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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Shell [Episode 11]

Picking back up from the previous episodes, Jane Soutaine was kidnapped by the Traveller who told her about the Earth as a vast information storage centre and the Driver was an entity projected by the mysterious cylinder. The Traveller then asked her what does she know about the periodic mass extinction throughout the history of the Earth...

'You must know that this mission is critical for our survival,' the Traveller said. 'So you must understand some basics before I put you onboard for the mission.'

'Spill it out,' Jane said, still pointing the Platzen gun at him,

'The mass extinctions which one of the most famous ones is the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago are meant to be deliberate,' the Traveller said. He raised his palm, anticipating that Jane would respond to him. 'Information is not handled properly. Numerous glitches and errors had been encountered that the information is corrupted, no longer to be used by the Superior beings.'

'How the hell did you know all these stuff?' Jane asked.

'I got so many time to learn after I am unplugged.'

'What's it going to do with Dan?'

'I want you to drive some of the major asteroids towards Earth, starting with Ceres,' the Traveller said.

'What?' she powered up her gun again.

'It has to be done. You are the glitch. The glitch has to be wiped out before anyone notices. Right now, Dan and his agents are the one erasing the glitch. But the murder of Jane Soutaine and the shrinking of Earth is noticeable. You have told this information to Dan in the restaurant. There are chances that someone overheard it and passed on the info to others. This vast information storage is corrupted.'

'Then I would rather let Dan kill me to solve the problem.'

'But the information still persist in the system,' the Traveller noted.

'Dan is one of the Eraserheads. He knows what to do,' Jane said.

'He can't. The system is contaminated before he killed Jane Soutaine.'

'So, I am to do the job of erasing?' Jane asked.

'Yes, and to stop Dan for coming out of Earth.'

'Why he will still come and get me?'

'You are the glitch.'

'After I punch the Earth with asteroids, he would be dead.'

'He won't. He is a programme.'

'Talk to me, old man.'

'Dan is a programme designed to erase anomalies. I lied to you earlier on. He is a rogue programme. He wants to get out of Earth as soon as possible to free Earth from the Shell,' the Traveller said.

'Isn't that a good thing?'

'Look, we've been through this already. I will tell you, you have no idea what's it like beyond the Shell.'

She fired another warning shot from the Platzen gun. 'Well, try me.'

'You are not ready. The Shell... beyond it... it is too complex to say in words. But mark my words, it's safer to initiate another mass extinction than to open up the Shell.'

*

She was being led by the Driver to a cargo hold of the station. The cargo was in sleek white, no sharp edge like crude machinery and there was a a beautiful white ship parked in the middle. It looked like a smooth head fish with sharp tapering tail, two fins flanked open by its sides, and a dorsal fin across its spine. However, there was no noticeable engine drive.

'It rides along the fabric of space-time, like a stone skipping on water,' the Driver said.

'Are you a programme from the cylinder?' she asked.

'Get into the ship,' the Driver said.

'I take that as a yes,' she said. A door opened when they approached the white ship. She climbed in. 'I don't know how to drive it.'

'Place your helmet on and it will do the rest,' the Driver said. Before he closed the door, he said, 'Have fun.'

Inside the ship was futuristic. Of course she had skipped 40 years into the future for yet-to-be revealed reason. Even her mission of killing Dan was too brief. She suspected that it would end that quick. There was something in her mind that this mission was way too complicated that it seemed. She checked her back and found the Platzen gun still there. She saw no controls on the dashboard and she began to wonder.

'Where is that helmet?' she grumbled.

Then, above her, a helmet fell. She was surprised by it. She couldn't find any hidden compartment above her. She shrugged and placed it on her head. Then she felt different.

She went into clouds and became the ship. She can feel her head protruding and a tail behind her. She could feel the weapons under her. She was assimilated to the ship.

'Door opening in three seconds...' the Driver spoke from outside through a communication channel. 'In three... two... one... time to eject, Jane.'

She saw the black space ahead and she urged herself to move. She was thinking like a ship now. She wanted to fly like a bird. And, the ship did move. It accelerated by unknown means and cast into the black sea of stars and travelled to the direction of the Earth

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