Chapter 11.1 – Terror of a galaxy.
The bustle of the people around Amelia and Jason was a bit awkward for them. They had never been used to this kind of attention. With the bustle of people it made the two a bit nervous. Long range cameras and satellite footage of the battle, even NASA had been hacked to get footage from the space station and other orbiting satellites. Most of the footage was streamed across the internet. The range of feelings across the world had been a wide scale of ‘use every nuclear bomb to kill them’ to ‘they’re heroes who are fighting for us’. With such sentimentality being shared not only by common citizens but also some world leaders and military Generals, it was a possibility that other innocent people could be collateral damage if they wanted to strike at the two. The sad fact is, the primitive race that they were was not ready, socially, to deal with this kind of power. Though, the Coalition never let such races struggle through those problems. Eradication before they became a threat was the reaction they used, never wanting to wait and see if the race advanced enough to be peaceful in space.
Very few races had grown up to have as fragmented a society as humans. Most often as various aliens had solidified in government they removed any kind of physically extreme variance which Human’s had at many times celebrated such diversity. Compared to other races the Coalition had exterminated, humans were a very fragmented and war like society. This is what had led to the Coalition watchers. It is also however why the two stand with a bustle of people walking around them while maintaining a shield at all times. Their powers had given them numerous ways to survive an attack, but for the two it was simply easier to keep their royal shield active. They can only hope that with such a shield that attacks would be deemed useless and not tried by those afraid of what these two could do.
Turning to look at the curtain the unmistakable plink of a bullet round hitting the shield followed by a thud as it hits the floor. The waiter walks away fast but not before he is jumped by three security guards. The host runs up obviously distraught by what just happened and wanting to placate the two.
“I am so sorry, I will check with security to find out how he managed to get in.” The host says standing a few feet in front of Jason.
“Heh, it’s ok. I expect most advanced nations could easily get an agent with a gun into this event. In fact I would bet half in attendance work for various government organizations around the world. It’s just a bit stupid that they would try it when they’ve seen what we can do.” Jason says an odd smile on his face. The host seems both happy but also nervous at the thought of what this boy could do to him.
“Quite right. Are you sure you want to stick with your clothing? We could get you nicer clothing.” The host says a warm smile trying to get Jason to accept the offer. Jason smiles back walking around a bit.
“No, it’s ok. I know it doesn’t look good for you, but I am happy with my clothes. If I wish to change them I will make myself new ones. The process is complex but possible.” Jason responds as he walks in circles around the room taking in the sights and smells of the many assistants running around.
“Very well, we’ll be on momentarily. You said you had a speech to give right?” The host asks putting on an inquisitive look. Jason laughs a bit as he turns away from an old style table with several flowers on it. He walks back over to stand in front of the host. Amelia had maintained her place several yards to his left, continuing to make various ice sculptures before allowing the energy to dissipate.
“Yes I do, it’s ok, leave it to me.” Jason says patting the Host on the side of his shoulder. Curiously the Host smiles and goes to pat Jason on the shoulder as well, the shield stopping his hand. Jason smiles a bit at him. “This shield is very complex and quite amazing. It can read your mind and create a scenario where you can do what you want.” The host smiles and nods a bit like he understood Jason. A light buzz is heard from behind the host. A loud click can be heard from behind the curtain as a person approaches the center stage that is set up in front of the curtain.
“Thank you all for coming, the conference will start momentarily. Please do not shout questions. They may take a few after their speech, but that is up to them.” The woman says, her voice muffled a bit through the heavy cloth. A second later the thud of her high heels tells them she is walking away from the podium and to the side. The host turns back to them smiling.
“Anytime you want, step out there.” The host says, a bit of the nervousness still in his voice. He had little control to make the two walk out there despite them asking for it. If they decide it’s a bad idea the host would be left trying to explain what happened.
“Shall we?” Jason says looking over at Amelia. He raises his left arm for her to grab. She looks up her face almost disapproving of the notion she would want to go out in front of the media. She sighs briefly clenching her left fist around an ice sculpture she had been making. Standing and flipping her hand over as she opens it. The ice sculpture falls and disintegrates into the air.
“Very well.” She says grabbing his hand instead of his arm. Her hand had become slightly cold and she knew it would be uncomfortable for him to grip her hand. Slight repayment for making her come out into the camera packed room. The two walk towards the curtain. The assistants all walk away from the center to not be seen behind the curtain when it is raised for them. The curtain pulls aside at the center as they get within a foot of it. The bright light blinds the two a bit as pictures are snapped wildly. The dual podium stood about six feet in front of them. They let their hands drop as they separate to go up opposite steps at the side of the podiums. Standing at the podium Jason lets loose an almost mischievous smile at the group.
“Thank you all for coming to hear what we have to say. I’ll try to keep it short. I hope that those here and throughout the world can believe what we say. I know what I say is the truth, but others may not want to believe that.” Jason says before clearing his voice a bit, then continuing “It is hard to really find a starting point, so I’ll give a bit of background about the alien forces we fought against almost a week ago and then again a day later. The Coalition is their country, nation, They have four separate races that make up the Coalition. There was a fifth but they died off about 360 years ago. The Coalition commits genocide. The unfortunate fact is; they have done that so often that they no longer even have records for all of the races that were wiped from the galaxy by their hand. They are not kind, nor forgiving, nor merciful. They judge a race by its social and technological advances. If social advances are slow they deem the race a threat to galactic peace. Because once upon a time the race that started the coalition was subjugated for centuries by another race with similar powers to ours.
If we had not stopped that fleet several days ago, had we succumbed to their attacks? They would have waged a full campaign on this planet killing everyone. I know this because I have fought a guerrilla war against these people for 25 years. The natural progress of this planet would have led to what is called a cascade evolution. It’s where enough people with powers like mine and Amelia’s converge at one point and resonate against each other. The resonating of the power between the individuals causes others within its range of influence to have their own powers awakened. The lowest of power is a red gate. Most people who have a red gate will live lives without ever knowing what that power is. In terms of combat they are almost entirely worthless. They often have to train for decades to be able to use even the most basic abilities.
Right now there is a few thousand people who are at this red gate stage. When the cascade happens some will have their gates subconsciously opened further, perhaps even accidently using an ability that they don’t understand. Those people will have the option to exploit and murder to gain further power over those weaker. However I hold on to the hope that those who gain his power will help others. Stand against oppression, fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
Despite the chance of any good happening, despite that our future isn’t set in stone, that we might become a strong and solid people. The Coalition see’s any race that hasn’t advanced socially to a certain level as a direct threat to their nation. They’re not the only darkness in this galaxy. I wish I could say that we only have to worry about one enemy that would damn us but I can’t. There is another race that slithers in the dark, a race of manipulators, prideful and arrogant they fight for supremacy, but they are willing to use others to get them there. The origin that they weave to tell others is one of sadness. They were another victim of Coalition aggression, though that’s not true at all. Look hard enough and you find the evidence that they had been goading other races into fighting the Coalition, using their pawns to whittle away the forces the Coalition so that when the time comes their own fleet would be able to strike at the Coalition. They are to be trusted no more than the Coalition, but they will come to this planet eventually, they will come with sweet promises of things outlandish, all for the taking if you waver to their judgment. A judgment that hates us as gate users just as much as they hate those races who can’t use the gate.” Jason looks down collecting his thoughts. Amelia leans over and whispers in his ear.
“The crimes, the weapons, the thoughts.” She says looking at him as he turns to face her. He nods briefly before straightening up to look at the room of cameras again.
“The Coalition may look similar to us. They might have different skin color then us, but so do we all as a race. This isn’t something to hate them for. Their ideology is one that says anyone not advanced enough are simply insects. They raise their children to believe that the coalition can do no wrong, that their commanders are the most virtuous people to walk the land and that their enemies are being fought against because they are savages barely able to talk. They come to planets with species that are even more primitive then ours and demand that they die for the Coalitions flawed logic and they have done this for thousands of years, against over a hundred civilizations. Even now they prepare to wage a war against a group of people that struggle to survive against their own animal life on their own planet. They have developed gate users, this power, to simply live a somewhat normal life. The coalition came to their world, tried to get this people to worship them, to serve under boot at the threat of being wiped out. The people of that planet chose to fight them, just like they chose to fight the ferocious animal life that is native to that planet.
The second attack that those people will suffer won’t be as nice as the first. The leaders will turn a blind eye to their soldiers. The soldiers feeling the rush of power they have over the natives will play with the lives of the natives. They will have hunting parties. They rape. Make children kill their own mothers. Use gate powers to inflict terrible pain on those that survive the initial cleansing of villages. If the species is so significantly handicapped skill and technologically, eventually they will turn to weapons that don’t kill right away. They use guns that flay a two inch square of skin from the target. It will often take hours to finish a hunt of such a person. The person will flee for their life often taking between 50 and 70 flays of their skin before they give up and let their hunters put them out of their misery. The strongest on record was 167. The person didn’t have much skin left. When that person final lost the desire to keep running and gave up to die, the coalition soldiers were so unhappy that they tortured him some more until he finally died from blood loss.” During the example Amelia instinctively reaches back to her shoulder a sadness permeating her consciousness. Jason reaches over and grabs her hand squeezing it tight.
“The coalition has bombarded, from space, whole planets because the native population was so good at fighting back that the losses they would have suffered would have been multiple times the population they fought against. They have used an energy based substances that eat living tissue upon contact. They have sprayed down whole continents with the stuff leaving nothing but rocks and whatever lucky plant seeds that may have stayed afloat long enough for the substance to be neutralized. To see from space a fertile green continent be turned to rock as their ships unleash the energy in massive amounts to liquefy densely packed jungles. The coalition deserves no pity from us. They still prove that they are incapable of moving past their prejudices of societies such as ours.” Jason finishes looking back at the host which had come to stand to Jason’s right. He talks so the Host can hear. “I’ll take a few questions, but I guarantee no answers.” The host smiles and nods before pulling a spare microphone from his pants pocket and turning it on.
“Ok everyone, we will take a few questions until our guests decides to leave. Obviously some questions may not be answered if the guests so choose.” The host says with a large smile. The host points to a woman in the front. The woman stands and smiles.
“Yes, this question may not be the most asked, but it struck me. You refer to these things as abilities, how do you use them, what are they made of?” She asks staying standing after finishing.
“Everything is made of energy. This can give credence that all things in the universe are part of the universe itself. Energy waves condense into energy spheres. You start at the small end with colorless or white orbs, they are small and hard to manipulate and are used for half of the hardest to use abilities. The other end of the spectrum is the black orbs containing massive amounts of energy, they house the other half of the most powerful abilities. The orbs in-between will take on hues of various colors. Though the thought of color is simply in our mind, they take on representation of how the energy is most easily used. Red is easy to be seen as fire or something hot, so the red orbs are easier to use as such, but they are actually a representation of hyper energy. Red orbs are highly energetic and can be used with other orbs to increase destructive power.
Blue orbs are easier to use as solids but are often thought of as water even though water is more fluid than what it would be used for. It is a fallacy. Blue in our minds is water or the sky however it’s energy is very stagnant and is more suited to that of a rock. Seeing the spheres as elements is the easiest approach and what is taught among the Coalition. By the time someone reaches a higher level the thought of viewing the spheres of energy as colors is gone from your mind. The energy itself is something that is manipulated and thus anchored to our plane of existence by the connection to the gate. While the energy is manipulated it is held to the laws of this universe. This means if I generate a block of metal it will be very heavy and fall to the ground. I can use willpower to keep the block in the air for periods of time if it is light enough, just as I could manipulate a stream of water created from energy. However there will always be a limit. The more you open the gate the longer and larger the manipulation can last.
The gate is the representation of our ability to pull and manipulate energy. For most it starts as a round circle against a white background, with a door over it. For those who have lost the ability to manipulate energy the door will be closed without a handle, for those who are at least red level they usually stand in front of a shut door with a handle. Many describe the first door as being red hot, from the light that shines on it constantly. As they open it, the light on the other side of the door shines through the opening and going into you, this simple act usually causes the accumulation of energy at the appendage which you most use to manipulate things with. For those of us who have opened the door more than 50 percent of the way, we are considered gold level as the light has a golden glow to it, we pull in so much energy at once that it is nearly impossible to just generate it at the hands. The highest abilities are also, a gift you could say. They are impossible to use below 50%. The shield is one of those abilities. Also having the gate open higher than 50% tends to do this.” Jason bows his head slightly opening his gate to 100% before looking up, the golden cape and crown appear. He smiles a little as most of the crowd sits with mouths agape.
“This is the golden crown and cape of a master gate user. When a gate is open past 70 percent such artifacts begin to appear as they are on area’s that are the hardest to manipulate so the energy condenses there and slowly floats away. The Coalition calls this the royalty. They do not have a single soldier capable of even the mildest form of this.” Jason adds before letting the crown and cape disappear. The host smiles looking away and points to a man towards the back. The man stands up forcing the host to regret who he chosen.
“Now that a whole army has been defeated, what are we supposed to do? There were reinforcements spotted cleaning up and rescuing people. Soldiers died yesterday while you were nowhere to be seen!” The man yells at Jason. Jason sighs, looking down before answering.
“It is sad that such life was lost, and it may have been the first, but won’t be the last. We are engaged in a war now, with a race that holds 11 planets and nearly 52 billion people. Our luck is, they’ve been waging such a prolonged battle that their military forces are only a fraction of what they used to be 100 years ago. We killed over half a million soldiers in mere minutes. In fact they inhabit 6 planets less than they did 500 years ago, and have half the population. They have lost so much metal and resources to enemy planets and fleets being destroyed in space, that they will struggle to even combat us. Could they bring a billion soldiers against us? Yes they could, but with the bulk of their forces already assaulting a planet with 15 million soldiers I doubt they will be so quick. So, what should you do?” Jason says looking around then down at the podium sighing a bit before looking up at the man and continuing. “You should prepare to fight. Get over your petty squabbles! You are about to inherit technology and power that will change the dynamic of our entire race! Stop with the hatred, the mistrust. They may well bring about an army against us not seen by the coalition in 400 years, and it will be up to all of you to fight. You will have to coordinate and kill, because they will not care if you are a man, a woman, or a child.” Jason finishes stepping off of the podium. A light murmur is heard in the crowd before another man in the back stands up and yells out a question
“Could you destroy our whole planet?” He says standing on a chair. The question stops Jason and Amelia, they look at each other briefly. Jason turns back and steps up to the podium, Amelia turns and watches him a mischievous smile coming across her face.
“Yes, I do have the power to end this whole planet in but a few seconds. No not everyone is capable of it, as far as I know only I am capable of using such a large ability.” Jason answers his smile fading at the end as he looks down slightly. He had felt a resonance from far off when he had opened his gate to its maximum. He wondered if another was out there in the galaxy that was like him.
Chapter 11.2 – Technology of Failure
The grey cell was barely lit giving it a night time feel despite the fact that it had no windows nor was even close to an outside wall. The white bars of the cell gave a fine view of the six guards that crowded around a desk in the room. The room housed three cells and was a holding area for extremely important prisoners. The fact that six guards were there gave away that point. Half the guards sit on the desk facing a TV in the top corner, the other half stood behind the desk watching over the others. The volume on the TV was set very high so all six could hear properly. In the center cell the surviving soldier of the Nexus lays slowly coming out of a haze. he stays stiff not wishing to make a sound. Looking around at the grey ceiling and walls he looks down and out of the cell at the guards not paying attention. He raises his hands slightly feeling the heavy block of solid metal that restrained his hands. Raising his head slightly he looks at the silver colored block.
Orlen admits that such a precaution by this race was likely a smart move. They had little idea of what he was capable of after all. He flexes a little trying to bend the cuffs but they do not budge at all. He admires the craftsmanship of the shackles a bit realizing that this inferior race would likely be the most advanced race the coalition had ever fought against in this kind of situation. Now noticing the guards staring at the television Orlen is shocked that such a device existed. When his duty had started and he entered his sleep chamber this race was barely flying in the sky, they were waging wars across half of their planet. Now they seemed to have such advanced displays. Looking around more he was able to discern various objects that were similar to ones he had seen but now were quite advanced. The guards shift causing Orlen to snap back down closing his eyes.
A guard walks over to the cell bars and looks in, he squints his eyes in suspicion but can’t make out what troubles him. He grunts lightly before turning and walking back to the screen and the rest of the guards. Orlen looks back up at the screen to see his two targets standing on the screen. The sound refuses to travel well into the cell giving him just enough to know Jason is speaking but not enough to make out what he was saying. Watching the TV Orlen believes it to be some kind of honoring event to the two natives He looks on as he sees Jason doing a lot of talking. With his neck becoming pained he catches the cloth wrapped around his chest. The area where he had been stabbed had a bit of blood soaked through but it had been dry for some time. He moves his upper body a bit trying to find out how bad the wound is but not enough to agitate it. He is surprised by how stiff the regrown tissue is making him wonder if he had completely recovered. Red lights and a loud buzzing come from a speaker causing Orlen to panic and lay down straight.
“Evacuate the facility! This is a class one emergency. I repeat this is a class one emergency. Evacuate the facility at once.” The person says through the speaker, his voice giving off a very frantic and worried tone. The group of guards turns and looks at him through the bars. They look around at each other for a second before one speaks up.
“Leave him! We have more in Texas. Let’s get out of here!” The guard yells pushing his fellow guards to the door and out of the room. The door squeaks lightly as it shuts. Orlen sits up taking a more detailed observation of the room. He tries to pull off the shackles at his feet but find they are just as strong as his arms. He places the metal block of the hand cuffs which hold his hands apart and puts it against the same block at his feet. Using both upper and lower strength he presses the two cuffs against each other hoping one would break. Straining for a minute he finally pulls his hands back up to his face to see if any progress had been made. A very minor indent could be seen on the cuff block but to get out of the cuffs would take hours of struggling for him. As he shuffles around the cell trying to find a solution he realizes a high pitched sound is coming from behind his cell. What started as a very quiet sound was becoming overwhelming. Orlen’s eyes go wide as he realizes it’s a power cell that has been overcharged and was still being overcharged. Possible scenarios run through Orlen’s mind from all of the items the humans could have been messing with.
He grunts in annoyance as he looks around trying to find some sort of escape. Realizing he has no hope of escape he places his back to the bars of his cell and closes his eyes. Orlen calls upon any power he can to strengthen his skin hoping it would keep him alive. With the sound finally plateauing he realizes he is a bit away from where the power cell is and may actually survive the blast. Pushing as much power as he could to reinforcement his body he moves his hands in front of his face. The explosion is massive, destroying six levels of the building with two being below ground. Orlen looks up groaning loudly from the pain. He breathes in sharply feeling pain shoot up and down his back and stomach. He looks at the cell seeing most of it missing. Only two feet of the cell floor remained. Where the rest stood was now a giant sphere of emptiness. Orlen can hear the sizzling of molten rock and metal at the base of the sphere. He grabs the bent jail door that lay on his back and pushes it aside. The television that was in the corner was now in a few pieces on the floor surrounded by over a dozen pieces of the desk which seemed to shatter from the explosive force. Looking at the handcuffs Orlen sighs seeing they were just as pristine as they were before the explosion. He groans a bit sliding himself to the nearest drawer from the desk that was still intact. He pushes the rubble away from them rummaging through to find a key. Finishing with the second desk drawer he hears the building groan slightly. He looks up wide eyed as the building sways a bit from a breeze now that it was missing half of it’s support beams.
Orlen crawls toward the next desk drawer. He cringes as pain shoots through his chest. He begins to consider that more than the one rib intersects that was cut by Amelia may have been bruised or broken during the explosion. He pushes the contents of the drawer around not able to find anything that would match the cuffs. Seeing the final desk drawer in the corner he pushes himself off of the ground. Testing his legs he wobbles forward stopping himself from running into the corner. Looking down at the shelf he blinks a bit as he notices a shiny object in the corner half blocked by the drawer. He kicks the drawer away from the wall seeing the whole key. His body begins to release more chemicals to deal with the pain as he becomes more afraid of dying the longer he is in the building. Getting the cuffs off Orlen notices that the sizzle of the metal had stopped and now the only sound that filled the air was from the emergency sirens.
He turns to look at the door for the room before noticing that his prison door had made a decent hole in the wall. Poking his head through the wall he can see a giant segment of dry wall lying on the ground of the long hallway with thirty or so bricks on top of it. He rubs his wrist a bit before grabbing the wall and sliding through the hole into the hallway. Slowly walking through the hall he comes across a sealed lab with several clothes lockers sitting open. Nervously looking around he opens the various lockers expecting traps in each one. He begins to grab various clothes from the lockers and trying them on until he finds ones that will fit.
The building groans as pillars and walls throughout the building crack in nearly deafening unison. Orlen sees one of the large cracks in the wall of the lab. Looking through it he can see a large room filled with cubicles before window offices at the far side. Believing it’s his best chance he pushes segments of the wall into the room. He steps through the opening into the room. Orlen is very confused by the room but he walks through it cautious of traps. He ducks and continues to hobble toward the wall as he hears frantic voices in the next room as a stampede of workers barrel down the stairway adjacent to the area. Coming to the far wall he opens a door for the corner office peering inside. Sure that no one occupied the room any longer he hobbles into the room silently shutting the door behind him. Making it to the corner windows he moves the shades slightly a bit confused and unimpressed with such primitive objects. As he surveys both ends of the building he can see crowds of people running away from the building. Taking a look out the other side of the corner he notices it looks out onto the end of an alley way.
The building groans loudly, the walls distort causing much of the glass to break. Orlen ducks down as the corner window shatters out onto the pavement. This causes the police and fireman to run from the building as well. He notices several pairs of shoes on the floor but no longer has time to do anything. The building lets out a groan prodding Orlen to jump out of the window. Hitting the pavement he looks up to see parts of the building crumbling. He charges down the alley way toward a door to the next building. He strengthens his feet as pieces of debris and glass rain down on the alley way. He grabs the door handle not sure how to use it. He looks up seeing the building collapsing down quickly. He lowers his head turning it to the door using every ounce of strength he had he charges the edge of the door shoulder first.