Issue 17: What’s In a Name
History will cover the lion’s share of my sister’s journey but for those of us beside her? We know what roles we played. I wonder, what would I have done with demi powers? Granted, I had a touch of Weave Speaking but deep down? We were meant to help my sister. Without us, she would have been without needed intel or weapons.—Samatha Murphy
I might not look it but eventually, I found someone. I realize now that my parents didn’t click in the way a healthy couple would. Watching how Teddy interacts with my mother made me realize she had a lot more against her growing up. The Weave put too much weight on her. Samantha? Gwen and I weren’t meant to carry that burden so young. But bare it we did.—Jacob Murphy
Every time I ventured into Project Freefall some new wonder or device was being worked on. By this point: At’lan was allowed to upload a backup copy of himself inside. An off-site parachute should something go wrong on the Muthra base. Arthon and Proctor Gansys had cracked the code keeping the Atlantian sleepers under thrall. Nuul and Tivus would be the first awakened. Amazing Grace and the others would follow suit. They ran the counter program and antidote through the entire Terraforming vessel. Meanwhile, Union forces, as we gained more countermeasures for other races, flooded the atmospheres of colonies and main planets alike. We would inoculate everyone. C.A.P medics and technicians did it in phases. So that the Sister Nyxs of the Universe would be slower on the uptake.—Sleeping in Starlight, a memoir of the 22nd century
September 2nd, 2114
Tivus opened his eyes.
Two small pinpricks on either side of his head alerted him to the re-awakening process. Arthon’s face tensed as his grandfather gazed at him. The muthra had been awake for the past 24 hours. Black splotches under his eyes a testament to his vigil. Nuul rose next. Taking note of his son’s bedraggled appearance. Nuul swallowed some water that Proctor Gansys offered.
At’lan inquiry flowed through Nuul’s brain, <<No presence of Sleeper nanites detected. How do you feel High Muthra?>>
Nuul shook his head, “Got anything besides water? I’m starving!”
He pulled himself from the pod. Mid-sized gunmetal gray surveyor droids hovered close by. Ready to catch him. Their dome-shaped heads humming as internal sensors came activated. Tivus joined his family. The hibernation uniforms retracting from the rest of their bodies. Leaving both men wearing simple cloth pants. Arthon keyed in the security codes. Adding his biometrics and Ritark’s chirping addition. The Litari had been with him for years by this point. On the other side, as the doors slide open, Samatha Murphy awaited them. “This way gentlemen. I'll catch you up on the particulars!”
Tivus noticed the wedding band on her finger. “By all means.”
Arthon pinched the bridge of his nose, “It’s gonna be quite the sitrep.”
Nuul rolled his shoulders, “I'll be more than happy to listen as long as I get some coffee.”
Samantha began with, “I put on the battery acid.”
Javelin Bright Dawn
In Route to Project Freefall
Samantha thanked Jacob. “It's been a while since it was just the two of us.”
He leaned back in the grav chair. Watching the readouts. Sam’s appearance, so like Anna’s didn’t cause his heart to lurch anymore. Stranger things had happened. For one? Gwen Murphy. While her parents had been mired in Typherian politics over the years, Gwen had taken a shine to Anna in ways no one had expected.
She had clung to Anna. Sensing a kindred spirit in her.
Beyond the Weave Speaker angle.
No one had been more surprised than Anna herself. Gwen had somehow become the bridge for all of them. A link to old family ties to the new. Without the added baggage of familiar pain.
Samantha’s dark black hair was pulled back into a stylish ponytail. Her brown eyes locked onto his stormy blue-gray. He had their father’s brown hair but had his mother’s eyes. Anna would insist she saw a whole lot of her father and grandfather in him. He reached for his mug when an alert trilled across the holo console. He snapped, “Locate disturbance!”
The ship’s AI replied, <<Signal received by IO. Please stand by for clearance procedures.>>
Sam’s hands flew across the readouts. What did the IO squad want with them? Usually, they would rope Uncle Paxton into various missions. He was the most traveled PI known to man by now. At least in her estimation. The Javelin vibrated as it docked with the guest entry port. A cheery tone trilled, “Welcome esteemed guests. Please follow the designated sphere!” A white and silver sphere floated into the command room. This Javelin ship was a specially made model for the Murphys to use. Their father’s way of watching out for them.
As the docking relays pulled them into the IO sanctum they donned protective suits. As they exited the ship, Paxton was there to greet them, <<Looks like they have a request of you two!>> He meant the angelic host here.
Jacob still didn’t know what to make of it all. He was better with machines.
Trisha, his wife, often said her cybernetic implants were what drew him to her in the first place. That and she could make excellent Jambalaya. She was one of the security Light Shamans stationed at Freefall. She was one of the few who helped pull Jupiter Rising through the access portals. Scanning the few outsider visitors to transition back and forth. Most within Freefall remained there.
He reached out to place a palm on the wall reader that Hidan indicated.
The mechanized voice responded, <<Identities confirmed. Welcome, Jacob and Samantha. You have temporary access to the Library.>>
They followed the winged man to the central foyer.
Samantha fiddled with her Union bracelet. It didn’t have a jewel within. Since the Commons didn’t have surnames but her husband had a matching circlet on his head with the inscription, “Love found across the void of Space. In the darkest of moments, I found the Light.” Sam thought it was super corny but she adored her husband’s forthright manner. T’alis Murphy. Unlike her mother and J’ino, she didn’t want to have children until the universe was a bit safer. With prolog she had options. Time wouldn’t stop her biological clock for a while.
She would have to adopt. J’ino was the rare case. Able to have hybrid children. Based on what Mary Murphy aka formerly Valcourt was updating her on, Dexter could certainly have children. In fact, he wanted to have a competition. To see which Murphy branch could have more. Thomas and J’ino already had quite the start. Mary didn’t want to spend years within the Tower of Matarn. Wasn’t her style. Sam thought it had something to do with the idea of time slipping by on the outside. Which would probably remind the young woman of her time with Sister Nyx. Sam hugged herself for a split second. Jacob pointed, “Is that supposed to be here?”
Hidan placed odd metallic belts around both and pushed them through the portal.
“Beyond all Sight, so it goes, so you shall return!”
Outer Shield World
Time Redacted *Security Clearance Required
Samantha stared at the landscape before her.
Jacob regaining his bearings as well.
The simple one-story house reminding her of the old Murphy homestead back in New Ashbury, down to the simple brown door. Various gardens and gentle waterfalls dotted the places around the house. The only thing that let them know this wasn’t earth was the giant white dwarf in the distance. Plus the skyline was simulated for Earth's standard sunlight. It gave off the air of being a mini version of Project Freefall. A rather tall woman was reclining in a simple rocking chair on a Cliffside. As they approached Jacob called out, “I think we took a bad turn at Alpha Centauri!” The woman pushed herself up from the chair. Her features marred by time.
She appeared to be at least 700 years old. Since she had silvered streaks through that brown hair. What old-style pre-prolong called middle-aged.
But Sam knew that face. “Eliza?!”
Sam blinked and Eliza was beside them. Pulling them into a tight embrace.
“It is good to see you both. Hidan sent you I presume?”
Jacob saw the Union circlet sitting upon her brow. It was as new as the day it was forged. But no one else was around. It was just Eliza here. He glanced down at Sam, “Not Where but When.”
Eliza set them down. “Correct. When is an important matter. In your time and mine.”
Samantha tried to connect to INet.
Shocked by the message.
Jacob joined her. His eyes glued to Eliza after re-reading the missive.
///The Temporal Council apologizes. Due to the 42nd Century Clause, time travelers of the Eden Universe are prohibited from certain kinds of outside influences. Yes, Samantha Murphy, we know of the Creation level tech that brought you here. Eliza is a gray area. Pun very much intended. Jacob Murphy, please download these schematics. They are viable for your time of origin.///
Jacob downloaded the information to his HUD. Eyes going wide, “Ned and I have been trying to figure out…..clever!” They were basic designs for Bardaxian Scout Bombers. To be loaded with explosive tech that Ned had given Eliza to help with the Forger situation. They had the missing component now. They needed light shamans to reinforce the bomber bays with certain kinds of ritual frequencies. To keep the bombs viable and potent. Eliza grinned, “Believe me, those hand grenades are going to save lots of lives on the Forger homeworld. But this? That’s for cleansing Unity controlled Universes.”
Sam asked, “But if there’s nothing there…”
Eliza frowned, her tone worried, “There is still something within those Universes. Trapped Souls. This will release them when my brother and I cannot be there to do so. We will need help to canvas more areas.”
Sam nodded, “Got it. We are boots on the ground while you guys are in the air.”
Jacob twitched. His waist getting pulled first. “I think they want us back sis!”
Sam jumped up and wrapped her hands around Eliza’s neck. Giving her sister a warm peck on the cheek, “You behave Captain!”
Eliza murmured, “That’s the plan. Oh and watch out for the Lost Letters on Typha. You’ll like him and his sister. Plus the rest of those kids with them.” Sam had no clue what she was talking about but nodded anyway. An image formed in her mind. So potent that she didn’t have time to parse all of it. But she saw their faces. She would know them upon meeting.
Promising, “I will. It's funny, just how cryptic will you get in your old age?”
Sam dabbed Eliza’s face with a handkerchief as she noticed a few tears get in the way.
Then they were gone.
Sam rubbed her eyes.
They were back within the Javelin. Heading towards Project Freefall. Jacob sent a message. ///Take a look at what’s on your other finger.///
She peered down at her hand. A small ring. Of the same metal as those belts.
It hadn’t been a dream.
Jacob showed her his hand. The opposite one from his marriage band.
She shivered. Remember the Lost Kids.
Lorain peeked out from behind the house.
Her features still as vital as they had been back in the 22nd century. Within a few moments, she was in my arms. Her head resting on my chest. I barely managed to get out, “It was worth it right? ” Her hands rubbing my back. I knew her fear on a fundamental level now. But the Weave had promised. I would remain on course. The Long Vigil was not yet complete. We had more than enough children to shepherd. That was an absolute fact. So many children.
I would not abandon them. Though not of my flesh but we were guardians non the less.
Lorain sniffed. Tears clogging her voice as well, “You know that old saying? There’s always a Lighthouse waiting? We will get there. I promise.”
We would see them all again. Not just the memories.
Gwen had seen it.
I could still recall the face of everyone dear to me.
White and Black emerged from the waterfall. Their humanoid forms reforming to that of Tigers. We sat by the field of Doc’s favorite white lilies. White resting her massive head in my lap. She had no words. Didn’t need them.
Time marched on.
There is power in simple things. Remember that Space Cadet.
I didn’t realize I had spoken out loud until Doc let out a small peel of laughter, “That was just like your mother.”
All I had to do was close my eyes and they were there again.
Black remarked, “They want us at the Renewal Ceremony.”
I responded, “Wouldn’t miss it.”
Earth’s sun had long gone out but the legacy remained.
The planet circled another new sun. Moved along with its original solar system.
To be reborn.
Odessen monitored the Sheild World code named Final Rest. His family had in service to Murphys and Ayeers for many eons. He didn’t know what to make of the Weave’s plan. Many Light Shamans, Priests, and Demis had ideas but it wasn’t for him to say. The power of the Black, White, and Silver protected the Golden Path and all of Creation. But one day that light would diminish. To go beyond the Gates of this reality to whatever lay beyond. Not the empty void summoned by the old devil Unity but one blessed by the Weave.
Then it would be up to the younger ones to take up the mantle.
To step out and create new stories.
But this one still had some notes to play out.
They would walk the Path of Ancients and leave a better legacy for their children.
Just as the Defenders did.
Issue 16: Here
Issue 18: Here