Castle Roland


by Al Norris

In Progress

Chapter 6

Published: 1 Oct 15


Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 12, 2012
Scireians Citadel

Scireians LogoThe past week had seen more advances in the theoretical sciences than had happened in the past fifty years. All because of a seemingly random set of occurrences that had deposited interlopers from other universes onto Jens Winklers' world.

The one thing that bothered Jens, and all of the departments under him, was the fact that they still had no idea of why it happened, or who might have been behind these translocations (if indeed any intelligence was behind the translocations).

Regardless, it didn't stop the teams from teasing out the secrets of the irregularities in the quantum signatures of the structures, or the beings that had come through some kind of rift or portal from their parent universe to this one.

By thoroughly examining all the data collected at the various sites, the teams of physicists and engineers had not only been able to unravel where these beings had come from, but had built the necessary machines to send an artifact back to that universe. The physicists had laid out the theoretical foundations and the engineers had built the mechanisms to test the theories as a practical application.

The first attempt had gone fairly well. A simple device that would send back telemetry of the area it was sent to. The result was ambiguous at best, and served to remind the engineers of other simple facts.

The test was conducted within the mountains where the Citadel was located. If the Earth analogue was as similar as they thought, then the device would materialize within a mountain on that Earth. It did. Where the displaced matter went, they still weren't sure. It was theorized that it simply changed form. Another theory said that the displaced matter was pushed out and existed in its constituent form between the 'branes'. In any event, the trial was a success. The engineers had theorized that they could send and receive signals by means of graviton excitation. It worked.

In the following days, many more tests were conducted, proving that they could manipulate the geophysical area where they translocated their sensors. They could send commands to the sensors and the sensors could send the telemetry back to them.

They also discovered that the time stream between the universes appeared to be the same. November of 2012 was November of 2012 in both Universes. Other tests seemed to prove that they couldn't move the sensor within the time stream.

The engineers were certain that they could overcome these limits, eventually. The math that the physicists had developed said they could. The engineers just needed to develop the proper machinery.

Then the physicists handed the engineers a new problem. Certain of the quantum signatures of the living beings were different enough from other beings and the actual translocated matter they had taken their measurements with. There was a kind of temporal flux mixed within the other quantum signatures.

If the math was correct, it meant that the quantum signatures were aligning to Universe Prime. This would stop, if the people that came through the portals were sent back to their own universe. The alignment would then quickly realign to their own dimension.

In either event, as alignment was achieved, in either universe, the temporal flux would align itself by acting on the organism, causing it to age. How much they would age was currently uncertain. Their math was not developed enough to give a precise answer, but what they could determine was that this aging process would be somewhere between three to ten years. What was not disputed was that this would happen regardless of which universe the beings were in.

What the math did show was that these people had somehow been traveling through time in their own universe, without the benefit, or the means, to properly correct the temporal signatures that were superimposed upon their quantum signatures.

By Thursday the 15th, the various reports and conclusions were in Katja's hands. After reading through the reports, she called for another council meeting, where it was decided to offer these people assistance in getting home. For the first time since the Scireians had come to this continent, they were about to open themselves to the Outside. Even if that contact was limited in scope.

Now all they had to do was to find where these people were.

When the UNIT had returned to their base on Bermuda, they had spent most of Friday in one form of relaxation or another. Adam and Logan were intent on resting.

Saturday had been spent in restoring the old Navy base to some semblance of military order. Something they had started to do, but had been interrupted several times by various missions.

It seemed that they had been going full tilt, ever since they found themselves thrown into this new universe. Now, with the current operation over, most of the restoration completed and nothing on their near horizon, it was time to rest and reassess their situation.

Something the UNIT had not had time to really do, since the rescue of Jack Bryce. The current operation had the UNIT appalled at what they had found at Disney World. The implications of somebody wanting to start the same type of genetic experimentation in this world, that had created them in their home universe, had very far reaching consequences.

Sunday morning, Adam and Logan had just returned from the chow hall and began to relax in their quarters when there was a knock on their door. "Enter, it's open!" Adam shouted from his seat next to Logan.

"Um, Adam?" Tommy peeks around the door frame, "You, um, you guys remember that C-Ray doctor lady, from back when we rescued Jack? Sabi... uh Sabrina?"

"Tommy? You know you can come in, don't you?" Logan says, then wrinkled his eyebrows, "You mean she's here? As in, right behind you?"

"Um, yeah"

"How did she get here.... don't just stand there, Tommy! Bring her in!" Both Logan and Adam stood and turned around to greet Sabrina and a mystery woman that appeared to be with her.

Tommy opened the door and with a wave of his arm, ushered in Sabrina Ziegler and a taller, but younger, girl. "Adam, Logan? It is good to see you both again." Turning slightly towards the other girl, she continued, "May I present our Council Leader, Katja Werner. She has some, er, interesting data to present to you.

"Logan looked perturbed. "Excuse me, but just how did you get here? I heard no vehicles approach."

"Yes, well, I suspect that Sabrina didn't explain that our vehicles travel by using magnetic lines of force. You might call it moving along the gravitic lines of force that envelops the Earth. Nor do I think she explained that we have our own means of stealth, somewhat similar to the stealth capability you employ. Although, not nearly as good." The tall blue-eyed blond then smiled at the confused look on Adam's face.

"Adam, don't worry. You come from a universe that is far in advance of this one. You have technology that this world may not discover for decades, if not hundreds of years. Outside of the normal Earth environments my people are not the norm. Our technology is almost as advanced as yours. In some cases I believe that it surpasses what you know. Sabrina has shown you our medical scanners? Can you say that your 'tricorders' can do as much?" Adam shakes his head. "I thought as much."

"Now, shall I get to the point of why we are here?" Katja then gave Logan a stern look. "Logan, as good as you are... as powerful a telepath as you seem to be, you can not get through our mind shields. They are bio-engineered to block all telepathic signals. We are both wearing the devices, so save your energies."

Logan visibly relaxed. He had never, in this world, found anything that could block his abilities. The fact that not only had these people blocked him, but could actually tell that he was trying to break their screens, said a lot. It also said a lot about the technology at their command. Not mechanical, but organic, she had said.

Logan brought himself back to the conversation, as Katja had continued. "Since the day that we discovered you, we have monitored your progress as your nuclear resonances have begun to come into alignment with our universe. Along the way, we have made some interesting discoveries. One of which is the exact resonance of your home universe. We believe we can get you and your people back to your home... well, we are 99.99% sure. There is always the chance you will simply cease to exist.

"We would have come sooner with this news, but it was just two days ago that our research proved fruitful." Katja sighed. "Then we had to find where your group had gone to… and well, you have been a busy bunch of people. We understand you have completed your current missions, so we have come to you with our findings and proposals."

At this point, all three kids were grinning ear-to-ear. A Way Home! This had to be the best news they had heard since their arrival in this strange universe. But something about the way Katja looked had Logan dropping his grin. "Katja, you look as if this is a double-edged sword. Please, come and sit down with us. I suspect this might take a while."

"All right. Let me start this way." Both Katja and Sabrina moved over to one of the couches and sat down. "In our world, there were several competing theories of how the universe is constructed. One of the prevailing theories revolves around the idea that there are many different dimensions, in all of which the sub-atomic particles 'vibrate' at many different levels. In each universe, these particles all 'vibrate' in the same manner. That literally marks a particle, or substance, with a unique signature that can be traced back to its source universe, or 'brane' as it is called.

"When Sabrina got caught up in your rescue of Jack Bryce, she noticed several things that made it necessary to do complete scans on some of your people. Meanwhile, we also noticed certain subtle changes in the structure of the Earth's gravitic and magnetic fields. Your base in Utah appeared complete, out of nowhere. It kind of gets worse from this point on...

"You see, we were able to backtrack to a previous occurrence in Montana. Then there was your appearance. About that same time, there was another appearance in Las Vegas, Nevada. A final appearance was made in Big Bear Lake, in California. I will get to how these are all connected in a moment. Though by the looks on your faces, you know about these other anomalies.

"From all of our observations, we were able to determine that none of you originated in our universe. Your quantum signatures, while close, did not match the signatures of this universe.

"Without getting more technical than we have to, we have the equipment to open a... um... portal... a sort of doorway back to your universe. There are two problems, however. First is that your own quantum signatures are attempting to match themselves to this universe. You might have already noticed that you are not nearly as strong in respect to your mental abilities, as you were in your own universe. As that happens, you will grow less strong in your mental abilities. That indicates that while the physical laws of both universes are nearly the same, they are different enough to affect certain aspects of your mental abilities. Therefore, as your signatures change to match our universe, your 'powers', for lack of a better term, will be less than what you have been used to. It appears that in our universe, mental abilities are harder to initiate and maintain, than where you come from. We haven't quite figured out why yet, but we are working on an understanding of the mechanisms.

"Now add to this that the window of opportunity to send you back closes in a bit less than fifty hours. By that time, your signatures will have essentially matched this universe and any attempt to send you back would cause you to cease to exist. Your quantum particles would not be able to reverse and rematch. They would simply wink out of that branes sphere. We think they might reappear here, but likely in a disassociated state." Katja then looked at Logan, who seemed to be following what was being said, while Adam had this rather blank look on his face.

"I believe I'm following you, Katja," remarked Logan. "We called it 'String Theory' back in our universe."

"Yes Logan, that's what we call it here. But there is yet another problem, that we think will manifest itself in your own 'brane'. We know it will manifest here."

"OK." Adam finally said. "We can go home, but we have a very short window of time to decide if that's what we want to do. We know that our abilities are less than what they were in our own universe and you are saying that should we stay here, they will become even less. I think I follow that. You are also saying that there is another problem that will happen, if we stay here, and may be likely to happen even if we go back?" Adam looked at the girl, who nodded at him. "What is this other problem and how severe is it?"

Sabrina looked at Katja and nodded, to prompt her to explain.

Katja looked down at her feet, as she thought about how she would say what needed to be said. Looking up, she had an expression that could be said to be worried. With a deep sigh, she began. "Adam, there are certain resonances that correspond to time. After examining the scans that Sabrina took of Logan and yourself and comparing them to Tommy and Fluffy, we have come to the conclusion that you folks have been messing with the time-stream. Whether intentionally or not, these resonances will also come into balance. As they do, they will affect your organic selves.

"What this means is that regardless of whether you stay here or go back, you are all going to age. When your quantum signatures begin to align, in either universe, all the signatures will align.

"You have told Sabrina that you came from the year 2004, in your universe, but arrived in 2012, in ours. What we know about your universe is that time moves in almost the same direction and length. There is a minor variation, but not enough to worry about. So this means that whatever mechanism brought you here, moved you through both time and space. With what we think we know, we would not see this as a major problem. It is the discrete quantum signatures that are bothering our scientists. They are all over the place. Some are from what we would consider the past. Some are from the future.

"Our best guess is that each of you will age from three to ten years. That is if you stay here. If you decide to go back, we cannot guess how much you might age. There are simply too many variables to make even an educated guess, mostly because you will be going back to this, the current time frame. Not eight years ago. You see, while we have been able to establish a portal to your home dimension, it is the same year there as it is here. We simply have not been able to establish a portal that corresponds to what we would consider the past.

"Now, I said that I would get to the part of how the Montana, Nevada, California and Utah occurrences are related. The Montana episode was long enough ago that, if anyone from your universe was there, they have already come into alignment. There is no going back for them. Since there was no temporal aging in those individuals, we suspect that they were not subjected to the same temporal stressors you have been subjected to.

"Our scientists fear that subjecting their quantum mass to another journey across 'branes' would cause their destruction. Actually, we are evenly split on the outcome. Half say they would realign, half say they would disassociate. All agree that it is too dangerous to attempt to return those from Montana."

Logan nodded that he understood. "We know those people. They were and are a part of the UNIT."

Sabrina nodded. "There were three events that occurred in California. One event we know came from your universe. The other two overlapped each other. As near as we can tell, one was also from your universe, but the other was from yet a different universe. There was enough overlap that we couldn't determine, within reasonable accuracy, the relevant quantum signatures. Because of that, we cannot return anyone that came through from this second universe to their home. For that, we are sorry, but there is simply no way to do it and be safe."

Logan thought for a moment, before he nodded that he understood. "Yes, there were people that came through that portal. They will be sorry that they cannot go home." Logan sighed. "Now, you said we would age. Our people in Montana didn't. So why would we?"

Sabrina looked at Logan and replied, "It is unknown. We would have had to have taken scans of them, before they aligned, to answer that. But, I would hazard a guess that whatever they did was not the same as what you have done.

"I believe I would need to scan each of you, to determine who among you would be subjected to this temporal aging process. I have brought a new type of scanner with me, to process that information. Although, if you can think of something, dealing with time, that you and Adam have done, but not Tommy and Fluffy, it might narrow down who could be affected."

Adam swallowed, "Well, we have all been through the Tardis, haven't we Logan?"

"Yes, so that can't be the problem. Besides, the Doctor being a Time Lord would have fixed any resonance problems that the Tardis might have caused. Hmm…"

"I'm not at all sure that I want to know about such a god-like being." Sabrina mused. "Your home universe must have been very strange compared to this one."

"Yeah." Logan said, still thinking. "I can't come up with anything other than Archnania, Adam. Only the core UNIT was there. But that place was outside of the time-flow!"

Katja looked at the two leaders, "Nothing is truly outside of time. Not if it exists within any of the 'branes'. I suspect that this place may be the cause of what we have recorded. May we take scans of all of your UNIT that are here? That way we can compare those of you that did go to this place, against others of your universe. It may eliminate other possibilities. At the very least, we will know who else might be affected by this temporal phenomena."Katja folded her hands in her lap as she sat back. Plainly, this was not something that she had wanted to do.

Logan stood up. "Ladies? Can you take scans from a distance? Do you have to be close-up to do the comparisons?"

"Scans can be taken from about fifteen meters. It will take a bit longer… about one minute for each scan, versus only a few seconds if we are as close as as we are here." Sabrina told them.

"Tommy? Would you mind taking the ladies around and meeting with all the UNIT members? You can introduce them as doctors who might be staying here to help with the wounded and the refuges." As Logan said this, there was a deep growl from Fluffy. "Oh, and Fluffy, you too!"

Fluffy stood up and flicked her tail, obviously a bit annoyed with Logan. The two Scireian ladies got up and, with Tommy and Fluffy, headed out the door as Logan and Adam looked on. Logan was sure he caught Sabrina smirking as she went out the door.

"So Tommy, is that everyone?" Sabrina asked.

"Um, no Sabi. There's the Chipmunks and Daileass. They're actually waiting for you back in Adam and Logan's room."

"Well then, let's head back that way, while the computers on our ship are crunching the numbers."

"You came in a ship, Sabi? When did you get here? Where is it? What's it look like? Can I see it?"

Katja smiled while Sabrina laughed, "Hold on Tommy. Maybe, if you ask Katja really nice, she just might let you see it."

It only took a couple of minutes for the small group to make their way back to the main house. A knock on the door, and Logan opened it and ushered them in.

"Sabrina," Logan motioned to the four seated boys, "The triplets are Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Affectionately called, 'The Chipmunks', by everyone. The the older kid is Daileass. These four comprise our Intelligence Corps." Katja smiled and nodded to them, while Sabrina retrieved her scanner. "Guys, the tall blond is Katja Werner, the leader of the Scirerian Council and the pretty brunette is Sabrina Zeigler, a doctor, and what they call an Outside Operative. As I explained, they think they have a way home for us. They need to scan you to try and figure out how bad the time-effect will be on a sudden growth spurt they expect will happen, whether or not we go home."

The boys watched Sabrina as she pointed a hand-held device at Alvin. A few seconds passed and there was a soft tone. Sabrina looked down to read the information and her eyebrows scrunched up. At this, she heard some giggles and looked up.

On the couch, the three younger boys were all smiles, while Daileass simply had what could be called an "angelic" look.

Nonplussed, Sabrina scanned Simon. Again a soft tone, and Sabrina's eyebrows scrunched together even tighter. The third scan elicited the same reaction, and even more giggles came from the couch.

Sabrina pointed the device at Daileass. It began its scan and there is a sudden low buzz. Sabrina looked at the data and confusion was evident on her face. Sabrina reached into her hip pouch, brought out another device, which she hooked to the scanner and began again. After a few seconds, the soft tone was heard. Sabrina looked down and a look of utter fear crossed her face.

"So, um, Sabrina," Daileass began, still with that angelic look on his face, "what does that scanner-thingy tell you about us? Anything interesting?"

Sabrina looked up, as the Chipmunks were almost falling off the couch with their laughter!

Confused, Sabrina looked at Logan. "So what the hell is going on here?" She says. Trying her damnedest to keep her voice and manner composed. "Those three," she points to the Chipmunks, "are clones of you, except for their brains. Which aren't brains at all, but some kind of electronic device, hooked into their organic structures. And this boy," she turned to look directly at Daileass, "isn't a boy at all. He's some kind of organic mechanical hybrid. And his brain, or central processing unit, is even stranger than theirs!" She waved her hand in the general direction of the Chipmunks. "In the science fiction terms of today, I would call him an android. Even if his 'brain' is smaller than theirs."

"See Daileass! I told you that you had a smaller brain than we did!" Theodore quips.

"It's not the size that matters, guys. It's how you use it" Daileass says, while raising his eyebrows a couple of times. Sabrina simply couldn't stand it anymore and broke up laughing at Daileass' joke.

After she caught her breath, Daileass stood up and motioned the chipmunks to follow him. "Come on guys. Our work here, is done." And with that, they left the room.

Katja just stood there for a moment, then looked at Adam, "Adam? What just happened?"

Adam shook his head at Logan and sighed. "Katja, Sabrina? Would you care to sit down, and I'll try to explain."

Sabrina leaned forward, from her easy chair and looked at all three kids.

"The scans confirm, that whatever this Archnania place is, it is probably the cause of the accelerated aging.

"Guys, there is one more thing you need to be aware of. This aging process is going to be extremely rapid and will demand more energy than your bodies can normally generate. Since this will all occur at the cellular level, you will need a high protein, high electrolyte diet. This also includes hormonal supplements and mega vitamins, especially megadoses of A, D, C and calcium... oh, and lots and lots of water. All of this, almost constantly, for a period of about two days. This means you will be hooked to intravenous injectors. Otherwise, your body will simply burn itself up. We can supply what you will need, here, in this universe. I can give you a list of what you will need, should you decide to go back, but will your people have the time to synthesize everything you will need, before you actually need it?"

Adam interrupted to say, "Yes. Our sciences are advanced enough to literally synthesize whatever we need, on demand. Logan? The Federation's food replicators should be able to handle that, I think. I believe our medical facilities will also be able to force-feed the nutrients in the same manner your devices are able to do."

"Replicators? Uh, finally," Sabrina tells them, "you are going to need to exercise, just as constantly. Otherwise the muscle tissue you will be growing will not be useful to you for months, at the least. Regardless of your genetic, um, enhancements, without the constant exercise, you will not have any muscle tone at all. And do I need to mention your bone structure? Without the constant exercise, stressing your systems, your bone density will decrease to the point a simple fracture will be the least of your worries." Sabrina's face takes on a rather sinister smile. "Will this be painful? Yes. But as we like to say in our world, 'no pain, no gain'." Sabrina's expression changed to one of concern, as she looked directly at Logan. "Logan, because you are not genetically enhanced, like the others, this is going to even more painful for you."

"So, the offer to send us back to our own universe, at this point in time," Adam says, while Logan cringes at the pun, "is to those of us that appeared in Utah, Nevada and California?"

"Essentially, yes. There is one point I would like you to take into consideration." Sabrina answered.

"You know about this 'Army of God' group. Our people would prefer to remain in the background, and not fight them openly. There are reasons for that, which I will explain in a moment. Right now, I believe you know enough about them to want to take them on, for yourselves.

"As I said a few days ago, we can help you with certain things."

Katja cleared her throat, as she took up the conversation. "Ahem. Have you wondered, at all, who or what destroyed a good portion of this world's satellites?"

"Yes. We know it couldn't have been any of the factions we know about, from this world..." Adam started to say.

"I noticed your phrasing." Katja interrupts. "So you know, or suspect, that something from off-world is responsible." This was a statement and not a question. "What we have learned is that a very high energy weapon of some sort was used to target and destroy all active satellites within a line of sight area, centered over California, from about 1600 Km from the surface. This accounts for something like 60% of the active satellites in orbit.

"There were other high energy signatures, very tightly beamed, shortly after that. What little we have been able to learn was that this was some kind of transportation device. These, um, beings were stealing people from our planet."

"We have many, many questions and damned few answers."

"Our people are much more concerned about this possible threat to our world, than the one posed by the AoG."

Sabrina, who was watching the reactions of Adam and Logan, nodded to herself. "Katja, they know something about this that they are not saying."

"I believe you are correct, Sabrina." Katja had also been watching the reactions of the two boys. "However, before we explore that idea more fully, Adam and Logan need to tell us whether or not they wish to return to their home, or stay with us, making this universe their new home.

"If they wish to leave, then it will be up to our people to defend against not just the AoG, but also this new threat." With that, both Katja and Sabrina sat back and waited for the answer.

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