Kryos: Chapter 10

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Legate Hild stood the floor of the high, vaulted heart of The Progenitor, as the vast machine forded the coruscated abyss. Through the colossal, semi-transparent windows, she watched a school of silvery fish bank fearfully from the strident craft, like daggers in the dark, and turned to Eidos Kryos, who sat a plain, ashen chair at the back of the room; a book in his pitch-gloved hands. His pallid face mantled by penumbral ambience. His posture, relaxed and diffident. His garb, sleek and tenebrous. Eyes, icteric in the gloom.

The woman cleared her throat and spoke, nervousness speckling her high, clear tones, “The launch has been barred, Sir. Due the unrest, the Consortium declared the timing ‘inappropriate.'”

The swift snap of a book being closed echoed throughout the voluminous expanse, causing the woman to flinch, whereafter the man’s measured voice resounded above the dim-lit waters.

“A regime which cannot inspire trust, nor fear, is as a eagle bereft of keratin; flight, its only defense.”

The woman was silent a moment and straightened, “With a new artificial island, we wouldn’t need to rely on the Consortium for launch space, nor contend with persistent vandalizations of our topside facilities.”

Eidos Kryos rose from his chair, setting the book upon the left armrest, and moved slowly toward the pool as argent drones emerged from the darkness and arrayed themselves over the surface of the still waters, forming a floating bridge. Kryos strode across the aerial passage as great electric-eyed eels writhed languidly beneath.

“Peach trees attract wasps in the summer. Buzzing fills our orchard. Would you first have me plant new trees, or rid the old of the infestation?”

She hesitated, unsure how best to respond as Kryos passed to the opposite side of the reservoir and stepped off the hovering overpass. He passed Hild and moved before the leftward semi-permeable window, where enormous power-cables were visible, half-buried along the bony sea-bed, stretching out into the vast, inky blackness like the tendrils of a monumental, metallic squid.

“How does one deter wasps from a copse?”

“By culling damaged fruit.”

“Understood. Sir.”

Hild disconnected from the module, her avatar dissolving into a dark puddle which swiftly coalesced into a dense, obsidian sphere upon the floor of the Progenitor. Shortly, a silver drone descended from the ceiling and secured the globe in its insectal, carbon fibre limbs and ferried it to Kryos’ pitch-gloved palm.

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