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Chapter Four
Revelation

  Trys stood facing Tyrell. The Principal of Pioneer 2, Tyrell, commanded all affairs dealing with the ordinary citizenry. He was an imposing man, tall and dower looking. He had lost his only child in the accident that destroyed Pioneer 1, and his stress was obvious.
  “I’ll get to the point”, Tyrell said, “You’re here because there is a catastrophic situation unfolding down on Ragol. Hunters from the guild have been investigating the depths of an ancient ship deep beneath Ragol. We believe your sister Iris has gone to this ship...”
  “What does she want with this ship?”, Trys asked coldly. Tyrell lowered his brow and frowned.
  “We were hoping”, he said, “that you could tell us.”
  “I’m sorry, I haven’t seen her in years, I don’t know much about her.” Tyrell shot a quick glance to his assistant, who pressed a button on a computer console. At the far end of the Principal’s office, two additional army soldiers escorting a man in prison clothes appeared on the teleporter pad. They walked to Trys.
  “This man is...” Tyrell began.
  “Doctor Emil Lander, former head of Project Sols, I know who he is”, Trys finished. Trys stared into Dr. Lander’s eyes for several seconds before turning to face Tyrell. “What is he doing here?”
  “We captured him shortly before Pioneer 2’s launch, I thought you might want to talk with him.” Trys peered into Tyrell's eyes, then turned to face Dr. Lander. Lander looked at the ground, his face appeared profoundly sad.
  “Why?” Trys asked coldly. “Why... everything... Why the lab? The experiments? Why me? Why Lyca, Iris and Tear? What was that all about?”
  Lander responded in a low tone, barely above a whisper. His voice was hoarse and cracked, as if he hadn’t spoken in some time. “How much do you know about Photonic life forms?”
  “Not much, nobody does.”
  “Exactly, we depend upon these creatures yet we know so little about them. Photonic energy is the basis of our technology, and these life forms can control photons at will.”
  “Where is this going?”
  “Are you familiar with the name Sols?”
  “It’s the family name they gave me when I became a ward of the state following my escape.”
  “It is also a very important name historically, I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of him... Let me recount the tail... Approximately two hundred years ago, there was a Human named Sols, who was the first to discover the life forms living in the Photonic clusters we use as power sources. He made contact with what we call a “Greater Photonic”. An intelligent and powerful Photonic life form. The one he made contact with was named “Nilla”. The Greater Photonic believed that Sols was attempting to communicate, so it possessed his body in an attempt to bridge the communication barrier. For several days after this, Sols demonstrated incredible power over Photons, ability to manipulate photons on the level of a Greater Photonic. Unfortunately, the possession eventually killed him. His research led to the identification of the current Greater Photonics, the ones the synthetic life forms hunters call “Mags” can summon. The Mags were a creation of work done by analyzing Sols’ corpse following his death. Much was learned about the interaction between Photonics and flesh from this study.”
  “How does this relate to me and my sisters?”
  “You and your sisters are the culmination of decades of work on the Numan genotype. You were designed to be able to contain a Greater Photonic indefinitely, and fully wield it’s powers. The ability to control photons at will would be an incredible weapon, or tool.” Trys stood silent. Her eyes open wide. “Unfortunately, there were problems with all of you, but we decided to raise you anyway. We were going to run every experiment we could imagine, we needed to know what went wrong.”
  “The tests... we were... failures? Rejects?”
  “Essentially, yes.”
  “What is ‘wrong’ with us?”
  “Well, all of you age properly. We had to modify the aging gene in the Numan genotype so you’d age at human speed, yet retain the expanded physical and mental prowess we required. But, each of you had unique flaws we didn't foresee.”
  “Me?”
  “You’re brain has defects. We weren't sure how they’d affect you, but any defect automatically disqualified you from being a host.” Trys immediately thought of her dreams, of her visions. She already knew how the brain “defects” had affected her.
  “Lyca?”
  “Lyca was actually fine in all mental regards. Unfortunately she is fertile, which a host must not be. We had, and indeed have, no way to know what would happen if a Greater Photonic host became pregnant. Lyca’s genes were additionally impaired due to an overactive desire to mate. Even as a young child, she emitted over 200% higher pheromone levels than any previously recorded Numan. I suspect you have seen the result of this in her social life.” Trys silently nodded just slightly.
  “Tear?”
  “Poor Tear’s mental capacity is not sufficient I’m afraid. She has the cognitive ability, but lacks the ability to retain too much information. Her personality centers of the brain were also unusual, she likely has poor social habits among other things.”
  “Iris?”
  “Iris as well is fertile, though not to the degree of Lyca. In fact her childhood pheromone levels were quite low, so she may not have a desire to mate at all, but she can still do so.”
  “Then...” Trys said, “Why females? Why not use males?”
  “There was actually a test group of males. They were frozen in embryo form once your initial defects were discovered. We decided to grow you and your sisters for study because young girls are easier to handle than young boys. Less aggressive and so on. However as we began the experiments we learned your defects were due to the careless mistakes of one of our scientists. Without permission he modified you and your sisters DNA with data from early Numan ‘social servants’.”
  “We were modified... with genetic data from Numans bred for sexual slavery?”
  “Yes. Just your physical data.” Lander lifted his head slightly, and briefly stared at Trys chest. “The result is as you see. I also believe this may have something to do with Lyca’s condition.” Trys looked up to the ceiling of the office. She could see the stars through the clear ceiling, and she starred at them for several minutes. No one in the room spoke.
  “Tell me more”, Trys spoke, still starring through the ceiling, “about how we were supposed to be hosts to Greater Photonics.”
  “It’s pretty simple actually, all that is needed is prolonged physical contact with a Greater Photonic, your bodies were designed to absorb their specific kind photonic energy like a sponge.”   “Tell her”, Tyrell interrupted, “about the Supremes.”
  “Ahh, yes,” Lander said with a sigh. “When the caretaker of Rykros warned us of the seal’s collapse, we began to search for a suitable planet to escape to. One of the probes sent into deep space discovered Ragol, and sent back some disturbing news. There was evidence that an old Parmainian generational ship had crashed on Ragol in the distant past. Preliminary scans determined it to be deep beneath the surface of the planet. The organization I worked for suppressed all knowledge of the findings relating to the ship.”
  “Why?”
  “Because while a ship like that would be a tremendous find, what we suspected was within had to be kept secret. Ever since Sols’ death, there has been some suspicion that there may be an even higher order of Photonics than the Greaters. We called these theoretical Photonics, Supremes. We correlated the ancient legends of the creature “Dark Force” with this theory, We began to believe that Dark Force was a temporary physical manifestation of a Supreme Photonic. And the scans the probe took of the inner ship showed a massive containment field in place, still operative after who knows how long. We could only think of one reason for such a field...”
  “Then, you’re saying this “Dark Force” creature is on Ragol?”
  “Evidence of a creature called “Dark Falz” has been found in the ship, written in ancient Parman,” Tyrell said, “We believe the two to be one and the same.” Trys stopped looking through the ceiling and faced Tyrell. “Now Miss Trys, based on this information, do you know why Iris would be heading into the ruins with Tear?”
  Trys stood still for several seconds, deep in thought. “I can think of only one reason, if she knows any of this, then she probably plans to absorb this Falz creature.” Tyrell frowned.
  “This is precisely what we were afraid of.” Tyrell glanced at his assistant, who pressed another button on her control console. At the teleporter at the far end of the office a high ranking Army officer appeared. “Ready our contingency plan for an Omega situation Lieutenant.” Tyrell commanded. The officer nodded and disappeared in a brief flash of light. The men escorting Lander escorted him to the teleporter, where they too disappeared. “I will see to it, “ Tyrell said authoritatively, “that you are granted full visitation rights to Dr. Lander.” The soldiers who had escorted Trys grabbed her by the arms, and began walking her down to the end of the office in the direction of the teleporter.
  “Hey! What’s going on here? Let me go!”
  “Miss Trys”, Tyrell said coldly “given the situation, you cannot be allowed to travel to Ragol. As of now your Guild privileges are temporarily revoked, and you are hereby ordered to stay confined to your assigned sector.” The soldiers pushed her onto the teleporter, and in a flash of light she was standing in the hallway leading to her and Lyca’s apartment.

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