a second small snippet for everyone
This is later in the novel:
Kate stuffed her gloves into the parka’s pockets. “It doesn’t matter, does it? Whoever sent the messages knows who I am and set the entrance to verify who I am.”
“Don’t you find that suspicious, sir?” Loving asked. “It seems like we’re marionettes.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Kate unzipped the parka. “But this is the only reason to find out why I have been called here.”
“And it could still be a trap,” Tomson said darkly.
Kate shrugged. “True,”
The three women fell into silence while they rode the lift. It seemed like an eternity to drop 500 meters, Kate thought impatiently. The lifts on Earth didn’t take that long to go to the top of a mile-high building!
It was Tomson who broke the silence. “Do you have any idea what we’ll find down here?”
“Not a clue,” Kate said as the lift stopped and the door opened.
Loving moved to exit the car first but Kate stopped her. The message had been specific and who knew what would happen if someone else was in the lead. No, Kate reflected, it was safer for her to take the point then the young Lieutenant.
Kate looked around and came to a complete stop. Her jaw dropped as she took in the room they had entered. It was large; one hundred meters in length and the ceiling was a hundred meters tall also. Gentle downward slopes lead into a circular depression that was ten meters below where they stood.
“My God,” Tomson breathed. “It’s incredible!”
That was an understatement, Kate thought as she descended into the lower section.
Whoever built this room had used a scale of size that went beyond anything mankind had seen before. What would mankind do with technology like that? Could they learn to harness it in peace or would another fresh round of wars ensue?
Kate shook her head. “You know the answer to that, Kate…”
“What was that, Captain?” Tomson had started down the slope with Loving.
“Oh nothing, Doctor,” Kate smirked sardonically. “Just talking to myself…you know I’m a few bricks shy of a load.”
Tomson snorted. “Okay, Captain, I’ll admit I was wrong to doubt you. I’m sorry.”
“The doubting isn’t what bothered me,” Kate’s voice was light but without cheer. “It’s the fact you spied on me for Reyes that’s an issue.”
The three of them reached the bottom of the depression and the Doctor opened her mouth to reply. However, before she could do so, the room lit with a flash. They stumbled backwards in reflex as a blue and white image of a planet filled the air above them.
“You are synthetic,” an inhuman voice said. “But the taint of the Bio’s is not on you. Explain.”
Kate licked her lips and looked at the others. It had to be a computer, she mused, and the question had been posed to her. Synthetic, what did it mean? Was the computer referring to the cybernetics Reyes had used to bring her back to life?
Kate shrugged. “I have cybernetics; it’s because I died before.”
“That is unfortunate, Katherine, but not totally unexpected,”
The image of a humanoid appeared before her. While the voice sounded feminine, there were no obvious sexual features to denote gender on the figure. It’s wore a white ankle-length robe that stood out in contrast with the dark blue skin the being had.
Kate swallowed hard and looked at the apparition closely. While the Doctor and Loving slowly retreated, she stood her ground. A feeling of rightness started to form in her stomach and it was unexplainable.
For some reason she, it, is familiar to me, Kate thought as she licked her lips.
“Who are you?”
“Why I’m your mother,” it said, “in a manner of speaking of course.”
Kate raised both eyebrows. “You’re my mother? How is that even possible? I don’t look like you at all!”
“You were genetically created by our scientists,” it explained, “For this very day.”
“I don’t understand,”
The apparition reached over and touched the hologram. In response, it started to turn and images of spacecraft, all alien in their design, started to arrive and depart from the plant. Kate looked over at her companions and both of them raised eyebrows and shrugged.
I guess this is my party, she thought.
“We were called the Rexnarta,” it said. “And this was our home world. Many millions of years ago, we evolved and started to explore the stars.
“Over the course of several centuries, we built an Empire that spanned the galaxy. That was until the Bio’s arrived. At first we lost single ships, after which colonies went silent. Before we knew it, they started to overrun our defenses. A horrible mix of biological and machine, they were unstoppable. Planet by planet they destroyed our empire, hunting us down with machine-like precision.
“It was then that our scientists carried out a desperate gamble to keep our species alive. They took the best part of our DNA structure and combined it with the best of Homo Sapiens, which at that time were in the Dark Ages on earth. When complete, a single courier took the information to earth and lived in secrecy, hidden from view, until the time was right.
“Now, a thousand years later, the Bio’s are back and you stand before me, Katherine, the last, best hope of a dead race. It is you who will bring our wrath upon the ones who murdered us.”
Kate tried to speak and found her voice to be choked. “Me? You created me?”
“You have our ability to fight,” the Rexnarta said. “All our strengths and the best aspects of your own species too which makes you the perfect weapon.”
“It explains your ability to be so deadly,” Tomson said thoughtfully. “I always thought there was something to your ability beyond just mere training and aptitude.”
Kate rubbed her chin in thought. Could any of this be true, despite the claims of the image? She had been genetically created? How had they kept her information hidden for centuries? What had made them bring it back out?
“I hear your thoughts, Katherine,” the apparition said. “And we have an answer for you.”
Images assailed Kate. Machine craft appeared over planets. Missiles exploded. Cities died. Biomechanical warriors of all shapes strode. Mothers, daughters and fathers died. Blood ran in the streets and from the very teeth of the warriors.
Kate dropped to her knees and screamed. Faster, faster, the horrific images flashed through her head. Entire worlds died, Rexnarta turned on their own and sided with the Bio’s. Fleets of vessels were destroyed.
A massive black cloud closed on the home world. It rained missiles and mushroom clouds burst over the surface. Dust and debris were thrown into the atmosphere and a once blue and white world took on the brown color of death.
Kate fell forward onto her hands and panted. The images stopped. God, she thought, what a horrific experience! Was this what waited everyone now that the Bio’s were back?
“I’m sorry to do that to you, Katherine,” the Rexnarta said. “But it was the only way.”
Tomson dropped to her knees and placed a hand on Kate’s back. “Captain! Are you okay?”
Kate licked her dry lips and took in several deep breaths before she attempted to speak. “It’s horrific,” she croaked. “The Bio’s will kill us all if we don’t stop them.”
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