Posts tagged ‘dinosaur’

Rings of Fate S2xE7 – Horizon – Harpies (pt.3)

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Harrak returned fire, furiously pounding her weaker discharges against the other ship. “Harrak, are there any shield generators operational?” A confirming signal chimed through the smoky bridge. “Charge the debris from your hull with them, and fling them at Braxi.” Hull debris was immediately caught in a kinetic wake from the shield generators, and flung at the enemy vessel with incredible speeds, as the Harrak used it’s remaining generators to accelerate them.

Impacting at the shielding of Braxi, the first few pieces downed the shielding of the patriarchists ship, opening the way for the next waves.

Another weapons discharge from Braxi struck Harrak but dealt only damage to the hull, supplying Harrak with more ammunition for the improvised rail gun. 

After a few moments fire from the Braxi seized.  

Cyril watched the display in the auxiliary bridge, noticing that the Braxi was adrift. “No life sign on the bridge,” someone commented. “Radiation leaks all over, neurological pathways are necrotising!” 

“Can we jump?” Cyril heard herself say. “Affirmative, destination?”

“The mammalian ship. And get the leaks under control.” Cyril sat down in the place of the commander, a spot she had hoped to sit in once Fyra retired.
“Only by mass acceleration of hull debris did your commander win that battle? That is impressive!” Jane was genuinely impressed. Although executed in a high tech way, it was, basically, a low tech strategy, equivalent of flinging rocks.

“Sadly, commander Fyra died. Before we jumped she had suffocated, the breathing mask couldn’t filter out all the toxic gas and ash.” The Harpy studied Jane’s expression. 

To her, humans showed a broad variety of emotion on their face, while Harpies conveyed their emotions much more subtle. And the humans reeked. Their bodily odours were repulsive, but she slowly got used to the stench.

“I have noticed that you are receiving the Digitalys logs. Did you have chance to read them yet?” 

Surprised at the sudden change of topic Jane looked to the desk, her tablet rested there, with the translated logs open, as she was reading every now and then.

“As a matter of fact, yes. I currently am reading through Cruq’s logs.”

Unnoticeable for the human woman, Cyril made an acknowledging face. 

“I must say, I am glad that you are our liaison, instead of the men you serve under.” Confused and suddenly uncomfortable Jane shifted. “How so?”

“Men are erratic, impulsive and unstable. And quite often they don’t consider the consequences of their actions.”

“Cruq seems to be thinking ahead.”

“Just wait.” Cyril got up, prompting Jane to do so as well, although now again way taller than the Harpy, she still felt on eye level. “We need a few supplies to fix some of our damage. In the meantime Harrak will retreat to a more safe distance, there still are radiation leaks and there is cause for concern with the engines. They might become unstable.”

Vowing to take matters into her hands Jane complimented Cyril out, activated her glasses to go over the inventory of stored materials from Ericsson. 
Disappointed by the fact that they couldn’t meet most of the needs to fix the Harrak, Jane wandered through the beta garden. Still there would be transports.

Hylia had suggested to send medical supplies as well, to treat the damaged neurological pathways of the ship. 

Ferrying materials to the Harrak was conducted by the tiny beak flyers, as the Harpies called their one to three person ships.

As she crossed into the hallways outside the gardens she noticed that the makeshift fortifications had gone, as well as most of the armed guards. Two were sitting at the other end of the corridor, watching both her and a display. 

O’toole had pressure plates installed, detailing how much weight was on them, and where in the corridor the subject, or object of the weight was. That way anyone using even a personal cloaking device could be detected. 

“Good evening.” She tweeted to one of the two men. Wolfgang. 

“Hi gorgeous. I still have an hour until my shift ends.”

“I’ll wait with dinner.” Winking at him she walked on when the other rose, his gun raised. “Section alpha three!” He barked, Wolfgang pushed Jane behind their table, also raising his gun, pointed at the same location in the hallway. With her eyes she couldn’t make out anything in the direction the two were aiming, but a glimpse at the monitor refealed that something was there. 

It was about as heavy as a Harpy. 

Quickly she undid a small gun she had hidden in her trouser leg, it only activated with her subdermal implant, so she didn’t fear theft of any sort. “Deactivate your mechanism.” She shouted, using the translator to make sure her message was understood. 

The guard closer to Jane moved his gun, as the displayed weight on the screen moved. Firing a shock dart as a warning did only speed up the cloaked harpy. Suddenly it disappeared from the weight plates, only to reappear a lot closer. Again Wolfgang’s colleague fired, as did Wolfgang.

“Their cloak is also ablative to projectiles!” Jane shot her laser, mere two meters from her a harpy dropped on the floor. 

Partially still cloaked to the naked eye, partially the cloak had failed. “It’s a male.” Jane cowered next to him. And a patriarchist I presume. 

“Honey, go into the garden and call for Cyril. You, call O’toole over here, with a security detail and a medic from subalpha.” 

Wolfgang hurried to the garden, while his colleague stood petrified next to her. “Don’t you dare pull rank on me, Sergeant, I’m only doing what’s necessary.” She yelled as he still wasn’t moving a millimeter. 

Sighing she kept her gun aimed at the Harpy on the ground, raised the other hand to her glasses, calling O’toole herself. “Sir, get over here, bring a security detail and a medic. We have a situation.” 

Rings of Fate S2xE7 – Horizon – Harpies (pt.2)

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Torn from her thoughts by the hiss of the opening airlock Jane straightened up. Behind her she sensed the guards tensing as well, but a short glance over her shoulder eased them again. “We’re here to greet them, not take them into custody!”

A Harpy left the airlock, she was unarmed, but the hHarpies behind her seemed to be just as tense as the guards from Horizon. 

“I am Jane Mulgrew, and I welcome you to the Horizon.” 

“I am subcommander Cyril. We request treatment for our wounded, and supplies for repairs, if you have any left.” Not going to hold herself back with diplomacy Cyril cut right to the chase.  

Pointing down the hallway after dismissing the guards, Jane took the lead. “I was authorised to negotiate these matters with you in behalf of our Admiral.” She waited at the tube network, other Harpies followed them into the cab, only once it was full did she embark the cab to the gardens.

As proposed the hallway to the entrance was lined with guards, behind makeshift fortifications, which were O’toole’s contribution, and which made the Harpies tense up again. 

“You must forgive our chief of security, he is cautious about you.”

“Understandable. I wouldn’t do it differently.” Cyril’s reply lacked emotion, not due to the translator, but in her natural voice as well. 

Jane caught a glimpse of awe from Cyril however, as they entered the garden. The other Harpies in the group were as surprised as she had hoped.

“We have set up an encampment for you, as you know, we are short on other accommodations.” Jane had linked her translator with her glasses, was reading the reactions the other Harpies gave. “It’s beautiful!” 

“A wonder what these creatures have here.”

“I might just stay.”

“Incredible!” 

The monotone voice from the translator for Cyril broke Jane’s smile of triumph. “It is adequate, we will accept your hospitality. We have medical personnel, but many wounded, we might need equipment and materials to treat them.” With a nod Jane comfirmed her request and immediately sent a message in text to the infirmary on subalpha, where they had the most experience with Harpies.
While Cyril got her people situated Jane requested the empty vessels to be moved to the port. It could also provide a waiting room for new arrivals, before transporting to the gardens, as there were only so many cabs available. 

To her surprise O’toole agreed to her proposal and went to work. 

Inside a tent Jane had set up an office. Arrivals who were in need of something had to run it through that office of hers.

Beatrix Fohler, a cousin of the communication officer in the command centre, entered the tent. Normally she worked In the sub alpha infirmary, had dealt with Hylia and her children when they needed something.  

For hours she now had gone through the gardens and checked up on the refugees.

“Most of the refugees have respiratory difficulties, due to inhaling smoke.” She began reporting. “Some have burns, the most severe ones I had assigned to be transferred to sub alpha infirmary, we have the most experience after all. There a few broken bones and other physical injuries, same result there. Here’s the list.” A short transfer of information from one glass system to the other, and Jane went over the list.

“Any information on,”

“What had happened?” The question was posed by the computerised voice of the translator. Behind Beatrix stood Cyril. “And the resident leader of the Harpies wants to talk to you.” Beatrix ended her report, saluted briefly and turned away to leave. 

Upon request from Jane she stayed, but at the entrance to the tent.

“Yes, what happened?” Jane sat down on the ground next to the desk. Cyril in front of her. Figuring that if she sat above the Harpy she implied dominance, Jane had lowered herself to eye level, in the hopes of procuring peace.

“We ran into your networkers. They dealt us some damage, but we are confident that we were able to send them the program. Afterwards we moved away.” 
Slightly damaged by the oddly shaped vessel of the human networkers, the Harrak retreated into a safe distance. Still the human ship fired after them, but they stayed with the other human ship. 

“Prepare to jump.” Commander Fyra looked over the data. Although they had sent the program and the information on what it was and how to use it, it was very unlikely that the Destiny could do much with it, since there were only a few moments between the transmission and the arrival of the networkers. “Engines at 50% capacity. We can’t jump far.” Cyril relayed information from engineering. 

“Just get us out of here.” 

Figuring the best course of action was to tell the humans of Horizon of the incident, Cyril laid in coordinates to get closer to them, after the ship told her they’d need a second jump to reach them. With a simple command the ship engaged it’s engines. 
Empty space, no trace of the human networkers. “No sign of pursuit.”

Satisfied Fyra nodded, looked to Cyril, as if to say that they had done it. “Reading a ship on long range.” A navigator interrupted the gaze. 

“Networkers?” 

For a moment the navigator waited on the ship’s brain to process the data. “Negative. It reads as the Braxi. Patriarchists.” 

Immediately defensive and offensive systems were alerted and powered. 

A soft, yet uneasing chime told everyone aboard that they were about to engage in battle. The patriarchists made no attempt of communication, but fired right away at the Harrak, weakening the shielding significantly. 

Hareak returned fire at the Braxi, due to weakened power supplies their shot was less instense and devastating. 

What the Harrak didn’t deliver in intensity of the shot, she made up for in repetitions.  

Immediately after the first shot, she fired a second, a third. 

The Harrak herself wanted to live.

Another hit from the Braxi, shilding was gone, in horror Cyril oberved parts of the hull fly off. After yet another shot from Braxi various fires broke out. “Clear the bridge!” Fyra demanded, all obeyed. Hirarchy was strict.

Cyril looked back to Fyra, she had a breathing mask on. 

Rings of Fate S2xE7 – Horizon – Harpies (pt.1)

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​Rudly awoken by her boyfriend Jane felt confused and disorientated for a moment. She must have fallen asleep while reading the Digitalys logs. Faintly an alarm reached ear and consciousness. 

“Come on, Harpies are back!” He left their quarters. 

Suddenly wide awake and alert she brushed her hair and tucked her blouse back in her pants. While he headed to the barracks, she headed to the command centre. 

Still no one could reach the Admiral. 

Perhaps the alarm would draw him out. 

“How nice of you to join us. Man your station.” O’toole snapped at her, and pointed at the screen. 

It displayed the Harpy ship they had encountered just a bit over a week before. At least that’s what she thought, the markings on what remained of the hull were the same. Power output of the vessel was fluctuating, some of the biomatter controlling the ship was exposed to space, and showed signs of decay due to radiation and exposure.
“Incoming transmission!” Fohler pointed out after the according signal came from her console. With a nod O’toole acknowledged that fact and told her to put it through.

Monotonous and emotionless the translator kicked in over the distressed voice of a Harpy. “We request assistance, please reply.” 

Stunned and overwhelmed O’toole raised his eyebrows, nodded again to open a channel to the Harpy ship. “This is the acting commander of the Horizon, we read you. What happened?” 

Coughing was the first reply, then came a moment of silence, Jane felt a knot form in her stomach. “Hostile encounters, please permit us refuge.” 

Clearly struggling with his sense of duty for the safety of Horizon and the request for aid tearing him apart, O’toole felt incapable of replying immediately. 

“Receiving a call from within the ship, it’s the admiral.” Again it was Fohler breaking the silence.

“What is going on up there?” Muffled, as if he was in a crammed room, the Admiral’s voice came through the intercom. “The Harpies are back, in bad shape, they request refuge and assistance. ” 

What followed was a moment of silence. Jane’s knot intensified. “Assessment?” 

“Security wise I’m against it, but from a tactical stand point, it might be good if we aid them.” O’toole replied, explaining his dilemma. 

“Mulgrew, assessment?” 

Now Jane knew why she had that uneasy knot in her stomach. “We are probably responsible for what happened to them, therefore we must give them the help they ask of us. Besides isn’t it our humanitarian duty to help anyone in need we encounter?” 

Again there was silence, but it was made uneasy by O’toole’s judging gaze.

“Let them dock, but contain their presence on the ship, Mulgrew is in charge of the situation. Admiral Doherty out.” 

Still O’toole’s eyes lay heavy on Jane. 

Quickly she drew open a map of the Horizon. 

“I suggest we surrender beta gardens to them, we can post security personnel at the entrances and thus contain them.” She ignored the gaze from O’toole. Even as he shrugged his shoulders he was judging her.

Did he think she was bedding the Admiral or something? Jane decided to forget the judging gaze. 

For now.

“Harpy vessel, please adjust your navigational pattern to the rotation of the beta ring, sending you specific coordinates.” 
At the skeletal remains of what used to be the beta ring, a light went on at an access port. From the central ring, that couldn’t be detached from Horizon, only hallways and tubes were extending outwards. Safe for the buffers that once were supposed to be used as normal landing craft.

Against O’toole’s objections they were being reverted to be used as originally intended. 

Without any noise the huge harpy ship descended towards the lit up port for docking.

Like the trunk from an elephant a tube extended from the harpy ship. To cope with different docking mechanisms throughout time, and now species, the Harpy ship was equipped with a polymemetic compound at the end of its docking umbilicus to seal the lock.

Jane stood in the empty hallway, half a dozen guards at her back, fully equipped and armed. The uneasiness she felt, did not come from the impending arrival of numerous Harpy refugees, but the fact that none of the doors around led to anywhere. All would open up to empty space, if they hadn’t been welded shut. Like an ugly scar the welding marks across the height of the doors was an uneasy reminder of that circumstance. 

In her mind she was fostering an idea that sparked as the seal on the lock was confirmed by Horizon computers. 

Two of the now obsolete bufferzone landing craft could be moved to the port. To provide room for diplomatic meetings with the Harpies in the future.

If the humanitarian mission went well of course, and a lasting peace could be negotiated. 

Far away from any disruptive forces in the population of Horizon, the pods would be ideal for that sort of use.

Rings of Fate S2xE6 – Digitalys – Digitalys (pt.4)

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18th Jekram, 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Exhaustion weighed Yrag’s body down. He sat at the desk on the other side of the entrance to the satellite relay station. For the entire previous day he and Jujy had been in a small craft hovering above the waves just inside the perimeter of the shield. 

As he had suspected, the large shadow in the water was one of the aquatic giants of Digitalys. 

Like some ferocious fungus the nanites oft times infiltrated a larger organism, drove it to new grounds for the nanites to multiply at, where the organism was completely consumed so the nanites could spread.

The creature had been infected with the nanites. For hours they tracked its movements beneath the waves, took readings, and finally decided to blast it with the magnetic pulse.

After which the creature died, already the nanites had taken over too many parts of the creature’s brain and internal organs, bloodstream. After the nanites were deactivated the creature died within moments of the blast.

What followed was dragging the creature inside the shield, and dissecting it. 

Matriarchy’s false accusations of the nanites being like the networkers chip were actually somewhat justified the examination revealed. “They formed a command structure within the creature’s brain, taking over in essence. Not to bring other creatures into the network, but to spread.” He noted in his log.

Heavy rain pounded against the window and door of the building, Jujy was just as tired as him, as she came up from the subterranean room. “We’re on reserve power.” She sighed, for days it had rained, and for days there was only black clouds overhead. Solar cells couldn’t charge with that kind of weather, and both had a feeling that the nanites were causing it. Their heat evaporated enough water to fuel the rainstorm.

A researcher had described the sludge as hot to the touch in his final moment on mainland. 

He actually screamed out that it was hot, and weird. Yrag looked out the window. To think the locals began referring to the island as Yrag’s haven after he and Jujjy had set up the shield.

Now it was going to fail. He clearly saw the lightning striking inside the shield now. 

“Shielding this building.” Jujy stated dryly behind him. “Shall I send the last logs?” 

Tired and sad Yrag turned around. Currently dozens of creatures smashed themselves ferociously at the shield, in the programmed hopes of getting their nanites through. 

Deafening thunder caused the two to rush to the window again. 

Outside a small tree had been struck by lightning, rain fell. 

Silvery rain. It consumed the leaves from above, sludge seemed to crawl upwards from the ground. Crackling the tree fell over and seemed to melt into the sludge.

“Yes. My beloved.” He sat down at the desk with her. All the logs he had obtained, that documented the events leading up to the Digitalys apocalypse, were already stored in a geostationary satellite. Only their latest findings needed to be sent. 

The heat radiating in from the door and window became noticeable across the room. As the nanites changed other materials into new nanites, they generated heat. 

“I love you.” He took her hand, squeezed it gently. “I love you too.” More breath than words, as Jujy supressed her urge to cry.

Taking each other in the arms Jujy and Yrag closed their eyes. The last data package was transmitted to the satellite, along with the command to start the transmission of the analogue signal. 

A countdown flashed up on the screen. “I don’t want to become nanite fodder.” She faintly smiled as an explanation. “Nor do I.” He touched her forehead with his, approving of her activating the self destruct program. 


A violent explosion tore the ground on Yrag’s haven’s south peninsula up, engulfing, consuming it and all on it. Harpy, structures, nanites and rock.

A shock wave plowed through the silvery sludge, deactivating what nanites it touched, but a new wave of nanites was released from the clouds immediately. 


19th Jekram 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Upon reading this log, know that I have perished, that we all have perished. In the end, our own shortsightedness was our undoing. 

Please my sisters and brothers, find a way to peacefully coexist with the universe around you. What ever species you might encounter, what ever spaces you enter, do not force yourselves on the universe, but go with it.

This is Yrag, take a lesson from these logs.

Digitalys settlement, out.

Rings of Fate S2xE6 – Digitalys – Digitalys (pt.3)

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17th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Satisfied with himself Cruq led Lyma through the fields. He had successfully injected himself with a new batch of the nanites, and even had given it to their children, without any ill effects. They had to keep it under wraps as the matriarchy would surely disapprove of it.

“I have made contact with a friend in the scientific community.” Lyma said, her hand brushing the leaves and fruit of a nearby bush as they strode through the fields. “She has agreed of giving me aid in our paper.” 

Proudly nodding Cruq looked around. 

There had been another spot he and Lyma had often visited as children, they even had built a tree house there.

It was the spot where he had proposed to her.

“Take a look.” He finally sighed as they had reached the oak like tree. The house was still there, although it had fallen into disrepair. 

Warm autumn sunrays shone on it, and them. But not as warm as her smile as she laid eyes on the tree house. 

“Why have you brought me here?” 

“Here I first proposed to you, here we two agreed to our matrimony. So I figured this is the perfect place to renew our matrimonial vows.” 

He took her hands in his, and locked eyes with her. “I hereby vow to always cherish you, care for your needs and wants, to the best of my abilities, and beyond. Lyma, I hereby vow to stay true to you, as your husband.” 

Stunned Lyma stared at him. She had forgotten the date. 

Their anniversary! 

“My dearest Cruq, I vow to always uphold you, support you in your need, and catch your fall. My heart belongs to you, and I shall always stay true to you and our matrimony, as your wife.” She recalled her vows word by word. 

Gently he touched her forehead with his. Producing a necklace from his pocket with one hand. 

A small pendant showed two harpy hands holding each other around an egg shaped gem. “Happy anniversary.”


“Two hands and an egg?” Jane giggled, Hylia didn’t seem to be as amused as the human woman. “It’s wonderfully romantic, kinda cute.” she added. Longing for something romantic from Wolfgang, but the most romantic gesture she could expect was dimmed lights, her favorite dish on the table and romantic music playing.

And that got old, fast. 

“Maybe you should tell your man to be more romantic, instead of giggling with an almost tangible yearning over gestures from people who are dead.” Hylia winked, a habit she had picked up from the humans. 

Walking down a path in the beta ring’s garden, the two enjoyed the simulated wind. “You must read on, to understand the meaning of the word ‘Digitalys’.” Hylia sat down in the Orchard, underneath an apple tree.

With a glad glance she looked around at the tall grass, just moments ago she had surprised the young human woman by appearing out of it.

For a brief moment both had experienced how life must’ve been 65 million years earlier on earth.


14th Hakiray, 3315 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Waving a tablet computer in her hand Lyma rushed towards the tree house. Underneath the tree Cruq had built a bench, on which he sat.

From afar he could make her out, the tablet’s surface reflecting the noonday sun as she waved it in excitement. 

From her demeanour alone he knew what had happened. What had failed three time prior. 

The nanites got approval. 

In earlier attempts his name always had shown up in the proposal. In the first one it was him and Lyma, then it was Lyma and him as the authors. In the third attempt it had been her with him as aid. 

As an excuse in the third attempt, the matriarchy had brought up concerns of the networkers. Even though his nanites didn’t even remotely do what the implants did. 


For the fourth attempt they had taken him out of the picture entirely, sold the technology as hers alone.

No recognition, no fame, no memory for posterity. 

Lyma’s nanites they would be called.


Although glad that the salvation for the devastation caused by genetic engineering had finally gotten approval, that he and Lyma had won a great victory, he felt a bitter aftertaste.

“It is approved.” His voice echoed this bitter aftertaste.

“Don’t ruin our, no, your victory here.” She scolded him, still catching her breath. “We both know that it is you who deserves credit for saving Digitalys from the doom brought upon it by its denizens. Your conscience is clean, and I am honored to be the puppet that brought into the light of day.” Cheering his mood up with her words, she handed him the tablet with the news.

“Synthesis of your nanites will begin shortly, large scale implementation will commence next season.” She gave him the abridged version, before he could read it. 

“Great news.” Smiling, the bitter aftertaste vanishing, he put the tablet down. “In two months the greatest threat to our society will be gone!” 


11th Jekram, 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Watching thunder strike the ocean in a few kilometres distance to his position, Yrag stood on the shore. The bolt moved along the dome shaped outline of an invisible forcefield, created by a grid of emitters designed to shut off nanites.

His grid.

“We have lost communication with the matriarchy.” Jujy approached him slowly from a small building in his back. It had the likeness of a lighthouse, but was a satellite relay station, the two lived in. “I hope it’s just the storm, but of course it is more likely they had suffered the same fate as the rest of the mainland.” Another bolt of lightning followed the shield’s outline before striking water.

“They’re sludge.” He replied. 

Both had seen the effect of Cruq’s nanites, rampant in the wild. Only a few years after global implementation the nanites got out of control. 

Replicating out of hand. 

Originally they replicated and destroyed sequences 2210 and 531, but soon they replicated despite also consuming other materials.

Other DNA molecules, other molecules, all sorts of material. 

In affected areas soon the soil, streams, lakes, soon the ocean and even the air became laden with nanites.

Trying to fend off the sludge, as the silvery mass of microscopic robots was called, both he and Jujy had risked their lives.

Only by exposing the sludge to intense bursts of magnetic fields did the nanites in it become inert.

Fleeing them they had retreated to the island. A community of roughly five hundred lived on it. Like the eco rebels fifty years before, the islanders refused splicing, but also Cruq’s nanites. Jujy had spoken to the local government, oddly enough composed of females and males, to set up the grid, with success.

“G-type stars are so rare, we find one with a planet suitable for colonisation, we do so. And what did it bring us? We destroyed this one.” He gazed out at the ocean. 

Most colonies were on tidal locked planets around red dwarf stars, only few planets were like Digitalys. 

“Not all is lost my love, we have the haven.” She pointed at the island in their back. “For now.” He added, his eyes squinted, focusing on a shadow in the water.

Rings of Fate S2xE6 – Digitalys – Digitalys (pt.3)

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17th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Satisfied with himself Cruq led Lyma through the fields. He had successfully injected himself with a new batch of the nanites, and even had given it to their children, without any ill effects. They had to keep it under wraps as the matriarchy would surely disapprove of it.

“I have made contact with a friend in the scientific community.” Lyma said, her hand brushing the leaves and fruit of a nearby bush as they strode through the fields. “She has agreed of giving me aid in our paper.” 

Proudly nodding Cruq looked around. 

There had been another spot he and Lyma had often visited as children, they even had built a tree house there.

It was the spot where he had proposed to her.

“Take a look.” He finally sighed as they had reached the oak like tree. The house was still there, although it had fallen into disrepair. 

Warm autumn sunrays shone on it, and them. But not as warm as her smile as she laid eyes on the tree house. 

“Why have you brought me here?” 

“Here I first proposed to you, here we two agreed to our matrimony. So I figured this is the perfect place to renew our matrimonial vows.” 

He took her hands in his, and locked eyes with her. “I hereby vow to always cherish you, care for your needs and wants, to the best of my abilities, and beyond. Lyma, I hereby vow to stay true to you, as your husband.” 

Stunned Lyma stared at him. She had forgotten the date. 

Their anniversary! 

“My dearest Cruq, I vow to always uphold you, support you in your need, and catch your fall. My heart belongs to you, and I shall always stay true to you and our matrimony, as your wife.” She recalled her vows word by word. 

Gently he touched her forehead with his. Producing a necklace from his pocket with one hand. 

A small pendant showed two harpy hands holding each other around an egg shaped gem. “Happy anniversary.”


“Two hands and an egg?” Jane giggled, Hylia didn’t seem to be as amused as the human woman. “It’s wonderfully romantic, kinda cute.” she added. Longing for something romantic from Wolfgang, but the most romantic gesture she could expect was dimmed lights, her favorite dish on the table and romantic music playing.

And that got old, fast. 

“Maybe you should tell your man to be more romantic, instead of giggling with an almost tangible yearning over gestures from people who are dead.” Hylia winked, a habit she had picked up from the humans. 

Walking down a path in the beta ring’s garden, the two enjoyed the simulated wind. “You must read on, to understand the meaning of the word ‘Digitalys’.” Hylia sat down in the Orchard, underneath an apple tree.

With a glad glance she looked around at the tall grass, just moments ago she had surprised the young human woman by appearing out of it.

For a brief moment both had experienced how life must’ve been 65 million years earlier on earth.


14th Hakiray, 3315 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

Waving a tablet computer in her hand Lyma rushed towards the tree house. Underneath the tree Cruq had built a bench, on which he sat.

From afar he could make her out, the tablet’s surface reflecting the noonday sun as she waved it in excitement. 

From her demeanour alone he knew what had happened. What had failed three time prior. 

The nanites got approval. 

In earlier attempts his name always had shown up in the proposal. In the first one it was him and Lyma, then it was Lyma and him as the authors. In the third attempt it had been her with him as aid. 

As an excuse in the third attempt, the matriarchy had brought up concerns of the networkers. Even though his nanites didn’t even remotely do what the implants did. 


For the fourth attempt they had taken him out of the picture entirely, sold the technology as hers alone.

No recognition, no fame, no memory for posterity. 

Lyma’s nanites they would be called.


Although glad that the salvation for the devastation caused by genetic engineering had finally gotten approval, that he and Lyma had won a great victory, he felt a bitter aftertaste.

“It is approved.” His voice echoed this bitter aftertaste.

“Don’t ruin our, no, your victory here.” She scolded him, still catching her breath. “We both know that it is you who deserves credit for saving Digitalys from the doom brought upon it by its denizens. Your conscience is clean, and I am honored to be the puppet that brought into the light of day.” Cheering his mood up with her words, she handed him the tablet with the news.

“Synthesis of your nanites will begin shortly, large scale implementation will commence next season.” She gave him the abridged version, before he could read it. 

“Great news.” Smiling, the bitter aftertaste vanishing, he put the tablet down. “In two months the greatest threat to our society will be gone!” 


11th Jekram, 3366 after Digitalys settlement. Yrag.

Watching thunder strike the ocean in a few kilometres distance to his position, Yrag stood on the shore. The bolt moved along the dome shaped outline of an invisible forcefield, created by a grid of emitters designed to shut off nanites.

His grid.

“We have lost communication with the matriarchy.” Jujy approached him slowly from a small building in his back. It had the likeness of a lighthouse, but was a satellite relay station, the two lived in. “I hope it’s just the storm, but of course it is more likely they had suffered the same fate as the rest of the mainland.” Another bolt of lightning followed the shield’s outline before striking water.

“They’re sludge.” He replied. 

Both had seen the effect of Cruq’s nanites, rampant in the wild. Only a few years after global implementation the nanites got out of control. 

Replicating out of hand. 

Originally they replicated and destroyed sequences 2210 and 531, but soon they replicated despite also consuming other materials.

Other DNA molecules, other molecules, all sorts of material. 

In affected areas soon the soil, streams, lakes, soon the ocean and even the air became laden with nanites.

Trying to fend off the sludge, as the silvery mass of microscopic robots was called, both he and Jujy had risked their lives.

Only by exposing the sludge to intense bursts of magnetic fields did the nanites in it become inert.

Fleeing them they had retreated to the island. A community of roughly five hundred lived on it. Like the eco rebels fifty years before, the islanders refused splicing, but also Cruq’s nanites. Jujy had spoken to the local government, oddly enough composed of females and males, to set up the grid, with success.

“G-type stars are so rare, we find one with a planet suitable for colonisation, we do so. And what did it bring us? We destroyed this one.” He gazed out at the ocean. 

Most colonies were on tidal locked planets around red dwarf stars, only few planets were like Digitalys. 

“Not all is lost my love, we have the haven.” She pointed at the island in their back. “For now.” He added, his eyes squinted, focusing on a shadow in the water.

Rings of Fate S2xE6 – Digitalys – Digitalys (pt.2)

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8th Hakiray, 3279 after Digitalys settlement. Goraka.

A beautiful morning sun greeted Goraka after she left the house. Some small animals were shouting out to their kin, something furry was gliding from one tree to the next. It sang to it’s children waiting in a hollow for her return. 

How they managed to do that with a mouth full of berries, seeds or nuts, was beyond Goraka. All she knew was that they were considered pests out in the fields, normal in the forests and cute in the towns. 

After the long row of trees along the road to the research centre she found a large transport waiting outside the building. 

Uneasy she entered, a row of workers from the matriarchy was carrying out crates filled with notes, papers and samples. The uneasiness spread in her. 

Still there was a small chance of hope inside her, although the equipment carried past her, looked awfully familiar.

With weak knees she walked to her lab. No one had spoken to her, since she entered the building, only gazes were shyly thrown in her direction. 

“What is the meaning of this?” Her crushed hopes vocalised as she came to stop in front of her lab.

Or former lab. 

A few matriarchy officials were still inside the room, opening closets for the tenth time to ensure nothing had been left behind.

“I’m terribly sorry, Goraka.” Slythis approached her, the head of the research centre seemed to be truly sorry. “The matriarchy revoked your position, confiscated your research. I tried to fight it, but,”

Goraka raised her hand. “No ‘but’, you tried, you failed.” Goraka clenched her jaw. Nothing would’ve satisfied her more than to jump at Slythis and maul her. But she wasn’t the one to blame. 

“It is I who must thank you. For your patience with me over the years, and the attempt to save me.” And it is I who is to blame for this.

Not waiting for a reply from her former superior she turned to leave. “They are watching you! Dont pursue your ideas.” Slythis grabbed her by the hand. “At least not publicly.” She hissed, letting go of Goraka’s hand, leaving behind a data crystal. 


“My position with the scientific community has been revoked. Matriarchy knew of the problems with sequence 531, the fact they confiscated all my research is proof for that. Gladly Slythis has saved all of it digitally and returned it to me. They must’ve known about the transferring genes! I will continue my research in private. Gotta be extra careful now that I have no backing.”


Humming ventilation was almost a lullaby for Jane. All her life. 

But in Hylia’s quartes it was keeping her awake and alert, she almost felt as if birds and insects were buzzing around, ready to peck at, or sting her. 

“These logs contain a lot of scientific data I can’t follow.” Hylia studied the logs Jane was referring to. “I’m an engineer, I knew the brain of my ship, and the engine parts. I don’t understand anything about genetic manipulation either.” She closed the logs.

“But that isn’t what they are supposed to communicate. Yrag included that data to show how sophisticated the genetic engineering was, but still failed to understand the greater picture.” The harpy made a face of regret. She hadn’t intended to mention the name of Yrag just yet. “Forget that name for now, the next one you’ll be interested to read about is Cruq. A male, but with a lot of genius, no wonder, was he the son of Goraka.”


16th Joshi, 3309 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

There was a certain stiffness to the wind that came down from the mountains. Cruq glanced into the diatance against the wind. 

Up in the mountains weather must’ve been harsh. 

Crisp air, perhaps early snow. 

Glad he didn’t live there, he looked across the fields of Arratis before him. They belonged to his sister in law and his wife Lyma. Eco rebels as the matriarchy called them, as they had largely unspliced crops. Pollen from spliced crops however crept up on the fields with the wind and migrating pollinators. 

It worried him. 

Shortly after being expelled from the scientific community Goraka had found a man, and settled in the area, they had only one nest, and only one egg hatched.

Him.

He met Lyma in their childhood, her parents already were eco rebels. But the matriarchy let them continue.


Seeds were low, he noticed with a worried experts eye. Many Arratis plantaswere dead from fungus and weeds, what survived was ravaged by the pests.

But, the harvest was free of spliced sequences. 

“We found the new sequence on the property.” With a shaky hand and angry undertone to her voice Lyma handed him a datasheet.

“I told you.” Expressing his dislike for her always checking his findings with his facial expression only, he took the sheet back. “Sequence 2210 is even worse than 531!” Crying in anger she trembled as a whole. “It is found to kill animals that eat those that were supposed to be merely repelled by sequence 2210!”

All the facts she was reciting to him, hen had heard before. Some he brought to her attention. But he kept silent as they walked down the side of the field. 

The smell of the rotten roots and plants lingered in the air with an all too familiar moldy-sweet note, mixed with the smell of the near ripe seeds. 

“We can’t release the harvest.” He stopped underneath a fruit tree the two had played under as children. 

Worried but still furious she looked in his eyes, although an eco rebel she was a strong matriarchist. Convinced that men, although smart sometimes, were not as smart as women. “That’s silly,” 

He put his finger to her lips. “I know what you believe, this is not a sexism debate, nor should it be. We provide splice free crops for like minded people. They are not splice free. They are now laced with the most dangerous sequence the matriarchy has yet spat onto our plates. We cannot release the harvest. Think about it Lyma, and you will come to the same conclusion.” 

Leaving her to ponder his words Cruq marched down the beaten track, he had a shed there. Under some old trees, which had overgrown with a fungus from the fields. They had formed a symbiosis with it. Not pretty to look at, but healthy in its own little weird way.

Silently gliding into the wall, the door revealed a tidy laboratory inside the shed. Once, it was his mother’s, now it was his. 

“Computer, open nanite research, replay last programming sequence.” Under a low hum a holographic projector went on. 

In the middle of the room a giant apparatus was projected, but Cruq knew it was as small as a few molecules in truth. 

Routines and subroutines appeared next to it, always so that he could read them, no matter where in the room he was. “I still have to introduce you to my wife.” He sighed judging his creation. 


12th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

“I have received information claiming that sequence 2210 has shown up in our own kind!” Behind Lyme the door to Cruq’s shed slid close again. It was three months since he had shown her the lab his mother had created, three months in which Lyme had changed her look upon her man completely. 

He had, in her eyes, the mind of genius woman.

“Say again?” He turned from a microscope to face her. 

“Three people have died from sequence 2210, several dozen are poisoned, and it is linked to ovarian death syndrome in half a dozen cases.” She sat down next to the hologram of the nanite Cruq had running to view changes he made, on a large scale.

“Dead hatchlings? Due to 2210?” Uneasy he got up, paced up and down the room. “I can’t believe it. Are these allegations confirmed?” 

A stern glance from Lyma remined him that confirmation of such allegations was a tricky thing, as the matriarchy denied them, hushed them.

“I have good new however.” He turned to the microscope, with the push of a button the nanite on display changed minutely. 

“They’re ready.” 

Almost instantaneously Lyma jumped to her feet. “Ready for what?” 

“They target sequences 531, 2210 and markers identified in the DNA of both weeds an pests threatening our crops. They can even be used on people.” 

Determination in her eyes Lyma stretched forth her arm. “Give it to me, if you err, I will perish, but you can continue to work, so don’t do the crazy scientist stunt of injecting yourself with it!” The tone of her voice told him not to try and argue her out of it. 

Nodding he strode over to the desk and took the batch he was working on from it. “If we want this to be spread, we have a lot of work ahead of us.” He mumbled under his breath as he prepared the injection. 

“If we want this to be spread, it is better we try to sell it as either a joint venture, or my idea all together.” She rubbed the point on her arm where he had injected her. 

Agreeing with her he put the injector aside, and took out a small wand like scanner. He waved it over her arm, and her torso. 

“They’re spreading as planned. According to the signal they emit, they’ve found 2210 and traces of 531 in your body already and are targeting it.” The data was displayed in the hologram, in a way so they could easily read it.

“I feel quiverish.” She admitted, but figured it was due to excitement. Before the two left the shed he began synthecating more nanites over night. 


Halfway to the house Lyma looked across the harvested field, standing underneath the fruit tree. Satisfied that she had listened to him when he said they couldn’t release the harvest she smiled, as a cold wind from the mountains set in.

“Thank you.” She took his hand. “For what?”

He squeezed it back, not letting go though.

“For putting up with me, even though I sometimes treated you like most women treat men.” She stopped, leaned against the fence. 

“And for sharing your invention with,” suddenly short on breath Lyma sancknto the ground, Cruq tried to suppn but was utterly helpless. “What is it?” 

“I can’t breathe!” 

From his pocket he produced another scanner wand. “They’re multiplying too quickly.” He read from a small display at thenother end of the device. Quickly, with a surprisingly calm hand, he adjusted a few rings on the wand, checked the reading on the display and confirmed the new instructions for the nanites.

Gently stroking her hand he kept kneeling next to her. “It is getting easier!” Falling in love all over again with that smile of hers he couldn’t help but smile too. “Good, now don’t let me forget to make that adjustment on the new batch tomorrow, or you’ll end up a widow.”