Reaching the Core
1.) The Elevator to the Core
Iva could not explain what he saw on the other side of the elevator door. Light, different colors of light, filled a large see-through conduit, at least three stories high.
“This is amazing.” Iva stepped towards the conduit as Kamin held him back.
“This stream of light contains all the knowledge of the inhabitants of our entire planet. This is our culture, our religions, our traditions.” Kamin spoke above a loud hum.
“Yet within that light floats the spirit of Sha. Sha along with the kidnapped spirit of Varva.” Matvei checked his equipment belt as he spoke. “Manni, how are you?”
“Varva, oh my Varva,” Kamin whispered as the crew moved out of the elevator and towards the conduit.
“Somyan what do we do next?” Manni asked from behind Matvei.
“We have arrived,” Somyan spoke into his wrist communicator. “What is the plan?”
2.) “Do Not Touch the Conduits!”
“Follow the tube until you reach where the tubing branches off and heads to a Branch Station. We have been talking to Photonic experts and if you check in your bag, Somyan, you will find a spherical device with a trigger mechanism.” Somyan checked in his bag and found the device. “This orb will provide enough Quantum energy to excite the light particles past the photons threshold.”
“Somyan, wait, something is wrong with Iva.” Kamin grabbed Somyan by the shoulder and turned him around to see Iva place his hand on the conduit.
“Varva, you have only met me once, while in passing, I love you with all my heart.” Iva saw the light surround his hand from inside the conduit. Green and blue seemed to radiate from his fingertips as a blood-red color spread.
“Iva, Stop!” Somyan yelled but at that moment Iva’s eyes turned a bright red. Iva felt like he fell into a dream where he placed his head upon Varva’s lap and she calmly played with his hair. They sat on a bed in a home that seemed unfamiliar to him.
“Iva, everything will be ok,” Varva whispered in his ear.
3.) A Situation in the Core
“What is going on!” Matvei yelled as he pushed Manni behind him. Iva removed his hand from the conduit but his eyes remained changed.
“Somyan and your army of children,” Iva spoke in a voice not his own.
“Kolpa,” Somyan replied. “I understand evil now and the importance of keeping balance. You, Kolpa, must die.”
“Die, huh. Difficult task for a moron like yourself.” Iva lunged at Somyan and pushed him to the floor, frantically searching for his blaster.
Matvei grabbed Iva and threw him off Somyan. While Iva struggled to stand up Matvei kicked him hard.
“You cannot beat me I am everywhere and cannot die,” Iva screamed as his eyes returned to normal. “Where am I? What happened here?”
Manni helped Iva to his feet as the crew started to move towards the Branch Station.
“Come, everyone, we do not have much time. Do not touch the conduits.” Somyan checked to see if the orb was still present in his bag.
4.) Outside the Branch Station
“What happened?” Said the voice of the City Organizer.
“Iva touched a conduit and found himself possessed by Kolpa,” Somyan answered.
“How is Iva now?”
“Kolpa has left. Iva is beaten and sore but ok and still part of the team.” Somyan pulled out the orb. “How does this thing work and how do I ensure it gets the job done the first time?”
“Where are you now?”
“We are outside the door to the Branch Station. I have Matvei and Manni standing on either side of the door with blasters. Iva and Kamin are a few paces behind me.”
“On top of the orb you will find a green button. Just push the button and toss the orb into the light at the bottom of the branch. We will negotiate the opening and closing to ensure all the light will push through the atmosphere and ultimately into space. Somyan, you will need to make sure your team falls to the ground immediately. You will have no time to run or hide and everyone must lie face down with their hands covering their faces. The blast will create enough energy to cause permanent blindness and severe burns where it touches exposed skin.”
5.) Deep in the Core
“Alright. Let’s do this. Matvei, open the door to the Branch Station. Manni, provide blaster coverage for Matvei, if Matvei goes down you must continue forward. Kamin and Iva, you will reach the door and enter one at a time after Matvei and Manni give the all-clear. I will follow behind. We will form a line to the branch and when ready the orb will quickly go down the line where Matvei and Manni will push the button and throw the orb into the light. At that moment all of us will fall to the ground and cover our faces. After that, we shall see.”
Matvei nodded to Manni who nodded in return. They lifted their blasters as Matvei opened the door to the Branch Station and stood in the doorway.
“Everything looks good so far.” Matvei walked through the door.
The Branch Station had multiple conduits leading to a central conduit that branched towards the surface. The conduits lit up the room with multiple colors.
“Manni, keep that blaster at the ready, you must provide cover for your father. Matvei, do not touch any conduits.” Somyan lead Kamin and Iva to the doorway.
“What next?” Matvei asked as he looked around.
All of the conduits turned from a yellow to orange and then to a bright red. The room filled with a red light.
“Matvei get out of there now!” Somyan yelled as Matvei turned around his eyes red as the conduits.
“This is my world now!” Matvei fired his blaster towards the doorway.
“Father!” Manni tried to jump from the doorway and suddenly slumped to the floor.
6.) A Bitter Fight
“Who’s next!” Matvei fired a few more shots from his blaster before he noticed Manni on the ground. Somyan crawled to Manni and reached for the blaster that had fallen.
“This ends now,” Somyan whispered to himself as he pulled the orb from his backpack.
Matvei’s eyes returned to their normal color and he noticed Manni crumbled on the floor. He threw down his blaster and ran to Manni.
“My son!” Matvei sobbed as he held Manni in his arms.
“You are all too weak to harm me.” Kolpa’s voice came from Somyan’s wrist communicator. “You have lost all communication and I will eliminate your crew one by one like ants.”
Somyan ran as fast as he could with the orb in his hands. The light in the conduit turned red again as Somyan felt his body freeze a few feet from the branch.
“You abandoned me.” Somyan could hear Terra’s voice as his mind filled with memories of their childhood on Lai.
“Somyan it is me, Kamin, I am taking the orb from you.” Kamin grabbed the orb and moved a few feet closer to the branch but Somyan, whose eyes turned a bright red, grabbed him and threw him to the ground. The orb hit the floor along with Kamin.
7.) From the Core to Space
Somyan, possessed, placed his blaster to Kamin’s head and as he started to put pressure on the trigger, he stopped and noticed Iva.
“Let me see you one last time Varva.” Iva had the orb in his hand as he ran into the branch. The light surrounded Iva as his form quickly dissipated.
“Get to the ground!” Somyan, who had snapped out of his trance, covered his face and fell on Kamin.
“Excellent!” Kolpa’s voice echoed through Somyan’s wrist communicator. “All the real fun is in space anyways.”
The blast from the orb filled the room with bright white light.
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