Truth and the True: Part 4

In order to power the abilities that supers have, humans need to be changed. The standard Abominator practice involved implanting genes that allowed humans to absorb energy not only from our reality, but from others as well. The Abominators were working to set things up so that they controlled which humans could use the powers they’d gained.

At the point where they’d designed the True though, they were at a point where those genes weren’t fully understood or as effective as they’d eventually become. So, they were trying to design human soldiers that used a lower level of energy, something a normal human body could produce.

They’d designed genetic modifications that allowed their humans to notice and store more information and then to access it and draw patterns more quickly than a normal human. Their modifications improved reaction times, strength and endurance in addition to the mental improvements.

To all of that, they added in a change to the reproductive system that allowed the women of the True to reproduce identical or gender-swapped copies of themselves.

If the Abominators had been trying, they couldn’t have come up with a better candidate than Emmy to run through the birthing chambers. However it happened, she had some kind of ability to see the future. Whether that was psychic as it was for Daniel or simply a kind of intuition, it meant that the True had one more piece of the power set that the Abominators had been trying for from the beginning.

What the True could be if I understood them correctly was a fighting force full of people that could learn and adjust based on minimal information or warning. They could then take the information and respond in the best way possible.

One other thing made sense too—Tara’s story. Tara had told us about how the True fought True from other factions and other worlds connected to Infinity City. Even though humans were perfectly capable of fighting people with similar backgrounds or beliefs to the death based on small differences that were believed to have life or death importance, the Abominators had an absolute mania for genetic purity.

Even the Xiniti records in my implant couldn’t go too deeply into it, but the Abominators had been divided into factions based on their similarity to the Abominator genetic ideal and even gone to war among themselves based on it.

The True’s internal feuding duplicated Abominator attitudes. The way that the different groups united to kill Tara’s parents for mixing two strains in creating Tara was all Abominator—not to mention destroying the human race on some worlds.

Now all I had to do was get the most recent recordings back to our HQ for analysis. With any luck, we’d be able to prove that Higher Ground had some connection to the Nine before True emerged from the birthing chambers—assuming they hadn’t already.

With that thought, I started paying attention to the world around me again. It wasn’t much different than it had been when I stopped paying attention. People stood in and around the canvas enclosed “rooms” or sat in cubicles. No one looked in my direction with any kind of special look.

I almost felt like they should be. I’d just understood something big, ignoring what I was supposed to be working on for… however long that went.

I checked the time on the bottom left corner of my monitor. It was 3:11 pm. I had almost two hours left for the day.

It almost felt anti-climactic, but I started working on the helmet programming again. With that, the rest of the day flowed past without any kind of notice. By the time I came up for air while programming, Victor stood next to my cubicle. “Day’s over, Nick. Time to go. No matter how much you might want to stay after hours, it makes management nervous.”

“I wouldn’t want that,” I told him—more because it seemed like the kind of thing I should say.

Victor watched as I put away my work stuff, putting the psi helmet itself back into a metal locker and listening as the clicks of the lock system ran.

“How’s Emmy?” Victor asked. His voice didn’t seem to hold any special anger. He asked as he might have if he hadn’t been there when Vaughn and I arrived and if she hadn’t used us to get away from him.

“She seemed fine,” I told him as we walked away from the birthing chamber, following others toward the door.

“Did she say anything about me?” He looked down at me as we stopped, waiting for the line of people ahead of us to make it out of the lab’s side door.

Knowing that I didn’t want to tell him, “Yes, she did. She told us that you won’t leave her alone even though she’d like you to,” I went with the first thing that came into my head.

“Nope. She just talked about a form or two we had to fill out for school.”

Victor nodded. “Ok. Well, I thought I’d ask. We’re getting to know each other better these days.”

8 thoughts on “Truth and the True: Part 4”

  1. “We’re getting to know each other better these days.” Nothing sinister sounding there.
    How do you have this many cliffs to hang us from?

  2. Slight Edit for missing word:
    “Nope. She just talked about a form or two we had to fill out school.”

    Should be:
    “Nope. She just talked about a form or two we had to fill out for school.”

    (If I posted twice can we delete the other?)

  3. Finally caught up! What a wild ride! I love this series, I love the characters (and how they grow and develop), and I love the way the overarching plot slowly unfolds book by book. The writing continually improves (I think the weakest arc was probably “Targets”), and the last several books kept topping each other for moments of crowning awesome. Great job, Jim!

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it. I’m relieved to know that you feel like I’ve improved over time. I’d like to believe it, but honestly, I’m always more aware of what I did wrong with any given section of story.

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