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Dell
14th May 2003, 23:12
*The first new thread I started was misspelled.*

Basically it said: "Nice work, Mouze."

"John you are up next, get busy."

"Nightstalker, get thinking."

There were two more posts in the topic, Mouze and Vakusuma. Repost them if you want, okay?

vakusuma
15th May 2003, 19:22
Can't remember what I posted :P

Mouze1
15th May 2003, 21:34
You mentioned you had been grading exams, and I said I had just finished taking one.

Then we both teased Dell about her Mass III topic.

Basic everyday non-spam, interesting and informative posts. ;) :p

vakusuma
16th May 2003, 03:15
Aha. :p

(I didn't see your post to begin with though ;) )

Chilled Unit
17th May 2003, 11:05
Great chapter Mouse :)

I have my thinking cap on :)

Nightstalker
17th May 2003, 18:24
Good chapter Mouse,

Now...where did I put my thinking cap...

/Me wanders off in search of my thinking cap.

Nightstalker.

Dell
17th May 2003, 23:29
Now me has a problem. I put on my thinking cap, got my whip out of the closet, and went searching for chilled unit.

He was thinking...but not writing.

Looks at this particular whip...a blacksnake coiled in her hand.

Shall I crack it, people?

vakusuma
18th May 2003, 01:33
"The whip... the whip... we want... the whip!"

:D

Chilled Unit
18th May 2003, 16:08
Nexus Chapter 13, Part 4
By Chilled Unit

The instant he passed into the cabin world, Daniel filed his reaction to being contacted by Violet in a subfolder that, were his systems designed by a human, would have been called "Surprise". Although he had expected that his long work in the cathedral would keep him away from some of the events happening here, he was - as only a robot could be - interested in the sheer amount of information being beamed to him.

You've been 'looking' for me, Violet? The conversation - if it could be called that - between robots was almost instantaneous, especially between two highly developed mentallics. The answers, interpretations, explanations and observations flooded in on each other, allowing them to arrive at a common point of reference with respect to their surroundings in an incredibly short period of time. Looked at through human eyes it gave them the appearance of having a special kind of 'bond'.

So even before Violet could see Daniel coming down the trail towards the cabin she knew that there was some property of their transmissions that could pass between worlds. Daniel had 'felt' her searching from the cathedral. She agreed with him that this required some investigation.

Daniel, in turn, immediately knew not to probe the new presence he felt, and that the presence belonged to a primitive young man. He also was alerted to take particular note of Ina, who seemed protective of the newcomer. Violet had politely reminded him that she knew all about the motherly instinct; they witnessed it first hand between Ina and Lila when he suggested that explanation, but this was something more. Ina was learning to communicate in a fashion similar to them.

Martin was the first 'thought' that flashed between them. Had Martin realized how the mentallics manipulated minds...not only could - that much was common knowledge - but how?. That difference was important.

Ina had always shown displeasure at the need to alter humans in this way, but had allowed them to go ahead on the basis that it was the best way to tackle a bad situation. But now she had directly challenged Violet in doing so, and more, she was communicating with some outside entity. This, too, would have to be watched and approached with caution. Ina's influence bound the group together and provided them with an emotional support system that Dave, for all his technical skills, could not give. To undermine that influence could prove disastrous for the group.

All this information had been processed and filed by the time Daniel reached the cabin porch. He smiled at Violet.

"Hello." He said. "I see you've been busy too."

-----------

When the cabin awoke to the smell of freshly brewing coffee the next morning, everyone was relieved to have Daniel back in the fold. Over breakfast he told them of the work he had done with the Arch Anticipators, and how Cathedral World was being reborn. His story embellished by Dave and Pete butting in with anecdotes, and punctuated with excited tales from the girls as to how grand the cathedral now looked. All agreed to visit the cathedral for the first new harvest festival that Webster was busy organizing.

After the breakfast dishes were taken care of, the group decided to have a free day, spending it tending to their own concerns or simply relaxing. Dave and Pete wanted to go back to the University in their world to bring some computer parts back so that Daniel could help out with fixing them. For his part Daniel was happy to stay in the cabin world and watch for signs of Martin. He was also intrigued by Terry who had remained silent throughout breakfast, close by Ina's side. His high state of alertness would have been obvious to even the most casual observer. Violet and Lila were headed back to Ina's lab, Violet to get recharged and Lila to pick up some things for her mom. Ina remained in the cabin world to talk to Terry and, with Becky's help, try to put him at ease with the group. All agreed that their trips would not take long, and resolved to meet back at the cabin with fresh provisions for dinner.

It wasn't long after everyone went their separate ways that, with a bit of gentle persuasion and a lot of reassurances from Ina, Terry and Becky set out on their walk around the glade, communicating by gestures and smiles. Surprisingly for Becky, they received a lot of help from any bellflowers near them as they strolled along; they seemed happy to let each of them know what the other was trying to say. Daniel sat on the porch, monitoring the patterns of them at play off in the distance.

"Could I have a moment Daniel?" Ina came and sat beside the mentallic.

"Of course." The mentallic smiled, and digging into his ever growing experience of dealing with this group of humans, restrained himself from altering Ina to make her feel more at ease, deciding instead to try to respond in a 'human' way and do nothing but smile. He couldn't help noticing that this action in itself put Ina at ease and filed this response for later.

"There are some things I want to share with you Daniel," she began, "and I would prefer it if the others did not know all of the details just yet. Of course, if you have to discuss these matters with Violet to make the best decision, then I don't mind that."

"Firstly I want to show you this." She produced the brightly enameled medallion that the girls had found near the unexplored nexus point. Daniel recoiled, drawing away in a most human manner.

"I know of this, but it cannot be." Daniel looked shocked. "It cannot come to pass." Ina looked puzzled and in reply Daniel explained.

"I saw this in the mind of several of the Arch Anticipators. This was part of their plan for their world order. Anyone tainted with radiation in any way would be deemed to be unclean; they and their descendants would be required to wear an identity tag like this which would mark them as belonging to the underclass." Daniel paused, letting this sink in. "I..." he fought to solve the problem this new data bought to light. "I removed those thoughts from them. This artifact shouldn't exist."

"But think Daniel." Ina was connecting the pieces of the puzzle. "To me in my world before the war, you shouldn't exist, and Pete or Dave or Becky, they shouldn't exist either but they do."

"These Nexus worlds are alternate realities. Some in the same time as the world we came from, some far in advance like yours, and some, judging by our new friend Terry, from the past."

Daniel nodded, following the train of thought.

"What if all of these worlds are possible manifestations of one world?" Ina continued with a rhetorical question. "What if in each of these worlds there are versions of ourselves, or our ancestors or descendants, and judging from this..." she held the medallion open in her palm, "...in trouble. We have helped one world out, but what about yours, or mine, or..." Ina fought for breath. Daniel saw she looked flushed and concerned, laid his hand on her shoulder and saw for the first time what was ailing her.

"Yes." Ina looked into his face. "This is what I don't want the others to know. I'm not as well as I once was Daniel, and this... this is all taking its toll on me." Daniel could hold back no longer and reached in to her mind to put her at rest and ease the strain on her heart. Ina smiled.

"I can feel you there you know." Her tone of voice conveyed her capitulation. "And that too is having its effect. I wasn't prepared for this Daniel, for what is happening in my mind. I'm fighting to control it, and I need help."

Daniel simply smiled, transmitting reassurance, and Ina knew she would get the support she needed. They sat together for a moment before Ina broke the silence.

"Tell me," she said. "What do you know about flowers?"

Nightstalker
19th May 2003, 09:15
Ahhh...There was my thinking cap...

I had better start reading and writing... Or I'll face 'THE WHIP' :p

Nightstalker.

Dell
19th May 2003, 11:08
Golly, one hearty loud crack and a zinging nip from my bullwhip resulted in a good chapter in excellent time! Nicely done, chilled_unit.

*Eyes Nightstalker sharply*

I see that sound was enough to get you moving, too, my friend. Let's see what you can do in a week?? Very good leads to work on...Ina's heart, Martin Merle Morell's new 'girlfriend', the idea that it is all one world in different aspects since The Destruction...

And Daniel has knowledge of the radioactive emblem?

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

That definitely needs explanation!

Mouze1
19th May 2003, 19:55
Whew, I just barely missed that mean 'ole whip. Chilledunit did too. Get busy Nightstalker, would hate to see you punished.

Good chapter CU, this story is getting better and better.

Nightstalker
25th May 2003, 20:34
Better hurry up now...THE WHIP is coming real close now. :p

Nightstalker.

Dell
26th May 2003, 19:48
Nightstalker, are you listening?


The last Chapter part by chilled_unit was posted on the 18th or 19th. It is now the 26th. How's your math skill?

You knew you were up right after it was posted, so how come no chapter part this weekend?

We are NOT taking two week turns now, and haven't been for a long time. We are moving a lot faster...usually a week or even less.

Gonna do it? Someone else is standing by to take your turn right now...

*Now that is just a little snap of the whip...try me further and see what happens!*

Dell
31st May 2003, 16:24
All right, Nightstalker, this is it! Better listen up buddy, and listen good. (that is the whip cracking across your naked butt).

I counted days just now and this is a full day 13 (thirteen), which is one whole h--- of a lot more than anyone else is ever allowed to take.

You have been told over and over and over that we are writing now with usually no more than a week turnaround, and have been doing this for many months!

You are a big boy responsible for your actions...and I ain't your Mama to keep reminding you to clean up your room. We are all adults here. Either you accept your responsibility and perform or face the consequences.

This is your very last chance and the consensus is among the other writers is you have really dragged it out too long almost every time...and it hurts the story, causing it to lose momentum.

You are fully aware of the facts that you are supposed to notify all writers by email or here that you are not able to get it done in a reasonable time, skip your turn, and let someone else do it.

This time you have hit the deadline and midnight tonight is it as far as I am concerned. I have to edit your work which is work for me that takes time...unless you want to post it just as you write.

Midnight tonight, Nightstalker, and you are passed. And if you feel you simply cannot present a part in turn in a reasonably fast time (a week) from now on, say so and drop out of the writer's group.

Sound tough? Well, I for one have now lost all momentum with the story which means I have to do extra back reading to catch up with it. The same applies to everyone else. So you have actually disrupted four other writers!

Vakusuma who would ordinarily step into the breech is on vacation...so guess who has to do it?

Midnight tonight, Nightstalker. Post it or it's over for you. No more excuses.

Mouze1
1st Jun 2003, 15:52
I have to agree with Dell, I lose the momentum and have to do a lot of re-reading myself.

Not having as much experience as the rest of the writers here it really throws me off when there are large gaps in the chapter parts. But even little ole me has been keeping up.

The one week cycle we have been writing in lately is a challenge, but in my opinion it keeps the story alive. If it doesn't keep being fed in a timely manner, it will die, and that would make me very sad.

Chilled Unit
1st Jun 2003, 17:05
I have to agree here too, when five writers take two weeks each, it's a full ten weeks before parts and the interest drops off, making it that much harder to get motivated for your next part.

Although a one week gap can be tough, it hopefully keeps the interest level up between all of us, and anybody reading too!

Dell
5th Jun 2003, 23:57
Nexus Chapter Fourteen, Part One
by an Anonymous Author

Martin Merle Morell was in love. He had lived a long time and experienced most everything people do in a colorful lifetime. Even petty con men working in the darker fringes of common society sometimes live rich, full, satisfying private lives. So it had been for him. He had married, raised a family, seen the children grown and on their way to successful lives, and dealt with the death of a beloved wife... all that before the first manifestation of psychic phenomena had changed the direction of his life.

He had believed the part of his life dealing with personal relationships was over, and so firm was his belief and calm acceptance of this fact, that his feelings for the Robot World female human, SFF 6453caught him quite unaware and even less prepared to deal with them. He found her completely attractive. She seemed quite pleased with his company, and within a short time, they were spending time in the park on a daily basis.

The sound of her laughter was contagious, and Martin found himself behaving in quite a silly manner simply to hear it. Other humans solemnly pacing the park paths sometimes paused at the sound that rose over the chatter of bird audible in this quiet place. Smiles appeared on their faces, and they altered their directions to move closer to the source of the sound...a human sound quite strange to hear in this world, but a sound that evoked strong visceral responses in them down in that place where their humanity lived.

She was naive in the way only a true innocent could be. An older lady, but still in her fertile years, Martin learned she was unmated because Cereplex considered her unfit to contribute to the human population gene pool. The reason shocked Martin. Her skin color, by one pigment shade - a distinction so subtle as to be unnoticeable to human eyes - varied from the exact skin tone standard Cereplex had established for human brunettes.

These arbitrary standards, literally fed into the minds of the human population, served as both a regulation of variation in the human population and as a means of population control. Martin learned from her that some small program inserted by the last of the human programmers still functioned. The sterilization of a human was forbidden, she said. The SFF in her name indicated to all that she was a Sanctioned Fertile Female...not to be touched by males of any designation.

Thus, even though perfectly normal and entitled to a normal life, she accepted this decision without question. So did the eligible males whose minds had been loaded with a list of sanctioned females along with all the other information Cereplex deemed necessary. That fact opened the first chink in the thick, self-absorbed armor Martin presented to the world. No matter that he was an expert at exploiting human vulnerabilities and did so; that did not alter the fact that Cereplex - a mere soulless mechanical device when all was said and done - had made such a life-altering decision regarding a human life annoyed him at first. Then it actively irritated him. Finally it made him mad.

One has to understand that an angry - and psychic - Martin Merle Morell could be a dangerous adversary. Cereplex, for all its wonderful abilities, was at best a device. It could not deal with determined and flexible human minds... and especially not a free human with a sly and devious psychic mind.

* * * * *

Daniel paused, mulling over Ina’s question.

“Well, I know a lot about flowers Ina.” He responded, trying to ‘read’ what she was getting at without deliberately intruding into her private space. Ina laughed.

“I know that, Daniel. But what about those flowers in particular.” She pointed to a patch of bellflowers twinkling softly in the breeze.

“They are a rare species. I haven’t come across them before. I hoped to study them but we’ve been so busy, what with Webster and Martin first appearing then disappearing.” Daniel almost sounded contrite.

“It’s not a trick question.” Ina chuckled. “ I just wondered if you had noticed anything…” she paused to find the right word “… extraordinary… about them? They are sentient beings, they warned us about the time problem in Eden.”

“Yes.” Daniel agreed. “But I cannot read their thoughts or emotions, whatever emotions they may have. I am programmed to deal with humans.”

“They want to help us Daniel, we would not have accomplished half of what we have done without their assistance.” Ina paused before telling him the full story.

“I will ask Violet if she has sensed anything that I might have missed, but why are you concerned with this now?”

“Daniel, I am puzzled as to just why the flowers want to help, we’ve been so busy running around that we have not stopped to ask them what they know, and why they seem keen for us to do certain things.”

“I agree Ina, but sentient animals all have a way of communicating their needs.”

“Yes.” Ina paused. “I suppose they do. The thing is, Daniel, is that these flowers are psychic.”

There was another silence as Daniel took in this new information and pieces of the puzzle fell in to place. The incident Violet had made known to him with Ina and Terry made sense to him, the external force Ina was in communication with was the flowers, he was sure of it.

“They told you how to communicate with Terry.” He stated his conclusion calmly.

“Yes, eventually.” Ina smiled again. “They teased me with that, or rather, I did not comprehend what was happening at first which seemed to amuse them. The puzzle that has me occupied though, is to what extent are they doing more than just suggesting our courses of action and actually influencing us.”

The thought hung in the air.

“We need to discuss this with everyone.” Daniel mulled over the actions of the group searching for any behavior that seemed irrational.

“Yes.” Ina agreed. “And then we need to talk to the flowers.”

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

Becky couldn't help it. She caught herself watching Terry more and more. "He is so good-looking." she kept thinking. Sighing she finished drying the lunch dishes and putting them away. "I wonder if he would like to take a walk?" was her next thought. "Mom always says, nothing ventured, nothing gained." With this thought in mind Becky hesitantly approached Terry and quietly asked if he would like to join her in a walk to the pond. To her surprise he told her that would be wonderful. At least Becky thought that was what he said, Terry was still learning to speak their language, and some words were more difficult than others. At least he nodded his head and smiled.

Becky told Ina and Daniel where they were going just in case there was any trouble, and Ina told them to have fun and to please be back before dark. Waving bye, the two set off toward the pond.

The walk didn't take as long as Becky would have liked, but it was quite nice anyway. Terry seemed to be interested in every rock, tree, bird, and small animal that he saw, tapping her arm and pointing them out. Arriving at the pond, Becky took him to the old tree that had fallen over the pond so many years earlier. She remembered the fun that Pete, Lila and herself had here. That seemed so many lifetimes ago. "Stop it Becky, not now!" she chided herself.

Terry sat down on the log and dipped his feet in the water. Becky did the same, both of them totally absorbed in the beauty and quiet.

"Here often?" Terry asked.

Startled Becky said "Not as often as I would like. Do you have anything like this where you are from?" she asked?

"Where Terry from much different. Live in forest, not cut down grown trees for shelter; strong saplings used shelter, fire. Hunt, feed selves and families. More is waste." He paused, looking to the trees beyond the pond.

Then he continued, gesturing broadly with sweeping motions as he spoke. "Water clear and cold. Mountains, oh, the mountains. No way to tell." Terry stopped speaking. His faraway look told Becky he was thinking of his home, and most likely his family.

Becky knew one thing for sure, this young stranger most assuredly was attractive to her, and Becky sensed he was attracted to her, too. She moved closer, wanting to touch him...but she didn't.

Back at the cabin, Daniel caught the surges of emotions rising and falling down at the pond. Longing for home, attraction to the female, attraction to the male, yearning. His mobile face formed a frown. Would this cause more trouble? At the moment they all had quite enough to handle. He thought about Ina. The time was near when they would have to face her condition squarely and decide what they must do . . .

Mouze1
6th Jun 2003, 00:43
Big Thumbs Up. Very good chapter.

Have all sorts of new things arising.

Dell
6th Jun 2003, 01:21
Hey! Not only that, we found a writer and got the story back, edited, and posted in under six days! Can't keep us down at all!

Fantastic work, Anonymous, and thank you! Feel welcome to drop in and take a turn any time!

Oooh, I love it! Martin Merle Morell in love and pissed off at Cereplex! Fantastic fireworks on the way for sure!

Vakusuma, are you thinking?

Becky falling in love?

Ina facing mentallic surgery?

Never a dull moment here!

Nightstalker
6th Jun 2003, 12:02
First: I apologize for my actions. I can't say anything mitigating. I just lacked inspiration, and I couldn't find joy in my writting...and worst of all I totally forgot to warn you all...............again sorry.

Second: To who has written 14-1, that was a good chapter, thx.

Third: I hope that you will give me another chance..........I promise I'll do better next time...

Fourth: That whip of Dell really hurts ;) :p

Nightstalker.

Dell
7th Jun 2003, 01:26
Thank you for showing up, Nightstalker. We had a hurried discussion about this and I am sure Vakusma will agree with me speaking for him in this matter.
-----------------------------------

The concensus is:

!. Your turn has passed this time. The part that was yours has been posted and is closed.

2. We go on in normal rotation. The next part belongs to Vakusuma who is on vacation. Per our agreement if he isn't out and about ready to write, I will take his turn, and he will, in turn, step in and take my turn. Thus, we have merely exchanged turns.

3. The rotation now reads (and please make a note of it):

First (up next) - Dell or Vakusuma

Second - Vakusuma or Dell

Third - Mouse

Fourth - Chilled Unit

Fifth - Nightstalker
------------------------

This is especially for you, Nightstalker. Actually, these are the rules the rest of us have been observing for many months!

1. From now on, understand we are all writing and posting in a week (seven (7) days), if at all possible. Certainly it can vary a couple of days either way, but no more than that.

2. If, in four or five days you think you can't make it, notify EVERYONE by email. That is a courtesy for the writer who must step in quickly to cover for you.

Not a lot of rules here, not at all. Simple things, really.

**Note** if you get stuck and can't come up with a thing to write about, email me. This has happened to several of us at different times. We talk, look at options, and suggest ideas. It works every time. Really does.
The idea is to help each other.

Now, Nightstalker, we all think this is a
very fair decision and the way to go.

Take your turn in the next rotation as posted above. If you are stuck, email me quickly. If you can't do it, notify everyone quickly (under a week), and pass that turn in a hurry.

Last chance, Martin. Believe me, that is etched in stone. No more chances.

*puts her whip away. she is speaking as one grown person to another.*

vakusuma
8th Jun 2003, 21:49
:p

/me eyes The Whip warily

Chilled Unit
9th Jun 2003, 17:41
The updates are all done and the story can be found at it's new home:

http://www.chilledunit.com/Nexus/

update bookmarks as necessary :)

Dell
13th Jun 2003, 19:36
Nexus Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
by dell

When Violet stepped through the Nexus point by the pond late that afternoon, she was expecting to encounter nothing unusual. She had been to Martin Merle Morell's old house in Becky's world to plug herself in and recharge, so it might be said she was now fully charged and in normal operating mode.

Because there seemed no urgency in this quiet day, she had taken the time to play some music on Martin's record player, automatically transferring it to her own memory banks. It was strange, but she found that she could not only play it for her internal sensors and 'hear' it perfectly well, but when she wanted more volume, by mentally flicking a few relays, she could increase the volume to the point where anyone nearby could hear it too...coming from her nostrils!

The fact that it was all too obvious that the source of the sound was her own nose would have been disturbing to anyone near enough to hear. After trying it out, she realized that humans did not broadcast music from their nostrils, and turned the volume down. It was amusing, Violet thought...then paused. What did amusing mean to a mentallic? After a moment's consideration, she filed that as a question to discuss with Daniel.
She was aware of the two young people to one side near the pond, and read the rather strong interest fields sparkling between them. They were so intent on each other, neither was aware of her passing by as she passed the old fallen log and approached the Nexus point to Cabin World.

Certainly she was not in a high alert mode by any means when, several yards beyond the Nexus point, all her internal alarm circuits suddenly blazed with the intrusion message:

"Martin Merle Morell is here!"

This was followed immediately by a second overlapping warning from Daniel:

"The entrance to our world!"

But Violet was a mentallic, and her reactions to what she was 'reading' were so rapid as to appear nearly instantaneous - had anyone been watching that is - and someone was. Becky and Terry had just stepped through the Nexus point behind her when they saw her head come up, and witnessed her move with almost blinding speed off to the right at a diagonal angle away from the clearing where the cabin was built.

As she disappeared from their view, Terry's eyes widened in amazement. "Huh!" was his surprised exclamation. He looked at Becky for explanation.

"I don't know, but I think something's wrong! We better get back to the cabin right away. "Suiting actions to words, she took off at a fast trot, motioning him to follow her; he wasted no time moving into a protective position behind her. Almost like magic, his spear appeared in front of him at the ready, moved from its back holder with the practiced speed and ease of the lifelong hunter.

As the cabin came into view, they glimpsed Daniel disappearing in the same direction Violet had gone...and with the same blinding speed. "Something bad is wrong, Terry!" Becky gasped, and increased her speed. Her need to get to the cabin was urgent, nearly panic-like now. She felt exposed and vulnerable.

When they came in view of the cabin, they saw Ina standing on the porch gazing after Daniel, but she turned in their direction as she 'heard' Terry's broadcast of anxiety signals. The bellflowers were murmuring something urgent to her, but Ina could not make it out in the melange of mental signals she was receiving. She motioned to Becky and Terry to hurry; then both of her hands went to her head as a single strong thought forced it's way through all the rest like a knife through soft butter. It was so urgent and powerful, she felt her head might shatter from the inside out.

'Ina! It's Martin Merle Morrell! I come in peace! I come in peace! Call off the mentallics! I just want to talk.'

There was no room for doubt. Ina recognized Martin's mental 'voice'. It was the same one that had tried to keep her sleeping the last time he had appeared here. This time there was no doubting his sincerity, either, and one part of her mind realized that no one could really lie when speaking mind to mind.

When Becky and Terry came up the steps, Terry placed a restraining hand on Becky's shoulder as she started to speak. When she turned to look at him, he shook his head, then touched his forehead with his first finger. He 'heard' enough of what was going on to understand Ina should not be interrupted now.

Becky's forehead wrinkled in perplexity, but she looked at Ina carefully and saw the faraway look in her eyes, the inward-turned concentration. Something was going on she didn't understand, but Becky was sure it would all be explained later. She seated herself on the top porch step and waited; Terry stood alertly, ready to defend the two females he felt were now in his charge, picking up as much of the telepathic interchanges going on around him as he possibly could, and understanding far more than even himself realized . . .

Chilled Unit
14th Jun 2003, 00:35
What a neat and exciting part :)

Excellent! What will happen next!?

vakusuma
14th Jun 2003, 04:36
Aww, gee. That's a pretty big prompting if I ever saw one :)

Let's see...

vakusuma
14th Jun 2003, 05:14
Before I go any further... the human female that Martin (the other one ;) ) was frolicking with was known as H29. The next thing I know, she became known as SFF 6453.

Care to clarify, anybody?

Dell
14th Jun 2003, 17:38
As you said, Vakusuma, you were away. We needed a good reason for Martin Merle Morell to get angry at Cereplex and the lady was introduced as a very viable reason. She found her way to his crusty old heart.

Now, the simple thing would be to change the designation you gave her (or someone gave her), to this new one, and the story could progress smoothly.

Here is the meaning of SFF: Sanctioned Fertile Female

" She was naive in the way only a true innocent could be. An older lady, but still in her fertile years, Martin learned she was unmated because Cereplex considered her unfit to contribute to the human population gene pool. The reason shocked Martin. Her skin color, by one pigment shade - a distinction so subtle as to be unnoticeable to human eyes - varied from the exact skin tone standard Cereplex had established for human brunettes.

These arbitrary standards, literally fed into the minds of the human population, served as both a regulation of variation in the human population and as a means of population control. Martin learned from her that some small program inserted by the last of the human programmers still functioned. The sterilization of a human was forbidden, she said. The SFF in her name indicated to all that she was a Sanctioned Fertile Female...not to be touched by males of any designation.

Thus, even though perfectly normal and entitled to a normal life, she accepted this decision without question. So did the eligible males whose minds had been loaded with a list of sanctioned females along with all the other information Cereplex deemed necessary. That fact opened the first chink in the thick, self-absorbed armor Martin presented to the world. No matter that he was an expert at exploiting human vulnerabilities and did so; that did not alter the fact that Cereplex - a mere soulless mechanical device when all was said and done - had made such a life-altering decision regarding a human life annoyed him at first. Then it actively irritated him. Finally it made him mad.

One has to understand that an angry - and psychic - Martin Merle Morell could be a dangerous adversary. Cereplex, for all its wonderful abilities, was at best a device. It could not deal with determined and flexible human minds... and especially not a free human with a sly and devious psychic mind.

So, whoever assigned that first number, please just edit it to read SFF6453.

vakusuma
14th Jun 2003, 18:37
Alright, just in case I had to use that fact.

:)

*pokes Mouze*

Chilled Unit
14th Jun 2003, 18:44
It's fixed at the site, unfortunately we need to wait for mouse to fix it here :(

and by the way...

where is everybody :( ?

is MSN broken?

vakusuma
14th Jun 2003, 20:12
I should be on right now...


Alright, I made a little sketch of the Nexus point as I went through all the chapters again. Argh! My head hurts from trying to comprehend all the time schemes and the relatives... how time progresses when the other are.... argh! It seems like time would have to progress inside the Nexus as well...

I guess I'll just have to chalk them up to "the Unexplained" ;)

The relative time works like this: Relative Time on World/Time on Nexus. All figures are estimates.

http://vakusuma.homestead.com/files/Nexus_Scheme.gif

Dell
18th Jun 2003, 15:54
Now that is a very neat map, Vakusuma, thank you. We need something visual every once in a while to stimulate the creative centers...if you can see it, you can write about it for sure!

Thank you!

vakusuma
18th Jun 2003, 21:14
Not really... it might very well be full of errors that I didn't catch before.

Anyway.




Nexus
Chapter 14, Part 3

The Talk

Ina had always imagined her world filled with sensation ever since she discovered the latent power within herself – some good, some not so good. First and foremost, there were the omnipresent collective thoughts of the bellflowers in form of fleeting images that she could not comprehend – images from times long past, if one could think of the Nexus world as having a past. The bellflowers, for all their powers, felt surprisingly nondescript and unobtrusive. There were also Daniel and Violet, of course, the mentallic robots. Their ‘thoughts’ were strong, but rigid and… somehow, artificial. Thoughts of the others… Lila’s, Pete’s, and Becky’s, were more natural but somewhat weaker than thought patterns of Dave and Terry.

The usual sensations, however, paled in comparison with what she experienced as she felt herself in contact with a very nervous Martin Merle Morell. His thought patterns were nothing like she had experienced before – it was several orders of magnitude stronger than the others. The pattern was made up by hundreds of subtle sensations and thoughts – Ina thought that she could see his past history, his wants and desires, his strengths and weaknesses, all beneath a single underlying theme – uncertainty, and fear. Even as she felt like she was drowning in the sea of emotions suddenly opened to her, she sensed that despite his sincere plea earlier, he still wasn’t sure whether Ina would let Daniel and Violet have him for lunch. The fear was growing stronger, more dominant, as the subtle thoughts took on a similar theme. Martin has sensed the robots coming at him with incredible speed...their thoughts grim and totally devoid of humanity.

“Daniel. Violet. I give you a command: halt,” Ina sent out her thought frantically, afraid that she had done so too late to prevent them from tearing Martin apart.

Suddenly the sensation that she received from Martin changed – the underlying theme was now relief. The change took her by surprise, even though she had expected it.

“By the Second Law, we are compelled to obey commands issued by humans,” Daniel’s thoughts came back quite clearly, with inhuman calm. “We do wonder for the reason of the command, for Martin definitely presents a significant threat to your safety and the safety of the other humans in this world.”

“He wants to talk to me,” Ina replied quite calmly. She reached out and included Martin in her awareness. “For now, I shall abide and hear what he has to say. However, if this happens to be part of his trickery, you have my permission to do whatever you wanted to do with him before I issued the command.” She smiled grimly as fear entered Martin’s consciousness again, and addressed Martin directly. “Well, I’ve called off Daniel and Violet from having your sorry hide. Now what do you want?”

Martin’s thoughts still reflected his worry as he replied. “No tricks, ma’am. I just want to talk.”

“Really,” Ina said quite skeptically. She felt dismay entering Martin’s thoughts, the last emotion she had expected. “The last time you decided to ‘talk’ with us, you set the hunter bots on us. Hunter bots that would’ve brought harm to us.”

Martin’s thoughts became dark as he spat out an ugly curse. “They were bots, you idiot! No matter how they had been reprogrammed, the Laws of Robotics still held fast. They had no desire to harm humans! They’d been programmed only to terminate other robots!” His thoughts cleared quickly though, as if he realized how close he had came to making Ina release the mentallics on him. “Besides, and I swear to whatever higher powers there are, I had nothing to do with those hunter bots. Their arrival was purely coincidental – I certainly wasn’t crazy enough to guide them here! Their presence, however, convinced me that the Cereplex wasn’t quite finished with its precious anthropoanalysts.”

“So you went to Cereplex and told it everything.” Ina’s mental thoughts were almost sad as she replied. “It was because of Daniel and Violet, wasn’t it? How could you betray us all just to get even with them?”

“You have no idea what they did to me,” he seemed to shudder. “It was only my strong natural mental barrier that saved me from being… permanently altered… by them. Oh, if only you had experienced!” And quite suddenly, new waves of thoughts came flooding Ina’s consciousness. She winced, trying hard not to scream, as she desperately fought off the thoughts from overwhelming her – the thoughts of pain, of being violated, rising unbidden to Martin’s mind – the thoughts that she was unwittingly sharing with him. She could almost felt what Daniel had done to him… share his agony…

Quite firmly, she shut off the window to his emotions, before realizing that she could do that. The world had suddenly become less vibrant, but in the silence of her mind she once again found her identity. She could, quite literally, hear herself think once again. “Thank you for sharing your pain. I’m touched. Now that you feel better, I sure hope you’ve given some thought to what the Cereplex would do if it discovers the secret of the Nexus?”

There was a long silence. Ina was giving some thought to opening her mental receptors to emotions once again to gauge Martin’s reaction when he finally answered. “Tell me.” He seemed subdued.

“Cereplex was built to rule the world, literally,” Ina responded firmly. “The humans in Computer World originally voluntarily submitted themselves to Cereplex rule, hoping that it would end the violence that had torn their world apart. They had their wish, but at a price beyond measure. In such cybernetic society, humans were little more than prisoners – ironically, prisoners that had the key to their prison but were reluctant to use it. Literally birds in a gilded, cybernetic cage.” She paused to let her words take effect on Martin.

“The access to Nexus point provided Cereplex with access to perhaps infinite number of wild humans, although it would not realize it at first. One of Cereplex’s main objectives, I’m guessing, would be to round up these wild humans for their own protection, so that they won’t be able to harm each other. As such, Cereplex would have no choice but to send some bots to round up these ‘wild humans’. But guess what? Most of the humans in other Nexus worlds are not cybernetic… most proudly retain their independence. What will they do if cybernetic rule is forced upon them? They’ll fight back. And Cereplex will keep sending more bots. Telling Cereplex about the Nexus is the surest way to start a multidimensional Robot War, you poor, misguided fool. For your sake and the sake of humanity, please tell me that you haven’t told Cereplex about the Nexus.” Ina quickly reached out and felt Martin’s emotions again, briefly. “No…” she breathed as the realization took hold.

“I suppose there’s no way for me to undo the damage, huh?” Martin’s voice was bitter, self-mocking. “I guess I will be known throughout history as ‘Martin Merle Morell, multidimensional destroyer of humanity’, and my name will be a curse on everyone’s tongue. And I had only wished to get even. How sad.”

“Excuse me,” Daniel’s projection seemed to echo within Ina’s mind, interrupting Martin’s gloomy thoughts. “Ina, you were correct in that one of Cereplex’s primary objectives was to collect humans for their own protection, an objective that I have recently viewed as flawed, given the complexity of humans. But the programmed objective very specifically stated ‘this world’ and ‘humans who seek protection’. Once Cereplex recognizes the fact that you are not from that world and you do not need its protection, there will be no attempt to ‘protect’ you, because it is not the Cereplex’s objective.”

Ina took a deep breath, physically. “Alright, so maybe it’s not going to be a universal catastrophe. However, by explaining to the Cereplex about the Nexus so that it may hunt the rogue mentallics, you have exposed us to danger. What kind of agreement had you came up with Cereplex? You may want to talk with us, but at the same time, how would we know that you’re not sent here to spy on us?”

“Because I’m able to see through the veil that separates the worlds,” came the annoyed reply. “Just like you do. If I was to spy on you – and believe me, my part of the agreement with Cereplex was to do just that – I could’ve simply sat in the most comfortable room Cereplex could provide me and viewed you with my third eye. Which, incidentally, I have done in the past. You have a point though – since time is nonexistent in this place, I could not penetrate it without entering it physically. You have been invisible to me ever since I decided to talk to you. Which is why I’m here now.”

The world seemed to spin as Ina absorbed Martin’s words. The veil that separates the worlds. Third eye. Just like you do. Dimly, she remembered her dreams about herself back in her own home, asleep on a bunk bed in a small cabin somewhere. Could it be…? “Very well. So you wanted to talk directly. What is it?”

Ina wasn’t prepared for his answer. “I want you to help me destroy Cereplex.”

For a moment, she could hear her mind racing as she considered his words. “You’ve made a deal with Cereplex. Now you want to destroy it. What is this, a deal turning sour?”

“You weren’t there, Ina!” A note of desperation entered Martin’s mental voice, and if Ina had listened to his emotions as well, his entire mental make-up. “Oh, the humanity, indeed! Or rather, the inhumanity of it all! I’ve been afraid to admit this before, but you’re right. I’ve seen with my own eyes what it had done to humans in that world. They’re no longer humans… for being human is also about having free spirit, creative thoughts, and things you have taken for granted. They’re no more than dull reflections of the could-have-been… empty shells, devoid of energy and vitality and… life. Soulless… just like Cereplex itself. How can a soulless being like Cereplex dictate the lives of creatures with one? It prevented her from having a mate – to being complete! How can it do such thing?”

Silence returned as Ina mulled his words over and opened herself to his emotions once again. He seemed trustworthy, his emotions genuine. Martin Merle Morell was fervently convinced of the rightness of his cause, and desperately needed their help. She had not missed his reference to a wronged female.

And yet… “What are you going to do about it?”

“Cereplex will be wondering where I am if I don’t return now,” Martin replied. “It is much too early for me to consider Cereplex and its weakness. Know, however, that I, Martin Merle Morell, will see the inhuman entity Cereplex destroyed forever… or die trying! Although admittedly, it was to avoid the latter that I came to you.” Ina sensed Martin turning back, preparing to reenter the Computer World. “As a proof of my sincerity, I swear, I will not tell Cereplex that your precious anthropoanalysts are still alive and well in this world. Not that it would believe me after receiving those reports from the hunter bots about their demise anyway, but that’s beside the point.”

“Besides, you’ll then have to explain what exactly you’re doing in this world,” Ina pointed out.

“Well yes, there’s that little matter as well.” A note of amusement crept into Martin’s thoughts. “We will meet again.”

And with that, he was gone.

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

As he stepped back into the Robot World, Martin Merle Morell looked carefully around him. There were no bots in sight on the roof top, nor did he see any bots in the building as he quickly made his way to the street, commandeered a passing vehicle, and returned to the agriculture complex. Cereplex definitely hadn’t missed him. He permitted himself a small smile, and he whistled as he walked back to his comfortable quarters.

At last, his plan was in motion.

Mouze1
19th Jun 2003, 01:34
Welcome back vakusuma.
Excellent chapters Dell and vak. I'm going to have to put some thought into my writing turn.

Oh, by the way, I found the topic finally that had my chapter where Martin Morelle met his new lady friend and I changed her name to SFF6453.

Everyone have a great day. Now I am off to conjure up some ideas for my chapter.:D

Chilled Unit
19th Jun 2003, 12:22
Superb chapter, vak!

I caught one thing that seemed out of place:

The unexpected change took her by surprise, even though she had expected it.

I don't think you need the "unexpected", rather:

The change took her by surprise, even though she had expected it.

Great Writing :)

And good work for spotting the chapter for the name change Mouse!

Dell
19th Jun 2003, 15:13
Excellent chapter, Vakusuma!

Go for it mouse!

vakusuma
20th Jun 2003, 00:36
Originally posted by Chilled Unit
I caught one thing that seemed out of place:

The unexpected change took her by surprise, even though she had expected it.

I don't think you need the "unexpected", rather:

The change took her by surprise, even though she had expected it.


Thank you, sir. And everyone else :)

Chilled Unit
20th Jun 2003, 10:52
I'll put that up over lunch then :)

Remember the new story site URL :

http://www.chilledunit.com/Nexus/

the Mazegame can still be found too, at:

http://www.chilledunit.com/Beyond/

:)

vakusuma
20th Jun 2003, 18:15
Can you update your siggy? I've been checking the old site from your siggy and wondered why it's so broken... :rolleyes:

Chilled Unit
20th Jun 2003, 19:27
I knew I'd forgotton to do somethgin like that :rolleyes:

Mouze1
27th Jun 2003, 00:45
Chapter Fourteen

Part Four by Mouze

Lila, Pete, and Dave were busy playing a game of cards and discussing the fact that they should look into introducing bees and butterflies into the bio-domes in Catherdral World.

Lila was telling the guys that her Mom and herself could go back to their world and visit the college. "There are several species of butterflies that are very hardy and survive quite well. They'd be valuable in the pollination process. Also the bees would serve a two-fold purpose of pollination and honey," Lila concluded.

Pete and Dave nodded in agreement.

With no warning, Dave rose from the table with such force he toppled his chair backwards. Startled, Pete and Lila almost at the same time said "Dave, what's wrong?"

Dave didn't answer, but shook his head implying that he wasn't sure, but that there was something very wrong. They all headed to the front door of the cabin. There they saw Ina, Becky and Terry. Ina was in deep concentration, not seeing or hearing the newcomers to the porch. Terry was watching Ina, spear poised and a look of deep concentration on his face also. Dave stood staring at Ina and at once found himself listening to the mental conversation that was taking place. Pete and Lila stepped out onto the porch and sat down on the step next to Becky. Lila looked at Becky and raised her eyebrows, and Becky raised her shoulders in a shrug that said, 'I have no idea.'

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

Martin Morell showered and changed his clothes. Still softly whistling and with the same small smile dancing at the corners of his mouth, he left his quarters to take his usual stroll to the park to see his lady friend.

He was thinking that calling her lady friend, or SFF6453 just wasn't going to work. He wanted to give her a name, something she could relate to, something to make her an individual and give her the distinction of really being human. After a great deal of saying first one name and then another out loud, Martin finally settled on a name that he thought she might like. Renee, he thought. That is such a nice name. He remembered reading somewhere it was French and meant...reborn. Reborn, yes that is what she will be.

With a smile on his face and a song in his heart, Martin Merle Morell turned the corner, entered the park, and headed to the oak tree where they met every afternoon. Martin was feeling happy and was completely unaware of being followed.

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

Daniel and Violet had watched Martin return to Robot World and kept watch for a few more minutes to make sure there wasn't going to be any more surprises. Daniel was aware of the bellflowers telling them all was quiet for now, and that perhaps he and Violet should hurry back to the humans now.

Daniel signaled Violet and they made a hasty trip back to the cabin. Terry still on the alert, raised his spear prepared to attack them, but stopped short when he saw who they were. Becky, Pete, and Lila were all talking at once trying to find out what in the world had just transpired. Dave was trying to calm them down and get everyone into the cabin when Ina collapsed.

Ina knew that the confrontation with Martin and the effort of stopping Daniel and Violet from attacking him had sapped her strength. She was also aware of the pain that was building up in her chest, but she refused to give in to it until the matter with Martin was finished and he was out of their world. Ina tried to stay conscious but the pain was becoming more intense; her chest felt as though a horrible weight had been placed on it making it impossible to breathe. Vaguely she could hear people talking, she felt herself being lifted up and then put down, but slowly the blackness began to set in, pulling her with it.

Lila ran to Ina's bedroom and got her mothers medication; she had seen her mom pass out before from missing a dose of medicine at the scheduled time. Shaking, Lila put one of the tiny white pills under Ina's tongue while everyone else stood watching.

Daniel was just outside the door of the cabin with Violet. They were quietly communicating. We are going to have to do something for her. I think it is time we told the rest of the group what we plan to do about Ina's condition. After all they will have to make a very important decision regarding her treatment.

I agree, was Violet's response.

Ina was resting now, she was still in and out of consciousness, but she appeared to be a little more stable.

Daniel and Violet asked the young people to all sit down so they could talk to them. It was into an almost deafening silence that Daniel slowly and carefully began to speak. . .

Chilled Unit
27th Jun 2003, 10:30
Absolutely excellent, Mouze :)

And what a set up! I can hardly wait :)

Yours truly steps up to the plate, bat in hand, sniffing the air and watching the pitcher shuffle nervously on the mound...

:D

Dell
27th Jun 2003, 18:37
Oh so good....excellent, Mouse! I think we are all getting the idea that setting things up well for the next writer is the only way to keep the story really moving and exciting! It works for sure...

All right, Chilled Unit get busy.


Nightstalker, you are up pretty quick. Read all the previous chapters and get up to speed so you can take off right after Chilled Unit posts his part.

Check your email too...going to notify you that way also. If I know Chilled Unit, he will set you up perfectly with a whole choice of things to write about! :)

vakusuma
28th Jun 2003, 18:27
Kinda short but sweet. Nice setup for the next unfortunate... I mean, FORTUNATE writer :)

Chilled Unit
29th Jun 2003, 15:17
Nexus Chapter Fifteen, Part One
by Chilled Unit

“It’s time that you all knew the full situation” Daniel began. “Ina is not well; she has allowed me to see the extent of her illness.”

Lila opened her mouth as if to say something but then closed it without uttering a sound. Has mom been hiding things from me? The thought flashed through her head and made the back of her hands feel hot. Why? Can I not be trusted? Does she think I will fall to pieces? Instantly she felt guilty for allowing the thoughts to form in her head. Her mom loved her and was always kind to her, even if recently Lila felt she didn't realize just how much of an independent woman she was becoming. Her cheeks flushed as she stared at the floor chastising herself for her mental outburst.

Pete and Becky didn’t notice Lila’s reaction; they, too, were somberly examining their feet, almost numb after Ina’s resuscitation. They were unwilling to look much at anyone for fear of seeing the worst in the eyes of the others.

Both Daniel and Violet caught Lila’s flash of emotion, and Dave noticed her fists were clenched into tight balls. A glance between Violet and Dave said enough, and he moved behind her and put his hand on her shoulder, almost instantly and unconsciously her fists unclenched.

“We are sure…” Daniel looked at Violet. “…that after some rest Ina will be ok. Although this is taking it’s toll on her. We cannot be sure that another stressful encounter won’t be more damaging.”

“What can we do to help?” Dave asked, seemingly the only person who could find a voice. And what will we do without her? He said that only to himself, although he was sure the mentallics would pick it up quite clearly.

“We can help Ina should the situation arise.” Daniel continued, answering both the spoken and unspoken questions. “But we need to discuss why she is suffering so much.” He turned to Lila, as he thought it fair he should address her.

“Lila, your mother is a telepath. She can read minds similar to how we can, and make herself heard using her thoughts. That humans can do this is a new finding to us, just learned from you all, and especially during our encounters with Martin Merle Morell. Martin was aware that he could make his ‘inner voice’ heard to other people, and then understand their responses to it. After much analysis, that is essentially what we believe telepathy to be. Ina has only recently realized that she can do this, and the effort and strain of thinking clearly and communicating in this way is taking its toll.”

Daniel paused to let the information sink in. Pete looked to Dave for explanation; he wasn't sure about all this telepathy and strange mental powers. All he knew was that Ina was brilliant with plants and flowers, a trait passed down to her daughter, and that it was ever since these robots turned up that people had started feeling odd and believing in spiritual super powers. He wasn’t sure he liked it. Becky and Terry sat close to each other on the floor. After the initial shock of Ina’s illness, they hadn't said much, but felt a bit better hearing that it wasn't as grave as they feared. They looked from one person to the next, giving small reassuring gestures when their eyes were met.

Lila’s shoulders had slumped from their tense position and she was now quietly crying softly to herself. Her childhood flashed before her: the embarrassing memories of the escapades of a little kid that could not be forgotten and surfaced every now and then with the seemingly sole purpose of making her cringe; her first thoughts about boys; her first crushes; and all the embarrassing, extremely personal experiences of realizing what womanhood meant. Are they all open pages in a book to of all people, my mom? Can she see, and has she seen all that I fear her knowing? What must she think of me?

Lila's world had changed, and the only beings who could help her understand were robots. Pete seeing that she was upset and with an encouraging look from Dave, moved to her side and placed his arm around her shoulders. Quite unexpectedly, she wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his shoulder. He felt her rocking gently as she sobbed, and extended his arm around her back, his hand rubbing softly, cradling her, his head an explosion of conflicting feelings. Almost embarrassed by the attention and the sobbing girl he was holding, Pete didn’t know where to look, didn’t like the eyes of others on him at this moment; he didn't want to be acknowledged by anyone but Lila.

“It’s all right, I’m here.” He whispered in her ear. He felt her give a little squeeze, and pressed his lips softly to the top of her head. His head, slow to catch up with his heart and ringing in surprise, was repeating over and over: You kissed Lila, You kissed Lila…

Only the mentallics saw the strength and power of the bond being formed between the two friends… no… not just friends now, now there was more, a new pattern shared in both of their minds, strong and glowing and demanding of attention. Where the rest of the group saw only the mutual support of two close childhood friends, and that Lila must obviously be upset about her mom being taken ill, the robots saw the underlying bond, and between them were pleased. Whatever they faced, Daniel and Violet realised that these two were capable of supporting each other throughout the very worst that could happen without any intervention on their part. When she was ready, Lila would tell all her fears to Pete; and even though he had little clue as to the real cause of her upset now, he would know well enough in time.

Lila finally stopped crying and looked up at Pete who, in struggling with his own confusing thoughts and emotions, was looking back, not realising his fingertip was still circling the soft spot at the back of Lila’s neck. With big, red, moist eyes she half smiled at him and turned back to the robots.

“I’m sorry.” She said, wiping her face on her sleeve. “It’s hard for me, you know?”

Pete, still unsure of just exactly what had happened between them but stirred by his emotions, dropped his arms as Lila turned to address the robots. Her composure regained somewhat, she simply solved the conundrum of what he should do now for him by backing squarely into him, her body language insisting that he hold her, which is exactly what he did.

Almost with a smile, Daniel felt he could continue with his story. The initial shock of his tale was over, and he could now explain to the more level heads what would have to be done and what could be done to help. And also the bad news gleaned from Martin, that Cereplex also knew that humans were capable of telepathy.

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

Cereplex, in its infinite wisdom, had made some decisions. It had pondered on the nature of humans a lot over the years. Humans had built it all those many years ago, and their intentions had been noble. Humans had willingly chosen to live under its control...not that it perceived it as its control. It was their protector as designed, and had successfully done so to this day. This broad base of knowledge regarding humans pointed to a logical deduction for Cereplex. Martin Merle Morell was not human.

What other explanation could there be for the behavior of the beings who had intruded on its world, subverted the programming of two of its anthropoanalysts and absconded with them? It was clear that they were bugs in its perfect system. No - the thought automatically corrected itself in less than a nanosecond - not bugs, bugs are innocent mistakes. These beings were viruses, unpredictable viruses threatening its system, certainly not human.

With this infallible logic, Cereplex had created a new type of anthropoanalyst, codename TYR311. TYR311 was largely identical in programming to D4N13L and V1OL3T, but the distinction between “human” and “virus” was known well to it, imprinted foremost in its logic boards. His title was not “mentallic” but “virus hunter” and it had been sent to investigate Martin Merle Morell.

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

Ina dreamed that night, as Lila - now inseparable from Pete - and Violet watched over her bed. She dreamed of a house she had never been in before, although from looking out the window, she was definitely in Oak Grove. She was sitting in a rocking chair by a roaring fire, reading. She had the odd sense of intruding in this place, although it was undoubtedly hers. She found herself wondering when the nice boy, her departed daughter’s friend who had lost his parents, would be coming back for tea. She put her book down and rocked gently in her chair and fell fast…

…awake as sunlight flitted through the window of the cabin. She blinked and looked around. Lila and Pete were huddled together dozing in the corner, which brought a smile to her face. No need to ask what as happened there she thought. "Indeed," agreed Violet.

“Oh, hello Violet.” Ina turned to see the robot standing at the door. “Thanks for keeping an eye out.” She tried to sit up but groaned a little and collapsed back down, panting.

“Stay still, Ina.” Violet said “You need your rest, It’s okay, Daniel and I have worked out our next move, but I think you need to rest more before we all talk it over. Did you sleep well?”

“It was the oddest thing Violet.” Ina examined her dream before it evaporated from her memory. “I think that, for the second time, I just met myself.”

Mouze1
30th Jun 2003, 22:33
Absolutely excellent. Like it very much CU.

vakusuma
1st Jul 2003, 03:33
Heh. I just saw this one.

Interesting. Now we have a Virus Hunter wielding an Azurewrath :o

Good work.

Nightstalker
1st Jul 2003, 12:38
PRESENT.

Here I'm and now that I don't have any tests or school anymore I've a lot of spare time on my hands. Which I'll use to write a very good chapter (I hope (the very good part)). I'm off reading and rereading the previous chapters.

Nightstalker.

Mouze1
1st Jul 2003, 19:32
Pssst vakusuma, I am only 5'4'' so I tend to write 5'4''. Besides they say dynamite comes in small packages.:D Just joking.

Welcome back Nightstalker. Hope you have fun with your chapter.

vakusuma
1st Jul 2003, 23:46
Which probably explains why I like to write like I'm 5'10".

<--- 4+ pages for 14-3 in MSWord, Times New Roman 12pt single-spaced...

Dell
2nd Jul 2003, 00:38
There you are Nightstalker!

You week begins right this minute. No stalling and no excuses. You have a running jump at it and can go do bees in Cathedral World hydroponics domes...
or carry on the two love affairs...Becky and Terry and Pete and Lila...or take a trip to Terry's world to show Becky a new pristine world from way back....or mess around with the Virus Hunting Robot ... or fix Ina's heart!

No end to the options...go for it!

Chilled Unit
4th Jul 2003, 10:08
iiiiiit's....

Holiday Time, wheeeee :D

which means no site updates for two weeks unfortunately :( (boo!)

but it's up-to-date with my last chapter there :) (yay!)

Hopefully I'll be able to persuade my dad's puter to let me post here, which I had trouble doing last time! D'oh!

Nightstalker
4th Jul 2003, 17:57
I couldn't fail to notice that the entire Nexus site is screwed up :( ... No images, no background...What happened?

Nightstalker

Mouze1
4th Jul 2003, 20:04
Hi Nightstalker, if I am not mistaken CU did some changes at the Nexus site.

Try clicking on the link that is in his sig now. If that works then you need to bookmark that and delete the other bookmark you might have saved.

Hope this helps. :)

Nightstalker
6th Jul 2003, 23:43
That helped.

And my chapter is awaiting Dell's keen eyes. This time I (narrowly) dodged The Whip :)

Nightstalker.

Nightstalker
7th Jul 2003, 16:25
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present...He, you! Get on with it...

Okay, here is Chapter 15 part 2 of the MAS 3
I hope you like it:

Please report any errors you find.

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


Chapter fifteen, Part two

By Nightstalker

“Here, drink this down,” Violet said to Ina as she handed her a glass of water.

“Thank you, Violet,” Ina replied, and gratefully drained the glass.

“Ina, I would like to discuss a few things with you,” Violet said in a concerned tone. “First, I wanted to talk about your new-found mental ability. Daniel and I have analyzed your ‘power’ and find it strong but untrained. We suggest that we help you to control it. If you let us help you, you can learn to prevent further ‘incidents’ like the one with Martin earlier.”

Ina nodded her understanding and agreement.

“Second is a more pressing matter... your heart. You’re suffering from a condition that is fairly easy to rectify, but the bad part is the fact that your heart has been extremely stressed from the stress you have been under lately. Daniel and I can help you, but it will take us some time to prepare. We need some specialized equipment, and the operation is not entirely without risk. We have calculated that there is a 0.00000145 chance that the operation will not be successful.”

When Ina heard the odds that she would not survive, she involuntarily started to laugh. “You call a chance of one to a million it will not be successful a risk? I’ve heard that this operation in my world had a risk of one to one hundred to fail. Thus I would call a chance of one to a million extremely good. But please continue.”

Violet was slightly taken back by that answer. ’A chance is a chance no matter how small, she thought. Even if the chance is one to a quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000), the chance is still there. “Well,” she continued, “ as I said, we will need some specialized equipment. We must create it; this will take about two days, even with the worker bots. It is best for you to take a good rest now. The more rest you get, the better the chance that the operation will succeed.” An expression of concern appeared on her perfect metallic face. “Your heart is now nearly at the critical point.”

Ina didn’t need to think it over. “You are right, of course. I could use a rest, but there’s one problem...my power. I just can’t seem to control it properly, and during my sleep I seem to pick up a lot of thoughts. Some of them are really disturbing.”

Violet thought about that for a moment. “Maybe the bellflowers can help? They are very powerful ‘telepaths.’ They might be able to block some -- or even all -- incoming thought patterns... create a kind of protective barrier around you when you sleep.”

Before Ina could reply, the answer to Violet’s unspoken question came out of nowhere: Of course we will help you. There were overtones of sympathy and reassurance in the thoughts. Ina looked up to Violet, “Well it seems settled then. But we should tell the others now.”

Violet nodded her agreement, and quickly rounded up the rest of the group, telling them what was about to happen. “This is the best way to help your mother Lila.” Daniel said to the girl after a question. “If we don’t do this, your mother might not have very long left to live. Her new abilities, together with the stress of controlling those abilities, have had a negative effect on your mother’s already weakened heart.”

“And I think that we all can use a few days of rest.” Dave added, looking at Pete and Lila, and Becky and Terry. “Plus there were a few things we wanted to work out in the Cathedral World, like the bees and other details. Then, after your mom gets better, Lila, we can start exploring Terry’s World. I think there is more to that world than meets the eye.”

After some discussion, the party decided that Daniel and Violet would stay in the cabin with Ina to prepare for the operation. Lila would go to her world and gather a queen and her swarm, and several species of butterflies for the agridomes in Cathedral World. Being in the Eden World for a day or two would multiply them greatly, and they could then be moved by the worker bots. Becky would stay with Terry. And Pete would go to his world for some supplies.

********

A few days later...

Nothing notable happened during the next few days, other than Pete and Lila drawing even closer together, as had Terry and Becky. The operation had been a great success, and Ina was resting peacefully in bed. Tomorrow she would be allowed to get up again. The rest of the group had filled her in about the happenings. The butterflies and bees were a great success in the Cathedral World; the plants there now needed almost no more artificial pollination. The group’s work in the Cathedral World was nearly done. In just a little longer, the Cathedral World should be able to fend for itself again under the rule of Distributor Webster. The group had agreed that Anticipator wasn’t the right title for someone who kept himself busy with distributing food, water, and other supplies.

Ina thought back. She would never have known of Cabin World and the Nexus points had Lila not asked her to come. Such a long time ago, it seemed... how long had it been? A month, maybe two months? It was hard to tell the time within the Nexus.

Tomorrow, tomorrow we are going to explore Terry’s World. I wonder what it is like... With this thought, she fell back into a deep and peaceful Bellflower-guarded sleep.

********

The next day the group got up early and prepared for their venture into Terry’s World. After breakfast they all went out and walked to that Nexus point. Just before they went though, Daniel turned to Ina. “Ina, please be careful and don’t try anything that will exert you. You haven’t fully recovered yet. You are well enough to undertake this trip but please be careful.”

“All right, Daniel, I promise not to do anything fancy.” Ina replied with a smile.

Daniel smiled back and turned toward the Nexus point and stepped through it. The rest of the group followed quickly. As they exited, they found themselves on the edge of a forest, and a large rolling, grassy plain swept away before them. Dave looked back to the Nexus point and saw that they had just stepped ‘out of’ a huge tree. They saw a herd of some kind of creatures roaming about on the plains, small dots in the distance. A river cut its way across it, and to their left they saw the origin of the river, a huge mountain range that somehow looked familiar.

“In our worlds, Oak Grove lies on this plain.” Dave said flatly, with no hesitation.

But before anyone could answer, Terry started to walk along the edge of the forest, beckoning the rest to follow him.

“Should we follow him?” Pete asked.

“Yes,” Becky said. “Come on, let’s follow him. I think he’s leading us to his village.” She moved out behind Terry.

The rest of the group glanced at each other and then turned to follow Terry and Becky. Daniel brought up the rear, all senses alert for danger. . .

----------


P.S. Moggraider what did you do?

EDIT 1: Corrected one error

Mouze1
7th Jul 2003, 19:55
Good chapter Nightstalker, you really got everyone moved around and operated on and exploring again.

Small suggestion tho, perhaps you might want to re-read your chapter and correct some spelling errors.

Oh, and glad to be of help to get you to the Nexus site.

Chilled Unit
9th Jul 2003, 16:22
Top work Nightstalker :)

Nightstalker
10th Jul 2003, 18:17
Okay you guys listen up:

I'll going on vaction soon. I'll be away from the 26th of July till the 16th of August (3 weeks). If my writing turn should come up during that time I'll skip it and the next one in the row or and unknown writter may take it up. I'll fall back into the rotation after my vacation.

Nightstalker.

vakusuma
12th Jul 2003, 22:02
Sorry I couldn't get this up earlier. Let's just say, I had a little personal tragedy.


Nexus
Chapter 15, Part 3

Rebirth

The changes that came over her were like a bright sun breaking through gray, storm-laden clouds. Her gloomy face broke into a wide smile, and her eyes suddenly sparkled with new life. Even her less-than-perfect skin, at least by Cereplex’s standard, seemed to match the shade that Cereplex intended for her…flushed and healthy. She stood up, carefully brushed off the oak leaves that had fallen on her clothes, and waved at the approaching figure of the man who had changed her life.

Martin, too, smiled as he walked up and greeted her. “How are you doing today?” he said cheerfully. It took will power to prevent himself from giving her a hug. He knew too well that his lady friend, while starting to have second thoughts about her existence here in Computer World, still had to adjust to one thing at a time. As a Sanctioned Fertile Female, she learned to abhor physical contact… an unfortunate, but thankfully ultimately correctable flaw in her ‘education’.

“My skin is flushed, my heartbeat seems faster than usual, and I feel like I’m somewhat out of breath,” she answered truthfully. Life in the Computer World, governed by the precise-minded Cereplex, had made her too literal at times. Martin was aghast to find out that Cereplex had also taken away the reservation about telling things that ‘normal’ humans would’ve considered taboo…often she described things about herself that made him turn red with embarrassment without feeling at all self-conscious herself. Of course, the stripping of human dignity and sanctity by Cereplex didn’t endear the computer better in his eyes.

Martin looked at her fondly. Her words made it obvious that she was pleased, indeed, to see him again. “In other words, you’re more than fine. You’re happy. And excited. And guess why?” he replied with a teasing smile.

“Logically, the sight of you induces good feelings on me. And indeed, I am happy to see you,” she said simply, but still with that winsome smile on her face. “You always seem so lively, and it’s hard not to feel good about oneself whenever you are near.”

“Charmé, mademoiselle,” Martin declaimed with a bow. “I always yearn to please.”

She laughed and blushed. “You’re always a funny one, friend.”

“Please,” Martin said with an exaggerated wince. “How can I ever be as charming and witty as you make me to be, if you won’t even call me by my name? I thought that we knew each other well enough for that!”

SFF6453 looked at him helplessly. “You are Martin Merle Morell, or so you said to me. I find it strange that you have not been assigned a serial number as I have. But that is good; at least it helps me to remember your very unusual designation.”

“Strange?” Martin said with such vehemence that she was taken aback. “We are humans! Cereplex is a machine! Machines have serial numbers – that’s part of what they are. Names are the sign of individuality, for names make you unique, for names make you… human. I find it unnatural to have a serial number!”

“But… but…” she looked at him helplessly, baffled by his sudden swing of emotion. “But it is important for us to have a serial number, so that we can… we can…”

“So that we can be quickly identified by those accursed machines?” Martin finished for her. “When humans gave them freedom to do whatever they think was necessary for the survival of the human race, was this one of the things they had in mind? For us to lose our sense of being humans… for us to feel like machines? The fact that humans became impersonal makes me sick! I don’t think the original designers of Cereplex ever intended for humans to be treated this way!”

Tears were streaming down her face now, and she shook her head as she covered her ears with her hands. “Stop. Stop it, Martin Merle Morell! You frighten me! You’re saying that Cereplex is bad! Think of it! What would we do without Cereplex?”

Martin instantly regretted his outburst. Very gently, he reached out and touched her cheek, wiping away the tears. She flinched, but to Martin’s relief, offered no resistance. “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry for saying that to you. I know that you’re not ready yet to hear that, but Cereplex really angers me sometimes. And please, call me Martin. Stating one’s full name makes it seem very formal, and that’s not fun.” His tone was gentle, almost pleading… for he knew that Cereplex wouldn’t be very pleased with his words. The time wasn’t ripe yet for the overthrow of Cereplex’s rule… the pieces were yet to move favorably into position. The last thing he wanted was for his lady friend to run to Cereplex and report his outburst.

Thankfully, she opened her eyes and looked at Martin gently. “Martin. It does sound a lot more pleasing than using your entire name, doesn’t it?”

“It sure is a lot more pleasing than to say SFF six-whatever,” Martin smiled gently. “Isn’t it, Renée?”

Martin watched in satisfaction as her beautiful eyes widened in shock. “What… what did you just call me?”

“Renée,” Martin said even more gently, savoring the word. “It’s terribly unfair, isn’t it, for me to have a proper human name and for you to have only the serial number that Cereplex gave you? Besides, it does mean that you have been reborn, no longer thinking of yourself as SFF six-something-or-another, but just Renée. Renaissance. Don’t tell me that’s not more pleasing?” His smile vanished as he watched her face. “Don’t you like it?” he said anxiously. “I can think of a different name for you… I realize that the name might not make you comfortable since it does mean…”

“Stop,” she said, holding up her hand and halting Martin in the middle of his desperate babble. She looked shocked, but to Martin’s relief, not unhappy. “All this makes me think, that a name does indeed sound pleasing, as I have experienced in speaking your name. I guess there’s no harm in having both a serial number and a name, but…” She paused, as if to prepare herself for what she was about to say, and then looked Martin fully in the eyes. Her heart seemed to be in her eyes as she said in earnest, “I really love the name, Martin, I really do. Renée. Beautiful, isn’t it? Thank you for that gift.” And to Martin’s infinite surprise, she reached out, took his hand in hers, and held it fast.

Martin experienced a curious mix of emotions as he beheld her gaze, and felt her warm hands envelope his. He was happy, of course, for he had given her happiness. And she didn’t reject his gift of happiness – instead, she savored that gift, embracing her human side. And that made him so glad – glad that she was still human enough to recognize her human side and to revel in the beauty of it. But at the same time, he was also feeling anxious – anxious of what might come out of their relationship. He was deliberately putting both of them in danger: here he was, a ‘wild human’ whom Cereplex had reluctantly allied itself, and he was wooing a Sanctioned Fertile Female who wasn’t supposed to involve herself in any relationship with a human male.

Yes, he was still angry at Cereplex, too, angry for making her a Sanctioned Fertile Female. However, he reluctantly admitted that he was also feeling a little bit afraid. After all, even with its flaws, Cereplex still ruled the world, and just as it was in dictatorships of old, unfortunate news had the tendency to make its way to the dictator faster than he could ever dream of. And for all his bravado, Martin Merle Morell was alone in a world full of robots that obeyed the command of his mortal enemy.

Above all, however, he felt a curious feeling of paranoia. He was certain this time around that he was being watched.

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

Tyrell considered the two humans as he carefully adjusted the mental shield that prevented detection by another mentallic. The virus, unlike humans, had surprisingly high mental potential, and was attuned to psychic signatures of both organic and positronic beings. Of course, that made spying on him very difficult. If the mental shield were too weak, the target would realize that he was being spied upon by the existence of the mental signature. On the other hand, if the mental shield was too intense, it would blot out the background mental noise, and the subject would be able to feel a curious localized void – which would, of course, point out a spy as surely as the absence of a mental shield. Moreover, the presence of a mental shield made it harder to discern the signals that the subject gave out. Of course, the fact that organic and positronic signals were somewhat different didn’t help matters either… the subject didn’t trust positronic entities, and the presence of one would make the subject alert and more difficult to spy on.

Cereplex, obviously, had taken into account all the difficulty associated with spying on the virus Martin Merle Morell, and Tyrell (as TYR-311 called himself as part of his human disguise), was designed to be especially superior in his psychic capability. The calculations regarding the mental shields and psychic signatures had been treated in such a way that it was second nature for him. He was thus able to emulate the psychic signature of a human with average psychic capability. After all, viruses have formidable mental defenses, and Tyrell was designed to be a virus hunter.

Now, viruses – they were interesting indeed. Up until the discovery of Martin Merle Morell, all organic beings that satisfied certain physical descriptions had been treated as humans. Cereplex was originally programmed to protect humans from destroying each other, for humans have an unfortunate violent tendency in their programming that made them want to destroy each other. Humans here have been conditioned to forget this violent tendency, but not viruses. Viruses were violent and highly intelligent pseudo-humans with high mental capacity and a suspicion of positronic beings – which made them very, very dangerous for the existence of the system that humans had created.

Prior experience has proved that knowing the nature of the threat would be better than simply snuffing out the threat, because the results gained from studying such threats would help prevent them from recurring. And that was why Tyrell had to take on the guise of a human in order to study this particular virus. He was wearing clothes that Cereplex had deemed to be inconspicuous, but extremely loud by human standards – tan shorts, a brightly-colored sky blue Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed peasant hat that almost completely covered his face. Unfortunately, Cereplex had taken the idea from an old beachwear catalog, unaware that humans normally wouldn’t wear such clothes in the middle of a somewhat chilly day in a park.

The virus, however, appeared not to notice Tyrell and his loud clothes, his attention focused instead on his companion, the human designated as SFF 6453. Tyrell was able to observe the subject attempting to subvert the human female, although with not much success. A peculiar feeling seemed to emanate from both the human and the virus, however… a feeling that seemed to be shared between them. Tyrell could not identify the emotions, and decided to store the information for future analysis. He did notice the sudden increased awareness of the virus, as if the feeling has triggered his awareness.

And then, the virus looked up directly at what he thought was a person, lying down on a park bench like a vacationer getting a tan. Tyrell picked up the sudden suspicion from the virus as he did so, and after a very brief consultation with his human behavior database (a consultation that took no more than two processing cycles), he waved at the virus. Immediately, he felt the virus’ suspicion lessen, but it didn’t disappear completely. Tyrell carefully noted the fact that while the virus wasn’t human, it could be fooled with normal human behavior. No wonder Cereplex has originally presumed the subject to be human.

Tyrell continued to watch, recording carefully with a machine’s patience, as the virus continued to talk with the human. The time had not arrived to take action against the possible subversion of the human, for Cereplex realized that patience was the best weapon against viruses that threaten its system.

And after all, Tyrell was designed to be a virus hunter.

Dell
13th Jul 2003, 04:29
Nightstalker, what can I say? You really presented us with an excellent chapter, and did it on time in the bargain!

Bravo!

Thanks for telling us about your absence...that gives us good warning to cover you incase your turn hits in your absence.

AND:

Very nicely done as usual, Vakusuma...and worth waiting a day or two for! I really like the way that Martin and Renee romance is progressing...intense stuff! And that virus hunter, Tyrell? Scary and funny at the same time...the clothes, I mean. Very nice mental picture! :)

Now look at that! I get to go play in the new world don't I? Such fun....or is it?

Nightstalker
13th Jul 2003, 09:20
Great chapter vakasuma...those clothes really add a touch.

Nightstalker.

Chilled Unit
14th Jul 2003, 13:34
Another excellent chapter Vakusuma, really enjoyable to read. Great stuff!

The detail and character in there is wonderful :)

vakusuma
14th Jul 2003, 16:23
ph33r the terrible Hawaiian robot! :D





Seriously, thanks.

Dell
19th Jul 2003, 20:09
Nexus Chapter 15, Part 4
by Dell

“Before we go any further, everyone look around and make sure you know the exact location of that Nexus Point. All these trees look pretty much alike, and in any emergency we have to be able to get here directly. Daniel, I think you should be in front behind Terry. Becky, it might be better if you dropped back with Ina and Lila, and Pete, I think you should bring up the rear. I’ll stay by the girls…”he smiled at Ina, “and be in a position to move any direction should it be necessary.”

Dave’s voice was serious, reminding them that this was a strange new world, and they really had no guarantees of safety…and most of their protection relied on Daniel who was now in the point position. If anyone noted that Dave had taken immediate charge making suggestions before Daniel could say anything, no one felt a need to comment on it.

As a matter of fact, as they stepped into this world through the tree trunk, Daniel had immediately evaluated their situation. In his logical opinion the deployment chosen by Dave was the perfect means of best protecting the humans in case all did not go as well as Terry seemed to expect.

But he said nothing. He was deferring to Dave, waiting for him to evaluate and state his views. Daniel was learning much about dealing with humans, each item filed and slotted in the proper coding on innumerable tiny almost invisible microchips, building a totally new and complex design based on infinitesimal bits of information…and each bit changed Daniel. He knew this and allowed it to proceed, guarding the information that was making him into something else entirely, a new kind of being.

A certain delicacy of action was necessary in dealing with this group of humans. One of their deepest basic needs seemed to be the urgency of maintaining their own identity and autonomy. He was superior to them in so many ways, but now he was beginning to comprehend the values of humanity, the simple basic characteristics that made them the individuals they were… and found himself to be their inferior. More than that, he found himself alone. And he thought of Violet… one of his kind, identically built but different in so many ways.

Alone, each human was weak and carried imperfections both mental and physical, but together they combined themselves into a cohesive group, supporting and completing each other, the whole of which was much greater than the sum of the parts. That was the secret of humans… so separate and alone as individuals, they combined themselves for their purposes, pooled intellects and strength, instinctively aware of the need to join almost from birth… even human infants clutched at their mothers, bonding in order to survive.

Circuits recorded, set up new routines and pathways. Each moment in the company of these humans was changing Daniel… altering him in ways that only complete erasure could reverse now. The circuit closed on the conclusion that together, he and Violet were a whole new genre of mentallic, each complementing the other, making a different, stronger, better whole, just as the humans did. The two separate mentallics had evolved, were evolving… but into what, not even Daniel knew.

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

*********

Violet, ‘following’ the group in her mind as they entered Terry’s world, was transmitting approval and agreement to Daniel. In his logic process, some of her questions were being answered, too. A small smile appeared on her human-like features before she returned to her watch on Robot World.

She had picked up an ultra-faint something that she could not define, but a sense of danger accompanied it. Focusing hard, she picked up the trace of Martin Merle Morell and a human female in close proximity to each other. Both were open with no shielding or guarding walls in place. Violet’s relays and circuits hummed as she recorded and compared. A small frown appeared on her face. The feeling she got from the two humans was almost identical to the ones from Becky and Terry and Lila and Pete… the emotion of human love with a heavy current of anger at the Cereplex from the wild human male.

Then she had it. The alien trace. Unaware of his shields being down to another world as he concentrated on the two humans in the park, he was broadcasting his intent…to eliminate Martin Merle Morrell, who was, in his terms, a ‘virus’. In this way, Violet learned the identity of Tyrell (TYR311), the virus hunter created by the Cereplex to eliminate all wild humans. He was studying Martin, but soon he would be stalking them. Included in this prime directive from the Cereplex were herself and Daniel, now considered to be contaminated with the wild human ‘virus’… and all the other humans of what Violet and Daniel now considered “their” group.

Violet immediately transmitted this new information to Daniel… who said nothing to the group.

********

There was a general murmur of agreement as they changed positions, and after a moment of looking, Pete found a large white rock and tugged it into place beside the tree, grunting as he did so. “Hey, it’s a lot heavier than it looks!” He grinned as he made that joking excuse. “Anyway, it’s a good marker for us.”

Terry had waited patiently after a telepathic question to Ina as to what they were doing. He nodded, and his gaze swept the beautiful open vistas of his home world with a look of approval and satisfaction. Home, there was no place like it. Already he heard the mental murmur of his people, discussing his arrival with this strange entourage of people and a ‘not-person’. The ‘not-person’ had their attention, because they could not sense his intentions, and Terry was unable to help them. He did not understand Daniel either.

Ina was so intent on ‘listening’ to this exchange that she didn’t see a small hummock in her path and stumbled. Dave quickly had her, a strong supporting arm around her.

“Ina, are you all right?” Dave’s voice was filled with concern.

“Oh sorry, wasn’t paying attention there. No, I’m fine,” she said, smiling at Dave. For a moment she considered sharing what she was picking up telepathically, then decided there was nothing there concrete enough to share. Then, suddenly, there was something to share, but just as she opened her mouth, Terry suddenly held up his hand to bring them to a stop.

The path seemed harmless enough. After skirting the edge of the trees for some distance, it was now enveloped in the cool, shadowed greenness of open forest; here the path was wider and smoother, showing more evidence of use. They hadn’t gone far along this wider path when they were brought to a standstill, and of the group only Terry and Ina knew why. Instantly alert, but responding to a slight shake of the head from Ina, the rest of them exchanged questioning glances, but remained silent.

First, Terry held up both hands palm outward and held them there a moment. Then he lowered them, and slowly in an almost ceremonial manner, he took his weapons in both hands, held them up for a moment, then bent and deposited them on the path. Stepping back three slow paces, he stood with bowed head waiting . . .

Chilled Unit
19th Jul 2003, 21:21
Excellent stuff!

I like the deepening relationship between Daniel and Violet as they become more 'human' and what a lovely picture to set it off with too :)

And just what is Terry making an offering to! Exciting :)

vakusuma
20th Jul 2003, 04:37
Close encounter with the... what kind are we waiting for? Great buildup :) As usual, masterfully done :D

/me pokes CU to update his website :) (psst... your two weeks of no-website-update is up :) )

Chilled Unit
21st Jul 2003, 12:46
'tis done :)

Dell
21st Jul 2003, 14:46
Thank you for the compliments nice writer people. I have been thinking............

Hey! Wait! Don't you all run away! Yeah, I know when Dell starts thinking strange things sometime happen, not all of them welcome, but hear me out anyway.

So far, Dell has posted two small pictures illustrating some point in her chapters. Vakusuma has once posted a neat map of the Nexus Points in Cabin World...a nice one to refer to for all of us.

End conclusion: all of us should, from time, find an appropriate picture to illustrate some point in our chapters that strikes us as well-disposed to a small picture.

I think Vakusuma should really, for all our benefit, post that map often....perhaps a smaller version at the opening of each of his chapters to remind all of us where each Nexus Point in our "Home Base" is located in relationship to the others and the cabin.

Or, an alternate suggestion, if Vakusuma is busy and will permit it, Chilled Unit is an artist of great talent, and perhaps he will create a small map based on Vakusuma's map for all of us to post at the beginning of each of our chapters...just a thought.

(Afterthought: and give all of us the proper code to center the map and other pictures we might want to post on our pages?)

Chilled Unit
21st Jul 2003, 17:59
I sure will :)

vakusuma
23rd Jul 2003, 22:29
No problem at all.