Chapter 10

"Ok guys, are you ready?" Nyo asked Dmitry and Dominic as they got ready to go.

Dominic finished strapping his cloaking device to his arm, "Yeah I'm ready."

"Are we going to be able to hear each other over this sub-vocal communication thingy?" asked Dmitry as he placed his in his ear.

< Yes I have modified it so that you will be able to hear each other perfectly unless you are more then one hundred feet from one another or if you go into another room, then you will just be talking to me. If you need to talk to each other and you are in another room or farther away then just let me know and I will boost the signal. >

"That works," smiled Dmitry.

Nyo turned to Stepan with a worried look, "Are you going to be alright here by yourself Step?"

Stepan walked over to Nyo and wrapped his arms around him, "I'll be fine, besides someone needs to stay and take care of Ark."

"Awww aren't they cute," giggled Dmitry.

Dominic just rolled his eyes and smiled.

< Nyo, now would be an excellent time to teleport you to your destination. All the occupants in the house are still asleep. >

"Still? What time is it at their location?" asked Dmitry.

< It is 1:45 pm. >

"I wouldn't mind if Ark would let me sleep until then every now and then," mumbled Nyo.

< Excuse me? >

"Nothing! Let's get going guys," Nyo said quickly. "Go ahead Ark, we are ready."

Suddenly Nyo, Dmitry, and Dominic vanished.

Stepan sighed, "Ark can I ask you for a favor?"

< Of course you can. >

"Can you watch out for Nyo for me? You know, keep him safe."

< I will do my best >


Nyo, Dmitry, and Dominic appeared the kitchen of what looked to be a nice home.

"Ummm, shouldn't we have activated our cloaks before coming here?" asked Dominic.

"Oh, Oops!" replied Nyo. "Yeah we should have; I set all of our cloaks to the same frequency so we should be able to see each other once we are cloaked. Go ahead and activate your cloaks."

"So where exactly are we?" asked Dmitry as he activated his cloak.

< The north side Sullivan's Island, South Carolina >

"Ok guys," Nyo mouthed into the SVCD. "Now remember we are to observe only; we are not supposed to interact with anyone. Clan Short will be arriving soon and I'm sure all hell will break loose once they do. Also try and stay away from any of the Clan's telepaths..."

"Right, our Phasenmorphs would have to block them and if they don't have enough energy they will take it from us," said Dmitry. "I figure if Giggle here starts to hurt my arm then I should probably move."

"Giggle?" said Nyo.

"He named his Phasenmorph Giggle," said Dominic.

"Did you name yours?" asked Nyo.

Dominic smiled, "I named mine Eyes."

Nyo laughed, "Ok, it is better then just calling them Phasenmorph. Anyway I also want you to be on the lookout for a specific Clan Telepath, his name is Kyle. I'm not sure exactly why our Phasenmorphs have such a hard time blocking him but you'll definitely know when you meet him, that's why I'm warning you to try and keep your distance."

"Ok," responded Dmitry.

"This looks like a really nice place," said Dominic as he looked around the kitchen. "It's a lot nicer then the Orphanage in Russia that we lived in."

"Well anything would look nice compared to the area we were living in," added Dmitry.

"I suppose," said Dominic as he stared longingly at the empty coffee pot he spotted on the counter. "Do you think they'll actually use that? I wouldn't mind having some coffee if I can sneak a cup."

"I don't see why not, just as long as you're careful," said Nyo.

"Hey Ark, I got a question for ya," said Dmitry. "If we pick something up do they see a floating object?"

< No, it becomes invisible. If the cloak did not work that way then you would have a hard time using any kind of tool or even wearing clothing. >

"That makes sense," said Dmitry. "Does it work the same way if we touch another human?"

< Yes, it should; but only one other human or you could over load the cloak's system. >

"It might be worth looking into integrating the cloak into the Phasenmorph so it will have more power if we ever need it for that," said Nyo.

"So who exactly lives here?" asked Dominic.

< A Doctor Marc Furst and a Doctor Jerald Owens; I do believe that Dr. Furst is not human though Dr. Owens is. I am not sure if there is anyone else in the house or not, the records do not say, but I can tell you from the calls between them and Clan Short that there is also a Daniel Page living here as well. He is also not human if I am to believe that he is the Daniel Page that is referred to in the old copy of Vision Industries records I have archived. >

"Ok, who is where?" asked Nyo.

< I just finished scanning the house; there is one human in the basement along with some other robotic signatures that I can not seem to identify and two androids upstairs. >

"Ok, Dominic I want you to keep tabs on all the androids," said Nyo. "Dmitry I want you to help me keep track of the Clan when it gets here but for now I want you to watch after those in the basement."

"Ok," said Dmitry. "But as soon as they get up won't we be right back up here anyway?"

"Probably," said Nyo as he walked over to a room off of the kitchen and looked inside. "Cool, this looks like a lab of some sort. Anyway, it's not a bad idea to look after them just in case; the Clan is full of surprises and if this group is anything like the Clan then we need to always be watching them. Just...don't follow them into the shower or anything."

"Aw you're taking all the fun out of this!" smiled Dmitry.

"So what exactly are we here to do though? I mean why are we 'observing' these kids, did they do something bad?" asked Dominic.

< No, very much the opposite actually; they are on a small scale what we hope that humanity will become. We are hoping by observing them and then giving them information that could help them in some way that they will prove to us that humanity, or at least this group, is finally ready for all the information that I have stored. If they use what we give them for more then their own benefit then we will know they are ready. >

"Right now though, the problem is we don't know what to give them," said Nyo. "We've collected so much info over the last 60 something thousand years that choosing one thing to tell them is a challenge."

< We are hoping that by watching and observing them that we might get a better idea of what might be helpful but not absolutely needed. >

"I also want to see them work their magic," added Nyo.

"Magic?" said Dominic.

Dmitry giggled, "Yeah magic, you know Dom like what you and me..."

"Hey!" shouted Dominic. "Wrong subject!"

Nyo shook his head and smiled, "They have gained a rep for showing the adults of this world how it should be done. In just a few months time they have saved more kids then the local authorities could in five years, they have been recognized by Vulcan as a Sub Clan to one of the most powerful houses in Vulcan, and they have a habit of taking the word impossible as a challenge."

< I have transferred all clan information to your handheld computer if you wish to read more on them Dominic. >

Suddenly they heard a small sound behind them and turned to find two boys coming up from the basement.

"Human or Android?" Dmitry mouthed.

"The taller one is human," replied Nyo.

< That is Jerald Owens; he goes by Jerry >

"Who is the other one?" asked Dmitry.

< The other one is not coming up in my records at all but he is an android. >

"How do you know that Ark?" asked Nyo. "None of us have our handhelds out."

< I'm watching through Dominic's eyes. >

Dominic looked surprised, "Ark you're not watching everything I do are you?"

< No, should I? >

"NO! That's ok Ark," Dominic said quickly.

"Ok guys, just remember to try and stay out of everyone's way while we're here," reminded Nyo. "Even though they can't see you they can still run into you. If these two are up then I'm sure the two upstairs will start waking up too."

< Relax Nyo; you are beginning to repeat what I have already told them. Remember I taught them to be your tactical team but I also told them what they would need to know to survive, they know enough about what not to do to get by just fine. >

Suddenly a blond haired boy came running down the stairs and into the kitchen; Nyo grabbed Dmitry and pulled him out of the way just as the boy was about to run into him.

< Now him I can identify; that is Marc Furst. >

"Good morning guys!" Marc said to the two other boys as he started to rush around the kitchen.

"Morning Marc," said Jerry.

"Monin Unkah Mahwk," said the other one.

"Where's Danny?" asked Jerry.

"He'll be down in a minute," said Marc as he scurried about.

"Ark are you sure he's an android, he's awfully cute," said Dmitry.

"Ark is there a way we can blindfold DT for a while," replied Dominic as he jabbed Dmitry in the side.

Dmitry giggled, "So what; you gotta admit he is cute! Ark didn't give you messed up eyes did she?"

< Did I ever say I was female? >

Dominic just shook his head and sighed.

"Did you two already eat?" asked Marc.

"Yeah I got me and Joey something to eat already," answered Jerry

< Joey; that is the name he used for that other android but there is no record of him. >

Just then a brown haired blue eyed boy slowly came down the stairs.

"Oh is he the other android that was upstairs?" asked Dmitry. "He's not bad either."

< Ah very good, he is the android that I thought he was; that is Daniel Page, he was one of the first Androids of this cycle. I would call him this cycle's first attempt at playing God in a more dangerous way. >

"Morning Guys," Danny said as he reached the bottom of the stairs.

"Monin Unkah Dahnnee!" shouted Joey as he ran over and hugged Danny.

"There's something not right about the way Joey talks," said Nyo. "Either he's speaking another language or his speech needs work."

< Again I have no record on him. >

"You guys are dressed. Been up long?" Danny asked Jerry.

"No." replied Jerry. "I fell asleep downstairs. I woke Joey, and got him showered and dressed and fed, then we came in here to wait like a minute before Marc came rushing through like his butt was on fire. I'm still tired."

Danny smiled down at Joey, "Joey, why don't you see if Daddy will take you for a walk on the beach. The ocean air will help him wake up."

Joey smiled back at Danny and then ran over and jumped into Jerry's lap, "Dahddee, Unkah Dahnnee sed da beesh id a waked ahp an we godda wock."

< I can not translate that; it does not register as a language of any kind. >

"Actually I think I got most of that," said Dmitry.

"Ok, ok," laughed Jerry. "Let's go take a walk."

"Daddy?" said Dmitry. "Isn't Jerry a bit young to be a Dad, he looks like he's my age?"

"Yeah but his kid is just a robot," commented Dominic. "There isn't any harm in pretending is there?"

< But they are not pretending Dominic, they are taking that very seriously, at least if they are anything like Clan Short is. The problem with the way that these androids are designed has to do with their brain; they have a Positronic Matrix. Their Matrix works very similar to the way that my system works; only I use a very different internal language and I am not designed to imitate human behavior. The problem, though, is that these androids are self-aware, and although it is not their fault that they are, humanity will never truly accept them. I still would classify them as alive. >

"Oh ok. Hey did they say the ocean?" asked Dominic. "I've never seen the ocean before, can we go?"

Nyo smiled, "Yeah go ahead. I'll keep an eye on Danny and Marc."

Jerry and Joey headed over to the slider to head out to the beach. "We'll be right out here." Jerry said.

"Stick with them though guys," Nyo said to Dominic and Dmitry as they followed behind them.

After the boys were gone Nyo watched as Danny opened the door to the basement and then looked into the kitchen.

"You need a hand bro?" Danny asked as he saw Marc rushing back and forth to the refrigerator.

"Nope," Marc smiled and replied. "Mrs. Owens brought a ton of sandwiches and stuff. I think we're gonna be set. You checking on Kevin?"

"Yeah, I'll just be a minute. When is the crowd supposed to start arriving?" Danny asked.

"The shuttle won't be for another couple of hours, but the Clan should be sending a security team first. That could be anytime now." Marc replied.

"It's a good thing we got here early then," mouthed Nyo.

Nyo noticed that Danny was rubbing his temples, Marc must have noticed too.

"Head still bothering you?" asked Marc.

"Nah, it's just about gone now. I'm just still trying to get over the fact that I actually had a headache. It's just weird." Danny grinned.

"It felt that real?" Marc asked.

"Yeah, Grade A Migraine. Whoever programmed the feeling got it right on the mark." Danny replied as he walked down the stairs.

"Cool." Marc said as he continued to lay out plates of food.

Nyo watched as Danny disappeared into the basement, "I didn't know that they could experience pain."

< I mentioned before that these androids are much more like humans then any we have ever come across before. These androids have also had the hardest time of any other AI created thus far as well. >

"What do you mean?" asked Nyo as he watched Marc continue to rush around.

< They are real enough that they feel just as much as any other human. They have gotten to the point where they can care for and love others just as much if even better then humans. And for all intents and purposes they are beyond average Artificial Intelligence, they qualify as Intelligence. But like I was saying to Dominic earlier they will never be really accepted. Humanity is too quick to use if you know what I mean. >

"So who is this Kevin that Danny has gone to check on?" asked Nyo.

< I am not entirely sure to be honest. It may be another android; I am picking up another Positronic signal in the basement. But the question I have is are they repairing an android that already existed or bringing another one into the world. The last of the two I would think to be irresponsible of them. >

"That's probably the one that they're going with if you can't identify him," said Nyo.

< That would be my guess as well. >

"But irresponsible?"

< I dread what will happen to these androids in a few hundred years when no one is left to defend them from some of the worst that humanity has to offer. >

"Hopefully by then humanity won't look the way it does now, not if Clan Short is successful," said Nyo.

Danny came back up from the basement, "Just a carbon dioxide build up, everything else was perfect."

Suddenly there was a loud rumble outside.

"Good god! Jerry! What are you doing out there?" Marc tried to yelled, but the sound from outside down near the beach drown him out.

"Alright, here we go," said Nyo.

~~~ A few hours later ~~~

"What the hell! Ark where the hell did he go! He's not showing up on passive scan anymore!" shouted Stepan.

< I am detecting a form of a temporal shift in the area that Nyo was in. >

"Pull him out of there!" replied Stepan.

< I am unable to get a clear lock through the normal pattern buffer; he has slipped into a different time state. I am attempting to correct the error in the time space continuum...I am unable to correct the error; attempting to use subspace frequencies to locate Nyo's signal...I am still unable to get a clear lock on him >

"Try using the pattern buffer in conjunction with the subspace modulator," suggested Stepan.

< Attempting now...I have a lock; I am pulling him back now. >

Suddenly Nyo appeared in the middle of the room looking somewhat dazed and confused.

"Nyo! Thank God! Are you alright?" shouted Stepan as he ran over and threw his arms around Nyo.

"Yeah I think so," said Nyo. "I'm not really sure what just happened."

< From here it looked like you were in some form of time rift; what happened? >

"Start from the beginning, I missed some of what happened this morning; I was working on a few power couplings," said Stepan.

Nyo moved over to a nearby chair, sat down, and sighed, "Well after the Clan got there I had Dmitry and Dominic help me explore the houses computer network while the Clan was distracted. The boys also now have a much clearer idea of why they need to avoid Kyle as well. Anyway, the Android that the Clan brought with them was in really bad shape; we were thinking of helping them but they seemed to have everything covered. Well at least until the Android's systems started to shut-down. Then Marc got the bright idea to link himself to Austin..."

"Austin?" asked Stepan.

"Oh, that's the injured Android's name," said Nyo. "Anyway, Marc linked himself to Austin and then proceeded to take over control of Austin's system taking the pain Austin was feeling upon himself. It's probably a good thing we didn't get involved though, Ark would have gone nuts trying to tell us how we needed to save him."

< I am not like that >

"I don't know, you seem very sympathetic for these Androids," said Nyo.

< Only because they deserve better lives then the ones that have lived; and I still think you should have offered your expertise. You do know more about advanced engineering then any of them. >

"They handled it just fine without me, besides Ark I didn't know enough about his systems to be any help without being able to at least look over Austin's system schematics first," replied Nyo. "Anyway, Marc ended up putting himself out of commission as well; he'll be ok but he wore himself out. It's probably a good thing that they were all distracted as it was because when all that happened it was a bit too much for Dominic to watch and I had to have Dmitry take him back upstairs; we were in the basement."

"Is Dominic ok?" asked Stepan.

"Yeah he's fine; it just reminded him of some of what he's seen lately. Dmitry said it had something to do with Dr. Waltkins and his friend Maxim, so I didn't ask for specifics; Dmitry took care of him," said Nyo. "Anyway, everyone is expected to recover. After all of that was over I had Dominic and Dmitry integrate their handhelds into the network there so they could work on a few things for me without needing to use any of the computers there directly. We think we came up with a good idea for what kind of information we're going to pass on to the Clan."

< Good, I have wanted to know the answer to that question for a while; what have we decided? >

"We were thinking of giving them a group of things actually, all of which are computer based," said Nyo. "First off I was thinking to give them Trinary, naturally that also means that they might need an example on how to use it so I was thinking we could give them a very simple version of your core program. Then we were thinking of offering the programming language that we use for your upper level systems to finish off with. We wanted to group those three things into one packet to give Clan Short. What do you think?"

< If you really want to go computer based that I will agree to most of that, just do not give them the programming language, they can make Trinary work by looking at how it is used in my core system. If we give them the language that might make them even more suspicious then they might be after just the little bit of information you mentioned already. >

"Awesome, if you get the information ready for us then Ark I'll plant it when I get back to Dominic and Dmitry," said Nyo.

< I will gather the information but the boys can plant it themselves, I want to run a few tests on you to make sure you are alright. I'll have them bury the information in their computers there so it will take just a little extra time for them to find it as well. Which brings us back to what just happened, so please continue. >

"Oh right, well as I set the boys at the network I wanted to observe Cory and Sean a little more because they are the ones at the core of this strange collection of children. They ended up going to the old Battery closer to the water, near what's called Rainbow Row," continued Nyo.

Stepan gave Nyo a funny look, "Rainbow Row?"

"It's a very colorful collection of houses," said Nyo. "Well anyway Cory and Sean met a young man there named JR."

< Yes I was listening to what he told Cory and Sean about why he was there; losing someone that he cared about like he did just because of humanity's unwillingness to accept just goes to show that humanity is just too far gone to ever... >

"ANYWAY!" Nyo said loudly.

< Sorry, please continue. >

"Then something really strange happened," said Nyo. "Two glowing figures appeared not too far from where we were; at first I thought that maybe they were aliens or something along those lines but as we got closer I realized that they were no aliens I had ever heard of. Both of them had wings on their backs and the one introduced himself as a Saint."

< What do you mean a Saint? >

"You mean like Saint Peter or Saint John from the bible?" asked Stepan.

Nyo looked at Stepan, "You know the Saints?"

"We studied them at the Orphanage," said Stepan. "I'm Russian Orthodox."

"Oh, ok; well yes like those Saints, he said his name was Saint Mikey, only he claimed to also be Cory and Sean's brother," said Nyo. "I'm still trying to figure that one out. From what our records say Cory and Sean had an older brother that went by the name Mikey but he died."

"Maybe he was made a Saint," said Stepan. "It could happen; well I at least think it could happen."

< We will discuss religion later, keep going. >

"Right, so this Saint sent his assistant, who he said was named Davie, off with JR and then he proceeded to shift us to another plane of existence. One where the ghosts of people long dead could be seen, it was kinda creepy. I know Sean and Cory didn't notice because they wouldn't know but there were even ghosts there from the Faction War of the Third Cycle there," said Nyo.

"The Faction War?" said Stepan. "I don't remember that from history class."

"We are in the Forth Cycle Step," replied Nyo. "The Third Cycle was thousands of years ago. It was a war that lasted for almost thirteen thousand years and is the reason you don't see that many Vifer or any other subspecies anymore. That war wiped them out."

< Saints? Ghosts? I really want to get those tests out of the way before I even consider believing that. >

"But Ark, our principals are founded on the concept of what the Bible says, that is what the Founders believed," said Nyo.

< I will remain skeptical until I check to make sure you do not have some kind of hallucinogen in your system. >

"Then how do you explain the plane shift that the Saint caused?" asked Stepan.

The Ark was silent for a moment < You have a point. >

"Oh I think you guys killed my cloak as you were pulling me out so there is a slight chance that they saw me," said Nyo.

< I will tell Dmitry and Dominic to be extra cautious then just in case Sean and Cory think that they are being watched now, but if this being really was some holy saint then your presence was probably already known to him. >

"I didn't think of that," said Nyo. "Oh wait, the boys! They don't know I'm not down there anymore!"

< Don't panic Nyo, I already told them. I have also given them the information that we talked about them planting; they should be planting it any minute now and I am waiting for them to report back in. >

Suddenly all of the computer consoles went blank and the lights dimmed.

Nyo jumped to his feet, "What the heck, Ark what happened?"

< I am unsure; my sys-sys-systems are being pla-pla-placed into standby. I was just receiving Dmitry's report that he pl-planted the informa-mation. It appears to be an o-o-old Founder program overriding my systems. I can not seem to... >

The room went silent.

"Ark?" Nyo said in panic. "Talk to me!"

Just then one of the consoles came back on but floating above the console was a hologram of a man. The man looked to be very old; he was dressed all in white, with white hair and bright purple eyes.

"Who is he?" asked Stepan.

"Oh crap, it's a Founder," said Nyo. "We must have triggered an old Founder protocol by giving out information."

{Hello}, said the Hologram. {My name is Cyos Oraculum, leader of the last Founder Council. You are watching this message long after I am gone but if you are watching this then the Ark has determined that humanity has once again reached a state of peace and tranquility. The Ark is a magnificent being that we created in our last years of existence to record the history of humanity so that nothing would ever be lost. Now that you are once again at peace and can take responsibility for your actions all that the Ark has recorded is yours. When we first encountered humans we thought you to be so like children, so we thought we would help mold you into a peaceful society. But in looking back on our decision to do so we realized that humanity should never be molded by others but rather by its own people. So now you have done it, you have become what you truly should be. In addition to this gift of knowledge that we have for you I also offer something else, a chance to interact with the Ark Oracle, the one that is sealed here as the Ark's Founder Guardian; my son Tyne Oraculum. As I speak he is being woken from a deep frozen sleep, the hidden door to his chamber should open momentarily. Although he is powerful he is also wise despite his age and he will be more then willing to help you with anything that concerns the Ark. Please, though, do me the favor of watching out for him as well, as he is still only 14. Peace be with you brother and May God light your path and guide you.}

The Hologram then disappeared and on the other side of the room a low rumble could be heard as a door appeared in the wall.

"Nyo what's going on?" asked Stepan.

"I'm not...there's a Founder still alive?" said Nyo as he grabbed Stepan's hand. "Come on Stepan, this I have to see."

"Is it safe?" said Stepan as Nyo dragged him to the door that just appeared. "And is the Ark ok?"

"It sounds like Ark's systems went into standby, it's never happened before. The Founders are the ones that build the Ark, so they would know how to bring it back out of standby," replied Nyo.

Despite what Nyo said though, he still carefully walked through the door himself and then slowly pulled Stepan in behind him when he was sure it was safe. The room was dimly lit and a thick layer of dust had settled on everything. In the middle of the room was a large machine that suddenly began to hiss, Nyo could make out flashing lights under some of the dust on one of the consoles connected to the machine.

"That must be the cryo-stasis chamber that the Hologram mentioned," said Nyo.

"So let me get this straight, that guy in the Hologram put his son in stasis in here thousands of years ago," said Stepan. "I feel bad for the kid in that chamber; he's lost everything he's ever really known."

Just then the lid of the chamber began to slide open, Nyo and Stepan watched as a young man slowly sat up in the chamber, groaned, stretched, and then rubbed his eyes. As he opened his eyes and looked around the room; Nyo and Stepan stood perfectly still to see what he was going to do.

Suddenly he spotted them and smiled, "Hello, I'm Tyne."