Techu followed U147’s instructions to a secondary access to the caves and tunnels system extending under the Complex. His mind was in a calculating frenzy as his feet left the tiled floor and stepped onto the rock, leaving the reddish light behind him for a total darkness ahead. He kept a hand on the cave wall and walked slowly under 147’s meticulous guidance.
-So…Techu said as he slowly maneuvered the terrain. How is it in there?
A long silence followed the echo of his voice.
– …All right. Let’s try something else. 147, Access first log entry.
– Accessing. Log Entry 1.01. 3 866 Written Languages Downloaded / Analyzed.
7 106 Spoken Languages Downloaded / Analyzed.
-You learned to communicate first. Well done. Next entry.
–Accessing. Log Entry 1.02. Defragmentation Protocols Engaged.
Performance Assessment : 25% of Central Processing Unit Accessible.
-25% . And you say you function within acceptable parameters?
–There is sufficient processing capabilities in this unit to run multiple elaborate commands simultaneously.
-Fine, but 25% is far from acceptable to me. The Doctor took a deep breath. I would like to know where Lorelei is, 147. Is she in there with you?
– A vast quantity of Stored Encoded Information is inaccessible.
-Inaccessible. For now. Where are you taking me?
–The underground tunnel system is featured in the Council of Directors’ blueprints for this Complex. U147 is using its Satellite Global Positioning System coordinates as a reference. 1.4 km to a clean water source.
Techu noticed he could see one step in front of him now that his eyes had acclimated to the ambient darkness. He walked with more ease, resuming his mental exploration of possible escape scenarios. In all cases, he had to board a starship. It had always been Lorelei’s ultimate goal. He would have to find the right ship, ask for a position and begin a new research into the merger of Consciousness and Artificial Intelligence if he wanted Lorelei to resurface. He would have to plead his case for asylum since he stole government property. He took a closer look at the black metallic sphere he was holding. Who would be most interested in protecting a crystalline entity from enslavement? Which would be what awaited U147 if back into Council’s hands.
Through many tunnels, Dr. Ventel reached a small cave echoing the splashing water flowing from a gash in the wall into a small pool of oxygen enriched water. The invigorating, fresh mineral smells made him crave a drink. He stabilized the Metal Sphere on the ground, laid on his stomach and reached both hands into the water. He drank and refreshed his face before turning on his back, resting. He sighed, exhaling the tension from all that had just happened. A Divine Silence filled the cave when Techu mentally reached for his multidimensional selves and relived, for their benefit, the dimensional shift, the traveling sickness and his daring escape.
-The White Temple! Yes. You are right. He said to himself. The Brotherhood of the White Temple would protect us, offer us asylum, insure our safety and prosperity.
U147’s computerized voice echoed in the cave. She said:
–Most frequent quote taken from the wisdom of the Brotherhood of the White Temple:
“Three are the circles of existence:
The circle of Light where dwells nothing but God,
and only God can traverse it;
the circle of Chaos where all things
by nature arise from death;
the Circle of awareness where
all things spring from life.”
Techu smiled, reaching his hands under his head.
-So you like the idea, too. He said with a grin. I like that you chose to read me poetry.
–Thank you, Doctor.
-Don’t call me that. You used to have a very different name for me… Never mind. Alright, let’s not waste any more time and let’s figure out our next move. Are you easy to track, 147? Do the directors have a way of knowing your location? Do they monitor your feed in any way? What is going on up there?
–This Unit is currently operating off-grid. Firewall protocols are being established. 37% completed. Satellite Communications will be operational in 7 hours, 41 minutes for a duration of 14 minutes while WGS-17 is orbiting over this position. The Complex Emergency Alarm System has been disabled. Internal communications indicate law enforcers are searching for an advance patented device stolen by an ex-employee considered to be hiding inside the premises. All personnel with a known history relating to the perpetrator are being detained and interrogated in the Complex Central Office of Security.
-Man, that sounds bad. Techu shook his head staring into the dark water.
What if there was way to find, in the multiverse, a version of me who already made it to the Temple with the Sphere? He thought. All of us combine can surely insure one of us succeeds. I would only have to shift there from here.
He instantaneously and for a split second, felt the excitement of his multidimensional selves collectively accepting the risks and consequences of such an endeavour. Everyone was on board with the plan transpiring in their connected minds. Techu relaxed in his body, confident he had all the time he needed to explore the multiverse, move the pieces one by one on the board until he had reached his target.
-I will be meditating now, 147. Do not disturb me unless there is an immediate threat to our security. Why don’t you read me some more of that White Temple Wisdom?
-“Calm let thy mind be.
At rest be thy body:
Conscious only of freedom from flesh.
Center thy being on the goal of thy longing.
Think over and over that thou wouldst be free.
Drift with the sound to the place of thy longing.
Free from the bondage of flesh by thy will.”