Template:PostAfter fleeing from the Rebel Alliance in CatH Post 34, in CatH Post 35 The Hopeful has entered Imperial space and have met with Captain Rynard of The Majestic. Clear feigns that they need time to repair before leaving with him, buying them time to search for the mysterious primary weapons room that Mother revealed to exist. Alexis Thrain is shocked, believing that The Hopeful must have destroyed the planet Algernon after all. The rest of the group travel to the area that Mother believes the weapon's systems are located. Clear, Green and Ffion Heul find one room they think must be the control room and they insert dongles to allow Mother better connectivity. Then, however, Kokoro Lymn and Pully believe that they have found the weapon room. When they meet up they find a giant obelisk faintly glowing. Green says she has seen one before, back in China, when a Doctor X came looking for the hedron there. She says there are more and that Doctor X took the Chinese hedron away to be with the rest of them. Ffion says that the hedron before them feels like the flux of Terra Flux - meaning it could mould reality and, therefore, possibly blow up a planet.
The Primary Weapon's Location
The man on the screen sports a well-groomed beard that is turning grey from its usual black. He wears a jet black uniform complete with a cap to signify that he is a captain of The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way. He has very bright blue eyes that shine out of his bearded features. When he speaks his English is very refined and deliberate, making it a little slow but rhythmic.
Captain Rynard: "I trust these repairs won't take long?"
She didn't point out that the scrape with the Alliance hadn't actually resulted in any fighting, but the captain doesn't need to know that.
Captain Rynard: "Very well, Captain Clear. We shall wait. But if you try anything... untoward, we shan't hesitate to fire upon your vessel. No matter how tired it is."
She thinks he's the first person to insult The Hopeless since she arrived in the Perseus Arm. Now she sits on the edge of Imperial space and is to be escorted further in by Captain Rynard and The Majestic. The Hopeless is fine but Clear wants to search for the controls of this supposed primary weapon her home has hidden away. She was given the possible site for the weapon's controls by Mother who, despite all her new processing power, couldn't make accurate sense of the map data due to ancient corruptions. The probable general location for those controls are based on Mother's guestimate for the general layout of The Hopeless rather than any accurate power signatures or tell-tale signs. Clear nods to Captain Rynard and turns the screen off. She turns to face her fellow crewmen.
She sweeps her hand on the map shown up on the screen behind her.
Green sticks her thumb into the air.
Thrain shakes her head.
Thrain: "I can't believe The Hopeful destroyed Algernon. What an ancient monster she is."
Clear: "We don't know that she did destroy Algernon, Alexis!"
Thrain: "You're deluding yourself, Captain."
Clear: "I was here when Algernon was destroyed. I would have noticed!"
Lymn: "It's pointless to argue about this. We need to find the control room for this ultimate weapon and see if it appears operational and if there's some way of shutting it down permanently."
Pully: "Permanently? Why would we do that!? We could keep it as our ace in the hole!"
Lymn: "If it does exist, it makes The Hopeful look all the more guilty. If we shut it down, we can continue to say it doesn't exist. If we start to use it then that lie is blown."
Clear: "Let's just get down there and find out. This weapon might turn out to be nothing more than a tiny pea-shooter."
Heul: "Or a spambot. We'll all get annoying mail for the next few weeks."
Sometime later, Clear is trekking through corridors of The Hopeless with Green and Ffion Heul in tow. They poke their heads into rooms, most of which are either barren or filled with all kinds of junk that they couldn't begin to comprehend. Finally they come to a room that's cluttered but largely navigable. Clear thinks it could be the control room for the ship's weapon. Red lighting fills the room, unlike the rest of the area of the ship which had to be lit section by section by Mother as Clear progressed. When Mother switches the main lights on in the room, the consoles suddenly spring to life too. She checks them and comes to the conclusion that this must be the right place.
Clear: "I can't tell when it was last fired though. It was fired... at some point, looking at this console. But it doesn't say when, where or by whom."
Heul: "Maybe Mother can work it out?"
Green: "Uh... Clear? This screen is blinking."
Clear comes to look. The writing on the screen is flashing urgently. The words, ultimately, insist that the primary weapon is compromised. How it's compromised the unhelpful computer doesn't say. Clear pulls out a couple of dongles and hands one to Heul and one to Green.
Clear: "Plug these into the consoles and Mother will be able to connect properly to them. She might be able to trawl through the data and work out what we've got and what happened. If this thing is ever to be used, we'd probably need to get proper connection from here to the Command Centre. If we destroy it... I have no idea how to do that..."
Heul: "I thought you were all for destroying it?"
Clear: "I am. I just... I just don't like the idea of damaging The Hopeless any more than it already is. Clearly the weapon, whatever it is, is offline. I'd say, for now at least, it's broken. Hopefully Mother will show us that it was broken when Algernon was destroyed and we can go on our merry way to Oeurwoud."
Heul: "If our new friends will let us go..."
Green: "I think the man with the bush on his face seemed really friendly."
Heul: "I don't think he'd like you calling his beard a bush, Green."
Clear: "And I don't think he's actually very friendly."
The voice of Pully comes through the comms.
Pully: "Captain, I think we've found it."
Clear: "Found what?"
Pully: "The weapon controls."
Heul: "Can't be! We've found the controls!"
There's a moment of silence from the other side.
Clear: "Tell me what you're looking at, Pully."
Pully: "It looks like a big... coc--"
Lymn: "Pully! It's a large obelisk. With peculiar symbols on it. I've never seen anything like this before."
Clear brings up holographic map from her PIP and checks the distance to the other group. She motions that Ffion should stay in this room while she and Green go to check out the other position. After a quick jog down the long corridor, a sharp turn left and a short staircase they reach a huge room. At the centre of the room is a large black tower, rugged and unhewn. The only light in the room that illuminates the obelisk comes from the obelisk itself. Gylphs shine in bright green on the surface of the rock and actually slide down, appearing like a holographic screen on the surface of solid rock.
Clear stands agape.
At the foot of the obelisk is Pully and Kokoro. Kokoro turns as she hears Clear's gasp.
Lymn: "Ever seen this thing before?"
Lymn: "Could it be the weapon?"
Clear: "I guess... I thought we found the control room. The consoles there seem to say that's the weapon controls but this? Could this be the planet-killer? Maybe the other room is for the pea-shooter..."
Pully glances back but turns her head back to the glow of the green shine of the obelisk as she speaks.
Pully: "It reminds me of the flux..."
Clear walks towards the towering rock.
Clear: "In what way?"
Pully: "There's something about the feeling I get from it. It feels like the flux. Feels like it wants to mould reality. It's hard to explain if you've never felt the flux before. I lived under it. I'd never forget the sensations it gives off. It almost feels like... home, to me. This thing feels like home."
Lymn: "I wonder what it is. What does it do? What's it called?"
Green: "I think they call it a hedron."
The three women look at each other, then they all turn to look at the little girl Green. Green instantly grows nervous at the sudden attention.
Lymn: "You know what this is, Green?"
Green: "I've seen one before."
Green: "Home. China. One fell to the Earth a long time ago. I saw it. It was just left there and nobody ever came to get it. So it was a lost treasure. Until some people finally came, a long, long time later--"
Clear briefly wonders at Green's concept of time.
Green: "--I met them and they said they were looking for the hedron. Said they had found the power signature. I don't know what that means but I helped them find it anyway. They stayed there a long time studying it. I think one of the young men was called Doctor X. At least that's what people called him. He told me the hedron came from outer space. He never said why it came. I don't think he even knew why."
Lymn: "Did he tell you what it did?"
Green rubs the side of her mouth as she tries to make sense of what's in her head.
Green: "Not really. I don't think he knew what it was supposed to do. Eventually they decided they should move it to the other hedrons--"
Clear: "Other hedrons? How many are there?"
Green: "He didn't say. He just said there were others and they wanted to move it. I wanted to stop them. I didn't think it would be safe to move it but the Jade Emperor asked me to leave them alone. The hedron didn't belong to China so we had to right to keep it from the researchers. So they took it using lots of special machines. I don't know what they were. And I never saw them again."
Clear looks again at the obelisk.
Clear: "If the humans of Earth want it, you can be sure this thing is dangerous."
Lymn: "You've lived here all your life and you never even knew about this thing. That doesn't sound like it's dangerous to me..."
Pully: "It feels like the flux. Like reality warping. Imagine if someone created a machine... a... glowing rock, or whatever, that could act like a flux. That could warp reality to be like something else."
Lymn: "They could blow up a planet..."
Pully: "They could make it so the planet never existed, Kokoro."
They stand there with their minds blown and fearful.
Green: "Do you think there are toilets around here? I really need to pee..."
Pully: "Moment ruined."