The Colony, Academy of Science and Magic

Kristine gently knocked on the door to Dr. Sharon's lab in the Academy, and gingerly pushed the door open. She saw the Doctor leaning over the glass containment unit, staring at the artifact without moving.

Kristine knocked harder on the door, and called out, "Doc?" She did not remember the Doctor to be so... strange. She briefly remembered the Doctor was quite famous for being geeky, always playing computer games during office hours in the med bay with her patients.

"Oh, Kristine, you are here," Dr. Sharon replied without turning, for some strange reason, she could feel the presence and identify the person who came in without seeing who was it.

"Classes for the day has ended, so I pop by to see if there's anything I could help with," Kristine replied timidly, as she looked at the back of Dr. Sharon.

"Thank you," Dr. Sharon finally took her eyes off the broken amulet and sat down on her chair. "I have been reading up on what God the Hummingbird of the Left. Seems like it is referring to the Aztec God of war, sun and human sacrifice, Huītzilōpōchtli." She pronounced the name as 'Whi-che-los-pon-chtli'.

"We might have a misconception here that Aztec Gods need daily sacrifices, most likely due to mainstream movies and shows, that mold our perception of the Aztecs as crazed worshippers of blood and death." Dr. Sharon said, "So far the two books you shared with me, shows another side of the story that we know of."

"But what we do know that most of the carvings on the amulets are 84% similar to the Aztec pictograms." Dr. Sharon added, "The question now is, why is an ancient Earth Civilization doing in a planet millions of light years away?"

"That is something I am not understanding too," Kristine replied carefully, "but so far we only have one incomplete piece of evidence, we need to find out more before we can come out with any concrete theory. If not its all just guesswork, we..."

Dr. Sharon appeared to tilt her head to the side like she was trying to listen to something. She put her hand up and stop Kristine's sentence as she narrowed her eyes. "Doctor?" Kristine looked with concern at Sharon.

"Wait," Dr. Sharon was trying to hear the voices in her head, but the banging of the drums muffled the words. She stood up and walked back to the containment unit and rested her forehead against the sapphire glass, and the words became clearer.

"-lmë nér edledhron..."

"What does that means?" Dr. Sharon whispered to the voice in her head.

"-Imë vanwa..."

"Dr. Sharon?" Kristine looked at the strange manner the doctor was displaying. "What do you mean by that?"

"Oh, it's nothing..." Dr. Sharon straightened up, "Just voices in my head you know..."

"Eh ok," Kristine frowned and said in a concerned voice, "Doc, I think you need to take a break from work, I think you are pushing yourself too much. Yesterday you too were so unfocused that you have forgotten what we talked about!"

"Haiz..." Dr. Sharon sighed, "I want to, but there's just so many things going on. I have the hospital to handle, not to mention any critical cases, researches to do, voices in my head and now this."

"That's why you should take a couple of days off!" Kristine replied, "You are not an AI drone, even drones will break down without proper downtime! And you are so stressed and tired out that you are even hearing voices in your head!"

Kristine stood up and grabbed Dr. Sharon's shoulder and pulled up her and shooed her out of the lab. "Take the rest of the day off! Go back and get some proper sleep, or play games! Shoo!"

And like a mother hen, she shooed Dr. Sharon out of the lab and followed her down to the communal bus stop and ensured she left the campus than was Kristine satisfied. "Remember no work!" She called after the confused Dr. Sharon onboard the bus.


Goblin Sea, The Floating Wreck

"If we put this spell formation back and with a container here and pipes installed," One of the techs were bending over a piece of drawing on the table. "We can use the heat released by the Transfer spell, and boil the water in the container, steam pressure will then be built up and collected and channeled to the turbines here, turning it and generating electricity."

"This way we can ensure that the mana stones don't reach critical mass!" The techs proudly showed off their collective work. "We harness the heat given off by the engines and transfer all that heat energy to boil water, thus creating steam to power the turbines which in turn gives us electricity and also cold air!"

"But this contraption only works in areas where there is plenty of waste heat. If not, it doesn't really work in any other environment." The tech doing the presentation explained.

"So this is just like a thermoelectric steam generator?" Chief Matt said while folding his arms over his chest. "Some sort of Seebeck generator?"

"Yes, we used the Seeback Effect for this concept," The techs replied carefully, wondering if the Chief would be happy with their work. "But in this case here, since we do not have a turbine or generator, we can just use the transferred heat to boil the water to get rid of the heat energy and the pipes acts as a funnel for the steam to escape."

"What do you think?" Chief Matt turned and looked at the quiet girl beside him. "Think you can edit the spell formation again?"

"Erm..." Elza folded one arm under her chest and the other tapping the side of her head. "I think so, we just have to ensure the Transfer spell for moving the heat is set up correctly. If not the heat will not be able to boil the water in the container."

"We might need to run a few trials to ensure it is correct," Elza said.

"No problem," Chief Matt replied. The paddle wheels so far were working splendidly, giving them a constant speed of 3 knots, as they did not want to overheat the engines. "Boys! You will help measure and ensure everything is perfect!"

"Aye Chief!" His crew roared out happily, glad that their design works.

"Everyone here gets a week off when we return! Good work!" Chief Matt grinned, "But only if we can complete our makeshift Seebeck Steam Generator! Now get to work!"

"Aye Aye Chief!" The crew quickly grabbed and dragged the stunned students down in the warm decks below, and they started to work on the spell formation again while the crews started jury-rigging makeshift containers and pipes.


The Colony

Dr. Sharon rested her head against the window of the new model bus. The original electronic motored half tracks that used to be running the bus routes were replaced by the Dragonite powered aero-engined buses. An exposed radiator poked out from the bonnet of the bus while the small propeller fan, blew against the engine as it roared and clanked.

The bus was far noisier than the electronic half-tracks, which made virtually no sounds except for the harsh scraps of its metal tracks. The wheels of the bus were made out of bodies of dried Black Slime and sounds of something sticking against the paved road could be constantly heard.

Dr. Sharon sighed, missing Earth and the convenience of modern technology. The air in the bus was warm, despite the windows were rolled down. There were a few other passengers onboard, but they looked absolutely fascinated by the moving scenery and the bus to be bothered by all the minor details.

The voice in her head was surprisingly quiet as if it was asleep, but Dr. Sharon had a nagging suspicion that each time she was close to some modern technology stuff, the voices in her head appeared to quieten down a lot, but if she was with stuff from this world, it chatters non stop.

And when she was closer to the magical amulet, the strength and volume of the voice in her head gets louder, clearer and even comes accompanied by tribal drums. What the hell is going on?

She had spoken with Magister Thorn roughly about bodies or souls taken over by another entity, but Thorn has no idea of such topics for he isn't well versed in spirit magic, nor does he have any books or scrolls with knowledge on them. Even when she tried to repeat the words she heard to Thorn, he couldn't identify nor understand them, leading to her keeping quiet to the whole ordeal.

Maybe Kristine was right, she does need to take a break and just rest, and catch up to her games that she had been neglecting for weeks! She smiled to herself happily, thinking of what games to play later, RPG? FPS? or city building sim?


Goblin Sea, The Floating Wreck

"Chief Matt! We present to you... the Seebeck Steam Generator Mark 1!" The techs grinned happily and in excitement despite the hot and sweaty environment. Even the students were grinning widely having been infected by their enthusiasm and energy.

"Alright, people quiet down!" Chief Matt roared over the excited voices. "Let's test it out!"

Elza nodded to one of her classmates who knelt down and injected his magic into the formation. A couple of techs started to pour buckets of seawater into a large metal box container which was used to store some equipment. It was suspended over a wooden table with a large hole remove from the tabletop and once it was filled they closed the lid and secured the lid with a heavy wooden plank. A couple of hoses recycled from the water pumps were attached to the sides of the makeshift water tank.

As the spell formation started to glow and the mana stones lit up, the air started to cool, and the men cheered, as they watched with barely concealed glee in their eyes. "Bring us up to half speed!" Chief Matt ordered.

The techs in charged of the engines, nodded and engaged the gears, switching gears and increasing the speed of the paddle wheels. The sounds of churning water grew louder and ship prowled forward, riding the waves as paddle wheels sped up.

"5 knots and holding!" Someone yelled down from the top hatch.

"Let it run!" Chief Matt ordered as they watched the engines and the spell formation. "Check the engine and the mana stones' temperatures"

"Engines holding at 119.7 degree celsius but dropping!" The tech with the laser thermometer cried, "Stones looking at around 89.4 degrees and climbing fast! 95.2, 99.6, 103.1, 107.5..."

"Keep observing!" Chief Matt ordered. "What's the temperature in the water tank?"

"Erm, looks like it's at 76.3 degrees and climbing." One of the techs checked the jury-rigged thermometer recycled from the engine for the water pump.

"Mana stones' temperature holding at 137 to 138 degrees!" A tech reported, "Engines temperature holding at 103.6 degrees!"

"Good!" Chief Matt grinned, "Now time to do an endurance test! Run the engines at half speed for an hour, I want to 5 minutes checks on the temperatures of both the engines and the stones! Clear?"

"Aye Chief!"


The Colony, Residental Zone

Dr. Sharon flopped down on her chair and powered up her computer on her desk in her assigned apartment. It had a living room, and three bedrooms, and a kitchenette. One of the rooms she converted it into her work area, one as a guest and storage room, and the master bedroom she used for her self.

Most of the furniture was simple fabricated pieces, with a few locally made wooden pieces like the dining table set. She swept open the curtains, and opened the windows, letting in the fresh air and natural light. She has not returned to her apartment for the past few days, sleeping either on her office couch or hospital bed.

"Finally time for some games!" She grinned as she booted up her game menus.

"Mana tyalië...?"


A note from neo Koh

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