Space Flight 704, Chapter 71: The Sum of the Whole

He sensed the other watching him.

“This is you, isn’t it?” he asked, holding the Ortrix up.

“In a manner of speaking,” replied the other in a way that sounded melancholy, even though it lacked tone.

“All the Torim below created this? Became this before they died?” asked Rex.

“Instead of dying,” the other corrected, “and not just the Torim below.”

“Although the other Torim lived, what little power they possessed was a power they all shared”

“And now it’s all in the Ortrix?”

Space Flight 704, Chapter 70: Introspection

The Ortrix.

For an object that contained the essence of an entire race, it was underwhelmingly nondescript. It even lacked the ostentatious metalwork it would eventually pick up on its travels.

Rex felt the weight of it in his hand. Not just its mass - again it felt not-enough - but the weight of it’s future.

He could sense its journey from here, had seen it in reverse, and knew where it ended up.

If he concentrated, he could hear every soul that had created it.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 69: Birth of the Ortrix

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.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 68: Torim Genocide

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.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 67: Torim Tragedy

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.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 66: Torim Excised

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.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 65: Torim Struggles

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.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 64: Torim Above

Rex watched time unfold in silence, the other by his side. He didn’t look at his companion as they watched, but he sensed the tension permeating the non-space they shared.

He watched the Torim drive their fellow Torim underground. In deep cavernous bunkers they waited, uncertain, afraid, but too generous to resist.

He watched the Torim above make plans. They sensed the amassed energy of their captives below and it drove them, ever fearful, to unspeakable acts.

Rex shuddered.

Space Flight 704, Chapter 63: Re-evaluated Perspective

“So what happens next?”

“The Torim below created the Ortrix. If they didn’t make it as a weapon, then for what?”

The Other had materialised, and Rex searched his face for a clue. Instead, he was shocked to see his companion crying.

For a moment, Rex was speechless.

“I… I thought you were a god. But gods don’t cry.”

Space Flight 704, Chapter 62: Explanations and Truths

All Torim were born with great power

But those below hummed with it, exuded it like a bright light from their being.

It may have been an evolutionary trait, or simply that these were the Torim that embraced the power, revelled in it.

The power was similar to that which you posses. It understood all things it touched, and embraced all it understood.

Those who possessed it strongly would not fight when the others cast them down.

“And here they wait”.
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