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The trip back to the “Tri” as we came to call it (AKA, the dimension you and I were born in) with Kate, KJ, Green and I was uneventful. We used the Accessory to drop us into a part of the city none of us ever go to–Staten Island, in a secluded alley not far from a shopping mall in Staten Island to more precise. Wait–is it “in” Staten Island or “on” Staten Island? I have no idea. Oh, and we landed a few months ago, to give Green’s friends time to respond. Dr. Green pulled her handheld device from her pocket and started tapping at it. Figure, communications take a while to travel pretty massive distances, even with Dr. Green’s cool smart device.
“When I learn more English I can tell you how this object works,” she said.
“That’d be cool,” Kate said. “I’ve been studying all kinds of tech with Jim. He’s shown me stuff I’d never imagined before. It’s been great, but–that’s why I came along!”
Kate was pointing to the end of the alley where sunlight fell directly onto the sidewalk and street beyond.
“Go enjoy it,” I said as she was already walking toward it.
“Can I go, too?” KJ asked, already following her.
“Sure,” I said, looking around. “I think we’re safe back here. Just keep an eye out for anyone–“
“I gotchu, I gotchu!” KJ said, dismissively.
I watched as Kate stepped into the sunlight and squinted up at the sky. She immediately held out her arms stretched her back. “I’m so glad we came back early before the fall.”
“The fall of what?” KJ asked, mimicking her stretching and squinting.
“The autumn, man–use your head.”
“I did–that’s why I was asking!”
I shook my head and glanced around the alley, making sure to eyeball the other entrance to it. As I watched Green tap on that device of her’s, I really wondered how it could work. A small device like that being able to transmit who knows how many miles seemed incredible to me. There were still places in the city I couldn’t get a signal on my smart phone.
“Before I left, Galak-Ga Pru, my home world, I set up a, inbox, is that the right word?”
“Yes,” I said.
“I am reaching it, touching it?”
“Connecting to it?”
“Yes. Connecting to it, and sending messages from it.”
“So, when your friends reply, their messages will go into the inbox. So, all you have to do is connect to it again and get the messages.”
“Yes. Simple and safe. And–” Green paused, clearly looking for a word.
“Tiny cell level? Quantum encrypted?”
“Yes! Quantum level encrypted.” She tapped for a bit more and then spoke again. “When Strife is finished, when we are safe. I like to study you more. My study was bad on Galag-Ka far away base.”
“That’s where you and I met?”
“Yes. Tools–equipment there, good, best even, but I read data wrong. Saw only what I wanted to see. Wish I brought study data here.”
“Well, my sister’s lab seems pretty advanced.”
“Yo, it’s more advanced than you know,” Kate said, walking back from the street. I looked and saw KJ wasn’t with her.
“Where’s KJ?” I asked.
“He just went to get a soda from the corner place, uh, around the corner. He’s coming right back. How are we doing?”
“I am done,” Green said. “Now we just Fire Escape to a future date and I load down any messages in my inbox.”
A few minutes later KJ was back with his soda and we Fire Escaped back to Nowhere House and then back to the same secluded alley on Staten Island. Minutes after that, she had “load downed” her messages and one was quite impressive. As she saw the message decrypt on her device, here eyes went wide. She tapped a bit more and a hologram appeared above the device so we could all see it. I couldn’t tell what it was at first. It was a line drawing of a rectangular structure with several pillars inside.
“My friend says this early plan for a place in the Conva home land.”
“Yo, that looks like the Hub!” Kate said.
She was absolutely right.
“Wait, that is only a file. There is more.”
“But wait! There’s more!” KJ said with a deep voice as the hologram switched to another line drawing, this time of a big room with bunk beds.
“Friend say this recent. Just finished soon ago.”
“Looks like summer camp!” KJ said, smiling.
“Or an army barracks, dawg,” Kate said. “Haven’t you seen movies about war? That’s what they go back to after combat.”
“Why would they need an army barracks?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe to keep an invasion force?” Kate said.
“Oh…” KJ said.
“Yeah, that could be,” I said.