Valkyrie Don’t Cry
CHAPTER 8* * *
“Sweden has always been the home for the legends of Odin and the Valkyrie especially the city of Kråktorpsgård, Småland, and the great burial mound known as Helvetesbackke, Swedish for “Hell’s Mound”. The place where the hero Sigurd supposedly rides up to Hindarfell and confronts a great light, “as if a fire were burning, blazing up into the very sky itself”. Sigurd describes it as a skjaldborg, a tactical formation or shield wall, with a bright banner flying overhead. Sigurd, according to legend, enters the skjaldborg, and sees a warrior in shining armor lying upon his shield, apparently asleep and fully armed.
Sigurd approaches the figure and removes the helmet, and is surprised to sees the face of a beautiful woman. The woman’s corselet is so tight, the poem Sigrdrífumál relates, that it seems to have grown into the woman’s very body. Sigurd uses his magical sword Gram to cut the corselet away from her body, starting from the neck of the corselet and working downwards. He continues cutting off her corselet until he finally has it off her, whereupon she awakens. She then relates to Sigurd her tale of injustice at the hands of Odin.
The woman is named Sigrdrífa, and she is one of many Valkyrie, a female being referred to as Nonnor Herians, or “the ladies of Odin”, associated with war, the battlefield, and Valhalla. A realm that Odin oversees with his wife Frigg. Odin receives half of those warriors who die bravely in battle, they are the Einherjar. The other half of the chosen are given to the goddess Frigg for her afterlife realm, they are the Fólkvangr. Sigrdrífa, herself was part of a wager between Odin and his wife Frigg which gave the gift of life to the first two humans Ask and Embla.
Sigrdrífa explained to Sigurd that there were two kings fighting one another. Odin had promised one of these kings, Hjalmgunnar, victory in the battle, but when Hjalmgunnar cheated Sigrdrífa killed him with one true blow in a fair fight on the battlefield. This proved to all the gathered host that Hjalmgunnar had been a coward. For this act that embarrassed Odin, he pricked her with a sleeping-thorn and told her that she would never again be victorious in battle. He then cursed her to have a “loveless marriage” if she were ever awakened again.
In response to Odin’s curse, Sigrdrífa tells Odin that she has sworn a great oath, “she will never wed a man who knows fear”. Hearing this oath, Frigg, Odin’s wife, unknown to Odin, granted Sigrdrífa a mortals love life and happiness with the warrior brave enough to free her from Odin’s curse of eternal sleep. The hero Sigurd, in the story, asks Sigrdrífa to share with him her wisdom of all worlds, and Sigrdrífa provides Sigurd with the knowledge to inscribe runes, mystic wisdom, and prophecy. Presumably, they live happily ever after.” Nina finishes her tale.
“Okay, it’s a nice fairy tale I guess.” Max conceded.
“They say that every legend and myth has something behind them, Max, something real.” Nina tells Max.
“Okay, I’ll bite, what’s behind this one Nina?” Max laughed.
«This!» Fred put forward. Showing Max a large aerial overview of somewhere with a large X marks the spot.
“And!” Max prompted.
“That is Helvetesbackke, Swedish for “Hell’s Mound”, in Sweden today. This is where the city of Kråktorpsgård, Småland is today. One of the new satellites we just put up has some new form of ground penetrating radar. This is what it scanned a few hours ago.” Morgan put in.
“Which is?” Max wanted to know.
“We don’t know, but we want to find out and we need you.” Morgan pleaded.
“Why do you need me.” Max wanted to know.
“Because of the legend.” Nina blurted out.
“Oh, now you want to bring up 7th Century myths and legends?” Max laughed.
«There is a power source down there, a little under a mile, 5,000 feet deep, in a hollow cavern in a solid granite formation. The chamber is too perfect to be natural Max, something made it. I feel that there is a connection between the Norse Valkyrie legends and this...this...Artifact. If there is we are going to need our fearless male champion to kiss the enchanted princess.» Fred joked.
“Well, that certainly lets me out, ladies. I’m certainly not fearless, ha, ha.” Max shot back.
«We have always found you, if not fearless, at least steadfast Max!» Came back over the link from the other girls.
So in a matter of hours, we were in the giant cavern thanks to Fred. Since we didn’t know what we were porting into we were all wearing Hazard Suites and our own air tanks. We also brought along a huge battery powered work light array. Thought they make all kinds of atmosphere testers today the, poor little canary bird is still the gold standard to prove the air is breathable. In a few more hours we had air, light, and a view of twenty-five softly glowing coffins. As in the legend, there was a human figure in what appeared to be silvery chainmail armor, complete with a full helmet with wings on each side of their heads. Wings like you see on duplications of the Roman God Mercury’s helmet. The helmets also had what appeared to be a liftable face visor. The coffin or container they were laid out in was shaped like a full sized kite shaped Crusader’s Infantry Shield with a clear glass or plastic cover over it.
After running tests, Fred and the girls were convinced that the coffins were some form of a status chamber, every molecule in the coffin thing being frozen from the time the coffin was sealed, and originally turned on. Half the girls argued that the coffin had a timer that could only be operated from inside the coffin. They looked for the control panel inside the coffin while we all looked for some kind of controls on the outside. So far we hadn’t even found a power source for the damn things.
Max, on the other hand, argued that they had to have some way to manually open and revive them from the outside in case the timer failed for some reason. Fred agreed with Max that it was reasonable and logical to expect some kind of fail-safe.
Of course, it was Sweet Eve that finally discovered the two places on the transparent cover to place her hands. She explained it by saying that those spots felt warm to her. Though they glowed for her they didn’t activate anything. It took Max to activate one and revive whoever was in the coffin. All three of our doctors, July Jones, Helen Collins, and Stacy James were now standing by with oxygen and heart stimulants.
When Max applied both his hands to the coffin lid something began to happen. After holding his hands there for seven minutes or so, the transparent lid just disappeared with a loud pop, and the figure in the coffin arched it’s back up off the shield and then collapsed back limp. Max grabbed the face plate and lifted it up to reveal a beautiful female face seemingly smiling up at him.
“Well, at least part of the legend is true,” Max stated for all the girls to hear.
“Dud, now how do we get this thing off her.” Doc Jones said as she started examining the suit of armor.
“It may not be meant to be taken off.” Stacy offered.
“But the legend...” Max was interrupted by July.
“Is just that, a legend,” July stated.
Using a mirror to check for respiration Helen discovered that our supposed Valkyrie was indeed breathing, but so shallowly that she appeared to be dead. More searching and the catches and latches on the armor were found and the armor was removed, along with the massive two-handed double-edged broadsword resting in her lap. Unlike the legend, though the Valkyrie didn’t awaken and arise, she remained deeply asleep.
“Maybe you have to kiss her Max.” Morgan laughed.
“If that doesn’t work we can port her over to our lab and try some more scientific methods.” Doc July put in.
Max leaned down and lightly kissed the beautiful woman on the lips. He then moved back and waited. When nothing else happened, acting on a wild impulse he later tried to explained to all of us, he leaned back down again and kissed her deeply. This time breathing life back into the beautiful woman on the shield at the same time he used his mind to will life back into her fair young body. This time the lady on the shield gasped for air and arched her back up off the shield before collapsing back onto her shield limply, but panting now. After a few more seconds of heavy breathing, she finally reopened her eyes, sat up, and addressed Max in an unknown language. She didn’t appear to be too concerned about being naked either.
Since we hadn’t uploaded a copy of Fred into her yet we had no way to understand what she was saying.
“That’s Swedish Max, old Swedish, but still recognizable as Swedish Max. She just said her Valkyrie name is Sigrun, the rune symbol for victory in her language. She asks what your name and title is Max. She also wants to know where her sisters are. How do you want me to answer?” Nina, who had a gift for language told Max.
“You’re the head of my Valkyrie Nina, you handle it, tell her what she want’s to know. It’s your job to recruit her, well them I guess, into the Sisterhood.” Max laughed.
“Is that what your calling us now Max, the Sisterhood.” Morgan laughed loudly.
“The way it’s going maybe I should have said “Witch’s Coven” Morgan.” Max temporized with Morgan.
Hours later Nina and Morgan updated Max on their progress with Sigrun. It appeared that back in about 900 BC their space ship had crash landed here on Earth. The only persons that survived the crash were her and her sisters, who were in the cargo hold of the ship when it crashed. They, her and her sisters, were in status pods being shipped as insured luxury cargo in the hold of the ship that crashed. Status pods it appeared were terribly expensive, and are damn near indestructible once they have been activated with the massive charge of electricity needed to establish the field around the status pod, and yes there is a timer built into the pod.
It appeared that Sigrun and her sisters were bio-constructs made by the planet Asgard’s Techno Wizards for delivery to the planet Midgard. They were to have been a wedding gift from the Emperor of Midgard to his new wife as her royal bodyguards, and Ladies in Waiting.
In Old Norse mythology, Odin is depicted as a one-eyed man, wearing a large eye patch, and with a long full beard that concealed most of his visible face. He is also depicted as wearing a large dark concealing cloak and a broad hat which further conceals his features. He frequently wields a journey staff or spear named Gungnir, and he is often accompanied by his animal companions and familiars, the two wolves Geri and Freki and the ravens Huginn and Muninn.
He was the primary god of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and the other Scandinavian countries, and remained a popular god of the Germanic peoples for hundreds of years. Even after the English kingdoms were converted to Christianization by the 7th century, most of the royal families still list Odin as their original founder.
Sigrun and her sisters soon learned that neither the Germanic peoples nor the Romans would readily accept women into their societies as equals at the time of the crash. So they established Oden and his messengers the Valkyries by creating and impersonating Odin. Disguised as Odin they could travel freely anywhere in the shieldlands. Their names were, Sigrun, Kara, Göndul, Hlökk, Eir, Hrist, Mist, Herja, Hlökk, Geiravör, Göll, Hjörþrimul, Guðr, Herfjötra, Skuld, Geirönul, Skögul, Randgníð, Ráðgríðr, Göndul, Svipul, Geirskögul, Hildr, Skeggöld, and Hrund. Nina laughed and assured Max and the other girls that they would work on the names.
It also turned out that the wolves and crows were also bio-constructs made by the planet Asgard’s Techno Wizards too. They were made to operate as teams, communicating by tight microwave bursts for up to twenty miles under ideal conditions. The wolves were their scouts, the crows their aerial recognizance. The animals, if you wanted to call something with the intelligence of an eight-year-old child an animal even had their own status pods it turned out.
It also turned out that there was, well had been a tunnel out of the chamber, but it was blocked now by a rock slide. The energy source we were detecting was a well shielded TEC (total-energy-converter). One of the few things they were able to recover and salvage from their space ship’s wreckage before they destroyed it. With the TEC to recharge their status pods they were able, disguised as Odin, to travel the world for fifty years at a time. At the end of that time, they came back here to “Hell’s Mound” where they placed themselves back in status and waited another three hundred years to reawaken. Their three hundred year cycles of hibernation/regeneration renewing their bodies over and over again.
Nobody knew what an Asgard Techno Wizard actually looked like, they went to great lengths to conceal what they really looked like from the general public. On the other hand, Sigrun and her sister’s basic DNA was still human though their bodies were highly modified. We assumed that the people of Midgard were the same, which brought up the theory again that our planets were all seeded sometime in the extreme past by a common progenitor.
Our doctor’s examinations of Sigrun’s body did turn up some interesting facts. Their muscles were reinforced. Their skeletons were also reinforced bone, the rib cage now protected the heart and lungs better, and the spinal column was reinforced too. In fact, there were improvements to the heart itself. They were all sterile too, their tubes were tied, but Doc Stacy assured us it could be reversed, if they wanted it, which Sigrun and the other Valkyries didn’t. They were unsurprisingly all bisexual, but with a marked preference for male companionship. As female Valkyrie, messengers of Odin himself, they could have any man that struck their fancy any time they wanted. Later after they had tried him out for size, they could kick him out of bed if he didn’t perform up to their high standards, which legend said they often did.
Nina and Morgan warned Max to avoid, and this is their term, “sexual entanglements” with the Valkyries until they had somewhat tamed them and their sexual appetites, whatever that meant.
Turns out that the Cree did know of the planet Midgard. It was an independent planet with strong ties to the Cree Empire. The Empress also knew of the Asgard planet and the Techno-Wizards but informed us that their whole planet had moved itself thousands of years ago. Nobody knew where it was now. The Empress assured us that nobody was looking to recover the Valkyries today. She even suggested that they were property since they were made by the Techno-Wizards and subject to salvage law as property. Neither Max nor Nina were willing to apply salvage law to human beings. So, in the end, they remained free. Well as free as twenty-five identical women and their four intelligent familiars, I hate to call them pets, can be free. Wherever they went they wanted to stay together Sigrun flatly stated when asked about their future plans.
“So, in the end, what did you do with them, Nina,” Max asked a week later.
“I assigned them to be Rangers in the new force I just set up. Their new duty is the protection of this solar system and the guarding of the Empress. Sooner or later the CAI is going to realize they missed the Empress and they might try again to finish the job. We now have manned outposts on the fringes of our solar system ready to warn us of any hostile intrusion in mere seconds thanks to them and Fred’s Point-to-Point ports.” Nina informed us.
“But how, there’s only twenty-five of them.” Max shot back.
“Your forgetting that there are four familiars for every Valkyrie and they are all intelligent and in communication with each other all the time.” Morgan laughed at Max’s shock.
“But...but, they haven’t got hands.” Max sputtered.
“Hell, everything is touchpad friendly now Max. Even the crows have learned to run the outposts.” Morgan laughed.
The globe of not-metal had been on station out past the Ort Clouds for only an hour when the first alarm went off. The first alarm meant that something had exited nullspace and reentered real space relatively near Herfjötra’s crow Huginn’s little ship. He recorded his message and transmitted it back to Herfjötra at our base on Earth. There was still a chance that the CAI would detect him and destroy his little ship at this point. Herfjötra’s crow Huginn’s had done its duty and could only silently perch now as he waited for the intruder’s next move.
After several hours of doing nothing, the intruder once again moved forward. The crow noted it’s speed and direction and notified base again. There was very little likelihood the CAI could detect Fred’s Point-To-Point transmissions at this point. Right now we were all waiting for the CAI vessel to get so deep into the solar system that it couldn’t use it’s FTL drive and reenter nullspace to escape.
At the proper time, Fred fed in just enough extra energy to destroy it’s TEC, but not enough to destroy the entire ship. We now had a repairable Saucer inside the orbit of Mars. It was now the job of our new Rangers to board the ship and capture the AI’s onboard.
“You do know that this would be much easier if we could just use our swords on these damn things,” Hlökk complained as she sat there and spun her sword on its point like it was a toy top.
“What do you think you can do to those AI’s with that oversized pig sticker Hlökk?” Morgan sneered.
“True our swords may not have any real reach, but watch this. That’s a solid block of steel.” She said as she plunged the sword straight down into the block, then let go. “Okay, you remove it...just pull it out, ha, ha.” Hlökk laughed. After everybody tried to remove it at least once Hlökk finally explained about the superconductor material sandwiched between the two plates of chrome steel and the power pack in the handle of the sword itself keyed to her bio-signature alone.
«When the current flows through it the electrons create a cutting edge on the sword. A cutting edge a single molecule thick that vibrates the whole sword at the same time. In this state, my sword could cut through just about anything it is likely to encounter. It also has a variable stun setting that will knock out just about any organic creature we would likely encounter here too. Our creators, the Asgard Techno-Wizards, thought it was the perfect weapon for royal bodyguards, and close in fighting. These swords are both a symbol and a tool of great royal power.» Hlökk finished smugly.
“Has it got a name like Excalibur or something Sigrun?” Morgan joked.
«I hadn’t thought about it, but you are right Morgan. Anything with a soul should have a name. I shall talk it over with the other Valkyries.» Sigrun answered looking very serious.
«Hey guys if you need help with naming your swords I’m your gal. I’m really into like Terry Goodkind and Fritz Leiber’s Gray Mouser, and wasn’t it terrible how they didn’t name the sword only it’s maker Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill. I mean like every great sword deserves a cool name like Scalpel or Graywand, I mean it’s like a tradition since Arthur and Excalibur. Every great sword needs a name to go with the soul we imbue it with.» Sweet Eve gushed over Fred’s open party line.
«I’ll have to think about that Eve.» Hlökk added on the open party line for everybody to hear.
“Any gimmicks in your armor itself Hlökk,” Nina questioned her about the chainmail armor her and her sisters insisted on wearing all the time.
“Mainly it is immune to the electro-vibrator knife effect for one thing, and if not outright able to stop, at least deflect any bullet we are likely to encounter here on Earth if the data you gave us is right Mistress.” Hlökk acknowledged.
“See there Nina, looks, and functionality too in a Playboy Bunny body, and they hide it all in that shapeless suit of armor. I do wonder though how well that getup they insist on wearing would go over in public back on Earth. I mean you need to get them to loosen up some Nina.” Max laughed and half-joked with Nina and the girls.
«And Mistress I have assigned Kara, and Göndul to shadow you, Eir, and Hirst to shadow Max, and Mist, and Herja to protect the Empress for the time being. As you may have noticed we do not seem to need sleep. Another little trick of the Asgard Techno Wizards I guess.» Sigrun broke into our discussion to announce.
Recently the HIV virus had become able to communicate with its other identical selves in other infected cells within the human host body. Being able to communicate had proven to be a great survival edge for the HIV virus. First, it had developed the Lysogenic Cycle which allowed the virus to invade the host body and lay dormant until they reached overwhelming numbers within the body. This new tactic allowed the new virus to easily overcome the body’s immune system. When that number was reached the normal Lytic Cycle for a virus was started. In this cycle, the human cells containing them were destroyed inevitably killing the host.
They had discovered the ability to communicate with their other colonies in other bodies through the transfer of body fluids even sweat would do. One of the first things they had noticed after developing this ability was that they lost contact with some of the other colonies after they entered the Lytic Cycle. Now, this Fred thing had made them understand that the host was intelligent and alive and that there was more to life than eating and multiplying which was killing the host. Before now the virus didn’t consider that the host was alive like it was.
Becoming self-aware the virus set about learning more about the host it was in. First, it cleaned up the body and its organs. In no time the body and its organs were operating at peak efficiency. Next, it started a study of the human brain. The virus was sure that in time it could find a way to communicate with and improve the host brain’s efficiency. The Fred thing had warned the virus through that some supposed improvements could kill the host as fast as a hostile attack. So the virus began to slowly experiment. Of course slowly to the virus was extremely fast to the host they were in.
The Empress’s niece Mira, our personal onboard Guinea pig, went through many changes as we watched. It was not unusual for Mira to be laughing and crying at the same time. As the virus studied and experimented it began to discover shortcuts and ways to create parallel processing paths within the network that makes up the brain. Next, it discovered ways to create memory buffers within the network of the host brain. In no time Mira’s reaction times were off the chart, her memory was better, plus her hearing and eyesight were better too.
Of course, it was debatable if man would ever be able to communicate in real time with the virus since it lived in fast time compared to man’s slow time. Any messages the person sent to the virus was instantaneous, but the reply might go through several generations of the virus before the person received, comprehended it, and understood what it said.
Finally, Mira woke up one morning and comprehended the first message from the virus. It was written on the inside of her eyeball believe it or not. The message was simple, straight forward, and direct, “can you see this?".
“Hell yes.” Mira thought back to it which got no reply. Finally, she wrote on a notepad, “Hell yes”, on a scrap of paper and held it in front of her eyes.
“Contact”, replaced the first message in her own eyeball.
“Can you communicate with me, us I guess now,” Mira asked by written message again.
“Rudimentary communication is established, but will need to compile a better dictionary. Show us a dictionary page by page we will do what is necessary to assimilate it.” The virus answered back.
And so began our mutual coexistence with the virus. If this continued we would need a better name for it than “the virus”, ha, ha.
Finally, the invading Saucer was well within the sun’s gravity well making it impossible for the invader to use it’s FTL drive.
“Now all we have to do is take out the two AI and capture the unknown number of Cree onboard the Saucer,” Nina complained.
«Oh we can do that.» Sigrun and Kara declared.
«Yes, we lob one of those EMP devices through....» Kara started.
“And destroy all the ship’s circuitry!” Morgan shouted back at Kara in shocked disbelief.
«Well lob me and Sigrun and our familiars over there and we’ll take the ship.» Kara laughed.
And so thirty minutes latter Sigrun and Kara and four wolves and four crows were ported over to the Saucer. In an hour all the diseased Cree had been rounded up and the AI was in several large pieces. It did turn out that the AI had armed themselves, but it had done them little good with the well-armed and trained Valkyries and their teams of familiars.
“You have a working teleporter? Is that how you took down the first three CAI Saucers?” The Empress asked.
“Yes, but it has to remain our secret, at least for now,” Max answered.
“Oh, I don’t intend to tell anyone, but we do need my engineers to start repairing that Saucer now that all of that CAI vermin is cleaned out of it. Do I have your permission to contact my ship, Max? We may need that Saucer before all this is over.
The sick Cree we took were the first to receive the benefit of being able to communicate with “the virus”. After messages were exchanged the Cree all started to recover. In time we figured they would fully recover. Right now it was just good to see some color return to their faces. Since we didn’t really know what the situation was with this group of Cree, we isolated and imprisoned them until we could get around to interrogating them.
By this time “the virus” had literally invaded every cell in the host’s body. In its Lysogenic Cycle state each time a cell divided a copy of “the virus” went with it, each time a cell died it was replaced with a new cell with a copy of “the virus” already in it. “The virus” in turn was now an integral part of the entire body. Unlike before, these cells were maintained as healthy cells by the Colony that “the virus” had become. The Colony knew everything about the inside of the host body, but hardly anything about the external conditions surrounding it.
With practice, it was able to create new pathways and shortcuts within the host body and brain. It also created memory caches and buffers throughout the brain. Yes, it could save and retrieve the data a lot faster now for the host, but it still didn’t know what any of that date really meant. It had an idea what emotions were, but not why they occurred.
True it had been able to patch itself into the sight nerves and the auditory nerves of its host and even create a billboard or notepad to share information with the being now its host, but it needed more. It became aware that it now craved more stimuli. The pursuit of knowledge was now the reason for its existence. The instinctive mindless drive to eat and reproduce had been replaced by the drive to seek out and explore it’s new environment, to discover new things, to become one with its host.
Soon it was able to discriminate between pleasure and pain, though in some cases it was really hard to tell the difference. Soon it discovered that too much of either could be debilitating to the host. It also soon discovered that pleasure can be addictive to the host in some cases. The Empress’s niece Mira’s Colony was glad this new information came from one of the new Cree Colonies introduced into their closed environment by the Fred thing that continued to monitor them from time to time.
The original Colony congratulated itself on how wise it had been to keep Mira as the control subject in their experiment. Things had been moving along much faster since they had been able to acquire this new group of test subjects which the Fred thing didn’t issue any warnings about their use of.
There were no follow-up visits from the CAI, but it was months before the Empress was ready to return to her homeworld, Caseopia. By this time Earth forces had cobbled together one ship from the parts of the three original Saucers with the help of the Empress’s engineers. It was not pretty, but it was serviceable and Earth was proud of it. It was under the command of Air Force General Dan St. James. This now gave the Earth two saucers powered by TEC and the knowledge to make more.
“What do you think you’ll discover when you get home your Majesty,” Max asked.
“At first I feared that the “Cubes”, what you call the CAI, would return. I stayed to defend your planet as was my duty to you once I found out what had been done to you. Now there has only been the one attempt to enter the system. That was six months ago and you easily defeated it. I guess I can’t put off returning to my thrown any longer Max. This has been a pleasant distraction from the boring duties of Court, a real adventure I guess you would say.” Empress Chizuko Tocaona told Max.
“You still didn’t answer what you think is going on back home Empress. Or why your own people haven’t shown up. It’s been a whole year?” Morgan pointed out.
“You are right Morgan, Charles my faithful Prime Minister should have sent at least one courier ship to investigate why I haven’t returned. Something is terribly wrong I feel.” The Empress conceded she was worried.
“With “the virus” now under control I see no need for any conflict between the Empire and Earth. I’m sure that you will cooperate for the betterment on all within the Empire.” Her Majesty stated to everyone in the open hall with her royal barge waiting outside to carry her up to her mothership which was now in orbit.
“If you don’t mind I think me and the girls will be going with you your Majesty if you don’t mind and have the extra room?” Nina interjected.
“The Ogomma is an extremely old ship, Nina. It was built when the Empire was young and the whole Court traveled from planet to planet in it. This whole crew is only me and my close staff. I’m sure that we can find room for you and all your people Nina. There are whole sections of this ship that haven’t been opened in years.” Empress Chizuko Tocaona laughed.
And so our trip to the Empire began.
The Ogomma exited nullspace on the edge of the Empire’s home system. From there we used the ship’s antigravity to pull us into the system. We were almost to the planet Caseopia the Empire’s homeworld before we were challenged.
“Unknown alien vessel halt and prepare to be boarded by the Cree Naval Frigate Halk...” Then it started the same message again.
“Naval vessel this is Empress Chizuko Tocaona’s on the royal ship of state Ogomma. Our transponder should have already identified us. You will take up position and escort us to the Palace on Caseopia.” The Empress broadcast in the clear.
“Royal vessel Ogomma this is Captain Hollis of the Cree Navy. Empress, you were thought to be dead. On (meaningless date), over a year ago, five CAI Saucers sneaked in and used their outlawed disintegration rays and dropped a Nova Bomb on the Palace, Your Majesty. It and the entire island was vaporized. Everyone thought that you and the Ogomma were dead, gone, Your Majesty.” Captain Hollis related to the Empress.
“Then you will escort me to the what replaced the seat of power Captain.” the Empress directed.
So we learned that with all the royalty presumed dead on the island, Parliament convened and did away with the monarchy. They then declared war on the CAI, only to discover that the AI had disappeared from the planet. All that was left on the planet was a lot of extremely sick Cree.
After meeting with Parliament Empress Chizuko Tocaona was allowed to retain the title of Empress along with certain lands and properties. Among the properties granted her were the good ship Ogomma, which she was firmly in control of anyway, and governance of Earth as a new colony. Earth was now officially a colony of the Empire, ruled over by the Empress.
“Empress, we have allowed you to keep the title as a courtesy.” Vojvoda the president of the newly established Confederacy informed the Empress in his private office. His chief of staff, Altoman just laughed.
“Vojvoda you know as well as I do that at least half of Parliament wanted to restore the Monarchy when news she lived reached the people. If she called for a debate right now you don’t know how the vote would go.” Altoman reminded the President.
“He’s right Vojvoda, it’s much better that it appears to the general public that the Empress abdicates the thrown voluntarily rather than make a fight of it in public.” General Veliki put in.
“Look ever since my beloved husband Karma, the Emperor died I have tried to serve my people as best I could. I took no pleasure in my rule gentlemen. I always felt that I was unneeded. On the other hand Earth needs me. I feel needed for once in my life gentlemen. I feel that some of you want to take advantage of my new subjects, that will not happen on my watch gentlemen. What I own I defend.” The Empress stated flatly for the President and his staff to hear.
“That’s our agreement Chizuko. You have full autonomy on Earth, but Earth will only be a colony of the Empire until it can get the necessary votes in Parliament to gain full membership. It’s up to you to teach them.” The new President stated.
“I’ll actually be needed for once Vojvoda. By the way, does anybody know where the CAI went, or for that matter why they did any of this.” The Empress questioned the President.
“We haven’t got a clue, maybe when the population of the planet recover we can get some answers since they’re the only thing left to question.” the President answered.
“If the President won’t tell you I will your Majesty, thanks for this new cure for “the virus”. It really seems to be working. We had a lot of terminally ill on the CAI planet after the AI disappeared. Since we started injecting them with your new miracle cure we haven’t lost another patient. I also have to report that the “Serum” has been proven not to work on those cases at all.” Doctor Anuj Kumar, head of all the Confederacy’s medical branches admitted.
“I’m glad to hear that.” The Empress said.
“Of course we don’t know why it’s working. All our test just show that it’s the same virus they already have. How does that cure them?” Anuj wanted to know.
“If I told you right now you wouldn’t believe me Anuj. You’ll just have to take it on faith. It works and that’s enough.” The Empress stated.
“But why not just tell us?” The President asked.
“Earth is a colony with few resources, the “Cure” is one of those resources. Advertising that this new cure for the plague came from Earth will boost Earth’s popularity in the press and get her name recognition. Things that Earth will need in the future to become a full member of the Confederacy.” The Empress answered.
“And what have we learned from the Cree on Abadose, the former CAI world your Majesty?” Nina asked.
“Nothing so far. It was like you figured. The AI took over everything. The people of Abadose were just too proud to admit it.” The Empress answered back.
«I’ve gone over the data and it appears that the AI or someone working for them actually infected these people. This was all intentional.» Fred informed us.
“Why would anybody intentionally infect anybody with HIV. I mean what does a machine benefit from giving all it’s subjects a disease that will eventually kill them.” Max asked.
“I remember when the first cases of AID were reported on Earth and there was speculation that AID wasn’t a natural virus. Some people said that it was an attempt to create the so-called “Universal Donor”.” Morgan put in.
“What do you mean Morgan?” Nina asked.
“Well, the heart was the major organ they were trying to replace at the time Nina. They figured out how to lower the temp of the body and do the operation, but the recipients of the transplants kept on dying. The human body rejected the organ. No matter how close the match you still got a rejection, and they died of that rejection. Finally, they developed drugs that suppressed the body’s immune system. As the drugs got better the operations became more practical.” Morgan went on.
“What’s that got to do with AID Morgan.” Max wanted to know.
“Well, it turned out that the medical community knew about AID long before the world was told. Nothing was done to control the spread of AID because AID was wonderful, it was only bad when AID turned into HIV. There was nothing to worry about because at any moment they were going to discover how to keep it from turning into HIV, ha, ha.” Morgan paused.
“You’re saying that the medical community created AID in a lab?” Nina asked.
“Yes, at the time they had all kinds of things, mechanical things, they wanted to add to the human body. Coplanar implants were the least of the things they wanted to put in our heads.” Morgan laughed.
“And you think that the Empire invented the same virus?” Max wanted to know.
“Well dud, the Empire is, well has been, heavy into body modification for ages. Before they discovered FTL they modified their own bodies to settle the other planets and moons of their homeworld system. They weren’t as restrictive as us on research into stem cells, especially prepubescent “totipotent” stem cells. Those cells that develop in a mother’s womb after she conceives, in the first three to five days. Embryological developmental wise, the embryo is known as a blastocyst and consists of approximately 150 stem cells that are the key to growing everything in the human body that needs replacing. From those cells, they developed the “Serum” which allowed them to control the rejection factor and set back their biological clock at the same time. A win-win situation I think you’ll all agree.” Morgan laughed.
“So what do you think happened here?” The Empress asked.
“I think that the scientists of Abadose created that first AI, that Cube thing, and it wasn’t satisfied. Yes it was super smart, as smart as Satan himself, but it couldn’t move, or feel, or do hundreds of other things we take for granted. It became jealous even envious of man. Somehow it got the Abadose scientists to create more of it, and somehow they enslaved the Abadose people. Hell, the average Abadose citizen might not have even known that he was enslaved. The AI wanted to make their citizens into the perfect mobile units for them to play with. The AI’s wanted to experience life through the senses of their host.” Morgan paused.
“But the AI left?” Nina questioned.
“I’m sure that wherever the AI went they took enough of their slaves to continue the great experiment,” Morgan added.
“Do you think they’ll be back Morgan?” The Empress asked.
“Oh, when they are ready they’ll be back. I think we can count on that, your Majesty. Just look at how they left.” Morgan added.
“Do you think we should warn the Empire’s new government, Morgan?” The Empress asked.
“I’m sure they are aware of the danger right now, but I doubt they will remain aware for very long. Now that we have introduced the “Cure” the Empire will sink back into a peacetime economy and they’ll relax and forget all about the CAI, and the danger they pose. Hell, the “Cure” might even affect the CAI’s agenda...” Max interrupted Morgan.
“How could the “Cure” effect the AI making their humans into robots Morgan.” Max wanted to know.
“Well think about it, Max. The virus is intelligent now. It is self-aware and it is a colony now. It now takes care of its host. It’s also able to communicate with its host and the other colonies out there. What’s going to happen when the health and well being of the host is jeopardized by the experiments of the AI?” Morgan hypothesized for us.
“What could it do?” Nina asked.
“It is no longer just a single isolated individual it can communicate with all the other colonies out there now. It will be interesting to see what it does to protect its many hosts. I think the AI are in for quite a surprise. The old saying, “Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It” really applies here.” Morgan laughed.