Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Hidden Legacies Issue 2


Issue 2: Best Served Cold!


            There must be a reason why J’ino’s daughter spawn has demi powers. I believe the sire is human. Grown in an artificial womb perhaps? X’mil didn’t offer much in the way of intel. He was far too incompetent but I was still able to use him to distract Ayeer. Her daughter has no twin brother. There was never any data recorded of it. Both in the main archives and various backups even here upon the surface of Typha. J’ino was always a hopeless romantic. She wouldn’t form a harem. Not like most of us. She believes in monogamy. A rather limited Commons artifact. –E’ratha

            Valkyrie has taken a shine to Dexter and Ms. Valcourt. I will continue to guard Jonas and his mate. My instincts tell me that the crew of the Jupiter Rising will have to hit the enemy from multiple sides.—Sparta, Omega Defender

            Can’t say I was too shocked. Not in the way my parents thought I’d be. I had seen enough cultures outside of Earth to prepare myself with other kinds of marriage or union customs. No, what got me was the wide gulf between what was considered proper for a decent chunk of Houses vs a majority of Commons. Typha’s good reputation was because of the rugged individuals from the Commons. Each of them had clan ties but never took a surname. That was the mark of a House to them. So they would greet each other via ship name or sector designation. The exception was, ironically enough, when they took a Litari or Human mate by choice. But that’s another thread for another day.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century.

Murphy Household

Camp Osiris (New Ashbury)

July 12th, 2104


            J’ino hugged Ith’aria as they transported the last of their family trinkets to the Jupiter Rising. The elder Odessen would be safer here. Abraham Murphy promised. The Golden Bulleteer always kept his word too. Elanore Murphy handed out mugs of coffee. “It's going to be strange.”  Ith’aria sat heavily into the rocking chair in the corner of the living room.

            “Yes. I had gotten used to the hum of the Jupiter. It helped that Eliza is so welcoming.”

            J’ino drank in the atmosphere of the house. What she would be heading back into would be as much of a shock as it would be to Eliza. Mostly because she didn’t see herself as a House member anymore. Earth had given her more in the way of personal freedom than Typha ever did. Eliza would change that. So would Dexter but the important first step would have to come via her daughter. Since House women dominated the political and social spheres.

            White Lily’s vines shot out as Eliza entered.


            The scent of flowers hit my senses as vines encircled my waist. Pulling me into a bearhug to end all embraces. “Gran-Gran. I’ll be back. Besides I can technically fly faster than my ship. Just yell. I’ll be back in a flash!”

            My grandmother tsk’ed me. Waving a finger in front of my face. “I know that! But be careful!” Zach cartwheeled into me. He was staying on Earth with the triplets. I told him, “Watch the homefront!” He gave this serious consideration. I added, “Big brothers are essential you know.” He perked up at this.

            His reply, “You got it, sis. Put the egg on all their faces!”

            Mom kissed him on the forehead while dad placed one of his Army caps on his head.

            “Look after your sister!”

            Gwen raced down the stairs. Shouting, “The honey will encase the white tree!”

            Tobin and Jace hugged dad’s legs for a moment, both exclaiming, “The wild man is coming for the Wolf!” We all shared looks. This would be studied. Since they all had various levels of Light Shaman and Weave Speaker in them. I knelt, holding out a hand to all 3 of them, “Remember that frequency? The one White told you about?” They nodded. “If you have anything you want to share, no matter what, use that line. I'll relay it to mom and dad ok?” Gwen’s face scrunched up. “The Gray walks with the face of…friend and foe. At the same time.” I picked her up, “From the Houses?” She buried her head in my shoulder. Crying.

            Another thread to separate.

            Grandpa Murphy came in with some hamburgers. “Let’s eat before you shove off.”

            Gwen didn’t let go of my hand throughout the whole thing. She was putting up a brave front but was genuinely concerned. I leaned over, “No matter what time it is, send messages. Trust your gut!” She sniffed. I ruffled her hair. To think I had Anna to thank for preventing another Weave impression mishandling. I had already ordered the Holo Host’s favorite drinks to be delivered to the Jupiter Rising. It was the least I could do. Teddy would pop one open after her baby was due. It slipped my mind ever so often. Doc would tell me stories of the Tower/Box days. But held back during more pensive moments about her power growth.

            I focused on enjoying this meal. It would be a while before things would be this calm again. Snoopy joined us with the rest of the extended Bardaxian squad. Sparta and Valkyrie taking time to sample the finest steaks that Texas could produce. Their Dire Wolf ears twitched as Dexter entered with Mary Valcourt. I hid a grin behind my napkin. Unlike my brother, I didn’t offer much commentary on his dating life. Mostly because Valcourt was much shyer in that department and for another, she was still recovering from her Void Walker capture.

            Valkyrie’s golden orbs gleamed with excitement as Mary hand-fed the female dire wolf pieces of the steak. Both of them very lady-like in their actions. I’d call it dainty. Sparta's face dived into the bowl offered. Munching energetically. Snoopy followed suit.  Doc poked her head out from the kitchen to see what got me bellowing.

            Her eyes warming.

            She had helped make the mashed potatoes among other things.

Argax City

House Main Hall


            A’tan Odessen allowed the bright double suns of Typha to warm his back. The bright purple skyline shifted with the busy hustle and bustle of starships, hab rings, and Typha’s main H’ysen sphere. Codenamed Bright Wave. What the humans called Dyson Spheres. Some preferred automated benches but he didn’t mind the old creaking of wood. The Hall before him was a shining tan and white pillar of “progress.” He snorted at that. Nowadays he had more in common with the Commons than those within who claimed to be leaders. It would be a delight to see his daughter again. Being a sector military leader meant longer pickets from home.

            A shadow fell across his sight as a page handed him a letter. It's archaic paper crunching. The words on its envelope just stating his name and a time. The page bowed and retreated. He pocketed the letter. The date listed not yet upon him. He had gotten a handful of these over the years and they always surprised him. Leading him to interesting avenues that paid off when he least suspected. House maneuvering aside, the writing was always from the same person or individuals from a sect called C’alain’s Memory, a notable figure within Typha’s history. The last true Speaker and Shaman of old. He would not dismiss these elements. Not during the Age of Convergence. It's why he pushed his daughter so hard to take those military advancements. The letters said it would help save his people.

            As he entered the main hall, Q’tarin of House Ithar hurried to block him, his eyes wide with fright. >>They just summoned J’ino’s daughter back to the homeworld.<< That explained the harried expression on Q’tarin’s features. Like he had swallowed a horde of rotted Ummatosh bird meat all at once. Not because they hated J’ino or the Ayeers in general but it meant that the House Civil war would commence. They had no idea what V’alkor was thinking but by not announcing the paternal line to the House Authority those within the upper echelons would scream bloody murder at whatever actions this daughter of J’ino’s would enact.

            Many of them saw this daughter as an interloper. A bastard at best. But because she had demi abilities unknown to Typha the ruse would play out. A’tan and Q’tarin hastily moved as a House Cyphuskara female rushed past them. Her mind voice dismissive.

            >>Vacate or I will have the guards remove you.<<

            They exited.

The force fields rising into a locked position as the main hall was denied to them.

            “Women,” A’tan muttered audibly. To the shock of his companion.

            Odessen smiled. A sardonic smirk formed, “Certain House women specifically. The rest? Quite agreeable!” In his younger days, he had served within Typha’s military. Next to the Commons. He was glad that most knew Typha through them. He only hoped J’ino had a plan. They walked the paths of the courtyards and manicured lawns, flowerbeds, and still, the outdoors didn’t clear the rot from his nose. Typhas insulated House women would need a swift kick to the rear. Three blue Ummatosh birds waddled up next to him. Hoping for a quick meal. He patted their feathered heads. They were each nearly to his waist.

            “Hello, boys. Find any good mates lately?”

            He scratched the lead bird’s brown beak. Curved with a slight hook on the end. A rather old fellow by the looks of the faint black rings around the avian neck. A’tan missed his wife tremendously. He had taken a vow to stay true to the end. Much like a Commons Typherian would. It was why there was a higher rate of bonding pairs within that community. Some House members practiced this as well. But it was frowned upon because of the Genetic Responsibility.

            Q’tarin peered into the placid waters of the lake. >>At least you have some offers. They see my House as a relic!<< Ithar was known for its role as keepers of History, Religion, Rites, and other types of record keeping. He knew from direct experience a majority of House females renounced any religious denominations or beliefs. Preferring to take a more direct approach. Ithar threw a set of pebbles into the waters. Enjoying the ripple effect.

The younger man was only half-joking. He wanted to find someone but not from the slim pickings here. For most Housemen, those within the first rung or Primary House branches got the wider playing fields. A double edged reward.  It was rare to find a J’ino or Y’lansa among prospective mates. He pondered why Odessen’s daughter hadn’t Bonded with anyone.

A’tan responded with, >>Yet! She is still vigorous by our prolong standards!<<

Q’tarin could tell that Odessen was worried though. So much road upon those shoulders of hers. They stiffened as saluted with their hands upon their chest as a regiment of Kings Own passed by. Their battlesuits were pristine. Security was tightening around all House sectors across the planet. They continued after the force of rugged Typherian men passed.  Wondering what the next few days would bring.

Argax City

Outer Shell District


            The Page returned to the Lettering Center. Collected his pay. Never deviating from his course. He didn’t care about the contents. Only getting the job done. Houses and higher social tier people didn’t care about him. Why would they? He was just a “mute.” He was a Typherian born without the ability to mind speak. Most Commons could at least form telepathic signals with their direct family. While House Bloodlines could compel mere mortals to their whims. It’s why he kept his head down. Earning enough to keep food on the table for his refuge. As he entered the lower wards of the city he was greeted by the others. Kids abandoned by failed House pairings. Mostly from Cyphuskara castoffs.

            They had no names. No ceremony but were a clan nonetheless.

            He opened his bags, passing out sweets and other rarities to people like themselves.

            His sister sprang forward. Hugging him, “Thank you, brother!”

            He was their protector. He swung the little ones about. Trying to be what he would have wanted from a father. He dreamed of what such a life would be. Constantly looking at pictures of Earth. A place where being mute was the norm. It’s not like this was the slums but it wasn’t made for him. Every convenience here was manufactured to serve the Houses. At least in this city. He pitied V’alkor Ayeer. An empty crown on a guided rotted throne.

            Page was ever so right yet wrong at the same time.

            Convergence was approaching.

            The Twin Suns would encompass all.

T.A.S I’tah (Capital Ship of Utasa Sector)

In Route to Typha

July 15th, 2104


            Y’lansa sighed. Resting her head on Ta’len’s expansive chest.

            The Jupiter Rising resting safely within the internal docking ring within her flagship.

            She laughed as his blond whiskers ticked the top of her head. He had a fabulous mustache. Reminiscent of Typherian knights of old. His green eyes were nearly as dark as Lorain’s. He had even gotten a proper tan while visiting Earth. Even if no one knew his name. She had to thank President Marshall later. He had cut some red tape so Ta’len could gallivant around properly without raising House Ire. It's not like they gave Humanity the time of day either.

            “So what can this mute manservant do for your today dear lady?”

            She knew he was joking but still detested the fact that he was seen as unworthy of her love or Pairing. They were tied even if he couldn’t mind-to-mind link. Eliza had proven it was more than possible. Even preferable. She couldn’t wait to see the expressions etched on those highly strung faces. When she had first met him he had no name. Just Engineer. Working in the bowls of an old trading vessel. But to a then Lt. Odessen he was a charming yet rough jewel. With very nice borders. Dreamy beefy arms from years of hard toil.

            Ta’len could tell where Y’lansa’s mind was even without prompting.

            “Well now! I better give you a good workout. Gotta make sure you are up to code.”

            She let out a yelp as he took her from the bed to the refresher. With its Earth-based useless water system.


Issue 1: Here

Issue 3: Here

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Hidden Legacies Issue 1


Issue 1: Sister Nyx’s Lullaby


            It was a pity I took that Typherian medic’s face. His nodes let me pass as one of them but he didn’t have clearance to know which Ayeer was on the docket for the birthing that day. Had I used any of my normal instruments I would have been discovered much sooner.—Sister Nyx

            Please, just leave out that part. Please. My sister bears enough weight!–Dexter

            The holo record cut off. After they saw Nyx’s form burst from the medical officer. The cover was blown. In all the chaos I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face. So many things make more sense to me now. Why she was overly protective. Why she was beyond relieved when Zach and the Triplets came into the world without much fear or trouble. In comparison.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century

Typherian Birthing Chamber

The Arrival

October 8th, 2074

J’ino couldn’t move. That man wasn’t Typherian. She knew that now. Her twins. Their cries reached another level as the malevolent entity strode towards them. The eyes were Walker. The face rippled. The creature produced a razor-thin injector. Bright crimson fluid. It reared back in shock as the space around her son convulsed. J’ino wasn’t even able to cry out. Wasn’t able to interlink with Thomas’s ivory ring.

Their son’s mind glow cut off in an instant. He was gone.

She wasn’t even able to bend matter. To protect those precious babies.


Her infant girl let out a warbling shriek as the enemy plunged the syringe into her heart.

Thomas gripped the sidearm but the area around him was frozen. That thing had something to do with it. He saw his son disappear. Pulling the umbilical cord with him. Strange marks appeared on his daughter. Her spine. God help him.

He couldn’t speak. He raged. Seeing red.

He would kill that thing. If it was the last duty he ever did.


Di’axi growled, “Aether! Is this the only way?!”

The J’kua nodded. The remorse was evident within his solemn gaze. “They must believe the boy dead. The sister will think nothing of the boy’s disappearance. “ He pointed a thin gray hand at the sphere behind the Sister. It was humming counter to her paralyzation field. “J’ino and Thomas will remember what actually happened. As far as their daughter is concerned.”

His device would cancel out the Sister’s memory wipe. Everyone else would be affected. The boy would remember. Because Black would make the boy remember when the time came. The sister would walk many years from this point. Carrying the results on her back. Quite literally. It didn’t bring Aether much comfort. He detested this but all readouts from the Ur Stone indicated this would be the best way to hide Black and White. Aether stated, “You must take the initial blame for this Di’axi. Say it was the only way to hide their belts. Our enemies must not realize convergence is close at hand.”

Di’axi winced as the chaos unfolded. The King’s Own bursting into the birthing chamber. The Sister was gone. Memories danced. Re-written. With only Thomas and J’ino left to pick up the pieces. The Scholar had another plan. One given to him by White herself. As a last plea before she shifted to her dormant state. <<Give the boy a tie to her memories. We will show you how. As she sleeps he will learn of her and his family.>>


            Thomas cradled his wife and remaining baby. The Kings Own were shouting about an Artock attack. All records of his son were gone. He had J’ino double check. No mention of Twins. Just their little girl. What the hell was going on?!  

Her mind was dulled, the shock kicking in. >>Void walker killed my son. Did something to my baby girl. Thomas, can you see anything? I can’t hear her. Does she breathe?<<

            He removed his gauntlet. Resting his hand lightly on her chest. It was there. The rise and fall of her continued breathing. Her heart beating in time with his. Almost like she was trying to calm them down instead. The remaining cord was withered. Nearly a blackened husk. Her little eyes opened. They were the standard human setup. With clear gray irises. The sealed records would say it was a biological attack. The KO Protectorate would take this incident to the grave. He picked J’ino up, carrying her to the refresher. Wiping at her face as the silent tears fell. No one had any clue about the reality.

            Complete insanity.

            He placed various medical pads on his daughter’s back. Her little face relaxed.

            As he helped his wife from the refresher unit, with its epidermal cleansing program, he re-swaddled his daughter. Hooking her to his battle armor with a hover unit. He didn’t mind looking ridiculous. He’d put a bullet in the brain of anyone who looked at them wrong.


            J’dax waved Q’vera over. >>We need to transport them. Take them back to….<<

            She frowned but understood. The Murphy homestead. J’dax stated, >>Thomas will kill anything that comes through that door right now. It doesn’t add up. I know something is out of place but it's just a hunch. <<

            His memories had been altered. He recognized that. He had been around clandestine operations enough to parse that together. But who or what allowed him to realize it?


            The Curator of the Amarche nudged the thoughts of J’dax. Giving him just enough to make certain connections. So he would believe his sister later. About the reality of this event. A turning point. The cosmos wouldn’t forget even if some others did. His people couldn’t affect things on a grand scale but they could breathe on the embers. He knew why Aether had left Thomas and J’ino with this knowledge. So they could protect Eliza until her majority. If they had all been memory altered by the Sister then no one would survive that dark dream of the Weave Speakers' worse reality.

            Where Black, White, and Gray became the desolation to shake the Multiverse.

            The Weave, Unity, and all things would cease to exist. What was beyond that wasn’t meant for mortal eyes. Even the Curator knew that. He reached out. Knowing that Eliza would hear this. Via the Ur-Stone. Through their dark matter ties.

The Jupiter Rising

Command Room

July 8th, 2104


            I kept rewatching the holo record. By the fourth pass I blurted out, “That’s mostly fake.”

            Dad was relieved. Mom pensive. Dexter was pacing about the room. Not looking at anyone. I wish I could explain but I continued onward as best I could. “The Amarche let J’dax realize that the memories were false. No wonder people didn’t think I had a twin brother at first. Even after his Dawnbreaker appearance. Explains why Typha thinks he’s a younger brother as well.”

            Mom muttered, “It’s why our enemies won't see you BOTH.” I sent a burst of love through my empathetic link. “Nyx was there. Pulling an experiment.

            Di’axi relayed a message.

            ///It was the only way.///

            I pulled off my deep blue flight jacket. Unhooked the white pullover shirt under that.

            Walked over to a wall display, “Mirror!”

            Doc inquired, “Anything different?” Her voice was tight. On edge.

            I glanced at the holovid. Using my dark matter sight on it. Amarche everywhere. The Curator’s face filled the screen. His voice reached out to me. “Soon the memory cloaking will fade. You will both need to be ready when that happens. Set knows the truth but wants to build his empire. Then harvest you and your brother. To challenge and kill Unity himself.”

            Lovely. I examined my chest. Using the Amarche’s gift there as well. I could see the old mark where she had buried the syringe. Grandmother was behind mom. Hugging her. They had known what would happen. But from what source? The buzzing cascaded through my brain.

            Not yet. You see too far. Quietly now.

            Keeper blood flowed through my veins. Along with J’kua and samples of what I assumed to be the angelic embryo contribution. White confirmed another suspicion I had. She said, <<We used a majority of your node network, grafted it onto your brother, to pull him from that room. Black and I crippled you.>>

            I smiled. Not with sadness but relief. Replying audibly, “You saved us that day.”

            What could have we done as babies? Mom and dad had been put in a vise as well. Not able to take direct action. An ugly thought formed, “Nyx prefers that children know they are helpless. That paralyzing setup doesn’t work on babies, toddlers, or the very young.”

            Mom choked back a sob.

            Dad’s fingers twitched. Like he wanted to reach for his khopesh.

            I fixed my shirt. Donning the flight jacket once more.

            “Looks like we will be other homeward bound.”

            I showed them the official summons as it hit my INet Account.

///By the Council of Houses and the Rites of Blood, you are hereby summoned to add your voice to our glorious tapestry.///

            The rest of it was wild. From some sort of grandstanding of genetic potential, harem proposals, pre-arranged skills testing. Demi fluctuations. They wanted to know why I had some Typherian abilities vs what was seen in humans. Most of them thought it was an elaborate ruse. So mom could continue to slum it on Earth?!

            What? Was dad just a dalliance, in their eyes, oh no. That would not fly.

            My eyes widened.

            “How many requests for donations? Is this what guys feel like going to a sperm bank?”

            Mom made a sound between growling and dismayed keening.  I repositioned my Jupiter Rising cap. “Well isn’t that just lovely?  Guess I'll have to be a bit more southern than expected! Bless those House Hearts. “

            I would begin with some fireworks and Gulliver joined in.

            His orange duck bill opened with vigorous quacking.

            <<I like the way your mind works Hot Sause!>>

            I bowed to grandma, “Operation American Hospitality is a go!”

            Grandma Ayeer kissed mom on the head.

Before replying, “Go for The Moon, my dear. All of it.”

I turned to Doc, “They really think I am just rolling around in the hay with you? Come on.”

Her eyes burned with anger. I asked Grandma, “Anything I can put on Lorain to tell those inbred ingrates of solar tiered insulated foam cups that she’s mine? Along with a way I can tell them to go to the ends of the universal soul burn in one go?”

Mom giggled. M’taris replied, “Oh yes. I suspected you’d react that way so when you get off the ship in style…they will know and you can rub their noses in it.”

I picked Doc up caveman style, “I have only one consort.” I even beat my chest with my other arm.

Dad shared a look with mom. I added, “Plus I do like INet’s Idea of a Human House.”


Thomas Murphy was indeed a happy man.

He noticed Eliza staring and they both said, “Jar!” That would be the motto. Dexter finally turned. His face relaxed. His sister had taken the real news better than he thought. A small part of him realized that he should have more faith in her. They were twins after all. He had a feeling whatever plans she had for the Houses and their marriage vs harem rules would be to the benefit of himself, his dad, and all the other House males. Even the Commons followed certain regulations. For example, there weren’t any official records of House to Commons unions. Some Commons had married into Houses though. Based on genetic viability. As X’mil’s failed cohorts called it. Black brought him up short, <<That’s because Set has the hooks that deep, in C’alain’s era things weren’t this wild. People could choose.>>

Dexter wasn’t going to relish heading to their other ‘home’.


            Mom wouldn’t let me access more of the add-ons to the message but I got the hunch that the Commons were a “One and Done” union. In terms of husbands, wives, or even unions with other compatible species. Like humans. Not solely for breeding purposes. The Houses were very insular with each other. My mind was a jumble as I blurted out, “So they inbreed even worse than soap opera royals shows?”

            Grandma nodded. “X’mil and his clan are the worse offenders. E’ratha herself is a product of unfortunate breeding to most civilized worlds.”

            I winced. My face scrunched up by the mere thought of it. “Why? To breed super-duper level Typherians?”

            She replied, “Precisely. Ones more malleable by certain forces.”

            But overall this explained why mom wasn’t interested in showcasing Typherian Houses.

            So I turned to another avenue. “Samantha said we had some recovered Typherians aboard. Should I save that for later?”

            Mom eyed me, “Oh yeah. I want you to be a horse stepping on glass upon landing. If anything I wish House setups were like the Commons. It’d be healthier.”

            Y’lansa’s mother would remain within Project Freefall. We had to figure out how to cleanse her system of whatever virus Set put inside her. But after the fallout of initial House explosions, I’d have lots of questions.

The Deep Abyss

Nullship 35563

Sister Nyx stared. Replaying the records of Hilary’s betrayal. There had to be more than that. She knew the hybrid resented Chronos but some twinge within the data made her wonder. Why free her rival’s mother? Why even care about the others within the ship. Brookes had never been much for mercy. Everything in her life had been calculated. Her cross scar burned as her fingers danced over the records. Each holo recording relayed the same images. Hilary coming in. Opening the maze. Releasing the hold on the human experiment on the table. Then going through corridors. Downloading data then destroying it. The human aspect still stewing in the hybrid wouldn’t throw off variables that much? Would it?

Padding on the slick surface brought her attention to her favorite subject. Its yellowed Artock eyestalks staring at her with abject love. “Mother.” She patted it on the head. “Go plant more flowers. Help them grow!” The mutated son bowed. He had been birthed from her private collection. He was aware of the honor. It nuzzled her hand and galloped off on all fours. Bred to be very proficient at slaying Bardaxians. Her favored son would get the chance very soon.


            Set possessed the body of E’ratha’s brother.

Technically half brother. He glanced at her slumbering form. The choice would be made soon. Once Eliza and her brother gained control of the Throne mantle, he would activate his Sleepers. Typha would serve its purpose. Unlike the All-Father, he didn’t mind losing some pawns if he managed to gain the King and Queen. He rose, donning his discarded clothing, and exited. Must keep up appearances. E’ratha’s House would be the perfect cover.

Everyone hated them anyway. 

Prologue: Here

Issue 2: Here