Toyota is closing in on a deal to buy Google's robotics company Boston Dynamics, and the 'ink is nearly dry'
It ranks as possibly the best news story this year.
The Goddess of Memory, she was called. She was really something, far older and much less divine. Much like the other so-called Gods and Goddesses, with whom she argued with about their stance in this whole thing.
Mnemosyne was older than they. She was in fact, older than Kronos. She didn't say, however, as Zeus often had conniption fits. Still, this was her bet. She'd worked with the Preservers and seeded this world with both Humans and Tao Crystals. All in the name of a game to some, but she knew better...
They'd only help if they thought competition to win a prize as the goal of a game. So she invented one. And, they took it too far in many cases, but it worked. It was really her versus the LightBringer, as it had always been. To destroy him, she needed a very special crystal. A focusing crystal capable of bending time and space.
Tao Crystals... is what they called them. The Civonians. She'd toyed with the idea of the name and managed to tip various cultures into accepting a single term for them in this Galaxy. Out of all the Galaxies, this was the only one that had a negative gravimetric gradient sufficient to trap the LightBringer.
Mnemosyne was something... bigger than he, but much less physical. Zeus knew the LightBringer as Kronos -- His father. But that's not really his father, as it was a starting point. These Humans call it a Boltzmann brain back on Earth. Yet, she needed a petri dish to avoid potentially extinguishing an entire species on an experiment.
Her plan had been a simple one to destroy the LightBringer. She fully intended on doing so. She dared not explain to anyone how or why this was transpiring. She was cleaning up after herself. Correcting a mistake. A very terrible mistake.
Yet she had no way of knowing who or when she would have the necessary tools at her disposal. It had taken epochs to design and begin effort to fulfill her plan. She didn't know how long it would take.
Evolution was only one step. Tipping and fostering religions and science, transforming an entire species to something capable of harnessing Energy-Matter Conversion Storage Crystals? That took effort.
Throughout the millennia, Mnemosyne would appear to various cultures. She tended to them in various ways. Oh, she encountered other deities and ascended species with their own intentions. She learned to work with them. Yet the LightBringer had been caught in a gravitational eddy following the birth of the Universe.
She knew where and generally when he would appear. His malevolent machinations contrary yet sympathetic to her own, destroying whole civilizations. Often, as if he knew she was there... That's what led her to the toying of the Gods. The Olympians had fun with species, as did any such as the Q or whatnot. So she worked with M, who desperately wished to move on from her existence.
The game would be played out and the winner would take M's place, should she decide to depart her plane of existence. It was a very potent prize, one Mnemosyne did consider for herself also. She had to devise the plan to get a single crystal.
A very special crystal.
She needed a crystal that could create a very special particle, machine it into a very dangerous atom, and fabricate chains of molecules with the ability to rewrite reality. The density of raw power and gravity contained within the construct, had to be carefully crafted into a programmable form of matter.
The problem was, she couldn't use it. She needed hosts. She needed a creature that could survive the process, maturing the crystal, and one that could prime the crystal... and one that could control the crystal.
Creation was taken care of now. Priming the crystal would have to wait to see if this experiment panned out. Controlling it was already under way. She had witnessed a one who met all criteria... The problem with it was that that individual hadn't been born yet. That individual was further up the timestream from her present frame of reference.
One thing she wasn't: A lord of time.
Mnemosyne walked around her proverbial palace. She eyed her table and the various projects underway. She could be in multiple places at once, so various versions of her were manipulating her interests appropriately.
She felt terrible about what she was doing. She was toying with lives of finite length. Manipulating people to do her bidding unwittingly. Sometimes, she had to enable infliction of both good and evil upon a few here and there. Sometimes, she even had to destroy experiments gone rogue or which threatened the greater good.
She did not want to be a God. The Olympians were that way. Perhaps that's why they adopted her into their fold. They did find her adrift and unconscious. Athena and Hestia did heal her to the best of her ability... She did owe them and did help them record their history into the fabric of various cultures.
In exchange, she provided energy and strength to them. This helped when people stopped believing in them here and there. How she did that, was through the Civonians. Not only did she save the Olympians, she saved several cultures back on Earth from the terror of the Triangulum Galaxy.
That's a word that had different connotations when you looked at the things she did to others. Mnemosyne bit her rust colored lower lip. She fluffed her green hair and shifted from her maudlin state. The point was still the goal: Destroy the LightBringer. Zeus agreed, largely out of fear of the LightBringer.
Mnemosyne zoomed back in on Hestia. She wished there was something she could do for her, but the dice was cast. The hope was that by happenstance, the right combination of events led to someone with the genetic capability and the spirit to survive. Assuming the crystal was not flawed... One step at a time. First, the nanites needed to finish preparing her body to properly grow it. Provided she survived the process.
Her long, delicate fingertips caressed the screen before stepping away. "There's never enough time..."
Henia cowed a bit. "It's just a little..." Her cherubic face looked frightened at Caelia's shout. Civonian hearing was very good. Anything close to a normal shout was difficult on the ears in a quiet environment. What she came out with was earsplitting.
"Henia..." Caelia walked up to her and grabbed her by the shoulders. "What in all of Creation, in the name of Hera, were you THINKING!" She shook the petite girl and shoved her back. "TA-..." She stilled her voice lest someone hear her shouting, "Tao Crystal Powder? You deliberately poisoned Hestia with Tao Crystal Powder?! Are you frelling insane? Between you and Jenne, what and wherein did your plans to get rid of her, step into the territory of violence and murder?!"
"I... I know that it sounds bad..."
"Bad is far from my verbiage, Henia!"
Henia took a breath, stilled herself and looked on with a sense of resolve. "A little powder will not kill her. I checked. Many people simply get sick. If we make her sick enough, she'll be dropped out of the Classe and sent to a medical facility. Because she's too old, she will not be able to rejoin. Problem is therefore solved."
"Those were Tao spores, you idiot!" Caelia pointed to the small box that Henia had in her room. The box was open and revealed what was left of a hermetically sealed vial. The vial had a biohazard label on it. The wording on the label was smudged. "The whole facility could be contaminated by now!"
Henia blanched. "The caretaker was certain it was powdered Tao Crystal..."
Her hazel-green eyes blinked a moment at Caelia. "I sprinkled it into her water bottle. It was just a portion, I swear."
"Did you touch it? Breath it in?"
"N-no. It appeared clumped."
"That's the counter-agent. It prevents it from becoming too fine. Still, if you put it in liquid, she must be infected!" Caelia began walking briskly around the room. Her hands were grabbing at her hair. "Dren, frelling fetted excrement! If she dies or they trace her infection to us? This is attempted murder, Henia!"
Henia looked down a long moment in silence. Her pink-lavender bangs cast a dark shadow over her eyes. "N-not if she dies off campus."
Caelia stopped pacing and stared at the evil imp. "I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." She pointed at the door, "Get out. I need to find out how we're going to fix this mess."
Standing at Hestia's door, it was late in the afternoon. Hestia had missed her classes that day. Everyone noticed. She didn't miss her classes. Two things could have transpired: Henia had killed Hestia, or Hestia was in need of medical attention, in which, Caelia would be her savior. She was about to knock when the door opened.
Hestia stood there, looking Caelia dead in the eyes. There was a long, uncomfortable silence. Caelia opened her mouth to speak when Hestia suddenly sneezed. It, got into Caelia's mouth.
"Ugh... Frell... Sorry." Hestia took a long, snotty sniff through her nose.
Caelia was gagging. She had a terrified look in her eyes. Grabbing her throat slowly, Caelia doubled over, wide-eyed at Hestia. She made hacking sounds, trying desperately to spit out what could be a life-ending infection of Tao spores.
Hestia wiped her nose on her sleeve. Her look of exhaustion turned into one of curiosity, then insult. "I apologized, you do not need to make a spectacle of it."
People in the hallway were eyeing the pair. Caelia quickly tried to compose herself. "Oh. Zeus! Wh... Frell!"
"I woke up sick. Did I miss anything important today?"
Caelia wanted to yell at her for what she just did, but that would require informing her of Henia trying to kill her by accident! How does one explain Tao Spore Poisoning in this situation? She cleared her throat. "I... no. Have you been to the clinic?"
"Yes..." Hestia sniffled and sneezed into her arm. "Typical full scan, nothing but a cold. Why?"
"I mean," she blew her nose into a napkin she pulled from her pocket. "Why are you here?"
"I... happened to be in the area and wanted to know if you had... seen Apollo?" Caelia could still taste Hestia on her tongue.
Hestia shook her head. "Not since he dropped off some P'toka soup and these napkins." She waved the snot-coated napkin. Her eyebrow arched when Caelia reacted to it like a plague.
"So... the clinic found nothing wrong with you?"
"I wish. I've never had a cold before. This is terrible. I feel horrible. Like something is eating me from the inside out."
Caelia almost fainted. Perhaps she's lying? She knew? No, lying isn't something Civonians just did. It was practically against their genetic code. "Well, good to know. I would hate to catch it, seeing as how you sneezed into my mouth."
Hestia glared. "I apologized."
"Well... accepted. Let Apollo know I came by." Caelia turned and walked off mouthing: OH MY HADES!
"She has a cold?" Henia blinked.
"And she was scanned?"
"So she said."
"They found nothing?"
"But I saw her drink all of that water!"
"Are you sure that's Tao Spore powder?"
"Well? I did get it from a caretaker..."
"Did you check?"
"I looked at it under a scope and it is spore powder!" Henia stamped her foot. "I'm not stupid! Science is my background!"
"Then why is she just sick?!"
"I frelling told you, a little bit won't kill someone... or so they say."
"Spore farmers. My father has a plantation." She thumbed off away behind her.
Caelia folded her arms.
"He doesn't visit it and he doesn't know much about it. But I asked."
"This brother of a farmer, that's a cousin of this guy's girlfriend, that I had a quick thing with, before I came to the Classicum." Henia blinked again.
Caelia fell back onto her bed. "I'm surrounded by idiots. At least she's not dead or dying."
Henia joined her in a flop on the bed. "Would it help if I reminded you that this was all Jenne's idea?"
"Get your hand out of my tunic."
Hestia tried to get some sleep. All the while, she tossed and turned. Despite feeling more awake than she ever had before, her dreams had turned to oddity. A sensation of something worming itself through her veins. A dark ribbon corrupting her from the inside.
Hungry, she'd devoured everything in sight. She still hungered. When she felt drained, she even took the moment to hold her beam saber's crystal, hoping it would give her some strength. Not like it held power, but because it belonged to her mother.
She really hadn't ever been sick like this before. She should have reasoned that this might happen. New environment with new people, you never know what anyone may be carrying.
The gnawing feeling in her gut told her something wasn't normal. Yet even after spending a few trips to the clinic, they were beginning to think she was a hypochondriac. She did have an elevated radiation count, and they asked if she may have been exposed to something in science class... They had been working with radioactive isotopes the past week, however, and she did take all the necessary precautions.
So they gave her a themezine flush and sent her on her way.
Yet, if they and she had actually known she was exposed to Tao Spore powder, they might have noticed the small mass forming between her kidneys near her spine. The small crystalline-organic mass that now had tendrils reaching into her spinal cord and kidneys.
It had begun leaching nutrients from her body and emptying waste through her kidneys. Even now, her mitochondria were being modified by tiny molecules. The rotors in them, replacing the F0 and F1 components with Tao Crystal structures. They began working faster, producing more energy for the conversion process, and enabling them to harness additional energy sources.
As each cell completed the process of conversion by the foreign body in her, they surged with dark matter instead of protons. The electrical gradient fueled now by dark energy. Each individual rotor, a Tao Crystal, channeling, amplifying and focusing that energy into any form of matter needed. Converting nutrients into the forms needed to grow a Tao Crystal Pod within its host.
Hestia was not simply sick. She was pregnant with a Tao Crystal. The one thing that Mnemosyne had hoped to achieve, played out perfectly. And Mnemosyne stood there beside Hestia's bed. Her radiant green eyes stared down at the girl's slumbering form. She reached down, gently stroking her face. Taking hold of the blanket, she drew it up over her... and then she vanished.
And that's why I circle and love some of you wingnuts back.
Who is Mnemosyne?
The Goddess of Memory makes a memorable appearance! The Universe gets a bit fuller with the appearance of a... Greco-Roman Goddess? Gods and Goddesses referenced as real? And what is this game she's playing, where the lives of innocent mortals hang in the balance?
When did we take that hard wrong turn in the story to murder and intrigue on sapphic and deific scales? I really want to know, because... wow.
- making the world a better place...present
- Wossamotta U.Rim Shot Put
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