Author: LaVa Payne
Summary: After radical nuclear explosion of Earth’s Moon, human life de-evolves at a rapid pace leading cyber genetic Corporation LARGO to offer small option of preserving human race. Insurgents of the resistance, Cusps, fight against LARGO in hopes to regain their long-lost humanity. A race against time and de-evolution to explore what is left.
Word Count: 5861
Copyright La Va Payne 2017
First Attack: Serum
“Wait for me to give the signal,” I paused only briefly to allow the bullets to pass and the terrifying reverberations of automatic gunfire coursing overhead to numb our sense of fear, “then use your body to promptly engage our cannons for as long as your bio mass remains intact.” We all swam down below the water. And for some of our group, that was the last words they would hear.
For most of us, we did not have ears left. The exterior part of our ears (Auricle) had scaled away. And we communicated in various ways: human language, telepathy, and aquatic frequencies (both high and low).
But we could only feel the vibrations and sense the bullets coursing through the dense smog. It was a remnant where we, the Cusp, did still breathe air as humans were meant to back in the early Convenience Time (2035), the time when human beings still functioned as humans.
Now most humans had been through the process of Conform. Conform was the striation of humanity. The most needed characteristics or genetic components got stored. It allowed the LARGO Corporation to digitize and to use vital aspects of the human race without having to feed and to care for the entire body.
Most humans at this time, 2055, were smears of genetic material connected to the internet base modular (IBM) intelligence. I had seen the storage facility and had almost lost my body until I escaped. Mass amounts of humans had been relegated to their most essential parts and those parts most microscopic, were mere stains on microscope slides connected to the internet like living USB cards. Only, the human consciences were unaware they no longer lived as human. They did not know they had been Conformed. They had willingly submitted themselves to LARGO (Living Anatomical Regeneration Group Operations) to have their own bodies restored.
But post 2019, it was impossible to achieve for several reasons. Number one was the Moon had been cracked beyond repair which kept the Earth from orbiting around the sun. The second faction was that the tides were no longer contained, and the Earth was mostly covered in water except the part that did not directly face the sun. And third, the nuclear fallout from the Russian bomb sent to the moon, had given the remainder of Earth’s population severe mutations that were equivalent to approximately a billion years worth of evolution. No one really looked human anymore.
LARGO promised survivors the opportunity to have regenerative tissue and cyber genetic bodies. The propaganda was broadcast from LARGO’s Houston base. But, the Houston base was only one of the five locations where modifications took place in the Northern Hemisphere that still existed. The known bases were located in the ruins of former: Los Angeles, Tucson, Houston, New Orleans, and Jacksonville. The water surrounding these bases was considered very warm, and the further one went beyond them, the hotter the waters became to swim. And we were outside of the looming stone walls, clandestine in the shadows of water, waiting for a chance to break inside.
The infrared heat sensors could see us in the water. And it was our bodies that made us most vulnerable. But the ten water cannons with wet wicks were positioned. Our position had been detected as a non-marine life cluster, and that is when the bullets began to pierce the water.
For some of us, this break-in for the serum was a last chance. The de-evolution process from the radiation had almost completed its’ process. There were three of us that needed it most desperately. And out of the ten of us swimming in the water outside of the base, seven of us knew what we might have to do should the de-evolution take place during our mission. It was not something we wanted to think about, but we knew it would happen. Better to happen trying to salvage a chance at being human again, than to do nothing but de-evolve and swim out into the deep, dark unknown.
There were ten of us. Five wet cannons positioned to blow a hole large enough to swim through. Seven of us were Amazonian (women from the wet region), and three of us were Byzantine (men from the arid region). Two women and one man were close to the de-evolution end. The importance of retrieving the serum was their last chance to halt the process. Their names were Bridget, Amalon, and Nebeer.
My own name, Freya, seemed distant to me because I did not connect it with the new species I had become. Freya had collected strawberries in a basket under a sunlight morning. That person, Freya, had played kickball, had tea parties with her dolls and scuffled with the local boys during tag. That Freya did not swim in the new ocean; that Freya had never been a non-beautiful mermaid. That Freya was gone. And now, I called myself Ya for that is whom I had become.
In all the resistance, Cusp had worked vigilantly along the LARGO North rim. The effort had been in place for two quarpecks which by best estimation would be equivalent to two months. A quarpeck measured the shimmers of the earth’s thinning process. For the Earth had become elongated, oval in form now. And the part facing the sun, burned all the time making material molten, then hardened and spiky piles that emerged, broke-off and flattened into dust.
We were in complete darkness where the water reached out and down. There was no visible light except from the cracked moon and stars remaining in the sky. And it was in this darkness, in this water that we swam. We lived in the water and could not live without it.
Our intelligence at Cusp headquarters had determined that the Houston base would be the easiest to attack. And two quarpecks later, we had managed to move the five water cannons with wet wicks to the ocean floor about sixty-five feet down to besiege the stone wall holding the base aloft the water. The plan, if successfully executed, would blast open the lower level of the base and allow the Cusp to swim in and swim out. It was our first attempt to recover the known serum that would at least halt the process of de-evolution. It was what LARGO administered to every Cusp before they could harvest the needed human part for the internet.
We all knew it could be our deaths, but we were willing to sacrifice ourselves if we could just stop the de-evolution process long enough to keep us from losing all that was left of our former selves, our humanity—our human lives.
With the cannons in place, the bullets had stopped plunging into the water. We all hid our bodies below the hefty cannons to hide our heat signatures from the scans. I motioned to Bridget, Amalon, and Nebeer to swim to their positions ready to charge the opening of the wall. Then down with my arm, the cannons were lit. And a huge plunging of cannon fodder pelted the stone cracking and blasting chips under the water. We stopped firing to let the debris settle; we hoped that the hole would be big enough.
From above heavy chain metal nets dropped upon us. We struggled to get free. I fought to push the heavy net. It had landed on the cannons and the cables were drawing it closed quickly. I pushed hard. It weighed too much. I was trapped underneath it with Tamik, Verona, Kishka, Sabin, Gerb, and Cilan. I called to Nebeer only to watch Bridget and Amalon grabbed by stainless steel claws. He tried to free Amalon, but the harpoon pierced him through the upper part of his longitudinal fin. The blood spilled into the water. And it started the frenzy.
As Cusps, blood in the water meant food. I fought the primal urge. But it was too much for Nebeer. He de-evolved right before our eyes dangling from the harpoon that slowly pulled him up alongside the steel claws retracting Bridget and Amalon. In horror, seven of us watched LARGO lift-out the three of them: Bridget and Amalon along with a newly transformed apex predator—a hammerhead shark.
We did not have time to mourn them; the remainder of us had to push out. And with the help of our dolphin pod, we, the remaining seven escaped.
Underwater World of Cusp: Hidden Pre-Columbian Pyramids Recolonized
Dolphins were our best allies. Because of them, Cusps were able to blend in and appear as non-human marine life. In all ways, they saved us. We owed dolphins everything, and yet they continued to help, save and rescue us. And it was sad as well, because we would never de-evolve into dolphins. No. Rather, our human genome derived origin from a much darker place. We were apex predators; we were sharks.
These thoughts troubled me most. We swam into the Gulf of Mexico with our pod of dolphins. There were eight dolphins and seven Cusps. And though I tried not to think of Nebeer as gone, I knew he was. So the only comfort my heart would allow found his memory swimming in the Cenotes where first we met.
It had been much like this night when I had first escaped with a group of four others from the Base Jacksonville. Like so many others before us, instinct sent us swimming south. We scarred our fins on the coral reefs that scraped our scales thin. But blindly, we pushed on swimming through the pain, the blood and the terror of becoming IBM inserts.
The aquatic droids took our human samples and each of us had something LARGO wanted. For me, I was valuable because of my mitochondria. I had a unique sample. And my ATP production was far above the standard deviation. This made my escape a particular loss.
KasBah III, was the volume administrator for Base Jacksonville. And as soon as we, the other four and myself, were found to have escaped, KasBah III, sent out a fleet of twelve submarines to bring us back. And we knew they were out there along the reef. We could sense them with our sonar much the same way dolphins did. So, we pushed hard through the coral reefs because the submarines could not scale that far onto the continental shelf.
And it was that very sonar that drew the dolphins to our aid. Mid-way down the coral reefs a pod of thirteen dolphins joined us. At first we were alarmed because they bunched around us as if to swarm or monger. But, they meant us no harm. And because we were more terrified of the submarines than anything else, we swam with them and let them lead us through the Atlantic Ocean, past Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Though at the time, I must admit, I did not know where I was. I knew that we had lost the submarines. And to me, that was all that counted.
Exhausted and wounded, we made our first rest stop somewhere seventy-five miles south upon the sunken ruins of an antiquated Spanish gold ship. Though we did not stay there, I often wondered why we did not find it more enticing. As the gold bullion lay splattered upon the deck and along the stern of the broken hull it shone bright. It had a light much like what I remembered of the sun. But the dolphins pushed us onward some fifty miles more, and then they left us at the openings of several underwater caves. We could not understand the extensive clicks and whistles that the dolphins used, but it was not long before a strange green light emerged from the cave.
At first we only saw one green light, but there were far more that had come. And swimming with the green lights dark shadows loomed upon us with arms.
“Show yourself.” The words came from behind one of the green torches.
“We will not harm you.” Another voice ushered more softly.
The shadow figures waited holding the green neon light low. Then the first shadow laid his green light upon the ocean floor and swam toward us. “I am Nebeer,” his words were clear. “The dolphins brought you here to safety. Follow us if you want to live.” We watched the dark figure swim to us, and we witnessed he was one of us.
We all looked amazed at one another. Had we been delivered from our deadly fate to find a sanctuary for our kind? Our mental telepathy shared the same thought. And he could read our thoughts as well. “Yes,” was his answer, “welcome to the Cenote of Chichen Itza! Now come with us quickly, as the dolphins alerted us to submarines cruising close-by.”
It took no other words. We all followed Nebeer into the opening of the Cenote and took no backwards look from whence we came.
And upon some depth, the Cenote turned and twisted first downward and then back up until we found ourselves pushing through the surface of an open cavern. The illumination was a careful balance of incandescent light and neon which appeared to be connected to some underwater computer generator.
A small crevice that had running water poured into the pool. And the overhang of rocks and stalactites bounced shadows upon the water. The air smelled different. It belonged in an ancient place where people once walked the earth. And the plants grew there–vine after vine, with flower and husk. An occasional earthen shudder overhead shook droplets of water down on top of our heads.
Nebeer and his group had swum up the small crevice. They waited patiently as we took everything in. And without much time wasted, we followed him up the small crevice and slid down the rushing water as a child would down a slide. We plunged into a deep pool at its base to behold, the marvel of ancient life.
It loomed above us. Stark and pale grey/tan stones stacked one on top of another gradually decreasing as it rose. My hand grazed the stones. The underwater lights left no corner or angle unlit. It was magnanimous. And the power generated to illuminate such an enormous pyramid was a marvel unto itself.
“This is Chichen Itza, one of the many ancient Mayan pyramids that we use.” Nebeer showed great pride in our Cusp headquarters, even back then. It was delivered to us in the capable hands of a Cusp, who he himself had escaped tyranny from the shored Base outside of Cairo, Egypt. This he would later tell.
“There are two classes here,” Nebeer paused, “there is Amazonian and Byzantine, and that is the only classifications that we need.” With which we were all ushered to swim into the pyramid and settle in. It was like coming home. No one there was going to hurt us. And no one there was going to let LARGO get us. Finally, we would be able to function as Cusps, until we began to de-evolve.
But until that pivotal moment came, we had escaped. We were bruised but alive. There were no aquatic droids taking samples of our tissues. The KasBah did not know where we were. And the submarines were searching out in the open Carribean Sea, while we were nestled safely in a maze of Cenotes that led to an ancient Mayan civilization. It was a place that LARGO would never look because the navigational records had all been destroyed when the Moon cracked. The radiation fall-out had fried the old internet prior to the day. So no records of ancient civilizations were accounted for in the current computer data bases. It was if they, the Mayan and the Aztec ruins, never existed. And that made all the Cusps who sheltered there safe.
Those memories of safety helped me navigate through the dark waters with the dolphin pod. I realized this mission had failed to retrieve the serum, and further, we had lost a very valuable member, Nebeer, of the Cusp to the de-evolution process. I was unsure of the current fate of Bridget and Amalon. And as the remainder of us swam south, I was uncertain of how we would be received.
And as we swam farther into the Gulf of Mexico, we past the first safety buoy. Tamik, Verona, Kishka, Sabin, Gerb, and Cilan stopped swimming to bid our dolphin pod goodbye. The dolphins would circle back to their feeding grounds now, and we would swim on ahead alone.
Returning Without The Serum: De-Evolution Doesn’t Wait.
“Did any of the submarines track you as you escaped from Houston?” Mogadeshi, the leader of all of the Cusps asked first.
“Surely, if LARGO picked-up their heat signature in the waters, then they must know we are trying to break-in.” Volmer, second in command of the Byzantine provided the General Cusp Council with his strategic analysis.
There had been no pursuit by LARGO after the seven Cusps that had escaped. And according the tracking devices placed upon the water cannons, they remained in place and undisturbed. However, the serum had not been retrieved, and the urgency to obtain it was vital to the research and preservation of the human race locked inside a Cusp civilization.
“No sir,” Ya responded. “There was no tracking submarines dispatched after us. We were immediately conjoined with our dolphin pod, and thusly, our signatures read as though we were mere dolphins, I am sure.”
“And what happened to Nebeer, Bridget and Amalon?” Mogadeshi paused with his piercing eyes, “What of them?”
“Mogadeshi, sir,” Ya bowed her head; “Nebeer was harpooned and de-evolved as LARGO hauled him out of the water.” Her words caused a commotion. “Bridget and Amalon were captured in giant claws and lifted-up and over the wall—I know no more of them.”
“Were there any aquatics from LARGO in the water near the wall?” Taneshi a powerful Amazonian pressed.
“No.” Ya answered. “A large net fell around the rest of us. And with the help of the dolphin pod, we were able to pry our way out and escape.”
A long pause inside the grand burial room of the ancient pyramid had been transformed into a luminescent, half-filled with water intelligence room. The water computers were flat screened and mounted to the ceilings with virtual screen and Tesla power generated.
It was rather brilliant to utilize Niclola Tesla’s invention of the Tesla coil and modify it into solar-powered net towers that reached vastly across the dark ocean. Each net floated on top of the ocean’s surface with a connecting tubular down into the ocean floor. Solar energy captured from the brittle side, staunch with spikes of burning earth, bounced the radicals from one net to another enabling and endless supply of solar energy to power the entire Amazonian and Byzantine underwater living quarters, laboratories and re-growing houses.
Mogadeshi, who was a scientist that had benefited from the serum, explained. “We must reorganize at once, before LARGO reinforces its patrol of the wall.”
Ya placed her hand over her heart. “I pledge.”
The other elders of the Cusp Council voted to reconvene after the mission retrieved the serum.
As Ya positioned herself in the armament room, strapping the colloidal silver, anamorphic prosthetic legs, and solar-powered laser into her cross-shoulder bag, Mogadeshi loomed in the doorway watching.
“You are brave,” Mogadeshi spoke, “but it will never bring him back.” The words fell upon the water that gently edged against the pyramids stone wall. “You must put what happened to Nebeer aside, and not think of him as gone, but rather that he lived. That is all that is important now.”
“And you must know that I loved your son as much as you did,” Ya looked at Mogadeshi with her stern blue eyes, “and his sacrifice will not be in vain.”
Mogadeshi softened his words, “I know why he loved you so much, Ya because you are the epitome of his mother, and my dear beloved wife, Nargeda.” He grasped her shoulder firmly. “But sacrificing yourself will not change his death…” his words trailed off.
“You must know that I have to try.”
“And you must know,” Mogadeshi bowed his head, “if you fail, we will all soon share his fate.”
Ya did know all too well.
“Take Tig, Tanget, Ronin and Reshi with you. Together, tonight, the five of you will have to blast the cannons to open the wall and take the serum. No matter what, you can’t fail. You must not return without it. You…”
Ya swam out allowing his words to fall upon the water empty. There was no coming back without the serum. The time had already been spent.
Cannon Fodder Breach Houston Wall: KasBah III Without Face
In the dark waters, Tig and Tanget swam ahead to call the dolphin pod to aid once again. Ronin and Reshi stayed with Ya farther back. It was necessary to develop a plan to breach the wall. It was Ronin and Reshi’s duty to rescue Bridget and Amalon if they had not already been altered into the “feeding stew.”
The smears had to be fed three times a day with a protein solution that was made from marine life captured at each base. Mogadeshi had been a Cusp transport bound from the Cairo base to the Jacksonville base when several members of the Cusp were able to re-configurate the massive flushing system for several minutes. The flushing mechanism discharged almost fifty-five Cusp into the ever-lengthening Atlantic mid-ocean basin. And it was the original fify-five Cusps that started the revolution to free other Cusps.
“The water cannons are ready.” Ya communicated with her mind. “We must rush inside the rubble quickly. And follow through any blasted opening that they provide.”
Ronin and Reshi looked at each other with solidarity. It was a suicidal mission, but the option to not go would be the same.
“Once inside use the internal mapping system holograph to find the holding tanks for them. Hopefully, they will still be there inside.” Ya’s thoughts raced to the alternative—the feeding chamber, and quickly she made her thoughts return to hope. They were there. They would be alive.
When Ronin, Reshi and Ya reached the buoy, the dolphin along with Tig and Tanget were there. They all raced quickly toward Houston. There was little time to spare.
And time spiraled with each flap of their fins. The long journey turned short as they reached the Houston base. Sensory echoes and a quick scout of the area engaged them to the cannons. Ya, Ronin and Reshi positioned themselves behind the cannons and lit the wet wicks as soon as Tig gave them the all clear.
A sonic boom ushered through the water followed by debris, billowing fire and smoke inside the ventricle blast. Ronin and Reshi rushed inside first. Ya swam quickly behind. The opening had provided a somewhat watering entrance, but the water was air locked and contained. So, Ya folded her fish tail quickly and attached her prosthetic legs to her waist.
Ronin and Reshi swam into the water ducts to find the feeding tanks. And Ya, took her first step with legs since the Russian bomb split the Moon, and it made her feel nostalgic once again.
Not now…I cannot think about that now. Ya’s memories came flooding back with each step she took on dry floor. She had to focus.
The holographic base design showed the way. Through the double doors to her right, down fifteen paces, turn left. Go straight ahead and into the weight-bearing area (the place where human smears were plugged into the mainframe computer on USB’s.) Then down double corridors into the experimental arena’s where they stored and administered the serum.
As Ya went through the corridors, it was very shocking to her eyes. She had forgotten what nuclear powered facility’s used to light their halls, corridors and ways. Ya squinted. It was too bright.
The weight-bearing area smelled of burnt plastic and stale, rotten flesh. It was mid-feeding time. The robotic arms pulled slides, dispelled droplets of protein, and replaced them. There was no surveillance. Cusps had fins, and LARGO bases were dry. So the need for security on the inside was not in place.
Ya used her telepathic connection to Ronin and Reshi to ask if they had found them. The answer she received was yes, but the way back through the tunnel had been compromised. The heat sensors had detected movement and hatches had been blocked.
Tanget communicated that the cannons would not be effective. I have not reached the serum yet, but I am close. Ya thought.
The large effervescent ceiling made Ya feel sickened. The empty doorways allowed for the robotic movement into and out of the weight-bearing room. But the far end was the “assembly” for “administering” area. It was those doors she had to open.
As Ya walked past the robotic arms pulling and re-inserting the many hundreds of USB’s sticks, she touched her own skin. I am real. These things are not.
The room was some three hundred feet long. And after reaching the far side without incident, Ya looked at the final door. The serum was just inside. She only had to retrieve one sample. Mogadeshi could replicate it.
Ya closed her eyes as she pushed through the door. Her thoughts were about Nabeer and then she shoved his memory out of her mind.
“W-e-l-c-o-m-e…” the monotone voice modular began to announce. “This is the central application room where all Conform serum is administered.” The small box illuminated with each word.
Ya looked for the vials. On her left there was a robotic harness station where humans and Cusps had been strapped down. To her left, there were cabinets of a dark, neon serum in vials ready to be injected. As she stepped closer and closer to the vials, she felt an intrusive presence. But her fear and adrenaline made her rush forward to break the cabinet glass holding the serum.
Before she reached the cabinet a slab pillar emerged from the floor and rose. It blocked her path to the cabinet, and inside of the pillar there was a glass jar about a foot tall. The tubes connected at the top carried a green fluid. The tube along the side and going down appeared to be yellow, blue and transparent at times.
“I am KasBah III. I know where all of the Cusps are right now. This attack is weak.”
Ya stood with her prosthetic legs looking at a faceless brain in a jar. The sheer grey pulsations expanded and contracted inside the jar.
“This is not an attack.” Ya spoke careful words. “We are here to Conform.” She lied as she watched the brain reverberate inside the jar.
“It is no matter why,” KasBah III repeated in monotone, “Conform Cusp we must.”
A small boxed carrier trolled into the room enjoining several things. Among them were Ronin, Reshi, Bridget and Amalon.
Ya used her telepathy to communicate. Be ready.
Ronin nodded along with the others for they had no prosthetic legs. The tram held four containers half-filled with saline water with the Cusps inside. Outside of each container, there was a wet droid attached. The fifth wet droid drove the tram into the Conform Chamber where Ya, and KasBah III waited for them.
KasBah III spoke, “The great process for which we all have been through has improved us all.”
Ya listened to his words as she reached into her pouch. The colloidal silver was their only chance. It would disturb the wet droid circuitry and cause it to implode upon impact. The tram tracks that led the four containers into the room followed a circular path through the weight-bearing area and through every corridor she had transgressed.
“I have one question,” Ya loudly interjected the KasBah’s speech, “Is there no human being left on Earth at all? Are we all just small objects of what we were once were?”
The KasBah stopped speaking. The pulsation riveted the fluids as they bubbled through their tubing. “I am as human as human still exists.”
Ya projected her thoughts. I have the colloidal silver in my hand when I throw it, use it on your droid. Ya threw the first vial to Ronin who passed it to Reshi, imploded droids hit the floor. Next, Bridget caught the second vial and used it but the fourth droid knocked it to the floor before she could free Amalon. Ya had to break the glass jar with the KasBah in it, or none of them stood a chance.
“I would rather be condemned to be an Apex predator, than have my biological components extracted to be condemned to a jar.” With that Ya reached her arms around the jar and pulled outward. The jar hit the floor. The brain splattered and the wet droids that remained went catatonic. Their movement had been dismantled.
Without blinking, Ya ran with her prosthetic legs towards the cabinet and pulled as many vials of serum as she could carry into her shoulder bag. The cushioned interior protected the precious cargo.
Ronin and Reshi cheered. “We are saved.”
As Ya ran back to the front of the tram she pushed the stolid wet drone out of the driver seat. She engaged the forward gear lever and the tram followed the small track into, through and out of the weight bearing room. Down the corridor and along the path back to the exploded wall the tram went. And when they reached the room, Ya carried each one of them to the edge of the water and let them down.
“Hurry!” , Ronin said, “They will send wet drones to stop us.”
But before the drones had a chance to recapture them all five Cusps along with the serum had made it out.
Tig and Tanget each took shares of the serum along with Ronin, Reshi, Bridget and Amalon. “We will get the serum back to Cusp base,” Ya said as she watched the wet drones emerging from the cavernous breach in the Houston wall.
“Let’s break into groups of two,” Tig suggested, “That way they will have a harder time.”
“The dolphins are just two hundred yards past the continental shelf drop,” Tanget stammered, “if we make it that far, we will have a better chance.”
With that the five Cusp raised forward. And the wet drones followed them right up to the spot one hundred yards from the continental shelf drop when a pair of blue whales came between the wet drones and Cusps long enough for them to escape.
Looking backwards, Ya knew the whales had sacrificed their lives. It was a humbling gesture that she could not remember as a human. She did not remember any animal sacrificing its life for a human. Or if it had, she had been too insensitive to appreciate it. “Farewell, my brothers…” her words bubbled sympathy, “I will not forget in my heart.”
The dolphin pod converged upon the five Cusps immediately at the edge of the continental shelf. And in a spear formation the group swam head strong, fast and long. The buoy in the distance first appeared red which meant danger, so the group dived deep. The group waited for the green translucent shimmer, and when it appeared the dolphins turned back.
The Cusp swam to the first Cenote where they knew they would be safe. And it was not long before Mogadeshi welcomed them into the pyramid of Chichen Itza where the solar power had illuminated everything.
Prosthetic Legs Left Behind March The Cusp Revolution Onward
Everyone entered except for Ya. She had spotted a hammer-head shark circling the waters above. She reached inside her pouch and pulled out a vial of the serum. “I know this won’t help you now Nabeer,” she cried and she swam towards the curious shark, “But this one is for you—where ever in the universe you are.”
Ya tossed the vial through the water at the shark.
The hammer-head shark jerked towards the movement of the vial and grabbed it with its strong jaw. Then in one gulp, it swallowed and swam away. Ya watched the shark twist violently in the water. It did not de-evolve into a Cusp. It just swam.
Ya dropped her head. She owed that vial to Nabeer. And now, somehow, she felt that debt had been paid.
Tig who had watched her actions called, “Ya, Mogadesh has called for all of us.”
And with his words, Ya acquired a sense of relief.
Inside the pyramid and amongst the Cusp Council, the vials of serum were presented to Mogadesh. With great honor, he thanked Tig, Tanget, Ronin and Reshi. “I am pleased,” he began, “to honor these brave Cusps for their valiant service to us all. It was without a doubt the most heroic mission we have accomplished.”
Ya swam slowly in the corner of the room. She had been glad to have at least rescued her people. The new Cusp was the new human.
“And where is Ya,” the magnificent Cusp Council entreated?
“I am here.” Ya answered from the corner under the solar light.
“Did you make use of the prosthetic legs?” Mogadesh asked.
“I did,” Ya acknowledged, “but…I left them behind when we escaped. I did not have room in my shoulder bag to carry them and the serum too.”
The Cusp Council was quieted. The new battle had just begun. LARGO would find the prosthetic legs and know Cusp had technologically evolved. The missing serum would suggest that Cusp’s could halt the de-evolution process. However, it was unclear beyond that what transformations would occur. No, the LARGO organization now had a new enemy that was not going to de-evolve. And for LARGO, that would not be allowed. LARGO would mount a serious hunt for Cusp civilizations and eliminate them for future threats.
“We are gladdened by the serum,” Mogadesh finally spoke, “but we know that tomorrow LARGO will begin the hunt for us in earnest. We pose too great a threat to them now.”
Mogadesh hugged Ya as she whispered, “I saw Nabeer’s spirit swimming, but he preferred the open ocean now more than us.”
The ocean was a big place, even larger than it had been before. And with the advent of Tesla solar nets bouncing energy down to the ocean bottoms and beyond, there was no boundary of space and time that would keep from energizing the whole of the Cusp race.