The Book of Soltana: Gift – 2

Surprise chapter release. Merry Christmas. More releases until New Years. -Bladed Pen

Decima, Enroute to Lo IX

Gideon

He peered at the sealed white crate, seeing obvious writing scribed upon the mystery package he had picked up inside the Decima when they were first marooned upon the grey ash moon of what they discovered was Karmmrak. They had survived, gained crew, and were enroute to Lo IX to deliver the strange Tesseract Catalyst to the Empire of Dusk. The kaleidoscopic colors were wonderous outside as they traveled in FTL to their destination.

They were called the Empire of Dusk until Gideon was given a revelation from his guardian angel, Deborah, Angel of Multitudes, that they were called The Watchers and were charged with preventing Great Filter events that would wipe out ancient humanity. Ancient humanity in that Gideon was now flung far forward into the future and had missed Armageddon. He was now lost in a strange new universe where death was gone, entropy was exchanged for ectropy, and the spiritual plane and physical plane were merged. Gideon was plagued with visions and dreams, all foreshadowing of a bizarre future. In one of those dreams, he was given The Seal of the Tetragrammaton. And even then, the strangeness hadn’t ceased since their victory over the demon now named Saddiffer.

Named so because Baxter had beaten it and possessed it, making it a part of their crew. And then Gideon had the bright idea of forming a covenant with the demon, using the ability of his Seal to change the demon into a Eudaemon, a type of spiritual being. So far, he had still been asleep, the change had been traumatic to the former demon. The rest of the crew were apprehensive over the new crew member, if not outright hostile. What he would become was a complete unknown.

Baxter had changed as well, gaining much of the former demon’s abilities, including the increased strength. He had broken several scales for weight when they attempted to find his maximum weight, which he could now change at will. Gideon couldn’t comprehend a tiny talking corgi being the strongest crewmember. Gideon didn’t notice any changes apart from a new speckled gem embedded in his chest. His personality was as doggy as ever; perhaps moreso with the victory.

Deborah had been against having a demon aboard, with good reason as Saddiffer was the reason she had been wounded and had lost her Throne, given to her by Adonai himself. She had been charged with assisting Gideon in his journeys, alongside discovering the eleven other Seal holders. She was possibly the second strongest crew member, apart from Prosine.

Prosine was the first AI, and assist Gideon’s father; Mikial McDonough in his experiments. Prosine was tasked with awaiting on Karmmrak for Gideon with an army of XZ-99 Planet Defender dubbed as Rumblers and a hoard of CK-DINE Sentinels. Prosine was in control of an automated army. This made him the strongest crewmember, possibly tied with Saddiffer and Baxter, as Prosine and Saddiffer never had complete victory over one another. Prosine was to be Gideon’s tutor and guide, even in his state of memory loss. He had lost much during the great upheaval that had severed the galactic nebula which vanished much of the data that he had collected for eons.

His other crewmates, made up of the Excertius Steak and Patricia had begun to assist in their own callings, of continuing his combat expertise and her shipwright engineering. Steak had learned greatly of combat against demons and had begun calculating ways to fight against such forces. Patricia was working with Prosine to become a shipwright engineer and to keep the Decima up and running.

And finally, and not least at all, was Gideon’s best friend, Shindow, his Quantum Storage Device AI. She was also his second in command, assisting the others in their duties and learning all she can to fill any niche role that was needed. Shindow had been under Prosine’s direct tutelage, learning all of the functions needed to be the best suit AI desired.

She was hovering just off to Gideon’s right, adjusting her orange holographic glasses and peering down out the strange crate. She had a tiny body with a large head, sporting a ponytail, blouse, and skirt. She was orange and semi-transparent, just larger than Gideon’s hand.

“What do you think, Gid?” She asked.

Gideon shook his head in slight frustration at the crate refusing to open. It was sealed shut, and even with QSD, it refused to open. He had even tried to store just the crate and leave the goods behind, but they were somehow encrypted together; something that even his admin privileges refused to budge on. Whoever created it intended the crate and goods stay together. He gently kicked at it, shrugging at Shindow.

Well, I’ve done all I can do,” Gideon replied.

He was a medium height at six foot one, with a good athletic build. His blond hair was growing longer from the marooning, with his pronounced blue eyes showing a keen intellect. He had a longer face sporting a well defined roman nose. He was statuesque in his physique from the genetic modification of his family. He wore a dark green jumpsuit with square stitching, going for ease and comfort.

He glanced down at Baxter, who sat happily, sporting an open doggy grin. Baxter was a black, brown, and white corgi with a well-defined pixie saddle.

“It smells like metal. And metal,” He chuffed.

“Can’t you get Saddiffer to open it?”

“He is just still asleep and I don’t want to wake him yet.” Baxter finished with a whispering bark.

He spoke with a staccato accent, cramming his words together.

The storage room on the hangar bay was fairly expansive, filled with crates of goods and armaments. Prosine had taken the liberty of freeing space to house the Rumblers and Sentinels.

“Good Gideon, would you allow me? A plasma torch would be most effective,” Patricia asked, cocking her head to the side. She was still using the Excertius base model for now until she created a new body for herself. Steak stared on impassively as the others spoke.

“Uh, you might torch whatever’s inside,” Gideon responded, feeling at his new scruff idly.

“Oh! I have an idea,” Deborah stated with excitement.

She still wore her Watcher robes, her face was covered by an inverted wimple, leaving her nose and mouth exposed. Her hair was done up around a golden halo, tied up in between the spokes of the halo. Her broken arm had set wonderfully, the cast had finally come off, revealing a properly healed arm made of smooth alabaster.

Gideon was out of ideas and was willing to do anything at this part just shy of scrapping the crate and everything inside.

Deborah pointed at the crate and began to open portals around the crate, trying to find a way inside. She pursed her mouth with concentration at the finesse needed for what she intended. She opened portals within portals within portals, a complex machine of interdimensional portals. Gideon could see inside of the crate as it juggled about until the goods were tipped out onto the floor. The crate was deposited off to the side through a splaying of portals. Deborah let out a relieved sigh, her face appeared strained from the work.

Gideon’s eyes went wide at that.

“That was harder than I expected. I had to figure out how to open a portal inside the crate from the outside.”

“Good work, Deborah!” Shindow exclaimed as she floated atop the angel’s shoulder.

Gideon looked at the pile of goods, finding a rifle case and other boxed goods.

He popped the case pen to find a very bizarre sight.

An adamantite pulse rifle with detachable adamantite bayonet off to the side. It was shaped well enough that he could use it as a bludgeon. It was plain, appearing as a gridded rail pipe with a pistol grip. It was an incredibly plain rifle for the metal it was made of, even the barrel was threading for attachments. He checked ammo, finding the chamber empty. Even the ammo compartment was made of adamantite. He suspected every part was adamantite, which begged the question of how they threaded the barrel. Underneath the rails was a filigree design on the barrel.

The pistol grip was skeletal, meaning he had to customize the entire rifle to suit his needs.

“Oh what the hell…” Gideon rasped in awe of the gorgeous rifle. It sported the trademark Primetech emblems and filigree. It was an ornate weapon of destruction.

Gideon, that is truly amazing,” Deborah began, walking over to look at the strange rifle.

Patricia popped open another smaller case, finding rows quantum chips inside.

“Father, these are AI and Anform modules!”

The anforms and AI perked up at that.

“Good Patricia, we shall load them up immediately and see what was discovered.” Prosine rumbled over the comms. The quantum chipset vanished in blue pixelated light.

“There are combat modules, medical modules, vessel modules, engineering modules, crafting modules, and more,” Prosine began.

Gideon nodded his head in understanding as he picked up the rifle, finding a note underneath. He took the note, and his eyes widened in shock.

“Son of a bitch!” He shouted.

“What happened?” Shindow asked as she floated in, her face twisted in wonder at seeing the note.

“Son of a bitch, he knew,” Gideon murmured.

“He knew, goddammit he knew…”

Gideon gradually became more distressed the longer he read.

“Gideon, my treasured son. I hope these goods find their way to you. I am praying for your journey into the unknown. May we meet again after Megiddo.” – Mikail T. McDonough.

He held the note, staring off into nothing, processing what he just read. His anger went to sadness. Then before it took a nosedive to apathy he had a thought.

Gideon laughed at that, one of a man that was slightly unhinged. At a man whose destiny did not feel quite his own.

“Gid are you just alright?” Baxter asked with a concerned whine.

Gideon stopped and stood, composing himself as he turned to address his crew.

His new friends.

“This note proves that my father knew this whole trip would go off the rails.”

“And still let me go!”

Shindow floated down onto Gideon’s shoulder with concern.

Shindow quickly read the note, her eyes growing large.

“That was why he delayed…”

“What?”

“He delayed the flight. The day before I was reorganized. He called on me and I arrived, finding him murmuring. He implied he was being selfish to spend more time with you.”

“So that you could go, too,” Gideon added.

“Good Gideon, did your father dream, perhaps?” Steak interjected.

“All signs point to yes. He spoke of covenants specifically. With purpose.”

“How much he knew and didn’t tell me…”

“Gid, what would you have done if you weren’t on this flight? What if you knew you were at a crossroads? Between staying in our now ancient time or coming here; what would you choose?”

Gideon understood right away what she was doing. He looked down and nodded at that, thinking things over. He had reached the same conclusion seconds ago. Her words confirmed what he was thinking.

Traveler. Wanderer. Redeemer.

Gideon thought on both his father’s identity of himself and Adonai’s.

He felt at his left hand, which still had phantom pain from when Saddiffer shattered it. His face twisted in thought over that bit of wisdom. It was certainly a new slate for him, and now he could explore at his heart’s content apart from the mandates from God himself.

I got what I wanted.

Maybe I could restart Primetech.

Maybe it’s not as bad as I’m making it out to be.

After all, an old dead moon destroyed by Saddiffer is hardly the place to review the entirety of this new reality.

He felt a feeling spring up in him at the idea that others knew of him and would help as much as his father did.

He felt hope.

He had everything he desired, a fast ship, a pretty girl- although she was an angel- and the wide open galaxy open to him.

He looked to his crew and smiled at the new journey that awaited them.

>>> The Book of Soltana: Chassising – 3

<<< The Book of Soltana: Cleansing – 1

The Book of Soltana Glossary

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