(I should point out that the address of this blog is now under my own domain name as “ixiocali.com” The name “ixiocali” is my sometimes used “nom de plume” or writer’s name and comes from a past life remembrance. In some instances, for reasons that made sense then, I also spelled it “X-IO-KALI”… As a source of inspiration for me, Kali is not as “gruesome” as the religions around her image have made her out to be. But as a powerful female divinity equal to any male god and independent, what else could the religions do but try to demonize her?)
[begin blog post #26]
I put my head in my hands to think this through. As an Avatari I could never agree to “join” in anything unless the outcome from my part in it was mine to determine. However, I am not an Avatari at this moment but a slave woman trying to save the life of her friend. Compromised morality? How about compromising purpose? I really have no choice here. I must go along. “Very well doctor, I agree to your demands. My life is yours. My “secrets” are all yours. Please – Please! – promise me you will save Deirdre!”
“I am sorry that I cannot promise that much but I can try to get her off this place. She will have to be clandestinely taken into the deep desert where our stealth ship is stored in an underground launching silo. Once I’ve secured her departure from this place our problems are magnified however — how do you propose to explain her escape and disappearance?”
I reply without hesitation because I’d already worked that out as some sort of plan. “This is how I worked it out, sir. She escaped, knowing she was going to die in the arena on her first encounter anyway? Seduced someone to help her out the automatic gates and past the force-field outside the great moat? Our feet are similar in size. I can go out on a fake escape and leave footprints that lead into the moat? Who the “someone” would be to help her escape, that I have no idea of as yet.”
“It’s a kind of plan,” he replies, heaving a deep sigh, “but if you are caught, do you realize the punishment you will be in for as her lover and confidante?”
“Yes. I will be tortured to death, I fully expect.”
“That is more than likely. However there are different kinds of torture. Let me bring you up to date on some refinements of it here in Hyrete. Whatever you’ve seen of physical punishment since you’ve been here, you haven’t seen what they can really do when they combine inquisition methods with modern technology. You have not seen what they can do to a human brain, or how long they can keep one living while administering pure pain.” He winces as he says the next devastating words: “They possess neuro-inductors, Antierra.”
I know I pale at that. I feel as if I’d just swallowed a litre of ice; like the back of my head was going to explode. The one tool banned everywhere in the United Treaty Worlds supremacy, along with neural implants that are remotely controlled and can make an individual do anything whatsoever the remote commands. Neuro-inductors can make one go through the reality of any pain, for example, burning to death. When the victim has “died” the process is reversed and you feel it all over – in the reverse sense! You literally “un-burn” going through the pain in reverse until you are fully restored… and they do it again, or they program another kind of sensation. It never kills the body but after countless shocks the brain begins to short out and the victim is terminated by the torturers. No normal person put through such agony will withhold any information. Anyone would rush to let it all out, hoping for the pain to end, preferably in death.
Isn’t it utterly ironic that the inventor of this hellish device was working in empath technology? The purpose of the research was to re-program part of the human brain so it could function empathically. But someone highly placed in United Command got wind of this research and had a better idea on how it could be used for “security” and military purposes. The name of the inventor was Talbat Mohary, a Martian researcher who used the “empath inducer” to kill herself when she discovered how her research was being used by the USC under the command of Grand Admiral Chang-X.
Although she programmed her suicide to be recorded by holo-vid and viewed across the entire Supremacy information networks and the macabre holovids were picked up and broadcast over FreeNet bands throughout the inhabited parts of the Galaxy, there was no way its development could be curtailed once military researchers had the basics of it. They took their knowledge into their “underground” facilities, their black sites and continued to use and improve its lethal potential as billions protested against it and every ISSA world vetoed its use or transport. There are two penalties if such devices are found in one’s possession or if it is discovered one has knowledge of their existence and has not reported it: life imprisonment served in the mines of asteroid fields with no chance for parole or public execution on some worlds.
“How did such a hellish thing find its way to Malefactus across dimensional barriers which your people cannot cross – hell, don’t even believe exist?”
“We don’t know. We assumed they developed it on their own until we realized their level of technology is simply not advanced enough to produce such a thing. What they have of high tech weaponry and transportation units has to have come from some off-world source at some point in time. They can not, as yet, invent these things for themselves nor can they reverse-engineer them. That’s the simple truth. We are trying to identify the source of the technology being tested and used on this world and the resultant mess. So far we have basically no leads. All we can be certain of is that none of it comes from our world.”
I go into an automatic mind search (Earthians refer to this as a psychic trance) and begin to murmur, “Albaral, the second sun… the second sun… the artificial sun that orbits this world from south to north, bringing its pale, cold light upon the land when all should be night. Look into Albaral…”
He raises his hand and interrupts me, “What are you doing? What are you saying?”
I move slowly out of my self-induced trance state and reply: “I have the ability to enter into trance states, doctor. What I am saying is that since I came here I’ve been getting sensations from what I call “the dark sun.” Even in our cages I can feel it. It’s like an evil eye that probes the planet’s energies, tapping into their patterns and re-ordering them to do its will. I tell you doctor, the answer lies on Albaral. You should consult the women of this world. They all sense this as well. They fear and hate Albaral.”
“How can Albaral be the source of T’Sing Tarleyn’s neuro-inductor technology? It’s an artificial moon world, long dead. Besides, this world has no known space travel capability. They cannot travel to Albaral and there is nothing on that world that can come here, or that can send anything here via drone probes.”
“Doctor!” I exclaim before I take time to think of my position here, “How can it be “dead” when it must power itself to remain in its unnatural orbit around Malefactus?”
“It uses the planet’s magnetic field, that’s all. There is no motive force in it. We’ve scanned it. We’ve even landed briefly on it and did some research. Just heaps upon heaps of abandoned, mostly damaged and crumbling infrastructure within a hollowed-out sphere composed in part from moon rock and fibre-steel interlocking concrete surfaces.”
“Who built it? To what purpose? Did you investigate the possibility that it may be powered from some remote source, some nearby star?”
“No one can tell who built it. It is very ancient, that we know. And to answer your other question, we have found no evidence of an external power source. If it existed, it would be massive… or so totally alien we’d have no means to detect it. The pseudo-history of T’Sing Tarleyn tells that Albaral was brought here as is, not built here, long before this world was occupied by the current human inhabitants. It is our contention that it was equipped with a detachable drive that pushed it in this sector. The drive unit then returned to its home world and Albaral’s pre-determined velocity locked it in its current orbit.”
“So it was a world, or a large moon that was partly blown apart, the main remnant hollowed out and structures made by either artificial intelligence, man or other alien intelligence, were attached to it to re-create a liveable world? Was it being mined when part of it imploded, or flew off into space? Or was it a defence post attacked by a planet blaster, the remnants being pushed here for future use? Surely the answers are still there, in the wreckage; in vaults, tunnels, dead comlinks, binary-coded archives. There must be something that hints at Albaral’s history.”
[end blog post #26]