33.3 \ 215

Vanessa cleared her throat and waved to gain everyone’s attention. When she had it, she carefully raised the entreaty. “We want to show you what this does, so you can understand what we aim to do. It’s why we’re all here.” Her voice dropped to another level of seriousness. “Are you ready?”

A moment of sighing and held breath, while a ripple of consensus moved through the group. The latent interconnection they possessed since surviving the lethal Hirylien Affliction, through the grace of Vedani-embedded codes, made understanding pass more easily between them. Mental signatures of revelation alerted them to wordlessly transmitted truth of emotion. Those with the perceptual acuity could discern a difference of emotional shape between Vedani and humans, even pinpoint the feelings of a more familiar individual. Such a time as this, was when they might reach for that internal connection and find it helpful. The logic could follow to explain the details, but the first thing anyone wanted to know was if they would be alright. The naked reply was of well-founded confidence. “Sure,” said Daniel Renaud, the first to break the anticipatory silence, “Show us.”

The nearby Vedani teenagers alerted their adults, which set the entire vault in motion. A detachment of human youth went with some of their Vedani peers to a platform which floated them into the thick of operations, under the gaze of their guardians above. Yykth, ‘Kate,’ stayed with the stationary group and relayed phases of the action.

The youngest and littlest of the detached group emerged from a cabana donning a fitted bodysuit with gloves. While delicate looking, Chrysanthe was also incredibly self-assured. Her father, who’d given first assent, watched from the front at the rail, wearing the beginnings of a small smile while Yykth continued recounting developments.

33.2 \ 215

“They already had the giant body mechs. We figured out to change what went on top to make it do something different. Like when I–“

“Like when you jam your toys together,” completed Bassel’s mother. Concurrently, many other guardian-child pairs were having their own versions of this conversation, excitedly and cautiously divulging their roles.

“Did you know that they know the Princess?”

Looking at her 9-year-old son, Mirya specified, “The missing Princess of the Pan-Galactic Imperium?”

“Yes. They’ve seen her and talked to her. She figured out something that she, that humans could do with these scooter ships that look like that,” Bassel said, pointing to the clear dome at the top of the mechahumanoid. “Her ship also figured out what they learned. That machine told other machines how to do it, but they still need the right machine, and it still needs a human.”

“Not a Vedani, but a human? Okay, what does it do?” This was still strangely like a living room discussion about a toy. Tempting as the parallel was, that powerful creation was not a toy. Still, Mirya wanted to see where they were going with this.

“Well, wait. So we said, what if we put one of these machines on one of those machines!”

“At some point when you were allowed to see both of them?”

“Yeah, sort of. So, some adults decided to help us stick it together – program the connections – and we tried it, and it works now. It’ll be great. Don’t worry.”