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Mü, Part 25

Emiray climbed the hallway as she continued to make her way toward the Reactor Room. The path was taking longer then it should have. As she kept getting closer things began to get weirder. Up and down seemed to be confused which was which. Corridors seemed to stretch on endlessly and connect to rooms in other parts of the reactor. Emiray still knew that she was getting closer however. Even Emiray was capable of detecting the oppressive atmosphere that was caused by the Euclidian Key, like the pressure was too high.

Then Emiray saw it, the main door to the Reactor Room. There was a tinge of fear that the door would actually lead somewhere else and that she would still need to continue to reach the Reactor. Those last few steps toward the door seemed to take forever like time was being stretched. The handle turned very slowly and after what felt like an eternity Emiray stepped through the doorway and into the Reactor room.

Suddenly everything felt normal again. Whatever was happening outside as a result of the Euclidian Key was not affecting this room. She could see the Ark Tunnel Reactor. It was surprising small, a marvel of science and engineering. In the front of it was a tangle of cords connecting it to some machine that Emiray didn’t recognize. Plugged into that machine was the strange piece of metal that Emiray now knew was the Euclidian Key.

Leaning on the machine, sunk to the floor was Professor Gray. He was looking wobbly but he had holding the gun steady. Emiray recognized the gun, it was the one he had shot her with before. Just thinking about it made the aches and pains from her gunshot wound flare up.

“Hello again Professor Gray. Are you going to shoot me again?”

Gray held the gun for one more second and then it clattered to the ground and Gray fell along with it. Emiray stepped forward and kicked the gun far out of his reached before kneeling beside him. Gray managed to push himself up a little and looked at Emiray for a few seconds. “It doesn’t matter anymore. Everything is over, I have done everything that I needed to do. The greater good has been accomplished. Soon this place will be ripped apart and science will be advanced and my sins will be washed away.”

He meet Emiray’s eyes and held that gaze for a little bit before breaking away, “If you had just stayed away then you would have been able to live. Nobody would have come looking for you and you could have returned to the Belly. I’m sorry about what happened and that you are going to share my fate.”

“Gray, do you know why the needs of the few will always defeat the needs of the many?” Asked Emiray. She moved around Gray and toward the reactor. “Is it because the few will never give up.” She pulled a wretch out of her belt and began removing one of the panels on the Ark Tunnel Reactor. Once she got it open she looked through the maze of wires and circuit boards. She selected several wires and gave them a sharp pull. They came free with a blaze of sparks but Emiray ignore them and threw the pile of cables onto the floor. The power of the reactor continued to build. It must be beyond critical stage. The control systems were no longer working. She would need to disable the reactor manually.

“Did you ever hear the story about how an impossible city like Mü was created in the first place?” Emiray asked Gray. Of course Gray had heard of it. Everyone on Mü had hear the story. “The founder initially set it up as a theme park for the wealthy. However because of the number of people who needed to live here to keep the theme park operating it became a city. Watching that city the founder came up with a plan.”

Emiray managed to climb up on top of the Reactor and began opening another hole in the reactor. She would need to stimulate the cooling system enough to bring the reactor below critical levels. If she would do that then the safety equipment would began to shut down the reactor. It was the only safe method of weakening the reactor. Lynn had told her that is was possible that if she just disconnected the Euclidian Key that it could go wild and the reactor might melt down. Since that would still probably kill everyone in the reactor it was a last resort.

Emiray began working on opening the cooling system while she continued to talk. “It was the founder’s impossible dream that caused people to come to Mü. It was a city where your dreams became reality. The city grew and grew becoming the largest city in the world. I heard outsiders used to call it the city of wishes. It was then that the founder died.” Emiray grew silent and she pulled off the top of the coolant system and felt the massive heat pushing out of the tank.

She wasn’t planning on fixing the coolant system, she was planning on breaking the coolant system. If she could break the coolant control valve then it would overcharge the coolant and bring the temperature of the entire reactor back to what is was supposed to be. However that would require her to stick her arm down into that heated container and remove the control valve. She gritted her teeth and thrust her hand deep into the depths. She could feel the scorching pain and she felt around. Her fingers were nearly numb but she could feel the valve. She gripped it and will all the effort that she could muster she pulled the control valve free.

Once it had been removed she dropped it and adverted her eyes from her burt hand. She couldn’t think about it, if she did then she would probably lose consciousness. The reactor would now probably fail by itself once the temperature began to get under control. However that would take hours for it completely power down, all the while the Euclidian Key would continue to attempt to tear local space apart. Emiray know that Lynn was still out there holding back the Key. Emiray didn’t think that Lynn would be able to last the hours required for the reactor to shut off. She needed to finish shutting off the reactor quickly.

As she moved positions she continued to talk to distract her from the pain in her arm. “Mü almost fell into ruin after the founder died. The founder had been the pillar that everybody had expected to always be there. It was anarchy for a couple of years I hear. Then several factions began to grow in power. These factions are what created the order we had today. Those factions eventually became the districts of Mü. Now what is the lesson that you are supposed to learn from this story?”

She began opening another part of the reactor. The safety persuasions to keep the reactor from overloading must have been disabled. She needed to begin the automatic shutdown of the reactor. That should be possible now that the coolant system was being overworked. Still, pressing down the heated shutdown rods would be difficult and painful.

“The moral is simple. Everything that happened, from the building of Mü, to the creation of the district. All of it was created by people who were following their dreams. The people who were creating what they desired. A future that was better then the past. Greater good has nothing to do with it. Instead of wondering what is best of everyone just figure out what is the best for you.”

“What about you?” Said Gray who hadn’t moved from the front of the reactor, “Aren’t you doing what you think is the greatest good? Isn’t stopping this reactor and saving people doing the greater good? How are you any different.”

Emiray looked down at the opening into the reactor. The shutdown rods where there. They looked cooler then things had been near the coolant but she would need to apply her full force to the rod to push it down. However that was the only quick way to shut down the reactor.

Emiray smiled a little to herself, “No, I’m not that good of a person. Sure saving people is admirable but I am doing this for more human reasons. I got involved because of you and Lynn. I couldn’t let go after you shot me. I was betrayed and hurt, not just physically. If this is the reason that you shot me then I can’t let you have it. And Lynn, she carries a heavy burden. She feels responsible for everything that happens because of the Key. I haven’t know her very long but it already pains me when she feels like everything is her fault. I don’t want my friend to feel that kind of pain. Are those reasons enough for you? They are enough for me.”

Emiray reached out her hands and pressed both of them firmly on the shutoff rod and pressed with all her might. She could intensely feel the pain in her burnt hand. Her other hand was in pain too. The cooling had only just begun and the rod was still intensely hot and painful. The rod slid slowly down and she kept pressing despite the heat. Then the rod clicked into the end position and Emiray felt the slackness in her limbs. She had done it. Now the reactor will shut down in minutes. The pain finally caught up with her and she fainted.

Inspector Grim caught her before she fell into the Reactor. It that had happened then her injuries would have been even more severe. He slowly lowered her off the reactor and onto the floor. Taking off his coat he wrapped it around her. It wouldn’t help her burns but it should keep her a little more comfortable. Inspector Grim then walked around the reactor and stood before Professor Gray. “That girl is in pretty bad shape you aren’t in very good condition either. Something must have happened when you activated the Euclidian Key which caused some sort of backlash. I must have been painful.”

Grim adjusted his hat and sat cross legged in front of Gray. “Professor Gray, you are under arrest for attempted murder and the theft of the Euclidian Key. You have the right to remain silent. Anything that you can be used against you in a court of law.” Grim took a breath, “I should really give you a good beating for what you did to Rose and the others but since it appears you already have got a beating I’ll let you off. However I do have a few questions for you, off the record. Tell me everything that you know about the Prometheus Project.”
Gray shot his head up in surprised at Grim. “How? How do you know about that?”

“I know a great many things. I didn’t believe too much in it. A conspiracy inside Mü that put the greater good above everything. There are a lot of rumors and I never really had any evidence to back up my claims. However I overheard some of your conversion and your talk about the greater good made me suspicious. You reaction was good though, until then I still wasn’t certain that the Prometheus Project did exist.”

Gray looked down in momentary though, “I’m tried. Doing the greater good is tiring and painful. It isn’t worth it. Alright, I’ll tell you what I know. It isn’t much, I’m not a very important member and information is very tightly guarded in case anybody gives away information.”

“Anything that you can tell me is good.”