Alaecyn stood in the medical wing of the Empyrean, monitors and other medical equipment lit up around the room while nurses and doctors worked on the too few captured students from the other Earth. They set equipment in place, hooked up devices and worked carefully at the behest of Alaecyn's lead scientists. The unconscious children lay still as the grave through all of it.
"Neural link established." The deep male intonation came from a man seated across the room from the children. He was older than everyone else there, perhaps fifty or sixty years old, Alaecyn wasn't sure. The cracked and worn face suggested a man much older, or who'd been through one hell of a life. Alaecyn unconsciously touched the spot on his chest from which black veins radiated like spokes on a wheel, hidden by his shirt.
The older man went by the name Manipulator, he was a villain from the time before Surgath, long retired. Alaecyn had spoken to him and the balding villain had agreed to join his team. In his words, it wasn't about doing the right thing, it was the principle that whoever was doing this wasn't even honest enough to tell everyone. It was, according to him, like those dictators that instead of calling themselves Kings or Warlords called themselves Presidents. It was dishonest in the wrong way.
"Establishing consciousness." This voice was female and belonged to Manipulator's young assistant, a woman code named Enabler. He didn't know their relationship and didn't really care.
The two students gasped to consciousness and immediately began thrashing around, trying to escape their bonds as fear overwhelmed their young minds.
"Be still and know that I am here," Manipulator whispered. The two students instantly calmed.
"I can feel it...it's...immense, like a--like a tsunami on the horizon, ready to overwhelm the shores of their minds. My God..." Enabler said.
"I see it," Manipulator said, closing his eyes. "I've never seen a mind this powerful before. It's--monstrous--and it's--"
Alarms went off across every monitor. The students began screaming and thrashing and Enabler grabbed the connectors plugged into her head and tore them free with a cry of terror.
Manipulator gripped his armrests so tight his knuckles went white and blood seeped from his nose.
"No! Wait--I can see something. Come on--tell me where you are you beautiful bastard!"
Alaecyn watched the doctors work and glanced at the monitor readings. The kids were near death, their hearts were dangerously close to giving out as their bodies pumped so much adrenaline into their system it threatened to overwhelm everything. Their flight responses were overwhelming everything.
"It knows I'm here. It's stopped trying to influence their perception. Loitering in their minds is driving them to the breaking point," Manipulator said.
Manipulator grabbed a clipboard set beside him with trembling hands and began to scribble numbers on it, Alaecyn's eyes widened, longitude and latitude.
"Oh no--no! Stay away! You have no right to--" Alaecyn reached over and tore the connectors from Manipulator's head. The man screamed and collapsed, alive but unconscious. The students calmed instantly.
The Green Knight lifted the clipboard from where it had fallen. "Coordinates. Finally."
"What do you want us to do when the students wake again?" one of the doctors asked.
"Give them to Manipulator if he's ready and have him go forward with phase two."
Concepts, Lore, & New Developments.
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