Restricted Area 51, Building T-1110
July 26, 1978
0820 PDT/1520 GMT
THYRON'S ENGINEERING ABILITIES HAD assisted with the repair of numerous spacecraft on Sapphira, so the technical side of reassembling the 'troid wasn't the problem. No, the problem was that the beast was in pieces secured in a bin in Building 15 while he was confined to his habitat.
Or was he?
For the first time, he questioned his prison, quickly discovering that while it was virtually airtight, given the atmospheric gases it contained were carefully balanced and meticulously filtered, the door itself wasn't secured. It took no more than a telekinetic nudge and push from his nearest branch to release the latch—which was immediately followed by a low frequency alarm in the radio range.
Holy guacamole! he thought, resealing the door and silencing the alarm's signal with destructive interference until he got it deactivated. He chuckled with the realization he'd picked up Gabe's favorite expression, even though he still didn't know exactly what or who it was. His deity, perhaps. It had a nice ring to it, so he'd have to ask him about it next time. He'd intended to before, then didn't get a chance before passing out from over-indulging in all that delicious data.
It felt good to realize he could get out and what occurred when he did. Now that he knew about the alarm, he could fix that, too. It would be interesting to see if that nanosecond blast was enough to alert Gabe to his antics. He tuned into the botanist's psibrations, finding him in the cafeteria eating a banana, some roasted almonds, and a cup of coffee, checking his pager with a puzzled frown. Thyron sent an all is well signal, hoping he'd accept it. Time would tell whether or not he'd hurry over to check. Considering the man's reaction when Thyron had nearly snooped himself into oblivion, he probably would.
Oh, well, no bother. It wasn't like he was doing anything wrong. Yet. But he'd need to cloak his thoughts so the man didn't catch on to his scheme.
He'd confessed to his conversation with Creena, but left out her request as well as his promise to help. Gabe seemed pleased they'd made contact, and was likewise concerned for her welfare. How far that sympathy would go, however, was unknown. Would he be willing to help them escape? Probably not. The man was clearly enamored with him and wasn't likely to let him go. There was also the matter of his security oaths, which he took quite seriously.
No, this would have to be a covert operation.
An unexpected twinge of guilt rippled through him. His reciprocation of affection was another matter to contend with. Did he really want to leave? While he'd debated back and forth numerous times, at this point, he still wasn't sure. Engaging emotionally with a human was unheard of, yet he was in the midst of doing so, which was interesting and so far rather pleasant.
This entire gig was about new experiences and expanding his consciousness. While he didn't want to spend the rest of his days in confinement, with minimum effort he could evolve and adapt to this planet. Just as humans manufactured more blood at high altitudes to compensate for lower oxygen levels, he could generate more chloroplasts to process the available carbon dioxide. Yes, staying on Terra held a surprising amount of appeal.
Nonetheless, he needed to fulfill his promise to reassemble the 'troid. While it was apparent he could leave his habitat and silence the alarm, that wasn't the only obstacle. Building 15 was at least a kilometer away. Movement via his bipedal nodes was painfully slow, taking nearly two minutes to move a meter, further exacerbated by the CO2 issue.
Possibly, he could do it remotely through telekinesis, but it would be tedious and require more energy than when he'd been psi-probing the electronic resources on-base. And he knew all too well how that turned out.
He pondered his dilemma another moment, then had an unexpected flash of brilliance. Psi had numerous applications. Remote viewing, telepathy, and telekinesis were but a few. He'd never tried it, but teleportation was another quantum level manifestation that was theoretically possible. He'd still have to deal with lower CO2 levels, but at least getting back and forth should be less of a problem.
Could he do it? And if he did, would the habitat's sensors notice he was missing? There was only one way to find out.
He bundled all his energy, physical, mental and emotional, registering awareness of every cell's position and function on his consciousness. Then he melded it with that quantum, albeit spiritual, essence that animated his chlorophylated flesh. It reached critical mass with an unexpected jolt that nearly broke his concentration.
Okay, next step, he thought, and focused on the space just outside his habitat. Going farther than that on the first try would be reckless at best and fatal at worst. When a clear image of the location formed in his mind, he directed all his psi power toward transplanting himself to the targeted location.
He emitted a botanical gasp when a blinding burst of light exploded around him that exceeded the glare of the Sun; then slowly rearranged his limbs to see where he was.
I did it! I'm outside the habitat! Hhoollyy gguuaaccaammoollee!
What was that? An echo? Had part of him failed to integrate, perhaps left behind in some other dimension?
His floral gaze darted about the room, eyes widening when he saw Gabe staring at him through his office window, mouth agape.
He rustled with a verdant sigh as he awaited his fate, relentless excitement nonetheless surging through him. Explaining it to Gabe without revealing his intent, however, would be a definite challenge.
The man blew through the plastic strips moments later, still zipping up the white suit, green eyes wide.
"How did you do that?" he demanded.
Thyron was so overcome with the joy of success that cloaking his thoughts was impossible.
I gathered up my energy
In fullness of pure synergy.
Focused on the target spot
A bright flash later, there I got.
"Holy guacamole!" Gabe exclaimed again.
Thyron immediately perceived the man's thoughts, that he saw this teleportation ability as a potential problem. And indeed, for the botanist, it was. Should he tell him the truth, at least the part about reassembling the 'troid? His mind cycled with indecision.
But first, he needed to know, once and for all, the identity of this mysterious deity whom Gabe summoned to every important occasion. If nothing else, getting him to explain would serve as the perfect distraction while he decided how much to confess.
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