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The main thing about the reconnaissance mission was that we needed as few people to go as possible. Julio had been able to round out Jim’s simulation of the hub with the facts he knew. Turns out that while he was working for M, he’d been in contact and even worked with some Conva. In the interest of diplomatic relations, for a time, Julio and the Double-Oes (as he continued to call them) shared information and even did military exercises with them on both sides of the Fire Escape. It also turned out that the Conva could open Fire Escapes with their mind. I’d seen a Conva pilot do exactly that when I was taken back into their custody.
Julio and I stepped into the center of Jill’s lab and chose the chronologically most recent entry for the hub on the Accessory and we were gone.
When we came out of the Fire Escape on the other side, we found ourselves in a familiar corner of the hub. It was the same area we left just as Julio was getting attacked by those Conva that one time, but it must have been a different time. Then again, there were a lot if landmarks in the hub. It was more about recognizing how far we were from the walls and where the pillars were. Ultimately, it was hard to be sure. The only problem was that we were far from that door in the floor that led to what we assumed were the Conva barracks.
We the bulk of the hub stretched out in front of us with those faint blue flashes popping off in the distance. The door in the floor was about midway toward the other side of the massive hall and all the way to the right.
Julio had informed us that there were specific channels designed to allow safe passage through the hub should the need arise. The reason was that this hub was a place for “connection flights” effectively. Get in the way of someone passing from one to the other and you could both end up someplace you don’t want to be.
So I let Julio lead me down those channels, avoiding the areas set aside for the actual work of the hub. It was an odd path that seemed to vary between right-angle turns and wide curves I tried to picture in my mind but lost track before I had any real picture in my head.
When we reached the the far right wall, I noticed the floor door was already beneath my feet. Despite that we were far away from it according to Jim’s sim. I looked down and saw the floor door there. It was more octagonal that it was in the sim. I looked around and saw Julio standing on another octagonal floor door looking down at it.
“There’s an access port here,” Julio said pointing at a small control box. “I’m going to see if we can make happen by messing with it.”
Believe it or not, this was part of the plan. He was the tech expert here I was just the guy who know how to work my sister’s interface. I kept looking around, keeping an eye out for any Conva but the coast was pretty clear. I glanced out the window to see a sky clear of those big box things. Did that mean it was night time in the Fire Escape Dimension? I kept looking out the window as Julio kept messing with the control box. I looked down and saw a massive, well, what looked like an ocean of like a purple liquid. This dimension liked it’s purple. On the shore of this ocean at the very bottom of a very steep and long and purple slope was a village or town. It seemed like this facility was either on top of a mountain or was built in a massive tunnel through the mountain.
Just then sparks flew from Julio’s control box, the door beneath his feet opened, and he fell through it. I looked down to see Julio scrambling to his feet and looking around–I could tell he was spotting potential threats. I dropped to my knees and looked craned my neck so I could see what he was looking at. I saw several Conva soldiers, in various states of dress turning and approaching him. Then, the lights started to dim–only, I knew that’s not what was really happening.
“Uncle Julio–watch out–I’m changing!”