Part 4: Chapter 3: Underground

I went underground. I plunged into the gaping chasm that I had caused and glided on the energy. The fracture had ‘melted’ and stretched the horizontal plane deep down below what was normal. I braced myself for the landing at the bottom of the gorge. As the ground approached, I thrust my energy signature backwards and momentarily hung in the air seemingly in slow motion. After that, the landing was like stepping out of bed in the morning.

I continued East along the chasm floor, inching ever closer to my next problem. So far I had been able to draw energy from below the horizontal plane to utilise above it and I had been able to collapse that plane by coding a localised displacement field that lowered the plane level at various points. But I had yet to actually pierce this apparently impenetrable barrier. There had to be a way through.

It was the only safe route that I could take as I would be behind the enemy push now. Patrick would have figured out how to fight the Von Neumann machines by now and would be rebuilding his inventory of weapons as they marched forward.

I had to think fast as I headed towards the vertical wall where the chasm ended. I did not want to risk travelling along the normal plane if I could avoid it. My mind was going round in circles trying to solve this conundrum. It should be simple given what I knew I was capable of.

I started from scratch and assessed what I knew about the plane. I knew that it was there when I first arrived, so it was part of the fabric of Stasis. There was no drift in the energy signature and for all intents and purposes it was microscopically thin. In terms of coding, it was an anchoring point for anything that we created above or on it. And most unusually, we could pull energy through it.

I stopped where I was as a thought came to the boil inside my head. I turned to the slipped plane on my left and shifted some energy from the other side of the plane. As per usual, it came through the plane.

I compared the energy I’d brought through with that of some ‘local’ generic energy. The difference was small enough to be overlooked. Inside the displaced energy from the other side of the plane was a residual signature of the plane. A pinpoint. No more, no less. I located the point where I had brought the energy through. The signature was the same as the rest of the plane around it. Curiosity swept through me. I had not been expecting that. Although it was minuscule, I analysed the pinpoint of energy looking for any coding.

There it was. The key. The plane energy was coded to push, replace and assimilate anything drawn through it. It allowed the energy through, but it pushed a part of the plane through with the energy and then once it stopped coming through the hole was replaced by an equivalent amount of the energy coming through. That was then converted to be the same as the plane around it.

Simple. But it also meant that I could not travel through it. I could get through though. I would punch a hole through it. I drew through some energy, but stopped it halfway through the transfer. I then widened the field. It pushed outwards, creating a hole in the plane that I was able to climb through once it was big enough.

With the hole closed behind me, I could now safely make my way back to Blue and consider how I was going to end all of this.



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