Decisions can be cause good, they can cause bad, they can cause everything
it's the nature of destiny to make it hard foreseeing the results of our acting
"I don't think this is a good idea Vale." Trisha was walking up and down in Vale's small hut, the young black haired assassin was sitting on the bed, her athletic body was still little trembling and she was looking up to the red haired woman. Just moments after Vale arrived at Safe Harbor she was looking for Trisha, told her it would be something very important and took her inside the hut. After she explained everything, she was waiting for her reaction and her expression told Trisha, that Vale wasn't happy with this kind of answer.
"Why not? It's the ideal way to improve my suit probably or something else in this direction! You try to imagine how powerful I could become! My commander never wanted to give me this power because he feared my new powers I would get!" Vale was excited, Trisha could see it inside her eyes, it was one of these rare moments when childish traits came into her behaving and this time it was anticipation.
"Maybe, maybe not. Did you ever thought about that your commander didn't let you start this project because
I don't know, something would happen to you?"
"Happen? Trish, this guy didn't like me personal, I was his tool
and what should happen to me?!"
Now Trisha sighed deep and began to walk around in the room, she didn't know why but she didn't like this whole idea, something sounded wrong. "I can't point on but something is wrong with all this. What you told me this concern wanted to use these improvements in a war and did you ever heard about a concern that is handling his people well if they enlarge their profit? I didn't."
"Yeahhhh but this concern isn't on Felarya anymore and I don't believe he is still existing because otherwise they would have come to get the base back. Trisha, if you want to convince me to stay here, you are wasting your time. I'll go out and find this IKARUS even without your help, so I'm simply asking you: Will you come with me and help me to find out more about this place?"
"Trisha closed her eyes, she took some deep breaths before she answered, her eyes still closed, "I will as long as you promise me that you will first really find out more about this place and don't start something without thinking about it. Okay?" and so it was decided and when Trisha was leaving the hut she was just mumbling "I have a bad feeling about all this ..."
It didn't take very long until Vale couldn't wait any longer, she wanted to find this old complex and fortunately he wasn't as far away from safe Harbor than the base of the Reptiles Eye was. Trisha had some problems to convince Sanix that he had to stay at home and couldn't come with them and like Vale already thought he was strictly against the trip but in the end Trisha had the last word and decided that she couldn't let Vale go alone.
First the red haired mage thought about asking Jade, if she could bring them to the complex but this would mean that the village would be without any protection for a few hours and she wasn't sure how many predators were just waiting that Jade made a mistake or would leave the settlement for a while. So there was only one way; she had to accompany the young Vale and she could only hope that she wasn't right and everything would turn out as something positive and good.
While Trisha was preparing her equipment- some roots her new teacher and master gave her for using some spells in the nature, a small staff too and her leatherarmor she made herself a few weeks ago Vale tried to locate the exactly position of the coordinates and to her own surprise she knew the area; it wasn't far away from the settlement, just a few hours of walking.
During her first time on Felarya she had visited this place and had some fights with the local Deluran Forces who weren't really happy that she and the other mercenaries were sneaking around. Until today she never turned back and if she could believe the logfiles she read inside the base, there were no Delurans anymore, but she didn't want to be unprepared. After both of them, Trisha and Vale, were ready they started their journey and the closer they came to the complex, the wider Vale began to smile.
During their travel nothing dangerous happened. The heath wasn't as horrible than the other days and the only creature they met all the time were some small animals that began to flee when they saw the humans. It wasn't a big surprise; since Jade had founded Safe Harbor many predators decided to look out for new hunting spots and even in the areas around the settlement the population of carnivore predators became less, the chance of bumping into this crazy giantess was too high and the most travelers decided to take the safe route through the village. Sometimes Vale asked herself why the many predators didn't make an ally or something else to attack the village but maybe they were too selfish or chaotic
if they would win they had to share the village and in the end it would mean even more chaos.
Maybe they also feared Jade that much that they believed she could win against various predators at the same time? Vale didn't know the answer and she was happy that they never tried anything in this direction and from today on everything would change on Safe Harbor. Jade would become a partner who would defend the city too, if she wanted or not, because Vale would become stronger than everybody inside this village.
A satisfied smile came over her lips while she was pushing away some bushes, Trisha was silent all the time, it was like she was listening to something. One time she suddenly stopped and showed in one direction where a very big tree was standing, he was growing over the other and looked very beautiful.
"What's wrong with this tree?" Vale asked curious but she didn't take any more step.
Trisha was just standing there, staring at the tree, it was like she was looking through the plant and then she closed her eyes for a few minutes before she said calm "This isn't a tree. Don't go any closer or she'll get you."
Now Vale blinked perplex "A dryad?! How could you
?" and just moments after Vale spoke she could see two eyes opening in the high, looking down at them
at Trisha. Vale became nervous but Trisha was looking up quiet and it seemed like she nodded in direction of the dryad.
"Don't worry she won't eat us as long as we don't come into her range and
well I could feel it. You know that I'm a wild mage
and since I've met my new master, well
he taught me to "see" in the right way. I can feel them a little and there are always some spots which are telling you if a tree is really a tree. And now come on, let's go, it isn't very polite to stand in front of her when she won't be able to catch us" the last part Trisha said a little smiling and she began to lead the way around the dryad who was following them with her eyes, maybe hoping that they would make a wrong step, but they could continue their travel without ending inside her stomach.
In the end they reached the entry of the complex and it was like Vale had everything in memory; it was a bunker that was leading underground and like the Reptiles Eye base there was no sign of life, just the heavy and massive doors were open and behind them a corridor that was leading down into the darkness. Vale just wanted to step in but Trisha was stopping, she became a little pale while she was looking at the entrance.
"What's wrong Trish?" the black haired woman asked while she was looking over her shoulder.
"I don't know I just don't like the idea of walking underground
you should know that I can't help you down there, there is no nature there, but I'll accompany you, I've promised it."
"Nothing will happen, believe me. If there were any people then they were raiders and they will still have plundered everything. Don't worry, I'll take care of us." Vale replied and began to walk toward the entrance until the darkness swallowed her. Trisha was waiting a few moments before she closed her eyes and followed Vale, the bad feeling she had began to grow even more and more.
The corridor was long and without any light, it was hard to see something but their eyes began to accustom to the darkness. The noises of scrambling insects came from everywhere and Trisha was happy she couldn't see very much of the inhabitants of this bunker. Even if she was a wild mage now and very familiar with animals and other natural creature; she was still Trisha and Trisha always feared insects, especially spiders. It was a nightmare for her when she once met a dridder and only Sanix was the reason that she was still alive, because she felt like paralyzed of fear.
The air around them was muggy and as they entered the first big room, Trisha could see some blinking lights everywhere. She didn't need very long to understand, that these were console-lights, the electronic inside this complex was still running, an amazing fact but it was strange that of all things the light didn't work. Vale wasn't as disturbed by that fact as Trisha was and her eyes wandered around, looking for something like a display or something. The room was very big, and everywhere were standing lines of terminals, it remembered Trisha to a server-farm she knew from earth. She wanted to look for some other doors but there were only two and both were locked, but also there was no sign of a lock
so it seemed to be controlled by these machines.
In the meantime Vale was successful with her search and she found something that seemed to be a command console. Within seconds she activated it and stared down at the screen that began to boot. All around the two women the servers began to hum and some additional control-lights began to glow; Trisha stepped closer to Vale, she wanted to be ready if some mad robots, security turrets or whatever would start to attack them, but nothing like this happened. Vale was staring at the screen and she was surprised that she wasn't asked for a password; generally it was very strange because there was a menu with just one point to select:
"Starting Identification Sequence" Vale was reading.
"I still think we should go
what if we cannot identify us as they want us to? They could blow up everything ..." Trisha mentioned but Vale ignored her and pressed the Enter-Button.
A few moments later a loud noise ran through the hall and Trisha could see how some holders inside the wall above them was activated and a camera was scoping out. A female, electric voice came out of it.
"Please identify for disabling the security protocol. If you can't identify yourself, there are one minute granted to leave this place or you will be destroyed."
Trisha felt how she became pale, why the hell she had to be right all the time?! Vale as stepping forward, looked up into the camera. There was just one try she had and destiny was very kind to her the last time, why not yet?
"My name is Vale, I was chosen for the project IKARUS"
The camera was looking at her, there were a few seconds of a thrilling silence, then the noise was aborted abruptly and one of both locked doors were suddenly opened.
"Please step through the door to proceed step two. Only candidates are allowed to enter the hall." the electric voice said and then the camera vanished in the holdings again.
"Vale, don't go. Please, this can't be good ..." Trisha was staring at the door.
"I have to, otherwise I will never know if I would have missed a big chance. In the end I can still go. Wait here for me, I'll come back after everything is over, however it will look like, okay"
Trisha wasn't satisfied with this answer and she still wanted to say anything but Vale didn't give her any chance; with two fast steps she was walking through the door who began to close itself again. And so Trisha was alone and still staring at the door, still having this bad feeling.
As Vale entered the next room, everything was dark around her. She couldn't see anything but then something in front of her began to glow. It was a panel, the ground of it was glowing in a blue light and in the middle of it, Vale could see a woman standing, she was transparent and glowing in the same light like the panel.
She had long hairs, and here eyes were fixed on Vale, everything else was looking like a standard female human, no specials, nothing and Vale recognized that it wasn't a human
it was a hologram. She stepped forward to take a look at it but for her own surprise the hologram was nodding into her direction.
"Welcome in my sanctuary, Vale. I'm Ikarus."
Vale raised on eyebrow "You are a program?"
"I'm a AI
not a simple program." the woman answered.
why this program for improving soldiers is called with your name? How could YOU help me becoming stronger?" disappointment began to run through Vale's mind, she thought of finding weapons or anything else but there was just a computer?
"Let me explain to you so that you will be able to be on the same knowledge level you should be if you want to talk with me. I was created by the Manorat Corporation. First my only work was to create improvements for cyberware for soldiers. With my intelligence and the machines of the Manorat Corporation I should start to plan, design and create these improvements which should be connected with all soldiers elected for the project IKARUS. But this method was
Of course not for human sights but many of the soldiers died years after the implantation because the body rejected the synthetic parts. Additional to this, the main partner of Manorat Corporations, a group called the "Dark Soul" vanished, project IKARUS was aborted and I was shut down. I arranged to reactivate my kernel and began to work on a better solution of the problems but over the time no responsible person appeared and so I erased the former project IKARUS to work on my own."
Vale shook her head. "You
you are telling me that you
generated an own personality? Otherwise I can't see any reason why you should have rebooted ..."
"Exactly, to have a personality isn't something human only, it is also possible for anything during the time, even if I can't answer you what process exactly led me create this "personality". So I'm sorry to tell you that you won't find any improvements for your body or your suit here."
"You know about my suit?" Vale couldn't hide her surprise.
"Of course, I know everything about you because everything about your life is inside my terminal. I know everything about the various candidates. I also know that The Reptiles Eye isn't active anymore because there are no life-signs anymore. So I will ask you; why do you want to improve yourself when the reason for them aren't existing anymore?
The war never started and even not the invasion." Ikarus voice was strange. She didn't sound monotone like the other computer voices she knew. Ikarus was able to create intonations and other linguistic aspects.
"Before I answer you
what was this Invasion for? What's this Dark Soul?"
"The invasion was planned for a war against the government of Terra. Various key-planets, like Felarya, should have been conquered. Project Dark Soul was the most important plans of the invasion and it worked with invincible soldiers, but the project has been stopped because of some accidents I don't know about."
Terra. Vale had never been to this world and she didn't really care about it
there was only one thing she still wanted to know and for this she needed to answer Ikaru's question. "I'm the inhabitant of a settlement not far away from here. I want to become stronger so that I'll be able to protect the humans there from predators. That's the simple reason; I want to be able to kill them."
For a few minutes Ikarus seemed to think, but Vale knew that this was just a gesture; this AI was thinking faster than she ever could. "You are living in this world? Maybe I still can help you, but this help need is based on a compromise you have to do.
I will explain it to you: I'm here since years and I'll be here for many years, not able to finish what I always wanted to be: Complete. I'm just a part of IKARUS, even if I'm the main part, the others are scattered over some worlds and some are still here on Felarya. If you want me to help you, you have to complete me."
"So you want me to bring you to this places? How should this work? I can't carry a server around and I still don't see any benefits for me."
"No, you shouldn't carry me around. I want you to fusion with me."
Vale blinked surprised "F...fusion? What .. do you mean?"
"You and me, we will become once. It is possible and we would reach a higher level of being
you want to become stronger, faster and having a better perception? You will get everything with me because I'm perfect and far beyond the skill of a human."
Now Vale's hearth and breath began to run. "But .. wouldn't this
destroy something from me or similar?"
Ikarus smiled a little. "No, you will be there completely and you will feel and act like you do now, only better. Some properties of your body will change, yes but in the end you will still be yourself, just with one difference; I'll be always with you as a passive core. Just think about how you could help your people after you've helped me with my search. And with every part of my system we will become stronger and stronger."
Vale blinked, her mind was running but every word of Ikarus sound so right, she could become better than she was now, she would become more powerful and she could finally do anything she wanted to to. No borders of humanity
no borders anymore! She nodded "Okay".
To Vales left something began to glow and she could see that it was a chamber. "Step inside and just relax
and if you awake, you will feel like you are reborn. I promise."
The steps to the chamber seemed to take an eternity, doubts were running through Vale's mind but in the same time she knew that Ikarus needed her and she spoke the truth, they could benefit from each other.
Inside the chamber she was lying against a wall, then the door closed, everything around her was dark and then she felt how something metallic was touching her body, and suddenly the feeling of many thin needles stitching into her whole body she had to wide her eyes and she felt unconscious.
Trisha was still waiting in front of the door. Hours for hours. Vale didn't open the door again, nothing happened.
Every try of her, to break through the massive door was useless, she screamed in anger against it, she tried to activate the console again but nothing happened; even the security net seemed to be dead. She continued her waiting but even after 38 hours of waiting there was no sign. Frustrated and demolished Trisha was sitting in front of the door, tears running down her cheek.
She knew it, she had known it! Whatever happened inside, it killed Vale! And so she had no other choice than returning back, to tell everybody the sad news
the end of Vale.
But Vale wasn't dead. After a felt eternity she opened her eyes and a bright light was shining through her mind. She stood up, the chamber opened and she stepped out, looking around.
"I'm awake ..." she whispered, watching her hands, and then she felt something running through her mind, an enormous feeling that was close to overwhelm her and she smiled bright suddenly "I have to correct
we are awake. And there is much to do."
And so she left the bunker without an unknown destiny.