But the Torim below survived.
Not as physical beings. Not when their bodies were forcibly taken. Reduced to so much ash and dust.
Not as minds. The Torim below had found a power that linked them deeper than that simple structure.
Not as a single being, but as an entity of thought and presence and power.
And in the caverns of Torim, an Ortrix.
The tension broke.
The Torim above took action. They felt the power from below like electric prickles on their skin and they could no longer bear it.
They sent armies below, and with fire and plasma and the rending of guns they silenced the voices in their ears and released the pressure on their chests.
For a little while at least they even felt relief.
Eventually they gave up.
The experiments failed while the fear in those above grew.
All the while Rex could feel the power of the Ortrix increase although he could not locate it. It was not quite the same power as those below possessed.
And tension grew. And hatred grew. And Rex's heart felt heavy with more grief than he thought he could handle.
One by one they were taken.
In the darkness, they came with powerful lights that blinded. Although they were met without resistance they brought weapons.
They rounded up a few at a time and they took them above. They opened them up to see where the power lived and tried to pull it out.
Of course it failed. The power was not caused by any part of their physical body, unless you count their consciousness or their ever-loving minds.
Not all Torim were fearful.
When they tried to talk their peers around or tried to provide aid to the Torim below it usually went one of two ways. Either their own power increased until they themselves were shunned, or they were forced to see they were wrong and became even more callous.
And not all the Torim above lacked power. Some held it as a prize to be used and feared. They believed the gentleness that emerged in their kin was weakness, and sought to punish those who failed to use the power.
The horrors began.