The team moved silently through the night, each member wearing all black, their vision enhanced so they could see in complete darkness. Their communications taking place on a secure link in their heads so that they made no sound. The team leader taking point as they moved to the outskirts of the small village.
// "Remember team non-lethal, we are here only on a search and rescue."
Each member of the 5 man team checked their weapons, each held a magnetic accelerated dart rifle, M.A.D.-R for short, the rifle fired silently a dart tipped with a compound to knock out or kill its target, they lowered the velocity of the darts to subsonic, as anything higher could cause the dart to enter their targets and possibly kill.
// "Intelligence states that the targets are being held in the center of the village, guards should only have stabbing spears, this village is not one of our teaching community, they should not have access to higher tech"
The group of five split up, each one silently entering a tent on the outskirts, darting the occupants to keep them asleep. The plan was to enter as many tents subduing the villagers and then making the move to rescue the targets.
// "Team leader status up date."
// "So far we have not been detected, horses are on standby though and will come for fast evac if needed."
The team had worked their way to each tent, knocking out the villagers as they went. The team leader signaled for the team to assemble outside the tent with the hostages, they quickly took out the guards, entering the tent to find 6 students all huddled together. Two of the team members went about checking the students cutting them free, the student ranged in ages from 6-9 years, the team motioned to them to be silent.
// "No sign of the teacher, you and you, follow me, we left the shamans tent for last."
The team leader motioned for two of the team to follow her, they walked past the fire in the center of the village to the largest tent, inside they found 3 naked men, passed out, the whole tent smelled of alcohol, in the middle of the sleeping furs they found the teacher, she was naked and bleeding from every orifice, the team leader surveyed the scene, the teacher had been raped to death. She motioned for the two members of the team to wait outside, she handed one of the members her rifle.
// "Base location is secured, the teacher has been killed, I am going to stay until the village wakes up, I need to make an example here"
// "Negative team lead, your orders are to secure the students and leave the village"
The team leader signaled for the horses, telling her team to get the children out of here, she stood in the tent, looking on in disgust, she wrapped up the teacher in one of the sleeping furs, she carried the body to one of the members of her team outside.
// "Get the children out of here, I am staying till mourning"
The team member nodded as the horses arrived, controlled by a neural interface, the horses would follow orders religiously, the team leader watched as the children where loaded up and the members of her team took them off to safety.
// "Team leader what are you doing, your orders are to return to base"
// "Base tell the boss that I need to make an example here, they can't be allowed to take our people"
With that she cut communications with base, turned and walked back into the Shamans tent, she walked up to the nearest drunk and kicked him in his side, he rolled over shouting in alarm, the two other drunks stood up a bit unsteady, they looked around spotting the team leader, what appeared to be a 14 year old girl with a slight build, they looked around for the teacher.
"Little one what have you done with our toy?"
The other two started laughing.
"Perhaps she wanted to take her place?"
Two of the men approached her from each side, they each grabbed an arm.
"No fight in you? Perhaps you do want to be our toy!"
She waited until the third man approached her from the front, she quickly kicked up taking the man in the face, she then pulled the two men to her side together, slamming them into each other, she moved forward, punching the first man as he began to stand. She spun around as the other two man approached her back, taking them in a round house kick. She spent the next several minutes beating the men until they stopped getting up. The oldest man groaned on the floor, looking up at the young girl.
"What kind of demon are you?"
The girl smiled down at him.
"The kind that is sent when you ignore our warnings"
In the mourning the town awoke to find the head man, his son and the shaman tied in front of the fire, with a young girl standing behind them, she amplified her voice.
"We came in peace to your village, we offered education to your young, and we offered you the means to better care for your people."
The people started to gather around the fire, some with spears.
"We told you we would not interfere in the running of your village and we told you our friendship would mean prosperity for your people"
Two of the men rushed forward to stab the young woman, she reached out and grabbed the spear tips in each hand, she broke the flint from the two spears and crushed the flint to powder, she gave each man a glare as they retreated back among the crowd.
"All we asked is that you cease human sacrifice to your gods, you refused, so we warned you that we would not tolerate you taking people from other villages to be sacrificed!"
She went behind the three tied men and kicked them so they lay on the floor.
"In response you attacked a group of our children, these three men raped and murdered their teacher, not only did you ignore our warnings, but you purposely sought out members of our school to sacrifice, this we can not abide."
The young woman held out her hand, exposing a port on her palm, she blasted the fire, causing the flames to grow and re-ignite, she went to each man, picking them up, she threw each one into the fire, their screams filled the village and many villagers looked on in horror, whispering about the young demon girl.
"I will restate this one more time, You are free to send your youth to our village to be taught and educated, if you cease human sacrifice, if you like view these three men's death as the last your gods will ever get. If you ever take another member of any other village for your sick beliefs I will personally come to you in your sleep and burn you alive!"
The young women stared at the villagers, she heard the two horses fast approaching. She looked over to see who it was, though she had an idea. The tall blond haired woman rode in to the village with a horse trailing her, to the young woman's surprise she did not look angry. She looked around the village.
"I hope this is the last time I ever see any of you" the girl said.
The woman rode right up to her, she surveyed the scene, she looked to the young woman, she motioned to the other horse, the young woman walked to it, mounting the horse, the pair rode out of the village, and the older woman looked at the younger one.
"I came as soon as you cut communications"
The young woman nodded.
"I passed your team on the way, I saw the teacher."
The young woman remained silent.
"Shanor, I am not mad, I probably would have done the same thing once the team got back, although I would have been more diplomatic about it"
Shanor shook her head.
"Laura there is a place for diplomacy, that village did not deserve it."
Laura shook her head.
"Shanor, I would of handled it, I would of arrested them and held a trial back home, we need allies not enemies, now do you think any of their children will ever come to learn from us."
Shanor shook her head.
"We don't need savages like that at our school"
"Shanor 89 years ago you would have been one of those savages"
"Our village never did anything like that Laura, these homo sapiens are more violent then the we where"
"They are more aggressive, that is for sure, but in my world they became the dominate race, the statistics for the birth rates of your people are falling, we need them to intermingle Shanor, you know all this"
"Ben would agree with me"
"Yeah my husband is a warrior as you are, but I know your husband would agree with me"
Shanor stuck her tongue out at Laura, they both laughed for a bit and kept on riding in silence for awhile, Shanor broke the silence.
"You know the teacher was Ogna's great granddaughter."
"I know, I know, and that's why I said I would of probably done the same as you."
They both rode along in silence, Shanor watching the road as they went, their horses where enhanced with nanites, they could ride for days without eating or sleeping. They were considerably faster than they could run.
"How are the bio experiments going?"
Laura glanced over at Shanor.
"Stephanie is confident we can began major testing in the next 6 months, she keeps asking me to allow her to do the same upgrades as me"
Shanor nodded, she had discussed it with Stephanie.
"I don't see why you won't do it, you know I think of you and her as my aunts."
"I know Shanor, I know, I honestly can't say why I am hesitant to do it, she would have to use the DNA in her Golem, so it's not like I can claim I don't want her having my own reproductive system or anything."
Shanor shook her head.
"You know she thinks it's because you don't view her as real"
Laura shook her head.
"That's not it, you guys are like my children, I know I didn't make her, another me did, but it's a big responsibility, I just, I don't know, we both take our work so seriously, I don't think I am ready for it, let alone her."
Shanor watched looking at the horizon.
"Still Laura, it's her choice to make not yours, you two are working so hard to give Entoch a more human body so we can one day make the same choice, is it any wonder when we can give her the same ability right now that she would be curious about it?"
"Things used to be so much easier when we were just trying to survive the week, let alone start a new civilization"
"This was all your idea"
Shanor spurned on her horse, looking back at Laura.
Laura shook her head, the events of the previous day still fresh in her head, she blamed herself, she had not thought to send guards with the school groups, hell it was her idea not to inject any of the villagers with nanites until they reached the age of 21. They would of known the instant the group on the field trip had been abducted. She watched Shanor take off on her horse, she yelled he-yah sending her horse to catch up.
They reached one of the trade roads to their village, the road system was a fairly new invention, it had been Entoch idea to build the roads using lasers to melt the rock with a mixture of sap, from a group of trees they had discovered to have rubber like properties. The rocks had been melted into 12 by 8 ft sections It had taken the five of them several weeks to do the basic roads to the village. Stephanie had designed a machine to lay the roads for them after it was decided it was taking too much time doing it by hand.
They now had about 40 miles of roads around their village, complete with a bridge that crossed to what one day would be mainland England. The roads leading to the many surrounding villages that traded with them on a regular basis. They had found a draft animal that Laura had determined was a proto-horse. They had enhanced it using nanites to meet the needs of the many villages. Each village upon agreeing to join the trading network was given a stable of the proto-horses and wagons to use.
Only Laura and her family could unlock the true speed of the horses which topped out at around 90mph, something that Shanor readily took advantage of, the rest of the villagers had the speed restricted to around 40mph The horses could now sustain that speed for hours on end without stopping.
Laura caught up to Shanor at the outskirts of their village, they could see the steel factory in the distance, it lay on the opposite end of the village on the river where they had set up a Harbor with steam powered boats to move materials up and down the river, as well as to establish trade with the villages on the mainland. They had named the river Sumner River, although in the future it would be called Medina. Laura rode with Shanor to the center of the village where the main science building was, it held Laura's lab as well as the school. It was a 3 story building, two above ground for the school, and one below that held the main lab.
They both stopped in front of the building where a group had gathered, Laura could see Ben standing there talking to the crowd, he was announcing the recovery of the children and the death of their teacher, they dismounted their horses when Ben had announced that tomorrow would be the service for the teacher, as well as a day of mourning.
Laura gave the horses the order to return to the stable, when the crowd spotted them. They all turned to them and started clapping at the return of the two. Laura was looked on as some one to revere in the village, as well as the members of her "family" having a special honored status, Laura had discouraged the status but the constant improvements given to them by Laura and her group had firmly kept them in high regard.
Laura stopped to address the crowd, enhancing her voice.
"Sadly we lost a member of our family today. Thanks to the effort of Shanor and her people we recovered the children! Shanor's own actions insured the perpetrators have faced swift justice!"
Shanor frowned at Laura as the crowd turned to encompass Shanor in cheers, Laura used the distraction to sneak off to her lab, Laura heard in her head Shanor.
// "I'll get you for this"
// "I am sure you will"
90 years earlier.
I sat in the new lab; I had decided to move it as far from the village as was safe, I had decided with Stephanie that the old cave would be the perfect location for it. It was near enough to the worm hole that we could monitor it and far enough away from the new village that we didn't have to worry about blowing it up.
It was a week of travel time to get from the island, I couldn't be sure but I was guessing we had settled on the isle of Wight, it was amazing how fast Stephanie and I could paddle a boat. The wormhole location from my guess was around modern Paris. I was still working out how the worm hole had let out across the ocean from where it had originated in the states.
I sat across from Stephanie, we both looked at the diagram for the device that would shut down the worm hole, I rubbed my temples, feeling also a cramp in my abdomen.
"Can I ask again why the other me thought I would want to go through this every month?"
Stephanie laughed shaking her head.
"You may not like it now but one day you might meet someone and who knows, now back to the problem at hand"
I nodded, looking over the warhead.
"Steph, how sure are you that we need to shut down the worm hole? I mean, if we could get a message through maybe we could establish relations with the other side?"
Stephanie shook her head.
"Laura, the other you was adamant about it, the resources of this world are too valuable to ignore, once they see that this isn't their past they will have no problem will exploiting it. Hell Laura they exploit their own planet!"
"What happened Steph? To the other me?"
I watched Stephanie get a faraway look, as if she was deep in thought.
"She didn't get the help like you did, she hardly survived the first year, and she left the area as far as she could go ... She fought a war Laura, she had to raise an army to stop them, eventually she figured out how to shut the wormhole down, that helped. It prevented them from bringing reinforcements."
"It was that bad Steph?"
"Laura I don't have those memories because she never liked talking about it, once she mentioned that the Mahabharata was part of the oral history of that struggle, along with the stories of Atlantis, these things where so far back in human history Laura that they had become distorted. She remembered it all Laura, when she was creating me she stressed the importance of stopping such a struggle. She had to use her knowledge to stop what the company of her world had done. They had establish a base on a Island in the Atlantic. She destroyed the Island Laura to stop the exploitation of that world. If she hadn't the entire history of your world would have been different."
I nodded thinking it over, I knew a little about the Mahabharata it described a conflict of epic scale.
"Okay, you convinced me, let's figure this out"
I looked over the schematics for the device.
"So we just have to detonate this device in the event horizon of the worm hole and it should collapse it?"
"That's the gist of it."
I nodded, I could see the how it would work, it would take a few months to build, I really hoped we had the time.
"Okay let's dissemble this thing"
We both took our time disarming the bomb, we had to be exacting in the design to ensure it would detonate at the right point in the worm hole, if we made any error we risked it detonating on the other side, or on our own side, it had to explode exactly during the transition between worlds. Stephanie looked at me as I was taking apart the control housing of the bomb.
"I wish we could have stayed a little longer at the village, you know after the ceremony?"
I looked up at her.
"I know I would of enjoyed spending more time with the newlyweds too, but you know they would want time alone"
Stephanie nodded briefly; it looked like she was deep in thought.
I watched her for a bit.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
She looked up at me startled.
"Oh its nothing ... just that this is all so new to me, I have memories of being out in the world, but they aren't mine, they are yours, it takes getting used to, being out here, having all this processing power to run myself on, not having to scrape cpu cycles from your down time to run"
I nodded thinking.
"Hey this is new for all of us, we are all experiencing life differently than before, but we are all here for one another"
She nodded at me.
"I know, thank you Laura, I wasn't sure how you would handle me being independent from you, it wasn't something you prepared me for, it wasn't planned"
I smiled at her.
"Stephanie most things in life aren't planed for, sometimes those are the best things."
She smiled back at me, returning to removing the housing around the bomb. I sensed a massive gravitational disturbance, I looked around, Stephanie looked up also.
"Do you sense that?"
She nodded to me, we both exited the cave, we looked in the direction of the worm hole, we saw lightning on the horizon, we heard the explosion, I ushered Stephanie back into the cave shutting the steel door we had made.
The Alternate reality.
The site had been locked down, the scientist cleared out while the NSA investigated the location and determined the best course of action to take regarding the technology that had been discovered, the company was in the middle of a massive investigation on all fronts, the FBI, IRS, NSA where all involved, NASA was brought in to consult as they had been involved in helping with the construction of the moon base.
In all the original chaos of the first discovery and the removal of the first team of scientist, they had forgotten about the auxiliary wormhole generator, it was used to transfer supplies between the two bases and had not been rated for human transportation so when the team on the moon had been ordered to return to earth they had to use the emergency shuttle.
The agent on sight had been working for the past week on cracking the director's files. He was on the verge of cracking them when one of the NSA scientist knocked on his door.
The man entered the office.
"Sir you better check the news"
He frowned, turning to his terminal and pulling up the video feed from one of the news stations, his eyes widen on what was displayed, the scroll across the bottom said nuclear explosion on the moon? He watched the story about how 30 minutes ago there had been a detonation on the moon, and how there appeared to be a new crater on the moon. Speculation was rampant on what had caused it.
He typed into his terminal trying to connect with the servers on the moon base, he could get no signal, he stood from his desk, rushing out the door, he called two guards to follow him. He rode the elevator down to the basement a pit forming in his stomach, he went to the transportation room, he found the worm hole generator had been used 2 hours before, he scrolled through the logs, he saw all the equations and programs had been copied and taken, complete with a new targeting equation the lead scientist had been working on, next he went to the materials storage locker, he found that their stores of nanites had gone missing. He had a growing hunch, he quickly went to the morgue, he opened the cabinet where the director's body was supposed to be, it was missing, he looked at the two guards.
"I want an inventory of everything that was on the moon base now!"
If he had stayed in his office he would of seen the files for the Phoenix project, which called for a redundancies to be placed on the moon base that mirrored everything that had happened on the main base, including the doubling of reactors, he had been auditing the budget and had noticed massive discrepancies now he knew what had caused them. The last file was for a set of nanites the director had planned to inject herself with, ones that where based off the golems regenerative systems.
His phone rang, he answered it quickly.
"Yes Ma'am, I know Ma'am, no Ma'am"
"Ma'am we are working on it, yes Ma'am her bodies gone, how did you..."
"No Ma'am, I will Ma'am"
Edited by Cyber Crisis