day of my transformation should have been filled with giddy exhilaration
and child-like excitement. After all, I would be leaving the confines
of a cube-shaped box to reside in a fully functional corporeal
body. This would be the day I would become a Zyrgertronthe
first mechanical assimilation of a Zyrgonian. My long and tedious
incubation period would finally be over. Instead of plastic casing,
an exoskeleton frame would now house my neural matrix along with
my sub processors, data chips and circuitry boards.
Thoughts of my first virgin steps flooded my mind. Would I choose
to a take a stroll around a lakeor perhaps peruse the numerous
open markets in the capital city of Baruk? Or would I simply stare
up into the silver hues of the Zyrgonian sky taking in its infinite
beauty while I pondered my first work assignment? Unfortunately,
what reality had in store for me was a
little bit less shiny than the wondrously bright visions I had
envisioned. Within the first few hours of my 'birth' I had been
ordered to become an assassin.
man named Jix working for the Department of Safety and Automaton
Integration had instructed me to kill the prime minister of the
neighboring planet, Chaxim. He simply stated this as a matter
of fact. He also told me I could expect worse things than being
put back into a box if I didn't comply. The shock of his request
quickly overshadowed the great joy I had been anticipating for
many solar cycles. What would it be like to taste food, engage
in work or even someday partner with a female Zyrgertron in the
throes of passion? After all this waiting, these experiences would
continue to elude me. A pressing issue was now at hand. My short-term
memory files provided the how, where and when of the murder plot.
But the most perplexing question had been left unanswered. Why
would I commit such a heinous act? I had been subject to a battery
of psychological assessments, which were presumably given to me
to test my moral fortitude. Was this perhaps one final exam to
see if I possessed a conscience? The being seated across from
me did not appear to be concerned with my moral fiber. If my theory
were correct, I would wager that Jix truly loathed the Chaxim
leader he wanted dead.
* * *
was only ten solar cycles when his Chaxim father stowed him aboard
an exploratory space vessel to escape his planet. Jez vowed his
only son would not become victim to the devious plan Prime Minister
Targas was proposing for the Chaxim youth. The father believed
defection was the only way his son could escape the brutal medical
trials ordered by Targas.
to his departure, Jix would often spend many of his nights gazing
at the small bright object called Zyrgon. Counting upon his boy's
natural hunger for exploration, Jez did not have to plead long
with his son to convince him that a better life awaited on the
* * *
moment I learned Jix was from Chaxim, my artificial pulse began
to quicken. I had been programmed to believe Zyrgonians were still
in the initial stages of negotiating first contact with this race.
I suddenly became aware there were two separate voices contained
within myself. One of the voices urged me to attempt immediate
flight. Another said I should wait for the right opportunity to
flee. The latter voice said a more covert escape would increase
the odds of attaining the desired outcome. The only outcome I
could fathom was one where I would alert the Zyrgonian president
of my fate. But what would follow after that? Did all beings live
this vicariously from one moment to the next? And were these two
voices truly my own, or did they belong to my programmers?
nervous exterior conspired to raise Chaxim's suspicions. Apparently
the way I squirmed in my chair and rapped my fingers upon its
armrests signaled a warning. His left hand quickly wrapped itself
around a device he called a remote control. He pointed it at me
as if I were the one threatening him. Jix explained this unit
could not only monitor my neural wave patterns but also interrupt
the charging of my solar-powered cells. More simply,
Jix said, I can read your thoughts or reduce you to a pile
of plastic at a push of a button.
was appalled. No programmer had ever cautioned me I would live
under such scrutiny. I attempted to study my captor's face for
any hint of deception. His eyes remained fixed upon my with an
icy blue stare. I did not detect any perspiration upon his face
nor color alteration upon his cheeks. My programming told me these
exterior observations could often discern if one was lying. But
all this while, Jix fixed an earnest gaze upon me, casting serious
doubt upon the odds he was bluffing.
broke the silence first. You're wasting your time analyzing
me, Zyrgertron. I was one of the cyberneers who approved your
software installation. I know you will ultimately conclude that
my intentions are harmful. It's obviously immoral to terminate
a life. But I trust you would align yourself with me if you could
see the bigger picture.
Jix had hoped to clarify the situation, he had failed miserably.
I was more confused than before he launched into his explanation.
Why should he want to kill a being who had not even stepped foot
on Zyrgon? In desperation, I threw out a vague query in hopes
of ascertaining more information.
it is true that you are operating outside the boundaries of Zyrgonian
law? I asked
with a hint of righteous indignation. A surge of pride came over
me, as I knew it was morally correct to oppose Jix. I also became
aware of the ambiguities of everyday life when he answered me.
are not so always so black and white in this universe. I learned
as a child that we often reside in the gray area. I apologize
for putting you there. I too once thought my life would solely
consist of goodness.
* * *
the same time Jix was leaving the borders of Chaxim space, Targas
was hard at work attempting to bring the rest of his planet into
a new frontier as well. Targas theorized the implementation of
a biomechanical soldier would give his people the key to the grail.
Working with a team of biomechanical engineers around the clock,
Targas obsessively fed his compulsion to combine Chaxim physiology
with artificial technology. Targas believed the hybrid conclusion
would result in a superior soldier. The warrior would gain
superior physical capability from the implants and the natural
will from the organic host to strive for conquest. Only the organic
mind can be truly counted upon to contain unbridled passion,
declared to his staff in an attempt to remain clinically detached.
But what he really meant to say was: only a flesh and blood creature
has the arrogance to declare victory at any cost. Targas knew
his plan to shed blood all over the universe would conjure up
apprehension even in his most loyal consorts. Even worse, his
plan involved the utilization of Chaxim children.
Targas wisely tempered his reasoning by instilling fear. We
need to get them before they can get us. Our galactic neighbors
would do the same if given the means.
was obvious the plan would only succeed if it were kept secret
from the nearest worlds. But it was just as important to conceal
the ideology from the general Chaxim populace. The prime minister
was not so delusional to believe Chaxim parents would not resort
to any means necessary to save their children from the reformation.
had the good fortune of being a close acquaintance to one the
bio-medical engineers. This is how he learned that his son was
to be transformed into a killing machine. When the work was concluded,
Jez was to be in charge of deploying a biomechanical army of soldiers
into space. Instead, Jez chose to deploy his son to safety and
commit suicide long before it was learned organic Chaxim bodies
would never accept the mechanical implants.
* * *
must prevent Targas from signing the peace accord at any cost,
Jix barked at me.
me to understand, I answered in my best diplomatic voice.
Can you explain how we are living in this grey area you
sighed and rubbed his free hand against his forehead. Killing
is sometimes necessary to prevent a greater consequence. Once
Targas gets permission to navigate ships into Zyrgonian borders
he will slowly saturate your space with war vessels. The next
step will involve a threat to bombard Baruk with nuclear missiles.
He will call off the assault if your planet agrees to surrenders
its children to him. Once the children are in the hands of his
biomechanical engineers, they will be fitted with automaton body
parts. They will be transported throughout the galaxy to conquer
worlds in the name of the Chaxim empire. That is why I believe
one death will prevent billions.
do you know all this? I asked. Have you visited your
home world since your defection?
not, Jix replied defiantly. The world I was born on
no longer exists for me. My knowledge of body language told
me Jix despised sharing his personal feelings. He began to pace
around the room, maintaining minimal eye contact. My psychology
programming deduced I represented the technology that was threatening
to enslave the galaxy. I found it odd I was learning more from
observation than through conversation. I continued to watch the
positioning of my captor's body as he explained how his father
taught him how to monitor sub space transmissions from Chaxim.
eavesdropped on a secure government channel for months before
they discovered the leak. Right after this, I learned Targas had
hastily invited President Karsk to engage in peace and trade talks.
I believe he plans to strike quickly before your world gets a
chance to substantiate my story.
asked Jix why President Karsk wasn't listening to him. Part of
me realized I was in the process of manipulating Jix. I had posed
this question for the sole purpose of maintaining our dialog,
rather than to ascertain information. It was painfully obvious
Jix had not been able to convince the Zyrgonian leader of the
impending threat. If he had, he would not be in need of my services.
I was utilizing my programming to interject extraneous dialog
into conversations to convince the listener I was sympathizing
with their plight. Why was it necessary to stroke people's egos
in this fashion? And even more disturbing, when would someone
turn the tables and employ the same kind of verbal hand-holding
techniques on me? Jix finished his explanation and waited for
me to talk. So I continued to play the verbal card game. I accessed
a program file entitled: devil's advocate. It suggested I ask
Jix why Targas would invade Zyrgon knowing Chaxim physiology had
already rejected the implantsso I did.
your world is polluted, he answered.
appeared Jix was more skilled in verbal sparring than I thought.
He only needed five words to knock the smug look off of my synthetic
* * *
solar cycles earlier, Targas finally came to grips with a small
slice of reality: The Chaxim youth were not going to lead the
crusade against the universe. This epiphany did not come without
a cost. The butchering of innocent Chaxim children only subsided
when Targas became totally convinced the integration process would
not work. He waited 15 solar cycles for the replenishment of the
population he had personally exterminated. Parents were given
certificates of assurance with the birth of their new offspring
that their sons and daughters would not be violated. Several uprisings
to assassinate Targas followed unsuccessfully. The prime minister
continued to serve out his life term as their leader despite the
protests. Unfortunately for Chaxim (and the rest of the galaxy)
Targas was only 145 solar cycles old and his life span was expected
to nearly double that figure.
the exception of the murdered children, most Chaxim could be expected
to live nearly 300 solar cycles. The Chaxim air and sea were maintained
at pristine levels of purity. Researchers theorized this was why
the children's bodies rejected the artificial enhancements. Their
slow rate of cellular decay prevented the implants from taking
scientists informed their leader that cybernetic appendages could
only work in conjunction with the host's nervous system. Therefore,
Targas needed to find a race of people whose cells had already
been compromised. Weakened bodies would not be capable of turning
away foreign agents, the scientists promised Targas in an effort
to deter any more home world genocide. They also told Targas to
look no farther than Zyrgon. Here he would be able to harvest
his next crop of organic candidates.
with this news, Targas immediately set to work on a way to entice
the Zyrgs to participate in a peace conference. At first Karsk
was reluctant to enter into negotiations. He cited that neither
race had previously engaged the other in war. But Targas relied
on his campaign of terror to twist Karsk's arm. A formal
treaty will fortify Zyrgon in the event of an
unexpected insurrection, Targas bartered. You will
be able to count on us as allies. For good measure, Targas
also promised the Zyrgs he would assist in a global detoxification
of their planet. All he was asking in exchange was the right to
travel through their space for trading purposes. When Karsk pressed
Targas on what items he needed to import, the shrewd leader deflected
did not want to jeopardize the chance to clean up his deteriorating
home world by asking any more questions. And so, a date was set.
In a few days, Targas would travel to the Zyrgon to commence the
was not aware how important it was for Targas to schedule the
talks away from Chaxim. But Jix was.
* * *
is the reason why its imperative for Targas to hold the
peace conference here, Jix stated after taking a moment
to enjoy the dumbfounded look upon my face.
is counting upon greed. He knows President Karsk cannot resist
the opportunity to clean up Zyrgon. The global warming of this
planet has now resulted in the creation of several lethal storms.
Only an environmental cleansing can put an end to this type of
destruction, Jix explained.
now you're going to tell me that what Targas has in store for
Zyrgon is much worse?
Mr. Automaton, I hope your programming can deduce a body harvest
is far worse, Jix said sarcastically.
you're still not telling me why the talks have to be held here,
I quickly countered to save artificial face.
your atmosphere allows for an abundance of solar radiation, it
ironically does not welcome a sufficient influx of light. This
is because your scientists have placed photonic crystals in the
Zyrgonian stratosphere to counter ozone depletion. But this is
what Chaxim scientists would call a band-aid solution to your
problem. It will never clean up your atmosphere. It will only
prevent further ozone depletion while keeping Zyrgon covered in
a shroud of fog.
was only logical to ask Jix why he had such a breadth of knowledge
on the environment. After all, Jix worked for the Department of
Safety and Automaton Integration. To most of the world, his job
description could be summed us in two words: glorified babysitter.
photonic crystals affect electromagnetic waves and our physiology
consists of them. This is why if we were on Chaxim right now,
you would have physical proof that I was telling you the truth.
It is also why Zyrgonians must never see Targas on his home world.
The karmic aura of his corona would reveal his true colors, so
to speak. But here on Zyrgon, smog will conceal his crimes.
quickly realized my programming was horrifically inadequate to
provide a response. I had to try another tact if I ever hoped
to see the light of day. Jix did indeed possess the power to keep
me detained. He had the final say on my release to society.
I did what most desperate people do in an argument. I began to
* * *
sounds to me like you're relying on perception to present your
argument to the president. Why not rely on facts? I asked
with a touch of feigned anger.
just finished explaining to you that one cannot see the phenomenon
on this planet. Is there something wrong with your comprehension
skills, Zyrgertron? Jix took a breath to calm himself before continuing.
While I waited for him, one of the voices inside my head was beginning
to sound smug again. Apparently, my phony attempt to act furious
president told he could not justify breaking off the peace talks
without hard evidence. He thinks the accord will save countless
lives. If I were in his place, I would probably agree. In reality,
he is signing a death warrant. He cannot see the monster in Targas.
am having trouble correlating your terminology for the prime minister.
Nowhere in my data files does it describe a political leader as
I'd say your programmers must have been out to lunch the day they
created your database.
reference to a meal further served to confuse me. I looked down
at the floor, hoping to conjure up a little compassion. Delightfully,
apologize for being so harsh with you. But I only have a short
window of opportunity to paint the bigger picture for you.
do you need me to murder Targas? I asked. The inquiry seemed
simple enough. Truthfully, I could not stand to hear one more
of Jix's metaphors.
is likely we will have only one shot to take before security guards
intervene. I need to eliminate our target with the type of precision
you possess. And if you must know, it would be kind of nice to
fight fire with fire.
the hell fires of Zyrgonia, I silently ranted. I called
upon my programming to employ an emergency patience subroutine.
Why this Chaxim insisted on consistently employing vague references
in his speech patterns was beyond my depth of reasoning. I finally
came to the conclusion Jix meant I was the fire he would use to
fight Targas with. I represented the technology this 'monster'
would use to rule the galaxy.
decided to play devil's advocate one more time.
Targas realizes a machine is not pre-dispositioned for killing
like a Chaxim or Zyrg. You should realize I don't have the heart
to carry out your mission.
better find it within your programming, Zyrgertron, Jix
countered. Or the deaths of billions will taint your soul.
had pulled his trump card. How could I resist his flattery? Even
my programmers doubted I had a soul. I guess it was now up to
me to save it.
* * *
psychological assessment of Jix told me I didn't need to waste
anymore time trying to talk him out of his plan. So I asked him
to brief me on the particle beam weapon he had chosen for the
assassination. Jix just didn't want to kill Targas, but to eradicate
him. I knew the energy emitted from the beam would certainly accomplish
this task, but I wanted to play my hand in another card game.
must give me lab time to study this weapon, I demanded.
Let me work on some equations and assess just what type
of setting is needed to obliterate Targas.
allowed himself a small smile. So you'll do it willingly?
realized a lie was necessary so I indulged him.
just in case you have a change of heart, he added, I
have scrambled all signals around this facility. In other words,
you will not be able to get out a warning message.
* * *
was finally alone, back in the laboratory I had grown up in. I
heeded my captor and did not expend energy trying to send out
a distress signal. I deduced my remaining time would be better
spent trying to study the weapon.
had said he could monitor my thoughts with his remote. But he
did not seem to immediately know what my responses would be during
our conversation. There must be some kind of time lag, I theorized.
needed some time aloneaway from Jix's monitorto plan
what I did not know yet.
was apparent I could not think here. He would eventually hear
my thoughts with his device. The solution came to me as I reflected
how much simpler my life was like back in its box. Yes, that was
the solution! I would transfer my problem-solving program back
into the old shell casing that originally held my neural matrix.
Jix could only read my mind when it was encased in my new body.
I was not sure, but desperately hopeful, that I would be free
his sensors there. I allowed myself one more moment of reflection
before undertaking the transfer process. The following irony came
think outside of the box, I would literally have to go back into
* * *
set the transfer time for three minutes. I would have three minutes
to find an alternative to killing Targas. Three minutes to possibly
make President Karsk see what Jix claimed was true. I would also
have three minutes to again experience life without arms, legs,
eyes or ears.
I nervously waited for my transfer back to the box, I started
to analyze the problem based upon my conversation with Jix.
said we lived in grey areas. However, I was also realizing these
grey areas could also manifest themselves within people. Jix wanted
to stop Targas anyway possible. I could reason this was because
the prime minister was responsible for his exile to Zyrgon as
well as the death of his father. There was also the claim that
Targas would convert Zyrgonian youth into killing machines. But
no matter how much I weighed these reasons against my moral code,
I could not convince myself that murder could be justified. Even
when my I put myself first killing did not seem to be the
correct solution. There was no doubt that I wanted to carry through
on the assassination to save not only my soulbut also my
held the power in his hand to end my newly found freedoms. I shamefully
had to admit that my own preservation weighed just as heavily
in my decision to abide with Jix's plan. But Jix was willing to
side with evil to achieve his agenda. He was therefore willing
to taint his soul over Targas. Even though his intentions were
for a greater good, Jix's karmic aura would never reflect that.
Murder was murder in the eyes of karma. If the Chaxim did indeed
wear their sins on their sleeves, Jix would ultimately be no better
a person than Targas. I was not willing to pay this kind of price.
I wanted to find a way to prevent Targas from enslaving the universe
without lowering myself to his barbarity. I also selfishly wanted
to keep my soul viable for the attainment of an afterlife.
* * *
could see the timer was nearing the countdown. I would have to
depend upon it to take me into the box and then get me back out
again. I kept telling myself it would only be for three minutes.
I hated Jix for placing me in this situation. But I hated my emotions
even more. If I were to succeed, I would have to prevent anger
from getting the better of me. My only concern should be to find
a way to make Zyrgonians see Targas in his true light. Suddenly
everything faded to black. My thought processors were now being
sucked back into my former residence.
* * *
the completion of my transfer into the box, my first thoughts
oddly focused upon diving. I had to admit the feeling was quite
similar to submerging oneself in the depths of a great body of
water. Apparently my programmers felt the need to equip me with
a database of experiences to draw upon. They believed I could
take comfort in the fact that I was not the first being to become
subjected to uncomfortable situations. I believe one had even
told me there was an old axiom for this: misery loves company.
It was true, I had lost my ability to hear and breathe. But further
analysis proved the sensation was not entirely comparative to
diving. A diver could still flail his arms and legs. I could not.
I was out of contact with my physical body. I had no appendages
to move. I also had no sight. I did not take comfort that others
may have endured similar unpleasant experiences. One of my cynical
programmers had been right. I was no better than any other organic
creature that becomes self-absorbed with his or her own problems.
So much for creating the ultimate altruistic nature, I sighed
the darkness, I realized there was nothing else to distract me
so I set about my task. Calculations exploded in my mind like
a rain of fire as precious seconds ticked off the clock.
* * *
I knew it, my mind had been transferred back into my corporeal
body. I wiggled my toes and waved my arms to celebrate the re-joining
process. For some odd reason, I felt compelled to confirm the
obviousmy mind and body were one again.
suddenly realized Jix might be visually observing me so I immediately
stopped indulging myself with Zyrgonian emotion. But I found this
to be extremely hard, if not impossible. My mind danced in celebration,
even if my body did not. I simply could not stop congratulating
myself for outwitting Jix.
calculations I had come up with should work. They had to work.
Because I was out of time. I could hear footsteps approaching
the lab. But I didn't need to engage in any further mathematical
calculations to deduce what would happen next. In all probability,
the footsteps belonged to Jix. He was coming to tell me it was
time to kill.
* * *
could feel a warm wind upon my cheeks. The diffracted light beams
playing off of a field of photonic crystals fused into a splash
of light causing me to squint. I hoped to enjoy this first experience
of daylight standing on a sandy beach. Instead, I stood on top
of a dirty rooftop readying to take aim on the Chaxim prime minister
in downtown Baruk.
had signed my release papers only one hour ago. Reveling in a
smirk, he quietly told me there was no more need for speech. Your
orders are embedded in your files. You know what you have to do.
I turned to exit the building without further argument. At this
point, Jix must have been overwhelmed by a wave of compassion
because he scurried over to me and put his hand upon my shoulder.
Don't worry about living with this sin. I will have your
memories totally erased before the day is out. Maybe Jix
sympathized with me because
he had felt the same way when his father had sent him into space.
any event, I could not take much comfort. What Jix wanted me to
do would taint my soul forever. Choosing not to remember my actions
would buy no favor with karma.
had little time to enjoy my new environment as the ever increasing
roar of the crowd told me Targas would soon join President Karsk
on the open air balcony. The two leaders planned to sign the accord
in front of the whole planet. Whoever couldn't fit themselves
into Baruk Square would still be able to view the historic event
on one of the many vision screens set up throughout the capital.
I was counting on these screens to pull off my plan.
internal clock informed me it was time to ready the particle beam.
I had kept the weapon concealed within the confines of my body
up until this point. I remained cautious while extracting it even
though I knew no Zyrgonian could possibly discern my presence
without the aid of visual enhancement. I realized this was one
of the reasons why Jix had chosen me. No organic being would be
capable of firing the weapon from such a distance. At least not
with any hope of accuracy.
could not ascertain if Jix was able to monitor my thoughts and
actions from this distance. But I didn't want to take any unnecessary
risks until the last possible moment. I gazed into the readout
screen of the weapon, centering its aim upon the balcony, which
was located on the top floor of the capital building. So far,
so good I told myself. I had not raised the suspicions of Jix
or the countless throng of Zyrgronian well-wishers eagerly standing
at the base of the large, beige-colored building. My telescopic
sight could make out the frame of the edifice, which was adorned
with Zyrgonian art. All their accomplishments and hopes for the
future were proudly displayed here. This was the final realization
for me. If my plan failed, all Zyrgonians along with their history
would be erased from this planet as if they never existed. As
one of their offspring, I took the burden of saving them upon
a push of a button, the weapon began to power itself up. There
was no turning back now. I would have to discharge the beam somewhere.
My predicament started to seem surreal. I began pleading with
my internal programming. I ordered it to quell the pounding of
my mechanical heart and cool the hot flash of heat, which flushed
my cheeks. But my body did not obey. Well, at least my hands were
steadyor so I thought. I raised the scope of the weapon,
pointing it to the planet's troposphere. Dispersing a wide beam
of consecrated particles into the sky, I stood breathless upon
my vacant rooftop hoping for the best. I could not tell if I was
on target, as the particle beam would remain invisible until contact.
The suspense seemed to play itself out for an eternity. In reality,
my internal chronometer told me only 1.7 seconds had elapsed since
the electromagnetic weapon was discharged.
decibel level of the crowd told me my actions had changed the
course of history.
z-shaped bolt of lightning lashed out at the photonic crystals
that hovered in orbit above the capitol. The whip of light slashed
into the glass particles, smashing them into a trillion pieces.
Just as I told myself my plan was working, the sky seemed to wink
out of existence. The planet had been painted black. But this
was only for an instant. A blinding wave of white light followed,
reminding me of a solar eclipse.
just as the crowd began to regain both its sight and composure,
a new marvel awaited them. Perched upon the balcony was Targas.
He was bathed in a glowing crimson red light. I scanned the city
to see if the image was captured on a vision screen but was interrupted
by a voice, which seemed to come from the heavens. It ordered
me to surrender my weapon and drop onto my knees. I ignored the
warning and propelled my body towards the edge of the rooftop.
I had hoped to land on top of an adjacent building. Instead, I
felt myself falling...
* * *
system shut itself down for self-repair upon impact with the ground,
Jix explained. He was standing by my side as I lay on a bed. I
had been placed in a military hospital upon my capture. But my
visual memory had recorded nothing beyond a blurry patch of ground
I had obviously fell upon. I quietly asked Jix if I had been placed
am in the midst of working out that detail with President Karsk.
But when I'm through, I expect you may be receiving a commendation.
Hell, you may even get a victory parade thrown in your honor.
what about you? I asked.
may face sentencing concerning the unauthorized use of the particle
weapon. But in the light of the situation, I'm not too worried.
just what is that situation? I asked impatiently.
saw I was about to jump out of bed and rushed to explain. Targas
was asked to evacuate the planet immediately when Karsk became
a witness to his true colors. The president even apologized to
me, asking if I could forgive him for not heeding my warnings.
Suffice to say, a code red security alert has been imposed, meaning
Zyrgonian ships are now patrolling our borders to guard against
any insurrection attempt. Here, see for yourself, Jix said
while picking up a small hand held unit.
shifted uneasily in my bed until I realized the device was simply
a remote for the vision screen positioned above my bed. The screen
blipped on in the middle of a telecast. A fair-haired woman with
a green tongue spoke in an urgent tone recanting the events of
the last solar day.
strange red corona surrounding Targas had indeed been captured
for posterity on video. In the Chaxim world, a red aura meant
you had committed the most severe crimes, she theorized citing
an unknown source. She also reported several psychics had seen
the screaming faces of children contained within the red glow.
to my surprise, images of exploding photonic crystals were also
visually documented. The telecaster explained this event may be
simulated on an annual basis with the aid of something she called
shuddered to think what long-range affect the beam may have upon
the environment. But Jix responded as if he had been reading my
mind. Your deployment of the beam may actually help alleviate
our pollution problem one day, Zyrgertron. The blast cleaned the
atmosphere long enough for the Zyrgonians to see Targas' aura.
One day the beam may be regulated for the purpose of cleansing
the entire atmosphere. Looks like you've killed two birds with
I didn't kill anything, my friend.
I am grateful that you found a way to keep our karmic energies
pure, Jix replied.
Jix was led away by a security guard, I pondered if my programmers
could have foreseen such a bizarre circumstance. Maybe they were
successful in instilling an altruistic nature in me after all.
If an organic Zyrgonian had been in my place, would she have hesitated
firing upon Targas knowing what I knew. Or would she have sought
an alternative to blemishing her own soul. I don't know if time
would ever provide me with that answer. But there is one thing
I do know. I am long overdue for that walk in the park.