Crash, one of the other apprentices asked, "So Ms. Hekeriki, you mentioned an army? Who has an army that would be willing to help the Resistance?
Hekeriki: The gog turns to the apprentice.
“Willing is a loose term. Got to convince them that something is good for their self interest,” she frowned.
“Ugh, I starting to sound insane and evil. Yuck.”
“We go to a place where Mortis Leonin is going to screw people over. I know of several armies stuck on a prison planet where parallel dimension’s energy seep in. This planet is guarded by the Iron Republic and I call it home. Refuge, a dark place. We should have a talk with the herd of Auf Lal’ al and friends. They are also know as The United Tribes of Refuge or the UTR. We find the keystone of the group: Lalder. Have a nice chat. Then we ask the other groups for help.”
“It’s a sound start. Smart really. So smart that Godart would never think of it,” she mused.
Hekeriki spins around and throws a Blackheart Security Solutions Gift Card into Maverick’s hand.
“We need to also gear up. This should help. Not that I could even go to Blackheart Security Solutions since I’m stuck here until I get my own ride.”
“One way or another, I’m AM going to build my own ride even if it takes my whole puberty to do it!”
Maverick looked at the apprentices with annoyance but then again if it wasn’t for his apprentices the Resistance would fall apart.
Maverick sighed, “Okay so Ryder can stop Leonin from escaping but if we are going to take him out or capture him we first got to figure out where he is…”
Maverick gave Hekeriki a steady gaze and said, “So you came all the way here to get a Time Stop trained psychic. That tells me you have an idea where we should be able to find Leonin??”
Hekeriki: She returned the gaze. “Yes, if you mean I came here to learn Time Stop. No, I don’t have a clue where to find Leonin’s base. Maybe…”, she grin " … have I thought of a way to track this hater."
“For example, he wants a Church of One that’s on top. He already failed (most likely a lot ) at one point in history. There are other turning points he could go after. A good start would to do some research on these guys and see where they could have turn things around for themselves. Then I can ask the TEA to use their pervy time scanners to uhm… scan those events.”
“Also what do you know about leyas, other radiations and tachyons? Asking because I’m also getting an idea on how to track him down if we get a sample from the hater.”
Maverick heard Hekeriki start talking about tracking people across time and he thought back to a conversation he had with General Tharr back when he first started time shredding.
“So you work for the TEA?”
Crash and Ryder looked up at once. The other apprentices eyes went wide.
Hekeriki could hear them whisper the Blue Reptiloids have found us.
Maverick remained as within .05 seconds every member of the Resistance at that base were grabbed by a Time Shredding apprentice and they left asap in flashes of blue.
The only persons remaining were Maverick, Ryder and Crash. And both Ryder and Crash had pulled weapons.
"So your friendship with the Temporal Enforcement Agency allows you to use their time scanners? Only temporal agents are allowed to view those…ergo you are an undercover cop.
No wonder you are so intent on having Maverick teach you to make a time shredder. The TEA has always wanted his secret and now they send you in, " Crash said.
Ryder said, “Don’t worry now that the rest of the Resistance escaped I’ve Time Locked this zone. We are safe for the moment. Maverick this location is compromised…I’m just happy the Olgog let it slip she was working with the TEA before their capture teams arrive. Time to bug out?”
Maverick popped out a small alien scanner and noticed blips appearing.
“The TEA capture teams are already teleporting in. The Time Lock is keeping them about two blocks away. But now that they have boots on the ground it’s only a matter of moments before they try and take this position…”
He looked hard at Hekeriki, "So I get that you want to take Leonin down enough that you would sell my Resistance out to the TEA to do it. But you have a hard choice little Olgog. Either wait here for the TEA to pick you up.
Or give me a god damn compelling reason to trust you…?"
He knew Ryder and Crash would object but he immediately gave them a look that said for then to keep their opinions to themselves.
Hekeriki: “I can’t but… One, I was and are upfront about who am I and who I worked for. My plan to unite together is the best. It requires much honesty. Two, I didn’t sell you out because I don’t have nothing to gain and all to lose. A divided front against Leonin is opposite of what I want. It hurts me. Three, I was here to learn Time Lock or find someone with that ability. Three minutes ago we were talking about Time Stop instead. That doesn’t make sense.”
(Tech Repair 3) She pulled her quad laser pistol and open it up in 3 seconds flat. (Science 6) Removing the Tritium battery core, Hekeriki broke it down then swallowed it.
“This is only going to shield my location a little. Are you three going to take me to the nearest radiated zone to mask my signal better while we figured out some answers? Or will this time be a complete bust?”
Ryder and Crash looked at each other in surprise.
Crash said, “Well Ryder has Time Lock. I’m not sure what you are talking about with Time Stop…unless…”
Crash reached gingerly into his pocket and pulled out a crystalline eye. It looked too smooth to have been carved. Crash raised it in front of his own eye.
Ryder interrupted, “Hey that’s the Eye of T.J. how did you rip that out of the assassins head before he annihilated you?”
Crash sighed, “Alternate timeline…TJ ripped it out of his own head so the Creeping Darkness could not get it… Luckily I went back and fixed the problem that spun off that alternate timeline so…”
“So TJ still has his eye in this timeline and doesn’t want you, and by default all us dead?” Said Ryder, who immediately calmed down when Crash nodded in the affirmative.
Crash used the crystalline eye to watch Hekeriki for a few moments then sighed louder and put away the eye.
“You want the good news or the bad news?” Asked Crash.
Ryder interrupted and said, “Both in whatever order makes the most sense.”
Crash sighed louder, “So Hekeriki, you really were intent on building your own Time Shredder. This eye i was using allows one to see a person’s future or their past. It seems there was a majority of timelines where Maverick here kicked you out for being a stooge for the Temporal Enforcement Agency.
In quite a few of them, you decide you know better and try and build your own Time Shredder despite all the warnings…”
“So what did she do, strap a computer to a Da’uhnb time gland?” Ryder asked eagerly.
“No she never could discover how to make one, thank god. She recovered a working Time Shredder from one of the victims of the Four Horsemen. Plugged it into a network of nanites to try and get exact and precise time travel going.”
“But Time Shredders don’t allow that level of precision because of how they use Annihilation to rip apart reality and knit it back together,” said Ryder with growing concern.
“Yes and that Time Shredder is now leaking those nanites into all places in the timeline where Hekeriki is.
In fact if we had a way to test it, I bet she is leaking temporal paradox everywhere she has been going since she made the conscious decision to build her own Time Shredder setting that path in motion. Worse yet since that future Hekeriki is using a Time Shredder any change we make to the present Hekeriki won’t have any affect on her at all. No change in memories, no difference in the future one’s behavior.
The damage is done…”
“Oh shit,” said Ryder with tears in his eyes, “You are saying intelligent nanoplague is spreading across time.”
“These nanites are spreading across time…but luckily they are not intelligent. As a result they haven’t become a nanoplague yet,” Crash said slowly, “Until they reach a machine mind.
If they encountered the Unity, the Fleets of Fate or even the E-strain, can you imagine how easily they could overwrite these temporally spreading nanites with their own malicious code…?”
Ryder said, “All it would take is a single malicious Technomancer.
We need to get Hekeriki off Earth immediately.
You mentioned earlier having friends on the penal colony of Refuge? Ones with an Army? If I get a vote, my vote is take her there and see if we can stop the spread of these nanites.”
Crash looked her in the eyes and solemnly said, “Hekeriki, you are going to see things and hear things from different timelines. Some will be confusing and conflictory to our timeline. It is these time shredder connected nanites that are doing this to you.
Your trigger to notice these changes seem to be the words Time Stop. It seems the version of you who initiated this nanite threat originally was on a timeline where you were sent to seek a Psychic with Time Stop instead of Time Lock. Now nanites from that alternate timeline have already infected your future self and are on their way to infecting you. Do not let the alternate timelines confuse you…we can fix this…”
Ryder asked quietly, “We can?”
Hekeriki: She threw up on the floor. “Dying here. Could we talk and move?”
“Anyhow, I have a clue who the “victim” was. Would this be a bad time to mention I know who’s and what’s is causing this? Promise not to freak out because this is going to be hard to stomach.”
Maverick looked at Hekeriki and his entire mannerism changed. His voice got lower and his eyes narrowed.
"I get it… you think you know better. We all go through that at times. But here are the facts.
Fact 1: You are a double agent working for the TEA.
Fact 2: You wanted a Time Shredder so bad that you forced it.
Fact 3: The TEA doesn’t use Time Shredders, they had Da’uhnb drop off their agents.
So whenever your future self decided to use this nano-enhanced Time Shredder that person became a Temporal Criminal AND became a fundamentally different person than you Hekeriki.
Let me repeat that to be clear, the Hekeriki who is Time Shredding around is not you. It is something created by the nanite-“enhanced” Time Shredder. And the worse part is that future Hekeriki is going to think its the same being as you. Its not.
This is not time travel, Kid. This is Time Shredding.
As the future Hekeriki tries to alter time, their time shredder is actually instead crossing back and forth between different timelines. They probably think they are sending you messages, but instead spawing off hundreds of alternate timeline versions of you, who in their own timeline think they are being helped out from the future. And each time the different time shredder being used is trying to reknit the realities together it is failing, because instead of moving this future Hekeriki, its moving everything connected by these nanites and trying to reknit it and failing.
We do have to go, and go now. No offense Hekeriki, but right now you are just not ready to be a member of the Resistance.
I’ll take you to neutral ground. Ryder and Crash will look after you until I track down this future you and destroy it before more damage is done.
Ryder shut off the Time Lock. We are going…"
Maverick lifted up his time shredder and pressed the button. The last thing they all would have seen before shredding out, was the blue flashes of Da’uhnb Soldiers rushing the resistance base.