Although the holobeing called Tichokiri signed off of the inter-stellar holoverse, he was still present in Daniel’s mind. And even though they had not known each other for more than a few hours, they had come to know each other quickly. Daniel was attracted to T’s knowledge and pragmatism, while it was fascinated with the Lunar boy’s astronomical emotional drive.
T: Daniel, you have not been chosen. It is not necessary to erase the memories of all that you have been subjected to. I say that you have not been chosen because you have chosen us. When you were unconscious on the surface of Earth’s moon, all vulnerable and waiting for certain death, an unidentified ship, presumably the former-freedom fighters, picked you up. Most likely they saw your work sabotaging the Helium 3 industrial refinement complex and knew that you were subconsciously inclined towards beliefs contradicting those that you have been indoctrinated in since your birth. Those warriors, which are even to us drenched in mystery, dropped your body off at our waypoint. That is why you are here now.
Daniel: I know my state of being is weak, but please, allow me to help resist this invasion. I’ve always desired of destroying these ingrained beliefs.
T: Yes, passion… and dedication. Really the only abstract concepts needed in order for an organic to work the weapons system. Especially against these mindless drones and vile mercenaries… You see, these systems will feed off of your emotions. Remember everything your family did to you back on Luna. If you have the needed drive, all else will come automatically. The primary concern is that your body is still taking time to rejuvenate for correlation with the central nerve processing core…. We’ve never let a new organic, especially one so young, access the defense system immediately after having been thawed from cryogenic stasis. However, since the danger is imminent, and your hatred so great, we find it can be necessary to break protocol… Let’s see… You run a 2/3 chance of not surviving if you proceed, do you understand?
Daniel: I understand Tichokiri…
T: That is, not surviving, in other words a 1/3 chance of survival. Do you still wish to proceed?
T: Then let us waste no more time.
Daniel’s body was enclosed again, although this time he was not subjected to the blackness of sleep but that of space. That is, actual space, not the holoverse representation. The defense systems on the asteroid included not only laser weapons, but highly advanced “invincible gravity flails”. It worked like a sling flung from the face of the asteroid rock, and carried a bubble carrying a being with so much force it reached near light speed. The operator worked in the translucent orb at the end of the tentacle sling, using gravity manipulators that would instantly crush any targets within reach.
Besides the gravity/laser defense systems, there were several hundred hydrogen mines in what was called the “outer wall”. Not only did the mines utilize ancient thermo-nuclear technology, but they were also rigged in order to amplify the electro magnetic bursts that such reactions naturally created. The effect would be devastating on any automated ships or drones within hundreds of miles of the actual blast radius itself, which was already huge. These outer defenses were thousands of miles away from the waypoint itself, roughly forming an oval around the asteroid station. As the center of Guild commerce, Waypoint 3 was the most heavily fortified asteroid in the Belt.
T: The Jackers comm is being disrupted by EMT bursts, I’m assuming the outer wall is breached. Ready Daniel?
Daniel: All I need is to focus and remember…
T: Exactly, let’s go.
The usage of the word ready was relative. The young human had spent his entire life worshipping and working simple machinery. He was feeding the belly of an unholy beast unknowingly. It was his chance to disembowel the beast.
Meanwhile, Dar was locked in a vicious battle with the drone fleet. The merc ships were able to slip by the pirate cruisers only because their drone companions were unlike anything the guild commander had ever seen. Dar was frustrated, every attempt she made at subduing the drones with EMT blasts seemed futile. She was no coward, and yet she was nowhere near a fool, and so she ordered her girls to retreat under cover of hydrogen flak with a handful of precious ships lost. Tichokiri could not communicate with Dar, although it knew something had gone terribly wrong, as the merc fleet amassed only a few kilometers from the waypoint itself.
T: Comm still down… Dar, if you can receive this, minimize your losses and retreat. Waypoint 3 will be closing up completely and initiate the detonation of the anti-matter field.
Daniel: What’s going on?
Daniel was encased in metal, and relying on gravity to arc back and forth in waves of destruction. The translucent tentacular vehicle he operated effortlessly smashed merc vessels to bits. The untrained boy took dozens of lives without realizing it.
T: Daniel, I’m bringing you back now.
Daniel: Why? I can feel the battle, it’s amazing. I just can’t see it.
T: Perhaps that’s for the best, but you need to prepare for the worst.
Just then the figurative blinds conveniently opened up on Daniel’s gravity-craft. The devastation was now apparent to him. The once imposing, hight-tech merc fleet had been shattered. Yet something strange was simultaneously developing, and Tichokiri was the only one aware. The drones were using the wreckage as resources in order to construct entirely new, automatic and self replicating weapons. The sight would have instilled fear into the holobeing if it could feel, especially since the EMT mines seemingly had no effect on these new drones.
T: How did they discover this energy? How could our intelligence have failed us? Now there is no choice, the only chance of survival is the last resort. This has never happened before.
Daniel: Why did you bring me back? I was just getting used to kicking ass.
T: You couldn’t see, but we didn’t win. However, you bought us enough time in order to close the station. We’re going to have to destroy everything in Mid-Sol in order to defeat those highly advanced drones. The anti-matter weapon is readying, hopefully it will work.