Chapter 1: A Case of Mistaken Identity
The day was sunny, traffic was light, people of all races were walking along the sidewalk besides the fast moving a-grav sleds. It was a normal, peaceful afternoon.
Who'd have thought?
"Excuse me Miss, are you Ms J. Las Ran Tag?" asked the larger of the two Humans walking toward me.
"Yes", I replied, "I'm Jai Las Ran Tag".
Security didn't react so they must have been harmless. A naive notion perhaps, but I trusted the security assigned to me while I was visiting with my Mother at the Engineering conference on Balie 2. I wasn't worried, they were unarmed humans.
I felt arms around me. "She's the one, grab her". Arms encased in some sort of strength enhancing suit. They would need to be enhanced. They were Human, I was Nova Battle Form. I might have only been 17 standard years old, but I was still over 2.5 meters tall and had a strength rating of 3, 9 times stronger than an average human, more on this world. As I was held the man who spoke the first time shone something at me and everything went...
I awoke. Suddenly.
One moment I wasn't awake, the next I was. I could only surmise that they had some sort of projector on me keeping me unconscious. I was naked in a chair; arms, legs and chest strapped in place. The naked didn't bother me, as my people only wore clothes on planets that had nudity taboos. The strapped to the chair did.
"I wouldn't advise changing to a full Battle Form, Ms Las Ran Tag" came a voice from a speaker near the door. "Those straps are esoterically reinforced and won't break or stretch, you'll cut yourself in half".
Looking around the room to see what I could use I noticed the door was armored and appeared to be locked, there were no windows and the light was coming from panels in the ceiling. The room was about 4 meters by 3. Not much to use. Apart from me, the chair and some dust bunnies, it was empty.
"We'll let you go, Joassa; I may call you Joassa can't I" he went on.
"No, I don't think you can call me Joassa" I replied, still looking for any clues.
"Why not, you may call me Gerald if you like".
"Well Gerkald, you can't call me Joassa for a very good reason".
"What is that" he snapped.
"Joassa is my mother's name. My name is Jai" I said with a smile.
"Jai ... the daughter ... those fools".
"So could you let me go and send me home, please? I'm sure that my mother and father are worried, along with the bodyguards assigned to me." I asked in a little girl voice.
I heard a door slam over the speaker and then ... nothing.
"Hello, are you still there? Gerkald? Gerald? Anyone?"
I flexed the bands holding me, but they had absolutely no give in them at all. He was right, if I changed to the full Battle Form I'd be dead, or at least very uncomfortable. I couldn't stay here, couldn't move and the fact that a squad or more of battle armoured troopers and a very irate mother weren't here meant that things were bad. Very bad. My mother and father wouldn't let me be gone this long unless they couldn't find me.
I felt the esoteric currents to start pulling power, I should have thought of that first, but it "tasted" strange. "Oh shit," I muttered, "I've been moved to another plane or reality. They might never find me". I also realised that my aura was basically empty. I couldn't pull any energy using my Arch-Warlock skills, but the Magick skills Joassa had taught me worked fine. I had access to some energy, but had to convert the Chaotic Prime energy I could pull in to Arch-Warlock energy to use properly. I was going to be very limited with energy use outside my Aura.
I wondered if the bands would shrink? They didn't feel too tight. Breathing out and collapsing my chest as far as it went (please no smart arse comments, NBF are basically flat chested, even the female variant) I felt the band slip and a gap, a whole ½ centimeter appeared. Great, now we have a chance. Reaching into my on board computer I brought up the transformation routines. Full Battle Form ... definitely not, Utility Form ... still too big. Another form showed on the selection criteria, a new one. It had a memo attached. I "clicked" the memo and Dad's voice sounded in my head.
"Jai, here's a new form for when you go off world that should blend in a bit more. It looks and will scan as a 17 year old human girl. It's based on your mother's original form. The skin will automatically harden against high kinetic energy impacts but allow slow ones so stabs, bullets, falls should be fine, but less aggressive intrusions will go through. We were developing this GIH form for the SS under-covers going to Terra. You will have access to your full NBF computing capability and passive scanning capabilities. It has the standard Diamond lattice bone reinforcement and Carbon Nanotube ligaments.
"The body is designed to give off absolutely no extra esoteric signature beyond the norm for a Human normal. Energy that hits the skin is converted to the standard Arch-Warlock energy you are used to. You can consciously ramp this up to become energy neutral to the back ground and blend in.
"Strength is about 1.4, twice Human norm for your size, so about a very strong human male. You have much faster reaction time and can move much faster as over half of the muscles classify as fast twitch. This means you need to eat a lot to maintain your metabolism. High protein and high energy.
"To make it easier on your co-ordination you'll be a large girl by contemporary standards. Your mother was 1.8 meters tall at that age and Amazonian in build so you'll need to get used to the weight distribution. So, in short, you are a tall, buxom brunette. You'll need to transform to Silicon to regenerate completely though, although the body does have advanced healing and disease resistance. Good luck".
I changed to the new form, shrinking over half a meter and the bindings were loose on me. I slipped my hands out and feet out with no trouble but had to scrape my chest from under the chest band. Dad wasn't kidding about buxom. I looked around the room, getting used to the new form, looking for something to help me escape.
I realised that my senses were limited. I couldn't scan through the door or even across the room. I could sense where I looked and into it, but not through it. It seems both my senses and the bodies were limited to extending direct perception. This kind of made sense from what I had been taught. Other Realities had been theorised by the Think Tank my mother and father were attached to on "Breadboard", the experimental manufactory that Joassa ran. The Prime Energy Plane would be the same wherever you went, but Sub-Space would be very different. Arch-Warlock skills relied on a balance between the Prime Energy Plane and Sub-Space. Obviously this one wasn't too different or I'd be dead or completely powerless. My body would continue to generate an aura based on "Home", but as I didn't know the equations for this reality I couldn't effectively or safely use anything related to Sub-Space outside my aura. By looking, or directly perceiving something, my esoteric senses were taken along for a ride on the limited aural extension living beings had when they looked at something. That feeling of being watched is just the aura reacting to another aura touching it.