Through The Looking Glass
By Stephanie B
I'd like to take a few moments to thank all the wonderful people who have helped my with my story. After a few discussions on the MORFS forum [ http://morfs.19.forumer.com/index.php ] I had to alter a fair bit of background information on a few of the characters. I was get a bit discouraged and almost abandoned the story completely. The positive feedback and encouragement I received changed my mind. What turned out to be a relatively small rewrite allowed me to complete the story.
Unfortunately I wrote myself into a bit of a corner about two-thirds of the way into the story. I needed a powerful character for a few chapters and didn't want to invent a new one. I was lucky enough to get help from Shrike, the author of Synergy and Blitz. The final two chapters in part three of this story includes Synergy and a cameo appearance from Blitz in the final chapter. In addition to making sure that I didn't write something that was out of character, Shrike also gave me several suggestions, provided proof reading and is an excellent hunter of the many typos that I seem to generate.
I would also like to gave a special thanks to Holly. Her ability to find typos, grammatical errors or just the wrong word is amazing! I know she's an extremely busy person, but if you can beg, plead or blackmail her into editing your work you will definitely be better off for it.
If you did not get this story from the official MORFS web site, you really need to check out all the incredible stories that this universe has to offer. This story, as well as all the official MORFS stories can be accessed at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org
The sun was just starting to rise. As the light entered the open window of the beach house, Todd Callaway opened his eyes slowly and tried to stretch his arms to get the blood flowing again. He found that his left arm was pinned to the bed and wouldn’t move. Turning his head, he looked at a dark haired girl with an incredible tan and tried to remember her name. She was completely naked and unbelievably beautiful, even with the gill openings in her neck and the webbed feet and hands. She was also cutting off the circulation to his hand and he couldn’t feel his fingers anymore.
He rolled closer to her and kissed her. She still tasted salty, like the ocean. That was it! Ocean, her name was the Hawaiian word for Ocean. Now if he could only remember what it was. Todd had lived on the island of Maui for almost eight years now and still didn’t know half the words that he had come across. It was such an odd language and unlike any of the others that he knew. The girl started to open her eyes and kiss him back. Maybe this would be a good morning. After a few minutes dueling with their tongues they both looked into the others eyes and said, “Good morning.”
She gave Todd another quick kiss before saying, “I need to go for a swim. Want to join me?”
“No thanks, I have to check in with my office.” Even if it was a Saturday and he was on vacation, he still couldn’t be away from the office for too long. He enjoyed his work, and being away for more than a few days was like going through withdrawal.
“Okay.” She got out of bed and walked out the patio door to the lanai, still naked. She continued to walk across the grass and onto the white sand beach before diving into a wave and disappearing. Todd watched her and waited for her to come to the surface again. Nearly five minutes later he finally saw her floating on her back about two hundred meters out. He shook his head and wondered what it would be like to have that kind of freedom.
After a quick shower and shave he sat at the table in shorts and flowery shirt with a cup of coffee and his tablet looking at his messages, deciding which ones to answer. The girl walked in toweling dry her hair, still naked. She threw the towel over the back of a chair, grabbed a cup of coffee as well and then sat down beside him. The lack of any tan lines and her comfort in nothing more than a smile was all the proof that Todd needed that this was completely normal for her. He tried to look into her eyes as much as possible, but it was difficult.
“You have any plans for today?” he asked, hoping that she didn’t.
“I have to meet Tony and May at noon,” she explained. He had no idea who either of them were. “We have a bunch of Haole’s coming in for a dive tour.”
“Oh,” he tried not to sound disappointed. “Will you be at Freddy’s tonight?” He was still hoping to be able to hook up with her tonight and she could tell.
She smiled, took the tablet out of his hand and wrote something on it before handing it back. “Call me Monday and I’ll let you take me to dinner,” she said with a grin. Todd looked at the tablet with her name and number in the corner. Moana was her name. Finally he knew her name, and now he also had her number.
Moana walked back into the bedroom to get her things before coming back out in the smallest bikini Todd had ever seen in his life. It barely covered anything, and the wrap she had on around her waist was so see through it was pointless. Grabbing her purse, she headed for the door and her car saying, “Call me” as she closed the door behind herself.
Todd was daydreaming about Moana when his tablet beeped to indicate a high priority message was coming in. He looked at the message heading and who it was before becoming very interested. Why would Tetsuo Sakamoto be trying to contact him? Of all the people in the world, or off it, he was the last person Todd would ever expect any contact from. Their work was in direct competition with each other. While Sakamoto Industries preferred to hire powerful MORFS survivors and make use of their abilities, Callaway Corporation was one of a small group of companies that created devices to disrupt the use of those abilities.
Todd hit the accept button on the tablet screen and nodded, “Konichiwa, Sakamoto san.”
“Good morning Dr. Callaway,” the delay in the signal was just noticeable. “I see you have been practicing. Your accent is much better than when you gave the conference on N dimensional physics in Tokyo last year.” This was high praise from a man who spoke fluent English as a second language, or was it his third?
“Please, call me Todd. What can I do for you today? I’m sure you didn’t call just to comment on my accent.”
“True,” he said. “I’d like to hire you for a special, short term project that I have going.” That got Todd’s attention. If Tetsuo Sakamoto wanted him it must be worth a lot of money and be very challenging, two things that he had never been able to turn his back on.
“What are the terms?” Todd asked, knowing this would be the best way to find out how challenging it would be.
“Come to Tenkei and I’ll explain the project, then you can state what terms would be acceptable,” was the surprising response. A blank check from one of the richest men in the world, how could he turn it down?
“Okay, how do I get there?” Todd asked. Before he finished the question, a large black oval appeared on the wall beside him. A fraction of a second later an extremely well furnished office could be seen through the oval. Behind the desk in the office sat Tetsuo.
He looked at Todd though the oval and said, “Just step through.” The voice on the tablet in his hand repeated the statement a half second later. Todd’s brain was already running at full speed. He had heard of the portals that Tetsuo Sakamoto could produce but had never seen one himself. The equations and equipment that would be needed to monitor and suppress them where already forming in Todd’s mind as he stepped through into the office.
Tetsuo stood and stepped out from behind the large oak desk. They both bowed before they shook hands with each other. Tetsuo’s fine tailored suit was perfectly pressed and fit him like a glove. It was in sharp contrast to the flowery shirt, baggy shorts and sandals that Todd had on. Then again, it wasn’t like he had been expecting to meet with the principal owner and CEO of the world’s largest orbiting city when he got dressed. The office was huge and could have been located in any office tower of almost any city in the world, but the view out the window behind the desk could only be from one place. The Earth was visible through the window and the Pacific coast of the United States could just be seen through the cloud cover.
“That’s quite an impressive view you have,” Todd said as he looked out the window.
“Yes, it can be quite distracting at times,” Tetsuo replied. “Can I offer you something to drink?”
“I would enjoy a cup of green tea, if you don’t mind.” The orbital city of Tenkei, or Heaven’s Blessing, had been growing green tea since it was placed into orbit over five years ago. It had quickly become known as the finest green tea available anywhere, and was extremely expensive. Tetsuo simply nodded and smiled before speaking into the intercom on his desk.
“Bring a tea service for two to my office, please.” He didn’t wait for a reply. “Please, have a seat,” he indicated one of the large leather chairs at the table. Instead of returning to his desk after Todd sat and placed his tablet on the table, Tetsuo took the only other seat at the table.
“I seem to have a bit of a problem that needs your unique skills,” the Japanese man was clearly uncomfortable admitting to his need for any outside help. The fact that it was Todd Callaway that he was asking for help was like rubbing salt into an open wound. “As you may know, we have almost a million people in the city at the moment. Many of them moved here before the city was even placed into orbit. They have given up their ancestral homes, lands, even moved their entire extended family to Tenkei. We have all sorts of businesses, both unique to the environment we live in and traditional ones. There are grade schools and even a university here.”
“Yes, I’ve read several articles on the construction of the city and the businesses that operate here,” Todd explained. “I considered moving here when it was first constructed.”
Tetsuo nodded acknowledgment of the comment before continuing. “We also have some of the same problems that other modern cites have to deal with. Crime has never been a major issue, but we seem to have a slightly higher rate of MORFS survivors than most.” That was one statistics that was not common knowledge, and it surprised Todd.
The large three meter tall door to the office opened and a young woman dressed in a traditional costume entered with a tray containing a tea service. Her kimono completely covered her from neck to toe and the small steps she took kept her feet hidden under it. She bowed at the doorway before walking to the table and placing the tray on it. She then knelt on the floor and poured the tea into the two small cups before standing, bowing again and leaving. She never said a word the entire time that she was in the room.
“I hope you enjoy your tea,” Tetsuo said as he lifted the cup to his mouth and sipped. Todd sipped at the tea as well, and immediately thought that it was more than worth the incredible price they asked for it.
After they had both taken a few sips of the tea Tetsuo continued his speech. “In addition to the higher rate of MORFS survivors, the children who go through MORFS seem to have much stronger abilities than what would be considered typical. One child in particular has recently completed phase two of MORFS and is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, her powers are also quite unstable and threaten the safety of the city.”
Todd had a mild look of confusion as he asked, “So what exactly is it that you want me to do?”
Tetsuo paused for a few seconds before saying, “You have studied a large number of MORFS survivors and have been able to understand their abilities. So much so, that you have been able to develop devices to suppress or control these abilities. I also know you have had limited success in reproducing some of these abilities.”
“So you want me to reproduce this person’s ability, too? I don’t see how that will help with the safety of the city.”
“That is only part of the task,” he explained. “It’s unlikely that you would be able to replicate her ability. However it’s more important to be able to contain and control it.”
“How are you containing it now, if I may ask?” Todd was becoming concerned. If they were not able to contain a new MORFS ability here, it could have devastating results.
“Perhaps it would be easier to show you.” Tetsuo stood and headed to the door of his office with Todd following behind. They walked out into a reception area and from there into a large hallway with a single elevator at the end of it. The door to the elevator opened as the two men stepped closer and they entered it. Tetsuo thumbed the access panel beside the floor buttons and pressed the one labeled SL3 near the bottom. The doors closed and the elevator silently descended for almost a minute before coming to a stop. The doors opened again. Here, the halls were a dull gray color and looked like they were seldom used. Most of the side corridors they passed where in complete darkness. At the end of the hall was a locked door labeled Authorized Personnel Only, in three languages. Tetsuo thumbed the keypad at the side of the door and entered an access code. The door unlocked and opened with a pop and a slight rush of air.
Inside the door was an extremely advanced medical facility. Several people sat at monitoring stations and more were walking through the halls on their way to who knows where. The two men stepped up to the monitoring station before a technician turned and greeted Tetsuo in Japanese.
“Hello, Sir,” she said as she handed him a tablet. “This is the daily status report for you.”
“Thank you,” he replied in English.
The technician glanced at Todd and added in English, “She hasn’t woken up yet today, but we expect her to shortly.” Her English was perfect and even had a slight New England accent to it.
Tetsuo read through the report quickly before saying, “Good, we will be in the observation room.” The technician simply nodded and turned back to her monitor.
The observation room was a short distance down the hall to the right. The door opened to a room with rows of benches set up like a small bleacher. In front of this was a large glass window that looked into a standard hospital room. Within the bed was a small oriental girl that looked as if she was about nine or ten years old.
Tetsuo turned to look at Todd and said, “This is Alice. She became sick over four weeks ago and it triggered MORFS. Five days later she woke up briefly and has been in and out of consciousness ever since.”
Todd looked at the tiny girl closely and watched her breath as she slept. She was surrounded my monitoring equipment of all types, some of which Todd couldn’t even identify. There was nobody else in the room and he felt sorry for the young girl, being all alone after going through MORFS.
“Why are you keeping her isolated?” Todd asked. He thought she must be scared out of her mind being alone like that.
“We needed to isolate her for her safety, and for the safety of the city,” Tetsuo started to explain. Just as he was about to continue the monitoring equipment started to beep. The alarms continued as the girl rolled and squirmed in the bed, her eyes were squeezed shut and she had a look of pain on her face. A force field went up around the room and another alarm began to go off. Suddenly a black oval appeared on the ceiling and grew to about three meters at the widest point. As soon as the oval stopped growing the black was replaced by a scene that should have been impossible to see. It was a scene from the moon, looking back towards to Earth just above the horizon. Rocks and small craters could easily be seen through the opening. It remained on the ceiling of the room for about fifteen or twenty seconds before flashing out and disappearing.
“Was that an image of the moon, or a portal to it?” Todd asked hoping that is was the first, and dreading that it might be the second.
“It was a portal,” Tetsuo explained. “That was why the room needed the force field. Without it all the air and half the contents of the room would have been sucked through it.”
“But the distance from here to the moon is beyond the theoretical limits of portals,” Todd stated. “The energy to fold space that much would likely kill a person if they even tried.”
Tetsuo just looked at Todd before saying, “Well you’re partly right. It is killing her.”
Todd sat in the observation room with Tetsuo, trying to make sense of what he had been told. If what Tetsuo was saying was true, then portals would have to function completely differently than teleports. Either that or the theoretical models were completely wrong. There had been a lot of theories and speculation about portals since Tetsuo had placed Tenkei into orbit, but they all agreed that the maximum distance at which a portal would work was somewhere around 150,000km, or less than half the distance to the moon. Yet the portal Todd had just seen was well over twice that distance.
“We suspect that Alice was in phase one of MORFS when she came through a portal to the city,” Tetsuo explained. “Somehow the portal affected her body, and now she has the ability to create them. She’s never been conscious for more that a few minutes since phase two finished. Every time she starts to wake up a portal is opened to somewhere. Depending on how far away the other end is, she’ll last a couple of seconds or a few minutes and then she’ll pass out again.”
“Hold on a second,” a thought had just occurred to Todd. “You said the duration is dependent on the distance, right?”
“Yes, the farther away the other end the shorter the time the portal is open,” Tetsuo confirmed. He already knew what the next question was going to be, but he let Todd figure it out for himself.
“If that portal was open for almost twenty seconds, how far away have the shorter duration ones been?” That was the question that Tetsuo knew was coming.
“The furthest one was measured at just over one AU and lasted just less than one second,” he answered. The shock on Todd’s face would have been funny if the situation wasn’t so dangerous.
“You’re telling me she can open a portal for one second on the surface of the sun from here?”
Tetsuo simply nodded before saying, “She hasn’t opened one in that direction yet, but yes. Also, she’s only done that once and was out for 24 hours afterward. Most of the portals have been much closer than that.” Tetsuo opened the door of the observation room for Todd and they headed back to the monitoring station.
“You really need to get her out of this city,” Todd stated after a moments thought.
After they entered the monitoring room Tetsuo walked to a screen showing power charts on it. “Well, that’s where we run into the second problem. We have no idea what will happen if we attempt to take her though a portal, even if she’s not generating her own. If we do, there’s no way to guarantee that it will remain stable. And we can’t put her on a shuttle either.”
“Why can’t a shuttle be used?” A shuttle had been Todd’s first thought and not a portal at all. He knew the theories on portals showed that two portals would have a destabilizing influence on each other. Sending a portal generator through another person’s portal was just a recipe for disaster. Tetsuo indicated the power charts that were on the screen before continuing.
“It turns out she’s also an energy converter.” The first chart showed bio energy used during the last episode. It showed no noticeable change in her energy usage. The second chart however, was from the city power grid and it showed a significant spike in power usage for 18.7 seconds. “She’s constantly draining power from the city grid, but you can see the spike that is generated when she opens a portal. If that happened during descent in a shuttle, there is no way it would be able to safely get to the ground.”
“Have you tried to isolate her from the city power?” Todd suspected that they would have, but he asked the question anyway.
“This facility is already completely isolated and runs off a separate power source,” Tetsuo explained. “Somehow she’s still able to tap into the city grid and get power.”
Todd was lost in thought for several seconds before finally saying, “Well, I see you have quite a challenge for me.”
“So you’ll take the job then?” Tetsuo asked excitedly. It was the first time that Tetsuo had shown any emotion during their entire conversation. It was something that Todd noted closely. There was more going on here than he was being told, and his curiosity was getting the better of him.
“I’ll have my lawyer forward a standard contract to you,” Todd explained. “If you have any questions, or need any section revised, let me know. I’m sure we can come to some agreement. In the meantime, I’ll need to get a few things from my place before I’ll be able to start. Like a change of clothes, first of all.”
“I have already taken the liberty of setting up an office here and a suite in a nearby residential section for you to stay in while you’re with us,” Tetsuo confessed. “Your tablet can be added to the computer grid, and given access to all the data on Alice, or you can make use of the one that has been setup in the office. If you need anything at all, call my personal assistant, she will get whatever you need.”
Todd was becoming even more curious but didn’t comment on it. “I’ll have to contact Sarah and see if she can cut her vacation short.” Todd hated to admit it at times, but Sarah McIntyre was essential to his success. She was one of the few people who could understand his equations and build the devices that he designed. She was quite simply a genius and easily the best in her field. She held Master’s degrees in electronics and mechanical engineering while understanding quantum physics and string theory.
“I’ll show you to the office we have set up for you. You can call her from there,” Tetsuo showed Todd down the hallway in the opposite direction from the observation room. He opened the door to a large office with an oak desk and leather chair as well as a small conference table in it. As Todd walked over to the desk, Tetsuo said “I’ll leave you here and I’ll wait to hear from your lawyer with the contract.” He then bowed and left the office.
Todd sent an encrypted message to his lawyer to prepare a contract for the project. He indicated that his fees should be increased fifty percent from there normal rate and that he and Tetsuo Sakamoto would share ownership of any technologies and patents that might be generated from the project. Once that was sent, he thought about contacting Sarah. She was going to be a lot more difficult to get up here.
Todd looked up her contact information on his tablet and placed the call. As he waited for the call to connect he tried to figure out what time it was in Jamaica. He had just figured that it must be close to dinnertime when the image of Sarah appeared on the screen. Sarah was an obvious hybrid, with white curly hair, black eyes and black fur on her face. That wasn’t so bad, but it was the long curling horns growing out of her temples that made her look like the black faced sheep that were so common in Scotland.
“What?” she asked. There was no formal greeting or pleasantry, just get to the point.
“It’s nice to see you, too. I’m fine, thanks,” Todd attempted to say it with a straight face.
“You no’ gonna talk me intae anythin’,” she said in her Scottish accent. “We agreed three weeks, and no a minute less.”
“I know,” he tried to explain. “But this is different.”
“Ach, it’s always different,” she complained with more than enough reason. This was the first vacation that either had taken in over two years.
“I thought it was you that said you wanted to study portals?” he said casually. That stopped her complaining, as he’d known it would. Sarah had been fascinated by portals ever since the launch of Tenkei five years ago. The ability was incredible, but it was rare and nobody was willing to be studied.
“Where are you?” she finally asked.
“I’m in Tenkei,” he said and waited. The signal was cut and he was left with a blank screen. “Damn it!” He waited a few minutes for her to calm down and tried again.
Sarah answered and said, “I’m no going there,” before started to hang up again.
“She’ll die without our help, and might take out the city in the process” it was a low blow, but he knew it would get her attention. Sarah stared at him for a full minute before saying anything.
“Send me the info,” she said. “No promises, ye ken?”
He smiled briefly, “Yeah, I understand. Thanks, Sarah I really appreciate this. I’ll get what I can and send it to you in a few minutes.” She just shot him a look and dropped the line again. Todd realized that he would have to make this up to her somehow.
He opened the files on Alice and scanned through the information before sending some of it to Sarah. He made sure to include a picture of the tiny girl in the hospital bed. Then he forwarded a message to Tetsuo’s personal assistant with some rather odd requests before getting really deep into the technical data available to him.
Three hours later Todd was interrupted by an incoming message on his tablet. Annoyed, he absently hit the accept button without even taking his eyes off the report he was reading.
“I’m busy, what is it?” he said.
“Ach well, if ye dinnae need me now…” Sarah said with a bit of a grin. She and Todd had known each other for a long time. Their conversations started like this most of the time. They knew when to joke with each other and when not to.
“Sorry, Sarah. The data here is incredible,” he explained.
“So, how am I to get there?” she asked.
“Hire a teleport, you need to get to New York for the next portal opening,” Todd stated. “Just expense it to my account. Did you get a chance to read through the reports I sent you?”
“Aye, but where is she getting the power from?” she asked. “She cannae be generating it, can she?”
“The city power grid,” he explained. “But I can’t figure out how yet.”
“Well that’ll be easy enough to figure out,” Sarah said with a thoughtful expression. “I’ll bring a few of the detectors with me.” Any converter had to either have physical contact to a power source or be able to pull it through a channel generated in one of the other dimensions. Theoretical physics had come up with about a dozen different ways that it could be done, but so far only a few had been confirmed. For those, there were detectors that could measure the flow of energy and monitor the efficiency of the power transfer.
“Good, I’ll meet you at the arrivals area when you get here. I’ll make sure your room is ready.”
“Aye, you do that,” she warned.
Teleport rooms had become a standard fixture in any large office complex. Once the teleport knew the ‘feel’ of the room they could hit it with amazing accuracy and minimum energy. That was true for any teleport room on Earth within the range of the teleporter. Unfortunately, Tenkei wasn’t on Earth and was well outside the range of any known teleport. There had been talk about using the teleport rooms on one of the orbital hotels as a transfer station for Tenkei, but nothing had been negotiated yet. The rumor was that each of the hotel chains had insisted on such incredibly high fees for this service that no one wanted to pay for it. As a result, there were only two ways in or out of the city. A shuttle was the first option and had the advantage of being able to launch at anytime from almost anywhere. But this was slow, due to flight schedules and the distance involved. The most common option was for the people and cargo scheduled for transfer to gather at one of the many predefined transfer points and wait for the next portal to be opened. Each country that wanted to trade with Tenkei needed to negotiate a contract and designate a transfer point. The contract would also indicate how long and how often the portal would be opened. The United States had the highest amount of trade with Tenkei and had several transfer points. New York was the closest point for Sarah and its portal schedule would be the easiest to meet.
After getting through the large doors, Sarah pushed her cart to the side out of the way and waited for Todd to come to her. She figured it would be easier for him to find her, than to search for him. The crowd was quite thick, but cleared out fast. She didn’t have to wait for long before Todd spotted her. He had been waiting outside the arrivals area of the city’s transfer point for Sarah to come out. With her white hair and the horns growing from her head she was easy to spot standing near the large arrivals door.
As Todd walked up to Sarah she smiled, “Nice shirt!”
Todd looked at the flowery shirt and shorts he was still wearing and shrugged. “Well, I was in Maui until about six hours ago,” he explained.
They walked out of the building and across the park to the residential area nearby. Since the city was in night mode, the stars could be seen though the small dome over this portion of the city. They were particularly bright and didn’t twinkle at all. Todd had deliberately used this arrivals area because it didn’t face Earth side. He didn’t want to have to deal with her if she actually saw how high above the Earth she was. He also had rejected the idea of walking her though the underground tunnels that connected the entire city. The tunnels were the same as could be found in many large downtown city areas, just bigger and extended several levels deep. They just weren’t a good place for someone who was claustrophobic, like Sarah. She’d always had a fear of heights, but the fear of closed in spaces had come when she had gone through MORFS around twenty years ago. Short periods of time were fine, but unless she was distracted, she would start to have severe anxiety attacks. Needless to say, Tenkei was the worst place for both of these.
They entered the lobby of the residential building that they had been assigned and headed for the elevator. Todd punched the button for their floor and noticed Sarah cringe slightly as the doors closed. Fortunately the elevator ride down to their assigned floor was very quick and the doors opened again. Todd waited as Sarah thumbed the access panel on the door and then stepped through. She gasped the moment that she entered the room.
“Do you like it?” he asked as he entered behind her. The room wasn’t large, but it had holographic projectors on three walls and the ceiling. The door they had entered through and the washroom to the right looked as if they were sitting in the middle of an open field of short grass and purple heather. The carpeting was also the color of grass and showed the edge of the room. A short mountain range could be seen off in the distance and disappeared over the horizon to the left. A small creek with babbling water could be seen, and heard a short distance in front of them and disappeared to the right. Todd hit a button on the wall, beside the washroom door. Two large rocks turned into a queen size bed and desk, apparently hidden by the projection somehow.
“Don’t try to walk too far, you’ll bang your head on the walls,” he said with a chuckle as he dropped her bags on the bed.
“Aw, this is brilliant,” she said as she turned around to see the whole place.
“You can set what time it is and the image will change to match. Since you were in Jamaica, it’s currently set to Eastern Standard Time.” He pointed to the wall mounted controls. “You might want to alter it to GMT, to match the city.”
Tetsuo sat in the darkened observation room without any expression on his face. He sat and watched Alice as she slept and hoped that she would be alright, that she would wake up and remember everything. The tiny girl had limited alternatives and none of them were pleasant. He refused to consider what those were, at least not yet.
A short bald man in a lab coat entered the observation room quietly and bowed. He said, “Tetsuo san, I was told to you were looking for me.” Dr. Kaito Kobayashi was in charge of the medical center and the people assigned to Alice. Tetsuo trusted him to get the job done and keep him informed of the progress. He normally would not ask to see the doctor and let the man work without interruption, but there were too many things that could go wrong, and he wanted answers.
“I am not happy with the results you have provided me so far,” he said.
Dr. Kobayashi had a brief look of panic on his face before he bowed deeply. “My apologies Sir,” he quickly stated. “I have given all the information you asked for to the foreigners, but they have not provided any reports to me yet. We are no further along than when they arrived.”
“Where are they?” Tetsuo asked without emotion.
“In the American’s office,” he said while looking at the floor. Tetsuo stood and left the observation room without saying another word. Kaito sighed with relief after Tetsuo left the room. He wasn’t impressed with the work the two foreigners had done and was very annoyed that they didn’t share any information. That was just not how his team worked and he saw no reason to have them here at all.
Tetsuo walked the short distance down the hall to the office of Todd Callaway. He paused outside the door for a moment to calm down before knocking and opening the door. The first thing he saw as he opened the door was Todd and Sarah standing over some computer readout arguing with each other. The room was a mess, with bits and pieces of electronic equipment, computers and several tablets with equations on them.
“Ah great, Tetsuo you can answer a question for us,” said Todd as soon he saw him enter the room. Tetsuo hadn’t expected this reaction as he entering the room, and he took a minute before saying anything. He walked to the table and looked at the tablets and computer readouts before talking.
“How can I help?” he asked in a pleasant voice, with a slight smile.
“We’ve been monitoring the flow of power from the city power grid to Alice and we're wondering how you’re generating it,” Todd asked. Tetsuo kept a calm face while answering their question.
“It’s an artificial quantum singularity. As matter is allowed to fall into the event horizon, the radiation that is given off is converted into electricity,” he explained. He thought to himself, ‘the child is slowly dying and their wondering how we generate power for the city! Are they mad?’
“And the charts you provided for the power usage, they show energy output of the converters or the energy output of the singularity?” Todd continued to ask.
“Output of the singularity, but I don’t see…,” he tried to say before being cut off by Sarah.
“Ha, I told you. Those charts are useless,” she told Todd with satisfaction. Todd just sighed in defeat.
“Would you please explain what you mean?” Tetsuo asked patiently. His patience, however was wearing very thin.
“We’ve installed monitors in the room that Alice is in. They’re recording the amount of power that she is absorbing, as well as the spikes she is getting when a portal opens,” Todd explained.
“Aye and we have the records from the city power grid,” Sarah continued. “They dinnae match!”
“I’m sorry, they what?” Tetsuo asked clearly confused by her accent.
“The power supplied to the city, and the power generated don’t match each other,” Todd explained. “Alice isn’t drawing power from the city power grid. She’s drawing it directly from the singularity itself.”
“It’s bloody amazing,” Sarah stated. “She’s found a new way to convert and channel energy to herself. One we’ve never seen before.”
“Does this help you in anyway?” Tetsuo asked, hoping this meant that they had some progress.
“Aye, of course it does,” she answered.
Todd continued, “Now that we know how she’s getting the energy, we should be able to cut her off from it.”
“How much longer will it take?” Tetsuo asked. He was getting concerned about the amount of time they had available.
“I would think a week, maybe ten days,” Todd looked to Sarah for confirmation. She nodded as she picked up one of the tablets and entered numbers, already moving on to the next problem.
“That’s good to hear,” Tetsuo said in reply.
Todd was quick to hear the double meaning in that and asked, “Why? Is there some sort of timetable we should know about?”
“Nothing to concern yourself with,” he said, avoiding the question. “Just let me know if you run into any delays.” Before they could ask any more questions he bowed and left the office.
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/