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NULL SPACE - Part 15

Jeran looked at Null in alarm, “You, what do you mean? How could you have possible done this?” Jeran looked out across the glass city. It should be impossible for a single person to so this even with the benifit of forbidden technology. This was on such a large scale that he couldn’t imagine what could turn an entire city and all its residents into glass.

Null only continued to stare at the monument. “But it is true. I used to live in this city, at least before everything happened here.” She took a deep breath and asked, “Do you want me to tell you a story? It was from a long time ago and I haven’t told anybody about it but if you want to hear it then I will tell you.”
 Silvia still looked confused like she was having a hard time understand the implications of what Null had been saying. “A story… I… sure, can you tell us your story. I want to know what happened here.” She was beginning to absorbed what Null had said and she sounded more uncertain. Silvia hadn’t experience as much time with Null as Jeran had so it was more understandable for her to be afraid.

“All right, I was born a hundred and fifty years ago on this planet, Androst. I was born in the city of Endira, the city that you now see around you.” Null began telling her story while Jeran and Silvia listened raptly.

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Null was born to a wealthy family so she grew up in a nice household. Her parents were business owners who took good care of her. Even if they worked a lot they still made time to be with her. It was a happy childhood, more then any person could ask for. Null was also quite smart and she enjoyed going to some of the best schools in the city. However such a childhood could not last. When she was twelve her parents began to suffer from a financial collapse. As their business fell into ruin and their debts began to pile up the family began to fracture.

Her mother broke up with her father to avoid the growing debt. Null had to struggle through those times and was lucky to be able to earn a scholarship at a prestigious university. It was a relief to her to be able to earn education without have to deal with it. She began her education is science and she turned out to be a prodigy. She learned and discovered things, while still following the rules of ANGEL.

The problems began when she was approached by an man. He wore a black archaic suit and spoke with a strange accent. They wanted her assistance building a device, however when Null learned that it used forbidden technology she refused to help. However the man wouldn’t let her do that. The man was the holder of the debts that he parents owed and she learned that he had caused them as well. The man promised to cancel the debts if Null assisted him on his plan but threatening to force her parents to go to jail for not paying if she didn’t help.

Null didn’t feel like she had a choice and agreed to help the man with the construction. It was a difficult project which was the construction of nano-machines. They would grant the user considerable power by allowing reconstruction of physical objects according to the users thoughts. However much of the technology was illegal so Null had to discover the principles and craft the technologies herself.

It took her several years of research and development before the first nano-machines began to get created. However they were unstable and tended to destroy their host after several days. It was during the final stages of the research that she discovered some secret correspondents between the man who had recruited her and his trusted right hand man. It detail how he was supposed to kill Null and her parents after the nano-machines were finished to prevent anybody else from ever acquiring that power.

After learning this Null returned to her lab and began deleting all of the research she had been making over the years. If she and her parents were going to die anyway at least it would prevent her technology from falling into the hands of her captors. However she was discovered in the middle of her efforts and in an attempt to stop others from acquiring it she injected herself with her experimental nano-machines.

However something went wrong and the nano-machines began to reproduce uncontrollably. The quickly expanding nano-machines heading out from Null breaking apart everything they touched and converting it into glass. It was only a matter of hours before the entire city had been transformed, Null’s captors and parents included. Only Null was left unaffected by the nano-machines except that her hair had changed to a rainbow hue. When she regained control of her body, she had been conscious through the entire affair, she was horrified by what had happened. She had regained control of her nano-machines but it was impossible to reverse the damage that she had done to the city.

Her life then turned to a life on the run. The Androst government wanted her for what she had done to the city and ANGEL began to come after her to punish her for what she had done in Endira. There was much that she tried to do to escape but eventually she was cornered by ANGEL and was trapped within the Hexion Sphere. It was only by luck and Jeran’s action that she was freed from what was supposed to be eternal captivity.

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Null finished her story. Jeran and Silvia was listening is in rapt awe. They never though that such a thing had been possible. Jeran had to put Null’s powers into a different perspective. He didn’t realize that they could be so powerful if they were to get out of her control. Silvia thought that the story was interesting but some of the magnitude of what Null’s story implied was probably lost on her. Jeran understood the true destructiveness of the nano-machines and was beginning to understand why ANGEL had made it illegal. While the power could be used for good, like when Null cured Silvia, in the wrong person’s hands it could become an incredible powerful weapon.

“What a beautiful story, in fact it almost brought a tear to my eye.” Came a voice from behind them. They turned to look and saw General Solvar accompanied by more then a dozen soldiers. “Really if it wasn’t for the pain in my hand I might have cried.” Solvar lifted up his cybernetic hand to show to them. “However I didn’t come here to listen to stories. Zolurious was right to get us to come here, you showed up exactly like he expected you to. I guess it is true that criminals always return to the scene of the crime. Though I must say that usually it is quicker then a hundred and fifty years.”

There were a dozen guns pointed at them and all the soldiers were being careful to stay far away from Null. Null almost gasped when she heard the name Zolurious spoken. That had been the name of the ANGEL that had captured her the first time. He had been one of the most respected and feared members of ANGEL. While this Zolurious couldn’t be the same person, ANGELs had the habit of passing on their name and experience. It was likely that this Zolurious had much of the same strength that the previous one did.

They need to escape quickly, before Zolurious arrived here himself. If they were lucky it would probably take Zolurious several minutes to get there, and if they were unlucky…. Then Null didn’t think that they stood much of a chance. However it was Jeran that took the initiative, “Oh, Solvar, I see that you are being an obedient dog by following the orders of ANGEL. I guess that it wasn’t enough for you to begin inciting a civil war on Myth but you have to become a galactic watchdog too.”

Solvar growled in anger before calming himself and saying, “I would watch what you are saying Jeran. If you get me too angry then I might start shooting people. Just because I can’t kill you doesn’t mean I can’t hurt you. Just think…” Solvar lifted his gun and pointed it at Silvia, “What would happen if I shot your little girl who you just managed to cure. I think that would hurt, do you want to give it a try.”

Jeran didn’t have anything to say. He couldn’t, not without putting his daughter at risk and he just couldn’t do that. However it was Null’s turn to step up to the plate. “Really, With the backing of ANGEL is petty threats the best that you can do. You did hear the story didn’t you? I turned this entire city to glass. The only thing stopping me from doing that now is that I would catch these two in it was well. But if you take away Silvia’s life and Jeran’s reason for living I’m sure he would be happy if you all died. You don’t want that do you?”

She could see the uncertainty in the soldiers. They weren’t prepared to deal with someone like her, nobody ever trains to deal with someone with forbidden technology, except ANGEL. They were afraid of her and that was the first step in escaping. People who were afraid made mistakes.

“Don’t be afraid men, at this range we will be able to kill her before she could do something like that. I also have the knowledge that doing something like that takes some buildup time and we would easily be able to escape if we know it is coming early enough.” Yelled Solvar trying to regain control of his soldiers.

“Maybe,” Said Null who didn’t want Solvar to call her bluff. It would take about five to ten minutes for the nano-machine to build up enough speed to outrun soldiers and she wasn’t certain how far their range would be. Her current nano-machines had more self limiting factors then her initial ones did. “But do you really want to risk it. Imagine what it would be like to be glass. On the plus side you would be a beautiful addition to this city.” Her bluff was still working but it wasn’t enough. They wouldn’t retreat at this rate and it would be too late of an ANGEL arrived and Null hadn’t had time to prepare.

Her main problem was that it was difficult to affect people with nano-machines at a distance. At long distances there was a much greater chance that Null would lose control of the nano-machines and they would act sporadically. Instead she sent her nano-machines into the air around her, Jeran, and Silvia. They were building a ultra thin, transparent wall which resembles a spider web. It would do a good job at stopping bullets, hopefully long enough for the three of them to escape. However a little more time was required before the web was big enough and strong enough to protect them.

Luckily Solvar tended to be a talker, “She is bluffing men. There is no way she could effect us with her nano-machines at this distance. Zolurious said that is the weakness of nano-machines. Now that we have them here we just need to wait until Zolurious arrives. However if they try to escape feel free to open fire. Zolurious said that the woman should be fine if we shoot her but avoid killing Jeran, he has information that we need. His daughter however is expendable and you can kill her if she tried to escape.” Jeran was fuming with barely contained anger and Solvar was essentially gloating at him because there was nothing that Jeran could do.