Prologue

Asheik must face and overcome a terrible truth about herself before she and her friends pay the price of their society's past crimes.

Prologue

December 30th, 2049

Jaide Khan's PoV:

"Professor Jaide. You have a visitor."

            "Thank you, Kory. Let him in."

            There was a click and a hiss as the computer opened the elevator door. Standing there was the last person I wanted to see: Xymn Xybras.

The president and creator of the Purpose stepped into my lab, followed by two heavily armed guards. His white robes indicated his importance not nearly as much as an air of superiority that seemed to settle in every room he resided in, for however short a time.

            He was the kind of man who could make a battle veteran sick to his stomach just by glancing at him.

            I quickly slid an old blueprint over the several files of data I had been examining.

            "Can I help you sir?" I asked in a plastic manner.

            Xymn stared scornfully at the piles of chaotic formulas and data sheets that were scattered seemingly randomly about the room.

            "It seems you have been...busy." He ignored my question.

Irritated, I spoke blandly, "I'm just doing my job sir. Can I help you?"

            He turned to stare at me, the look on his face told me that he was examining everything about me, as if searching for some sign of the mockery I so desperately wished to express.

            "Can you? I have come to see if you are prepared. The Announcement is in two days time. Do you have the Projects? Are the Processes prepared?"

            "Yes, sir. All of the Processes are fully prepared, and only Project Jaide has yet to be perfected. It should be fully prepared and ready for deployment by...mm...tomorrow night." I inaudibly caught my breath, praying that Xymn wasn't quite as good at detecting lies as was rumored of him. His eyes continued boring into my skull, a faint glimpse of an all- knowing smile briefly touching his lips.

            "Isn't that cutting it a bit close, Professor? I really would take no pleasure in having to deploy the...Consequences."

            "I don't believe that will be necessary, sir. I only have to perfect the programming, which should be completed by tomorrow morning, then running the final diagnostics should only take a few hours."

            I refused to take my eyes off of him, although knowing by the tenseness of Xymn's guards that at least the first part of my statement had been a bit too straightforward for my own good.

            Xymn continued to eye me carefully.

            "Good. Now if you will excuse me, I have to see to Professor Akalan."

            He turned around and steps back onto the elevator, his robes flowing behind him. Xymn whispered something to one of the guards, who nodded. The other guard punched a button, and the elevator closed behind them.

The End

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