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Photon Harvesting

Sarah sat in her floating support chair as the Big Lizard walked beside her. She had finally convinced Lillith to let her come on deck so she could at least see some of the harvesting process. Urdessa walked on the other side of her and spoke into a small communicator which updated him on the progress of the small boats laying out the net. Adoree was busy below with the AI and the Doctor had begged off. Already the net stretched for nearly a million kilometers on a side. Urdessa had explained it was made of quantum particles which were all entangled and been laid by millions of busy quantite machines which made nanites look like sky scrapers. Sarah raised a hand to her eyebrows and frowned. “I can’t see anything.” She complained.

The Big Lizard chuckled as Urdessa said. “They are too small to be seen by the unaided eye. You’ll see them when the star lights up. Then the whole web glows and it’s, it’s amazing.”

Silver came up the stairs and joined them. “Ready, everyone? It’s about to start.”

“Really?” She looked in the direction of the star which was a small disk in the sky. “I don’t see any change.”

“Very soon, now.” He replied. “Ms. Adoree says that in about five seconds the first wave of photons will reach us.”

As they watched the star dimmed and then brightened. The light grew and grew until she had to shade her eyes and could no longer look at it.

“Over there behind you.” Urdessa said. “You can see the net forming.”

She turned in the seat and saw the whole sky was blazing as each photon was absorbed and then the lines of the net pulsed as each photon was retransmitted along the net. It was like being in a dome of light. The pulses grew in intensity and then the carbon nanofiber conductor wire lying over the bow of the ship began to glow and pulse as energy flowed into the atomic batteries.

“We are not totally efficient of course.” Urdessa told her. “The stray emissions are why you can see the net.”

Silver checked his computer clock. “We should have about one hour to reach full charge and then we’ll pull in the net and leave before the hot flare particles reach us.” He looked over at her with concern. “If you are tired, we’ll escort you back.”

“No.” She said. “This is the most glorious sight I’ve ever seen.” Tears were trickling down the corners of her eyes. “Thank you, all my friends, for sharing this with me.” They all stood and silently watched the net glow and pulse.

Later as Mister Arrow and the Captain sat in conversation, planning their approach to the Treasure Planet, Mister Urdessa and Ms. Adoree interrupted them. “Captain.” Urdessa said. “Ms. Adoree and I have something you need to see.” At a wave of Silver’s hand he brought out several thin disks about four inches in diameter from inside a pocket and laid them on the table.

“And these are, Mister Urdessa?” Mister Arrow asked as he picked one up and spun it between his fingers.

“Personal computers that belonged to the assassins, Sir.” Urdessa replied. “It was actually Ms. Adoree who thought they might have a cloaked stash of equipment and thought of a way to locate it using the mass detectors. We found this and a lot more behind one of the energy converters.”

Silver picked up one of the disks. “Can you read what’s on them?”

Ms. Adoree smiled. “Henry says they’re childishly simple and not worth his time. They’re written in Federated code and accessed by Federated accessing protocols. They aren’t even encrypted. I’ve already read two of them and they contain command directives from the man who wants Sarah Hawkins dead.”

Mister Arrow frowned. “Flint?”

“No, sir. The directives are from the Dark Man, himself”.

“I knew it!” Silver cursed.

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