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PostPosted: Tue Aug 3, '10, 9:04 pm
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Part 2 - The chamber of knowledge

As he expected, the room was dark and quiet. There wasn't much use in lighting a room no one ever visited. Trying not to trip and fall, Freeman wondered. "All these defensive and survival techniques and not a single one used to produce some light…" And, as if the room heard his thoughts, a crystal began to glow with a dim blue light that gradually became brighter. "Well, that's better." Freeman said out loud, before venturing further in.

The room was surprisingly large. Freeman imagined that with as many secrets accumulated over so many centuries, there was such a need for space. It crossed his mind that he could spend the next ten years, just being here, reading and learning. Such a treat, however, would not be his. His mission was too important. Perhaps in fifty years, when he would be too old to fight, he could come here and learn it all. He would need to survive that long of course, and in light of recent events, his longevity became less than certain.

One of the first things he noticed in the inner sanctum was the abundance of books. Real books, the likes he had not seen in years. Since his new life on Algo, he hadn't seen much more than a dozen of them in the whole planetary system. Books were overrated in a world where computers and data pads were more abundant than sentient beings. He took a few seconds to admire them, so many titles, most of them in old dezolitian which he knew nothing of. "A shame", he thought. He smirked as he imagined himself asking Tyrus for a little help with language translation. Laughing, he felt a sharp pain somewhere around his upper left ribs, reminding him that Tyrus was no translator and that his reason to be here was other than just dreaming over books, however interesting they might be.

It took him a whole hour before he could find what he was looking for. It lay on a table, among other intricate devices that had uses he could not even guess. At first, he thought it was just an ornament, shaped like a ten inches tall spire, but he remembered that Espers didn't care much for ornaments. The general looked closer and identified it without too much trouble. It was a holographic displayer; all it needed was to be activated. It took Freeman a few seconds of careful manipulation to find the controls and bring the little machine to life. It hummed softly as a tridimensional schematic of the Algo system began to appear.

At first, a bright sphere, the sun of Algo. It took a while for the rest to appear. The first planet to show up was of course the green sphere of Palm. Long ago, before technology sprang, before King Waizz Landale united the warring Palman tribes, the planet was green. Now, even though it kept its breathtaking beauty, it was more of a silver sphere, its space unevenly shared by cities and forest parks. All in all, it reminded Freeman of a utopia earth. He stopped daydreaming as the second sphere appeared, yellow like the sand of her deserts, his beautiful Mota slowly showed her golden haze. The floating map showed it as such because it had been recorded long ago, but Mota was more green that golden now. With the influence of the Motherbrain, large forests and jungles were speckling Mota's surface, bringing more life to Algo's largest planet. That planet was the symbol of Algo's freedom, and it would always be Freeman's home. Finally, a bright blue sphere slowly appeared. Good old Dezo, never changing, except for the large gap of the abandoned Skure's space port (which of course did not show on the holo-map). Freeman wondered just how hard it would be to convince the government to allow the necessary budgets so he could restore this great space port and give Dezo a more civilized look. "Never changing? Oh well…" Freeman thought as he was already re-drawing the whole planet to a way he saw fit.

Minutes passed, but it seemed all the holo-map wanted to show him. "I need to see Ryucross." He realized he had just said that out loud. But the map, unlike the room, seemed not to care for what the general wanted. Freeman took a few seconds to ponder. He knew that Ryucross' orbit was elliptic and that it was certainly far from the other three planets. He looked around in the room but didn't see a floating sphere anywhere. So Freeman looked around for books. It took him another two hours of intensive searching. He was getting thirsty, tired and the pain from the wounds inflicted in his last battle were making him impatient. After quickly looking through three dozen books, he finally found what he was looking for. It looked like a simple astronomy book but Freeman soon realized that it was in fact a guide to Algo, written by the Espers. There was indeed a section on Ryucross, at the end.

"Ryucross is made entirely out of crystal. It has no core and no sky, but the power of the ancient protectors endows it with breathable air. Contact with the protectors was broken several millennia ago, they are all but gone. We cannot communicate with them, nor visit them since Ryucross is infested with the most powerful armies of the Dark Force. Lutz prophesied that a group of heroes would visit Ryucross many centuries after his passing.

Physically, Ryucross is as small as a large asteroid, but it is hidden from the sky. Its ellipsoid orbit allows it to be close to the other planets only a few months every one thousand year. When it comes close, the only way to see it is through the mystical eye of Algo, but it has been missing since the Motherbrain destroyed most of the Esper dwellings, many years ago."

Freeman smiled; his voice was filled with a certain satisfaction. "The eye of Algo. That's how they used to call it." The general always knew the relic by its real name, the name it received when it was created by the first generations of Espers. Before the end of the war with Palm, he had spent a lot of time, investing many of his closest allies to find that relic, that "eye of Algo". They had found it of course. His brightest scientists reverse-engineered it to learn its secrets. They used the knowledge they learned from it to create Freeman's ace weapon: the cloaking technology for Mota's fleet. Now, his command staff claimed that the relic was useless since it had revealed all of its secrets. Freeman thought otherwise. He knew that the precious relic still has its uses, its deepest secrets that no engineer could find or understand. That's why it never left him. It was in a pouch on his belt, tied to him by a small and delicate but nearly unbreakable laconia chain.

The general opened the belt pouch and lovingly took the relic in his hands. It looked like a spherical crystal mounted on a small silverish laconia frame. With eyes still filled with wonder, he looked in the crystal where he could see all the colors of creation at once. Freeman pointed it toward the holographic displayer as he spoke to himself. "The eye of Algo… The Aeroprism"

The tridimensional display shimmered as a small beam of light flew from the Aeroprism toward it. Freeman waited, but Ryucross did not appear. A soft feminine voice finally spoke. "Illumia duura dzolm. Alius haald dvoris elao surima dels." Freeman recognized the ancient dezolitian accent. "I do not understand you. Do you have means to communicate using my language?" The holomap shimmered for a few seconds before the voice spoke again. "Projection system fully activated. Please specify the date for precise planetary location." Relieved, Freeman answered with a solemn voice. "Beginning of fourth quarter, 1285 AW". A few seconds passed and the voice answered. "Date is not recognized." Freeman realized that the device probably dated from before the current calendar, which meant that it was a true genuine artifact of the protector race. He felt the frustration from his lack of knowledge and realized it might take him days of intensive reading before he could synchronize events to find what was the date according to the protector race calendar. His ships were in orbit, his crew waiting for him. He sharply stood up, slightly annoyed.

"Azu agraal nubraos Elrein seiin, uria Algol." A voice said behind him. Freeman turned around and saw warmaster Tyrus standing near the door. "Two thirds of the sixty seventh cycle of the Elrein comet around Algo. The protectors worshipped the light of this comet and used it to date their calendar. All knowledge is not yet lost General."
Freeman looked at Tyrus and wanted to ask "Why?", but found only one word to say. "Thanks." Tyrus did not smile, but he did answer. "Your quest is important and you've been an ally to the Espers. If I'm going to allow you in, it would be fruitless to let you leave so close to your goal."

The feminine voice spoke once more as it caught both their attention. "Date recognized, stand by." A few seconds passed and nothing seemed to happen. The general looked everywhere but Ryucross still did not appear. He however noticed that Tyrus' eyes opened a little wider as he spoke. "An omen?" Freeman lowered his head and looked. The location of Ryucross finally had appeared on the map. It floated, a few feet away from the projection of the other planets, right where Freeman was standing. From Tyrus' point of view, Ryucross appeared inside Freeman's chest, right inside his heart…

Last edited by Aeroprism on Tue Aug 3, '10, 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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