It was strange having a conversation with what was essentially me. I could tell that this fragment of my mind was lonely and scared. Although I had reservations considering what this part of me had done to everyone, the algorithm had worked when applied to the barrier. It simply reversed the recursive search in the barrier and allowed me to forge the energy in the hole to my own design.
Despite this, it was not just my decision. The provision of the algorithm would go a long way to building a bridge, but ultimately they held this part of me responsible for the transition event. In truth, I trusted them more than I trusted Eric2.
“I feel responsible for his whole existence,” said Alice when I posed the question to everyone, “The fact that you trust me now despite my actions in the past means that we should at least give him a chance.”
“I’m prepared to have him here,” said Michael, “On one proviso – that he’s kept under lock and key until we can be sure that he’s not a threat.”
“Part of the deal is that we give him form…”
“No deal then.”
“Okay, would you accept him if I tweaked his code so that he was nothing more than a facsimile of me but without the ability to manipulate energy?”
Michael mused over this, “I guess this could work as long as there was no way he could unlock the coding.”
Emile agreed, “Make it watertight, because if he even has half of the abilities that you have picked up then he’ll eventually get through it.”
“It’ll be a randomised shifting code. I’m not sure that even I could escape from that.”
After these assurances, the decision was unanimous. Eric2 would be accepted under certain conditions and restrictions.
This was also a good time to receive updates from the two teams at the progress that they had made so far. The Tech team had practically finished and automated the transport network. They had built an extensive network of automated four man cars that ran continuously and stopped and speeded up on command. It was pretty impressive for a day’s work, but only the groundwork for something much larger.
With Michael and Emile’s assistance, The Farm Crew had drawn up the blueprints for an extensive arsenal of weaponry and military hardware that ranged from small explosive devices to behemoth tanks. I found the lack of aircraft strange.
“Nothing airborne?” I asked.
“Not sure if things can fly here,” replied Ox, “So just kept everything to weaponry and land based machines.”
I could see why they had come to this conclusion, “The trick is getting to grasp with the concepts of non gravitational 3D space. In some respect, Stasis is like space with zero gravity. We are dealing with an area that has an up and a down with no gravity and no physical mass.
“The only reason you land back on the ground when you jump here is because the ground has been set as a plane. This plane is set as the default horizontal position for anything you create. If you want to create something that you require fixed at a metre above the horizontal plane, you have to apply spatial vector to permanently position it a metre above the default.
“If you want something to move along that one metre plane, you need to anchor it to a home point with the spatial vector and then define the space that it moves in either by defining the pattern you want it to move in or on automated free roam. You could even create an input device to select named locations, much in the same way that the tech team have done with the cars.
“If you want something to act like a plane, then it would be a case of assigning the same code that brings you down to the horizontal plane to the plane, but with thrust to ensure that it flies. Obviously, these would require someone to control them, either remotely or actually inside it.”
Throughout my impromptu lesson on the spatial mechanics of Stasis, I could see that the Farm Crew had switched off. As far as they were concerned, it was possible and whatever they proposed would be created by the Tech team.
“It’s also time to think about defence mechanisms. It’s all well and good having a vast array of weapons at our disposal if we don’t have anything to stop us getting blasted apart by whatever is thrown as us. I want personal shields, detection systems, anything that you think will be useful. No matter how crazy the idea might seen, give it a shot. Just don’t think in terms of what is possible in reality.”
I left them to continue with their work. I realised that perhaps I had been somewhat short with them, but deep down I knew that the meeting with Eric2 had left me unnerved. I had expected a deeper reluctance from my companions to allow Eric2 into our midst, but with a couple of caveats they had been quite easy to convince.
Which worried me. Perhaps it was my own deep rooted doubts that wanted everyone to just say no, keep him where he is. But the ease at which he handed over the algorithm that opened the door to navigation around Stasis was most likely acting as a make-weight in everyone’s mind.
And I didn’t really know why.
As I headed on back where we had met a few hours earlier, I mulled this over in my mind and played out worst case scenarios. Each one of these contained some sort of betrayal by Eric2 in various situations. Why was it so hard for me to accept another version of me when I had so readily accepted four people who had recently been in the employment of someone that had attempted to kill me through a series of lies and deception?
Could I really be afraid of myself?