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The Quantum Connection: Chapter Twenty Four

       Last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2005 22:33 EDT



    “Yeah, but I still don’t trust the little bastard,” ‘Becca replied as she turned and leaned back in her chair. The YIT radar data displayed on the widescreen bridge monitor behind her head overlaying our current position on that region of the galaxy. There was still a long way to go to Lumpeya City.

    “Well, I don’t either, but why else did he give me the FUER?” I looked around at the group for a response. I could tell that Anson didn’t like Prawmitoos either. We had mad the bridge, the engine room, and the nanomachine room off-limits to the Gray so we could speak here without worrying about him eavesdropping. Mike kept tabs on what he was up to continuously. The silly Gray just seemed to set idle in his assigned quarters and did nothing.

    “Steven,” Tabitha said. “These Grays are very self-serving and conniving. Everything they do is planned. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that there are plans within plans that we haven’t yet considered.”

    “ Plans within plans within plans…” Anson said. I realized he was quoting from Dune. The W-squared’s science fiction training seemed ever present.“You’re right, of course. But this is quite a gift, I just need to make sure that I don’t use it to the Gray’s advantage. I’m not sure when or how that will be.” I replied.

    “An opportunity will present itself sooner or later, Steven.” Jim said. “As long as we are all on the same page here; none of us trust the Grays, right?”

    “Duh!” ‘Becca said and slugged him on the shoulder.

    “Well, Jim, I’ll tell ya one damn thing. That stuff about his soldier drone not having the chance to fail him again sounded a bit like Darth Vader or Admiral Thrawn to me.” Anson said. “Hell fire, boy, I wouldn’t trust’em as far as I could throw him.”

    “I can’t quite get a grip on his motivation either,” I said.

    “Steven, my boy, Prawmitoos’s motivation would seem odd to us even if we did know it. You know why?” Anson asked.

    “I dunno?” I shrugged my shoulders.

    “Because son, he’s an alien. Ergo, therefore, and all that shit, his motivations will be just that…alien! It is very unlikely that the alien motives are in line with anything that would make sense to us. So what do we do about it?” he asked everybody this time and I could tell that they had had this conversation before. And the more I really began to think about all the science fiction stories I had assimilated, I was certain I would reach the same conclusion.

    “We don’t give a damn about their motives. We do what we need to do to survive and thrive,” Jim and ‘Becca recited. They were right! We couldn’t concern ourselves with why the aliens were doing what they were doing other than for intelligence on a means of defeating them. All of us would have preferred to meet a group of utopians that would gives us the cure for cancer and an Encyclopedia Galactica but that isn’t what happened. Each species is going to do what is best for that species, most likely.

    This is what we planned to do. This is what we would do. If what we had to do to insure our survival was detrimental to the Gray’s survival, well, I guess I just didn’t really give a rat’s ass. Anson had used those exact words a few seconds before and I found that I completely agreed with him.

    We attempted to come up with a plan of attack, but we knew so little about what was about to happen to us when we reached the Lumpeyine central world that we decided there was no need in wasting our time planning. We had no data from which to plan. Prawmitoos was little help and the YIT didn’t have enough details of the city or fortress or temple or whatever it was to give us a clue as to a course of action.

    We were just going to have to wing it!



    We are almost to Lumpeya City, gorgeous.

    Hang in there.

    I’m fine, Stevie. No sign of the Lumpeyins yet? Tatiana asked.

    Oh yes! They have been shadowing our approach now for a day or so. The same way the Grays did us when we entered their space.

    My idea for getting out of here hasn’t panned out yet.

    What was the idea?

    I thought of attempting to use our quantum connection and to attempt quantum teleportation of a miniature warp bubble through the Infrastructure. I don’t have the resources in here to set that up. It’s back to the drawing board.

    I thought we decided that that probably wouldn’t work anyway?

    I know, but it makes sense that it would work if the matter was shrunk to as small as half a wavelength of the information beam that is teleported and if we could make the matter fall into the right place in the quantum connected region of the data stream.

    I’ll think about that, hot stuff. In the mean time, you better get back to sleep. I love you.

    I know you do, Stevie.



    We reached Lumpeya City while being shadowed by nineteen vessels that implemented something similar to warp drive. They could keep up with the Phoenix’s quantum fluctuation drive so it was clear the Lumpeyins understood warp technology far better than we humans did.

    Prawmitoos remained quiet until we reached orbit around the planet-sized city. The central part of the city covered or perhaps made up the mountain continent of the planet, but the entire planet was the capitol city of the Lumpeyins. Prawmitoos then called out in his native tongue to the Lumpeyins and asked to speak with Opolawn directly.

    He claimed he was simply here as a liaison to introduce the Earthling delegation to the Lumpeyins. A few seconds passed and then the Phoenix was engulfed in a warp field that was attached to a beam of yellow light that shown from the planet below.

    The planet was about twice the diameter of Earth and had blue oceans covering nearly fifty percent of it. There were amazingly large technological structures that surrounded and covered the world, even above the oceans. The sky was filled with floating platforms and towers that didn’t appear to touch the surface anywhere and there were space-based buildings and platforms everywhere. As the yellow beam of light pulled us downward we could tell that the architecture appeared to us to be a combination of science fiction techno and ancient-Greek-temple.

    We dropped toward the planet at about Mach thirty or so and then came to a screeching halt two hundred meters above what Prawmitoos referred to as the Sanctuary of Opolawn. According to Mike, we were directly over the coordinates for the picophage control device.

    The temple stretched out radially in every direction as far as the eye could see. There were columns that stretched upward thousands of meters -- maybe more. A river flowed from the center of the building and grew in size as if flowed down the mountainside into the ocean below. The temple appeared in much the same design as pictures I had seen of ancient Greek and Roman architecture on Earth, but with an odd modern and sci-fi décor and many orders of magnitude greater in its majesty. As Anson put it, there was too much just downright gaudiness.

    The Phoenix was put down on what appeared to be a landing field near the edge of the river. It never dawned on me to ask the name of the river. We followed Prawmitoos out of the spaceship down to the surface and there we met in all his majesty, Opolawn.

    The Emperor of the Lumpeyins stood before us about three meters tall and looked almost human – humanoid at least. Anson muttered something about convergent evolution and probabilities of so many humanoids, but I didn’t pay close attention. And who knew – with the nanomachines – these things could make themselves appear however they wanted, right?

    Opolawn stood straight and tall and had body features and tight muscles not unlike any well constructed human -- except that he was huge and his hair looked more like fur. This fur-hair was probably four or five centimeters long and stood up in an unruly fashion. Most striking was its color – bright fire-engine-red. It matched his eyes perfectly. His ears were somewhat elfin shaped. He had five fingers on each hand and he was wearing grey-white boots similar in style to combat boots -- so I couldn’t count his toes. He wore a loose-fitting style of trousers that were similar to our battle dress uniforms, and they were bloused at his boot tops. The pants were also grey-white but with flecks of bright yellow, which sort of matched the general terrain colors. He was wearing a loose-fitting top of the same color and material that wrapped around him similar to a karate gi jacket. Around the loose top at his waist was a brilliant yellow, red, and gold sash that fluoresced continuously.

    Finally, and most interestingly, was his skin. It was red, bright red and seemed to glow.

    I scanned the area and noted that all of the creatures here were red-skinned giants with elfin ears and red fur hair.

    Opolawn’s entourage was all dressed in a similar manner as he, and most of them were wielding some type of staff. I concluded that these staffs were weapons and that I didn’t want to get on the wrong end of one of them.

    He laughed a deep booming laugh and in an echoing voice said, “Prawmitoos, I see you have brought pets with you.”

    “They aren’t mine, Opolawn. I am merely giving them a lift. They have things they would like to discuss with you,” Prawmitoos answered in his screeching voice.

    “Indeed.” Opolawn turned to his entourage and issued some orders in a tongue that Mike had never heard of before.

    Apparently, there was more to this YIT than we had been able to find. Perhaps as part of the treaty that the Teytoonis had with the Lumpeyins, the Lumpeyins were firewalled off from the YIT.

    “Speak, Earthlings. Who are you?” Opolawn commanded.

    Tabitha slowly and confidently stepped forward and in her voice of command but with an edge of diplomacy said, “Opolawn, I am General Tabitha Clemons the leader of Earth’s space defense force. We are here to discuss the presence of both Teytoonis and Lumpeyin technology in our solar system and the likelihood of having it removed in a peaceful manner.”

    Opolawn’s voice boomed again as he laughed. “I see. Did you Earthlings go to the Teytoonis or did they come to you?”

    “That is a complicated question, but suffice it to say that we met them halfway,” Tabitha said.

    Opolawn walked between all of us looking closely and smelling us. As he sniffed us he waved his left hand up and down in front of us like he was an evangelist about to heal us. My guess was that he was using some sort of sensor on us. He stopped in front of me and bent forward to peer down into my eyes. I matched his gaze with burning hatred and overbearing confidence.

    Mike, be ready. If this son of a bitch makes a move we’ll show him just how tough we are.

    I am ready, Steven.

    “You, are different,” Opolawn said to me.

    “Yeah, how so?” I asked.

    He just smiled at me and said, “I am not certain. But you are different and I do not know you.” He moved on to Anson.

    “You, I know.” Opolawn’s body morphed into a giant purple emu and then it morphed into the likeness of Albert Einstein wearing a spacesuit. Opolawn’s likeness of Albert Einstein said in a mockingly whiny tone, “It was not your fault that the world took your great invention and tried to destroy itself, Anson.”

    Anson looked shocked and began cursing the alien with every redneck curseword he had ever learned. “Have you been in my head, you alien thug? !@##?! You should not have told me this because now I’m gonna have to kick your ass, you overgrown sunburned pointy-eared goddamned alien freak!”” Anson seethed in anger and I could see veins pulsing on his temples as he clinched his fists tight and he shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet.

    Opolawn chuckled with booming laughter while Anson continued to curse him up one side and down the other. Anson professed several times that Opolawn was going to pay for violating his mind and the human race.

    Opolawn just continued to tease him.

    Tabitha, Jim, and ‘Becca seemed to realize what Anson and the Einstein look alike were arguing about. Tabitha interrupted.

    “Opolawn, enough tricks!” she ordered. Opolawn found it amusing and morphed back into himself. “So, it is true then. You have invaded Anson’s mind through his dreams before?”

    “That is true General Clemons.” Opolawn laughed again. “I visited Dr. Clemons from time to time.”

    “Did you alter his mind?” ‘Becca asked.

    “I only … visited. I occasionally left an idea or two, but your scientist here is quite the smart little monkey and would have figured it out on his own…in another forty years or so.” Opolawn laughed again.

    “That is bordering on a violation of the Treaty, Opolawn,” Prawmitoos said calmly in his girly voice.

    “You will pay for invading my mind, alien!” Anson activated his warp armor.

    Seeing this startled all of us and we followed his lead. He was very pissed and I thought was about to start bustin’ caps up in Opolawn’s ass. But somehow he refrained himself. “You haven’t returned since the War, Al. Why?” Anson asked.

    “Why my dear monkey, you accomplished your part. But I see you have continued to work on the technology,” Opolawn poked his finger at Anson’s warp armor shield.

    Simultaneously the shield glimmered blue while Opolawn glimmered red in a wave from his finger to his tail. “Very impressive. You did this on your own, too!”

    “Opolawn,” Prawmitoos interrupted. The little regally marked Gray stepped between Anson and the Lumpeyin Emperor. “Have you discussed your interaction and influence changes with the Arbitrators?” His head was about knee-high to Opolawn but the little alien didn’t seem afraid.

    Opolawn seethed and glared downward at the little Gray. “Do not threaten me, Prawmitoos. You know as well as I do that the creatures in the probatur claustrum are not protected by the treaty.”

    “Probatur claustrum?” Anson asked. I could tell he was trying to translate it in his head.

    Mike, what does that mean?

    Probatur is a Teytoonise word for test or examine and claustrum can mean pen, cell, prison. I would say the best combination would be test cell or examining cell.

    Examining Cage, perhaps?

    Yes, that is probably good, Steven. I understand your approach now. Perhaps Test Tube would be a better interpretation.

    Test tube. We’ve been right all along about being lab rats!

    “Probatur claustrum,” I turned to Anson. “Test tube or lab rat cage!” Anson understood it immediately and said that it paralleled Latin perfectly. I had Mike teach me Latin real quick.

    “So, that is what the quarantined zones are, test tubes,” Jim said through clenched teeth. “Enough of this. We have come to talk, not fight,” Prawmitoos interjected.

    “Very well, runt,” Opolawn said. “We can retire to my temple for refreshments and entertainment and we will hear your requests. Then perhaps I will kill you all.” He laughed again.

    Prawmitoos said nothing but he stared right through Opolawn with his huge black eyes.

    I caressed the golf ball in my pocket and was looking forward to wiping this temple right off the top of this goddamned alien mountain. And I was thinking that killing the emperor would be a good thing. I could tell that Anson had already made up his mind about killing Opolawn. I had only known Anson for a couple months or so, but I had yet to find him wrong on anything of importance.

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