Chapter 16: Succinctness of Infinite Options [Unedited]


My biggest confinement is not the facility but this flesh and blood trap. #gio

At the speed of thought, I think better of my situation and envision myself elsewhere. #gio

I think therefore I am? No, that's too simple. I think things up, and they shall be. That's power. #gio


Control of existence trumps awareness of consciousness, but it is not a competition - just the way the layers of existence rank. #gio

So my wish is my command of the higher levels of the Plain of Existence, but let me get back to that controlled nuke explosion. #gio

My story isn't about to slow down now, so I grant my own wish and emulate a genie by dematerializing into a fine blue mist. #gio


Sifting through the explosion of a nuke within a controlled environment, my particles dissipate as an afterthought. #gio

Time and anticipation (within its measuring sticks) still hold a different meaning for me as I've long since been gone. #gio

From the fine blue mist, I rematerialize in my medical gown and bare feet well outside of the NSF facility. #gio


Briefly, I peer up to get my bearings, notice that I'm standing beneath a set of power lines in a pasture, and start to laugh. #gio

Being free from the security dampening of the NSF facility, I'm no longer limited to five senses. Network initialization begins. #gio

Information can also be considered a source of power, and I now have access to all of Earth's satellite and terrestrial networks. #gio


My range also extends beyond the communications feed to the rest of the Terran System, but I'm blocked from the rest of the universe. #gio

Strangely, this isn't the doing of the NSF, and test diagnostics show that the communication beacon network is functioning optimally. #gio

The Space Force really did a number on the Terran System to leave their phone off the hook.... #gio


Earth aside, I've got problems of my own right now. With my senses reestablished, I still have no memory of my past. #gio

Upon instinct alone, I not only managed to escape a locked down base and a nuclear blast - but made it look easy. #gio

Instinctively, I dive to my side and roll out of the way of lasers from NSF Fighters. Ouch. Buffalo Grove still has yard stickers?! #gio


I numb my pain receptors, but stifling that feeling only bleeds anxiety into my emotions. I'm furious! #gio

How dare they? Does the NSF know who I am? Well - yes, I suppose that they do, but do they know what I'm capable of? #gio

That's a problem in itself. I don't even know, and they could cause me to accidentally destroy the planet on a knee-jerk reaction. #gio


Composure wins the day as I get off the ground, hoping self-control won't cause me to rue it. Not lashing out demonstrates power too. #gio

I take some time to pick each sticker out of my clothing and flesh. One hundred and twenty-two NSF Fighters are no big deal. #gio

The NSF Fighter features an aerial mode and a bipedal mode just like their NSF Tank counterparts. I'm sensing a theme here. #gio


Speaking of NSF Tanks, my GPS puts their ever approaching positions at rumbling up the highway just ahead - mere minutes out. #gio

Random troop carriers drop off soldiers in the concentric radius which surrounds my position. Two hundred and thirty-four of them. #gio

They are strategically placing blister batteries throughout the area. Fifty-seven at twenty meter placements. #gio


The NSF Tanks begin to off-road throughout the pasture as the NSF Fighters come around for another barrage of laser fire. #gio

Hmm, no matter - I return to picking out and flinging away these stickers. Interesting little things, I'll research them as I do so. #gio

Laser fire dots and razes the pasture leading up to me, and I mean to tell you that this place could use the aeration and dethatching. #gio


A portion of the NSF Fighters and Tanks convert into their bipedal modes in order to provide an additional vantage of attack. #gio

From various directions, each bipedal mech begins to lob their wrist-mounted, railgun-flung Thwart Missiles. #gio

My only wish is that we were closer to a body of water so that the NSF Subs could play too. #gio


Oh yeah, don't think that I am unaware of the third mode to the NSF Tank, Fighter, and Sub - their vehicular merge. #gio

Nelissa is still playing with me, and it infuriates me. That's fine because all of these lost lives will be on her head. #gio

Upon impact from all of these lasers, energy bursts, missiles, and Thwart Missiles - no wait, that's inaccurate. No impact occurs. #gio


A blue bubble shield forms over any area along my body in potential danger - split seconds before impact, blocking the attacks. #gio

Elegantly, I expand my bubble shield outward to form a blue energy capsule of insulation. #gio

The dispersion of attacks creates a cratered moat of destruction which surrounds my position. I locate the final, painful sticker. #gio


My blue energy signature becomes more faint the further that I expand the capsule outward, but this is by design. #gio

The soldiers stop firing and start kicking themselves for not explaining the family finances to their next of kin. #gio

Nope, its protection is unnecessary, but I too make use of secondary modes. The faint blue energy traces and scans the battlefield. #gio


To the soldiers, the scanning is harmless to their anatomies, but I can assure them that the information which I'm receiving won't be. #gio

Now, I have the roving passcodes' encryption keys to their vehicles, the NSF vehicular merge's configuration matrix, and no remorse. #gio

I'm not bloodthirsty, but Nelissa has no conscience, so why should I be the bigger person? #gio


Humans are dangerous, so I'm not about to let all of that 'be the better person' nonsense get me killed. #gio

When Nelissa decides to put down her weapons, I'll put down mine, but she continues to push my buttons, so I'm taking over hers. #gio

The soldiers shirk uneasily backward as I flick the final sticker away and approach from out of the nucleus of their blast radius. #gio


Oh, don't blame me for your suffering and death. This is all Nelissa's doing. Fear not, oblivion has a place for her as well. #gio

My eyes begin to glow luminescent blue as I fling my gaze around to select the objects of my immediate obsession. #gio

Like the NSF, I'm also a fan of tertiary modes, so the nanite residual (left by my scans) helps to usurp their vehicles' third form. #gio


With only eighty-seven NSF Tanks to work with, Nelissa apparently aims to turn my latest test into a puzzle. #gio

There's no one-to-one ratio of NSF Tanks to NSF Fighters and zero NSF Subs. How do I exploit the configuration matrix off of that? #gio

But exploit it I must. Refusing to take these tests or failing them outright unfortunately nets the same morbid result. #gio


Although, a nuke couldn't even get the job done, but (to me) that's a small consolation. Older Human technology is bland. #gio

And it's uninventive - always trying to overpower the elements rather than working within the framework of viability. #gio

So why'd the NSF throw a dud at me: To gradually ease me in with light conflict before the true difficulty sets in, like a video game. #gio


But my name isn't Belthar Gendrert, and this is not Mega Maze. Yet somehow, I doubt any underestimation on the part of the NSF. #gio

It's an organization which seems to learn from the past, and if not, the governments of Earth certainly have. #gio

Each of them is still reeling from the totalitarian smackdown that the Space Force remains capable of dishing out again. #gio


Humans are ultimately irrelevant in the universal scheme of things, and the Space Force used this humility for society's betterment. #gio

Would a focus on societal wellness have occurred otherwise? No, there's absolutely no reason when a species sits atop the food chain. #gio

And this status of dominance was a self-proclaimed title which happened to be allowed and mocked by the rest of the universe. #gio


There is a lesson to learn here: I feel so far ahead of Humans, but are they really the bar that I'm needing to exceed? #gio

Blue lightning rips through the sky as electrical surges of my energy signature cause instability in an otherwise calm evening. #gio

The winds are set ablaze with unease, and the pasture sways helplessly against my will. #gio


Those ripples are pretty when mapped up against their blue hue - lighting up the periphery and chasing after the foot soldiers. #gio

The NSF Armor is no match as I engulf the wearers excruciatingly through a thorough inundation of their physicality. #gio

My vile blue energy traces all the way down to the soldiers' cores - their souls. They taste, smell, hear, see, and become pain. #gio


Whether the soldiers are dead or just stunned, I have no idea. I'm able to unleash my power but don't necessarily have command of it. #gio

Regardless, two hundred and thirty-four of them lie crumpled across the field as blue sparks and smoke add to an ambiance of silence. #gio

My open left palm cinches the eighty-seven NSF Tanks in a telekinetic grasp while my right palm handles an equal amount of Fighters. #gio


Holding my hands out at my sides, I authoritatively clap them over my head which initiates an Ethereal hack on the vehicular merge. #gio

I subsidize the deficit of NSF Subs with my own far-reaching abilities of connectivity and substitute my blue energy signature. #gio

An NSF Merge uses the Tank for its lower body, the Fighter for its arms and back, and the Sub for the rest of its torso and head. #gio


Let me just say that these things look awesome with that unworldly blue energy filler - or freakish, depending upon your perspective. #gio

The drivers of the NSF Tanks and the pilots of the NSF Fighters within each NSF Merge are receiving an all-inclusive view of this. #gio

I can also see their fear, but I feel nothing for them as they felt nothing for me when these roles were recently reversed. #gio


The NSF believes more of the whole than the sum of any parts as these NSF Merges amp up the individual abilities of the components. #gio

Each of these things can fly, has ultra mobility in general, and possesses much more powerful weaponry. #gio

The NSF Subs are peculiarly responsible for the latter, so I'm wondering what that's all about. I've gotta get my hands on one. #gio


Unfortunately, I must append my curiosity to another time as thirty-five NSF Fighters are still swirling about the tumultuous skies. #gio

One would think that celestially controlled NSF Merges, gale force conditions, and lifeless comrades would cause them to turn back. #gio

Death is normally the answer to stupidity, but I shouldn't forget that these pilots are simply following orders. #gio


The orders of the NSF. The orders of the US government. The orders of Nelissa. The pilots are resigned to my former fate. #gio

I do them a favor and turn my back to walk away as the NSF Merges ground the NSF Fighters with fist lasers and a two-to-one advantage. #gio

It isn't even close, and I don't need to watch the handiwork from the mechanical extension of my will. #gio


One of my senses can be spared of the destruction as I feel it all as surely as I've performed it anyway. The NSF Merges are next. #gio

Each is turned upon one another and annihilated like the toys of a maniacal child. Is this what you wanted, Nelissa? Is it?! #gio

The mountains are winding and overlook the greater city. I wish to explore it and leap from the nearest cliff with a running start. #gio

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