It had been another bumpy hour from Mile to the Spaceport. Another
hour of Seno's reckless driving, which he seemed to be getting worse
at. At one point, they almost hit a sandworm full on. If it wasn't
for Hahn's quick reflexes on the lasers, they would have been it's
When they finally arrived at the Spaceport, Wren was just landing the
Landale. The blue exhaust from the stabilizers was blurring the air
around them, and the noise from the engines was deafening. Hahn
wondered how the ancients could have had these craft coming and going
all the time from populated areas.
As Hahn and Seno entered the port area, the automatic sterilization
system kicked in and cleaned them up. Hahn always marveled at the way
the system killed off bacteria, but not the people. Seno, however,
seemed to dislike the whole thing.
"Ah prefer me a waterin hole ta this sterilization thinggie any day,"
A short while later, Wren came in to the waiting area carrying his
large blaster cannon with him.
"Hahn, it's good to see you in person again," Wren greeted. "I only
wish it could have been under better circumstances."
"I know what you mean," Hahn replied. "But now that you're here,
what's our next step?"
"We need to get to the Daughter facility quickly," Wren explained.
"However, if the person who kidnapped Demi is who I think it is, there
will probably be heavy defenses around the whole place, including high
energy force fields that I don't believe I will be able to deactivate."
"Then how are we supposed to enter the facility?" Hahn queried.
"We need to get to the Machine Center," Wren replied.
"The Machine Center?" Hahn remarked. "Is there some special vehicle
inside that will help us break into Daughter?"
"Not exactly," Wren said. "During the years that Mother Brain was
controlling the development of Motavia, teleportation systems were set
up that could transport people to places based on their memories. Each
facility on Motavia was equipped with such a station, as were most of
the towns. After the Great Collapse, the technology for the devices
were lost, and replaced with use of the Ryuka technique. However, the
facilities on Motavia retained the stations, and their functionality."
Hahn wondered at the idea. A technology that could replace Ryuka. It
would revolutionize civilization, and help connect all of Motavia.
With this technology, Hahn would never have to worry about learning
"Good idea," Hahn remarked, "but why go to the Machine Center? Why
not just teleport to Daughter from here?"
"The Spaceport was never equipped with a teleportation center," Wren
answered. "The city that used to contain the Spaceport, Paseo, had
one, so the Mother Brain thought it sufficient."
Paseo! Hahn thought. The old capital of all of Motavia. It was said
to have the most advanced technology on all of Mota, as the Palmans
used to call it. And Hahn was standing right on top of it. Once this
mission was over, Hahn would have to order an excavation of the area
around the Spaceport, and also construction of teleportation systems in
"In addition," Wren continued, "the Machine Center is a relatively
remote system that I don't think our mysterious friend will have
"Hey, ya'll," Seno called. Up to this point the young mechanic was
busy staring at a monitor with great interest. "You must be that Wren
fellah. Nice ta meet ya."
Wren looked perplexed by Seno, but then took a step back.
"Please, step back!" Wren shouted.
"What's wrong?" Hahn asked.
"This man is a descendant of one who was a destroyer. He was one of
the Protectors a millennia ago, but all non-biological life feared
Wren actually looked scared of the young mechanic, an emotion Hahn had
never witnessed in the android before.
"Who, me?" Seno asked.
"Yes, you are the descendant of the Wrecker, Josh Kain! P..Please
stay away. I beg you!"
"Maybe you should wait in the Landrover, Seno," Hahn said.
"Shore," Seno replied, "but I don't know what all the fuss is about.
Ah mean it was my great-great-really great-grandpappy. You don't have
ta worry bout me."
Just then, Seno brushed against the main doors to the complex, and
sparks began to fly out of them, throwing the doors open, closed, and
then half-open where they stuck. Wren almost jumped when he saw this,
and Seno decided to squeeze out of the Spaceport.
"Hahn," Wren pleaded, "as a friend and fellow Protector, please keep
Seno away from me."
"Alright," Hahn said, "but I don't see how he could be that much
"You don't understand," Wren replied. "His genetic makeup isn't
natural. Josh Kain's father was a technician at the Biosystems Lab on
Palma before it exploded. He was one of the first people to realize
that Mother Brain was trying to destroy Algo, and was the initiator of
the Worldship project. Before he died, however, he decided to create a
human with the power to disrupt all mechanical things. He created
Seno's ancestor, Josh Kain with an innate, always active technique
field which disrupted the physics of machinery. A side effect of the
process was an above average knack for figuring out machinery, and a
total lack of common sense: a combination devastating to all things
mechanical. Unfortunately, all of Kain's ancestors were also endowed
with the same genetic coding. So you see why I fear him so much."
Hahn was astounded by this knowledge. A genetically engineered being
with a sort of anti-technology power. No wonder the Landrover ride had
been so bumpy.
"Well, I'll do my best to keep a good distance between you two," Hahn
said. "I guess with Seno Kain on our side, whoever took Demi is in for
"Seno Kain is a punishment I wouldn't even wish on Mother Brain," Wren
As they were heading towards the exit, Hahn looked up at the monitor
Seno had been so wrapped up in. It was showing images of people
dressed in strange clothes yelling and hitting each other. A caption
at the bottom of the screen said "Women who date their boyfriends'
"What is this on the monitor?" Hahn asked the android.
"An ancient Terran television program that was very popular, if I
remember correctly," Wren answered. "It was a program called a `talk
"It doesn't look like the people are doing much talking," Hahn said.
"It seems very violent."
"If I recall correctly, this one was particularly popular with the
ancient Terrans," Wren recalled. "It was hosted by a Terran named
Jerry Springer. It is speculated that he was the reason for the
Terran's destruction of their planet, Earth."
Hahn could understand that. He made a note to himself not to bring up
this television idea at the Academy.
Gryz was toiling in the heat of the mid-afternoon sun. As a native
Motavian , Gryz hardly noticed the heat, but the labor was getting to
him. However, the work was so rewarding, and the lifting and masonry
work helped him get out his anger from the past. It had only been six
months ago that Chaz, Rika, Rune, Demi, and he had vanquished Zio and
later restored peace to Algo. Yet Gryz still had the anger and
yearning for closure that Zio's death didn't fully take away. Building
Molcum up again, however, was helping him deal with his feelings. Each
brick he laid, each beam he erected was one more piece of the bad
feelings he got rid of. It also didn't hurt that he had Pana and
Grandfather Dorin for support. Without them, all the building in the
world wouldn't have helped.
"Gryz! Gryz!" a young voice called. It was Pana, and she was
running towards him, excited as an infantworm.
"Slow down there, Panatuara," Gryz told the girl. Panatuara was the
name Gryz often used when speaking to his sister. It was her full name
in the Motavian language, but it also held a special connotation. It
meant "little light" and that was how Gryz would always see her. It
was her little light that kept him going after his friend Geeza died of
the desert fever; it helped him go on after Molcum was destroyed; and
it gave him the power to face the Profound Darkness in the end.
"Gryz, Gryz," Pana said. "Mr. Hahn and Mr. Wren are here to see you
in a big metal egg!"
Hahn and Wren? What were they doing here? And the big metal egg must
have been the Landrover. It would be good to see his friends again.
Gryz followed Pana to where the three men were waiting for the
Motavian. Sure enough, it was Wren and Hahn. There was also another
fellow who looked oddly familiar.
"My friends, welcome to Molcum," Gryz greeted them.
"Hello, Gryz," Hahn said. "Hello Pana."
"Hello Mr. Hahn..." Pana shyly remarked.
"Just Hahn will be fine Pana," Hahn said.
"Excuse my inhospitality," Gryz said, "but I'm curious. To what do I
owe the pleasure of this visit?"
"I wish I could say it was just a friendly chat, but it's more serious
than that," Wren admitted.
"You see," Hahn began, "Demi has been kidnapped by a mysterious person
who Wren believes is holding her captive in a computer facility called
"Demi, kidnapped!" Gryz exclaimed. "Count me in. I'll just get my ax
and tell Grandfather Dorin where I'm going."
"Thank you, Gryz," Hahn said.
"Hey, we Protectors have to stick together, eh?" Gryz said. "Plus,
Demi helped me exact vengeance on Zio. I owe her my services."
"Can I go too," Pana asked.
"No, Pana. It's too dangerous for you." Gryz told her. "Besides, I
need you to stay here and help with rebuilding Molcum."
"O.K.," Pana said, a little dejected. She then ran off in the
direction of their restored house .
"I'll be right back," Gryz said.
They waited, and in a few minutes they were all on their way to the
Machine Center. As Wren was driving, the Landrover sped along smoothly
without even a single bump. Hahn was beginning to see why Wren was so
wary of Seno.
"I don't we'se been introduced," Seno said to Gryz. "Mah name's
"Did you say Kain!!!" Gryz broke in. "As in Josh Kain?"
"Sheesh, does everybody know my relatives?" Seno replied.
Immediately, Gryz got down on his knees and averted his eyes.
"Er, you know of Josh Kain?" Hahn asked.
"Of course," Gryz exclaimed. "He is almost like a saint to my people.
He represented a return to a non-technological life. He was the
destroyer of the perversion of machinations... uh, no offense, Wren."
"None taken," Wren said, less than convincingly.
"To Motavians, the great Josh Kain was an inspiration. We never were
big on technology, some of us going so far as to live in the garbage
dumps rather than the technological cities. We called him Palagatha,
the destroyer of unlife."
"Um, I shore am grateful for the presentation," Seno said, "but ya'll
can get up now. I ain't no saint."
Gryz slowly lifted his head, and got up, but seemed unsure of himself.
"I shall do as you say, descendant of Palagatha," Gryz conceded.
However, for the rest of the trip, Gryz stared in silent awe of Seno.
Seno seemed to be a real legend on Motavia. Hahn was developing a
whole new conception of the young man. Both a saint and a devil, Seno
didn't seem to let it get to him. Hahn wondered how little common
sense Seno Kain had. Hahn had a feeling that this mission was going to
be a long one.