Chapter Sixteen: That Woman’s Work
“I’m not even on the ship anymore Clair. I’m in Darwin, on Terra.” I snapped at Clair after a range of questions.
“And Jamie’s missing too.” Koriain pointed out.
“Not surprising given she just vanished from the dreamscape.” I reminded him.
“Is there a plan?” Glenn asked.
“Yes. There’s a plan. Or part of one.”
“We need to hammer these complexes at the same time. Divide, co-ordinate and conquer. If the others get wind that one was attacked, they might get rid of their prisoners pre-maturely.”
“It’s a big job” Glenn growled. “We’re going to need several armies to attack at the same time.”
True. Where am I going to get several armies at short notice? Wait. “I’ve got friends across the timelines, and Clair seems to have the ear of this Caption...”
“Tano’rath Daranakaan.” Clair finished. “You two would get along. You have a number of common interests and instincts.”
“Noted. Right now, we have bigger problems. Have Roxanne call me when she wakes up. And the plan is this; Glenn, brush up on your spanish, Costa Rica in timeline four delta. Look for AJ. You two have a lot in common. If he can’t help, then head to Arcadia Landing. Astra owes me several. You’ll head to the complex in Colombia.
“Koraian, There’s a flying school in Arizona in Timeline forty. Ask for Rusty, and explain it to him. If you can’t get enough volunteers, see if Vicki can’t spare some men. Go to the complex in Texas.
“Joey, Zorath in timeline nineteen has a whole tower of men ready to combat. Ask him for help, if no luck, the Argo is always willing. Your’s is Turkey.
“Clair, you and Tano’rath go to the one under Singapore. And where’s Zane?”
I heard a deep growl. “Where’d you disappear to Blake?”
“Doesn’t matter.” I told him. “I need you to see a Rob in timeline seventy. Ask nicely. I don’t want to lose my favourite orange dragon. If he’s not in an agreeing mood, or doesn’t agree at all, Thor’s Overlook would be a better bet. Eric still hasn’t paid me back for that battle axe. The base in Germany is your target.”
“What about the other two in America the one in England and the one in Australia?” Joey asked.
“Sarah, Jay’tion and Roxanne will take care of those with squarins from Terra. I’ll do the one in New York.”
“Not alone. I might know a friend and I’ll have reality’s most loveable psychopath with me. Ow. Charlotte.”
Sydney, Australia, Terra - An hour later
The HUD lit up various landmarks around the city as I came to. After a fast tracked trip though Customs and a brief phone call to Clair, Joey and Koraian, I chattered a star-jet to Indigo Industries. Figured it was the fastest way to get to Sydney since the Underground was delayed because of seal failure.
“Statue of Liberty: American Heritage Site. Moved from the North American Isolation Zone nineteen beta six alpha, the statue stands as a monument to the heritage and lives lost in the terrorist attack on the Eleventh of September, 2001.”
The auto pilot did it’s job, giving me at least an hour of sleep.
“Sydney Opera House: Designed by Jørn Utzon. Opened in 1972. Current performances include ‘As You Were’ by the Royal Shakespeare Players, ‘Madame Bumblebee’ by the the Australian Ballet Company and the ‘works of Mechina Bor’aina’ played by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.”
Don’t know who activated the tour.
“The Arcane Collage of Sydney, Formally Government House: Obtained by the Terran Ministry of Arcane Studies in 1994 from the Royal Botanical Gardens Trust after bombing in 1990, the Collage stands as one of the four major arcane collages of Terra, with the remaining three standing in Kuala Lumpur; Malaysia, Paris, France and Ari’kiana, East Atlantic Ocean.”
“Cathedral of the Archangel: Soviet Heritage Site. Originally built in St. Petersburg in 1508 before being moved to Moscow during the eighteenth century, and relocated to Sydney after the Soviet Union was evacuated. Reopened in 1992. Much of the immigrant russian community is centred around this great building.”
The star-jet began to weave it’s way though the higher tiers of buildings, air borne traffic and various flying citizens.
“The Royal Botanical Gardens: the biosphere currently holds all sixty eight species of native Australian plant life, extinct in the wild since the September Eleven Fallout.”
“Centre Point Spaceport: Opened in 1978, the Spaceport services most of the South Asian and East Pacific Passenger traffic across the Commonwealth and it’s allies.”
“The Cumberland Scar: Aether Event one. This semi stable rift in the aether has been used by the refuges of Eternity as a refuge corridor since 1975.”
“Indigo Industries: Established in 1980 by Dianne Indigo, Indigo Industries prides itself on standing at the forefront of Terran Technologies and Scientific Research. It’s main income is accumulated from leasing out patients to companies such as Microsoft, Cisco and MirainaCorp. Today, the company generates six hundred and seventy two billion credits in net profit, equal to five hundred billion in US dollars.”
The star-jet approached the spotlit building like a cautious puppy approaching a stranger as it began it’s decent over the roof and land. Standing on the roof with a pair of security guards was Doctor Weli’sol. Charlotte, Anna (in her human form) and I climbed out of the star-jet and Weil’sol came to meet us.
“The morgue in New York had one, just like you said.” He yelled as the jet lifted itself back into the air and started it’s return trip. “Didn’t have much on the security protocols on the other complexes, but he was still useful in getting the layout of the complex in Upstate New York.”
“Remember doctor. This thing isn’t even a proper life form. Forced grown clone with the same personality and mindset downloaded into them. Organic machines, not even capable of thinking for themselves.” I reminded him as we got to the elevator.
“I understand that Blake. Biomedical labs” Weli’sol demanded the elevator as we, Charlotte, Anna and the two rent-a-cops filed in. The doors closed and we went down. “But there’s something else. The compound you found at the school was patented by us. We haven’t even released the formula to our partners. I hate to tell you this but we may have a leak.”
I turned to the security agents. “Redo the background checks on anyone who had access to the formula. Have IT do a check on our servers. Double down on the protocols. And make sure Floor thirteen isn’t compromised.” They nodded as we arrived at floor eighteen of the building. “Could it be possible that the formula came from somewhere else?”
“Not unless you want a visit from Titania’s guard over braking her authority on time travel.”
“Yeah, but it’s only the commonwealth that’s under her authority. Someone could have smuggled it out. Life in the twenty first century where the only thing you need to worry about is terrorism, piracy, magic and disturbed uses for technology. At least we don’t have to worry about a nuclear war. Doctor Weli’sol, meet Anna. Anna, Doctor Weli’sol.” I introduced the two to each other.
“Anything else Blake?” Weli’sol asked.
“Just one thing...”
“What is this place anyway?” Anna asked, braking me out of my trance.
“Indigo Industries. Technology and Research Firm. They discover, hold the patients but they lease the technology out to other companies to keep the economy healthy.” I explained while I watched Blake and Weli’sol work behind the glass window while Anna kept playing with her IDent card with her paws. To her, it was just another card. To any member of the commonwealth, an IDent is the only form of identification a citizen of the commonwealth carries, driver’s licence, medical history, even banks link accounts funds to it to make transactions more secure and streamlined. “That’s not what you meant.”
“Is this the future? Because last time I checked, the statue of Liberty was in New York.”
“It’s complicated. But...” I took a breath and started. “How much to do you know about parallel universes? Because I can tell you now that it’s kind of like that. Time is kinda multi-diminutional. Every once in a while, there’s an event that forces time to branch out and create another timeline, and create another universe which becomes the road untravelled.
“The technology and resources in this universe has given us the capabilities to do anything with only their imagination and ethics as their limitations. This includes the ability to travel to these alternate timelines freely. Roxanne created the Foundation, a privatised devision of the Office of Joint Services so that we can map out Reality, from our shared beginnings to the ultimate fate, with every star, every planet, every dimension in between.
“And sometimes, Blake runs into people who leave an impression on him. He once told me about this con artist he spent a year sharing an apartment with. Or this pocket dimension where the laws of physics prevented a human form actually living in it without undergoing major changes. He couldn’t change so every day he had to endure a headache from the reality trying to reject his physical form and his aetheral form trying to keep him aligned to that dimension.”
“Why can’t he change?” Anna asked.
“His aetheral form... his soul is a hybrid of two polar aetheral species. His Vampirc Legacy, and his Fae Heritage. It was trying to tear itself apart and refused to stabilise without intervention. Then his physical form... his genetics needed to be quantum locked, leaving him without a fairy’s ability to shapeshift naturally. He was lucky to survive birth. But then again, he’s lucky to survive a lot of things. Looks like they’re ready.”