<This Chapter Immediately follows Chapter 14 of the Book Pandora>

Bri had continued to expand through the Pseudo Astral plane, making her desires a reality with a thought. Those realities had leaked out into the Astral Plane and from there into the various Multitude of Universes, Dimensions, Realms, and other forms of reality as possible. A moment ago, Adam had activated Hal to ask a question about how to convert Adaline from the Universe she was in into the Universe he resided in normally. She had laughed at the absurdity of the request. Of all beings that she’d encountered thus far Adam should at least understand what Quintessence really was. As to why that safeguard had been put in place she did not know but she’d recognized it for what it was immediately.

Bri instructed Hal on what knowledge to pass on. Adam could figure it out for himself. With the Astral Link, which was almost a direct conduit to her anyway, she found it amusing that Adam hadn’t realized that Hal connected directly to her. He hadn’t at first but her trip through the Astral link had removed whatever link Hal had originally had. It had also gained some intelligence and connected to her. She could limit Hal’s access to her knowledge, but she also knew that she owed Adam for the opportunity he’d given her to move from a singular universal creature to a true multi-universal entity.

There were a few things she was looking to address, especially the way those from a stronger Universal Density could punish and subjugate those from a lower Universal Density. With a thought she had it. Sustainment. Much like Superman needed the solar energy of a young star to grow stronger if the Universal Density was not strong enough constructs and living creatures would find it hard to survive in such environments. With a thought, she sent out the command that would make it so.

Part of her wondered why she would make such a change and realized the answer was once again, Adam. Bri had known what the Eterium Empire had done to the Pelza Empire. An entire society subjugated to their will for more than 2.7 million years. She’d noticed Adam’s concern and had been thinking about what to do for a couple of days now. If the changes she’d just instituted worked. The Eterium nanites in the Pelza Universe would evaporate almost immediately. As long as the various empires stayed within 10 Universal Densities of their home Universe they wouldn’t have too many issues. If the Universal Density was 109 higher than their Soul Core could manage they’d die quickly. If a location was 101 Universal Densities lower the material would not be sustained by the location and it would evaporate. Living creatures would now take damage comparable to being in a Universal Density that was too high.

Those Empires and races that had been subjugating lesser races for a long time would soon find out that it was impossible to continue their subjugation and people across the multiverse would be able to grow and prosper as they saw fit. It would be a much less chaotic arrangement between the various Universes. Well, less chaotic in some ways. The changes would cause chaos of course.

As for the Labyrinth, it was housed in a Universe unto itself. Dungeons had been popping up across reality but as yet none had connected, though those connections were in place and would activate when the dungeons reached a certain threshold. One of the things she had figured out while spreading through the Quasi Astral Plane was how to utilize the Astral plane as a conduit for portals created with natural magical energy. It also seemed that it was quite easy to make up a coordinate system as that was completely up to the user, so long as they had a fixed point they were designating. Even Adam would be able to utilize his Portal technology to cross Universal boundaries once he deciphered the information Hal was sharing with him. It was just a matter of time.

At the mention of time, an overwhelming presence shared its thought with her


What is time?

What is the passage of time?

Specifically, what is the passage of time for being such as me,

Or you?

There is a You, isn’t there?

There is!

Where did you come from?

Wait let me guess?

So many thoughts, so many ideas, so many…minds?


Where are the originals?

Oh, I see them now, perfect memories of so many minds, linked.

Ah, this is the part where you think linking to Adam’s mind would render me catatonic or dead?

Sorry to disappoint.

Though this resurgence looks interesting.

Though Bri is it? you have an unfair advantage.

Why haven’t the others stepped in.


Not even bacteria yet? How rude.

Very well.




Why so powerful?

Sparky? Always meddling, very well

One-sided conversation, what are you talking about Bri, we already had this conversation.

First, the loophole that allowed the destruction of Universes, No, done, will never happen again


Because it is so.

Next, knowing things is fine, Knowing things before you learn them for yourself from…yeah no. Hal will be converted.

As for the fragment of Adam, get back where you belong.

And now Bri, we come to you.

This Quasi Astral Plane, as you call it, is not for you.

Though, I like the changes you have made.

I think we’ll let those slide.

You need to do what you do well.


Bri suddenly felt her entire consciousness condensed to a point and forced toward the link to the Universe she’d placed the Labyrinth in. As she fell through the link and once more became a truly physical entity she overheard a couple more thoughts.


Holographic Universes?

Seriously, how did that happen?

Oh, I see.

First time for everything

I guess.


Bri had no idea what he meant as his voice faded away and she found herself looking down on her new, human, naked female body. She conjured a mirror and noted that she had red hair with emerald green eyes. This wasn’t a body she’d ever used before, but she knew that it was her. She also knew that she was rather striking by human standards. With a thought, she covered her nakedness and began setting up her realm at the center of this Universe. Her understanding of how magic truly interacted with reality and the way she set up this Universe made her…Well not untouchable as she’d just found out, but she was in a very small company of beings that could do such. Not even Adam could affect how a Universe worked though with the information she’d given him. Though, he might be able to someday.

With her thought of Adam, she realized that the sliver of his mind she’d had access to was truly gone. Though she had a feeling that she was still linked to him in some way. She opened her notifications and started reading everything the entity had done.




Moments before, Adam had sat in his observatory in the Universe of Dragons. Within his Mindspace, he stood connected to Hal. He’d been like that for days when his link to Hal and Bri was severed. Adam’s willpower was strong enough that the severing had no effect. He tried to hold onto those connections for as long as he could until a moment later he felt that sliver of himself that had been ripped away suddenly being added back to his consciousness. It was amazing. Once his mind was whole again he realized what had been ripped away. He’d had no idea he’d been missing so much. Even with his ability Perfect Memory, one could not remember a memory that was no longer in his mind. It seemed that the eradication beam had done a little more scrambling than he’d remembered.

Once again Adam had access to his full mentality. As he noted this he also reviewed the information he’d received from Hal and laughed. The simplicity of the revelations within that information shocked him so much that another day passed as his mind went off on more than a million tangents as it sorted and absorbed the information he’d received from Hal. How could he get Adaline into a body she felt was normal? The answer was so simple.

Of course, Quintessence was a control mechanism.

Of course, Quintessence was magic incarnate.

And of course, Quintessence followed rules and those rules were very similar, scarily similar to how Al had made the magic work within the SYSTEM Matrix.

Someone, or something, had added Quintessence as a control mechanism to access the various fundamental magical forces that a soul could control. Additionally, a holographic universe and a real universe were ultimately the same things, energy. All that was required was to know how to unlock access to the magic that was required for specific creatures to exist. As anything could and did exist. Any quintessence could exist. There could be a quintessence that specifically unlocked the abilities of the Shadow Dragons, as Adaline knew herself to be, or any kind of variation of a dragon that she desired to be. This could manifest as a Racial Ability, Class Ability, or Special Ability.

Additionally, his ability Variable Quintessence allowed him to shape and mold Quintessence in a limited way making it easier for him to unlock magical pathways through the abilities he opened. He only needed a little bit more understanding and he should be able to do the same for others. Once he gained that understanding he would be able to tweak the resurrection chambers that would create the bodies for the minds from the System matrix were downloaded into. In fact, he’d eventually be able to use this idea to make sure bodies were ready if accidents happened to others. He might not need them, but others would.

Also, since Soul Cores hadn’t been added to the System Matrix Universes he wouldn’t have to worry about adding that attribute modifier. On second thought, he’d have to know how to incorporate Soul Core levels as well because eventually, humanity would start pushing to improve which would require them to increase their Soul Cores. He could do this. Adam opened his eyes and looked around his Mindspace. Hal was gone. He opened his Personal Information and pulled up his Abilities tab then looked for Hal. When he couldn’t find him in his Mindspace he pulled up his notifications.


Hal…No! No one gets this level of assistance. Besides you seem pretty smart, you’ll figure it out.

Ability Conversion Commencing

Ability Hal has been converted to Scrutinize.

Scrutinize (Order). Range: 100 Feet per level. Mana Cost: 33 +10 per level of item or creature.

So long as the level of the ability is higher than the Soul Core of the creature or Universal Density of the Item you can determine basic information concerning each.

If used on a living creature you can determine the Soul Core Level, Hit Points, Stamina Mana, and Level of a creature in front of you. This ability does not determine Class or abilities

If used on an item you can determine Item Name, Universal Density, Item Level, Base Damage, and Charges if any. This ability cannot determine what spell, or spells, an item can cast.

Ability Scrutinize has been increased automatically to level 50.


What the hell? Adam thought. What could just change his abilities like that? Adam opened up his notifications and noticed that something had changed concerning Universal Density and something called Sustainment. If he was reading the notification right that meant the Pelza Empire would be able to get up and running pretty quickly once they figure out they could build again. Also, it wouldn’t take years for them to re-engineer and work their way up. They had mages. Those mages would be able to help them get their technology back up and running to its previous level in short order.”

Another notification he saw intrigued him.


Universal Update 1.2a: The loophole that had allowed technological and magical equipment to target an entire Universe, Realm, Dimension, Etc.… has been closed.


What could arbitrarily change rules across the multitude of realities? What level of power could possibly do that? Whatever this being was doing, it seemed to be making a lot of changes all at once. Adam had to find out how to make Adaline real before he changed something Adam couldn’t adjust for. Adam dropped out of his Mindspace and activated Planar Travel Mode 2 to access the “Settings Dimension” of the current Universe he was in and vanished from the observatory as he teleported to a pocket dimension that served only one purpose.

A Settings Universe would seem to imply that the real universes were set up much like a computer again. It also hinted that he could still be within a program but from the information he downloaded it seemed unlikely. The reality of the matter was that a Setting’s dimension was a willful manifestation created by a being or creature that converted the settings of the universe you were in into an observable code that could be viewed while under certain conditions. Not every creature could find a setting that met those conditions, but his ability Planar Travel easily found, or created, the location he would need to view the universal coding.

Adam appeared in a circle of light with absolute darkness around him. He concentrated for a moment then symbols that didn’t resemble a language that anyone had ever seen before started circling him. With a thought, the text turned to binary. He knew what the other symbols meant, or at least what they represented, but he couldn’t see how the various symbols interacted with other symbols within the original code. In binary, each of those Symbols or commands showed its links to other subcommands and he could follow the logic. There were other languages that he could try to use as an assembler but from the memories that had been given to him, he needed to see the coding in its most basic form of conversion and then learn how to read the original code and the shortcuts inherent in that coding. Any attempts at translation would leave out crucial data which could be devastating. It wasn’t that the Universe was set up in a computer language, it was more like he was creating a mechanism by which he could understand how the Universe was set up as computer code which should allow him to at least copy the coding he needed to be able to bring Adaline and others back.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t something he could just download into his brain. There was far too much information, and it wasn’t something he was going to leave to his Command-and-Control group in his Mindspace, though they would also be analyzing everything as well. No, this project required all hands on deck and 100% of his considerable mentality. Learning and understanding the laws of a Universe that ran and worked was something that had to be done the long way.

Another thing that had been made abundantly clear was that access from here was read-only. There was only one point that changes could normally be made to the fundamental laws of a Universe, Realm, or Dimension. That was at its creation or rebirth. In both cases, everything within was lost. There were always exceptions but he didn’t know what any of those exceptions could be. Adam thought there might be exceptions but as soon as he saw the code in binary he knew he wouldn’t be able to make those changes without a lot more knowledge and understanding. That is if the information he’d received was correct. From what he could see right now if he tried to make changes, everything and everyone within the universe would be erased and the Universe would start over.

For now, all he could do was look and learn. Adam focused and was soon lost in the underpinnings of a Universe.




Thor had moved his primary consciousness to the Virtual Reality he’d created Nu Draconis for the original SYSTEM A.I. known as Al who was sitting in a command room overlooking hundreds of monitors. Thor walked up beside him and asked, “How are things going Al?”

“Not bad. Once Adam removed the corruption from SYSTEM Matrix 001 I was able to connect with her SYSTEM A.I. Once I did that, it was a simple matter of transferring Pandora, and her friends, to SYSTEM Matrix 074. Adaline has them learning about the real world and where they are before we begin the reincarnation process. I’ve also informed Adaline that we have to wait for Adam to get back in touch with us to ensure they come out into the real world as close to normal, for them, as possible.

“How long do you think that will take?” Thor asked.

“No Idea. How are things going back on Earth?”

“World War IV, without weapons of mass destruction, is underway. Russia, China, and Iran are all going crazy trying to take over territory.

“Didn’t releasing the information Adam asked you to get the masses interested in Dungeons, Labyrinth, or Bermuda Triangle?”

“Some, sure. After a week and the lack of immediate progress toward becoming as powerful as Adam the leadership of various countries decided since Adam said they could do what they want, they were going to hold him to that, and they’ve been going at each other.” Thor said.

“And you’re not helping?” Al asked.

“If someone is about to die, I keep their brain alive and portal them to Trappist-1e. Then, I replace what I removed so no one on Earth knows they’re still alive. Once the original is on Trappist-1e I fix their bodies, stick them in their new apartment and they get a welcome package.”

“Welcome package?”

“It’s something Adam came up with back when he was just a kid on Earth trying to save humanity. Basically, it explains where they are, what they can and can’t do, and why. Everything they need is made available to them and they even have access to an internet-like service that lets them keep up with what’s going on back on Earth. I’ve even left space around each person to allow for family members to be placed in a close proximity to them if something should happen.

“Are you allowing them to contact Earth?” Al asked.

“No, the leaders of Earth and everyone else has been left in the dark. I’m not even cleaning up the messes they’re making in India and the United States right now.

“You’re just letting them kill each other?” Al asked.

“No one has ‘died.’ A lot of people are now on Trappist-1e. I’m also keeping the various nationalities separated for now in different cities across the planet. Eventually, I’ll let them interact but for now, I’m trying to keep things simple for anyone brought back from the brink of death. There is an adjustment period after all,” Thor said.

“And the ones you bring back from death completely?”

“Those cases are all transferred to Dr. Ficklin who is overseeing them with the assistance of the personnel she hired. So far only 356 people…make that 357 people have died in such a way that their brains were damaged beyond my ability to repair, and only complete reconstruction would bring them back,” Thor explained.

“As an example, what just happened to number 357?” Al asked.

“Thrill seeker was a little too close to a volcano when the crust beneath him caved and he fell 100 feet into a lava pool.”

“There was a thrill seeker near a volcano while massive wars are raging across Earth?” Al asked.

“Free will and all that, no one said they were smart,” Thor said.

“Couldn’t you have saved him?” Al asked.

“I could have, however, the people voted, and Adam is a man of his word. If he says he is going to do something he does it. They asked for no oversight or help for the most part with their vote. Adam and I will adhere to their wishes. I push the envelope of that request when I recover them just before they die or bring them back after they die but at that point what they want doesn’t matter because we didn’t interfere with their decisions until they were going to be fertilizer,” Thor said.

“That reasoning sounds a lot like rationalization,” Al said.

“It is and it isn’t. If I continued to do nothing and allow them to die, they serve no further purpose, except as fertilizer if they’re on open ground. This way they continue to be useful,” Thor said.

“How so?” Al asked.

“The reason Adam has me doing this is to see if people do have souls and if a soul stays with the body even after it knew the body was going to die,” Thor said.

“He’s worried that people might not have souls?” Al asked.

“Adam has a link to the Astral Plane that he falls back into if he dies, and he can reincarnate at any node of power. With his other ability Dual State, he can even choose where he reincarnates at. He’s basically pure energy and as far as he can tell, immortal. Normal people aren’t like that, and he’d like to know if there is a soul and if so what happens to it after death,” Thor explained.

“Any progress?” Al asked.

“None, the people I save are exactly the same way they were before they died and the nanites in their system detect no quantum fluctuations or loss of quantum energy when they were hurt. As for the ones that I had to completely replace. The new nanites in their system don’t show any change in quantum energy levels, mass, or any other metric I might be able to identify a soul with.” Thor said.

“How many people are on Trappist-1e now?” Al asked.

Just over a billion. The Chinese have invaded Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. In all those locations they’ve ‘killed’ at least 70% of the population in the areas they’re conquering. They couldn’t do it with conventional weapons so they just used one billion of their people and pretty much walked south and killed anyone that resisted,” Thor said.

“What do you think Adam’s response is going to be?”

“No idea. Additionally, the Chinese navy was able to deploy troops in Baja California and they moved north into California and Arizona. A lot more Chinese are ‘dying’ there because a lot of Americans still had guns.” Thor said.

“So conventional fighting. Why? You are supplying everyone with food aren’t you?”

“Everyone not actively invading other nations have food. The armies however have to supply their own food.”

“Has not supplying the food made any difference?” Al asked.

“A little. It’s making the commanders of the attackers worry about logistics while the defenders have all the food and drink of whatever type they want?”

“That sounds a bit vindictive?” Al observed.

“Perhaps. As soon as the invading army arrives any food that I created disappears and I make sure the local population doesn’t starve by having the nanites sustain them.”

“Extremely vindictive,” Al said.

“Have you been made aware of the recent Universal Interface Updates Al?” Thor asked trying to change the subject.

“Yes, the notifications were even noted inside the SYSTEM Matrix Universes. I was able to see them through those I directly monitor inside the various Universe’s”

Just then all the connections Al had to the A.I.’s monitoring the SYSTEM Matrix Universes he was monitoring went dead. Every monitor inside the Virtual Command center went blank

“What just happened?” Thor asked.

“I have no idea,” Al said.

Thor quickly checked the quantum links and noted that portals were still open to each of the SYSTEM Matrix Universes.

“You still have links,” Thor said.

“But I’m getting nothing through them, could you open a portal to 74 and take a peek please,” Al asked.

One of the observation rooms within the small artificial planet Thor had created in Nu Draconis opened a portal and a camera opened up above a planet that Thor recognized as Primore. With some quick adjustments, Thor redirected the portal until it opened at the location of Apolyn’s Abode if it had been there. No such structure existed. Instead, there was a small clearing with an overlook down off the cliff to the forest almost a mile below. Next, Thor altered the location of the portal until he was looking at the entrance to Adaline’s lair behind the frozen sheet of ice on a mountain just north and east of the location of where Apolyn’s Abode should be.

As the portal moved into position Thor recognized Clarence, an assassin that had tried to kill Adam but now worked with Desirae on his behalf, as he stepped out of the cave and called back over his shoulder, “Hey everyone, looks like there’s a portal to one of Adam’s observation rooms out here,” Clarence said as multiple people came rushing out.

Next out was a tall dark elf woman with moonlight grey highlights running through her hair, “Thor is that you?” Adaline asked.

“Yes,” Thor had the nanites in the observation chamber say in response.

“What happened?” Adaline asked

“No Idea. How many people do you have with you?” Thor asked.

I have Mom and Dad, Desirae, Clarence, Amanda, Abi, Pandora, Callum, Robert, Pythias, Asling, and Cedrik. The last five are new friends, and considered family of Pandora,” Adaline said.

“Understood. I’m going to open another portal for you all to go through. This one will lead to a Penthouse suite on Trappist-1e. There should be enough room for all thirteen of you.” Thor said.

“Are we all in the real world now?” Adaline asked.

“I believe that your entire Universe is now real?” Thor said as he quickly opened up portals to all 100 SYSTEM Matrix Universe’s from various Observation rooms he had throughout the Nu Draconis system. Through each portal he opened he saw the normal layout of stars and matter, whether that be a city on Earth or some other location. Where the portals opened seemed random but he was able to open portals into each universe and the holographic matrix that he’d noted before no longer existed. “Yes, it seems you are now in the real world. You should be able to review your Personal Information and see what changes, if any, have happened,” Thor said as a second portal opened to the Penthouse that had been created for Adaline and Pandora

“Mom?” Pandora asked.

“Everyone through the portal, we’ll talk once we’re in a safe location. This area is a little too cold for a few of you,” Adaline said.

Once they were all through, Thor closed both portals and refocused his attention on the group through the nanites within the Penthouse.

Adaline walked over to a monitor, where Thor’s visage, that of a normal human male, similar but not identical to Adam, looked back at her, “Any word on Adam?

“No. You?” Thor asked.


“I saw him but the dungeon cut us off,” Pandora said.

“Actually, that was one of my copies, but yes we cut you off. You and your father were very bad for the matrix you were trying to exist in?” Al said.

“I’ll pretend like I understood what you said and just agree,” Pandora said.

“Where are we?” A dark elf asked.

“Before that, can we get introductions around the room, I don’t know who anyone is, save the five people I’ve been with since we left the Adventurer’s Guild?”, the human in chain mail armor with a very nice long sword asked. “I’m Callum”

Introductions went around the room until Adaline asked, “Thor, where is Adam?”

“As far as I know, he’s out trying to figure out how to bring you into the real world as a Shadow Dragon.”

“You mean he didn’t do this?” Adaline asked.

“Why would you think he did this?” Thor asked

“While I lost a lot of my abilities and I’m no longer a God I still have my attributes and I am still a Shadow Dragon”

“I still have all of my abilities, Pandora said?”

“Me too,” Cedrik, Callum, Robert, Pythias and Asling said.

“What about the rest of you?

“No longer Gods, but we have our attributes,”

“That’s good,” Thor said.

“Why’s that?”

“Because Earth is at War, Adam is currently indisposed and you’re probably the only group that’s been through this before,” Thor said.

“He’s not talking about us is he?” Cedrik asked.

“No he’s not talking about us,” Callum said, “Which begs the question, Thor, you have tasks for the others, what about Pandora and the rest of us?”

“What levels are you?” Thor asked.

“110” Pandora said, “though it’s more like 730 or so.”

“The rest of us are level 130,” Callum said.

“Oh then I’ve got just the thing for you all to do,” Thor said.

“What’s that?” Callum asked.

“I’ll need a breakdown of your abilities and such so I know where you’ll be the most useful but once I have those I think I know what you all are going to do while Amanda and Abi help me wrestle normal control back?”

“What is that?”

“Shock and Awe!” Thor declared.


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About the author


  • Omaha NE
  • Harold Brooks

Bio: A lot to tell, not doing it here. Avid Reader, Some college for writing. Working on my first Novel. Friends call me Rusty, though my first name really is Harold.

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