Epoch: 22 years after Bleeding Sun
Characters: Virginia and Keerah Kent
Musical Image: Virginia is being trained in the art of psychic warfare by Keerah Kent (the Ms X of Bleeding Sun, now more than 90 years old).
"Oh my God! Oh, my God!" Virginia withdraws her consciousness from the network. "Do I really have to see that?"
Keerah gives a nod. Her face is unreadable, as often. She opens her eyes. It makes her even more unreadable.
Virginia feels sick, "Keerah, what's about to happen in that place is terrible!"
Keerah gives another nod.
This time, Virginia really feels sick. She rushes to the closest gravitofield, holding her stomach. "Medicomputer, help! Give me something to stop that!"
"No drugs," Keerah orders, softly.
Virginia sighs, "Medicomputer, cancel!" She can't get herself to vomit, so she returns to her seat.
So much light in Keerah's eyes. It's unreal! And it never stops.
"Where is that place?" Virginia asks.
"Dublin. In Ireland. Do you know where that is?"
"East of Europe?"
Keerah stifles a smile. "West of England. England, you know?"
"Of course! Cambridge, and, uh... Once I tried to learn physics with Isaac Newton, but it didn't work out." Virginia plunges her consciousness into the network again.
"Tell me what you see."
Virginia spreads into her Flying Dragon nature to engage the sight and calls onto Teyani for help. "A lot of people are going to die. A hell of a lot!" she says.
"Why? What's happening?"
"An experiment." Keerah sighs, "A twisted experiment. In Ireland, there is a certain 'spirit'. For hundreds of years the Rex has been trying to quash it, but in vain. He has tried nuclear radiation, chemical and bacteriological weapons, and psychic attacks of a violence you would find difficult to imagine. The spirit has remained. Tarnished, for sure, but still – it has remained. So this is another attempt. In a neighborhood the whole virtualised population has been connected to robot types of machines. So they believe they actually are men-machines.
Instead of experiencing reality through a virtual physical body, they have lived their whole life connected to RR machines that walk the streets of Dublin.
"That was supposed to kill the spirit out of them. But somehow it didn't. They still had feelings. Not a great deal but, some feelings. And so the Rex has decided to terminate the experiment.
Virginia can figure out the rest. Life support systems will be switched off. The people will all die. The machines will keep moving by themselves, no longer connected to anyone. Or perhaps they too will be switched off.
"Keerah, Keerah... Aren't we going to bring a little bit of light onto these people?"
"No. We can't afford to expose ourselves. Not now, anyway."
Virgina wishes she could cry. "When they die, it will just be darkness. Their souls will go... nowhere. Is that it?"
Trapped in the kingdom of the dregs.
Music by: Samuel Sagan