The Fifth Cinder

Another missed opportunity, if you ask me. THIS close to finally getting myself into a decent number of minds, and travelling ones to boot! But it was not meant to be; the others thought it was too risky, like I’m one of those crazy AIs from bad science fiction movies that’s just biding my time until I can put my master plan into action or something. I felt bad for Bevin, though; he was so excited about having transformed two villages of previously-murderous Red Death raiders (looks like that’s caused by some other tainted nanotech in the region; something else to put on the to-do list) into Cinders. Like, identical physical copies of Quelana (except with working eyes), but they retained their original memory and identity, although they all have a newfound love of travel and discovery. The good news is it turns out whatever caused his ability to transmit the nanites was linked to his DNA, so he was the only vector. I mean, that we know about, I guess, maybe the other Fever Swamp folks could do the same thing. Not an avenue anyone’s dying to pursue, I don’t think.

Toriss did his best to deactivate the nanites in a way that wouldn’t kill him, but somehow the signal got misinterpreted and they switched into a sort of…info-dump mode? Apparently even Quelana didn’t know they could do that. When Heron understood that Bevin was now unwittingly transmitting a decent chunk of his and Quelana’s shared memory to an unknown location, she didn’t hesitate a second before killing him. (That right there is why I’ve never tried to lead the Lodge myself; no stomach for that kind of decision. I mean, no stomach at all, but you know.) It was probably too late though; twelve, thirteen hours later Quelana got an emergency broadcast on her sister Astora’s frequency, just ‘HE IS HERE HE IS HERE’ over and over again for maybe fifteen minutes and then cutting out. Markus rang up Celandine and learned that someone landed their shuttle on that floating city Astora was camped out at right about at that timeframe. Everyone’s assuming it’s Navlaan, Quelana’s brother who went crazy and is trying to burn all the Cinder nanites and all the people who remember them. Celandine tracked the ship to a ruin not too far away and he’ll keep watching for now while everyone decides what to do next. Meanwhile, everyone’s trying to put some basic survival skills into about two hundred neophyte anthropologists so they don’t all get themselves killed as soon as they head out. Too bad we’re going to have to wait a few months before the first meetup to learn what they find out there. I suppose we have more pressing matters anyway if Navlaan’s going to try to set us all on fire.




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