26: IT BEGINS
Commander Glyn walked into Dr. Dresden’s observatory, followed closely by Sergei. The doctor was sitting on his desk, watching the skies above via the display from the observatory’s powerful telescope. His silver-grey hair was swept back with a few loose strands belying a hectic night.
Commander Glyn and Sergei pulled up a chair each and sat in front of the doctor, who now made eye contact with them.
“I am sorry for calling you both here on short notice.” Doctor Dresden apologized.
Glyn nodded understandingly.
“We agreed to minimize our communication unless it was very important. I assume you didn’t call us here otherwise.”
Doctor Dresden nodded in kind.
“I didn’t. As you suggested, I kept discreet tabs on the councilor and all his communication channels. I am sending the report I have compiled, to your DDI now. Commander, the councilor has been in numerous talks with the Seraph. The communication channels are encrypted, but I’ve managed to decrypt partial bi-directional messages.”
Glyn furiously flipped from one screen page to the next on his DDI, as he examined the report Dr. Dresden had given him.
“He’s planning to turn them into the Seraph, once they arrive here.” Glyn said and looked at Dr. Dresden, who nodded.
“Commander. Do you think they’ll be ready in the three-month timeline we have?” Dr. Dresden asked.
Glyn shook his head.
“I’m not sure. Which is why we need a contingency plan. We need to be able to get off world at a moment’s notice. This mean’s building our space craft. We’ll probably need some parts from Sergei’s crashed screamer.”
“And how do you plan on doing this without being caught by a man who’s keeping you both especially under his watchful gaze?”
“Simple, sir. We have a few friends on the outside.”
“Besides, you and I know we need to get off world soon. We need to find it… find them. It is the only way humanity survives.”
Dr. Dresden nodded silently.
“One more thing, Commander.” The doctor said as he handed Commander Glyn a transparent but sealed bag containing sand.
The commander took the bag and held it up directly in front of his eyes. The sand appeared to shimmer in certain parts of the bag.
Dr. Dresden nodded again.
“Crushed silicate, commander.”
Commander Glyn looked at Dr. Dresden in shock. The doctor ran a hand through his silver hair.
“The concentrations within the soil in a certain part of Eden are abnormally high.”
“What are you saying, doctor?” Glyn asked.
“You know what I’m saying. There’s a Seraph in Eden, and they are pretending to be human.”
Hope stepped into a thin walkway between two gigantic buildings that stood close to each other. The walkway was a bit dark and damp, a product of being constantly shielded from sunlight. Hope had been looking for the strange man who’d appeared on the night of the attack. There was no trace of him. Yet something in his heart had guided him here. Hope noticed a small rectangular lid in the ground. He’d never seen one of those before.
He bent down and pulled the lid open. The hole had a ladder and Hope used this to climb down. When he got to the bottom, he found himself in a dreary makeshift apartment. There was a tattered mattress on the ground and a partially functional holographic display, right next to it. A plate of food with its contents half-eaten, lay on the bed. The only light in the space came from the hole above, which was still open.
Hope cautiously stepped forward. As he looked around the room, his eyes adjusted to the darkness. He could make out a desk and chair, with a silhouetted form of a man sitting on it.
“H... hello?” Hope asked, unsure of himself.
“You do know you could illuminate this place with your energy, right?”
“I… I didn’t know that. None of us do a…and that’s why… I came to find you.”
“You reek of fear, young one. That is unbecoming of a spectral warrior.”
“I don’t know how to be a spectral warrior.” Hope said with a hint of frustration in his voice. “I just found out on the night of the attack. Three days ago.”
“So… why are you here?”
At this question, Hope straightened up.
“Teach us. Tell us everything we need to know. What is our destiny? Why were we born this way? What are our powers?”
The strange unkempt man leaned forward and clasped his hands.
“You do realize that once you take this step, there’s no turning back. The journey will not be easy, Emerald Warrior.”
“I’m beginning to learn that a warrior’s path is never easy.”
He thought he saw the strange man smile and nod his head. He reached back and pushed a button on the desk behind him. The room rumbled slightly as a door Hope had not noticed, slowly slid open, revealing a huge spacious room behind it.
“Very well then. Let us begin.”
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