Continuing the discussion from Ouroboros:

Return to Alpha

“What do you want Tem?”

“To talk privately with a Navy Intelligence Officer.”

“No such thing.”

“There was and is.”

“That was a long time ago in a much different Federation.”

“But some things never change.”

“Don’t waste my time Tem.”

“What do you know about Fed’tel operations in regard to Sang Do?”

“Nothing that I can tell you. Ask your brass.” She could hear the shark-tooth smile. “I dare you.”

“I don’t, I’m asking a classmate.”

“Look, you left the Navy for Revonar’s Dogs not me.”

“What do you mean?”

"Damnit Tem, I know you know better than that.

“Phi-Oh is a direct report to The-Office-of-the-President.”

“And no one will tell you any different, except Blaque is a Knight of Garoun.”

“That explains a lot.”

“You never heard it from me.” A pause. “Like what?”

“Royal involvement at home. Jin-Mae Ascension.”

“Catching on are we.”

“Your sure he’s oath-sworn?”

“Sixty percent. No direct evidence.”

“I can’t believe Snowflake’s right”.

“Look, I’d love to catch-up but I’ve got work to do and this is dangerous.”

"Yeah, sure. Oh-seven Commander.

“Mei-ha, good-luck Tem. Your going to need it.”

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This fab-lab was home, the utilitarian lines and cool efficiency comfortable with illumination just shy of adequate. She walked among the additive and subtractive processing units trailing her fingers over the smooth tactile surfaces of their unique and individual limbs. As she did so she felt the subtle vibrations of their shutdown procedures end.

The control desk too was cool to the touch, ready lights shifting to amber before fading to a black that matched the slowly decreasing availability of ambient.

All that remained were the vivid holo-monitors focused on two vital processes, laboratory research and personal training. Line by line the activities listed were marked paused and were consumed by night.

Finally in the darkness she stood staring at the silhouette of a familiar shape and the dark lens of her design. A singular plasma projection drone hung overhead, the impossibility of its solitude a puzzle. She reached out to touch it, but before she could, the outline of her hand against the void beyond, blurred, smeared then dissipated into droplets that would never reach ground. Nor would she.

Her eyes opened to the crystalline carbonide nightlight-glow of the quarters. Snowflake’s hair shone brilliantly, catching it’s sheen as did the silken sheet. She stared at it in the stillness and observed the development of her halo through misting eyes.

Snowflake’s eyes were closed, features at peace. The smooth lines and waves of the sheet weaved light and fine were complemented by her relaxed form. Each arch artfully reflected the highlights and hollows of stomach and thigh.

In these open arms she had entrusted her soul. Capable, graceful, beautiful and articulate. A dancers hands in delicate repose. In this bared bosom unabashed consolation had been found.

River had tracked Snowflakes discussion on the Intergalactic Summit forum

She had been tempted to post there herself just to point out the blindingly obvious; power is of course simply energy put to work. Neither evil or benign, but perhaps bent to the will of both or neither, but she had elected to remain silent, allowing Snowflake to develop her own thread of thought on the subject. Identifying patterns of energy transfer is the nature of I. Defining the limits of self is the the meaning of life organic or otherwise.

As Snowflake was fond of saying, the only control is self control. She would add, victory over delusion reveals reality. The creator owns and controls, was another maxim, one that had wooed her to the cause.

The realty is that Snowflake is now leading them away from supporting ancient powers and archaic organising principles. She had allowed herself to be persuaded, reluctantly, to forge a new new path of self-reliance.

But first the hard reset.

I fear it is going to be the death of me.

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A golden amber glow with a frost touch of mint rimmed the silhouettes that throbbed in rhythm to the sound in the gilt edged cavern.

“Are you breaking up with me Snow?” The question was light, playful and ultimately rhetorical. “But I’m not done with you.” Their eyes intersected at the mirror behind the under-lit bar, they were alive with a sense of urgency and beneath that, danger.

“I’m merely expressing my gratitude for your backing dear, without you there would be no Order to speak of. Only a matter of errant property.”

“Now you want off the hook without our return of investment?” The reflection asked a touch crisply.

Snowflake turned to face her directly. “Are you suggesting that I simply swapped owners?”

Her Luminairian head tilted back while dark evocatively tousled hair jostled with the joviality of her clear bright laughter. “No no no, or course not, no. That’s not the way we do things. I just want to stay in touch, watch you grow, blossom.”

Snowflake mentally added ‘shape and mould’ to the list silently while nodding to her verbal echo “of course.”

“These meetings of ours have become rare Snowflake and I do so look forward to them. Come, let us a least enjoy the local together. There are saunas below where we can talk shop in the traditional manner since you are being so formal.”


“The business of expansion darling. Making our scintillating dreams come true,” a general gesture to the crystalline room they both occupied" or die trying. You still dream, don’t you? Tell me what makes your bed rock these days."

“There is something you could help with. A new monastery, styled on the scans of The Eternal Flame to orbit Ethernity one.”

“Save it for the sauna darling.” The contact drained her vibrant cocktail and placed the empty conical crystal container on the bar with a delicate tap before handing over a pre-purchased chit access coin to the facility in question. “See you soon.” She said over her shoulder with a smile before she was lost in the massed throng of dancers.

Snowflake took a long moment to compose herself, chit in one open hand, a full crystal in the other. She put her crystal beside the empty one left behind by the representative known only as Aventurine on the bar, closed her eyes and lifted both arms high overhead, her hands curled into fists. Tilting her own head back she breathed deeply of the spirit of the place. ‘Victory’ whispered in endocrine by way of response to the mnemonic trigger.

“Now the negotiations begin.” She whispered to herself before following misadventure into the dark.

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