14: STRANGE EVENTS
Maggy walked out of her Astronomy class and yawned lazily, stretching out her arms and holding her DDI loosely.
“Miss Sapphiron. You would do well to hold that device a bit more carefully.”
Maggy jumped and spun around to see Dr. Lake staring at her while standing in the doorway to the classroom.
“It is very expensive and contains your life data, after all. Replacements need to be shipped from the Prime Zone since we haven’t developed that technology yet.” Dr. Lake added.
“Yes, professor.” Maggy pouted and strengthened her grip on the DDI.
“See you next week!” Maggy yelled as she broke into a quick walking pace, away from the classroom.
“Do not forget your assignment!” Dr. Lake yelled back.
Maggy sighed. While the professor was right, her unbelievable ability to talk another being’s ears off, was the reason Maggy was so tired. Dr. Lake could make a forty-five-minute class feel like it ran for six hours. It didn’t help that Maggy had a short attention span.
Maybe I should start a class. Get to the point quickly, 101.
Maggy walked towards the row of hoverlators slowly bobbing up and down in midair, at the edge of the platform she was on. The hoverlator was a flat metallic board with polarizing magnetic properties – attracting at one end, and repulsing at the other. Anybody visiting the Spire of Knowledge was required to put on special metallic boots that were set in place by the hoverlator’s strong magnetic surface. Maggy stepped on the hoverlator and immediately felt the pull as they called it. The hoverlator brought up a holographic control panel for her and she promptly selected a segment of the Spire. Arm supports slowly ascended to meet Maggy’s arms, and when she rested her wrists on the half circle platforms, the circles closed themselves around her wrists with a cuffing click. The hoverlator inclined downwards at an angle and whizzed forward.
Maggy took in the spectacular sight of other hoverlators, whizzing back and forth, at different levels of the spire. The hoverlator was completely controlled by A.I. so accurate in calculating flight patterns, that the possibility of a collision with another hoverlator was near zero. The hoverlator stopped at the segment of the spire Maggy had specified and slowly drifted sideways until it was level with the platform. The hoverlator stopped and held perfectly still until Maggy stepped off. Soon, the bobbing motion started once more.
Maggy sighed and made her way towards the library. She had an hour or so until Clieo got out of her classes. Kaya was busy working on some research project with Dr. Dresden and Hope was busy with his military training. The Gaian educational system was designed to train people based on their natural inclinations and the needs of the society. Maggy and Kaya had been classified as Explorers, due to their curiosity and intellect, and were being trained as such. They were expected to learn about the universe, the space-time continuum, space travel, and physics – all disciplines of physics. Clieo had been classified as a Medic due to her natural compassion for people. She’d learn everything humans knew about medicine, health, anatomy, and biology. There were other classifications as well. Masons were trained in the arts of building and architecture, and covered natural and synthetic materials, in addition to stone. Warriors, like Hope, were trained in the arts of war.
Would it do any good against the Seraph?
That was why Maggy had come to the library. Images of the blue spark flashed through her mind. She could still see the falling debris of one of the Seraph ship, along with a piece of her grandma’s pod. She shook her head. One thing was for sure. The Seraph that attacked them, were not the most powerful of their race. Not if her grandma’s stories were true. Another thing was certain in Maggy’s mind. The Seraph would be back for them. Maggy was counting on that.
You killed my grandma.
She was determined to get revenge even if it cost her, her life.
Maggy walked towards a large hatch door carved out of the dark metal that was a staple of the buildings in Eden. She placed her hand on a flat glass surface, and a thin bar of light oscillated back and forth along the glass’s length. The glass, which had been emanating a red hue, turned green. Maggy stepped into an immense room, complete with three massive levels. The room was cylindrical and the walls were lined with rows and rows of data cards available for public reading. Each data card was designed to transmit a generic signal over a common wireless channel that advertised its data topic and position, within the library. Digital Data Indexers were designed to listen on this channel and translate the information received. Right now, her DDI was vibrating every few seconds.
Phew! Thank goodness, I put it on silent.
She accessed her DDI and did a search for the keyword, Seraph. The DDI presented a 3D display of the library, with her current position, as well as directions to the aisle of data cards were information on the Seraph was located. Maggy’s eyebrow creased in concern as she walked towards the aisle.
One aisle? Shouldn’t there be more information about humanity’s mortal enemy?
She accessed the data card and slid it into her DDI. Maggy found an empty chair in a secluded corner of her level, that afforded her privacy and a view of the upper and lower levels of the library. As she indexed the card’s data and read, she increasingly grew more frustrated. The information on the data card almost glorified the Seraph. It focused on the war between the humans and the Seraph and how one-sided it was, citing many human expert analyses that a continued war between both races would end in human extinction. The data card did note that the Seraph controlled the few element rich sectors of the universe, while humans had been reduced to cosmic scavengers.
Prime Zone was the only element rich sector of the universe humans partially controlled, as allowed by the Seraph after the treaty was signed. Maggy scrolled to the last page of the data card and read the sentence there.
The Seraph are the only silicon-based sentient life known to man.
What does that mean?
“When did you develop a sudden interest in the Seraph?”
Maggy yelped and jumped out of her seat.
“Kaya! Don’t do that!” She yelled.
She immediately felt the stares of hundreds of people on her and felt completely embarrassed. She waved her arms apologetically and turned back to Kaya, shooting daggers at her.
“You really don’t like people sneaking up behind you, do you?” Kaya said in a low tone.
“No. Do you?” Maggy whispered, still conscious of her voice decibel.
Kaya pulled up a seat and they both sat down in silence for a while.
“You know going into this alone would be preeeeeeeeeeeetty stupid on your part, right?” Kaya asked.
“And what is this I’m going into? You just met me studying.” Maggy challenged.
“Oh puh-lease. I saw your DDI. Neither our classes right now, nor our entire curriculum, has anything to do with the Seraph.” Kaya said emphatically as she adjusted her glasses.
“Do you think that’s okay?”
“No.” Kaya looked away. “There’s a lot that’s… off about this place though.”
Kaya looked around them to make sure no one was within an earshot, before leaning close to Maggy.
“The city’s walls are 2000 feet tall, Maggy.”
“So?” Maggy shrugged and rolled her eyes.
“Maggy. The largest animals on Gaia are 300 feet tall. And the animals that fly can easily reach those altitudes. It is overkill. Don’t you think?”
Maggy was silent for a while, before speaking.
“So, you are saying those walls are designed to keep something else out.”
“Or someone.” Kaya offered. “Dr. Dresden and I discovered structural damages to the walls that no biological being could make. They were plasma damages.”
Kaya looked up and met the gaze of the medic who had evaluated her, upon entry into Gaia. She was sitting a few tables down from them.
“I think we are being followed, Maggy.” Kaya said, getting up.
“By who?” Maggy made to turn around, but Kaya grabbed her arm.
“Don’t. Where’s Clieo?”
“She gets out of class in ten minutes.”
“Okay. We need to find her and find Hope. Let’s go.”
Sergei watched as the two girls got up and walked quickly towards the Library’s exit. They were followed by a pale skinned lady with jet black hair. Sergei got up and walked towards a hoverlator. He got on and the hoverlator guided him up towards the middle level of the library. He got off just in front of Maggy and Kaya.
“Hey, there. How are you two doing?” He flashed them a charming smile.
Sergei noticed that the dark-skinned girl with the natural twists had her mouth open and shaped in an O. She caught his knowing gaze and closed her lips. Her eyes became daggers as she shot him a fierce gaze and folded her arms across her chest, hips swaying to one side.
Hahaha. Even better, lady. You look better when you are mad.
The other girl, the redhead, was eyeing him as though she were trying to place what kind of man he was or what his intentions were.
In your dreams.
“You guys wanna walk together? See the city?”
This time Sergei fixed his gaze on the calmer and more calculated redhead.
“Yes. We’d love to.” Kaya said, interrupting Maggy.
They both shot each other glances, before walking up to Sergei who ushered them ahead of himself with an arm gesture. He glanced back at the infuriated pale skinned lady and smirked before walking after the two girls he’d been tasked with watching over.