Quantum Candy — Episode II


labshot-1 Lord Tan-Kuan-Su, fidgeted with his stirring spoon. His herbal tea was cold and the servant girl Pi Lei was no where in sight. No doubt sent off on another long errand by his wife, who had taken a real disliking to her. One more irritation to an already long list. Out of habit he adjusted his Sha Hu hat to a slight tilt. He was expecting to see all of the Lords, so required for this emergency meeting, properly seated by now in the telepresence chamber. However, the three from the Imperial, technological world Anzu-Vi were missing. The rest of the assembled Lord’s were like himself, fiddling with paper-work, clothes and hats, sipping tea while patiently waiting for the official start of the meeting. While each Lord was in their private telechamber, each had considerable access to any communication device, transmitting devices, specialized couriers, and large Staffs to meet their every need, or whim, while stationed. Each Lord appointed, was responsible for a specific Authority of Actions, over the Affairs of the Imperial State. Each wielded the proper, command powers within their sphere of influence, but this did not stop the Lords, from seeking greater advantage, when a crisis perturbed the natural order.

Such as now.

The other Lords were taking polite notice that Lord Tan-Kuan-Su was sweating profusely from stress. He adjusted the power settings for the cooling fan. The stress of this day was made worse by the heavy robes every Lord was accustomed to wearing for such meetings. Lord-Su reached for his drinking glass. He motioned for an aid who was not there, which allowed him to turn momentarily out of view. He then poured out into the tall glass, a generous portion of Pi-Ken, from a silver flask which he kept in the hidden, inner-folds of his robe. The Pi-Ken, which was an earthy, dark-brown in color, was his favorite of the exotic, yet forbidden essences, even Lords like himself, dared not admit to having obtained on the black-market. He quickly added a small measure of mineral water, from the ornate, gold pitcher kept cold on the serving tray. Lastly, he added Xjo, a very potent sweet liqueur, also from the same tray. The Xjo, when mixed with Pi-Ken into the mineral water turned them both clear. He sipped the mixture whose warmth and taste was needed to calm his nerves.

He returned to his proper seating already feeling the calming effects of the Pi-Ken.

This day had not begun well. He had awoken quite early to an emergency message. One which soon revealed itself of dire consequences. A brazen theft had occurred of impossible ingenuity. Because he was the highest ranking Lord, serving the Commerce needs of the Imperial House, upon which the specific responsibility fell, he was tasked with determining the reasons, of how the Antioine-fluid chambers were emptied, and consequently, for the failure to prevent the theft itself. Who had the arrogance and ability to steal such a valuable source of Imperial wealth?

So far, the only thing he knew specifically, was that the entire cycle production of the mysterious, “Transmorphic Fluid” had simply vanished, from the secured, holding chambers. Hence, the dire quality of the deepening crises, was the open question, of why all security measures failed to detect the intrusions, and removal of the exotic material.

Consequently, he had spent the entire morning, frantically reviewing all of the security protocols under his specific authority. Thankfully, none of his top-level managers were responsible for any direct connection to the breech of security, or were guilty, of a direct actionable fault. But, that was what made the situation worse. Not having any answer was always far more dangerous than a bitter one. If one of his men, had made some kind of mistake, their punishment in this case would still be death. Instead, he was positioned to take the main portion of the blame, for the failure to foresee such a failure of top-level security, of which he was by duty, so responsible. His working theory hastily out-lined in the thick report, which was not yet transmitted in full, to the other Lords, made it clear, he suspected only insiders, of specialized knowledge, had the means to carry out such a theft. However, he had no proof of the how, and only conjecture for the why.

Lord-Su knew his hollow accusations would be pointless, without the facts to sustain them, thus, further weakening his already inferior position. He sipped from his glass. The elixir soothed his nerves and allowed him to recall with great clarity, all of the information already gathered, much of it of great technical detail, rarely required to discuss so formally. If he was to defend himself successfully, his argument had to be convincing, not only to the other Lords, but to the Emperor himself.  And the Emperor had little patience with trivialities and sophistries as he was inclined to make up his mind first, and let the consequences define outcomes more suitable for judgement, later.  Lords were not sacrificed by whim alone, but this was one of the few instances where death set the precedent for future behavior.  Looking across the screens he noted, any one of these Lords (one of whom might very well take his place), would duly heed the warning, not to make the same mistake again. Which was to say, if preventable.

Therefore, he was prepared to argue the missing Lords, who together, had much to gain from such a theft, conspired by means unknown to accomplish their task. And as the Imperial clock counted off the minutes his tentative position carried more weight. What other cause for these three arrogant Lords, provided for such a provocative absence? Those three had great military wealth at their finger-tips. Assets which if used in a plot against the sitting Emperor, might very well end the critical alliances, which the Empire depended on to maintain superior advantage, over the less advanced races, populating their tiny sector of the known second Manifold Galaxy. Their scheming ways were well known, and each of them had made such pompous remarks, at many previous meetings of the Lords, of their rightful power to enlargen their territories, in stout contradiction to official Imperial Policies, made the assignment of guilt against them, fulfill the criteria of secret purposes, thus conspiracy. This was High Treason and the punishment was a swift and dishonorable death.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su, switched on the small desk-monitor, which rose up from the desk-top at the discrete angle for private viewing. All of these specialized chambers had twelve, large wall-screens, which displayed all of the sitting participants in a controllable manner. His was set to a two-cycle display mode, which allowed him to see all of the other Lords, at their chamber desks in a sweep every two seconds. If a Lord, stepped away from his station desk, a courtesy image of him was displayed, as a single frame. The Emperor, could watch these meetings with great discretion, or participate directly as the need arose. Right now, he knew that the Emperor was in a high-level meeting with his most loyal of military commanders. The outcome of this theft was yet undetermined.

Lord-Su skimmed through dozens of security reports connected to the three Lords in question. All of them were of course from Anzu-Vi , itself a highly-advanced, fully Tiamese colonized planet, which was in a unique position to carry on substantial Commerce with the Prime worlds of the Eskoltian’s. This was due to that worlds position to the Primary, Star-Gate Station, positioned in their ‘territorial’ corner of the sector. The Station was exclusively operated by the Eskoltian’s, but the Imperial fleets were a substantial part of its daily affairs.

Lord Su casually sipped his Pi-Ken while he studied the latest news summaries from Anzu-Vi , on a separate wall-screen which the other Lords could see as an inset, to any screen so assigned. The marvelous technology was both a curse and a blessing to the lives of the Tiamese people. The technological revolution had displaced many of the old customs and with them the old ways of hand-crafted goods. Men and woman worked long hours in ultra-modern factories producing many goods of high quality, but the need for profits always skewed the balance between the work-forces and those that owned the production facilities. Big business was the buzz word and yet it was hollow in true meaning. What is a mountain to an ant whose sense of place is governed by the colony hive and nothing else?

This unnatural elevation of importance, caused no amount of strife in social orders based on traditions not widgets. Brooms do not command the men who use them, no more than a flea directs the dog. The owner of a broom factory swaggers about as a flea upon his society and never questions his false sense of pride. Money gained was not a sign of wisdom earned, yet the new generations see nothing in the old ways which appeals to their sense of satisfaction. Which is why they flocked to Anzu-Vi for settlement. When the latest generation of commercial space-ships, arriving from the space-facilities, drew millions to see the latest wonders gracing the Emperor’s growing fleets, it was a time of great excitement for all. The cities on Anzu-Vi grew at an astonishing pace, with all of the advanced technologies coming in from the Eskoltian worlds, in seemingly endless amounts. The people prospered phenomenally, and with that great prosperity came ever greater indulgences. Now over a hundred Imperial years later, the decadence has reached yet another level of self-aggrandizement.  Which is why these errant Lord’s strive to undermine respect for the old Imperial ways and the families who represent those customs of Hereditary determinations of social importance.

In the quest of Modernism, all previous learning falls to the way-side as each new generation falsely believes in the doctrines of advancement by titles, so measured by wealth acquisition. By the older traditional methods of choosing who can become a Lord, none of the three from Anzu-Vi were ever worthy of such Honors. They were Elected by National popularity, so purchased on media fortuity. The father of Chan Zu Bajie, owns out-right the largest of the media conglomerates. Lord Su noted the commercial, now playing on the Bajie Network itself, was sponsored by yet another major player in the military ship building sector, who is the grandfather of the second member of the missing trio,  Kuri-Hsing D’Chow. His father is the Chairman for the Pte-Swauin government itself. The Emperor, following the traditions, as set down by his great-grand Father Heriu, allows the government on that world great leeway to conduct their own affairs. The Imperial investments upon that wold nonetheless, are quite exceptional, and in turn the Emperor has significant influences upon the social fabric where it is most potent. So, while these Lords may be just a sliver in the Imperial heel, to ignore them was not wise.

Lord Su turned his attention back to the Eskoltian up-dates. He quickly glanced through another set, of the high-level reports, prepared for him by his Staff, which summarized, the most important areas of the current Trading Trends, and found very little, to suggest, the Eskoltian’s, would tolerate any major changes to the status quo. Clearly, they did not favor Anzu-Vi like a spoiled child. He also realized, that none of the Emperor’s, military star-ships, had any authority to cross any boundary of Eskoltian space, around any Gate Station without pre-clearance. This condition, also included those under the authority, of the Lords, from Anzu-Vi. Their tiresome boasting, of having superior ties to the Eskoltian military command, now ringed quite hallow.

Just to test his theory, Lord-Su switched over to the military, HQ-status channel. The regional-data plots, of military ship-traffic, gave no indication of any unauthorized, military-ships entering, or leaving the Vector Zones, thus, very few active movements into, or out of, the Manifold Gates[artificial worm-hole]. A fact, he found surprising. Why time such a catastrophic theft, to a slower than usual period? Especially, when your ship would stand out like a sore thumb, against regular traffic? And yet, no ships either military, or support commercial, as evidenced by the current status data-logs were out of regulated place. Ships did not leave their designated space-routes, nor did they ever cease communications with the control centers. General space-travel was still quite dangerous, and no prosperous captain’s, ever wanted to be subject to disciplinary actions, for failure to comply with all navigation and transit requirements. A career of that status was not to be thrown away on a pirates whim. A crews reputation was their only stock in trade.

Lord Su switched over to the commercial trade status channel. Here too he was somewhat baffled. Most commercial haulers were of course quite slow, and had no advantages over the Eskoltian, military-defense star-cruisers, which handled all official operations, both around the space-stations and the Gate Command Centers. Aside, from the usual traffic of the larger, escorted commercial carriers, usually loaded with food stocks, there were only a handful of smaller foreign vessels.  He soon realized the Empire had no ships heading into any of the Vector Zones, and only five scheduled carriers of general goods for later in the week.

So here too was a major problem with his theory.

If the three Lords, had indeed engineered this theft, they needed one the largest of the commercial carriers, with specialized holding tanks of great size, as no smaller space-vessels, had the carrying capacity, or specialized equipment to move such exotic, heavy matter. He continued searching through the well organized reports, by subject and time-correlation, to the assumed time-period, of the theft. There was nothing specific in the query listings showing any probability factor, demonstrating a connection. He had hit another dead-end.

Lord Su, sipped his drink, while noting the other Lords were becoming more agitated. The three missing from their Stations were being highly disrespectful by rudely ignoring protocols. They had been tasked with bringing to the meeting several critical reports, concerning an unusual trade violation. Such information might be quite crucial to this investigation. He turned his attention back to the Eskoltian Trade summaries.

Perhaps he would find a link to that “unusual” violation. Thus, he looked for anything that might indicate some kind of tie-in or reference to the Contracts, bound to the Morphogenic Materials, or anything else so produced by the primary productions, of the most valuable, metallic elements. He even looked through the social blurbs of the wealthy whose business affairs made them newsworthy, just to see, who was squeaking louder than usual. He found no pertinent stories with any connection to the incident. He chuckled over a major news story about a wealthy Eskoltian financier, on Depreia, whose nine, disgruntled wives, had decided to sell their Shares, of the marriage contract, in order to humiliate him for “undisclosed” transgressions.

Lord Su knew the marriages, of the people of that system of worlds, were indeed most unusual. He also knew the reason had to do with their remarkable Eskoglyphs, which was a significant part of their technological matrix. A device which was based on DNA itself. A literal nano-level Query-terminal. A device, said to be so exceptionally advanced, they could communicate vast amounts of complex information, to every individual so required, not just on the planet of signal origination, but to all of their worlds in the same short interval of time. And in every language of which their people spoke. The devise also communicated money, in unique value quotients, more efficiently, than any other civilization. Their most advanced worlds had accumulated wealth in measures no Emperor had ever imagined possible, and yet, their government was so small the Council leaders only met when the need arose. Their system made no sense to the bureaucrats, who merely smiled, when such discussions turned to why the Empire was so mired in old ways, no new one could take hold.

Nonetheless, the people of the Eskoltian worlds did not try to change other forms of government which were nothing like their own. Due to these facts, they were quite peaceful in most respects, and were of no threat. The Eskoltian’s had little need for large, standing militaries, or large policing functions in their great cities. Instead, they had their Guardian, an intelligent agent, which was a relic from another Superior race, long since gone. There was very little information on the ‘Guardian’ directly, found in the Query Library, but he had seen intelligence reports, which made it clear this unusual ‘Agent’ was in possession, of such advanced technology, no other race dared to attack the small, but well specialized, military ships, so used by the Eskoltian’s, to defend their territories and their commercial ships.

His own race so enjoined, by diplomatic Treaties, employed the necessary explorer spaceships and crews along side the more advanced Eskoltian ships, and together had explored three different manifold domains, each a different cast of stars, forming unique galaxies. Their own imperial star-ships were becoming more advanced with each passing decade, but they needed a breakthrough in the fuel for the ships.  Light speed travel without worm-hole gates was stupendously expensive. This constraint limited the explorations greatly and thus, the ships in use were highly regulated leaving few opportunities for any reckless stratagems and ambitions.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su flicked through a series of graphs, illustrating the latest data-plot Trends, of the leading economic sectors. Trade agreements with the Exskoltian’s had become cumbersome, as they were too prosperous to be easily backed into a corner. Their agriculture was so advanced they could feed a thousand worlds from only twenty-five. Their unique system of money allowed all their people to find the best possible solutions to their needs. These were formidable factors in their favor. What they did not have was unlimited metallic productions. Normally, such an imbalance would greatly favor the Empire in gross transactions. However, the Empire did not have adequate food productions for all the people in the great cities. Poverty was rampant even as the Imperial Treasure Houses were fat with profit. Agricultural imports rose every period as the soils on their own agricultural worlds were increasingly exhausted. The imbalance now favored the Exskoltian’s in all areas of Trade, not just agriculture, as they continued their astonishing scientific advancements in every sector of technology. The gross imbalance was putting exceptional pressure on the transmorphic production cycles. Like a bad omen the graphs high-lighted the ugly truth. The Empire was drowning in foreign trade debts.

He had no doubt the missing Lords were at the heart of the crisis. As far as he was concerned they were the problem, but how to prove this with nothing more than tongue wagging. He mopped his brow with a silken cloth. Looking at each of the present Lords, with a modest glance, only Pnashu, exhibited any signs of stress like himself. Lord Pnashu, had personally allowed the Asset Record Inspector Hei-Leiu, to remain on an extended holiday to appease his mistress, while his wife visited an ailing relative. Normally, this was so trivial it wasn’t worth a second glance.

However, because Hei-Leiu was missing when the theft occurred, his duty stations alarms were not answered until many hours later. A proper discharge of that quantity of material, left undeniable records, through no less then 21 sub-systems, plus the security locks which controlled the flow valves, from one set of chambers to the next, were on continuous digital, solid-state registers, whose outputs were recorded simultaneously, in all security and Master Stations. The lead Inspectors primary task was to know and to monitor that information and report any discrepancies. While the inspector had a clean alibi, the fact remained, he was not on duty as required, by his senior administrative position. A punishment, awaited the errant Inspector and Lord Pnashu, would be castigated as well.

However, this assignment of inconsequential blame, did not solve the problem of the theft itself.  He had no factual answers to the real mystery: Who was truly capable of stealing the most valuable raw material ever created, so easily? Lord-Su sipped his drink wondering why the missing Lords did not fear direct retaliation for their actions? He returned his attention back to the reports.

Another fact was also quite clear.

The Eskoltian’s, were like any other race they dealt with in Trade. They too did not know the true Imperial secret. These trading partners were only told the metals originated by standard mining technologies. There was no difference of purity between sources, if anything the actual process was too exceptional, as no impurities were produced, unless there was a serious operational defect, while in process. When plotting the operational cycles these defects were too small to warrant anything, but a minor record of trivial importance.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su continued looking through other indexes hoping to find something that would allow him to advance his theory. His tall glass of Pi-Ken was nearly empty.

Another specialized report was brought in by his lead, technical aide Quin Lee. Not surprisingly, it was as thick as a taxing records book. He waved him away with a quick hand gesture. His aid was far too curious for his own good. Thus, he had a bad habit of hovering about long after his presence was no longer needed. His work however, was meticulous and most thorough. He glanced through the index, noting each related sectional synopsis, had just the right balance of subject matter, while emphasizing, the desired conclusions. The Lords did not want to know every technical detail, only the impact upon their own positions.

Lord-Su thought about the many times had he made the same argument, that he did not need to know the trifling details of what “Transmorphic Fluid” was scientifically, where it came from, or even why. All he had to know was how much was available after each major cycle, the preferred Imperial sell price of each lot of the specified, metallic productions, and the method of payment. Preferably in advance from the buyer. He was responsible for all aspects of that specific set of core transactions, and as a Lord, his authority was final in all such sell contracts, so originated. He knew many aspects of the processes so involved, but he was a Lord not an engineer. He managed Contracts not machines.

The truth was that today, unlike in the past decades, every cycle of production was needed to keep pace with the contractual obligations already placed in Order Status. The Empire purchased far more goods than it produced. Those were the pressures he was keenly aware of in daily business. Therefore, he realized, an entire production cycle so lost, also meant all outstanding Contracts, on two business cycles, were going to be in immediate forfeit.

That is what made this crises unlike any he had experienced in his long tenure.

As he watched yet another annoying status dire alert pop-up on the screen, his worst fears did seem to be materializing right on schedule. The carrier ships waiting to be loaded with the processed ores, had of course missed yet another dead-line for the cargo transfer. Meanwhile, other ships which should be unloading were instead waiting for further instructions. Men on both sides, were sitting idle on the enormous docks and their Bosses were furious because no work was being done. The news of the crises was spreading. The impact of the theft was already in full motion and getting worse, as evidenced by the latest up-tick in the insurance pricing-indexes. He looked up at the conference clock.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su had ten minutes left to figure out how to avoid the deeper disaster.

Using the same trick as before, he quickly mixed and poured out another full measure of his soothing elixir. The other Lords were no doubt noting his increasing pallid complexion, which was the only physical sign of his addiction. Just as he was about to do something, truly stupid, like fake some kind of internal, medical-emergency, he received a High-priority, emergency message from the Emperor.

He promptly read the communique, so printed on specialty, Imperial paper from the secure printing device.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su audibly breathed a great sigh of relief. He was being instructed to promptly cancel the meeting, until further notice. There was a new development which required his immediate attention.

He transmitted the provided digitally-authenticated, Imperial-Seal, and it was instantly displayed across the tele-screens. The other Lords would only know that this cancellation was due to an undefined “pricing crises” that was in progress. This was of course quite unusual, during an emergency meeting, unless so directed by the Emperor himself. The other Lords, might make some noise about their duties and schedules being interrupted, yet again, but that was minor so compared to the real crisis.  After all, having relied on his gut instincts, he had not transmitted the full report, and so they did not know the full extant of the circumstances, or its dire repercussions. He took that prepared report and placed it into the secured document safe.

Lord-Su then notified his staff manager Tai-Shui, via a secured line, that a major change was underway and to prepare a much different kind of analysis. He emphasized that it was to be historically comprehensive in every technical, scientific detail. A slightly different kind of report, which would hopefully, provide him some leverage, if so needed.

An Imperial courier arrived moments later with two secured pouches, each bearing the gold and purple-ink of the Seven-Dragon Seal. He signed across the security coded bar-line and pressed his own seal onto the reception-return record. The first pouch he left unopened and instead secured it in his wall-safe. He would only need to see what was in that pouch if he failed the new mission.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su, left the teleconference chamber with renewed hope. Now he had more time to discover what was really going on, behind the scenes. If he did not find better answers to the main questions, he was finished. He exited from the connecting hallway through the empty briefing-room and went down another short hallway to the security lift. He closed the heavy-door behind him. His position, while of privileged status, rarely required guards to just simply move from one section to another. He sequenced the security codes by memory, which allowed the lift to travel all the way down to the private entrance, leading to the Grand Viewing Chamber. He enjoyed looking out into the the main control room, itself quite enormous, which housed all of the primary control-stations, manned by thousands of men and woman, fulfilling their required tasks. This main center really was the true hub of the entire moon base complex.

He finally, opened up the secured, second pouch of documents, which were under a security clearance of E-9. For his eyes only, and possibly not seen by anyone else except the Emperor. The military staff did not always have the highest level of access, especially in areas where their lack of specialized knowledge was a hindrance to strategies so deployed.

The original secured message had been sent from the Diplomatic Office, of the Eskoltian Intelligence Service. The man he was to meet was the lead Intel-Investigator, Vsaris Renchiento- Eskoltian Intelligence Command. This agent was investigating the continued circumstances, regarding the theft of a top-secret, space-ship, capable of a new kind of FLT transwarp. The ship had been traced by the Space Command Forces, leaving Eskoltian space and plotted to have arrived in Imperial space, somewhat, in the vicinity of the Tau-Chein space-station.

Now this was quite interesting he was thinking. The Tau-Chein station was the primary commercial hub for the very wealthy, to carry out business with very little over-sight. Like the Lords, the Emperor, also enjoyed his many visits to the Tau-Chein space-station with its posh gambling halls, and the many specialized amenities, such a well staffed station, so generously offered to its wealthy clients and visitors.

He continued reading the document as the lift descended. The Eskoltian Intel-Agent was cleared for Hi-level Diplomatic Security, along with military clearance as needed. Apparently, this Agent had been waiting for nearly a ren[day/night cycle] to see someone, who had the proper security position, required by the investigation.  That was unusual. This Eskoltian Agent since arriving had actually tracked down the stolen ship to a berth on the stations B-Ring, and photographed key individuals entering and exiting the stolen craft.

He immediately recognized one of the men photographed: It was the ring leader of the three Lords— Lord Tamdo-Shau. Of the three his Father was the most powerful as the Financial Minister, whose position placed the Treasury Office of Anzu-Vi under his authority. Needless, to say, his wealth was quite extraordinary and such prominent influence flowed with great force to his many “captains” of industry. This is why the three Lords yielded so much power, at an age most men would only know much later in life. He knew their Fathers played a heavy-hand in their activities, but these Lords, also had made it quite clear, they were responsible for their own mischief.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su felt a powerful surge of emotion, with such proof in hand. He shrewdly contemplated how this revelation was going to substantially strengthen his charge of conspiracy and treason. However, that wonderful elation did not last long. When he turned over the last of the enclosed photo’s his blood ran cold.

The perfect high-resolution, close-up… was none other than the Emperor’s youngest brother.

His fury, rose like boiling water on high, until he was beating the lifts, ornate metal wall, with his fist. So it was Heriu Chan Se Qan who was behind the plot…  He was fuming mad, as he was now fully understanding the subtleties, of the Emperor’s decisions. There was no doubt the Emperor, had assigned him this task, to deflect at the right moment this rather disturbing revelation. So once again, Chan Se Qan had found yet another way to dishonor the Imperial family.

All the while making a fool out of the his elder brother…yet again.

Now he had to wonder… was his life as a Lord about to be sacrificed just to save the Emperor from deeper humiliation? He stopped the lift to think about this new twist. When he made up his mind he resumed the final leg of the descent. Lord Tan-Kuan-Su exited the security lift in a mood more pensive than before as he strode down the hallway. Four of his top investigators, along with twenty-seven data specialists, were patiently waiting in the side-conference room, linked by another short-hallway to the Grand Viewing Chamber. He explained to them his new instructions and took his seat in the Chamber without need of formality. The staff was going to immediately combine all of the information, he had requested earlier, with the additional, more comprehensive, scientific summery. A hybrid report to be finalized by his review. This would be a risky gambit. Allowing Top-Secret information to be shared with an Eskoltian Agent, without the Emperor’s approval, was an automatic charge of Treason.

Out in the control room the crisis was obvious as security men, under very strict orders, stood along side the top science managers as they checked every single system for any signs of sabotage, infiltration, code deviation or any other suspicious log activity to explain, why the stations exceptional security failed so spectacularly without a trace of evidence. Skilled technicians were actually crawling through the maze of piping and chambers with specialized detectors, in an effort to determine where the material substance actually exited the system. One engineer actually joked it was still there, but in another state, unforeseen by previous data predictions.  Perhaps, he was closer to the truth then they dared admit.

After waiting, for only a short period of time for the reports to be finalized, he was handed the results by Chief Security Officer, Chienti Wi-Gien, whose mannerism was as grim, as his own.

After his Security Officer left the chamber, he mixed and poured himself another measure of his elixir. He quickly read through the synopsis of each prepared section, neatly typed in the “Diplomatic version” of their Court Language. There was no mistake regarding the early assessment. The primary chambers were in fact, empty, and even worse, the primary control station severely malfunctioned prior to the disappearance. All of the stations were still nonfunctional for reasons not yet understood. In addition, unique crystallization, had occurred inside the main-frames, but the properties of the crystals were unknown. Something of great power had fully altered the Hyper-Spatial Induction Fields, in such a manner, that the proton reference-scale, so used to measure the particle flux and plasma pulse of the compression chambers, skewed all the way to the negative-spin state. There were no historical data records for this action.

Once the complex of chambers were emptied, the stable N-Omicron matrix promptly collapsed and was gone.

He re-read that last line with a sickening feeling.  The positive-phase cycle was now broken, which meant a re-start was necessary to re-propagate the seeding function of the Omicron-matrix. A lengthy, difficult process which according to the records so accessed, had not been fully required for nearly one-hundred and fifty Imperial years. He also knew that the instruments for this process, were so dangerous, they had been sealed off in the Imperial Vault a century ago.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su next picked up the thick report, which contained the scientific analysis, so prepared for him to fully explain, the deeper mechanisms so involved, and a broad summarized history of the technological aspects. He had to decide how much of this top-secret information was going to be shared.

To understand this process of energy-matter conversions, requires a brief look into the past.

One of the most powerful of all the early versions of the Cymatic Devices, was called a Series-7 Neuron Field Amplifier Interface Responder. Instead of detecting simplified physiological measures from the brain, nerves or body, to act on after the fact, the Series 7-NFAIR purified the sublime Mental-State using a mathematically perfected Cymatic Induction Series. The resulting hyper-clarity of the Consciousness Field, allowed the Operators to produce along with Responders, novel Q-Waves of surprising power. This two-way process was termed the Iso-Potential. While in this State, it was demonstrated that unique, classical-based geometries, could induce powerful vibrations upon any object within the field range. Objects, so resonated, would spin or deform, often quite dramatically.

While experimenting with the resulting Q-wave-forms on a concurrent, unstable particle C[charged one-third spin-state]-Baryon experiment, the lead scientists noted the unique condensation on the walls of the particle-collection-chambers themselves. Further enhancements to the apparatus produced in time copious amounts of a new form of “Superconductive Fluid” which had a controllable, uniform Magnetic Resonance stability of 8 hz, which, in turn led to further experiments, eventually producing a denser matrix of unknown, positive-electromagnetically charged particles. However, these particles were highly unstable unless under Q-wave influences.

During these periods it was noted that an interaction was occurring of a most unusual result. When the Operator/Responder teams ceased the visualizations, after a specific cycle of the Q-wave propagation, the resulting dense fluids, which were graphically represented as rotating, hyper-spheres, collapsed into a single-particle state. This entire procedure of producing this new derivation of the Fermion, was classified, as a N[neutral]-Omicron particle-cycle-matrix.

Each singular Omicron[a new Fermion] particle was of substantial mass size, but was inherently unstable. Months of hi-level experimentation, from a diverse team of scientists of many disciples, eventually happened upon one possible solution, so extracted from the quasi-particle research, from which a new chamber design stabilized this unique co-production of particles. What made this new particle matrix, so unique, while in the precise resonate-frequency range value [with an Operator and Responder producing the Q-waves], and thus, stabilized, it had genuine self-propagation properties, which were morphologically transmutable.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su knew this was the crux of their problem today. It was because of this extremely powerful, yet, complex bootstrap mechanism, as a self-determining process, which required the use of the more powerful, previous versions of the current Cymatic MD cards, and that all access to those previous specific instruments had been sealed off. Without these prior instruments no new Omicron-Level State matrix can be initiated or sustained.

He continued reading:

Creating the new quasi-Fermion ‘particle’ was the key breakthrough, but that was due to the Cymatic device itself.

One of the lead scientists, during this time-period of experimentation’s, artfully named this yet unexplained, Hyper-State of particles: An[god] Ti[7th tone] oi[to speak] NE[self-referential] thus, “Antioine” from which the “Antioine- or- Transmorphic Fluid” was extracted in the spinning, dual-opposite charged-chambers. The early models of the 7-NFAIR devices were created by the scientific teams, and were limited in capability. However, the specific 7 series were perfected by Han Zhau. Two Master cards controlled an additional 49 for a total of 52 Cymatic MD cards. The unique design, of four phases in balanced sequential paths, allowed meaningful controlled Hyper-Spatial extractions, of which the Operator and Responder, both, curiously enough, experienced direct sensations of taste, during experimentation’s. Each paired team, whose amplified Alpha-waves (visualizing the memorized hyper-spatial geometries in a series) successfully reached the proper, resonate energy-level, experienced the Omicron-epiphany, whereby, these induced consciousness-waves imploded into ever higher Q-wave propagation.

Han Zhau was unique, among his fellow scientists, that he was also a devout practitioner of the mystic Tse-Wu philosophy. He taught these techniques to his most advanced teams of Operator and Responder. He alone succeeded in creating the first stable, self-referencing N-Omicron-particle matrix. A matrix which was defined, simply as the Omicron-Level State. The rest of the information was classified top-secret for restricted use. Only two other trained teams have ever achieved the same level of performance, since that time. Millions of children throughout the Empire take the tests every year to see if they can qualify for the training programs. Of these successful graduates, only a handful of teams are even capable of using the second level Cymatic MD-cards. The power of the cards overwhelms the mind in ways, which are quite uncontrollable.

No current operator/responder teams have been cleared for the Omicron-Level State. The reason why no such teams have been needed, has been due to the proficiency of the existing faculties and science controls. When technology is so advanced it becomes qualified as magic, science becomes an orphan of its own success.

The Antioine-fluid (referred to in all science journals as a mysterious “Hyperdense Media”) has been produced from this [Hyper-Spatial Omicron-matrix] in a controlled process, so uniquely complicated, that today, forty-three-thousand dedicated engineers and related staff, using a complex of Q’wavetronic [quantum-query devices], coupled to dedicated parallel super-computers, are needed just to control, all of the needed structural parts of the enormous machine, in every cycle of single production. However, very few know the entire process as compartmentalized procedures take ever greater precedence.

Today, we have a colossal machine which is comprised of both the nano-technology infrastructures, along with the macro scalar capabilities, while including highly, specialized equipment such as: massive hexagonal-latticed, dual-spin-charge chambers, themselves housing the particle-pairing, tuned-induction nano-bleed wells, the required superconducting magnetic tunnels to control material flows, twenty-seven levels of ultra-high, frequency coils, coupled to enormous Cavity Resonator chambers, multiple axis Synchrotron’s, with multiphase rotational/spin arms, multistage, amplified power-generation, and all of the necessary mechanical systems, so required, to make the entire apparatus function as designed. Several generations of the Imperial Rulers sustained the project to completion. Under this direction were the very best scientists and engineers, who in turn, organized the millions of tech-labor specialists who built and fine-tuned this massive complex, itself located on the moon Gei-Pia, both on the surface and deep underground. The current infrastructure of the city allows over one-hundred thousand people to live and work on Gei-Pia comfortably.

The profound secret behind this massive investment was simple: the Antioine matrix of particles, allowed for the propagation of pure matter, from seed masses. One tiny unit of pure metal, was propagated into millions. The nearly unlimited production of pure metals soon led to more sophisticated alloy specializations, thereby driving the technology advancements through-out the entire Empire. However, there were still unique problems in jump-starting the “process” when necessary, due to the fact the so expressed “superluminal State” is formed by hyper-spatial geometry, requiring the roles of dual consciousness, to expand and collapse in perfect Q-waves. Even for an advanced team practitioners, this state is extremely difficult, both to achieve and maintain, with any degree of success. Thus, the importance of the Series 7-NFAIR which boosted the optimal capability of the teams far above any previous threshold (If no teams in the current day can achieve the same Omicron-State all production ceases and the facility is useless.) the currant Series 8 cannot match in true performance.

The success of the operations was thus balanced, during this long period of time, on a single determination of purpose: to cycle the “Omicron-Matrix” in reciprocal unity to ensure a positive-spin wave was always in the correct phase. The Series 8-NFAIR MD’s were designed to optimize the procedures and results to ensure this cycle remained in the proper sequence. However, for a cold re-start—the current operational Cymatic Cards, which do not have the unique designs of the Series 7 MD’s— are useless for this procedure.

The original Series 7-NFAIR MD’s, were so powerful, all of the matrixing-platter’s for the Diodene-cell replicators were destroyed, during the first initial experimentation’s. At the time this was not thought to be a defective aspect and the research continued. However, the very reason why the devices worked, was also the reason why the users did not control the input of their own sub-conscious mind. Electro-magnetic induced dreams of such bewildering intensity nearly drove Han Zhau, and his technicians mad. He had lost most of his facility servants and technicians, in a single night due to the reckless influence the Series-7 MD’s had upon him, and then in turn, upon them. People had in a real sense super-conductive dreams, while wide-awake. Hyper-reality disturbances moved from one to another in near simultaneous fashion, well beyond the facility itself. These episodes resulted in people claiming they had gone into different realities, via bi-location, where some of them actually lived for decades, in a quality of time-dilation, unknown to them. Such were the bewildering results so produced, the research teams were unable to specifically quantify, the true underlying mechanism.

After the last of these debacles, Han Zhau was forced to admit his Series-7 MD’s were so advanced that none, including himself, had the skill to fully control all unintended aspects of their power. Thus, the entire set of 52, Series 7-NFAIR Cymatic MD-cards, were to be enshrined, as Artful novelties, in the Treasury of Gifts, bestowed upon the Emperor Kung Chan Sou Qan, in honor of completing the first phase of construction of the facility, in addition to completing the city, on Gei-Pia. (The technology which made them went elsewhere, and no one, but the sitting Emperor, knows that answer, and none dare to ask, any questions, period.)

Thus, besides the Emperor on the Throne, only a few knew the real reason why the Series-7 MD’s had been quietly banned from further production and use. The unspoken truth was the MD cards were extracting the Antioine-fluid into immediate transmutation without protective limits. Too much ‘Antion-force’ caused unexpected deviations in material properties, often accompanied by seemingly, godlike-powers, which overcame the Operator/Responder in unexpected, and highly, unpleasant ways. People simply vanished from the research facilities never to return. Reports of strange animals never before seen in any scholarly book, were brought in by hunters and farmers.

Very dangerous conditions persisted long after the use of such trans-materialized objects, as they in turn, effected other materials in ambiguous processes, of instantaneous consequence. A movement of a single, two-inch rod made of glass, around another pea-sized sphere of Antion formed material, caused palladium metals to boil up to a mile away. One such object, when placed within another, caused huge globs of unknown flesh to fall from cloudless skies up to four leagues from the research center.

After many such dangerous experimentation’s, all further demonstrations, only used the next generation of the Series 8-NFAIR MD-cards in precomputed, specific formations (bad alignments were removed from all “probability exercises” to hide the “defect” of singular use), and the results were so formalized. This next generation of the Cymatic MD’s were thus finalized, without the previous Series ‘defect’ which Han Zhau never mentioned, but by indirect mathematical abstractions of theoretical pontifications.

Today, the singular dedication to material propagation ensures the safety of the operations and the success of the endeavor. (The Series 7-NFAIR MD’s in question were never to be touched again by Han Zhau or any other researchers.)

By the time of the second phase of the project, Han Zhau, now known as the Elder Zhao, was so highly regarded in his field, and thus, in the Court of the Emperor, he had become quite wealthy. Such was his reputation, and highly influential scholarly publications on many subjects, his influence on scientific matters went well beyond the city in which he lived and worked. His ideas were well incorporated in the third and fourth stages of the project.

Thanks to him, and many others following in his research, substantial improvements in all phases of the project have allowed technological advancements to be utilized throughout the complex itself.

For example: The current models of the charged spin chambers, have substantially more advanced ceramic and advanced alloy compounds. The new composites allow for the “Transmorphic Fluid” to branch out in real-time and fill multiple-arrays of Octet-Cell formations, thereby, remaining well stabilized in a solid phase. In this unique State, the A-fluid can be stored, and more importantly, safely moved to any other location within the base. (This break-through has allowed pure metal generation facilities to be far removed from the main induction complex, and under very favorable conditions for further post-processing in industrial applications.)

The sciences which had developed over the arc of the project are yielding very profitable ventures, in a variety of commercial applications. One of these branches led to a formalized description of the key process without giving away the deeper secret: When the “Hyperdense Fluid” is discharged, in the presence of the seeding mono-body elemental, the induced Hyper-Spatial Transmutations, fully retain the resonate Q-wave signatures, of the Cymatic “vibrotronic” patterns.

These unique patterns, which describe any material object, regardless of mass properties, are formalized as “Perfected Quantagraph’s” of which the corresponding number of protons, in the nucleus of an atom, as found in the Standard Periodic Table, are so referenced. This branch of knowledge allows students to study the resulting Q-cards in step-wise progressions of math and sciences, in schools across the Empire.

Simply put: A single nucleus of a mono-body mass, quickly aggregates into millions of units of the desired element. Metal generation from the quantum sub-space, found in every node of matter, had made the Emperors of the Qan Dynasties, right to this very day, wealthy beyond measure. This wealth has also flowed outward to the higher classes, which have also become more prosperous by every generation. The highly advanced cloud cities of Anzu-Vi which followed this curve of wealth expansion, further revolutionized the advancement of modern society itself.

This dependency on the “Transmorphic Fluid” facilities to maintain this cycle of wealth creation is now in serious jeopardy. (Since that early period the Series 7-NFAIR MD’s have been kept in a protective, ultra-high security vault, defended by an entire High Guard Unit.)

According to the Emperor himself: These Instruments are now missing. (He suspects his brother Heriu Chan Se Qan removed the real cards and replaced them with fakes some time ago.)

Having finished reading the report, with only a few minor edits, which he added, as placed in parentheses, he readied the final version for the Diplomatic Courier. Lord-Su rubbed his eyes in sheer disbelief. This had all the makings of a disaster that would ruin them all.

As for the stolen Cymatic Device Cards… had the younger brother Mastered the ancient Art well enough to accomplish the same as Han Zhau? What did this mean in regards to the missing A-fluid? Was there another connection to the stolen space-craft? Was he planning a conquest of entire worlds within the Empire, or just ruthless revenge against his elder ruling brother for stealing away his young wife? How long had he been conspiring with the three Lords? Family jealousies and pride in the Ruling family were nothing new, but these two brothers had long since lost sight of any higher principle in their life-long competition for the Superior position.

More questions without good answers.

Perhaps, he too needed to vanish into mystery.  He stared at the last page of the report. Heriu Chan Se Qan, had plunged a knife into his back so deep he could feel it sticking out from his stomach. He motioned for an aide, and told him to make the immediate arrangements for him to travel to the space-station. If he was going to be hung for an Act of Incompetence, he wanted to know why, he specifically, had been chosen as the unwitting patsy.




Vsaris Renchiento, was cooling his heels in the forward lounge of the very posh, Tau-Chein Space-Station. He had been assigned this job due to his field experience in dangerous, off-world investigations. However, if his fellow Agents, back in the office, knew he was casually sipping custom drinks in a place like this he would never hear the end of it… as it was very tempting to just head off and enjoy the many amenities, of such a luxurious station. However, he was here on a very serious matter.  The theft of the top-secret ship was bad enough, but the real shocker had been the explicit acknowledgement, that the ship was not detected leaving the secured military hangers, or even the Secured Gate Stations, but upon its return, from an unknown system, somewhere in the 4th-Manifold.

This was quite the revelation.

If an explorer ship had come back from a successful venture into the “4th Manifold” it would be front page news, on every broadcast channel followed by flag-waving, award ceremonies. The movement of ships through the manifold Exchange Gates, was controlled by the Eskoltian Guardian, which was a daily activity extremely complicated in details and routine by practice. Essentially, every ship used a 5-D plot, for Jumps, but going through the low-pass Worm-Hole Gates only required 4-D plots. The systems over-lapped, as did the experience of the Captains and crews, but there was a very big difference between traveling in known Vectors by worm-holes, and leaping into an unknown Manifold of another Space Continuum. When pressed for answers, the big shots just shook their heads and flat out asserted that nobody had the data to even make a 5-D plot, for such a Jump, much less, possessed the starting calculations to determine a phase stability— which is what the scientists called the moment a ship passed from one Manifold domain to another. The Guardian had always been in control of the Manifold Gate Systems, and the knowledge of the three manifolds was hard-wired into every aspect of its operations. Finding a new Manifold coordinate would be like finding a fountain of gold in your backyard. So the mystery of this unheralded discovery was so deep, nobody knew what the hell to think about it.

He had also been contemplating the many troubling factors regarding the ships theft. Somebody not only just walked right in and stole the craft, right out from under the militaries nose, but they had to have understood its systems well enough just to operate the ship at all. That specialized knowledge was highly classified, until released for commercial activities, so somebody was selling that preliminary patient info. but who? Ship designs that were in the next league of advancement were so expensive, the entire build projects were ridiculously controlled at every stage just to protect the investors. This craft was also going to be manufactured under military specifications, which was a whole other layer of secrecy on top of the first. And yet somebody waltzed right in and walked out again without leaving so much as a dust speck behind. What was discovered, by pure damn luck, was that a significant amount of money, in the form of precious metals, had been exchanged, by yet unknown parties, for a long list of supplies and equipment.

The best guess to the possible who behind the scenes, was someone in the top rungs of the project, but not directly connected by Contract. The next major surprise was that the counter-parties connections led directly to a younger brother of the Emperor himself! The buzz around that little bit was enough to spin a whole months worth of headlines. Nonetheless, that information was duly classified until further developments warranted its release. After being here on the station for an entire ren[day/night cycle-especially aboard ships or stations] he finally received a set of documents which proved this fact, from a Lord assigned to the investigation.

What was still bothering him, concerning the connection to the younger brother of the emperor, was the odd nature of the financial communication itself.

Whomever, sent the original transmission did so using a known, defective coding scheme. The defective transmission triggered a Hub-Relay error when it passed through the Station, and was of course flagged for possible data-loss. A technical review so flummoxed a com-tech it was sent to the S.C. Operational Center for investigation. Such was the stupendous amount of precious metals involved[one and half-million imperial units of gold bars] a quick thinking data-analyst sent a copy to the Military Intelligence Review Office, where the message was finally connected back to the theft of the ship. This made the whole affair even more explosive, and thus the need, for high-level diplomacy. He had lucked out, as he was one of the few Agents on the Roster List, which was fully cleared for this type of mission.

So meanwhile, as he was waiting for Lord-Su to arrive he was having an opportunity to mingle with the Tiamese people. He was finding the females to be quite enchanting, and the men to be polite, but wary. Very socially structured people in general with high-quality principles guiding their sophisticated customs. Very well dressed and impeccable grooming. Granted, this was a luxury orientated space-station catering to the very wealthy citizens of the Empire, but nonetheless, such was the mix of people in general, he was getting a well formed glimpse of their over-all social habits, at least to each other. As a stranger, his role was to follow the rules, and such customs, as required, by his status as a guest. Courtesy was very important here, especially in regard to the females, single or otherwise.

Be “Fruitful and Multiply” was the guiding Law on all Eskoltian worlds. The arrangements of males and females so guided were very dynamic, especially when high numbers in the Glyph Fields so indicated an off-spring of exceptional traits. He knew from the field notes the Tiamese also practiced polygyny, but it was limited by fairly strict social customs, with traditional forms of singular marriage being the accepted norm.  Explaining, the current state of the polygyny arrangements, to those unfamiliar with the custom, was far too complicated for most light discussions. Judging by the pleasant smiles of the well-heeled ladies, gracefully passing him in the immediate vicinity, the dynamic of biological freedom was a part of their culture as well.

Somewhere in the very deep past the people of Tia Ma world systems, and those of the Eskoltian world systems, all came from the same genetic source. Marriages between the two branches had been on the rise over the last hundred years, resulting in physically fit and highly intelligent off-spring. Still and yet, despite all the trade between the two societies, what was known about the daily lives of the Tiamese people in general was rather sparse. There was great wealth in the upper tiers, and quite evident by the exceptional decor of the entire space-station, but the large populated cities had severe inequalities, resulting in a wealth distribution graph, of very undesirable qualities. The Empire was slowly losing the battle to feed its poverty-stricken, jobless lower-classes. Any disruptions to the carry-trade of agricultural food-stocks, might well mean riots in the streets. Well, so he was advised by the proper economic experts, prior to heading off on the ship.

Vsaris, finished his drink when he noticed the two High-Guards, of the higher-ranking designation, heading his way. He knew without being told that his meeting with the Lord Tan-Kuan-Su was about to be underway.

Lord-Su did not come into the station with a splashy attachment, as many Lords did, only four High-Guards with diplomatic styled, formal uniforms. The man he was meeting was being escorted to the upper-deck seating area reserved for important guests of the Imperial House. Once arriving to the ornately decorated seating booth, the two of them were given a proper courtesy introduction. This booth station, was especially well positioned, affording them an expansive view of the luxurious main galleria, as well as, a spectacular panoramic view of the exterior sights of the station.

Vsaris Renchiento, having taken his seat, after the Elder Lord, placed on the Imperial table a small oval-shaped, silver-colored object. “This is a secure communication device. It is specifically, a highly specialized language-translator. It does not record our conversation, unless we both agree to specific conditions of that recording. Furthermore, it also produces a silencing shield around us. Any exterior noises are automatically filtered out, allowing us to hear each other with greater accuracy.”

“Quite remarkable,” replied Lord Su, and so he added,”On behalf of the Emperor, I offer our sincerest apologies for the theft of your governments property in conjunction, with members of our own people.”

“So acknowledged. Thank you,”replied Vsaris, quite aware of his diplomatic manners. “I too, offer my governments most sincerest apologies, for the apparent involvement of parties, yet unknown to us, for their involvement in such an unusual criminal offense, against your Emperor. And let me also make clear, that this entire affair, has caused quite an embarrassment, both to the military officers, in charge of the project, and to the civilian engineers, in our government as well. In all honesty, they still have no idea where the ship went specifically, or even how it was stolen.”

“This quality of mystery is quite disturbing to me, for many reasons. Our city complex on Gei-Pia where we produce our “Transmorphic Fluid” is quite secure, and yet, the theft we experienced, also left no trail of how such security measures, both external to the station, or internal, were breached. This places us both in a very provocative position. And I would say, the parties so responsible, are expertly exploiting the necessity of secrecy to further their ambitions, knowing we cannot fully expose the deeper truths, of our respective losses.” Lord Tan-Kuan-Su, signaled for the waiters to begin service. Curious on-lookers smiled and bowed politely, as they passed below the raised stations, prominent position on the upper-dining level.

“Your assessment is quite perceptive, Lord Tan-Kuan-Su,” answered Vsaris, well impressed with the level of quality service. He did not dine like this on his pay-scale. “I also agree completely that we are both sitting atop an explosive situation, and already in a compromised position; which indeed, may very well be a significant part of the colluding parties plan, to hamper any investigations sufficiently enough, to allow them to make an escape.” The servers placed the richly, decorated bowls of steaming soup, before them both.

“Do you direct the militaries responses in conflict situations?”

“Not exactly… no. Right now we are in a unique position. I do not have the authority, or man power, to forcibly take back the ship, and all things considered; it was strongly advised, not to approach the ship with any armed forces, due to the very strong possibility it is well armed, with devices, we know nothing about. That’s the primary reason, why an armed military detachment, has been kept at a very safe distance.” He sampled the soup finding it excellent.

“How did you determine this information?” Asked Lord Su, very pleased with the additional choices, to the main dishes.

“A single scan of the ship as it passed through the unsecured zone of the Manifold-Gate is what tripped the high-level security alerts. A big part of the embarrassment factor, is that nobody knew where the ship went, for several renti[weeks in space-time measures] after the theft. Furthermore, only because it was carrying unknown devices of exceptional destructive power, did our authorities, actually discover that the ship was returning to our own space. Afterwards, it jumped into the vicinity of this station. And by that I mean, by proximity Jumping. We really have no idea who the ship compliment may have met, or may have done, prior to its actual docking here. Our current fastest ships are no match for this ships Jump capabilities. All we can do is track its movements as it Jumps, due to an internal security system which cannot be removed. Or so we hope.” The aroma at the table was in a league of its own.

“Our adversaries seem to have the advantage over us in a manner too clever for coincidence.” Remarked Lord Su, after  helping himself to another one of the delicacies in the category of finger foods.

The main dishes arrived on the elaborate carts dignifying the status of the meal. The two of them waited patiently while the serving waiters graced the large ornate table with a fine assortment of delicacies, filled their glasses, and provided all of the proper accoutrements for their dining pleasures. The two men were of course quietly studying each other, looking for the signs, which either added to their trust, or diminished, that dynamic balance of diplomacy.

“The food and drink is quite good,” said Vsaris, after trying several of the finger edible dishes, as well, and sampling the wine. He would be the envy of his colleagues after they heard about this dining extravaganza.

“I am glad you are pleased. I too, have had a very long-day and I am quite famished,”remarked, Lord Su, feeling at ease with the younger man, whose countenance was stoutly honest. He had good manners, and was polite due to habit, not necessity. The device left only a slight pause between translations, but otherwise was exceptionally accurate to every word stated, as a quick glance to an aid confirmed. His food choices would give the young agent a nice sampling of some of the very best Tiamese gourmet dishes. He knew his gambit was going to be quite productive. This one had a lot to say and so he would listen while enjoying the sumptuous meal. His Lady Timshi would not approve of these rich foods… so much more for his enjoyment. As the second cousin to the Emperor on her fathers side she was quite powerfully positioned and yet, she was far too enamored of the trivial pursuits of her Court cliques.

“I would like to add at this point Lord Su,” began Vsaris, noting the translation was nearing real-time speed.”In accordance with the diplomatic laws which govern situations which arise, where the counter-party has, or might be in some quality of danger, it is our standard position of security, to offer immediate diplomatic protection. Specifically, I believe your life may be in jeopardy due to your knowledge, and position, therefore, if you choose to do so, you may join me in this investigation, as a full liaison, on behalf of your Emperor, which would allow you to accompany me wherever this investigation might lead.” After his statement Vsaris, studied the older mans reactions, carefully. A dignified Lord, of his age, and prominence, might not want to go off on any wild goose chases, when other younger men, might be available.

Lord Tan-Kuan-Su answered promptly,”Considering, the unusual circumstances which have brought us to this conjunction of Diplomatic necessity, I agree to your advice. The Emperor, will still need to be informed of our progress, and may have further instructions, which he will insist, I follow. However, so long as we are investigating the theft, and can make positive assurances, we are going to be successful, I have the singular authority, to appoint anyone under my command, to fulfill any position, so needed.” Lord Su, waited for the translator, which was now barely behind the last word spoken. He realized the device was perfecting the translations in real time. He added, “Will this be a problem to include a few court officers, or members of my staff, whose knowledge is going to be quite important, if we indeed, find our missing transmorphic fluid, and those responsible?” Lord Su, sampled some more of the main specialty-dish, Gein-Sun that his diet, under his Ladies stern direction, usually forbid. His taste buds were well rewarded.

“No… not at all,” answered Vsaris, keeping his mind focused on the deeper qualities of the questions. “But keep in mind, in order to ensure the highest-level of such protections, you and your staff members will need to obtain a temporary Eskoglyph. I of course will explain both the procedure, and the basics, of how the Glyph functions.” Vsaris following the prompt of the distinguished, Elder-Lord, tried some of the exotic looking, and aromatic main dish— Gein-Sun. He found it to be quite good. One could could start an entire restaurant chain on just this dish alone.

“A most unusual device is this Eskoglyph. And this device, as you say, will protect me, and my staff, from harm?”

“Yes, it will. One of the underlying capabilities of the glyph is its ability to literally shut-down the consciousness of an attacker, regardless of distance or time. Let us say, you were asleep and someone stole into your room to attack you. That individual cannot hide his actions from his own mind, therefore, his consciousness is what we call omni-readable– that is the consciousness already exists exterior to the mind itself. Thus, the glyph, which resides out-side of normal-time functions as well, acts on the attackers own mind at the neuron-level, and shuts down the synaptic responses internally. The mind turns itself off. The attacker, who does not need an Eskoglyph, for the defense function to work, falls unconscious and an alert is broadcast. The offender is then boarded, that is a carrying device upon which the offender is secured for transport.”

“What if the attacker is highly skilled, or armed with a more powerful instrument, than a defender with an Eskoglyph?”

“There are levels of pain which can be induced if the attacker is especially violent. If an attacker is armed his muscle memories are going to produce very strong spikes regardless of stealth. The mind and the body is shut down either way in micro-seconds.”

“What does your society do with your races more violent members?”

“In our societies, what we call the glyph number, which is a variable of the conscious-field-net, those that have a greater tendency to violence are transferred to another world at their own level. Our worlds are set up, so that those who have the same general glyph reading, are of the same, immediate social-order. As a result, of this nucleus fine tuning, of the orders of society, we experience very little crime, of any kind, even in our largest population centers. In many of our mega-cities we have long periods, of no murder, or any other capital offenses being committed. Our people, are not perfect mind you, but the glyph substantially, helps people solve transient, dis-agreements more peacefully.”

“So this glyph device does much more than just facilitate communication, both of the spoken languages, and that of the transfer of money?”

“Far more in fact. Our early ancestors were quite violent. Social chaos easily erupted over the usual contingencies related to the necessity of living. So the Guardian, gave all Eskoltian’s this devise, which due to it being based on DNA itself, meant it was passed down through both parents. This resulted in a unique factor of social harmony while retaining individuality. As children grow their glyphs are small, and show a wide variance, over the CN-numbers. A very normal quality of the growing mind. As each child enters the next substantial growth period, for most at puberty, the glyph is said to open. Thus, the child now growing into the first stages of being an adult, is able to see where they are heading, in a sense, of their own consciousness maturity. The Glyph is based on consciousness, so it allows for substantial inner communication, as well as external stimuli of complex purposes with exceptional efficiency, including deep memory retention.”

“So your people favor the mass-mind over the individual?”

“There are so many decisions which are unique to an individual, of their specific, spiritual path, that to hinder their progress with inharmonious factors, is actually illegal. Instead, our schools have developed a dynamic quality of knowledge accession and completeness. We essentially, follow our own best instincts to achieve the very best of our potentials, while retaining that individuality aspect, yet still in a productive harmony with society, as a whole.”

“Does your system, favor only those that are well educated, or come from wealthy families?”

“Wealth distribution, as a function of education and background, is quite dynamic. We found that money is a natural function combining both language, and the will, in regards, to how people acquire their needs. By the time, most kids are entering young adult-hood, they have learned by experience, the importance of hard work; as expressed in the rewards, where the money is a fungible expression, wholly independent of the working relationship, off say boss to worker. This means that any individual who is working, to achieve a desirable goal is in fact producing the “fungible requirement” of which money is the transmission and fulfillment. We call this self-referential accreditation.”

“Interesting… do continue.”

“For example, say a man goes into an area that has not been tended to in awhile. Overgrown with undesirable plants, bugs, animals, refuse etc. so he defines the job and what is required to complete that specific level of work. He files the “Accreditation” in the public register, usually printed the following morning in the newspaper of account, and off he goes to do the job. The money does not come from a fund, he has no boss, but himself. He keeps his own time, a record of tools, supplies so required, plus costs and he completes the job at will. As he does the work, his glyph records the consciousness so exerted, in parallel to mental, and physical exertions. This is a record that cannot be altered. He has no need to get a check, or a coin, from another, to fulfill the money, so created by his experience, work ethic, aptitude and so forth. All of these factors are “Metrics” and establish the Value of the money so self-accredited.

“What about women who stay home to raise the children. Are they also self-accredited?”

“Yes. Any woman who is keeping a house and raising children, while single, married or in a partnership of many varieties, is creating the proper conditions of self-accreditation. When she goes to the market she is using the Values from her glyph registers, to purchase any food-stock, merchandise etc. which has a no profit classification. Our typical market has most food-stocks glyph-indexed in price ranges of one-tenth to nine-tenths, of a single Cera unit. A single Pera is equal to one ounce of silver. One-hundred Cera equal a Pera. So any exchange in that glyph range is automatically deducted from the glyph register. ”

Vsaris took out his wallet to show Lord Su his standard transaction glyph card.”This card shows our glyph numerical data, as you can see as a graphic, plus, lots of other additional data we might need for whatever occasion… you see this column here, that is my current glyph register to spend value-amount. Essentially, we are always adding to our registers, both as a result of individual metrics, as well as, conducive social Metrics, as we are performing our work. Even now as I sit here speaking with you, I am earning Register values, in both Metric quotients, in what only seems to be very small increments. We embrace a monetary system where less is more. One single Cera is enough to buy quite an assortment of food stocks, as most are priced in pounds per tenths. This is why the self-accreditation works for anyone who does meaningful work, either in a singular capacity, a skilled wage-field, or in a very large factory.”

“I never realized it was so simple. Such a marvelous system. People are quite productive when the coin is of high value. So what about other merchandise? Does this register work for these items as well?”

“Yes. To purchase any goods, services etc. which are for profit, using our example of a woman raising children without a profit-related job, she just converts Unit Sums of her Register Value to the universal Csentero[any form of money in general], which comes in a wide variety of fungible forms. She buys with the Csentero, anything which has a price-tag based on the profit basis for goods as sold. Any service for profit works the same way. So in this example, she must exchange register value for Csentero notes for such purchases. The key here is fungibility value. A woman earns high values by her quality as a mother, and her value to society is so measured. But for a single mother, raising children strictly by herself, is actually kind of rare… maybe in some of the less advanced small communities maybe… but in a large modern city, every mother is going to have very strong support of her husband, both families and any community services so needed. ”

“So your universal money, or Csentero is always made of silver coin?”

“We have tried semi-precious, to precious metal coins,both silver and gold, plus, a wide variety of  plastic and metallic transmission cards, ring transfer devices and so on… whichever appropriate transmitting medium that keeps a clean record and is not counterfeit to the lawful standard, can be used anywhere so needed.

“Now how about a man, who is married, or single, with a skilled-wage occupation?”

“A man on a wage-job, earns both register value, and profit shares, simultaneously. Our Share Distribution models are a whole discussion in themselves. Key rule “First Rights” and second a mathematically based “Income to ratio” parity. You earn what you are worth to the intended goal of the business. Poor workers are rare, but lazy men are not. The rewards of the higher Shares, always go to those who work the hardest, and employ, the greatest acumen of skills. Some men earn very high profit Shares and other maybe not so much. It is a constant dynamic which is based on a mans own initiative to better himself. Some men are just not that productive for whatever reason. So in the short of it, people who work hard are rewarded, but they need to be smart about their finances. I know many men who earn very high Shares and due to gambling, for example, have little to show for their efforts.”

“So, the big business ventures, use this Share system to determine the labor payments of the workers?”

“Actually, everyone uses the indexes for determining the quotient Metric.”

“So this Quotient Metric sets the index for which food costs, both for supplier and end consumption, are also set?”

“To a great extant that is how it works, with some additional system flexibility. Basically, what we have found over the many centuries is that the costs of basic food stocks remain very stable. While more expensive manufactured items may rise in some cost areas, due to volatility of required materials or weather issues, a sound money system smooths out the rough spots. Or in the case of volume production and distribution, such stability helps lower costs, while still providing the required profit ratio’s.”

“What is key is to understand is that all labor is paid by the Primary Share value.”

“If I start a factory for example, to make a new widget, and whether or not it is modest in size, or a massive operation on ten planets, the Primary Share always accounts for every single Metric, of that business, and that Share is Fungible, for all Csentero ratio equivalences, in Denominations, so produced. Meaning no one is solely dependent upon any banking institution for the Csentero, or is subject, to the whims of those who have substantially aggregated vast amounts of wealth. Naturally, there are so many variables, in any business, that one single example does not begin to explain the complexities of our system. But, denominating shares does not diminish the source of the Share Value itself. Self-accreditation has many interesting potentials which people have mastered, in whatever capacity works for them, and greatly strengthens, the world-wide economic parity, which in turn creates a very stable society.”

“I now understand to a better degree why your society is advancing so quickly on so many fronts. Rather than being wholly dependent upon a single source of coin, so borrowed into the economy, in most instances for the working poor, the Csentero is co-created, by public value, as well as, individual merit. A man works hard at his job, or on the farm, and his Share— or “First Rights” places him as both a producer of coin and grain… as each is a “fungible” reciprocation of the other, so each is fungible to the value of worth. Yes?”

“Yes… I think that is a very well thought out synopsis of the critical principle. We are always creating value of some kind, but hard coin does not always reflect that dynamic very well, except as a defined measure of a value standard, but not a mere token. A coin having its own implicit value, is merely the balance point of many forces not the essential potential itself. A glass of water to a man dying of thirst is always more valuable by context only. The value of the water has not changed, it is the leverage of the circumstance, which exerts the pressure, to force an unequal exchange. This very same man, may have enough coin in hand, to buy an entire pool of water, in any other circumstance. Thus, it is not the water being sold, it is the circumstance, finding the highest asking price. When circumstance, is a Metric of the Share, the Equivalence Principle, if lawfully upheld, does not allow defective quotients in trades. A debt cannot become a prisoners chain, or a trick of two credits posing as one. Positive and negative credits are two very different animals.”

“But what about debt’s which occur in business, or of large purchases?”

“Our system does not allow Usury on conceptually based debt obligations. We have Capital resources on demand, for any venture large or small, with very few stipulations. Land is allocated by merit and the Bond Value is determined by the Metrics of its use. Men purchase lands for profit and thus must invest their own Csentero, but merely living on the land is not governed by the same principle. If there is land to be lived on it is always in the Bond Allocation Index, and people must decide if they are willing to undertake the time and effort to make that land productive to their own sense of purpose. We also do not have taxation on incomes, or wages and do not tax land that is simply lived on. Our system allocates Shares by Distribution, and there is competition for those resources that are in demand, but we have tempered the usually expansive tendencies of governments, on all levels, to constantly increase their interests, while decreasing productive worth. We keep our governments small, and thus a minimal cost to our societies.”

“So your society constrains the bureaucracy, while expanding your peoples ability to earn and live as they best achieve of their own volition, and prudent planning. So this is a question of balance of interests, both public and private?”

“We have achieved an equitable balance between wealth creation and distribution, on both sides of the public versus private axis. But people need to work, and that work has to be of a very high-standard, or mediocrity, steals the future of prosperity, by the lazy hand of today. Whether a man works, as a Minister of government, owns a business, or seeks work in the labor markets, both skilled or unskilled, he is always responsible for his own merit of account.  We do not allow people to starve, for being lazy, but we as a rule expect a man to make that effort count to actual goals. Making enough Csentero to live is easy, but living wisely on what you earn is a whole other affair.”

“Yes, indeed. Many a rich man lives in quiet desperation, in the shadow of poor choices, so made. This has been a most fascinating conversation, Mr. Renchiento. I look forward to working with you to resolve our mutual problems. When I and my Staff, receive this remarkable Glyph, will we also have all of these unique qualities at our disposal?”

“Yes, you will. Anything and everything, the device can do for any one of us, it will do the same for yourself, and any other individual, who joins us in the investigation. Plus, due to the fact you are a Lord, of the Imperial House, you will also be afforded, as a matter of Diplomatic necessity, any additional security devices. Plus, any data materials so required,will be provided to aid this investigation, as you deem necessary. This is especially true with information exchange. You have complete control over what information, or knowledge, you judge to be specifically operational security, general etc. as it pertains to your own needs, or that of your Emperor. We have safeguards built-in to assure that Intel-security remains in confidence, and only accessible by parties, so cleared, for its reception.”

“Yes, that is quite important, as many secrets are wrapped around this unfortunate incident, in a manner I find quite peculiar. Both thefts were from a secured facility and yet, left no traces. Our devices were never triggered, which means the thieves, had to utilize a method, quite unknown to us. The sheer amount of material stolen, right out of the secured chambers, in addition to its very unusual properties, means whomever stole it, had to know of its rather undesirable characteristics, upon surrounding matter, both organic and inorganic.”

“I now wonder if the stolen ship was capable of transporting this material?” Asked, Vsaris, thoughtfully.

“Well, our scientists have indeed perfected a method of transporting this material, in a solid-phase configuration. But I would be astonished if that were so.”

“Can these suspected culprits, even use this material as it is in that state?”

“I do not think that is possible. The storage state, has to be re-initialized, to the productive one, by a very specific procedure that requires some of our most advanced technologies, along with the properly trained personal, whom we call Operators and Responders. What is a great mystery to me, after re-studying the underlying technical information, is that we have never allowed this knowledge to exist outside of a very small circle, of highly, specialized technicians. Without these skilled personal, and the apparatus, which allows the procedures to produce the final productions, the material is essentially too dangerous… to muck around with haphazardly.  We have a long, and well established history, of these anomalous incidents, due to such reckless experimentation’s. I assure you, in a most sincere way, those who do not understand the ramifications of such fool hardy temptations, will indeed not only endanger themselves, but may well put at great risk the innocent, who might be unfortunate enough to be in the immediate vicinity of such experiments. This material has killed many people, in a manner we never actually solved, to any degree of satisfaction. I wonder, if it is going to be used to try and improve upon a fuel, for these FTL capable ships.”

“I was wondering about that myself. The need for better fuel sources, has caused our very best scientists, no amount of grief. We have successfully produced a unique, exotic class of Baryonic-Pellets, of a form of matter with excessive Protons, so held in a specialized plasma-chamber, where the pellet undergoes a dynamic fractal-geometry path collapse to one end of the Positive Spin designate, and then re-implodes to the opposite-producing a Negative Spin, anti-mass conversion. This occurs as a “High-Pulse-Oscillation”  which drives the warping of space around the ship. What we call a “Jump” is when the ship moves from one set of 4-D coordinates to another, using a 5-d plot, essentially instantaneous. But we also know from all these many years, time-dilation produces some very interesting additional problems, which this stolen experimental ship may well solve. That is a significant part of its major design purpose.”

“And why it is so valuable, military potential aside. But it is the new fuel capability which seems to me the prime reason for its theft.”

“Quite possible. This exotic form of matter is extremely difficult to obtain, outside of a laboratory, as it postulated, only to be found naturally in the ultra-powerful, gravitational rings surrounding Neutron Stars. To the best of my knowledge, our scientists have very little of it to work with due to its expensive costs of limited production.”

“So perhaps, our thieves have a genuine need, to greatly enhance, this “exotic particle” to power this ship, or perhaps others we do not know anything about?”

“Yes… that is also quite possible. A breakthrough in producing such a particle, would ensure they had a fuel source not available to anyone else, and if they succeeded in mass producing this exotic fuel, they would indeed reap a fortune, both by outright advancement, and perhaps blackmail. The implications are rather alarming to contemplate, as they might also produce weapons of unheard of power.”

“Which means we are going to be under significant pressures, by our respective governments, to find these men so responsible, and stop them, before they have accomplished, their rather dangerous objectives. And you suspect, that the ship so berthed, right now in this station, may well be loaded with the unknown weapons?”

“Actually, Lord Tan-Kuan-Su the ship is already gone.”

Already gone? So how are so sure of your information?”

“A sweep was conducted by one of our ships at a distance. They were able to prove no weapons were transferred from the ship. Unfortunately, we had no choice, but to allow them to leave, as we have no means of stopping, the use of those weapons, while the ship, is not under our actual control. We suspect certain systems were either replaced or modified, as long distant scans of the ship, while in the berth, revealed we could not re-take the ship using the sub-system, emergency procedures. Procedures, which are fairly standard in those instances, when ships crews are incapacitated, for whatever reason. The military engineers were unable to identify the additional systems, or equipment. Most of the data is already being sent back to the civilian engineers for further analysis. Who ever these men are they had every detail figured out well in advance. And I am getting the distinct impression not only did they have access to our own secured information systems, but also had access to yours as well. They just walked past both as if they didn’t exist.”

“Yes, I agree, that too, is a very strong possibility. We do not keep our most sensitive knowledge where it can be easily found, and the knowledge to use the devices is strictly controlled. We accounted for all personal who have such access, and all technician’s who have the correct knowledge. Nobody is missing and that too is quite troubling. This means that the knowledge we thought to be secure was already compromised. Another very explosive element to our mutual problem is of course we have no idea who may be in such possession of these limited areas of information. As you say, we might very well be blackmailed as the highest levels, and we have no good method to dispose of lies, or bluffs, of such adversaries, who seek to further weaken our already tenuous position.”

“Exactly. We have only a few strands of presumptions and conjecture to guide us. We might very well step into a trap already prepared. Or conversely, find ourselves looking at a Jump record, as the guilty parties head off to some other unknown base, where we have no access, period. We might then find ourselves with no leads at all, while the guilty parties carry out plans, we have no possible means of connecting back to them.”

“Except for the money trail which also brought you here.”

“Yes. The money, so exchanged in a block sum of that amount, is a real, red-thumb. Perhaps, even a deliberate pointer, considering the odd use of a defective coding scheme. But, then again, if we had ignored it as just a fluke, specific factors of the case would go dark, without proper investigation, but at the same time, we still have to ask was this too quite deliberate?”

“They are dangling strings before us to see which one induces us to act.”

“We are being played all right, which is another very good reason for you to remain out of harms way. If this incident goes to another level of consequence, there will be severe disruptions to the economic balances between our respective States. Another factor our thieves might be counting on to further their hidden goals.”

“Undermining, the trust between our races, might indeed allow such ambitions to over-throw order, and induce, the mind-set for war, where none existed, prior to the original act. I will need a brief amount of time to communicate these concerns to the Emperor, and finalize whom I need to accompany us in this investigation. I will not be long.”

“Understood, Lord Tan-Kuan-Su. I will also use this time to communicate the required preparations, for yourself and those whom you assign, to your aid, in this matter. You may keep this device. All you need to do is turn this top section ever so slightly, and I will be signaled. We can communicate through this devise just as we have been here at the table. The distance between us is not a factor, until we are well separated by light-years.”

“I will not be long Mr. Renchiento. You may continue to enjoy, as our honored guest, the many hospitality’s as you wish.”

“Thank you. You may signal me when you are ready.”




Heriu Chan Se Qan, left the stolen ship, nick-named the “White-Lion” in such a fury his Eskoglyph, was turning red. He moved swiftly through the maze of corridors leading to the main reception hall where the Guardian Station was located. When he arrived he tried to compose himself, but his anger was still too great. He approached the dais. The symbol of the Guardian appeared on the viewing oval in font of him.

“You said, if I did as you requested, I would be the new Emperor,” said Heriu, in an accusatory tone simmering with his barely controlled anger.

“I stated, if you succeeded your chances were quite favorable. You changed the plan and so you forfeited your gain.”

“I had no choice, but to change the plan. The men I met, of the world of this Earth, did not honor our agreement. They forced my hand to battle.”

“My purpose is to preserve life. Your purpose was to carry out my instructions. I warned you of the repercussions for allowing your sentiments to interfere with the goals as required for success.”

“You asked for the impossible. I cannot control the duplicities of men far removed from my own world. Such greed shown in their eyes. I knew right then they would never allow me to leave. My men had to mount a rescue mission to free me from their military base. They had to use our most powerful of weapons to subdue the forces unleashed upon us. These men of that Earth, had no honor in their dealings, and so they forced my hand, to punish them for their arrogance.”

“And in doing so, the devices I prepared for this mission, never reached the intended recipients as planned. Without those devices in the correct event sequences, I cannot determine the proper course of resolution to the greater problem. By allowing your anger to over-come your reason, you failed the mission and so you failed to achieve your actual objective. Therefore, I intervened, once again, to partially correct your actual mistake.”

“What are you saying? That Puau-Mein, is not still in my brothers gilded cage?”

“I have given her the opportunity to escape. The new servant of Lord Tan-Kuan-Su was successful. While all eyes were focused on the impossible disappearance of the Antioine-fluid, and the subsequent collapse of the Omicron-matrix, Puau-Mein, was led to safety, as I directed. She will remain with Pi Lei, who was trained by my own operatives, until you have completed your actual mission purpose. Look into the second console screen…”

Much to Heriu’s surprise, there on the consul screen was his beloved wife, whom his elder brother, had tricked into his grasp. She was eating a meal with the servant girl in a room he did not recognize. A paper of the mid-day news was on her lap. His emotions once again surged through him, only now in relief.

“You preserve life with Honor,” said Heriu, now realizing the Guardian had never lost sight of his personal reasons for agreeing to the plan. “My humble apologies Guardian. My love for my beloved clouds my mind.”

“As does your hatred for your Elder brother. Continue viewing her upon the console screen…. now reach out to her heart, as I have been instructing you, so she will feel the peaceful resolution of this truth, as the unbreakable bond between you. Plans have changed. When I return you will once again be instructed for your new mission. You will return to the Earth planet and carry out my instructions without fail.”

“Yes, Guardian.” Heriu turned his inner attention to the unique node of the glyph, as he was taught to do— he felt the power of his heart surge—and released his sincere love as a touch to her hearts center. He watched, as her eyes of jade-green filled with tears, as she promptly, called out his name. Their bond was true to both of their hearts.

Heriu swore to remind himself, that the Guardian does not lie. His beloved Puau-Mein was indeed still his and quite safe.



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