Circles - Part Four: Earth

[07.05.01] » by Chad Harger



Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII


On a planet whose past holds the key the future, the present Leader felt a Ripple in the Current. He reached out to touch, to feel. He reeled back on his throne. He sensed something familiar. It seemed smaller this time. It also moved in a different way.

The Leader pushed a button on the arm of the throne. "Yes, my lord," came the reply.

"Send in Gerend," said the ruler.

Gerend entered the throne room. He saw the anger in the ruler's eyes. Gerend swallowed, a human gesture, but one that was justified. "You summoned me?" asked Gerend.

The Leader stood up. His white robes flowed with him as if the clothes were part him. He walked over to Gerend. "Do you remember what happened not so long ago? When the humans made their final effort?"

"Three ships escaped," said Gerend. "By that time the truth came too late. They were trapped."

"Two of those ships reached their planet. The colonies were taken over and eradicated. Even if they did manage to mount any kind of resistance they could not escape." The Leader grabbed Gerend and lifted him up. "That is what you told me! I have sensed what might be the third ship!"

"Impossible," said Gerend.

"I sense fear and determination! That is a deadly combination in humans!" yelled the Ruler. "You said not to worry when we lost contact with the third ship! We are blessed that our potential bane is not among them! They also are not using our 'gift'. If they suspect anything the Ripples shall be great! They are also closer to the Current than any human we have met!"

"The device was sabotaged," said Gerend. "Just as you ordered."

"I know," said the leader. "I remember. Now they have returned!"

"The Xernix," said Gerend.

"The Xernix," repeated the Leader. He nodded and let Gerend down. "Send six of them. No mistakes this time! Nothing of them will survive!"

"To prevent Ripples in the Current, I shall do this," said Gerend.

Chapter I: Inbound/Outbound Traffic

Miang wiped her tears. "Sorry," she said.

"Its alright," said Citan. "I am actually surprised . . .Earth you called it? I am just glad its still here."

"We still have to confirm that," said Emeralda who had doubt in her voice. She recently regained her emotions. Like the rest of the crew she was anxious since the ship entered the Solar System.

"No rush," said Citan. "We still do not know if there are any surprises out there. We will approach carefully. No rush with this one."

A hour passed before they were in scanning range. They watched the screen as the picture of Earth appeared. They expected the planet not a warped blob on the screen. "I am getting a heavy amount of interference," said Emeralda who was not happy.

"Source?" asked Citan who did not like the idea one bit.

"Scanner cannot even tell me that," said Emeralda.

"Damn it!" muttered Miang with frustration. "What do we do?"

Citan rubbed his chin and tapped his foot against the floor. "Long time since I've seen you think like that," said Miang.

"Hm," said Citan. He turned to Mikhail. "How far are we from Earth?"

"Ten million kilometers," answered the pilot.

"Is it possible to use the optic telescope at this range?" asked Citan.

"Yes," said Emeralda. "It will take five hours to get clear photos."

"It will have to do," said Citan. "Staff meeting will take place a hour after the photos are done."


They all waited for Emeralda. She came in last. No one said much while waiting for her. When she entered she had the look of shock. "Before we begin," said Emeralda. "We must consider the consequences of what could happen if we go forward. No one will blame us if we turn back."

"Is it that bad?" asked Aria.

"Enough to warrant extreme caution," answered Emeralda.

"I'm not turning back," said Miang. "No matter what I have to know."

"We will cross those bridges when we get to them," said Citan. "Show us the pictures."

Emeralda brought up the holographic projector. "The pictures speak for themselves." The lights dimmed and a holograph of Earth appeared. In geostationary orbit, four objects surrounded the planet. Two at the north and south poles and two at opposite sides of the equator. They were connected by beams of energy that formed a field that surrounded the planet. The command staff could not speak at the sight. Not in any of their wildest speculations could they imagine this. Earth was imprisoned by Zohar Modifiers.

"I'd like to get back to the farm now," said Mikhail.

Citan did not say anything. He looked at the pictures as they cycled through the projector. Something on one of the photos caught his attention. "Stop!" he ordered. "Go back two pictures."

Emeralda brought up the photo. It was a picture of Earth and the Moon. Citan pointed at a bright spot near the Moon. "What's that?" he asked.

Emeralda zoomed in and the picture cleared. "I'd like to go with you Mikhail," said Aria.

"I recognize the Zohar Modifiers," said Del'Doun. "I do not know what that is."

"Its an Omnigear if one could call them that," said Emeralda. "The most powerful Gear in existence. Its name is Xenogears."

"I want three probes launched," ordered Citan. "We wait here until we can see more."

"I hope that thing is one our side," said Mikhail. "The last thing we need is one those things angry at us."

"Is it that powerful?" asked Del'Doun.

"We never discovered how it worked," answered Emeralda.


They watched the screen on the bridge. Six dots came toward the third probe which was closest to the Eldridge II. They watched as the dots became bigger. The dots became visible after three hours. Six Xenogears flew toward the probe. The Xenogear in front slowed down and destroyed the probe.

Mikhail raised his hands. "They are angry at us!"

"Red alert!" yelled Citan. The lights dimmed and red lights turned on. A siren wailed for ten seconds. One of things Citan did was do something about the alarm. The alarm only sounded for ten seconds.

"We going after them?" asked Del'Doun.

"Absolutely not," said Citan. "We let them come to us. What is their ETA?"

"Ten hours," said Emeralda.

"How close are we to Earth?" asked Citan.

"Ten million kilometers same as before," answered Mikhail.

"Good," said Citan. He contacted Engineering. Miang had returned there after the meeting. "Chief, report to Bay Twelve in nine hours." Citan turned to Emeralda. "I had hope we never had to use them. We have no choice now."

"I hope the modifications work," said Citan. "Del'Doun, I am going to that planet. The ship will be in your hands."

"Wait a moment!" said Mikhail. "You can't take those on by yourself!"

Citan looked Emeralda. "I'm not going alone." He smiled and said, "One more time into the breach?"

"Yes," said Emeralda. "Since we have time I have things I need to do."

She wanted to see Aria one last time. This might be the last time they were together. Citan knew how hard goodbyes were. "Just be ready," said Citan.

"Always," said Emeralda.


Emeralda entered Sickbay. There were people around and Emeralda had to be professional. "Is Doctor Tomia in?" she asked a nurse. The nurse pointed to Aria's office.

Emeralda entered. She saw her daughter sitting at her desk looking at her. Emeralda now knew what it was like for Citan to say goodbye to Midori.

Aria saw the worry on her mother's face. "Are you ok?"

"You know what is going on," said Emeralda. "I will be leaving the ship soon."

Aria was shocked. "How will you fight them?" asked Aria.

"That's does not matter now," answered Emeralda.

"The hell is does!" yelled Aria.

Emeralda shook her head. "I am not here as an officer. I am here as your mother." She took hold of Aria's hands. "This may be the last thing I shall tell you. Someday you will have children." Emeralda smiled. "Speaking personally, they are a pain to raise. More trouble than the Gazel Ministry and Deus put together. They also the most important part of a parent's life. You raise them well and they will bring you joy beyond bounds."

"You are not going to die," said Aria. "You will come back to hold your grandchildren. Unless they have nuclear weapons, they can't touch you."

Lately Emeralda was starting to doubt her own strength. "You're right. Must be feeling my age," she said not wanting to worry Aria.

Aria laughed. "You? Old? Well I guess you could be old as the hills," she said in her typical way.

"I am the hill," said Emeralda. "And you're my daughter and I still can spank you."

Aria shook her head. "Save it for whatever it is that's been messing with humanity."

"In their case I'll use both hands," said Emeralda.


Miang entered the gym after saying goodbye to the friends she made. Citan did not know what she had in mind. Nothing would stop her from returning to Earth. Not enemy or friend. She started lifting weights. Fifteen minutes into the regimen, she heard someone enter.

"Hi, Chief," said Mikhail. He looked at her. "You look like someone going into battle."

"The ship will be involved," said Miang. She turned her bracelet on before he was affected.

"With the Jasper class cannons I'd say so," said Mikhail. Mikhail looked at Miang hard. Part of his duties as pilot was also strategy. During the construction of the three ships it was discovered that Ft. Jasper was actually one of the cannons of the original Eldridge. How and why one of the cannons survived was anyone's guess. He also saw the surviving records of the cannons destroying the shuttles as they made their escape before the Captain of the Eldridge blew up the ship. "What kind of damage could the cannons do against those things?" he asked.

Miang stopped working out. "Citan told me that my computer hit Xenogears dead on at close range that would have destroyed any other Gear. Fei was just stunned before he recovered. Think about the power my computer had in doing that. There are so many things that will never be figured out about those. Do you know what the word 'xeno' means?"

"No," admitted Mikhail.

"Its from an ancient language on Earth. It means 'foreign', or 'alien'," explained Miang. "Not even with my ten thousand years of knowledge can I explain Xenogears."

"So we're screwed," said Mikhail.

"We have to be cautious," said Miang. "Citan, Fei, and the others stood up to odds like these and won. The moment we give up hope is the moment we lose."

Mikhail laughed. His confidence returned. "This will be nothing! I have faced worse."

"Good," said Miang. "Now go bother someone else."

"Just one I have to do," said Mikhail. To Miang's surprise, he grabbed her hand and kissed it. "What could have been," he said leaving Miang flabbergasted.


Citan went back to his quarters. For some reason he was tired. He laid down and fell asleep. Then he dreamed.

He found himself on a war torn battlefield. First he saw Bart yet it was not Bart. This person had no eyepatch. He watched the copy walk to Queen Zephyr. She did not have the haunted look that Citan had always saw on her. She was still sad about something.

"Roni, have you found anything? Have you found Sophia?" asked Zephyr. Citan inhaled. The ancestor Roni Fatima. He watched in amazement as the scene played out. Lacan silent, refusing to mourn. The start of his downfall.

Citan was drawn to a lone figure on top of a hill. He followed as the others walked toward the figure. "If there is no God, then I shall create God!" proclaimed the lone figure. The figure turned and looked at Citan. "And such was my downfall, Citan."

Citan stepped back. "Krelian," he said. Anger came over him in waves.

Krelian shook his head. His clothes changed into flowing robes. Wings extended from his back. "After Midori was born Zephyr asked you about God and your quest for answers."

"I know," said Citan. When Midori was born, something terrible had happened. Citan asked God why it had to happened. Zephyr had asked Citan what he would do if God did not answer him. "I told Zephyr that sometimes the answers do not appear right away. That sometimes we have to look around us."

"Yes," said Krelian. "That is why you were chosen and I was not. Because I failed my test."

Citan was surprised. "Chosen for what?"

"For what is to come," said Krelian. "The other cause of humanity's troubles. Your enemy is down there waiting. Tread carefully and beware the truth."

"Beware the truth," said Citan loudly. "Why should I fear the truth?"

"You have always feared the truth," said Krelian. "Soon it will come into blossom like a flower. Do not despair but embrace it."

A Light surrounded Krelian then Citan.

Citan sat up in his bed. He wondered if it was a dream or portent or both. What bothered him was Krelian saying that he feared the truth. "I do not fear the truth," said Citan. As he said it doubt raised inside of him. From some corner of his memories fear arose. Citan shook his head. "This is not good Doctor Citan Uzuki."

Citan showered and changed. He checked the time and saw he had plenty of time before he went to Bay Twelve. Citan went to his office and worked on strategy.

It was almost time to go to Bay Twelve. First he had final orders to give. He contacted Del'Doun. "Come to my office," said Citan.

Del'Doun entered and sat down. "We are almost ready," said Del'Doun. "We ran battle simulations. From what little we know of Xenogears we have to hit one of them three times with the cannons."

"Gears should be fought up close, melee style," said Citan.

"Do you have a way of doing this?" asked Del'Doun.

"Yes," said Citan. "Now for your orders. Emeralda and I are going to Earth. After a safe passage has been cleared for us you are turn the ship around and go back to your homeworld."

"Why?" asked Del'Doun.

"Because we will be known to whatever forces are on the planet," said Citan. "They will see Emeralda and I and think Human. They will not know Zevsehn." Citan stood up. "Wait five years and return if you can. Bring a flotilla." A shadow passed over Citan. "If the Zohar Modifiers are still orbiting the planet destroy them."

"I can't do that!" yelled Del'Doun. "What if there are still people down on the planet? What about the answers!"

"It will be to late for Emeralda and I," said Citan. "For some reason the manipulators are only here. Have you not noticed they are not spread out throughout known space? If they decide to stretch their arms again there will be no winning."

Del'Doun shook his head. "There has to be another way."

"That is why I said five years," said Citan. He stood up and smiled trying to reassure Del'Doun. "I am used to being in tight situations." He saw the look on Del'Doun's face. Citan frowned. "Do not think about disobeying this order. Remember what happened the last time that happened."

"I do not like it but I understand," said Del'Doun.

Citan stuck out his hand. Del'Doun wondered if Citan made a mistake. In Del'Doun's culture a handshake meant a proposition. Del'Doun knew for humans it was a gesture of friendship. He nodded and shook it. "Good luck, Citan," said Del'Doun.

Citan did not believe in luck but appreciated the gesture none the less. "Thank you. I better get down there. You are needed on the bridge."

Del'Doun left and Citan finished packing. He walked toward the door when he noticed something on the wall. He saw his sword hanging on the wall. Citan opened and closed his sword hand. "So be it," he said. He took his sword and clipped it to his belt.


No one had entered Bay Twelve since Citan, Emeralda, and Miang placed their secret in there. Even when the ship was almost destroyed Miang took care of what was in there in secret.

Citan was the last to arrive. "Sorry," he said. "I had to give last orders."

Miang picked up her survival kit. Emeralda picked up her kit and a small case. She opened it. Inside two hypo-sprays filled with black stuff. "These are special nanomachines," explained Emeralda. "Aria said they would help your immune systems adapt to any diseases on the planet."

"Why is there two?" asked Citan. Emeralda would not need any shots.

"I am going with you," said Miang.

"No you are not!" ordered Citan.

"I am going," said Miang, her voice low, threatening. "Nothing, I mean nothing is going stop me from going there." She saw the look on Citan's face and she had seen it before. She saw the memories through Elly's eyes as she looked at Fei as he tried to get her out of the war. "You convinced Fei to allow Elly to fight. In a sense I am her. I wasn't denied then and I will not be denied now."

"Ok," said Citan. "Will Emeralda have room?"

"Yeah," said Emeralda. "Why do you want to know that?"

"Because I am going to make sure I am the threat," said Citan. "If I don't make it you two have five years to find out what is going on and to make sure those. . .things are no longer orbiting the planet."

"We are not getting anything done just standing here," said Emeralda.

They walked to the bay doors. Two hand print scanners were built into the wall. Miang and Citan placed their hands on it. The doors opened and they entered. Light turned on. Spotlights lit up two sleeping giants. Fenrir and Crescans slept in silence awaiting their masters.


"Bridge, this is Citan. Change in plans. The Eldridge II has to get closer to the planet. I forgot to take into consideration how much oxygen we will have."

"What about that field surrounding Earth?" asked Del'Doun.

"Chances are its Ether," said Emeralda. "An actual force field made of Ether."

"How do we get through?" asked Miang.

"We have to piggyback the Xenogears," said Citan. "We will have to take out the arms then propulsion. I hope its an automatic action when something passes through. Basically its how Elly, Fei, and I beat Solaris' senors."

"I thought you and they jury rigged the sensors," said Miang.

"No," said Citan. "Had to make it look as difficult as possible."

"Its almost time," said Emeralda.

They went to their respective Gear and Omnigear.

"Citan," said Emeralda. "What are our chances?"

"Remember what Wiseman told Fei at Nortune," said Citan. "It was our skill that allowed us to win all those battles. By rights we should have lost most of them."

"Citan, I like you to," said Emeralda with sarcasm.

"How close are we getting?" asked Miang.

"Very close to the planet," said Citan. "The Eldridge II will be in near orbiting position. We have to move fast. I do not want anyone or anything scanning the ship. They know we are here but do not know our capabilities."

"Either that or they do know our capabilities and six of those things are enough," said Emeralda.

Miang snapped her fingers "That's why you did not want us to talk about Fenrir and Crescans," said Miang.

"I don't understand," said Emeralda.

"Telepaths," explained Citan. "Your mind cannot be read. Miang, being a former telepath would know if someone was trying to read her mind. I do have adequate shielding because of my training with Midori."

"We are ready and so are they," said Del'Doun.

"Let's do it," said Emeralda.

Citan looked at Miang. "Last chance."

Miang answered by going with Emeralda. Citan shrugged and went to his Omnigear.


"You will have to excuse me if I don't say anything during the flight," said Emeralda. "Just read from the screen in front of you."

"Ok," said Miang who was not sure what Emeralda was talking about.

Emeralda smiled. "Unlike Omnigears I literally become one with Crescans." Her smile faded. "Whatever affects her affects me. Do not be alarmed if I express pain. To know of any damage to Crescans I have to keep my pain receptors online."

"Will you be alright?" asked Miang.

"Those Guardians of Deus' packed quite a punch," said Emeralda. "That was real pain."

Citan got into Fenrir. He recalled the first time he saw the Omnigear. He was attracted to it in a way he did not understand. It was like he and the Gear were part of each other. When Deus absorbed the original Fenrir. Citan swore he could hear the screams as it went down.

Citan placed his hands into the slot. He closed his eyes and were opened by Fenrir. Citan did not have to say anything to communicate. The Omnigear translated his thoughts into words. "Emeralda do not attack until I say to. The same goes for the bridge."

Citan tried a few practice moves. The response time was a few seconds off. "Are you feeling any lag time with your Gear?" he asked.

"Some," said Emeralda. "Compensating for now. I think it's the new power source."

"Captain," said Del'Doun. "The targets are one minute away."

"Lets go," ordered Citan.


"Twenty seconds," said Mikhail.

"The moment our people get through whatever it is that's surrounding the planet, we leave," ordered Del'Doun.

"I hope they'll be fine," said Mikhail.

"They stopped a mad machine. They are used to these things," said Del'Doun.

"They also had more help," commented Mikhail.

"For now we are that help," said Del'Doun. He checked his own display. The attackers were almost there. "Get the cannons into place. Do not charge them until we got target locks. We do not want them to know what kind of power we have. Try for rapid fire sequences. Also try to catch them in crossfire."

"We got a lock," said Mikhail.

Del'Doun checked the readings. The cannons were ready. "Fire!"

The cannon's fired. Four beams hit the lead Xenogears. It exploded into a fireball. "Don't celebrate yet!" said Del'Doun. "Starting turning the ship around. Make sure we have a clear window out!"

The ship was halfway turned when a Xenogears smashed into the hull. "Hull breach and its getting larger!" yelled Emeralda's replacement on the bridge.

"Citan we have one of those things tearing up the hull," said Del'Doun.

"Emeralda will take of it," said Citan. "Since you are pointing the right way get out when Emeralda is clear."

"That will leave you behind," said Mikhail.

Citan ignored him. "Can you still go to warp?" he asked.

"Yes," said Del'Doun. "No very far."

"I doubt these Xenogears have warp capability. Get away as far as possible to make repairs," ordered Citan.

"I'm nearing the Xenogears," said Emeralda. "Engaging in a few seconds. How far away will I need to be before you can go to warp?"

"At least two hundred thousand meters," said Mikhail. "You won't be dragged with us. There might be some backlash."

"Rather that than end up a smear on the hull," said Miang.


Citan waited for the three Xenogears to get close. He focused all his energy and thought into the battle. He remembered being weakened by Emperor Cain. A decision that had to be made. After he regain his abilities Citan swore never to be weak like that again. He knew of the major problem of this battle. He wondered if Emeralda and Miang knew it also. They had no Ether to tap into while the Xenogears had who knows what.

Citan pushed all that out of his mind. He smiled seeing the four Xenogears. The one in front made a fatal mistake. It was moving to fast, wanting to get the kill first. Citan's smile faded. The Xenogears could also be seeing what capabilities Citan and his Omnigear have.

Citan decided to bait his opponent. He engaged the first Xenogears. He almost paid for his life when he noticed the cockpit. It was empty. Citan snapped himself back to the battle. He blocked the fist aimed right for him. He commanded his Omnigear to retaliate. The sword cleaved the other's head horizontally. Not one of Citan's more flashy moves but is was enough. The Xenogears floated toward the Earth.

Citan turned his attention to the other the Xenogears. Adrenalin coursed through Citan. In turn he sent that strength through his Omnigear. A grim smile formed on Citan. "Time to break some more wild stallions," he said.


"If that thing makes the hole any bigger the ship won't be able to go to warp," said Miang.

"I know," said Emeralda. The words flashed across the monitor in front of Miang. The next message was, "Hold on to your lunch."

"Yeah," said Miang.

Crescans gained speed and knocked the Xenogears away. "Contact the ship and tell them leave," said the monitor.

"Miang to Eldridge II," said Miang. "Get out of here!"

"Just a moment," said Del'Doun who was oddly calm in Miang's opinion. The Ft Jaspers fired. The beams went passed Crescans and destroyed a Xenogears.

"See you in five years," said Del'Doun.

The Eldridge II gained speed. Another Xenogears tried to chase the large ship. The ship went to warp. The Xenogears was caught up in the backlash and was torn apart.

"Our ticket to the planet is getting away," said Miang.

"That's what it thinks," appeared on the monitor.

Crescans chased after its target. The Xenogears slowed and faced Crescans. It charged the angelic Gear. Miang gripped her armrests. Strange characters appeared on the monitor. Somehow Miang could sense Emeralda's pain as the two Gears connected.

Emeralda tried to grabbed Xenogears with Crescan's wings. The Xenogears was too fast and struck first. It punched a hole just below the cockpit and yanked out the power core.

The lights and display went out in the cockpit. Sweat formed on Miang. "Emmy do something!" she yelled.

Emeralda turned her head. She smiled. "Some people never learn."

Crescans brought its left wing forward trying to strike its opponent. The Xenogears caught the wing in its free hand. In Crescans' cockpit Emeralda smile widen. The wing darkened and stretched. Nanomachines covered the Xenogears' hand. The hand stuck in Crescans' was also trapped. Xenogears became desperate. It released Ether through its hands. The wing blew apart and the lower half of Crescans exploded and floated away.

An electronic screamed filled the cockpit. Emeralda slumped forward. Miang looked around her. There were no controls on Crescans. Emeralda moaned from her seat. "That. . .hurt," she said. "What happened."

"We're in trouble," said Miang. She had a hard time breathing. "Is the air getting thin?"

The Xenogears moved away from the planet. Emeralda grunted and cleared her body of the pain. "Hull breach. Try to hold your breath on the way down to conserve air. Problem with Crescans is that I take priority over any damage she takes. I'll have some nanomachines repair the breach." She saw the Xenogears trying to escape. "Going the wrong way," said Emeralda.

She merged more of Crescans with the Xenogears. The nanomachines searched though the Xenogears. They found the computer core. Fei and Citan never found out what the metal was that gave Xenogears its form. No one could decipher the technology that made up its computer. All the tests in the world could not tell how Xenogears still functioned after Ether vanished. It was a mystery some felt greater than the Zohar Modifier or the Wave Existence. Whatever it was it was real. It was made of molecules and Emeralda's colony could affect it. Primary wires fell apart. Only the ones leading to the propulsion systems were left intact. The individual nanomachines merged into tendrils. Emeralda extended her main consciousness with the tendrils.

"Oh my god," said Emeralda out loud. Her concentration was almost broken when she connected with the Xenogears.

"Now what?" asked Miang who was wishing she staid on the ship.

Emeralda did not reply. She would explain later. For now she had to get them down to Earth.

Crescans entered the atmosphere. Miang's memories of her own genesis on the old world flooded back. The horror of reentry with nothing around her. Damaged shuttles and wreckage burning up. Miang screamed as Crescans became hot. They entered the field surrounding the planet. Miang felt her body about to explode.

Bolts of Ether struck the Gear. The stress of the g-forces caused Miang to pass out.


Fenrir's left propulsion was out. The sword almost broken. The left hand was not responding as it should. "No problem," said Citan.

Earlier he saw the Eldridge II go to warp and Crescans going into reentry. He prayed they everyone was aright.

The Xenogears on his right grabbed the sword. The sword had been damaged earlier when Citan cleaved his opponent down the center. Citan smiled. The Xenogears made a fatal mistake. Citan released the sword and knocked it away. Citan sent out a mental command to the sword. The sword detonated badly damaging the Xenogears. It floated off into the void.

There was only one left. Citan faced it. The problem was now getting down to the planet. When he saw Crescans, he knew Emeralda had to somehow merge the two Gears together. He would have no such luck. He had to do this the hard way which was nothing new.

Citan did the unexpected and flew toward the planet. His sensors told him the Xenogears was right behind him. Citan forced his Omnigear to stay stable as he neared the energy field. He waited for the Xenogears to get right on top of him. Citan flipped his Omnigear head over heels. The blinding exhaust startled the Xenogears. Citan took advantage of the distraction. He grabbed the Xenogears.

Citan transferred all power to what was left of Fenrir's propulsion system including life support. If this did not work he was dead anyway. In a deadly dance for power Fenrir and Xenogears fell into the upper atmosphere.

As with Crescans, Fenrir made it through the shield and was hit by bolts of Ether. Citan ignored the strain of g-forces and the heat building up inside Fenrir. He saw the Xenogears glowing brighter than it should be. Citan did a fast scan. The Xenogears' power core was reaching critical. "Uh-oh," said Citan.

He started the ejection procedure when he paused. As if he was urged to do so he released Fenir's CPU from where it was in the center of the Omnigear. A panel slid open and Citan took the CPU and placed it in his shirt pocket.

Citan sent out his last command to Fenrir. His teeth clanked together and he leaned forward as the command module ejected from the body of Fenrir. The only part of an Omnigear that had manual controls were the escape protocols. Citan grabbed the stick that rose up. He forced the command module to turn around. Now free of the risk of destruction from reentry of the Ether in the atmosphere, Citan watched in sad silence as history repeated. The Xenogears became bright white and exploded destroying Fenrir in the process.

Citan turned the module around. He tracked Crescans' transponder. Crescans already landed. Citan followed the signal and landed in a clearing near a forest. He closed eyes and took calming breath. "Too old for this," he said. He laughed knowing that technically he was too for just about anything.

Citan waited for the command module to cool down. Fifteen minutes later he opened the cockpit windows. He took his tracker and got out. He did it. After so long he reached his destination. His quest for answers was almost complete. Finally he would have the truth. All he had to do now was survive to find them on Earth.

Chapter II: Not a Good Landing. . .but Still

Emeralda did not bother for a good landing. She hoped the proverb about any landing you walked away from is a good one was true. When she knew Miang had passed out Emeralda had to encase her in a nanomachine cocoon formed from Crescans. Emeralda felt bad at what she had to do to Crescans. Like herself Emeralda felt Crescans was unique because she was part of her. Even more unique than Xenogears.

Emeralda's regret was that she would be able to do the things she wanted with Crescans when she resurrected the metal angel. She wanted to give her arms and hands. The one thing Crescans deserved but never got. Krelian did not have the time to give her hands. She also wished could have made Crescans like herself. An intelligent being.

Emeralda's last command was to put Miang's safety first. Emeralda would survive but was not sure about Miang. Even with her enhanced anatomy Miang could still be in danger without protection.

Emeralda gave her last command to Crescans. The cockpit receded as the wind tore through the cockpit. She turned around and pushed the cocoon out. Emeralda tracked the trajectory to best guess where Miang would land. When Miang landed the nanomachines would recede freeing her.

Emeralda broke her connection with Crescans. Another thing she wanted to do was try to give Crescans to ability to draw power from around her. Krelian was no Kim and Emeralda could not figure how the process worked. That secret Kim never told anyone. Emeralda could make another like her but he or she would always need a power core.

"Goodbye," said Emeralda. Crescans slammed into the ground. The force tossed Emeralda through the window. She flew forward into the air. In front of her was the hugest tree she ever saw. Emeralda turned off her electromagnetic field. Ever since she reached the planet she felt off. Earth's electromagnetic field was different than the old one. Emeralda's body shattered as she hit the tree.


The first thing Citan did was inject himself with the nanomachines that would help him resist any illness that while harmless to the natives could be deadly to him or Miang. Citan activated the tracker. Emeralda was only a mile away.

Citan walked through the forest. He was amazed at the size of the trees. They made the ones in the Blackmoon Forest look like shrubs. He saw what looked like a road. The road went through one of the trees. He wondered if people ever lived inside the trees.

Citan neared Emeralda's position. His head started to hurt and there was a ringing in his ears. Citan stiffened as his Dark Side came out of nowhere. Citan pushed it back into the corner of his mind. He headache became worse and the ringing louder. He fell to his knees. He was relieved when he passed out.


Miang panicked when she awoke. She punched a hole in the cocoon Emeralda wrapped her in. She thought she was on the old planet. She believed she was on the beach again. She looked up expecting to see the fireballs of what was left of the Eldridge. All she saw was trees without end. "No," said Miang. "I'm on Earth. The planet where it all started."

She regained her senses. She saw a black mass on the trunk of one of the giant trees. The mass moved and was trying to form limbs. Finally it formed a face. "Emeralda!" yelled Miang. She went over to her. "What happened?"

"I was thrown from Crescans," said Emeralda. "Right now I'm trying to realign my electromagnetic field so I can keep form while on Earth." Emeralda blinked and her eyes reverted. "That's not right. Could you please find Citan? He should be nearby. My internal tracker says he is coming from the east. I should be able to find the right type of field in few minutes. Don't forget to inject yourself with Aria's nanomachines."

"Thanks for reminding me," said Miang. She took the device from her jacket and injected herself. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

She walked in the direction Emeralda told her. She did not get far when she heard someone or something. It was something primal and hungry. Miang looked around trying to find the source. Her head started to hurt and she heard a buzzing sound. The pain became worse and the buzzing became so loud she thought her eardrums were going to burst. She clenched her head and fell to the ground.


It took ten minutes for Emeralda to finally get her body together. The electromagnetic field on this planet was stronger than the old planet. She practiced walking for a minute before looking for the others.

She now knew what it was like chewing gum and walking at the same time was like even though she never chewed gum except for that one time. To her embarrassment not only did she have to revert to her individual nanomachines, the nanomachines that were stuck in the gum had to be disposed off.

Emeralda walked five hundred yards when she found Miang laying on the ground. She walked over to her. Emeralda watched as Miang curled into a fetus position. The way she was shaking and mumbling it reminded Emeralda of when she, Aria and Citan first took her into their care. When Miang would have an episode and would be like this.

"Miang," said Emeralda. She reached out and helped Miang up. "Are you alright?" she asked Miang.

"No," said Miang. "Could you speak up? I keep on hearing this annoying buzzing sound."

Emeralda raised the volume of her own hearing. "I don't hear anything."

"My eardrums might have been damaged in with the constant change of air pressure. Surprised I don't have the bends," said Miang. She shook her head trying to get rid of the buzzing. "Have you seen Citan?"

"Not yet," said Emeralda. "He's about a quarter mile away. Can you walk?"

"Yeah," said Miang. "The dizzy spell is gone. I just have the ringing in my ears."

They walked towards Citan's position. They found him laying on the ground clutching his sword. They picked him up and leaned him against a tree. "Citan?" asked Miang. "Come on, wake up."

Citan did not stir. Emeralda touch his arm. She took the sword and gave it to Miang. Then Emeralda sent a small current of her power through Citan. His body jerked and his eyes opened up. "What? What?!" he yelled.

"You alright?" asked Emeralda.

"I cannot hear you," yelled Citan.

"A ringing in the ears?" asked Emeralda.


Emeralda touched her ears. Citan understood. "There is a ringing in my ears," he said.

Emeralda sighed. She kneeled down. With her finger she crudely wrote something in the ground. Miang and Citan looked at her writing. "You're going to look for food?" asked Miang.

Emeralda nodded and walked away after writing she would be back in a hour.


Emeralda caught three animals. She was not sure if fruit would be safe for the others or not. She also knew Citan would object to eating meat. Emeralda decided if Citan did not like it then tough.

Emeralda was making her way back when she heard the sounds of movement. She went to investigate. Peeking over one of the giant roots, she saw a line of people walking along the broken road. The line of people were chained by the ankles and wrists and wearing nothing but loin cloth. Their captors wore white hooded robes. Three of the robed people walked on the left and right side while one walked in the front and one in the back.

Emeralda frowned. Food would have to wait. She went back to the others and motioned them to follow. The three of them followed Emeralda.

"This is not good," said Citan hoping he was not too loud.

Emeralda gave him a questioning look. "Look at them," said Citan. "The prisoners are healthy and attractive. That can only mean that is in store for them can only be worse than anytime working as a slave in a field or factory."

Emeralda swallowed. She had heard of such things happening in the era she was created but did not believe them. Emeralda looked at her friends. Even Miang knew what would happen if the prisoners were not freed.

Emeralda drew a picture in the mud showing her plan. Citan frowned. "I cannot allow you to do this," he said.

Emeralda held up a hand. She moved before Citan could object. She made her way to the head of line of prisoners along the trees. When the line reached Emeralda, she stood in the middle of the ancient road. She smiled and said, "I seem to be lost. Is this the planet called Earth?"

The hooded person in the front raised a hand. The air around him shimmered and a red glow formed around his wrist. The glow turned into a beam and struck Emeralda in the center of her chest. She flew back three feet. She laid on her back. Smoke rose from the wound.

From their hiding spot, Miang started to move. Citan stopped her. He used an old Element hand gesture telling her to wait. Miang frowned and did nothing. The plan depended on Emeralda being injured, or as injured as she could get.

The line of prisoners walked passed Emeralda. The captors did not bother to look down at her which she was counting on. They thought she was dead. The prisoners lost hope.

Emeralda stood up. The wound was still there but was healing. "That has to be one of the most impolite things I ever saw," she said.

The procession stopped and turned. The prisoners looked at her with shock and wonder. The hooded people looked at each other then at Emeralda. They raised their hands and tried the same tactic. This time Emeralda did dodge.

Miang looked at Citan. Citan nodded. He drew his sword. Together they ran to join their comrade.

"Not even a day on this planet and I am in fight," said Citan to himself.

Chapter III: Give Me that Old Time Ether

Emeralda did not want to kill another human. Her internal scanners told her the hooded people were human. Yet there was something different. Emeralda wished she had access to Ether so she could make the fight quick. She had to take the prisoners' safety into consideration. When she used her Ether abilities against Fei and the others she was told afterward that there was nothing subtle about her abilities.

Two of the robed people approached her. Emeralda raised her hand. "Stop," she said. "You can't harm me. I suggest you leave the prisoners and go back to where you came from."

The robed people tried the same tactic. They released energy beams at Emeralda. Emeralda reverted to her individual components and reformed a few seconds later. Her expression was anger. She was angry at what she was about to do. What these people forced her to do. She raised her arms, her fingers outstretched. The fingers grew into talons and extended. One of the robed people dodged out of the way while the other pierced straight through the heart.

Emeralda turned her attention to the one who dodged. The robed person attacked her head on. Before the person could get close, Emeralda extended her fingers again. This time as thin tendrils. The tendrils wrapped around her attacker. She sent the mental command and the tendrils contracted cutting the head off.

The head hit the ground and Emeralda walked over. She felt nauseated at what she had done. She looked at the head when a light shot out of the eye sockets. Emeralda jumped back. She approached the head again. Emeralda gasped as she looked at empty eye sockets.


Unusual hatred flowed through Miang. She wished she remembered why she hated these robed people so much. Two of them came toward her. Slow and methodical. One of them fired an energy blast at Miang. She tried jumping out of the way. In midair, the other one nailed her in the shoulder. She tumbled to the ground and got up. She looked at her shoulder. If she was anyone else she would have had her arm torn off. Whatever forces remade her made her with sterner stuff.

Miang got up and smiled. "That tickled."

The two charged her. She grabbed the first one and threw the person into the air. She turned her attention back to her other attacker and was met with a fist to the face. Miang reeled by and rubbed her jaw. She actually felt that. Miang shook her head. Between the buzzing in her ears that was getting louder and her opponent that was stronger than they looked Miang had to finish this fast.

Miang tackled her opponent. They tumbled on the ground. The ringing her ears became so loud that it brought tears to her eyes. In a final act of desperation Miang tore at the hood. She tore it off. She saw the eyes. The past flooded back to her. She screamed as she felt her eardrums about to burst. The last thing she heard was an explosion.


Citan pointed his sword at the robed figures in front of him. "Leave!" said Citan. "Let your. . .slaves go and leave!"

Citan was prepared for the two of them. The one he did not know about was hiding behind a tree. He came around and grabbed Citan. He threw the doctor into a three. Citan yelled as he felt his shoulder slip out of place and break.

Citan tried standing up. He tried to think of worse situations but could not find any. To make things worse his Dark Side was acting up. Between that problem and the ringing in his ears Citan knew he would not last long.

Citan laughed. It dawned on him. There was only two reasons his Dark Side would act up. For once his Dark Side did something useful. His attackers stopped approaching at the sudden laughter. Citan closed his eyes and the first thing he did was beat down his Dark Side. Then he focused on another part of his mind. As he did the ringing in his ears went away. Then Citan thought on something he believed he could never do again. "Sazanami," he said.

The attackers moved again. "Aw. . .nuts," said Citan. He was wrong. Then he felt a warmth flow through him. There was a snapping sound followed by the visual affect of Sazanami. The affect was like flash photography and the pain slowly when away as the injury healed slower than usual. Gradually the ringing in his ears went away.

Citan barely got out of the way. His opponents started wailing on him with what Citan realized was Ether blasts. He jumped behind a nearby tree. He tried Sazanami again. This time the affects were immediate. Citan smiled. If he had access to Arcane that would also mean he could do Deathblows.

Citan leaned against the tree and waited. One of his attackers came around. Citan grabbed him and flipped him to the ground. Citan took his scabbard in hand. His attacker got up and was met by the hilt of Citan's sword. Citan tapped him six time and jumped back. He crouched low and extended his sword a little bit. With blinding speed, Citan unsheathed his sword and stuck his opponent. The area became dark and a wolf howled in the distance and Citan's target was tossed impossibly high into the air.

Citan sheathed his sword and faced the other two. He stood straight. "Well?" he asked waiting for them to make the first move.


Emeralda cut through the prisoners' chains with her nanomachines. It was hard cutting the chains while they were scared. She was tempted to do what she did to Miang when she first woke up. On the other hand they needed to be awake for when they moved.

Emeralda heard a scream. She turned her head. She saw Miang laying on the ground curled up and shaking. "Great time for a breakdown," said Emeralda.

Emeralda jumped and the prisoners panicked as a wolf's cry cut through the forest. Emeralda turned and saw the fading visual affect of Festive Wind. Emeralda raised an eyebrow. "Of course!"

She focused on the chains with Ether enhanced nanomachines. The chains glowed then turned to dust. The prisoners looked at Emeralda with awe and fear. Emeralda put on her best peaceful face. "Don't move," she said. "I can protect you better if you stay together."

"Emeralda!" yelled Citan. He smiled as he ran toward her. "I would never have believed I would be able to do that again!"

"It makes sense," said Emeralda. "With those Zohar Modifiers floating in orbit."

Citan's smile faded. "Those," he said.

"And your Dark Side," said Emeralda.

"I got it under control," said Citan.

"What's wrong?" asked Emeralda.

"The Modifiers," said Citan. He shook his head. "It can wait." He looked around and saw Miang laying on the ground. "What happened?"

"All I know is that she pulled one of her attacker's hoods back. She screamed and passed out," said Emeralda.

"More of her past," said Citan. "Try to get any information from the prisoners. I will help Miang." Citan went over to Miang. He kneeled beside her and held her up.

Citan was about to use Sazanami when he heard footsteps behind him followed by the sounds of a gun being chambered. He turned and saw a woman dressed in rag tag clothes. She had a nose ring with a chain connected to the ring. The chain was connected to another loop earring above her eye. She had short black hair. Her skin was darker than Fei's. Her eyes were that of anger. She reminded Citan of Bart's pirates.

Citan was about to drop Miang and disarm the woman. The woman anticipated Citan's move. "Don't do it," she said which surprised Citan because she spoke in the same Solarian dialect that was used when he was young.

"My friend needs help," said Citan in the same tongue.

"Right,"said the woman. "You Possessors need help. Tell that to the people you've destroyed. Hand over the butter knife."

Citan started to speak when more people came out from hiding places. They were all armed and pointing weapons as Citan and Emeralda. Citan looked at Emeralda. Emeralda had a bemused look on her face. They faced more powerful foes and were captured by a group who looked more disorganized than Bart's pirates. Citan sighed and slowly handed the woman his sword.

"At least let me wake her up," said Citan.

"I saw the fight," said the woman. "I'm sure you can carry her."

Citan looked at Emeralda again. "Are the prisoners free?" he asked in the same Solaris dialect.

Emeralda got up and dusted herself off. "Yes," she said. She raised her hands as more guns were pointed at her than Citan. She walked over to Citan and the woman. "I think we may be losing our touch," she said.

Citan picked up Miang. "Why do you say that?"

"We haven't been making too many good first impression these past few years," said Emeralda.


The journey took a week. Emeralda suggested an escape when Miang woke up. Citan said no. From what little he could gather, their captors were some kind of rebel group. They needed all the news they could get and if they could help the rebels they could also find a way to shut down the Zohar Modifiers.

They entered what was left of an old city. The travelers from another planet watched children playing in the streets while adults kept an eye on them. All the adults were carrying guns. They all looked tired. Citan saw this before at the pirate lair.

They were led to a large building. The freed prisoners were taken somewhere else. The woman who was in charge led them to a medium sized building. Citan, Emeralda, and Miang were led inside. Five guards surrounded them and their weapons pointed at them.

The woman into a back room. A few minutes later she returned with an old man leaning on a cane. He was about as tall as Citan. He seemed really old. He walked to each of them and looked them in the eye. When he reached Miang he inhaled sharply. "It can't be!" he rasped.

The old man groaned and became angry. His cane was actually a sword. The drew his sword and attempted to cut down Miang. Citan undid the ropes that bound his hands. He loosened them days earlier just in case he had to. He moved and tackled the old man. The old man was stronger than Citan thought. He pushed Citan away and tried to strike down Miang again.

The old man saw the guards ready to fire. "Don't!" he yelled. The guards did not fire but still had their guns ready.

The old man faced Citan. "Why are you with this bitch?" asked the old man.

"Who are you?" asked Citan.

The old man grunted. "I guess I've changed in looks. Either that or you're slipping. Remember what you told me about the New Elements after you slapped me?"

Citan's mouth fell open. In one of the rare moments Citan could not speak. The only sound he heard was his own breathing. "Kahr Ramsus," he finally said after a long silence.

Chapter IV: Friend and Foes

When Miang heard his name she wanted to cry. "Kahr," she said.

"Cut the act!" demanded Kahr. "You aren't fooling anyone!"

"Ramsus!" yelled Citan.

"Everyone get out!" yelled Kahr.

"Sir, we can't do that. They can use the Current," said the woman who captured Citan and his friends.

"Jasmine I know what they can do," said Ramsus. "I also know Citan and Emeralda. They won't do anything. If they were anyone else or if it was just Miang you had captured you would be dead instead of arguing with me."

Miang choked back her tears. "You're wrong. I am not that. . .woman anymore."

Kahr shook his head. "Whatever. You three have raised a stink on this planet. A lot of beings want you dead ever since you were detected on the planet's surface. I guess some things never change."

"We need to talk about that," said Citan.

Kahr nodded. "Let's go to my office."


"Why are you all on this planet?" asked Kahr, his tone was not nice.

"The same reason as you," said Citan. "Looking for answers."

Kahr laughed. "Actually I was trying to get away from everything. After Renee died I had nothing else to do. I wondered the planet for awhile. I discovered one the shuttles from the Eldridge. It was in working condition and was capable of going faster than light. It also had the co-ordinates to Earth. I wanted to be anywhere else. Imagine my surprise when I found four of the those damn things orbiting the planet. I was even more surprised when a Xenogears tried to kill me."

"Same with us," said Emeralda. "How did you survive to the surface?"

"I used the shuttle's tractor beam and tore the head from a Xenogears. I flew down and crashed. I was found by what passed for the rebels you've seen. When I found out the cause behind everything that happened in past I decided to help the rebels."

Miang and Emeralda became excited. "You know who the real threat is?" asked Emeralda.

Kahr looked at Citan. "You mean you haven't figured it out? You must be slipping."

"I had an idea who the real threat was," said Citan. "I just did not have the proof. If I said anything before people would not have believed me." Citan looked at Emeralda and Miang. He shrugged and said, "Mikhail was right. The real threat is the Wave Existence."

"Hold on!" said Emeralda. "It was trapped for ten thousand years inside a Zohar Modifier!"

"It gets better," said Kahr. "Who did the Wave Existence use as a tool?"

"Father," groaned Emeralda. "The Contacts."

Citan nodded. "I told Miang a few months ago that I being who I am I should have killed Fei because of Id. Instead I protected and helped him. In a sense everyone who helped Fei defeat Deus was a tool of the Wave Existence. Just like the Gazel Ministry and Krelian who manipulated people so were we who were helping Fei."

"There's more," said Kahr. "The Wave Existence who controls this world inhabits the body of a Contact."

"How strong is he?" asked Emeralda who was shaking. For the first time since Robert's death she doubted her own existence. Was this what she really was? A tool of some mad being's plans. Was her purpose of bringing hope a lie?

"About as powerful as Fei when his mind was repaired," said Krelian.

"This isn't going to be fun," said Miang.

"Never is and never was," said Kahr.

Citan saw the tension between Miang and Kahr. He knew they needed to talk like he talked to Miang. Citan turned to Emeralda. "We have to go do something. Kahr. I hate to say this but we are on a timetable."

Kahr had a good idea what Citan meant. He wanted to be sure. "What kind of the timetable?" asked Kahr.

"The make or break kind," answered Citan. "Fives years to finish this once and for all."

Kahr nodded in understanding. "We can talk later. You all are hungry and tired. I will arrange some quarters for you to stay in. See you later."

Citan and Emeralda left and Miang stayed behind. Kahr looked at Miang. "You're not going with them?"

"Nope," said Miang.


In what was New York City the Contact sat in what passed for his throne. He lived atop the skyscraper that was once was called the Empire State Building. Now his castle, his eyes to the world. These strangers were an unwanted problem. First Kahr now these three. They were able to use the Current because of what that attack computer did.

The Contact looked out the window. If the stupid humans only knew. They did not deserve to live. They were given paradise and were thrown out. Then there was the matter of revenge. A smile formed across the Contact's face. Revenge on them all and on Hyuga in particular. Miang needed to be killed as soon as possible.

The Contact blinked. Who was or is Hyuga. He searched through the memories of the hosts he had possessed. The Contact nodded in understanding. Hyuga was one of the chosen drawn toward the computer known as Deus. He was one of the chosen the Contact influenced to fight against the dangerous machine.

Miang was the woman who he and Deus fought for on the Eldridge. She was more dangerous than Hyuga with her telepathic abilites. The Contact had plans for her. Plans that were almost ruined when he believed she was lost when the computer was destroyed.

The Contact looked at his reflection in the window. The host's eyes was clear as water. Small ripples extended from the center in perfect harmony. A small wave of fear and hatred passed through the Contact. The ripples in the eyes became distorted. Fear, the one thing the Contact never thought to experience again. Once again it was all at risk.

'Use the Power! Use the hatred!'

The Contact turned. "Who said that?!"

'I did!'

It was the memories of a previous host. But how? The problem while on that planet the Wave Existence did not actually spend the ten thousand years in the Zohar Modifier. That was a lie he told the potential host called Fei so he would not know the truth. Because of the computer blowing up the Eldridge, the Wave Existence was injured in a way and could not directly control the Contacts only influence them. He did have full access of the hosts' memories from that planet but some of them were jumbled. The Contact turned his head back to the window. "Who are you?"

'An ally. A friend. You have the Power and you squander it. I know what you really are. You do not know Hyuga like I do.'

"One of the humans who just arrived," said the Contact.

'Yes. He more dangerous than the other two. He may not look like much but he is more dangerous than you believe.'

"No one is as strong as me," said the Contact.

'Look and watch.'

The Contact saw a fight in his mind. He gasped when the memory passed. "Is he that powerful?"


The Contact shook his head. "Who are you?"

'A. . .Seeker.'

Chapter V: Art of Betrayal

"Here I go again," mumbled. Miang.

Kahr looked at her as if she was a poisonous snake about to strike. "What?"

"Nothing," said Miang. She was finding this was worse than trying to talk to Citan. She took a breath. "I guess you still hate me."

"Trying to stab you again is just my way of saying hi," said Kahr.

Miang reigned her temper in. "I'm not going try to justify what I did to you. The one thing I never did was directly manipulate you."

"Bullshit!" yelled Kahr.

"Wrong!" yelled Miang. She got up to his face. "I may have nudged you with my telepathy but I never once directly controlled you!"

"For someone trying not to justify her actions she's doing a lousy job of it," pointed out Kahr.

"Oh no you don't," said Miang. "Who was the one who warned you not to take too many of those drugs Krelian gave you? Who was the one who periodically visited you after Krelian and I cast you aside? Who was the one who consoled you whenever your mental problems would act up? How I tried to fight Deus' influence on me whenever I was around you! Because I loved you! I wasn't crying for the hell of it near the end! I was crying because of what happened to you! Because I thought I would never see you again!"

"Pretty words," said Kahr. "I don't believe them. You know what the worst thing you did to me? You never told me the truth."

"I couldn't tell anyone the truth," said Miang. "I was in a dream state those ten-thousand years. After your body became mature I questioned my goals and who I was. In a sense you were my anchor. I dropped plenty of hints toward you."

"What hints?" asked Kahr.

"What I did to Fei would be the big one," said Miang. She pointed an accusing finger at Kahr. "Didn't it ever occur to you that I was dangerous to your health? When we dumped you into the slums didn't you think that was my way of making sure you stayed away? Deep down I tried to protect you and every time you did something stupid that moved Deus' resurrection and I slipped back under Deus' control when it came to my feelings toward you! You were given a brain, unfortunately you permitted your own self pity to control you!"

Kahr sat down his chair. "Was I that bad?"

"We all were," said Miang.

"How do you feel about me now?" asked Kahr.

"Guilty," said Miang. "I did harm you in some ways and I will feel the guilt for the rest of my life."

"That's not what I mean," said Kahr. "Do you. . .love me?"

Miang swallowed. Of course she did. Yet something held her back. Ever since the Eldridge II entered the star system, her feelings about people were in conflict. "I don't know," she admitted. "Part of me still does I guess. I'm held back though. Its like I'm waiting for something to happen. Do you still have feelings for me?"

"No," said Kahr. "After the war and my trial, I had to do a lot to think of. Renee helped me. We were tired. More tired than Citan was I suspect. She and I knew I would outlive her but it did not matter."

"There is something you should know," said Miang. "It is possible you might have had a half-sister."

"What?!" yelled Kahr.

"The egg that was used to create you did not come from Karen," said Miang.

"Where did it come from?" demanded Kahr.

"Citan and I talked about that. We suspect the egg came from Elyham Van Houten's mother," answered Miang.

Kahr broke out in laughter. "You haven't changed! Medeena? Come on woman! That's ridiculous!"

"Not her! Do remember the maid?" asked Miang.

Kahr stopped laughing. He saw the look that Miang gave him plenty of times. Wether it was a lie or the truth she was not kidding. "You mean Erich did sleep with her? I thought it was just a rumor."

"No it wasn't," said Miang. "Citan told me Emperor Cain gave him a data disk containing all the people in Solaris. In case anything happened so the survivors could be found. There were only two people who were unaccounted for. Elly's mother and the woman who provided the egg." Miang saw the look in Kahr's eyes. "Before you say it I never knew who the woman was. That was Krelian's job. All he had to do was get the egg. It was no problem because all he had to do was authorize an examination and take the egg."

"There's something else," said Kahr.

"Citan also believes the woman knew about what Krelian and I had in mind. Somehow the woman influenced Krelian into choosing her egg."

Kahr knew it was too simple but obvious. "An agent of the Wave Existence. Cain was an important part of Deus. Only Cain can kill Cain. She influenced my creation so I could destroy Cain. Elly was created to be the one who could stand up to you."

"In a sense," said Miang. "Deus and the Wave Existence." She told Kahr her origins and what happened to her and Elly on the Eldridge.

Kahr still wanted to deny the whole thing but she was not lying. "Is that why you were so angry at the world?" asked Kahr.

"Yeah," said Miang. "As I said, I won't justify it. The hell I experienced is something that cannot be put into words. In my dream state I chose revenge on the world. Every time I would think I found some kind of peace through those hosts I would remember what happened and the rage would take over."

Kahr stood up and went over to his desk. "So you have changed." He pressed a button underneath his desk. "I wish I didn't have to do want I'm about to."

"Kahr," said Miang. "Being exposed to Ether has given me some telepathic abilities. Don't do anything rash."

The doors opened and guards entered. They all were pointing guns at Miang. Her telepathy was not strong enough to affect so many minds.

"I'm still tired," said Kahr. "I just want it all to go away."


Citan and Emeralda walked out of the building. Jasmine gave them permission to go anywhere they wanted unless otherwise told not to. The two walked down as street. People were giving them nervous looks. Citan and Emeralda got looks like that before. Because they looked and were strong and people who were weak that did not know them would be wary of them.

"How are you doing?" asked Citan.

"I just found out my life might be a lie," said Emeralda.

"That's not true," said Citan.

"Do you think Kim got the blueprints for me out of thin air!" yelled Emeralda. "Deep down I always knew something was wrong with me being created! Do you think its possible for any human to create something like me?! Did Kim go to the Zohar Modifier or did the Wave Existence go to him? What if I wasn't meant to be a ray of hope then what am I supposed to be? A weapon?"

Citan became cautious. He had to put Emeralda at ease. "When I found out about Arcane and my immunity to Limiters I was furious. I was angry at Emperor Cain. When he told me about what happened to Miang, I nearly walked away from the conflict. I also understood what he was trying to do. He was trying to protect me from the Gazel Ministry and their allies. If I had found out earlier in my life chances were I would have tried to take down the Gazel Ministry and ilk like them."

"What does that have to do with me?" asked Emeralda.

"Because as much as I wanted to wipe them from the face of the world I could not," said Citan. "Contrary to my reputation I am not a vengeful person. The only time I took revenge was against the Gazel Ministry when we were trying to find the location of Earth. Emeralda, you are your own person. Kim gave you something that no one else could not. That is freewill. The ability to choose your own path in life."

"I know," said Emeralda. "Even though Krelian reprogrammed me my own collective conscience fought the tampering tooth and nail. When I saw Fei and Elly, I was able to finally break free." She looked at Citan with desperation. "You and I were both influenced by the Wave Existence not to harm Fei. That was the other reason why I broke free. Can we honestly face this grand manipulator? I never had a Limiter but I have a good idea what it must feel like!"

"We will think of something later," said Citan. "There is something I need to do." He pulled out Fenrir's CPU. "During the battle above the planet I realized something. The Omnigears have an actual conscience. Like what Nicoli did to those Gears."

Emeralda raised her hand outwards. A cluster of nanomachines raised from her hand. "I know. Krelian must have done the same thing with Crescans."

"Lets put these unfortunate souls to rest," said Citan.


They buried the CPUs. For the longest time they said nothing. They always believed their Gears were just machines. What happened to Maria should have made them realize the Omnigears were that different.

"I wonder who they were?" asked Emeralda.

"Victims," said Citan. He clenched his fists. "I make a promise here and now. For as long as I live I will permit no more manipulations on such a grand scale. Heaven help anyone who attempts such a thing."

Emeralda looked at Citan. Like Miang and so many others, she not only saw a Guardian Angel but also an Avenging Angel. There was something else. Something almost regal and noble.

"Nice words," said Jasmine. "To bad you won't live to see if you keep the promise or not."

Citan and Emeralda turned. Before them were twenty armed rebels and Kahr. "What is the problem?" asked Citan.

"Should have left your curiosity back on the old planet," said Kahr. "Didn't I once say that it would get you in trouble?"

"Why are you doing this?" asked Citan who was becoming angry.

"Calm it down Citan," said Kahr who was worried about Citan's Dark Side.

"That. . .thing is the least of your problems," said Citan. He turned and nodded at Emeralda.

Emeralda nodded and started to moved. Kahr shook his head. He pulled out a gun. Emeralda smiled. "You know better than that," she said.

"Know thy enemy," said Kahr. "Krelian made it after you were liberated. Out of everyone he was scared of you the most for the obvious reasons."

"I'm flattered," said Emeralda with sarcasm. "I no longer rely on a power core so whatever you have in mind won't work." She moved toward Kahr.

"You still have an electromagnetic field," said Kahr. Kahr fired the gun. The magnetic field around Emeralda compressed squeezing her. Emeralda became stiff and fell over.

Kahr looked at Citan. He saw him struggling with his Dark Side. "Don't do it!" warned Kahr. "There are innocent bystanders around. I don't think you want that on your head."

Citan strained trying to choke back his Dark Side. With four Zohar Modifiers producing so much Ether it was not an easy task to do. "If you are going kill me, you better do it now."

"The Contact wants you alive," said Kahr. He nodded to one of his men. The man pulled a pistol from his side. He shot Citan four times with a tranquilizer pistol.

Chapter VI: Partial Truth Revealed!

Citan was bound in chains. Guns were constantly pointed at his head. At the first hint of Ether usage, his captors were ordered to shoot. Miang was given drugs that kept her telepathy in check and like Citan was bound in chains that she could not even break. Emeralda was shot by the gun that Kahr used on her thereby effectively disabling her. Collars were placed on Citan and Miang disabling their use of Ether and Arcane.

They traveled by ancient ground vehicles to meet with the Contact and his people. The journey took a week. Near the end of the trip Citan said to Jasmine, "You have to let Emeralda revert to her individual components."

Jasmine pointed her gun at Citan's head. "Why would I do something like that?" asked Jasmine.

"Even though she is not human she has human reactions. Like any human she needs the equivalent of sleep," pleaded Citan.

"It won't matter in a hour or two," said Jasmine. She cocked her gun. "Now shut up."

Citan shook his head. To lose before the fight even began. He always wondered what he would do in such a situation and never came up with a solution.


The three were dumped on the side of the road when the shuttle appeared in the sky. Jasmine ordered the vehicles to return to the base.

"This sucks!" said Miang.

"I know," said Citan watching the shuttles getting closer.

They watched in silence as the shuttle landed. Three people walked down the gangplank. The one in front was the Contact, the other two were his guards.

Citan and Miang looked at each other and nodded. The Contact came closer. He raised his hand and used Ether to break chains. "Citan," said the Contact.

"Fei," said Citan hoping his idea would work. "I see you have changed."

Miang picked up on the idea. "Do not go down this road Lacan. It will only destroy you again."

"Fei, Lacan?" asked the Contact. He laughed. "Two of my previous hosts from that world. If I was not in complete control your plan might have worked."

"Damn," said Miang.

Citan looked the Contact. He recalled what Fei said of the Wave Existence. That for all its power it was innocent of many things. It seemed the Wave Existence fooled him. "Why?" asked Citan.

"Why what?" asked the Contact with an innocent voice.

Citan calmed down. The Contact was just playing with him. "You know what I mean. What reason is there for all of this manipulation and pain."

The Contact ignored the question. "I should have blew up the Zohar Modifier when I had the chance. I did not expect the computer to react as it did." He looked at Miang. "Do not blame your computer for what happened on the Eldridge. What happened was my fault. I think no one realized it was keeping an eye out for us. When it did what it did, it was out of panic and desperation."

Miang strained against the chains. "Explain Elhaym and I you son of a bitch!" yelled Miang.

"Mother of a new race," said the Contact. "It would have worked if your computer did not interfere with the process. I guess the computer with its organic parts had the same idea as I did."

"You are an energy based entity," said Citan. "What reason would need for such things as slaves and tools?"

The Contact shook his head and laughed. "Citan, you of all people should have figured it out. You have great power within you even though you don't realize it. What was it I told Fei? 'I am perceived as God yet am not God.' I will admit I was once close to God."

Citan and Miang looked at each other with shock and horror. "You're a demon," said Miang.

The Contact clenched his fists. Unusual anger passed through him. 'Take their heads and be done with it!' said the voice within him.

The Contact blinked and whispered, "Citan can't harm me! I made sure he could never harm me or my hosts!"

"You alright?" asked Miang who was scared that the Contact was crazy.

The Contact blinked. "To clarify, no I'm not a demon that was cast out of Heaven. I might as well have been one. We are Angels but what we did was just as bad as what Lucifer did. 'You are either hot or cold. Be you lukewarm and I shall spit you out.'"

"Lucifer tried to become God himself," said Citan.

"Yes," said the Contact. "Instead of siding with him or God, me and my people stayed out of it. We were judged and cast out of Heaven. God doesn't like neutrality."

Miang laughed the hardest in her life. "You fool! You were tempted by the devil and you fell. Lucifer knew if you remained neutral the same thing would happen to you as it did to him if he lost."

"Yes," said the Contact. "How I hate them both for what they did! All I wanted was revenge! It took millennia to wait for the right time. As humanity became more involved with science than their spiritual life, I knew it was time for revenge. People used to believe God would turn His back on them. That's not true, it is people who turn their back on God. As humans explored space and discovered races like the Zevshen who were quite spiritual we knew we had to move. We presented ourselves as dimensional beings who just wanted to help. Wave Existence was just a cover."

"Just like I helped Aveh and Nortune," muttered Miang.

"Exactly," said the Contact. "Although not as bloody at first. We presented ourselves as peaceful beings. We introduced things like the Zohar Modifier. When we integrated ourselves with the various races unto we struck. We went after the Zevshen first knowing they represented the biggest threat because of their closeness to God whom they referred to as the Teacher. Humans were the last because they were the hardest to fight. What we did not count on was Miang and her computer. We did not think anyone could use our version of technology. Humanity built three ships. Two were destroyed. The one you call the Eldridge, well you know about that."

Miang groaned as more of her missing memories returned. "Colonies that had Zohar Modifiers were revealed to have a Wave Existence within them. The Wave Existence then influenced the colonies to destroy themselves. That's why we found that one Zohar Modifier. I was able to give at least one colony the plans to the attack computer. Like the one we knew, it was corrupted."

The Contact nodded. "Indeed. Everything was going smooth. Civilizations were destroyed. The Zevshen vanished without a trace never to be seen again. The only thing that is needed are two things." The Contact looked at Miang. "And one of them presented herself to me."

Miang repressed the memories of what the Gazel Ministry did to her. "What do you have in mind for me?"

"You will be the new Eve. With the body of a Contact I shall be the new Adam," said the Contact. "All I have to do is awake the Elhaym within you." The Contact whispered into Miang's ear. "Like Id, Miang does not really exist. The woman who was Miang died on the Eldridge. Elyham represented the spirit, the Zevshen female the physical, and what was left of Miang was to represent the mind."

Miang felt faint. She remembered those final moments. "No," she said.

Citan did not hear what the Contact told her. "You are a greater fool than the Devil," said Citan. "You believe you cannot be tempted but you have been tempted. You listened to the Devil and willingly gave into temptation. Turn back from this path before its too late."

"Do you think I am that foolish not to know if the Devil is trying to tempt me?" asked the Contact.

"Yes," said Citan. "The Holy Book says something else. 'All sin is forgivable except for blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.' In your anger did you not even consider that God was just trying to show you the error of your ways? I think God was showing you that by not choosing a side, wether the wrong or right side, things might have been worse. Surely you have seen first hand what happens when a person gives into temptation. The pain and rifts it causes. The reason I think God does not like neutrality is because it is a sign of either a manipulator or a coward who refuses to take a stance when everything is at stake. To say, 'It has nothing to do with me' is one excuse that no longer holds. Even Fei realized that."

'Lies! Kill him and be done with it! Kill them all! Kill Miang!' said the voice within the Contact.

The Contact shook his head. The ripples in his eyes became chaotic. "No! It can't be true! Its not possible! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" he yelled. He turned and ran to the shuttle. His guards turned and looked at each with confusion. They followed the Contact up to the shuttle. The shuttle raised into the air and flew off.

"I felt a familiar presence coming from him," said Miang.

"Who?"asked Citan.

"I can't place it," answered Miang. "I did feel a whole of hatred toward you and I."

"This cannot be good," said Citan. He turned his attention to Emeralda. "You can get up now."

Emeralda blinked and stood up. "That was too real. I don't like keeping human form for so long."

"Angels," said Miang. "What do we fight something like them?"

"As we saw," said Citan, "they are not perfect. So that is a start."

Another shuttle approached. When it landed, Kahr and Jasmine walked out of it. "I'd be swearing right now if I knew it wouldn't make God angry," said Jasmine.

Kahr shook his head. "Please tell me he was lying."

"Sorry," said Emeralda. She held up her hand and a device rose from her palm. She handed the bugging device to Kahr.

"I don't like what he has in mind for me," said Miang. "I won't believe what he said about me either. I'm Miang, damn it!"

Everyone looked at her. The pain and fear on her face. She walked over to Kahr. She held out her hand. Kahr walked pass her and went to Citan. "Any ideas?" asked Kahr.

"A whole lot of praying," suggested Emeralda.

"When I was going through the crisis of Midori's birth, I told Zephyr that sometimes God makes us look for the answers. Somewhere on Earth is the answer to the solution," said Citan.

"I have faced him before," said Kahr. "That was the true Contact." He tapped his leg. "It isn't clone rot that gave me the bad leg. There was something else by the way he was talking."

"There was also his eyes," said Miang. "They're creepy enough as it is. The way the ripples went all over the place when he lost it."

Citan turned to Miang. "We have a more immediate problem. We have to do something about you."

Miang swallowed. She saw the expression of shock on Emeralda and the dark smile on Kahr. Whatever Citan had in mind would not be pleasant.

Chapter VII: Chrysalis

Atop the Empire State Building the Angel who went by the name the 'Contact' paced back and forth. So close yet so far away. That voice in his mind. The Contact punched a hole in the wall. "Lucifer, I know you are here!" he yelled.

'I appreciate the compliment. I am not Lucifer,' said the voice within him.

"Don't pull that with me Prince of Lies," said the Contact. "I know now its you. I know what you are trying to do. It won't work. 'Get thee behind me!'"

The voice within laughed. 'Even if I was Lucifer, those words would have no power over me. For you turned your back on God just as Krelian did.'

The host body paled. "How do you know of Krelian?" demanded the Contact.

'I worked with him,' said the inner voice.

"Worked with. . ." said the Contact. For the first time since he faced God's anger, the Contact knew fear. Possessing human bodies like this was equivalent of being human. When a host's body was killed, the Angel in a sense died with the human. The Contact fell to his knees. His eyes felt as though they were about to burst. "G-G-G," cried the Contact but his mouth was forced shut.

'In a sense I am Lucifer. I am your Lucifer returned! You wanted to be as God and in that process you created your own Lucifer! And just like the real God's Lucifer I will attempt to ascend above you who tries to become God!' promised the voice within him.

The Contact tried to get up. The voice within paralyzed him. "I will not allow," whimpered the Contact.

'Many have tried destroy me and failed. I was born of the Power you controlled. Power you gave to me. The Power to destroy all those that stood in your and my way,' said the inner voice.

The Contact started to cry as he felt himself being pushed back. The way he pushed back the consciences of the hosts he had possessed. The Contact's eyes closed and opened. The ripples were gone and now glowed with a sick red.


Back at the rebel base an argument took place. Citan proposed a plan to make Miang this new Eve. To open her potential and to push her to the limit. "No!" yelled Emeralda, Kahr, and Miang at the same time.

"It is the best way to protect her," said Citan in his casual demeanor.

"We don't know what the affects will be," said Kahr. "She's as bad as it is already. God only knows what happens if we do that to her."

Miang gave Kahr the dirtiest look ever. "I thought we talked about that." She looked at Citan and said with anger, "Its my choice and I say no!"

Citan took off his glasses and looked at them. "Can we take the risk of the Contact doing it instead? We all know the power that Elhyam and Miang had as separate entities. Emeralda and I witnessed Elhyam and Miang as one being. What that being did was frightening enough. What the Contact admitted to Miang's true purpose, we cannot imagine what will happen if he controls her true self."

Miang walked up to Citan. "I've been screwed with enough!" she said.

"I will make sure you will not lose your identity," said Citan. "Just awake the potential within you."

Miang surprised everyone when she picked up Citan. An indigo Ether aura surrounded her. "I know what its like to be manipulated and to manipulate others. When I gained what I thought was my true self and understood what happened to me and what I did to others I promised I would never be a victim or victimizer again!" She dropped Citan hard. Without further word she left the room.

Emeralda helped Citan up. "That went smooth. Want me to talk to her? Woman to woman?" she asked.

"Let her be," said Kahr. "If she wants to be snippy then no skin off my back."

Citan sighed. The way everyone was acting he doubted they would survive the first year on Earth.


A guard outside the Contact's chambers felt the disturbance in the Current. He went inside to make sure everything was fine. "My lord, I felt something wrong."

The Contact stood at a window. He looked at the sky. "At first I wanted revenge on God and creation. Then I decided to move above Him and recreate everything." The Contact nodded. "Now I came to a new conclusion. Knowing Citan through the memories of the previous hosts I know he is one who will make the ultimate sacrifice even if it costs him his soul."

"What will he do?" asked the guard.

"What we named the Zohar Modifier that are floating in orbit are now bombs. I do not know when but that ship Citan was on will return. Wether just one ship or an armada they will have four targets."

The guard's eyes ripped with fear. "Could they actually do it?"

"I was there in secret when they fought Id at the Zohar Modifier. The Lamb known as Bart inadvertently struck the Zohar Modifier with the Omnigear's whip. It was one of the rare things that would cause a pause in battle. Even I will admit I was concerned. You saw what the ship he was on did to the Xernix."

"No one is that insane," said the guard.

"Lucifer was," said the Contact. "So were we for standing by while watching events unfold. We have two choices to end it all. One is to ask God for forgiveness."

The guard could not believe it. To be able to return to paradise. "God would forgive us?"

The Contact nodded. "He would. Hyuga is not wrong about such things even if he does not know why. Then there is the other option."

The guard was now confused. "What could be another option?"

The answer came in a reply of a Ether aura. The Contact raised his hand and the guard was trapped in an Ether field. The Contact turned. The guard tried to speak but could not. The Contact's eyes were red with Power. His smile was cruel and sadistic. "This," said the Contact, whose voice was deep and oily mixed with madness and arrogance.

"L-Lucifer," the guard managed to say.

"Not the one you think. Although I could be the Lucifer of your so-called god's creation," said the Contact. "I am the Seeker of Power." The Contact contract the field around the guard's head. "I have been touch by the Divine Power." Veins pressed against the guard's neck and head. "O Fallen Seed, blossom!" Blood came pouring out of the guard's nose, ears, and eyes. "I have finally merged with the Contact as I promised to do ever since my first host died." The last thing the guard heard was before his head explode was, "I am Grahf the Assassin. Grahf the Destoyer. Grahf the Murderer of the Mother. Grahf the Slayer of God."

The guard's body fell over as a bright light came out of hole that used to be his neck. Grahf watched in interest and turned his attention back to the sky. "I have slain this false god. All that is left is the Mother and the Guardian Angel. Then all shall follow with them."


Miang needed to cool down. She walked through the streets. As she became more rational she got a good look at her surrounding. The place was worse than the Third Class Living Areas.

Miang leaned against a wall of what used to be a shop and wondered what her purpose was in all of this. She did not want to die. She did not want to lose her identity. She had found herself after so many millennia and did not want to lose that.

Miang felt something bump against her foot. She looked down and saw a rubber ball. A ten year old girl walked up to Miang. Miang smiled and picked up the ball. She handed it to the girl. "Here you go."

The girl took the ball and smiled. She touched Miang's fingers. Miang did not have her mental shielding up and the touch caused her to read the girl's mind. Her mother thought they were safe. They were in an abandoned shack in the mountains. They came anyway. Her father and mother hid her in a secret room beneath the floor. The girl looked through the cracks and saw the Possessors enter. Her parents were beautiful. Even though she did not understand, she somehow knew her mom and dad were to be hosts.

Miang moaned and let go of the girl's ball. She tried to smile at the girl. "You go on now," said Miang to the girl. "Don't talk to anyone you don't know and you'll be safe."

When the girl was out of view, Miang cried for the girl. She cried for her parents. She cried for those she destroyed. She cried for what she was about to do.


"A good part of the world's human population is now possessed," said Kahr. "Populations of countries have been purged of anyone not possessed." Kahr shook his head. "Its enough to make the Ethos look nice."

"What prevented a total takeover?" asked Emeralda.

"Me," answered Kahr. "After I landed on the planet I wondered for awhile trying to find signs of life. Eventually I came upon a processing area if one could call it that. Fascinated I watched for a bit. When I realized what was happening, I made my move. They were surprised when I walked in all calm. They thought I lost my mind. I showed them the errors of their way. I got the prisoners out and after reassuring them I wasn't going to harm them they helped me do the same for others. I helped setup resistence cells and gave them the technology to fight back. That was almost a century ago."

Emeralda and Citan knew Kahr was a clone that had longevity. The time that passed surprised them though. Kahr, while in the right mind, was a military genius.

"How do you fight an angel?" asked Citan.

"It took awhile to figure that out," answered Kahr. "Then it dawned on me. The surest way to make sure anything is dead." He made a slashing motion across his neck.

"Will it kill the angel?" asked Emeralda.

"I don't know," admitted Kahr. "I do know when the host dies, the angel never returns. So maybe, yeah, they do die."

Citan shook his head. "Either that or they are taken before God for judgment like the host would be. Everyone is held accountable. Human, angel, and demon."

No one replied and an unusual silence settled in. A minute passed when the door to Kahr's office opened and Miang entered. She looked at everyone. "I'll do it."

Citan shook his head. "I was wrong for even having the thought. I thought about it and decided it would to great of a risk to your identity. There is also another risk that is involved that I did not consider before."

"What risk is that?" asked Emeralda.

"A sacrifice of power, even life," said Citan. "To open up her potential requires one of us to basically transfer all our Ether and beyond into her. Given her anatomy she would survive the process. The person doing the act will die from the process."

"Not exactly," said Emeralda. "I can do it."

"No," said Citan. "When I mean beyond, I also mean the conscience. Miang will have to link mind to mind to absorb the energy from the introns and neurons. Because your mind cannot be read you cannot do it." Citan smiled. "I will do it. Even though my own mental shielding is strong I am sure the drugs Miang took to suppress her abilities will work on me."

"I can't let you," said Miang.

"Kahr is needed here to be the leader so he is out ," said Citan. "None of you understand me as well as you think. You all saw me in battle before and most likely wondered at some of the foolish actions I might have taken. I did not take them lightly. After what I did to Maria's parents I swore to never allow such a thing to happen again even if it costs me my own life."

They wanted to argue with Citan. To talk him out of it. They also knew nothing they would say would change his mind.

"I sugges