in her chest came back a little stronger than before, so Ina told the girls they should return to the cabin to wait for the others to come back. She would get Daniel off to the side and take him here. Besides it was getting close to dinnertime and there were things to attend to afterwards. Becky was going back to her world to collect some more chicks, and Ina and Lila were going back to their world to get some more seeds. Ina hoped she would be up to the trip this evening. If not, perhaps she would just stay at the cabin and rest. Becky and Lila could handle it she was sure.

Violet was waiting on the porch of the cabin when they arrived. "Hi Violet," Becky said, "How has your day been?" Violet had spent her day keeping a close watch for any sign of Martin Morrell, and there had been none. But she had picked up a brief "blip" - for lack of a better word - of something or someone, gone before she could get a location fix. She was going to tell Daniel and suggest they do a check of this area when he returned this afternoon. So as not to alarm anyone, having no idea of what they had found at this point, Violet replied, "My day has been just fine, and yours?'

Naturally the girls were still excited about the trip to Catherdral World, so while they busied themselves with fixing dinner, they shared their days adventures with Violet. Ina excused herself and went to her room to "rest" a bit before dinner. "Ok Mom," Lila said, "We will call you when dinner is ready." Only Violet was aware of the signs that Ina was projecting; however small the impulses, Violet's scanners were picking them up. Ina was in pain and Violet knew it. She must mention this to Daniel too. An emergency situation was building, and Ina was displaying rising distress levels.

***********************************

In Cathedral World, the men were facing a major problem. If the Anticipators were determined to control the food and housing as they had done before, all the effort they had put forth might be in great danger. The plan they had formulated had to be followed exactly, step by step, or, like a house of cards, everything could come tumbling down. A plan for handling this must be made and quickly.

"Daniel, do you have any suggestions about how to handle this?" Dave asked. "The Anticipators could jepordize this whole project. They obviously know nothing about how to cleanse this world, or they would have already done it. Correct?"

Daniel knew the Anticipators purpose. He had scanned them as they passed each other. They were afraid of losing control over the people, so desperately clinging to that power that they could possibly cause great harm. In Daniel's opinion, they had already caused these desperate people great harm, seizing on The Destruction to entrench themselves and build their power through fear. Desperate people starving for both food and hope were completely helpless and vulnerable. Daniel felt something. It was an emotion, no two emotions. He catalogued, relays humming ...or tried to. Anger? Impossible. Outrage then? Could not be. Pity? All human, all lacking proper logic parameters. He filed it for future examination.

Considering this too, Daniel chose his words carefully as Anticipator Webster was also listening. "Correct. They cannot do it. I suggest we listen to what they have to say very carefully first." After a pause, he continued, "And if it seems that they intend to harm the project in anyway, I could 'talk' to them myself." Daniel finished this statement with a slight nod of his head. Dave and Pete knew exactly what Daniel meant. If altering the thoughts of the High Anticipators became necessary to save the project, then they were in agreement. They solemnly nodded back to Daniel. They knew exactly what they were agreeing to: altering another human's mind...a whole group of humans to be exact.

Anticipator Webster was amazed at how calm the three "Sirs" were. They continued working, talking about "doing this" and "doing that" like nothing was about to happen. Anticipator Webster found a corner and tried to make himself very small just at the group of High Anticipators arrived.

***************************************

Dinner was pretty much ready and the table was set. Ina was still resting, Lila was reading a book while Violet sat on the front porch watching and listening for signs of intruders. Becky was bored and decided she would have time before dinner to go to her world and get the chicks and a few more supplies before the work group got back from Cathedral World. So after telling Lila where she was going, and waving bye to Violet, Becky set off. It took her little time to collect the things she was after - chicks, feed, some canned goods from the pantry and toilet tissue. She smiled, thinking how people take toilet tissue for granted until...well never mind. Got some now, she thought. Heading back to the Nexus point, Becky stopped for a moment to look out across the fields of the farm and marvel at how different things here were from the worlds she had visited. Sighing, she turned and continued to the small woods and the pond.

As she entered Cabin World, she became aware of how quiet it was, no sounds. That is what got her attention, too quiet, no birds, no background murmurs from the bell flowers. She paused in her tracks then, suddenly aware of how loud the small peeping sounds of the chicks in the pockets of her jacket was. The snapping of a twig off to one side brought her to full alert. With a gasp, she turned quickly toward the trees to her right...and came face to face with a young man . . .

Dell
30th Mar 2003, 23:39
Oh my! More events! Good one, Mouse...right on target in Cathedral World, too. That is the only way they can settle this matter and get on with cleansing the world for the survivors, so they will have to deal with the moral fallout...

And Daniel keeps getting these " feelings"...hmmm.

And now, if the radioactive warning medallion is not enough, Ina is building toward a heart attack...and here is a new character arriving at nexus.

Wow!

Come on, John! You have a feast of things to work on here. Or might I say a plethora of goodies to savor?

Great work, mouse. Multi-Author writing of the best kind...fill in details, move the story forward, and leave the openings for the next writer. Can't do better than that

Chilled Unit
31st Mar 2003, 20:28
Great part!

Me and my puter have survived moving flat and I'm looking forward to gettign down to write!

Excellent work indeed Mouse - so many possibilities now :)

vakusuma
1st Apr 2003, 00:22
Originally posted by Mouze1
Ina excused herself and went to her room to "rest" a bit before dinner. "Ok Mom," Ina said, "We will call you when dinner is ready."

I believe that it should've been:


Ina excused herself and went to her room to "rest" a bit before dinner. "Ok Mom," Lila said, "We will call you when dinner is ready."

Well, that's all I can catch. Great work! And I like the way you build up the anticipation at the end.

Mouze1
5th Apr 2003, 02:04
Thank you vakusuma, you were correct on that one. Have made the correction.

Has anyone else found any boo-boos? (I still love that word or words, whichever.)

Chilled Unit
6th Apr 2003, 10:23
I'm writing at the mo!

I caught something in Dell's and Mouze's chapters when I was updating the site - the Anticipator bad guys are Arch Anticipators rather than High Anticipators.

I corrected it on the site :)

J

Dell
6th Apr 2003, 21:54
***Notice*** John had to repost his chapter part. Scroll down to find it.
---------------

Looks posted to me...enough to pick up some small corrections that need to be made.

1. Add either a comma or period after 'that' in this sentence.

"Naw, I don't mean like that" Becky sought for the right way of phrasing her thoughts.

2. The word is 'all right' not 'alright'.

"Oh, no need to worry!" Lila sought to reassure. "He's quite alright, a little concussed perhaps, but Violet has given him a clean bill of health."


3. If this is a new paragraph separate it, if not pull it up into place.

" In the bedroom his eyes opened slowly to a completely alien vista. Instinctively he curled into a ball, but where his arms should have felt the hair of his legs they instead felt... soft.
He yelped and sniffed the air, not finding any of his familiar scent. His hand searched around for his spear without success. As his eyes adjusted to the dark he determined he was on some kind of soft platform in som


e kind of angular cave. There was an opening to the outside, but when he reached out to climb out an invisible barrier stood in his way."

4. The word is 'led' not 'lead'

He was a little afraid now, but then he heard the familiar tinkling that had lead him to good food the first time he had hunted in this place. He pressed his face to the barrier to the outside and listened.

5. Again, the word is 'led' not 'lead'

In silence, Lila took the young man?s hand and lead him into the kitchen.

Think that gets them all. Anyone see anything else?

Nice work...now where, and from what time does this young man come?

Mouze1
7th Apr 2003, 00:43
Excellent pick up chapter CU. Still leaving lots of room for further expansion I think.
Really like it.

BTW, like your new banner Dell. Very different from your usual ones. Quite classy.

Nightstalker
7th Apr 2003, 08:59
I'm here...Well I have to get off to school in a few minutes, but I'll read CU chapter when I get back.

Nightstalker.

Dell
7th Apr 2003, 13:39
You're up next, Nightstalker...be sure to read your emails!

Before you write, check your intended direction and characters carefully. You have to go back a couple of chapter parts to be sure what was going on for sure.

What is happening to Pete, Dave, and Daniel in Cathedral World is important..now tell us: what IS happening there and why are they late?

Also, the gals fed the new character - obviously from a world in a primitive time altogether - dinner. As a primitive man, what did they manage to get him to eat? Surely not cooked normal food?

Chilled Unit
7th Apr 2003, 18:18
Repost of edited as I am having real trouble here!

Nexus
Chapter 12 Part 3 by Chilled Unit

Becky froze. The young man in front of her posed a problem she wasn't ready to handle. Of all the possible assailants and dangers she had prepared for out in the woods this was not amongst them. The man stood almost a full head taller than her, and was naked apart from a tattered loincloth. His head was shorn bald and dirt streaked across his body. His features seemed familiar to her somehow, but the thing that held her attention the most was the incredibly sharp looking spear he held firm above his shoulder. It was poised to launch.

How do I communicate? Becky frantically racked her brain for a solution. Would he understand English? She decided that noise might startle him and provoke a fierce reaction. The commotion of the chicks in her basket seemed deafening. Somehow recognizing the animal signals of danger and fear, they chirruped loudly for help.

The man licked his lips and made a low growling sound. He's hungry. Becky realised with a shock. Animal noises mean food, he wants the chicks. She internally flinched, no way was she going to give up the hatchlings; besides they would barely make a snack for a coyote. Very slowly and without taking her eyes from those of the young man, she lowered her basket to the ground and knelt beside it. Pain coursed through her knee as it came to rest on the sharp edge of a piece of flint, and she bit her lip to stifle a cry. With tears starting to well, she tentatively lifted the basket lid and lifted out a chick holding it out for his examination.

He grunted his disapproval and slowly lowered his spear, his muscles unwinding from an attack pose but clearly still alert. Becky breathed deeply regaining some composure, returned the chick to her basket, and gently but assertively slid the basket behind and to her side before standing up straight and tall as she could.

Violet had pinpointed precisely Becky's location. The brainwave patterns of fear, pain and anger were loud and sharp. They leaped out of the background as Violet sat on the porch watching over the cabin. She could keep track of everyone from there, noting their state of mind and where they were. It had only been a matter of seconds after Becky reappeared before her readings shot up; Violet reacted immediately, sprinting into the woods.

The young man was very plainly examining her. Becky forced herself to breathe slowly, but her body wasn't obeying her commands to appear calm, her muscles clenched in revulsion and fear. This was too much for her. She fought against panic, managing to hold it at bay, but for how much longer? The man was now sniffing her, leaning closer to better catch her scent. Absorbed in assessing her, he didn't hear Violet's approach until she was a few feet away.

When he did catch a sound, he spun in her direction and raised his spear. But Becky was quicker...in one movement she crouched and scooped the sharp stone at her feet and flung it at him.

"Becky!" Violet shouted too late. The stone hit the man squarely in the back of the head and he crumpled to the ground. Becky stumbled towards Violet and burst into tears, clinging to her with all her might.

----------

Safely back in the cabin wrapped in a warm blanket and cupping a mug of hot cocoa, Becky was the centre of attention for Ina and Lila. They had fussed over her as though she were wounded, which suited her just fine at the moment. And who knows, she thought with a barely visible little smile, maybe when Pete comes back and hears of my plight he'll see fit to comfort me so I can fall asleep in his arms... She stirred herself out of her daydream, got up and went to help Lila with the washing up.

"Something bothers me about him you know?" Becky was picking her way through how she had found herself acting throughout the encounter.

"Oh, no need to worry!" Lila sought to reassure. "He's quite all right, a little concussed perhaps, but Violet has given him a clean bill of health."

"Naw, I don't mean like that." Becky sought for the right way of phrasing her thoughts. "I mean, I'm glad I didn't hurt him too badly... but... there is something about him. I felt it out there. I thought I recognised him and I couldn't stand his piercing... examination. I mean, I think that as primitive as he seems, there are some very astute thought processes going on in that brain of his."

Privately Violet had come to the same conclusion. After her dealings with Martin, she thought it wisest not to delve too deeply into this new human while alone. She would wait until Daniel returned and they would assess the situation together. With the visitor still unconscious from Becky's blow, Violet had managed to wash the man, and clothe him in a mixture of Dave and Pete's spare things. She scanned the man once more and finding all was well, albeit unconscious, she left the little bedroom and joined the girls in the kitchen.

After assuring herself that all was well with the girls, and that Ina had settled down peacefully for a nap, Violet returned to the porch and considered her own actions during the encounter. The words and their meaning were embedded into her circuits...

"...or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

...not only had she NOT prevented a human coming to harm - even though she had yelled out - but she questioned within herself what her course of action would have been had Becky not thrown the rock. Would she have harmed that human to prevent herself and possibly Becky from coming to harm? She would have to discuss this with Daniel. Faced with allowing a human to come to harm or harming a human...the humans were definitely having some kind of effect on the mentallics processes.

------------

Violet again picked it up before anyone else, her constant alertness to the brainwave patterns of the group meant she knew that he was stirring.

In the bedroom his eyes opened slowly to a completely alien vista. Instinctively he curled into a ball, but where his arms should have felt the hair of his legs they instead felt... soft. He yelped and sniffed the air, not finding any of his familiar scent. His hand searched around for his spear without success. As his eyes adjusted to the dark he determined he was on some kind of soft platform in some kind of angular cave. There was an opening to the outside, but when he reached out to climb out an invisible barrier stood in his way.

He was a little afraid now, but then he heard the familiar tinkling that had led him to good food the first time he had hunted in this place. He pressed his face to the barrier to the outside and listened.

"Don't be afraid," the tiny voices spoke, "they will help you."

The door opened slowly and he whimpered in surprise. Violet went first, slowly, calmly with Lila following. Becky refused to go in at the moment, and stayed in the kitchen with Ina. Almost immediately Lila heard the tinkling voices, slightly different in pitch and tone than before. She listened close at the window and upon sensing her the bellflowers outside changed their tones.

"It is all right," they chimed in unison, "he means no harm. He has been in our wood before. He is hungry."

Lila looked to Violet, who nodded her agreement.

"He is in need of nourishment." She confirmed.

In silence, Lila took the young man's hand and led him into the kitchen.

-------------

After he had eaten and been put to bed - thanks to a sleeping pill from Ina - the girls tidied up and settled into their sleeping bags to talk a bit of girl talk. There would be much to discuss with Daniel, Dave and Pete when they got back, Ina thought as she sat on the porch with Violet in the twilight. What on earth was keeping them anyway?

Unknown to her, Violet was thinking the same thing. They had been gone far too long . . .

Nightstalker
9th Apr 2003, 10:10
Hmmm... Where to start? Where to start? I know I'll start in the cathedral world and work my way from there.

BTW, Great chapter CU.

Nightstalker.

vakusuma
10th Apr 2003, 01:47
Nice chapter :) Sorry that it took me so long to finally read it.

Dell
10th Apr 2003, 18:08
I am a firm believer of 'better late than never'...but not too late!

You're next after Nightstalker, Vakusuma, so keep up, keep up! :)

Dell
15th Apr 2003, 22:04
Come on Nightstalker! Get to writing! We got lots to say and lots of ground to cover!

Do your thing in Cathedral World, and let Vakusuma go at it...I want to hear much more about what Martin Merle Morell is doing with the Cereplex...???


Also, everyone, as you are writing your part, and you happen on some small picture that really does add to the story...like the image of that radioactive pendant seems to have done...then go for it!

Makes it much more interesting!

Dell
20th Apr 2003, 14:01
I am beginning to feel very strange here!

I have been all alone for days!

Where is everyone?

Nightstalker, why didn't you post your story part? I had it back to you within an hour of the time you sent it to me!

Will someone tell me what is going on?

Or say hello? Or something.....

Moggraider
20th Apr 2003, 14:21
Hello.

vakusuma
20th Apr 2003, 20:53
Quit spammin'.

Nightstalker
20th Apr 2003, 21:59
Sorry that I didn't post my chapter part earlier, but I didn't have an internet connection most of the day because we were laying a new floor and the computer had to be disconnected.

Here is my chapter, please check for boo-boo's ;)...

-----


Chapter twelve part four
By Nightstalker

Back in the Cathedral World, the Arch Anticipators had reached Greenhouse One and were demanding to speak to the ones, the so-called Gods, who constructed the greenhouses. Daniel stepped forward and rose to his full height; even to Pete and Dave, who had seen Daniel at his full height before, Daniel looked extremely large and imposing.

“WHO DARES TO QUESTION THE ACTION OF THE GODS?” Daniel said loudly. Anticipator Webster cowered in fear and tried to make himself as small as possible; the Arch Anticipators didn’t seem impressed by Daniel’s voice at all.

“Gods? GODS? How dare you call yourself gods? I have seen the gods in my visions and dreams. They didn’t sound like you, or even closely resemble you,” one of the Arch Anticipators spat.

“Webster! Get on your feet,” another Arch Anticipator bellowed, “You should have read the Texts better and meditated more often. Then and only then would you know that these people are frauds. For all of the world knows that we, the Arch Anticipators, are the Chosen Ones!”

Webster shot up like a lightning bolt had hit him, and made a deep bow.

“Now, get over here!” the Arch Anticipator commanded. Webster scurried as fast as he could to join them, stepping behind and shrinking into himself.

The Arch Anticipators now turned their full attention to the strange looking men and the strange structure behind them. It was a large dome made of metal and glass and inside the dome they saw the yellowish blue hue of the growing lights that burned there. The Arch Anticipators also saw a stream of water coming out of the dome; the strange thing was that to them, it seemed more pure then any other stream in the world. Through the glass they saw great lines of strange looking plants. A bit further on in they saw large rectangles planted with wheat, carrots, potatoes, and much more. They also saw several orchards. The fruits hanging from the trees in the orchards seemed extremely healthy and appealing. In the orchards and the fields the Arch Anticipators saw people at work plucking fruits, examining the wheat, tilling the plants and much more.

Daniel, who had been reading them, felt some of the Arch Anticipators' minds reel at the immense structure and the things they saw within the dome. Yet other Arch Anticipators became even more hostile toward Dave, Pete, himself and the Greenhouse. Some of them could be persuaded to join our course without too much altering. But some of the others are more troublesome.

The Arch Anticipator who stood in front of the rest, and clearly was the Chief Arch Anticipator spoke again, directing his attention to Daniel. “You seem to be the leader of your little group. I demand, as one of the Chosen Ones, that you show us around this structure and explain to us its function and the reason why you built this structure.” The voice of the Arch Anticipator was full of contempt toward the project that the Nexus travellers had set up.

Daniel quickly tried to flash a message to both of his companions. We should agree with this demand. I need some time to find each of the Arch Anticipators weak spots. Modifying their minds will be a lot easier when I know the way. Daniel had never before tried to make contact with the humans this way, so he didn’t know if the humans could receive messages this way.

We understand Daniel, go ahead. Dave replied, Daniel was both relieved it had been so easy, and surprised that he had not been aware of it before. “Follow me," Daniel said to the Arch Anticipators and led the group to the entrance of the dome. While they walked through the dome and Daniel was explaining the functions of the different plants and machines to the Arch Anticipators, Daniel flashed another message to Pete and Dave. I instructed the guard robot to construct several ‘spider’ bots, which will carry a needle with a strong sleeping agent. The spider bots will attack the Arch Anticipators and Webster when we reach the dome control structure, this will allow me to alter their minds.

Good plan, Daniel. How much time will you need to alter the Arch Anticipators minds? Dave responded.

I will need twelve to fourteen hours to alter their minds properly. Some of them need a lot of work. Daniel flashed to Dave.

Pete knew that it was Daniel speaking to him, but Dave was actually ‘talking’ back to Daniel. He wanted to find out how Dave was doing that.

Daniel, I suggest that we let the Arch Anticipators sample some of the fruit and then lead to the dome control structure for a demonstration how the dome functions are controlled. Dave flash to Daniel. To Dave it seemed natural to talk to Daniel this way. His fast mind had quickly grasped the way of communication used by Daniel.

That sounds like a very good plan. Daniel replied, and quickly set the plan in motion. “Dear Chosen Ones, I suggest that you sample some of fruit from this orchard,” Daniel suggested after he had finished a lecture about the water and air filtration system. He backed his suggestion up by implanting a sudden desire for the fruit in the minds of the Arch Anticipators. Creating this ‘sudden desire’ wasn’t difficult because most of them already desired the fruit. Daniel merely amplified that desire to a point impossible to resist. Without a word all of the Arch Anticipators plucked a peach and sank their teeth into the soft, juicy skins.

“Dear Chosen Ones, I will now take you to the building that made these peaches a reality.” Daniel led the still-eating group towards the centre of the dome. While they walked Daniel sent orders to the spider bots. The ‘attack’ would take place in the meeting-room of the control structure. Daniel gave a quick tour of the building showing only half of the control rooms. He wanted to start the mind alterations as soon as possible. While leading them to the meeting-room, he thought about his haste for a moment, why am I so hurried? It doesn’t matter if I started to alter their minds now or a couple cycles latter. Am I getting anxious? Why am I experiencing all these trivial human emotions? But before Daniel could finish his thoughts the group stepped into the meeting-room.

The Arch Anticipators, together with Webster, all took seats on one side of the conference table unaware of the dangers lurking in the room. While they settled themselves at the table, Daniel initiated a security lock-down of the meeting-room so that none of the Arch Anticipators would be able to escape the room. That was necessary in case the spider bots were spotted too soon...or in the event the sleeping medication didn't work immediately.

Daniel kept the Arch Anticipators busy while the spider bots behind a holographic wall positioned themselves for the strike. As soon as all was ready, Daniel gave the order. Like lighting, several small bots emerged though the holographic wall behind the Arch Anticipators, and within a second or two each of the Arch Anticipators and Webster had been 'stung'. There was a moment of chaos in the room as the Arch Anticipators yelled in pain and tried either to destroy the attacker or tried to flee the room. Five seconds after the ‘attack’ the room was quiet again, the silence broken only by an occasional snore from one of the sleeping 'sting' victims. Daniel disabled the lock-down of the room, then turned to Pete and Dave, who were a bit shaken up by the events of the last few minutes, “You two should go back to the cabin and tell the others what took place. I’ll remain here and start altering the minds of the Arch Anticipators and Webster.”

“Wouldn’t it be quicker if we send Violet back to help you?” Pete asked.

“Normally yes, but Violet needs to keep an eye out for Martin. I’ll have to do this by myself, but don’t worry. The sleeping drug the spider bots carried will keep these men asleep for about day, which should prove enough time to alter their minds and relocate them.” Daniel's tone was serious.

“Daniel's right, we need Violet at the cabin, and to coordinate the operation in the Eden World, too. Now let’s go.” Dave said to Pete.

“I have ordered a worker robot to wait for you in front of this greenhouse.” Daniel said.

As Dave and Pete left the meeting-room and headed in the direction of the front exit of the greenhouse, Daniel started with the slow process of altering the minds of the Arch Anticipators. Sometime along in the night, he pulled a long extension cord from a cabinet and plugged it into an electrical outlet. Then he inserted the other end into an unobtrusive jack under his shirt on his side. Had a human observer been present, the scene would have been an eerie one. Sleeping men, their heads resting on their folded arms, were each in turn touched by a human looking personage whose human appearance was belied by the electrical cord trailing from his side.

-----------

Back at the cabin plans were made to start a search for Pete, Dave and Daniel. Lila, Becky, Ina - and even Violet - all agreed that the men had been away far too long. Becky and Lila would journey to the Cathedral World and try to find out what had happened. Ina and Violet would remain behind, Ina to watch over their visitor, and Violet to watch for unwanted intruders. And so, in short order, Becky and Lila packed some things into a couple of rucksacks and set out toward the Cathedral World Nexus point...



-----

Hope you liked it...

Nightstalker.

P.S. Read you mail everyone.

vakusuma
21st Apr 2003, 16:35
Very nice :)


why I’m I so hurried? It doesn’t matter if I started to alter their minds now or a couple cycles latter. Am I getting anxious? Why am I experiencing all these trivial human emotions?

Very minor: why am I so hurried?

I like the mental picture that you provided at the second-to-last paragraph.

Chief Arch Anticipator will do for now, but clearly that's not a very impressive name, considering that the Arch Anticipators considered themselves the Chosen Ones. The characters do not know right now, but I'm sure the Arch Anticipators will have a better name for their leader. Hmmm... I guess Prelate would've been sufficient.

Nightstalker
21st Apr 2003, 21:17
Corrected the little error found by Vakasuma

Chilled Unit
22nd Apr 2003, 16:43
Nicely dealt with nightstalker :)

... If this post shows up it'll be a miracle as I'm at home on my parent's puter and it has issues with posting things ... grrr...

I'm back at my place on friday, so all updates will be done then :)

Dell
22nd Apr 2003, 17:55
That is a nice chapter part, Nightstalker! It takes care of those high and mighty churchmen nicely and forever!

I really think our little Webster man should be put in charge now...Prelate Webster seems a fitting title for him, after Daniel gives him a little dose of self-confidence! After all, it was his cooperation that really helped our party get going with the saving of their planet!

Oh...and Vakusuma will present us with the next exciting installment! Where - or when - is our story going now?

*Thank you for the little hello, Moggraider!"

vakusuma
25th Apr 2003, 05:49
Actually, I'll leave Webster and the Arch Anticipators to y'all. As well as Becky/Lila and Pete/Dave walking toward each other. This time, I'm doing something rather... different.

This one's 'specially for Mouze. :) As y'all are so fond of saying lately, watch out for the boo-boos. Boo.



Nexus Chapter 13, Part 1

The Primordial Language


Even as she watched the newly-awakened young man devouring the contents of the plate before him, scooping the morsels of his dessert with his hands more quickly than the eyes could follow, Ina heard the tinkling sound again.

The bellflowers. Ina wondered if she had ever accepted facts that she would’ve dismissed as impossible. She had always been a practical woman, relying on answers that could be explained to her satisfaction. Of course, ever since they all entered the Nexus point and embarked on their remarkable adventure, nothing had ever been quite the same. The very existence of the Nexus had puzzled her, leaving her mind reeling at the implication. Oh, of course Dave had tried to explain about the re-alignment of space-time caused by electromagnetic pulse that caused the earth’s magnetic field to be redistributed in a specific area, therefore creating the Nexus points, but beyond the rather confusing scientific theory, the Nexus had been a mystery even to Dave’s brilliant mind. The Nexus, in itself, was almost enough to make her accept the fact that bellflowers had consciousness and the ability to communicate. Almost.

What were the bellflowers saying? Amidst the soft, almost soothing but at the same time intriguing sound, Ina thought that she caught words. Sometimes she wondered how the bellflowers communicate. English, obviously, could not be a language that universal such that it was used in other realities as well! And yet, she couldn’t forget the words that she had first spoken towards the bellflowers, a word so simple and yet so profound: “Hello.” A universal and neutral greeting spoken when two sentient beings meet each other face to face… in a manner of speaking. And more than that, she couldn’t forget how the bellflowers returned her greeting in kind, just as solemnly. At that time, she had felt as part of something important: early contact of Homo sapiens with alien intelligence, albeit admittedly of unexpected nature, of course. And then the bellflowers showed her the way to another Nexus point, which had glittered and glowed with all the hues of the rainbow and everything in between, so brightly that she wondered how has that eluded their attention. That had rather abruptly and effectively ended her interest with the bellflowers at that moment. She wondered whether they deliberately guided them to the Nexus point that lead to the Computer World to prevent her from questioning the existence of the bellflowers any longer…

That was not our intention, the tinkling sound was heard again, but this time she definitely heard words spoken amidst the sound. It was full of rebuke, but mingled with something else, something that can be approximated as amusement. It was important for you to perceive the world beyond the gate, so that you can fulfil your destiny.

“Destiny?” Ina blurted out in surprise; the young man jumped in surprise and cringed from her, even as he clutched at the morsel of food in his hands. Ina shook her head slowly, motioning him to calm down, then looked at him helplessly. She needed to talk to the bellflowers, of course, but she couldn’t very well do it in front of this man! There was simply no way to explain to him that she was not talking to herself without the man taking her as a madwoman!

Oh, do calm down, the voices now spoke in definite amusement. You really don’t have to exercise your vocal cords, you know. We do not have such things and yet we can talk to you fine. Talk to us the other way.

Again, Ina looked around helplessly. She was supposed to talk to the flowers the 'other way'? How? What 'other way'?

Yes, in that way, now the voices seemed to be filled with laughter.

Ina shook her head as the man looked at her confusedly. She felt a headache coming on. Again, she wondered whether she was still in complete possession of her faculties. She was attempting to communicate with the flowers in the only way the flowers knew how. It seemed that the tinkling sound was what her ears would’ve actually heard, and that the words were formed directly in her mind…

Precisely.

This time, Ina froze as it slowly dawned on her. You have been communicating directly with my mind, haven’t you? she thought accusingly, not fully realizing what she had attempted to do.

We are under the impression that you knew all along.

Well, that explains why you don’t even need to know our language to communicate, Ina sent her thought again. Even as her mind realized that she could communicate telepathically with the bellflowers, she had quickly realized that English was definitely not as universal as she had been led to believe, and that another, more primordial mind language was the universal one.

Consciousness transcends bodily abilities, and by recognizing this, one can project one’s thoughts onto another. This recognition seems rare in you humans, however. Fortunately, it is also possible to pick up thought patterns associated with speech, or simply thought patterns that are projected strongly, although it would be of considerable difficulty. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to communicate with humans at all.

Ina struggled with that idea. So you’re saying that humans for the most parts do not have this gift of telepathy?

The ability to project as well as receive thought exists in every sentient being. We know not why most humans are unable to consciously project, but able to receive thoughts. The unconscious thought projection was for the most part insufficient to initiate full communication, but enough for us to pick up the thought patterns. You are the first human we have known to be able to consciously project, although the potential also exists in some of your companions.

With a peculiar insight, Ina realized that the ability of telepathy must’ve been taken for granted by this strange… intelligence, such that living without that ability was unthinkable. She decided to let that matter drop. I’ll take your word for now, she promised. What do you know about my destiny?

We know not the future, came the reply. We know, however, that what you are trying to do is so important that we are obliged to help in any way we can.

How do you know what we are going to do? How do you know the significance?

We know not. We just know what we know.

Ina wanted to scream in frustration. The bellflowers were either careful to avoid giving away secrets for some obscure reason, or they really do have something that humans call intuition…

It is very unfortunate that deceit is part of being human. Know, however, that no good thing can ever come out of deceit.

Silently, Ina cursed herself for letting her thoughts be known… she must’ve been unconsciously projecting those thoughts. Even with her ‘talent’, she had a long way to go before she would have full control over her newfound ability. The accidental exposure, however, had convinced her that the bellflowers didn’t, and wouldn’t, lie. I apologize for my suspicion, but it is very important for me to know what is expected of me. Why am I brought to this world?

Ask us not why. We know something important has been entrusted for you to do, and that you best toil in ignorance, for ignorance is bliss and the truth may not be pleasing. We know not beyond that, and it is indeed for the best.

Ina thought that over, even though she could feel her patience being strained to breaking point. It did make sense, somewhat. Not knowing what lay ahead would indeed demand all their resourcefulness, bringing out the best they all could do, and in doing so making them stand a better chance of doing whatever was expected of them. It was not very fair, of course, but logical. Ina deliberately avoided asking the question of ‘who’ set them this task in the first place, for she might not be prepared for the answer. Instead, she deliberately changed the subject again to discontinue that line of thought.

So by initiating communications between the young man and myself, you were able to translate for us, in a manner of speaking. She paused to collect her thoughts as the bellflowers voiced their affirmation. Is it thus possible for me to initiate the communication directly with the young man, therefore crossing the language barrier between us?

The consciousness of the bellflowers seemed surprised at that question. No words were formed, only a sense of surprise existed, and maybe a hint of amusement as well, but words weren’t necessary as Ina felt herself radiating her embarrassment so intensely that it must’ve been felt on the Cathedral or Computer Worlds. Dimly, she felt the young man recoiling, as if her outward sign of embarrassment had been magnified a hundred fold, even though he had no idea what she was embarrassed about. Angrily, she regained control of her emotions and forced herself to think.

How would she begin? When she was talking to the bellflowers, she felt as if she had been projecting her thoughts in all directions, and that the bellflowers had simply directed them to the correct path. Ina struggled with the effort of redirecting the projection of her thought, privately wishing that she had discovered her talent much earlier in her life so that she could have had more practice. In the end, she settled with accompanying her thought with her voice, thinking that projecting her voice at the young man’s direction would help her project her mind at the same direction as well.

“Are you satisfied with the food?” she said with both her voice and her mind, seeing how the man had downed the last morsel of food and started to lick his fingers.

The young man’s eyes widened as he looked up and stared at her disbelievingly. His greasy fingers fell, knocking the empty plate off the table and shattering it to pieces against the floor. But he seemed not to notice, and Ina was beginning to worry that she had failed to project her thought correctly to him. Finally, the young man spoke to her, and her mind immediately picked up his unconscious thought patterns, as if his voice had broken that barrier… just as the flowers had suggested to her.

“The food is good, lady, if somewhat strange,” the young man seemed to say. Dimly, she thought that her ears were picking up the actual guttural voices that the young man was uttering, but the sudden coherency in her mind drowned even that. “I could not help but wonder why you have only now decided to speak properly, however.”

“Let’s just say that I’ve just learnt how to speak the universal language, stranger,” Ina laughed, even though at the same time she was almost crying with wonder. She actually was communicating, on a primordial level, with this stranger! It was like first contact all over again! “My name is Ina.”

The young man seemed to be considering her for a moment, and finally said, “and my name is Terrianos Raincaller of the Huj’moi tribe.”

Ina smiled. “That’s quite a mouthful, my young friend.” She became thoughtful as she considered. “Do you mind if I call you Terry instead?” He seemed to consider it for a moment, before he broke into a smile. It was quite a charming, rather innocent and openly delightful smile, and without realizing it Ina laughed. “Very pleased to meet you, Terry. Tell me something. Do you happen to like flowers? I love them very much, you know.”

----------------------------

I had to change your name a little bit to fit, Mouze. Hope you don't mind ;)

EDIT: Formatting.

Dell
25th Apr 2003, 14:37
That is such a good read I didn't think of doing any editing...just enjoying that immensely!

You have given us a lovely chapter, Vakusuma. thank you!

Again, on my mettle to follow this! You do make it so difficult!

And how sly to work in Mouze's name as an ongoing character part! She will be imortalized as is Nightstalker...:)

vakusuma
25th Apr 2003, 18:27
Actually, that was what I call stupid. There was a big mistake: The young man was supposedly put to sleep by Ina's sleeping pill already, not up and eating.

D'oh! :eek:

That pretty much hosed my chapter. Umm, give me another day and I'll do a rewrite...

EDIT: Never mind. Ignore those ramblings.

Chilled Unit
25th Apr 2003, 22:04
Site Updated and small errors fixed :)

13-1 not uploaded yet, waiting final aproval from everyone!

J

vakusuma
25th Apr 2003, 22:57
Edited, hopefully for the final time.

Mouze1
27th Apr 2003, 02:43
Excellent chapters CU. Nightstalker and vakusuma. Very excellent.

My I say that I take it as quite an honor for my name to be immortalized in our story. Thank you very much. :)

Chilled Unit
28th Apr 2003, 12:28
Updated & Uploaded :)

Great Chapter Vak, I like the ideas in it a lot! Very nicely done :)

Dell
1st May 2003, 16:16
Nexus Chapter Thirteen, Part 2

by dell

As she stepped through the Nexus point behind the podium in the huge Cathedral, Becky abruptly stopped with a gasp. Lila bumped into her from behind, and they did a small quick-stepping balancing act to regain their footing. Then they simply stood there awestruck by what they were seeing.

The Cathedral had changed. It looked totally different. The accumulated dirt and grime of years had been cleaned away; the beautiful icons and statuary had been repaired and renewed, and now stood proudly in their niches. The peeling, discolored walls and ceiling were completed, refurbished and shining as they must have when the church was first erected who knows how many years before, and all the broken glass had been replaced with jewel-toned stained glass set in lovely intricate patterns. There was light everywhere. Instead of the dark, dismal, and depressing place it had been, it shone in the light of electric glass candelabra set in the walls everywhere. There were no dark corners, and even the original wooden benches for worshippers, now shiny and highly polished, were fitted with red velvet cushions.


The most incredible things, however, were the large silver and crystal fountain placed in an open spot in the central aisle near the huge doors, and the ornate silver and glass bowls of fresh fruits and vegetables. They were placed on long, specially built shelves that ran the full distance of the front wall. There were even silver cups lined up there for those who wanted to drink.

"It's enchanted!" Lila breathed, as she gazed upward at a choir loft that was suspended across one corner. Its railings shone with golden gilt, and a narrow spiral staircase wound neatly upward from the floor. Beneath it, a splendid organ sat waiting for a human hand to awaken it, sheet music already in place in the rack above the keys.

"Touched by fairies," Becky agreed. "I know I should have been checking on my chickens more often, but now I'm glad I didn't. It's wonderful to see it all finished this way and not under a layer of busy worker bots."

"No, Daniel and his worker bots are the miracle workers here." Lila's voice was thoughtful. "Becky do you realize how much we owe to Daniel? Or the people of this world owe him? We could never have done this by ourselves."

"Yes," Becky agreed. "We really rely on him a lot...maybe too much?" She glanced at Lila who shrugged. "And what if we hadn't gone to Robot World first?" Becky's question hung there unanswered.

The musical tinkling of the fountain filled the silence with songs of hope for the future. Who of the people in this almost ruined world could enter here, drink of the pure water and eat of the healthy fruits there for the taking and not leave refreshed in body and spirit?

A moment longer spent in rapt admiration, then the girls went down the center aisle and opened one of the huge doors. There, on the steps coming up toward them were a smiling Dave and Pete.

"Ah darn, our surprise got spoiled," Pete moaned dramatically to Dave. "We didn't get to show them the Cathedral with all the pomp and circumstance it deserved." He turned to the girls. "And what do you think about that miraculous transformation?"

"Fantastic!" "Wonderful!" The girls spoke at once and grinned at each other.

Nice, Pete thought. They've made up whatever it was that caused the trouble. Same old Becky and Lila. He gazed at Becky a moment smiling, then his glance locked on Lila and lingered there, his eyes tracing her profile, the curve of her jaw, and down her slender neck. His hand twitched with the sudden urge to brush back the stray curl that had fallen down her forehead. No, Lila's different now. She's... become so attractive to me. I think I'm...

"Hey, Pete! Wake up! Come out of the trance. Did you hear what the girls said?" Dave's voice brought him back to earth with a jolt. "A man showed up from another Nexus point, a new one."

"Yes," Becky said, "and I think his world is a primitive one. From the way he acted, and what he was wearing, and his weapons, it seemed that way to me. I took him to the cabin. He was hungry."

"Umm, I think we better get back now." Dave glanced at Pete meaningfully. Pete nodded. "Did you take his weapons?"

"Well, first Violet put him to sleep, and then he was eating when we left. Seemed starved and not aggressive." Lila's voice didn't sound too sure. "But you had been gone too long, so we had to come look."

As they walked quickly back through the Cathedral, Lila asked, "Where's Daniel? What's going on?"

"Well, we got visited out at Greenhouse One by some hostile churchmen who weren't impressed by what we had done to help them. They wouldn't listen to reason either, so we agreed that Daniel had to do a little attitude adjusting on them." Pete grinned. "He's got them under control and says it will take quite a while to adjust them, so we left him to his work."

Without further conversation, they walked through the Nexus point single file, and went toward the cabin. The Bellflowers tinkled sleepily, and Lila caught the faint sound of greetings, which she expected, and then feelings of warm, friendly smiles that somehow included the concept of her mother - and Pete - which she certainly did not expect at all.

* * * * ** * *

Martin Merle Morell was bored. Robots are basically boring creatures. The company of robots is boring. They are not conversationalists, they have no imaginations, and they are not creative. What had seemed to be the most ideal of situations: having anything and everything he wanted for his physical comfort was nice...but more often lately he found himself longing for mental challenges and emotional stimulation. He couldn't even work up a good anger when robot after robot of every level beat him at games of chess, poker, and even the simple game of hangman. He tried the old con game of Three-Card Monte, but their visual sensors were so much quicker than the eyes of a human, they always correctly identified the cup under which the button sat. They were pre-set with all the answers, and when he had played long enough to recognize the patterns, and thought that now he might win, they simply changed the patterns. No way to beat them, no matter how clever his ploy.

Yes, Martin Merle Morell was very bored. Which is why he was in the human farm enclave near where he had luxurious quarters of almost hedonistic splendor. He craved the stimulation of talking with someone who was not pre-programmed with answers for every occasion, someone unpredictable. In other words, he wanted to interact with a human being.

He approached the first human he saw, a lady of uncertain age walking down a path in a small park. "Hello there! My name is Martin Merle Morell and I am so pleased to make your acquaintance."

* * * * * * * *

Violet walked into the cabin. She took in the pair at the table and at the same time felt the strong mental interplay that sparkled between Ina and the young man. So. She thought so. Something was actively triggering Ina's psychic abilities, and clearly she and the young man were communicating in more than the audible words being spoken by Ina. The communication net appeared to Violet as an almost visible network of rainbow colored dots of light traveling along small sparkling lines that connected the two; but she was puzzled by the second network that spread outward from both of them, seeming to pass though the cabin walls to the outside. Who else were they communicating with? The question was a nagging one, one she must have answers for. She gently and very tentatively sent out small probes at both of them.

The young man stood up abruptly, looking directly at her, his attitude and mental set one of defense against attack.

Ina also stood and looked directly at her, but spoke in words to augment the thoughts she was directly transmitting to Violet and the young man at the same time. "No, Violet, don't even try it. You will not tamper with our minds in any way. That is an order given by a human and you must obey."

Violet abruptly withdrew the probe, startled at the power and authority Ina projected, and it was into this tense, almost confrontational tableau Dave, Pete, Becky, and Lila stepped as they entered the cabin . . .

Mouze1
1st May 2003, 22:01
Great bit of writing Dell. I think that is an excellent chapter. Very, very good.

Who is up next? Is it moi?

Chilled Unit
2nd May 2003, 12:22
I love the little details so, the interplay between the girls; and Pete's thoughts...

Its writing like that that adds so much to the rich human character :)

Nice part indeed. Top stuff, I'll let everyone have a look for boo boos and then upload :)

vakusuma
2nd May 2003, 16:45
Very nice, Dell :)

Two things to nitpick, if you don't mind.


Lila's different now. She's...become so attractive to me. I think I'm...

She has... became

or

She's... becoming


Lila also stood and looked directly at her, but spoke in words to augment the thoughts she was directly transmitting to Violet and the young man at the same time.

Change Lila to Ina and that should do it.

Nice job :)

EDIT: Can't spell QUOTE to save my life...

Dell
2nd May 2003, 17:44
Thank you all for the compliments, and thank you for the editing, Vakusuma.

However, on the first one, I think the tense I used...is the correct one.

"She's become..." means She HAS become now in the present and I am just now realizing it.

The 'has' must be removed in order to indicate the past and use the word became...she became sometime in the past.

Past tense...she has already become, it has already happened in the past... It is not happening now.

(Remember our recent discussion about that 'has' word messing up a lot of things? Tenses are *****es}.


* off to correct the other one! Must not confuse Mother and Daughter that way!

And yes, Mouze, you are up next and I left you lots of places to play...someone please get Daniel to finish up with the church honchos and make Webster the Prelate Webster, Church Director next to "the Gods".

Oh and don't forget to unplug him from the electrical outlet. :D

vakusuma
2nd May 2003, 20:34
/me wanders off to learn basic English again...

Moggraider
2nd May 2003, 21:52
"It's railings shown with golden gilt." The word should be "its," not "it's."

Also standard is a space after a set of three commas.

Example: "What... now?!" is correct, not "What...now?!"

The sentence


The peeling, discolored walls and ceiling were completed refurbished and shining as they must have when the church was first erected who knows how many years before, and all the broken glass had been replaced with jewel-toned stained glass set in lovely intricate patterns

could use a comma after "completed," although changing "completed" to "completely," setting the comma after "refurbished," and omitting "and" makes more sense. Adding a "been" after have seems appropriate to me.

That would make the sentence: "The peeling, discolored walls and ceiling were completely refurbished, shining as they must have been when the church was first erected who knows how many years before, and all the broken glass had been replaced with jewel-toned stained glass set in lovely intricate patterns."


Great job, Dell :).

Dell
2nd May 2003, 22:00
And thank you for the edit, sir. Nicely spotted ... on my way to make the corrections now.

Moggraider
3rd May 2003, 06:00
Well, now that I think of it, just adding the comma doesn't work, because "refurbished" still lies in the same clause as "shining," which suggests that the church was refurbished as it had been in its original state, when in fact, by definition the Church had not been refurbished when first built, but was pristine.

Get what I'm saying? The church wasn't refurbished in those "years before;" it was only refurbished now. Plus, the "been" seems necessary to me. I suggest using my other proposed edit.

Dell
4th May 2003, 18:04
Huh?

Mouze1
12th May 2003, 04:01
Nexus Chapter Thirteen, Part 3

by Mouze

"Good," Ina said, breaking the palpable tension in the room. "You are all back safe and sound." The four young people looked at each other, and with an unspoken agreement, decided to not ask any question about what they had just walked into, figuring the answers would come later.

"Oh Mother, you should see all the progress that's being made. It's absolutely astounding," Lila said excitedly. Becky nodded in agreement, but Dave and Pete were too busy looking at the newcomer to hear what Lila was saying.

Violet quietly moved past the group and stepped out onto the porch. She was somewhat off-balance, having difficulty absorbing the happenings of the last few minutes and filing them in the proper places. Daniel should be here now too, she thought. She needed answers and he was the only one the humans might trust enough to give the answers. Perhaps, at the least, Daniel could figure out what was happening here. Where is he? Why didn't he come back with the others? She stared into the darkness, her night vision showing her the surroundings clearly.

Dave and Pete were still staring at the young man when Dave picked up a strange thought. It was just one word, warriors, more a question than a statement.

No, not warriors, Dave thought; then as if a heavy burden had been put down, the room seemed to fill with a sense of ease. Pete in the meantime had been talking to Ina, Becky, and Lila about how this young man had come into their lives.

"Let's all sit down, you men eat your dinner, and we'll tell you and Dave everything from the beginning," Ina said. She wanted to get this over with so she could go lie down for awhile. This day was taking its toll on her physically and she didn't want to alarm anyone right now. Ina did know the pain was coming more frequently lately and getting the proper medication for the increasing pain was uppermost on her mind. Somehow, she had the feeling that Violet knew about her problem, but if she could be of any help, Ina didn't know.

The girls set the table, including cups, cream, sugar and some cookies, so everyone could participate in the sharing of food. Somehow, Ina felt this was an important ritual that the visitor would understand on a truly deep and tribal level. Ina already had water heating on the stove, and as it came to a boil, she called everyone to the table. Terry stood still in the middle of the room, not knowing what to do.

"Come, sit with us," Ina told him both aloud and in thought. Hesitantly, he walked over and sat down, aware that all eyes were on him. "If you're nervous, why don't you go and rest for a bit; I'll answer their questions," Ina told him. Nodding, Terry left the table and went to the room and laid down, slowly drifting off into a peaceful sleep to the sound of murmuring voices. That was familiar. Many times in his tribal lodge this had been the case, falling asleep in his sleeping fur while his elders spoke of many important matters. The only difference between then and now was all he heard with his ears was silence as his elders spoke only in their minds, and here he heard a combination of voices and thoughts.

With Becky's help, Ina told Dave and Pete how the young man had ended up at the cabin. While they still didn't know at which point he had entered Cabin World, Ina assured them that Terry was no threat to their safety. There was still much to learn from him, and in time all questions would be answered. Having related all of that, Ina excused herself saying she needed to take a little nap. She added that if the girls needed any help to be sure to wake her. They looked at each other puzzled by this last. What help would they need to clear up and do the dishes?

Ina went to her room and laid down, aware that she had deliberately failed to tell them what she had learned about herself and the bellflowers today. Feeling exhausted by the days events, she was dreamily grateful that as their first job, Daniel had ordered the worker bots to add three more rooms to the cabin while effecting all the needed repairs. She drifted off into a fitful sleep. Dreams came and went, visions of pristine forests, cool, clear streams with fish, and wildlife of every kind. Oh, the beautiful sounds of birds singing, and people, yes people, some dressed as Terry was when he first arrived. Children playing, laughing, singing, not a care in the world. In another part of the cabin someone else was dreaming of the same things, feelings of sadness creeping into the dream.

Out on the front porch, Violet sat watching for Martin Merle Morell and waiting for Daniel's return. With all of her sensors on alert, she was momentarily taken aback by the vision of children, people and forests. What did it mean? Not wanting to probe, she sat quietly taking in all the visions and filing them for scrutiny later.
-------------------------

After fully recharging, Daniel unplugged himself from the electrical outlet and tucked the cord away. Then he made a final scan of the Arch Anticipators and of course Webster. Daniel scanned each of the men still asleep at the table. Good, he thought, job well done. Somehow, he couldn't resist the smile that emerged. He had effectively replaced the desire to control the greenhouses with a desire to make sure the people were taken care of. Anticipator Webster had the desire to keep "The Chosen Ones" a secret and to make sure their orders - or suggestions - would be followed.

Unlocking the doors, Daniel instructed the worker bots on their duties; then he left to go back to Cabin World. He had been picking up some rather strange vibrations on his sensors, and he wanted to get back as soon as possible to see what these vibrations were. They seemed to be coming from Violet, but Daniel wasn't sure that could be possible when they were in two different worlds. Sensors on high alert, Daniel made his way back to Cabin World.
------------------------

The lady to whom Martin Merle Morell spoke stopped dead in her tracks. Was this another robot sent to spy on them she wondered? No, she thought, none of the robots up to this point, had ever spoken or even given their name. "Uh, hello," she said. "Did you say your name was Martin?" Nodding his head yes, Martin took a step closer, which caused her to step back instintively. "Um, my name is SFF6453, pleased to make your acquaintance."

SFF6453? That's an odd name, Martin thought. Then like a light being turned on, he realized that the Cereplex had no need for surnames; everything, even humans, would be cataloged as numbers. All the humans here would be nothing more than numbers. Interesting that before the Destruction it was always said that humans would one day be nothing more than a series of numbers.

Smiling, Martin said, "Would you like to sit and talk a while? I haven't had anyone to talk to in such a long time."

Hesitantly, SFF6453 agreed. She and Martin walked to the shade of a large oak tree and sat down...

Dell
12th May 2003, 16:17
Oh, isn't this just loverly? Yes...that spelling and pronunciation. Connections being made all over the place. Is Spring in the air somewhere? Are the bellflowers sending messages?

Pete and Lila, Daniel and Violet drawing closer, Martin Merle Morell finding a lady to "talk to"...and Becky definitely intrigued with her "find" of Terry, a new young man so close to home, and she didn't even have to look!

When will they decide to make a visit to his world?

And Ina? How long can her overstrained heart last? Pills are not the answer at all.

And then, how will Anticipator Webster take control in Cathedral World? In addition to the first of the new habitats, safe food and water there for all the locals, he has a brand new cathedral all ready and waiting for ... hmmm, what will all the Arch Anticipators do?


And there, waiting quietly like a ticking bomb they dare not touch, is the Radioactive World where some wear amulets. . .

Symbolic of Daniel and Violet?

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/john.murphy33/robots.jpg

Mouze1
12th May 2003, 21:20
Must say your ideas are most inventive.

There could be a most interesting romance between Becky and the "New Man". Yes, very possible. However, would he stay in her world, or she in his? Hmmm.

And Martin Merle Morrell? Well only time will tell. He is quite the deceiver and Cereplex is still keeping sensors directed at him.

Violet could possibly be Ina's only hope for survival. Between her and Daniel, Ina should be a survivor, but where and how is the key question. The answer may lie in one of the yet unexplored worlds.

My, my all the possiblilities.


Ain't this just too much fun? I love it.

:D