Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Hidden Legacies Issue 28

Issue 28: And All My Dreams Torn Asunder

 

            My order slew the first planetary Unity Dragon. Those horrific fellows that spawn in particularly polluted places. Your Earth only had one thanks to the efforts of the Light Shamans and holy defenders. Alongside some magical demi help. Typha? It currently houses 15 of them. This is why we must connect all major Arc Points. Dexter and Eliza have done well in that arena but we must work faster. Soon the storm will reach your shores.—Father Dennis Miles Brookes

            I knew they’d be able to reach us. Pandora had us locked away. We didn’t find out some other details of the Glass Tower until later but Arthur and I remained resolute. We didn’t need to speak. We assumed we were being recorded the entire time. In powers, actions and voice.—Tobin Murphy

            Cooper and Auggie did let a key detail slip. They had to make me beyond exhausted to let my future self enchant C’alain’s blade. Considering at that moment and time I was kept mostly clueless, it still made it hard to believe I was organizing things from a distant point in the future to ensure events played out in the past. What astute readers will pick up on? It wasn’t necessarily me all the time. As I was a Host to White in those intervening years, I was also hosting to another. Far more cosmic entity. Oh, and should we change this to the 23rd century? –Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century

 

New Ashbury

Legion of Tomorrow HQ

November 10th, 2115

           

Blue Blaze volunteered, “I’ll go. No one gets left behind.”

            Various demis nodded. “Arthur wouldn’t leave any of us. Just say where!”

            Mighty Mallet cheered. While Adam Lazer added, “With a big enough distraction force we can allow others to infiltrate this Glass Tower. With limited data, it is unknown if it’s a multi-dimensional construct or VR simulation. Perhaps a bit of both.”

            A Red Defender shouted, “So it is decided? Get ready.”

            Rune proclaimed, “Let me at them! I’ll show them true magic!”

*****

            J’ino lowered herself into the tank. Various cords rested about her body. Lorain triple-checked the connections. “The main strike team will keep Pandora distracted. Lazarus is going with you. Judgment, Trouble and Gulliver.”

            J’ino replied, “Got it. Did you put the package inside?”

            Lorain glanced away. Her mouth tightened. “Yes. I know why but I still hate using my powers for this. It's goulish.”

            Eliza carried the bio-droid version of J’ino over to the other room. The lid closed over the actual J’ino and she closed her eyes. The connections sending a thrill through her. Bright white light burned behind her eyelids then she blinked.

Eliza came into focus. “Alright Space Lady, what’s two + two?”

            “Four fewer hugs you get this year.” J’ino stuck out her tongue. The next hour was spent acclimating to movements. She’d do more while in route but for now, all the basics were in place. Doc ran a scanner over everything. “This will do. Even I can barely tell and it's my specialty.”

            White murmured, <<Using cloned brain matter to hide the processors was inspired. But I understand your protests. In idle hands this tech could be used for great evil.>>

            Lorain nodded. Having the cleansing bombs hidden within the “stomach” of the droid would destroy all evidence and hopefully take a bite out of Pandora’s defenses.  Eliza picked up her “mother” and said, “Weight is only off by 3 pounds.” Cooper poked his nose in with Auggie asking, <<Can this tech be used to help replace those who cannot regen very well? I know Bardaxians who have this problem.>>

            Lorain smiled, “That’s an excellent idea, Augustus.”

*****

            Tobin dreamed. The dreamcatcher his hands warm to the touch.

            Just a little longer. It seemed to say.

            Arthur nudged the young man. His eyes snapped open.

            The landscape was a verdant jungle today. The calls of predators reached them.

            They moved. This place was odd. They felt no hunger or thirst. Each had ideas about that but said nothing out in the open.

*****

            Pandora studied the suspended forms of Tobin Murphy and Arthur. While she had learned about their fighting abilities within the simulation, their reluctance to banter annoyed her. She turned from the displays. Sister Nyx leering over their immobile forms. Itching to run experiments. The Litari flowed around the keeper. Shadowy tendrils around the emaciated being’s shoulders, “Worry not. The bigger prize will come soon. I didn’t exactly hide where I was going!”

            Nyx replied sardonically, “That is both a blessing and curse. I want the Queen Bee.”

            Her fingers twitched. J’ino would be hers. So much tapestry to paint across the cosmos.

The Nameless Expanse

Within Unity’s Domain

           

Set quailed. “Master!

            From behind a palace of black glass, Thoth and X’mil watched. Their faces were unflinching. This would be their fate if they displeased Unity. The Claws around Thoth’s wrists hissed, “Such a shame. For a gray herald to go above his station.” An enormous black skeletal hand reached down and buried its nail tips into Set’s chest. White tendrils exploded from the connecting point.

*****

            Set’s body convulsed.

His very soul in the cupped bony digits of Unity. From dozens of mouths, “Now you cannot lie to me. You are mine or did you forget this?”

One finger rested upon the slim light of Set’s soul. Black scrawl spewed forth. Coiling around his entire being.

Only truth from your lips. To friend, enemy, stranger, to the void of all.

Unity knew the price. So he would find a way to sow those lips shut.

Permanently.

            Unity hissed, “Do they both walk the wider multiverse once more?”

            Set’s mouth moved, the words coming fast and high-pitched.

            “Yes! The Black Father exists as well. Though I do not know his face!”

            Unity turned a set of lantern-hued eyes towards Thoth, “What do you know?”

            The cosmic voice rumbled with malice. Guttural, cold, and unforgiving.

            Thoth replied promptly, “I believe the J’kua hide the Black’s host from our sight. I beheld him during my assault on Earth.” X’mil bowed low. Locking his knees to hide his trembling. He didn’t think he fooled Unity with that paltry action.

            X’mil explained, “At the birth of Eliza Murphy, the Artock attacked the A51 facility….”

            Unity studied the three men before it. J’kua.

The cursed blighted race.

Yet the dark beauty of the Keepers resonated from that foul seed.

X’mil recounted his days at the Uplifted Area 51. Leaving no detail out. No matter how inconsequential it seemed. After he was done, new marks of power appeared on his face and wrists. Unity fixed its dread gaze upon Set, “You see? Rewarded. You think me mindless? Short-sighted peon! I was there! I saw the blood seep from White’s body.” A dark mass lashed out. Curling around Set. Disturbingly tender. Then it began to squeeze.

Set’s bones shifted.

Fire erupted along his back.

His eyes bulging.

His wings.

*****

            Set awoke, clutching his chest. Every muscle in his body was on fire. He stumbled over to the refresher. The sights and sounds of the Litari Offworlder enclave a familiar buzz in the background. As he stared into the mirror he growled. A normal human face greeted him. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Generic in every way. Slimmer build than he was used to. His gray sash was inert. No connection thrummed. Black scrawl danced behind his eyelids.

            You will watch for me. Be my eyes.

            He pawed at his neck. He wanted to scream yet no sound came out.

            Unity’s voice took on a sweet note, You cannot speak. Only to me.

            Set brought up this body’s INet H.U.D. He concentrated.

            He could bring up the information. Do nearly everything possible but mentally type out words. He tried sign language. Nothing.

            Written word. With archaic pen and paper.

            His fingers would not act. He tried drawing. Nothing.

            Unity’s laughter cut straight through his soul like a knife through butter.

            Perfect Silence. The Puppet never had a thought.

            The mirror darkened. Pandora smirked. “Who’s been naughty?”

            He tapped the refresher sink surface rhythmically. It came out like a broken melody.

 No way to send an S.O.S even with that universal language.

            She giggled at him, “No form of expression! HOW LOVELY! Chop chop! Do something useful, like spying on the Litari!”

            His body moved. Dressing itself without his prompting.

Null Ship Central Node

Unity Consumed Universe 2533

           

Chronos bowed. The dark mirrors chiming with the message he had been hoping for. He wondered how his daughter faired with her new form. The misty profile of Typha came into view upon the opaque surfaces. Living stone encrusted everything. Except for one building at the heart of Argax City. That shifted a speck of light on a barren planet. Chronos studied it silently. It had the hallmarks of Aether’s work. His old master was still praying at the Altar of the Three. The high orators of the cursed Weave. Unity’s voice curled around Chronos’ mind.

Find the Old Ones.

The Markav Collective.

Those that reside on Mars are but pale imitations!

*****

            I glanced up as Gwen entered my quarters.

            She wouldn’t stare directly at me. We were en route to the Glass Tower. Pandora was rolling out the red carpet. We had to take the bait. She shivered, “I’m sorry.”

It was weird. Like she wasn’t apologizing to me.

I replied, “Gwen, you gotta stop beating yourself up over this. Mistakes happen. You wanted to help.” She took a few more steps forward. Face turned away from me. I reached out to cup her chin, bringing her eyes up to mine. They were blank. Whiter than any surface I had ever beheld.

Golden tears fell onto my hands.

She moved. Lightning quick. Gripping my shoulders.

“Beware the Path of the Ancients.”

Hazy images tore through my mind. Only three were conveyed with any clarity.

Seven of Aether’s people gathered around a grid of green spheres.

Hidan shouting, “NO! THAT WAY LIES DEATH!”

The first Bardaxians crowded around a three pronged structure. The faces of the rock worn with age. Their voices raised, <<The thread of the first shall be the last. We entrust the Vigil to the one who will be.>>

            I spun. Endless stars whirled around me.

            I am here.

            You will never be alone.

            Seek the J’kua’s path. Only then can we bring them home.

*****

            Auggie’s brown eyes shifted. He barked as Star focused in on him. Her voice bleary, “What’s up? Did I fall asleep again?” The corgi nodded. His front paws planted on her chest. <<It was important!>>

            Emerald K-9 agreed, <<Yes. We are almost to the rally point. Remember to wear your Sunday best!>>

*****

            I could hear White’s incoming tirade. I forestalled it with, “Well at least that means they think you are the best thing for me to greet the day with!” She settled down. But not before she added, <<I just worry. Perhaps too much!>>

            I replied, “Lorain doesn’t think I worry enough. So we balance each other!”

            Some of the other demis laughed at that.

            Mighty Mallet winked, “Don’t you worry Star! With all of us here? We will make the very cosmos tremble!”

            Golden Bulleteer grinned, “That old razzle dazzle! As it was in my day.”

            The rest of the Golden Redeemers were here as well. Along with the enhanced members of the Jupiter Rising. We were going all in. Mom shifted next to me. Not ignoring dad per se but maintaining a professional demeanor. Since his civilian ID wasn’t linked with his demi persona. So I hooked an arm around mom, “We will get them back. You know we will cause even the Queen herself is here.”

            My grandmother, M’taris hid a smirk as Guinevere and Marion replied simultaneously, “But of course!”

Robin Hood cried out, “With a whole ship of Kings to ride herd on everyone!”

The Javelin carrying all of us was idling in Weave Space. Awaiting the signal from Lazarus. My brother remained back on Earth. Guarding that artifact. Mom rested her head against my arm.

Waiting was the worst part.

*****

            Lazarus motioned Gulliver and Trouble forward.

The area around them a cacophony of color. The Glass Tower was in normal space. Protected by various Dark Shaman Wards. Beyond that was a fortress floating in the black of space. Made of Unity’s mirrors. Bits of metal. Keeper Null tech. A regular nightmare that could befuddle the senses. Trouble floated over to another ward. Ripping through its defenses. They would make a hole big enough for the Javelin strike team. Jace marveled at the poise of Lazarus. To be bonded with the first light shaman was a boon he had never expected.

Tyre spoke through the blade, <<Easy now. Focus!>>

Jace nodded.

As one they maneuvered Lazarus towards the final ward in that sector around the Glass Tower. The blade rendering the final traps inert.

*****

            Pandora watched from the center of her floating fotress.

Grinning she turned toward Nyx, “Now the fun begins!”

The Keeper eyed the progress of the demi and its Defender cronies with little interest.

J’ino was the prize. 

Issue 27: Here

Issue 29: Here

Monday, June 28, 2021

The Uplift Protocol: Hidden Legacies Issue 27

 

Issue 27: Hidden Legacy Revealed

 

            Dexter, looks like all the Sleepers were pulled out to multiple Universes off the primary grid of the Eden network. C’alain’s Wall is failing. Here are the specs for “moving” your Throne Matrix off-world. The only thing holding it there was C’alain’s wards and Typha’s position within the celestial tapestry, since your sister is carrying multitudes of souls for the moment, I suggest an alternative. As for your Typha, Aether has a plan for that. The Dragons of Ruin will soon starve.—Eliza Odessen

            For a moment, everything was bright. Eliza had returned to the Jupiter. The remains of the Soul Stealer were sent straight to hell via the corona of our Twin Suns. Then the storm clouds came rushing in. For the first time, those left on Typha and our duel habitat rings finally saw a glimpse of what lay within our corrupted Weave Space. If it wasn’t for the combined efforts of the Javelin fleet, working with the Union forces, Typha would have been a lifeless husk.—J’ino Murphy

            The Healing House was more than just a place blessed by the Weave. Everything that Typha was had been cataloged within its hollow halls. My grandfather didn’t care about the buildings. He cared about the history, the animal life, plant life, the records. From books to holo documentaries. Frozen. But not Keeper amber. J’kua Amber. Alongside the Amarche. Gathering the histories of those long-forgotten voices.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century

Bridge of Terran Alliance Star Ship Olympia

Orbit of Typha

November 6th, 2115

           

Jonas “Eddie” Olsten watched as the surface of Typha darkened.

            The only light that would remain would be the House of Healing.

            It would be a clarion call to Chronos. Seeing his enemy’s tech protecting the last glimmer of hope. Eddie didn’t pretend to understand it all. He only knew that it was possible because Allied Thrones would be phasing the Healing House in between universes. Eliza and Dexter would restore what was lost.

The captain of the vessel asked, “Status of Evacuation?”

            The reply, “All Typherian civilians have been transported to secondary extraction point!”

            The helmsman glanced at the readouts, “Sheilds around Commons Orbital Ring 1 and 2 holding.” Light Shamans were about to pull the biggest interstellar teleport known to man. All Magical demis had been put on alert. When Gen. Murphy had told Jonas where the Typherian Hab rings had been designated, no wonder Earth had kept the Sun clear of all construction. At least within physical space.

*****

 

            C’yah shouted. Her delight was evident. “Momma look! So many colors!” The light of the twin suns dimmed. Replacing it was a single sun. The sky went from a familiar purple color to blue. Announcements reverberated across both Hab Rings. With the outer Hysen Ring Shell expelling its carried warships. They took up defensive positions. Bardaxian coms came online, <<Welcome to Sol. Heart of the Terran Alliance. Please stand by. We are all here to help!>>

The Titan Ring

Orbit of Earth

C.A.P CIC

           

J’ino hugged herself. Watching while Thomas barked commands into his H.U.D. In the distance, far from the Titan and Athena Rings, her people phased into existence around Sol. Y’lansa voice clipped, >>Raise shields! Where…!?!<<

            J’ino replied, >>Easy now. The people are safe.<<

            Y’lansa replied, >>What of Typha?<<

            J’ino swallowed.  

            >>Later. We will save it. I swear it.<<

            Active feeds from her birth world showcased hordes of Living Stone encasing the planet. Three pitch black dragons curling around the entire sphere. Their ghostly gray eyes dim. The light shaman shielding around the twin suns protected them from consumption. J’ino reached out to steady herself on the view screen. She could only imagine what the Weave around the planet looked like.

            The Jupiter Rising docked with the Titan Ring. Its red, black and white hull sent a thrill through J’ino. Her family was home.

Thomas needed the military assets. Athena was many things but she wasn’t Earth’s first defense. A bright white spark zipped past. Eliza, in her White Defender getup, heading towards the Moon. A moment later she saw her son, wearing his Dawnbreaker outfit, follow. They carried a dark featureless sphere between them.

She jumped when her father said, >>Say nothing. You can see because you are their mother. I can because I was the steward.<<

            >>But what about C’alain’s Wall!? Wasn’t that the access point?<<

            His gray/black eyes hardened. >>That was for the souls of our people. So they can be reborn upon a cleansed Typha. Eliza will carry them to the Ouroborous. Unity will starve. No souls remain upon our planet. Living or otherwise!<<

            J’ino bit her lip. “Another distraction.”

            Her father nodded, “It is the way things are. No one has the full picture.”

            His frown deepened, “No one but the future.”

            J’ino waved at A’tan Odessen as he followed others from the Jupiter. 

Thomas glanced at his H.U.D, <<Send her in. The virus is dormant. The signal cut off about 2 days ago.>>

            A’tan stepped forward, each footfall light yet hesitant, as he stared. He couldn’t believe it. His mouth opened, “Wife? Ithy, is that you?”

            Ith’aria passed Victor to Thomas. Not trusting her eyes either. What could one say at a moment like this? Through the Odessen line, the shock rippled outward. All of his family waited with bated breath to welcome their matriarch back. Y’lansa was the only one not reacting. She had known! He wasn’t angry.  It made a strange sort of sense. Y’lansa had a higher clearance level. His wife reached out and they held each other.

The rest of the world faded away.

He didn’t care how long they had been frozen there. He gently wiped a tear from her face.

It wouldn’t do to mention the waterworks.

*****

            Thomas and the others exited the viewing room. Ul’mati exclaimed, “I never thought the power of the Human Light Shamans was that great!” Thomas brought up more displays. He couldn’t mention the magical help from various demis or the Golden City just yet. The Arcane Council forbid it. Let people imagine the possibilities. INet and HeroNet were just as much of a weapon as anything else in their arsenal. The more conflicting reports the better. He thanked Nola, “As always, any help is appreciated.”

            She still looked human. But knew his hidden meaning.

            Her people would be another surprise for the forces of evil.

Murphy turned to the young Forger, “How are things back home?”

             Six red eyes gleamed with happiness, “Very well sir! Your daughter and wife were invaluable!”

            J’ino reached out to pat him on his mid segments. “The Forgers always had my back. I could do no less!”

            The door swished open.

            Eliza spotted the anti-grav chair and fell into it. Her face weary but calm.

*****

            I sorely wanted to sleep but had to keep going for a bit longer. Traveling to the Ouro after we had deposited the artifact underneath the lunar surface took more out of me than I had realized. Then again, depositing billions upon billions of souls to the sanctuary of the Three within the Ouro was another feat I didn’t expect. White shouted, <<NO sleeping!>>

            A large tiger paw smacked my face.

            My eyes flew open. Auggie raced in and jumped onto my lap. Barking incessantly.

            <<Let Lorain look at you!>>

             Using telekinetics to float more clocks near my head. All of them going off all at once.

            Dexter hid a smile behind that bushier beard of his. “Yeah, sorry sis. We need White to calibrate a few other items and then you can officially collapse for a bit.”

            Four hazy silver outlines condensed into the forms of Typherians. One knelt next to me. His mouth didn’t move but I heard the words.

            I am A’rtan. V’alkor is my son. We will walk with you until the end.

            I held back a yawn, “A’rtan huh? So Senior Grandpa Wolf.”

            The image smiled. But it wasn’t fluid. Yet I sensed warmth there.

            My grandfather pulled me from the chair. “Let’s all go for a walk. It will take some time for the threads to settle.” Every time I was about to nod off, mom let Victor poke my face, which caused Auggie to set off those alarm clocks next to my head. “I get it. I’m awake.”

            Emerald K-9 joined in with construct drums.

Along with Bardaxian war chants.

            Soon I had a whole honor guard of “Let’s keep Eliza awake.”

This went on for the next 24 hrs.

The Glass Tower

Pandora’s Realm

Location Redacted

           

Arthur’s gauntleted fist came crashing down on the skeletal creature.  It was the size of a mountain lion. Teeth dripping some vicious liquid that ignited the desolate blasted landscape. A volcano erupted. Spitting forth noxious gases. Arthur’s Intez symbiote flooded his lungs. Producing oxygen. The sky overhead rumbled ominously. Green lightning crackled. The flash connecting with the rocky outcroppings in the distance.

Tobin’s ice shattered the latter half of the giant’s legs. He dived under the mottled green chin, forming an ice cage around the legs and arms. Tobin gripped the simple club. Resizing it so Arthur would be able to use it as a weapon. He wasn’t as strong in matter manipulation as Zachary was but he could at least reinforce things and resize them. He kicked off the ice ledge, near the giant’s nose, spinning into the other desiccated creature attempting to jump Arthur from behind. It squealed and fled. It's six legs cartwheeling.

They both sprang back as a feathered 4 winged harpy swooped in.

Its red claws flexing. Brilliant white feathers tipped with black expanded.

“Flesh!” It croaked, voice sending shivers up Tobin’s spine.

Neither of them talked. Arthur pivoted. Aiming the heavy hammer towards the thing’s right wing. It floundered. Overextending itself in the dive. He brought the blunt end home. Snapping its fragile wing bones under the weight of the impact.

The day was just beginning.

*****

            Y’lansa Odessen pulled her hand back.

            The water filling the tub wasn’t just ready yet. She turned the temperature gauges up another 10 degrees. Her wounds were nearly healed. The wonders of modern medical tech and one Doctor Lorain Lanis. Just how many of those pills had saved people? Her parents called out from the living quarters, the first thing out of her father’s mouth was, “So? Any grandkids yet?”

            Ta’len held in a snort of laughter. Husband status notwithstanding she blushed.

            “Father!”

            Ira’thia pouted, “But we need more babies!”

            They all turned when the doorway iris whooshed open and a beagle trotted in.

            <<The Union Council wants us all to gather at the  CAP CIC.>>

            Y’lansa asked Snoopy, “On Titan?”

            Snoopy barked, <<Nope! They made another! Follow!>>

            Y’lansa shut down the bath. “Another time then.”

            Ira’thia snorted, “Wait until you see poor Eliza. They still haven’t let her sleep yet.”

*****

            Thomas Murphy kept his expression neutral. Not allowing his daughter’s gentle pleas to sway him. Dexter said this had something to do with what they buried under the Lunar landscape but wouldn't elaborate. Thomas could put some clues together but carried out his duty of keeping Eliza awake with stimulants. White would let out a terrifying roar if that wasn’t enough. Lorain wanted to help but her powers would only put her captain to sleep at this point. She flushed guiltily. She had managed to get a solid two days of rest. No one enjoyed doing this but when Dexter said it was important Lorain didn’t argue. He hardly gave orders. Black took his tiger shape as well. Alternating the frequency of bellowing. At this point, Eliza was nearly a zombie.

*****

            The Amarche sang.

            Keeping me awake a while longer. I asked the curator, “Why do I have to stay awake?”

            He waved Di’axi forward. The Scholar apologized to my parents. “We will meet you in the CIC in just a moment.” All that was left was me, Dexter, Black, and White, as far as they could tell. The leader of the Armache winked. Leaning to the side. Arms crossed as he waited for Di’axi to continue. He was clothed in his demi robes. White cloak, robes and golden belt. With matching white boots. I thought it went well with that long black hair of his. My brain slid sideways. Then I knew nothing more.

*****

            Everyone gawked at the Eliza that entered the CIC on the Moon. Dexter peeled off to the side. To watch. Lorain stepped forward. Pressing a hand to the silver material flowing down Eliza’s left arm. She had two of them. This was not the Ur Stone version. Ancient gray and black eyes stared out at everyone. Eliza had speckles of gray at her temples. Her face was leaner but just as open as Lorain remembered. Such gentle eyes. Old sorrows lingered there. But so did ancient joys.

            Her voice light yet forceful, “The future isn’t always set. Divergence happens. Thus you have other universes. Paths not taken. Paths not explored but today, we forge a path for everyone. The Golden Path guarded by Silver.”

            The belt at her waist rippled. It wasn’t White.

            It pulsed with a welcoming aura. Bringing peace to all within the room.

            Jace brought C’alain’s Blade forth from its sheath. It hummed with silver and blue lights.

            Eliza grasped it in both hands. Holding it to her forehead.

            “Tyre, you are so forth summoned. Aid my brother. Grant him your knowledge. Taken from the Creation Age of the Weave. First of the Holy Host. May your righteous fires burn bright when all other lights go out.”

            Jace touched the blade’s pommel as Eliza handed it back. His form shifted.

            White and tan armor encased his body. A golden sash around his waist. With two voices he responded, “You are known to us. We rejoice and will obey. Highest upon High bless you Silver Defender of All.”

Jace raised the sword, “I am a Protector. Born to Convergence. By Blood and Bone, I will endure. As the Wall Endures. Tyre, first of the Light Shamans. So proclaimed. Yet reborn. Alight after the sea of time.”

Eliza responded, “So known. So it shall be. By what symbol will we know you now?”

He smiled, “Lazarus.”

There was no response.

The room flashed and there stood current Eliza. Her face relaxed.

Lazarus shimmered. Returning full control to Jace.

He blinked. Astonishment playing across his features.

“Holy cow. They have no idea who we are protecting.”

Everyone glanced at Eliza. She slept on. Utterly exhausted.

Di’axi nodded. Threw back his hood. His eyes reflecting the cosmos.

“To secure the future. We must correct the past. Of the J’kua. Eliza is part of that corrective measure. Sanctioned by the Weave itself. Though she carries the Mark of Nyx. It is needed.”

*****

The pale man glanced at his UEF chaperones.

Their battle armor Black and Green. Marking them as foreigners. The few Alliance personnel respectfully backed away. Some even saluting in response.

They had guided him to this Earth. To this moon. Which looked nothing like he was used to. He shifted. Settling his green and gray robes about him. Bringing out his silver cross. “Guide me. Protect me. Let my soul pass onto eternal grace.” The crossway opened. As he entered the main CIC for this altered lunar plane, a man who was the spitting image of Jennifer Murphy, the Storm of the UEF, cried out, “Brookes has a brother!?”

Various weapons were pointed at him.

He smiled. It wasn’t twisted or filled with hate. Just acceptance.

“I am Father Dennis Miles Brookes. My mother was impregnated by Chronos. Jennifer Murphy saved her from the Breeding Pits of X’tar. A known Keeper wasteland in my universe. I am with the Order of St. George. The one who slew the first Unity Dragon and I am here to help.”

Issue 26: Here

Issue 28: Here