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The Latent Seed by mike2348uk

© mike2348uk

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THE LATENT SEED





The story so far.

A young fourteen year old boy, named Christopher Alexander, visits Crete for the first time and is somehow transported back in time to ancient Knossos.
On a second trip two years later, he is dragged down to a cave beneath the waves. There he meets an alien, named Menos, a Messarian, who has been keeping an enemy to mankind a prisoner for a very long time. Christopher is warned that this enemy can cause madness by telepathy, for he is from another universe called Chaos, which is converging with Earth’s universe. A collision could be fatal to both universes. Only one person believes his bizarre story. His girlfriend Maria.

Later he suffers a terrible tragedy when his girlfriend Maria is murdered. He has a mental breakdown and is sectioned to a secure psychiatric hospital. There the voice of Menos plagues him and pleads with him to write his life story. Reluctantly, Christopher agrees.

The psychiatrist treating Christopher argues that Chaos is only a fictional creation because Christopher's life is in chaos. He must accept the truth that he is suffering from schizophrenia.

Chapter 8

Star Watcher

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“Well Christopher---I need to tell you how our situation became extremely serious and worrying. We received an instant message from one of our trusted Star Watchers. I will allow him to tell you his tale.”

Christopher listened and then wrote his next chapter.

On one particular evening, in a distant galaxy, a sickening chill ascended the body of Star Watcher 1768. It started in his lower abdomen, rose through his thorax, and reached the very tips of his antennae. He shivered with trepidation and utter disbelief at the stupidity of humanity. He could not understand the human lust for power and riches. Now, once more, humans were about to enter the notorious area called the Storm Triangle which lay within a void that some named the Cold Spot. The ship was five million miles away and closing. The crew would soon awaken from hibernation and guide their ship to its’ final destination.

Like his entire race, Star Watcher 1768 was thorough, fastidious and very little escaped his scrutiny. He was a master of how to absorb dark energy and how to use quantum entanglement in surveying massive areas of space within a single time unit. It was a gift that all Star Watchers had been given by the Creator of all things. One condition, use it wisely. Not just for themselves but as an aid for others. Like the Messarians, who they now served, they were once feared as a war-like race. But war had taken too many lives. At the close of the last war with Chaos, they were close to extinction. In the post war period they turned their thoughts away
from violence. They embraced peace and were rewarded and they prospered. Star watcher 1768 wanted to help the humans aboard the ship he had detected. Direct contact was not allowed. He could only watch and report.

Like his entire race, Star Watcher 1768 was thorough, fastidious and very little escaped his scrutiny. He was a master of how to absorb dark energy and how to use quantum entanglement in surveying massive areas of space within a single time unit. It was a gift that all Star Watchers had been given by the Creator of all things, so that they could use it wisely, not just for themselves but as an aid for others.

As usual, Star Watchers’ son brought him his evening refreshment. The boy bowed to his father. Star Watcher returned the bow in acceptance of the boys’ respect, as was the custom. Star Watcher took a sip of sustenance before speaking.

“Sit my dear son, and join me tonight for my vigil. After much thought and heart searching, tonight’s intended lesson has changed. An occurrence of great significance is taking place. A very long time ago another universe converged with ours. In certain areas this convergence caused the laws of nature to be drastically altered. This coming together caused many species to become extinct. Now—right now-- it could well be happening again. Recently, we have mourned three such extinctions within our own star cluster.”
Star Watcher paused to wipe away a tear.

“There is an area of space we call The Cold Spot. It lies in an empty region of our universe. Originally, it was plagued by terrible storms, when stars were sucked away from our universe and into this other one. It became impossible for life as we know it, to exist there. It was too chaotic. Particles that were common in our universe were stripped of all their energies there.”
Star Watcher paused for more refreshment. Then he continued.
“Where was I? Ah—yes, but there is one form of life that can exist and even thrive there. This kind of life was not made of normal matter. We called them ‘the Creatures of Chaos,’ because we do not know what they called themselves. No dialogue was ever recorded between the two universes. But this life form can tolerate, in some small way, the conditions for life in our universe. They can exist as some form of gas, like smoke beings and are hard to detect by humans.

“They entered our universe and destroyed many civilisations and terrorised others with their ferocity. They were able to read human minds and caused many humans to go insane and fight against each other. Fortunately, we Star Watchers were unaffected and not blind to their transgressions. We realised they were unaware of our ability to penetrate their barriers of dark matter. We owed it to the whole of our galaxy and maybe our whole universe to find ways to thwart their evil intensions. So we sent all the information we gathered to the Guardians of the Celestial Spirit, the Messarians, who lived, and still do, on the holy, but secret planet of Messaria. It was they who finally defeated these creatures, and their physical bodies were chained to keep them imprisoned on worlds within the Storm Triangle. We advised human beings not to go there. But now, once more, humans are entering the Storm Triangle.”

“But father, why are they doing that if it is so dangerous?”
Star Watcher paused to sip some more of his soup.
“What do you get if you crush carbon with a sustained heavy weight for a long time?”
“You get diamonds father”.
“Exactly, that is why humans are so persistent in going there. Over the centuries, many entered but only one came back. That should have deterred humans from ever going there. But apart from the Messarians, humans do not learn from their history. They keep on making the same mistakes.

“I know, my dear son, you have not been properly prepared for this assignment and your antennae are not yet fully mature, so I will amplify my senses to aid your reception.”

“Remember, my dear son, you can disconnect at any time if what you see upsets you.”
“Do you understand?”
“Yes Father.”
“Good. Let us begin.”

Star Watcher's son watched and listened with fascination as the images and sounds engulfed him via his father's reception.
Star Watcher stretched out his golden wings and wrapped them around his son. Beneath, both minds became one and the fabric of space gave up its secrets to them.

Star Watcher and his son saw, with great clarity, the Thorian mining vessel gliding stealthily towards its destination. The crew of three Thorians woke from a deep sleep and feeling refreshed they switched on their viewing screens. The on board computers began analysing the now uninhabited worlds that lay inside the newly-widened boundaries of the Storm Triangle. Up ahead were four warning buoys which they ignored.

But one of them, robotics expert Gregg Annsot was having second thoughts.
“I am not sure about this Jon. Are you sure this is safe?”
“Bloody hell Greg-- How many bloody times---You should never have come.
Haven’t you understood anything?”
.
“Nobody has ever had what we now have, Gregg. I have not spent all these years creating this device to turn back now. Don’t you want to be rich beyond your wildest dreams?”
“Of course I do. I just feel uncomfortable now. We don’t really know what happens when Critical Eccentricity is reached.” Jon rose from his seat and moved closer and gave Gregg a fatherly pat on his shoulder.
“Look Gregg, we will be in and out in no time. Long before that becomes a problem. I am sure once you start work, your fears will disappear. Trust me on that, Gregg.”

A moment of thoughtful silence followed. The quiet was interrupted by the third member of the crew, geology expert Drew Roberts.
“It’s time to switch on our mobile devices. Set them to relay any changes to the chaotic-particle dampener”.
Gregg still looked concerned and his fingers fumbled as he attempted to switch on his mobile device. Finally, he managed it. It fitted snuggly on his left wrist. His fidgeting didn’t go unnoticed by the other two.
“I hope this works Jon.” Gregg said displaying a nervous smile.
Captain Jon Salloni exhaled with frustration, and shook his long-haired head in despair. But he said nothing.

Jon had spent most of his life in the military and he had spent his savings on buying the mining ship. But after two years of work he was only just above breaking even. Then he discovered the identity of the only man alive who had entered, survived and returned from the Storm Triangle. From this man Jon had obtained the chaotic-particle frequencies, and the amplitude settings of the gravitational waves that had buffeted his ship close to destruction. Jon begun his preparation for this expedition. He had been meticulous, but that was costly and time consuming.
He reflected upon that but it had been worth it. It had been difficult to get a good roboticist willing to risk his life for diamonds. Good roboticists were highly paid and were content but Gregg had a criminal record and his character flaws were well known in the profession. So Jon had no choice, he had to ask Gregg to join the expedition.

Jon’s thoughts were interrupted by Drew.
“Initial dampener reading is 71% effective, and rising.” The other two checked their read outs and agreed.

The Thorian ship now passed through some sort of mist and then a vibrating membrane loomed ahead. The main computer reported the membrane to be made of a totally unknown material. Jon knew it was some sort of ancient alien gateway. At the centre of the membrane, an opening widened enough for the ship to pass through. As it did so, Gregg felt light headed. For a second or two, reality seemed to flicker off and then on again. Being a religious man he said a silent prayer to his god. It didn’t help. He had to endure this three times. Each time the short-lasting strobe effect made him feel like throwing up. He had not felt space sickness like this since his youth. He nervously gave the other two quick glances. Had they experienced the same hollow feeling? If they did they did not show it.

Once the ship was through, Jon asked Drew for another reading.
“Dampener reading is 91% effective.”
“I agree” said Jon.
“Gregg?”
“I agree too, Jon.” The third member of the crew, geologist Drew Londel informed his two colleagues:
“You see Gregg. Its’ working!”
Gregg did not answer. Deep down he still had doubts. He wiped away sweat from his forehead.

Up ahead a graveyard of ghost ships came into view. As they passed by the ghost ships they saw burnt out heaps of twisted and mangled mental. Unrecognisable from what they had once been. Yet, in contrast, others appeared as pristine as when they were first launched. There was no evidence or answer to why they had been abandoned. Jon and Drew seemed oblivious to the tragedies that had happened here.

Not so Gregg.
His insides churned uncomfortably. He heard the cries of the dying and terrible screams of pain. A ghostly red mist swirled around some of the wrecks. He was certain that they were being watched by unseen inhuman eyes, Sweat was now weeping from his armpits. He squirmed uncomfortably as if sitting on red hot coals. He struggled to understand how his two companions could be so stoical.

Gregg kept seeing blurry moving shapes out of the corner of his right eye. He turned his head around quickly to see. Nothing was there. He winkled out his
right contact lens. It was fine. He cleaned it anyway, and put it back.

A moment later, Gregg heard a loud cry. It jolted his whole body.
“I am reading an unbelievable treasure of diamond deposits!”
“Where?” asked Jon.
“That asteroid to our right.”
“I see it!” hollered Jon. Gregg stared wide-eyed. He saw no diamonds at all.

Jon manoeuvred the ship to rendezvous with the target asteroid. Minutes later the mining ship hovered above the glittering asteroid and slowly descended to make a soft safe landing. Jon told Drew to accompany him to the get the cargo hold ready and to change into their space suits.
Jon told Drew, “I don’t trust Gregg anymore. The smallest setback might cause him to abandon the mission. I have rigged up a coded control mechanism to prevent him from starting up the engines while we are working out there, away from the ship.”
“He wouldn’t abandon the mission,” Drew shrugged, “would he? Surely it’s just nerves. How could he do it?”
“Well---- Despite his short comings, he is clever enough.”
“What if he finds the control mechanism? If you are right that could push him over the edge.”
“I am willing to chance it.”

One hour after landing, Drew Roberts and Captain Jon Salloni were on the surface overseeing the drilling and refining processes. The mining ships’ robotic diggers were drilling into the rock and lifting out the precious sparkling treasures. Some were as big as a human fist. Gregg stayed on board monitoring and organising the robotic workers from the command centre.

Once more, Gregg noticed some movement. This time it came from the corner of his right eye only. He swivelled around to see but there was nothing there. A voice in his head sounded. He heard a woman singing, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. It was Sadie’s voice. She might have been just a prostitute but he loved her more than any other woman he had ever met. He loved her voice. He could kill for her if necessary. He had spent most of the journey dreaming about the all the gifts he could buy her with his share of the diamonds.

As the worker robots were scurrying to and from the ship. Jon Salloni could not hide the joy that burnt within him. He hummed a popular song as he worked.
A diamond gluttony had taken hold. A sudden flickering of strobe light brought Jon out of his unbridled thoughts. It felt as if reality was switching to another version of itself.

Then everything seemed to happen at once. Gregg felt his grasp on reality was waning further. He became intoxicated by the memory of Sadie. Now her presence felt real. Her body smelled sweet as she danced close to him. She was semi-naked and he kissed her breasts.

Drew was affected too. A large diamond just crumbled into fine sand. “What the fuck!” Drew shouted at the robot who had unearthed the diamond. “What do you call that! Do your job properly or I’ll have you melted down for scrap.”

Jon laughed and nonchalantly checked his dampener reading. His heart almost stopped when he saw a reading of only 23% effective and it was dropping fast. He called out:
“Five minutes to Critical Eccentricity.”
The asteroid again seemed to flicker in and out of existence. Drew checked his read out. It was now only 8%.

Again, the asteroid seemed to flicker in and out of existence. Gregg knew what that meant. He knew now what Critical Eccentricity meant. He had to get away. He just had to. If not he would be stranded in the WRONG universe. That meant certain death. So he switched on the engine start up and flooded the engine tanks with fuel. Nothing happened. He tried again. Same result. His anxiety was getting more and more desperate. Then he heard insane laughter emanating from all around him. He saw clouds of varying colours floating around him. Each had a grotesque shape. The red ones were the worst. They seemed angry. They told him vile and apocryphal stories about Sadie.

To Jon, what occurred next seemed to happen in terrifying slow motion. The robot working with Drew adjusted its’ hand tools and selected a very sharp rotating blade. Over the suit-to-suit intercom, Jon heard Drew scream. Turning around he saw the rogue robot attacking Drew furiously. The robot’s rotating knife-like tool punctured Drew’s space suit. Within a couple of seconds Drew’s spacesuit had been cut to ribbons. Lost for an explanation, Jon’s instincts told him to run to the safety of the ship. The rogue robot turned its attention to him as it saw him bound away. Although the asteroids’ feeble gravity allowed Jon to leap with huge strides, he felt that the robot was catching him up. He fought the desire to look back. That would only slow him down.

Panting hard, Jon reached the heavy outer door of the ship. He punched in the correct access digits and the outer door slid silently open. He jumped swiftly inside and slammed a fist hard down upon the emergency close button. Before the door had time to close, he felt a force upon his suit. He spun around. The rogue robots’ blade tore into his suit. Pain exploded in Jon’s right thigh. He screamed an obscenity. The robot stopped and stared curiously at his tool and shook its head.” What am I doing here?”

Instinctively, Jon now kicked furiously at the confused robot and managed to force it outside just before the door finally closed. His relief was brief. He peered anxiously down at the rips in his space suit. Much of the air had escaped into the external vacuum. Soon all air within his suit would be gone. He had to flood the airlock chamber as quickly as possible. He pressed the access keys but the little display triangle remained red. It should have turned green. Green would have indicated that the airlock was fully pressurised.

As Jon’s head cleared from the initial shock, a terrible realisation dawned. Gregg had total control of the robots. He could have stopped the attack within seconds.
Jon put that aside for now.
“Gregg. Flood the airlock please.”
There was no answer.
Then he heard the whine of the engines. They were warming up. Jon’s stomach churned. Gregg had neutralised the control mechanism. How could he have done that?
There was little time left to speculate.
He calculated quickly but carefully. He had a minute or two of air at best. He repeated his request more forcefully.
“Gregg. Flood the fucking airlock!”
“I don’t think I can do that Jon.”
“Why can’t you do that Gregg?”
Again there was no answer.

Jon Salloni felt weak and his heart thumped loudly in his chest. Breathing was becoming harder and painful. Every gulp of air seemed insufficient. Control of his body was failing. He tried to lift open his helmet but slumped down onto the floor. A crushing blackness began to engulf him. His final thoughts centred upon all those diamonds in the cargo hold. He would gladly give them all up for just an extra minute of air. He laughed at himself as he passed away into nothingness.

Five minutes after the ship took off from the asteroid, Star Watcher and his son saw the mining ship explode. Robotics expert Gregg Annsot had pressed the self-destruct button.
Star Watcher reported the incident to the Messarians.
“My dear son”, he said, “Are you okay. Were you frightened?
“No father.”
“Good”
Star watcher hugged his son. “I fear this is just the beginning …..


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