DATE: Mon 12 Jul 2021 10:08 By: HexDSL@Posteo.net

Denouement // Part 2.

Part 1. (web)

Wanderlust.

I was vaguely aware of Doors messing with something on the wall at the edge of the room but a combination of shock and stress forced me to ignore him. I lay on the floor, cold, confused and a little post-terrified. I was wondering if there was a word for post-terrified. I was trying to pretend that I was back home and having a nightmare, of course this was made a lot harder by the fact that I didn’t really remember where home actually was and my fractured memories were still in such little order that the closest thing I had to comforting was remembering being an old man on my death bed.

Just as these thoughts started to take a form in my mind I heard an electric twang and humming. The cold and noise of the high altitude sky was silenced and a new blue light penetrated my eyelids. I slowly opened by eyes wondering what terrible thing was going to happen next. I was looking at the ceiling. There were mostly burned out black squares cross it. The whole-ceiling lighting had at some point been smashed during the attack. Only about a third of the rooms ceiling light-tiles were still lit.

I sat up and looked around. The window was covered by a semi-transparent flickering blue energy. A force-field of some kind. Doors walked over to me and put out his hand to help me up. I took it. “The security shield failed to fire-up when the shuttle appeared.” He said apologetically. I brushed dust from my jacket. “This?” I asked and pointed to the shield. “Yes Jonathan. The Blue-shield was supposed to fire-up in a proximity event. I do not know why it did not. It should have been impossible for such an attack to take place” he explained as he surveyed the damage in the room.

I stepped towards the blue flickering shield. I was in awe of it. I lifted a hand and reached out for the shield. I glanced at Doors before touching it, he was watching me but made no attempt to stop me. I pressed my palm against it. It felt cold, that surprised me. It was cold and tingling. It felt like sand was moving under my hand. I couldn’t push past the light. It was as solid as a wall. I looked closely at it. It was like transparent blue television static moving rapidly with seemingly no order at all. I removed my hand and looked at it. Then I tapped the blue wall with my knuckle. It was simply like tapping a thick glass window. “This is a force field. A real force field!” I exclaimed. “Well. Yes. It literally is.” Door replied unaccustomed to stating the obvious.

An electric buzzing sound came from the half broken light that served as a door. I turned quickly half expecting another attack. Doors stepped in front of me and lifted his arm, as he did it reformed into something that was reminiscent of a shotgun.

Ka’ona appeared with a large bag. “Relax! It’s me” she said as she saw Doors’s stance. Behind her came another woman a little taller than Kay but with similar features and neater hair. He was carrying something that was unmistakably a weapon. It quite literally looked like a ray-gun you would see in movie. She was dressed in a uniform of some kind, it was a grey black shirt with some insignias on it. Thick cargo trousers and boots.

Kay was still wearing her doctors coat and silver-grey skin-tight outfit underneath. She ran over to me and let go of her bag. It lit up with a blue glow and floated on the light. It opened on its own at table height. She put on her glasses and gestured with her hand, the green ball appeared. “I’m fine!” I said. “All I did was hide behind the fireplace” I added. “Libby wrestled a tank out of the window.”

Kay nodded. “Your physically fine. But your stress levels are though the roof.” she said. “No shit!” I replied with a sarcastic tone. She smiled “yeah. I guess so” and put her glasses into her pocket. She closed her bag and with a little tug the light went out and she placed it on the floor.

The other woman walked over holding her ray-gun, so comfortable with it that it looked like it was a part of her. She stood squarely in front of me and lowered it. “You’re awake for less than an hour and I have to get my big gun out” she said with a good natured tone and a raised eyebrow. “Joanne I presume?” I said and stuck a friendly hand. She slapped away my hand and hugged me. “Its good to have you back again dad” she said quietly into my hear as she released her hug. Doors stood next to us and saluted. “Ma’am” He said officially. “Knock it off Doors. I’m here on family business no need for that.” She handed him her gun.

“Ma’am?” I queried. Kay grinned. “Oh, Libby didn’t tell you?” she pointed at Joanne with her eyes and a nod of her head “Meet the vice president of the Sol sector.” Joanne shrugged. “Awake for less than an hour and the government got called in.” I said with a genuinely impressed tone.

“Where’s Libby? Is she okay?” I asked as soon as there was an opportunity. “The moment her avatar was terminated she began syncing a new one. It should be on-line in about three hours.” Joanne said. “She didn’t get time to tell you a lot hu?” Kay observed. “Well I doubt you want to stay here now. I’ll get a room assigned to you on Mercia.” Joanne decreed with authority as she pressed her bracelet to summon a screen. “Mercia?” I asked Kay. “Oh, Mercia? That maybe the safest place this side of Earth.” I made a quizzical face by reflex. “Its a Sol, err, Earth Government ship. It’s in orbit and its the toughest battleship in the galaxy. By a long way.” she replied. “I’m going to space!” I said to myself with shock and excitement.

Joanne told me that it would only take a few minutes to prepare a transport for us. “How did you get here?” I asked wondering why we wouldn’t take her transport back. “Blue-tube” she said without qualification. “You’re not taking him in one of those?” Kay barked sharply. “No. With his memory thing going on I figured a shuttle would be a better option.” Joanne replied. “Good! Blue-tubes stress me out and I know what to expect.” Kay sparred. “What’s a Blue-tube? I asked”

“Its a terrifying ride in a scary death slide” kay replied.

“Its a highly efficient use of pressure differential and a remarkable implementation of Blue-tek” Joanne corrected with just a hint of sarcasm.

“You generate a personal shield and then they shoot a tube of force-shield down from the ship and you shoot up it at almost a thousand meters a second.” Kay said making an over exaggerated scared face. “It takes like five minutes and there’s no oxygen.” She added. “We don’t require oxygen.” Joanne added as she wondered into the door that I thought contained the bedroom. “It was designed for cargo lifts, not people” kay said to me quietly. “She uses it like its a theme park ride.”

“As cargo. I can confirm. It is terrifying.” Doors added.

A few seconds later Joanne appeared from the bedroom with a bag “What’s that?” I asked. “Libby messages me. She wanted me to pick up some personal items.” Joanne said as she arranged the strap on the bag.

“And it takes three minutes. Its exhilarating.” she corrected, still talking about these Blue-Tubes Doors threw in, “Not its not.”

Joanne let out a little giggle and asked “Can you get the ‘Fold’ to point to the roof please Doors?”

Door’s nodded by bobbing his holographic eye-head and walked over to the light-door. He pressed some buttons and it blinked off with a less than comforting spark and pop. He leaned in and pulled at some wires in the now exposed cavity behind it. He pressed the panel on the door again and it lit up. “Fixed” he said proudly and handed Joanne her gun back. “Come on Dad” Joanne said as she stepped through the door “You coming?” I asked Kay. “Not unless she orders me to. The president and I don’t get along.”

“I thought she was vice-president” I asked.

“Oh she is. Its her boss that I have an issue with”.

I stepped through the door and appeared in the middle of a very windy rooftop. The air was too thin to get a breathe of. “How high up are we?” I shouted. Realising that I was actually struggling to breathe. Joanne pressed a button on her bracelet and then tapped something on the screen that briefly flashed into existence. She then spoke to me at a normal volume. “We are way above where humans should be without an environmental suit. Shuttles coming now” she said. I could hear her as if I was wearing headphones. “I can’t breathe” I said a little panicky. “I know. You don’t need to. Just relax” She replied calmly. I realised that even though I had stopped trying to draw in air, I wasn’t actually suffocating. “Bio-static” she said slowly over pronouncing each syllable. “We don’t require oxygen” she added as I noticed a shuttle in the dimly lit purple-blue sky getting closer to us. I was somewhat nervous as it got closer. The last shuttle I had been so close to birthed a death machine.

The shuttle was about twice as large as a van and armed to the teeth. It was a panelled in chrome with large black metallic rivets across it in a grid pattern and a big dome window at the front. There were large very aggressive guns on stalks at each side and an even larger one on the top. As it came to rest I could see the bottom was equipped with some kind of smoked glass panel, it lit blue as it came closer and it settled with a firey rawer as it came to rest floating on the blue light. It rotated as a glass panel on the back lost its blue glow. The panel began to open turning into a ramp for us to walk onto. A Figure in a full helmet and thick padded suit walked out carrying a gun similar to Joanne’s I heard a male voice in my implied headphones “Sir, ma’am. We are ready for extraction”

Joanne gestured for me to follow and walked into the back of the shuttle. The figure saluted to her as she passed. I followed. No salute for me.

The figure got on the shuttle too but walking backward and keeping his gun ready. As he backed up, Joanne tapped a large button on the edge of the opening and the back of the shuttle began to close again. The figure stayed with his gun trained right until the light on the edge of the doorway went green and the cool was completely closed.

The figure let go of his gun that was strapped to him and pushed it to his back. He then messed with his helmet. The helmet came off and a jet of gas blasted out from its seal. The face of a rugged man with a tidy brown beard was revealed “Ma’am” he said with a respectful nod. “Hello Kieran” Joanne replied.

The inside of the shuttle reminded me of the military planes I remembered once seeing on TV but with the odd science fiction looking light and accoutrement dotted around. There were bench seats down each side and two large flight seats at the far front. There was another figure sitting there pressing buttons. “All aboard?” came a woman’s voice. “Hi Lea. Just strapping in” Joanne called in reply. The man, Kieran walked to the front of the ship and slammed himself into the spare seat stowing his helmet in a hatch and pulling across a strap.

Joanne sat down and Pulled a hanging strap from the wall, there was a clip on the end that attached to the bench she was sitting on. She then grabbed another and pulled it so to cross herself in the other direction. I watched her and then did the same. “Good to go.” Joanne called to the front. The shuttle shook for a moment and the light through the front window changed from a deep purple glow of this worlds night sky to the black star speckled night time of space. I watched in awe as some kind of shield lit up at the front with red and yellow fire for a moment, I assumed it was as we left the atmosphere. Then the silence of space filled both my ears and my soul. “Were really in space?” I asked. Joanne ignored me. She wasn’t watching the window like I was, she had summoned her bracelet powered screen was was busy tapping away. None of this was new to her. She had work to do.

After a few minutes Joanne glanced up at me, “You can unstrap now if you want to get a closer look.” I couldn’t unbuckle fast enough. I got out of the seat and walked to the front. I leaned in between the two large chairs. Looking right out of the window between Kieran and Lea. “Hello.” I said politely as I looked out. It was a curved window and clear window. There were no support beams or wires to obscure the view out of it. Space was all I could see. “Where’s the planet? The moons?” I asked. “Err… Behind us sir” said Kieran. “His memory is messed up” Shouted Joanne from behind. “Really?” asked the woman who had been called Lea earlier. “Yeah” I replied. “I’m Lea Ra-kay, nice to meet you.” she said as she stuck out a gloved hand for me to shake. I did. “No way, you for real can’t remember me?” she said. I shrugged, “No, I’m sorry. Miss Ra-kay.” (I was quite impressed with myself for remembering her name) she looked shocked and quite entertained “So I could be anyone to you?” she asked. I was trying not to be rude but I was also deeply distracted by actually being IN space. “No idea, I’m sorry.” I said while poking my head further into the cockpit. Lea was muttering to her self and pressing buttons. Kieran was just sitting there watching a large screen in front of him that seemed to be related to the weapons system. “Okay then Doctor Michaels sir, let me show you the planet.” She over emphasised ‘Doctor Michaels’ making it sound sharp. I heard Joanne snigger from the back of the shuttle.

The shuttle rotated without seeming to slow down, we were now flying backwards and facing the planet that appeared to be behind us rather than below. It was stunning. A purple-blue mix of clouds and lights with two moons off to the side and a sky full of clouds and lights. I felt my mouth open in awe. I then felt Lea’s eyes on me. I took control of my child-like wonder and looked back at her. “Who are you then?” I asked. “Don’t worry about about it.” she replied with a grin “Oh, and you had better get a tight grip on the back of that chair.” she added “I’m going to show you the good stuff.”

With that, she pulled a lever an pressed a button, I saw the world outside spin and flip as the shuttle repositioned it self and fired it engines. I wasn’t quit enough to push me over but I certainly felt the motion and we all rocked to the left for a moment. The shuttle did a little corkscrew, the engines growled with power and the stars shifted quickly. “You ready to see it Jon?” Lea asked with a charming half grin. “See what?” I asked. She nudged the controls just a little and I realised that we were now much further from the planet, it was a speck in the distance. She nudged the controls again and the shuttle kept rotating. A massive asteroid came into view. “Welcome to Mercia” Lea said with her own touch of awe. The asteroid rotated towards us and as it did I realised that it wasn’t just a big rock, there were metal and windows and lights and landing pads across it, it looked like there was a city poking out of half of it. It was hard for me to gage scale at first but the size of the thing started to sink in. It didn’t just look like a city was poking out of the side. It WAS a city. As it spun it presented two massive smoked glass fields like the panels on the shuttle that fired the blue light engines. These ones were as big as towns. “How is this possible?” I asked, almost to myself. “Humans are fucking awesome” Lea replied. We nodded and she raised her hand in very familiar way. I slapped her hand with a grin. High fives seemed to be a timeless celebration.

“Jo, were landing.” Lea called to the back. Joanne grunted in agreement, still tapping away at her screen. “Do I need to strap in?” I asked “No Sir. No atmosphere no problem” Kieran replied. The shuttle first came close enough to Mercia that it filled the whole window in every direction. Kieran tapped some buttons and his screen flicked over to a map of the area in front, or below us, I realised as the shuttled changed its orientation. “We good to land?” Lea asked, Kieran gave her a nod. She pressed a lot of buttons and turned a some dials. “Matched speed and rotation, lowering shuttle now” As she said that she pulled down on the stick in her hand and the shuttle jolted, the horizon of this massive asteroid filled our vision. The sudden, very real realisation that we were in free fall made my grip on the chairs tighten in concern. “Engaging ground gear” Lea barked almost automatically as we suddenly slowed and came to a perfectly soft landing. The shuttle rotated and I heard the sound of metal on metal echo through the body of the shuttle “Docking clamps.” Lea said before I asked. The shuttle shook as it was suddenly moved backwards. The light changed as we entered a tunnel. We tiled back and forth for a few moments and then suddenly a massive iris closed as we came to a stop. We were pointed slightly ‘nose up’ and that massive iris was directly lined up for the shuttles exit. The door at the back opened and sound streamed in? Kieran and Lea unbuckled and stood up. I darted to the back of the shuttle and stepped out into the larger ship.

I looked around the simply massive hanger. There were ships of all sorts of shapes and sizes, some as big as cruise ships and some that looked no larger than motorcycles. There were dozens of people in bright blue jump-suits carrying tools and parts and people coming and going. I realised I literally couldn’t see the edge of the hanger. Joanne put a hand on my shoulder to get my attention “Dad, I know its still a lot but I need to get some sleep, I have a lot on in the morning.” I agreed. Joanne pointed to the right and we took a few steps before I heard a Lea call me “Hey, Jon!” I turned back to the shuttle “Call me when you get your memories sorted out!” She shouted. I nodded and gave her a salute

“Who was that woman?” I asked Joanne. “Lea? She’s basically your best friend!” she replied. “Oh? Really?” I asked in puzzlement. “Yeah. You and Libby spend more time playing cards with her than you do actually working.”

I was warmed inside. I had family, at least one friend and I had been into space. The stress and fear of just a little while ago seemed like another life already. I didn’t have memories but I had a lot of exciting things to learn ahead of me.

Libby

We walked for a few minutes following the wall of the hanger, the one wall that I could actually see. It was massive, I had counted twelve floors judging by the windows and there seemed to be a constant chaotic buzz of action as the people in the blue suits ran around the area and the explosions of sounds as the iris’s opened and closed letting ships in and out. It was like being at a busy port. I guess it was a busy port.

Joanne stopped. I almost walked into her. A door opened to reveal the inside of an elevator. An actual elevator. We stepped into the tiny silver room and the doors closed behind us. Joanne pressed some buttons on the screen on the wall. “Security required” came a robotic voice. “Joanne Michaels” she barked. The elevator began moving “I’m putting you in a guest room on deck ‘A’. Its the same floor the president and I. Outside of Earth its the most secure place in the known worlds. I promise, no one will try anything here. We WILL figure out why you and Libby where attacked.”

“And Libby?” I asked. “Her avatar is syncing. But I have told her what room you’re in” Joanne replied. “Avatar” I mumbled to myself as the doors opened.

The corridor looked like a hotel with rooms on each side and thick red carpet, classical looking patterns on the wall. With the occasional framed artwork. I noticed the art was actually on screens of some kind. We walked down the corridor past some rooms rooms. Each room had a metal sliding door and a large number on the front. We stopped outside number eleven. Joanne pressed her thumb against black square on the frame and it opened. “Fingerprint?” I asked “DNA and brainwave scan” Joanne replied. “You, me and Libby are the only people with access to this room.” she added. The room was dark. Joanne stepped in and the light came on. It really did look like a hotel room, a really nice hotel suite to be exact. There was sofa with a coffee table in front of it pointing at a large painting of Mercia. I assumed this too was a screen. There was a dining table behind it and a door that led to a large bedroom. The walls had large glass windows that showed a beach outside. I walked towards them quite confused. “Its a simulated view.” Joanne said. “You want an exterior ship view instead?” she asked. “I guess so” I replied. Joanne strolled over to the coffee table and lent down, as she did a screen appeared on it. She pressed some buttons and the beach morphed into a star field “Its a live feed” Joanne said. She put the bag she had taken from the apartment on the coffee table. “See you in the morning. Message me when you’re up and about.” Joanne said as she yawned. She reminded me of Kay as she did. The resemblance was startling. I noticed that they actually looked to be about the same age. “Goodnight.” she said and wondered out of the room, as she did the doors closed. I walked over and inspected the little screen next to it. “LOCKED” it said in big green letters.

I looked around for a little bit then sat on the sofa. It was the first time I had been alone since waking up. That was only a couple of hours ago if that and it already felt like a lifetime. I looked at the bag on the coffee table and thought of Libby for a moment.

I was thirsty. I went to back of the room where the larger dining table was. I had seen one of the silver squares on the wall by it. I waved my hand at it and the same interface as in the apartment blinked into existence. There were no favourites saved. I pressed an icon of a microphone. What did I want I suddenly asked myself. “Elix” I said aloud. The screen vanished and the metal square pinged open after a few seconds. There was that familiar bottle. I carried it back to the sofa and sat down. I had only had one or two sips of my first before everything went crazy. It really was very nice.

I looked at the picture of the ship in font of me and then looked over at the ‘windows’ showing those slowly moving stars. I glanced back and was startled. I almost dropped my drink. There was Libby’s face against a pure white backdrop on the huge screen. It looked like I was suddenly looking through a window at her. “Hello Jon” came her voice as is he really was just in front of me. “You scared me! Are you okay?” I asked. “Oh sure. I’m fine. I was actually going to tell you about what I am when the window blew out.” Her voice was comforting to hear. Everyone had said she was fine, and I had spoken to her briefly before Joanne and Kay had arrived at the apartment but I was still worried about her.

“You coming here soon?” I asked. “I’m syncing this Avatar as fast as I can. Should be no more than half an hour. This ship has a surprisingly slow network”

“Where are you?” I asked. “What do you mean? Right now?” she replied. “Yeah, can I come to you?” I asked. “Oh, Jon. I’m literally projecting this image from my data core.”

I looked at her frustrated that while I had a feeling I was understanding, it was a lot to accept. “So you really are a robot?” I asked.

“No, I’m a non-organic.” she replied. “I’m as alive as you but my mind is kept inside a data-core not directly in my body. ‘Robot’ is a little offensive to be honest.”

I thought about his for a moment “You are alive? Like a real person right?” I asked, realising this maybe an offensive question but I cared for more for clarity than politeness right now.

“Yes. I’m real. I’m a result of a very, very complicated series of events and some pretty advanced self editing computer code. I assure you I’m as alive and real as you are. I’ll not answer that question again my-love.” She said in an intense voice. I had almost crossed a line.

“I’m not promising to be sober when you get hear” I said with a smile and a wave of my Elix bottle. She laughed at me “Oh, Jon. You’re Bio-Static. You can’t get drink” I looked at my bottle and took a far braver draught from it than I had dared before. “In that case I’m going to find something stronger” I said, more to my bottle than to Libby.

“I’m going to go and see if there’s any way I can speed this up. I’ll be there as soon as I can.” she said. The screen blinked back to the painting of the ship. I leaned forward and the screen on the coffee table blinked on. There were a lot of options I didn’t understand. I scrolled around the little floating screen until I saw ‘main screen’ I tapped it. The list said ‘Static. Entertainment. Communication. News’ It was currently set to ‘static - default’ I pressed ‘News’ it then asked “Central. Human. Vampire. Elf. Brick. Thinker.” I was quite concerned that ‘Vampire news’ was an option and made a mental note to question this as well as the other options next time I got a chance. I pressed ‘Human’ and put my feet on the coffee table. The news feed showed a ‘ticker’ of headlines on one side and had a pretty normal looking news show on the other side. The man on the screen was talking about a “Correctionist” attack on Central Prime. It showed The building I had been in earlier but from street level. The video showed the shuttle that had attacked us as it fell out of the sky and came crashing down towards the ground. It was a gritty hand held video, people were screaming and running, The sky lit up with a pale blue shield as the shuttle approached and it was smashed against it. The video showed parts of it fly off and skid across the blue surface above all the people and vehicles. The shuttle exploded and the video feed switched back to the news anchor. They were showing the news repeatedly and talking about how this it was the first “Correctionist” attack to be carried out outside of Sol sector. As a response the Moon-ship Mercia had been moved out of orbit and was preparing for a ‘Warp-dive’ back to Sol. The anchor reminded the audience that this was to be confirmed by experts later.

I must have been watching the screen for longer than I realised because the door to the room opened. Libby stepped in. She was wearing jumpsuit that was far too large for her and had bare feet. She pulled the outfit up from the pockets and shuffled in. The door closed behind her. I stood up and walked over to her, we met in the middle of the room. She took her hands out of her pockets and put them around the back of my neck. She was little shorter than me but not my much. She put her head against mine and quietly said “Jon. I know you don’t remember anything at the moment and everything is confusing and new.” I went to speak and she shushed me. She pressed her lips to mine. We kissed deeply for a few seconds. “Don’t question if I’m a real girl or not, okay?” she asked. “I was just trying to understand.” I said apologetically. There was no doubt that she felt real, I realised I had my arms around her waist.

Awake, again.

I woke up and there was light streaming in form the adjoining room. I could smell coffee and, I thought maybe Bacon. I threw my jeans on and wondered into the main room. Libby didn’t have to sleep and she needed to ‘sync’ more data to her new ‘Avatar’ so I had been left to sleep. I had no idea what time it was when I actually got to sleep and no idea what time it was now. Libby was sat at the large table. She was wearing a flattering black dress with pink and blue butterflies printed on it. Her blonde hair was perfectly styled so to look not at all styled. She was stunning and I was shirtless with messy hair and dishevelled jeans.

There was a large pile of Bacon and Eggs on a plate opposite her and a large coffee pot. “I figured food would get you to move.” she said as I walked into the room. I sat at the table still feeling half asleep. I poured a cup of coffee. As I looked at her I was suddenly very ware that I probably looked terrible. It was too late for first impressions so I just said “Good morning” and picked up a piece of Bacon.

We were silent of a new minutes. Libby seemed happy enough to watch me eat, which was unnerving to me. “Questions?” she said calmly.

“What’s a Bio-Static?” I asked. I ate the bacon.

“Bio-static isn’t really a medical term. You, Jo, Kay and Nick are the only ones.” Libby said. She seemed in the mood to give me information.

“Who’s Nick”

“He’s your son. You don’t get along. No, I don’t want to tell you more” she replied sternly.

“Okay. Bio-Static. What does it actually mean?”

“Your body has a default state that it maintains. For reasons that I don’t actually understand fully you don’t require air. Cold and heat barley bother you and as far as we know, you you don’t age.” she said.

“Ka’ona said I can’t be poisoned or gassed either” I pointed out as I ate some eggs.

“True but only because your body doesn’t take any sustenance from your blood”

“What does that mean?” I asked as I drank some coffee.

“Truth is, were not sure. You seem to use every last drop of nutrition you eat and that’s all you need. Oh, and you can eat whatever you want. Doesn’t matter. As long as nutrition goes in, you stay healthy and strong. You never gain or lose weight. You even grow limbs back. Eventually.” she pointed at my arm. The fresher looking one.

“But I can die? I’m not bullet proof or anything?” I asked.

“No. Not even a little bit. Also no one is using bullets. Its all lasers and plasma rounds now.” She smiled. “And no. We have no idea how or why you got this way. Whatever happened, it happened before the first time your memory was wiped.”

“First time?” I asked.

“Yeah, when ‘The Event’ happened. It was the year nineteen hundred.”

“Nineteen hundred? What year is it now?” I asked. Almost choking on bacon.

“Nineteen Ninety Nine.” She replied.

“What? That cant be right” I said. I assumed she had misunderstood the question.

“I know. You have moments of memory of the mid nineties that are completely different. No space ships, no aliens. No Non-Organic wives.” She raised an eyebrow “No immortality either.”

“Yeah. How can that be?” I asked.

“And that my love is the very thing you research. Everyone who was alive in nineteen hundred woke up on the first of January and had two sets of memories. One with early auto mobiles, gentlemanly top hats and more than the occasional horse drawn carriage. The other, the real set of memories was all space ships, microchips and Aliens” She was serious.

“Two sets of memories? Two realities?” I said trying to puzzle through what she had said.

“And given that you are the only human still alive who was there when it all happened. You are the most qualified person to seek the answer.”

I thought for a few minutes. Libby didn’t seem to mind my silence. Finally I said “The only person still alive who can remember both realities and I get my memory scrambled. TWICE? That doesn’t sound like a coincidence.”

“Its almost like there’s a reason the most powerful star-ship in the galaxy is your personal taxi service.” she smiled.

I ate the rest of my meal in silence. The bacon was good. The eggs were too dry but the coffee was exquisite.

I was so deep in thought I didn’t have enough mental cycles left to really get exited about the shower being a magical looking light that could clean me and my clothes with a few flashes. I was still deep in thought when Libby and I walked through the ships corridors to the briefing room. I barely spoke and when I did it was without excitement. It was functional. I was thinking through everything I had been told.

We eventually arrived at a large official looking door that had two guards standing at it. One of the guards was one of the pale white people with red eyes. He was wearing the casual black uniform that I had come to associate with ‘Sol’ the other guard was a shorter man how looked like he was taking his guard duty far too seriously. We stood in front of the men “We have a meeting with vice president Jo’ Michaels” Libby said. The serious guard raised his arm and summoned a screen. I could see the reverse side, it was a few names and pictures. He pulled a device out from pa large pocket on his trouser leg. It looked like a table tennis bat with a green grid on it. “Palm Print?” he barked. The other guard the pale one turned with a quizzical look. “I’m a NOLF” Said Libby, annoyed. “What are you doing Karl? Everyone knows who she is.” The pale guard said with an annoyed tone. “Karl’s new.” He said to us apologetically. Libby snatched the bat and presented it to me. I put my hand on it and it pinged with a green rim. “Thank you sir.” Said the serious man. He then pulled out a small cube and pointed it at at Libby. He pressed the top with his thumb and a red light thread shot out at Libby. She looked annoyed as it darted around her beautiful green eyes. The light thread went green. The serious man stood up straight and nodded. The door opened. “Sorry.” The pale guard added as we stepped into the door. I was surprised to realise it was an elevator. It seemed to only move for a moment before the side opposite to the on we entered opened. There was a large room with maps on the wall and official looking people all around. It vaguely familiar music playing in the background. There were multiple news feeds on screens around the walls. There was a large round table in the middle of the room and the whole place felt important and chaotic.

A tall pale man with red lips and large wings behind him walked over to us. He was wearing an ornate brown suit that looked like it should be from Victorian London, he had a waistcoat and a polished silver chain showing out of one pocket. He was tall and stocky but moved with elegance.

“Jon! Libby!” he exclaimed as he walked over shaking my hand and embracing Libby. “Jon, Meet Ba’an Ty. President of Sol.” Libby said.

..