Chapter II – Deimos Rising
“…Now running signature Omega-38 against sequence 430-Alpha” said Dr. Kronos in the darkened research lab, a massive construct sat before him. Kronos watched energy patterns and equations scroll along the holo-monitor.
“Those patterns seem to correlate from here” came a voice from a small transmitter, sitting on the desk. “I’m going to send this pattern through simulations. Now begin an analysis on signature Terra-15” it said. Kronos’ hands danced across the holographic keyboard, the energy signature appeared in the centre of the emitted light. Kronos rubbed his chin as he studies the catalogued data.
“I have a hunch” he says.
“Proceed, Victor” said the transmitted voice.
He continues tapping the keyboard, I think our hardware may be masking some of the signature’s characteristics. I’m lowering the intensity of the cadmium distributor and the plasma field generator” says Kronos.
“You are authorized, log the change and proceed” came the voice.
“Yes, this reading is much clearer now” says Kronos as he wipes the lens of his glasses.
“I see, try running sequence 821-Delta” Kronos tests the combinations of portal energy and the vibrational equation on his computer.
“That pattern correlates from here as well. I think we’re finally getting a handle on these energy bands. Why don’t you take a rest while we finish running these simulations.” The transmitter said.
“Very well, call me as soon as you need” Kronos says.
“Roger, Echo labs. Alpha labs out”
Kronos rose from the large chair and stretched his back. The newly constructed teleporter stared back at him from its single, circular gate. He stared into the contraption for some time before he headed to the door to the adjoining hallway. He walked through the doors and found Director Banks standing across from the lab, looking through a nearby window.
“Hello, Victor. Why don’t you join me in admiring the view?” The Director said. Kronos stepped beside William and took in the dazzling stars, a moment of silence passed between them.
“You know, I never knew the stars would be so many and so bright out here… They’ve always been my favourite thing about being on off-world stations” says the Director, calmly.
“I often find myself admiring them, as well. Their brilliance never ceases to inspire me” says Victor. A passing comet adds to the infinite beauty for but a brief moment.
“We’re getting close, Victor. We only have a couple hundred more patterns to calculate until we make history. I’m looking forward to the infinite possibilities that this project could open for us”
“As infinite as the stars in the sky…” comments Kronos. William smiles at Victor and places a hand on his shoulder.
“Precisely” he says, “The short time until its complete…” begins William.
“Is like the distance closing between us and those stars” says Kronos, finishing the Director’s thought.
“Had I mentioned that before?” William asks.
“You did, a couple years ago” he said.
“That’s right, just before we launched this project… It seems hard to believe that we may be so close to those distant systems, accomplished in just a few years of development” he says.
“I’ve begun to wonder what mysteries this achievement may leave in its wake, and we will be the ones carving out the answers” says the Director, smiling as he finishes his thought. Victor turns to face William.
“I’m being left in the Dark, Will. Alpha labs dictates the signatures and equations for me to analyze, I feel more like an adding machine than a contribution” he says.
“I’m sorry Victor, UAC’s protocols can be overbearing, but I happen to know the very necessity for them. Take my word, the portal will begin test runs soon and your expertise will more than certainly be required” the Director replies.
“How long?” Kronos asks.
“Could be a couple weeks, no longer than a month” he says.
“Really, that soon?”
“Really” hee answered
“I can see now why you’re so pleased” says Kronos as he continues to observe the twinkling stars. The directors chuckling echoed down the hallway.
Five weeks later:
Victor Kronos and UAC Director William Banks walked the spotless hallway of the UAC research division.
“Everyone is ready on Phobos, we can get started right away” says William, he was wearing an expensive business suit with a black, long-hanging tie. “Susan is in the testing area now and coordinating with Alpha labs” he says.
“If this contraption works, I suppose these off-world stations may have a lot of new visitors soon” comments Kronos.
The Director sighs, ” I don’t know if we can maintain its classified status for much longer without terminating some of our loosely-lipped colleagues. I understand their excitement, but if there’s anymore broken protocols regarding this project, I may be tempted to send them to a less hospitable assignment. I doubt they’ll find AMUN’s asteroid stripping operations to be quite as noteworthy” the Director said.
“Such a waste of good talent. If only they would observe their duties a little more, I would trust them with my life” said Victor.
“It can be troubling, yet that portal is worth more than both our contributions. An unpleasant reality, being Director, is learning how the most celebrated employees can so easily be replaced” he replied.
“Indeed. It seems I have a new lab assistant every couple of weeks, don’t they know the standard UAC demands before they come here?” Asked Kronos.
“They are briefed, but what could I say? We have to proceed on these priority assignments, if they are so compelled to destroy their careers, then so be it” Silence fell upon the two men as they turned a corner. Loud thumps were soon heard from down the hall, “Sounds like Corporal Revok” says William.
The thumping got louder and Corporal Revok came marching through a corridor ahead, he turned on his heel and continued his stride toward the two researchers, they soon met in the middle of the hall. “Hello Doctor, Director. Lovely day for a teleport, I hear” says Revok as he comes to a stop. He was wearing a grey, long-sleeved utilitarian uniform with bright blue cuffs and collar, he stood casually with his hands folded behind his back.
“Just another day at the office, Corporal” replies Kronos.
The Corporal tilts his head and glares at Victor. “I understand the preliminary tests went well and you’re already going to send human test subjects” he says in an insinuating tone, the researchers silently glare at the Corporal. “High command’s technicians have deciphered your forty-five thousand page specification report” says Revok with some masked apprehension.
“Is that right, Corporal?” asks the Director in a slithering, insinuating tone.
“Yes Will, that’s right. High command is concerned about the safety of the science station, the levels of energy are utterly unheard of” he says loudly.
The Director turns toward Kronos, “Can you believe that, Victor? The Corporal is going to share his thoughts about omni-dimensional theory. Please, enlighten us” the Director says calmly.
“You two don’t see any problem with ninety-four million Terra watts?” said the corporal, exasperation was creeping into his chiseled features.
“Corporal, really” says the Director in a slow, parental tone. “The portal systems are completely isolated from the rest of the station and the personnel assigned to it are the UAC’s finest” he says proudly.
“Nevertheless,” continues Revok, “high command has given me code-Amber authorization to attend this procedure and make an assessment of potential safety risks” he says.
“We didn’t have any problems with our initial tests, what makes the good generals so concerned about this one?” asks Kronos, flatly.
“We’re worried about system and feedback overloads, further, you really have no idea where this portal is passing through” states Revok.
Director Banks chuckles. “Giving into paranoid delusions, Corporal?” he asks. “We appreciate your concern, but we’ve never required your oversight before”
“The risk to this station is real. If it goes into regular use, I’ll need to know everything about it, as soon as possible” Revok replies. The pair of researchers became quiet as they glare at Revok.
“You really think that this will persuade us?” The Director snaps. “I’m sure the corps is very interested, indeed. High command wants to treat out work as a new potential weapon, we have told them many times before that this project’s clearance classification is above them and you” finishes William.
“This could be the most significant discovery since fire, or the wheel. We want to see this thing in operation” said Revok, barely holding back his rage.
“We’re so early on in this project that we have yet to define what standard operation is” Kronos replies.
“Yes, and for that reason we can only allow trained specialists to be in attendance, and your code-Amber authorization doesn’t impress me” adds William.
“Will, I’ve seen the details for myself and I can see why there is concern. Just take the extra precaution” the Corporal says, defeat moving through his words.
The Director releases a breath, “Listen, Revok. This is a project that we’ve had difficulty keeping classified as it is, but there are aspects to it that are, quite frankly, over my head. Several classified corporate divisions from across the aerospace industry are taking interest. We’re forced to operate under the tightest of protocols and this is something that simply can’t be allowed” he declares. “Now then, if you’ll excuse us, you’ve wasted quite enough of our time.”
Corporal Revok glares curiously as the two researchers slowly walk away, they laid each step with such precision that the Corporal could swear they were floating.
“Arrogant snakes” Revok says under his breath, he then turns and heads toward the nearest elevator.