Note: This contents of this page originated at Moon Reyes.
September 11, 2001Edit
Gary Seven passes through the security check point for United Airlines at Newark International Airport. He walks a short distance past the check point, stops, and turns around. He leans against the wall and pretends to read the flight information on his ticket for Flight 93 to San Francisco, but he is watching other passengers go through the metal detector and he can see the video monitor for the x-ray screen of carry-on luggage.
Two men passing through the check point are flagged by the supervisor, who takes them to the side of the check point. As the security supervisor waves a metal detector over them he asks, “Gentlemen, what is your destination?”
One of the passengers, Ziad Jarrah, replies, “San Francisco.”
The supervisor can see that Jarrah is sweating. He asks, “Do you have a passport? Where were you born?”
Jarrah hands the security officer his new passport, the one without travel stamps for places like Afghanistan in the Mideast. The check point supervisor thumbs through the passport then hands it back. “Have a nice trip, Mr. Jarrah.”
Gary follows Jarrah and the other hijacker to the waiting area near the gate for Flight 93. Gary takes up a position where he can watch Jarrah and scan for additional hijackers. He sees a ticket agent speak into a microphone, “Due to heavy flight traffic, United Flight 93 will board after our planned departure time. Make yourselves comfortable here in the lounge for another half hour. Arrival time in San Francisco will still be close to the scheduled time. United Flight 93 will board late, starting in about one half hour.”
Gary suddenly realizes that Rupert is standing beside him. Gary turns to Rupert, tries not to sound perturbed, and says, “Hello, Rupert.”
Rupert nods. “Hello, Gary. You might as well cash in your ticket, you are not catching this flight.”
Gary wonders just how much Rupert knows. “I’m holding a ticket for a friend, I have no intention of flying today.”
Rupert says, “Wise choice. This is not a good day to fly in a plane.” He adds with a sneer, “But any day would be a good day for you to fly home.”
Gary decides he might as well try to find out what Rupert knows, since it is probably more than Gary knows. “So what is going on today? I’m working in the dark.”
Rupert says, “You know enough to interfere, as usual. My brothers have already intercepted Roberta in Boston and Isis in Washington. Your role in this day is over.”
Gary complains, “You are a real cold fish, Rupert. How can you allow innocent people to suffer for your misguided fanaticism?”
Rupert shrugs, “I take no joy in the suffering, but you know the rules.”
Gary is very bitter. “I know your rules; they are wrong.”
Rupert chuckles, “You’ve had a good run, Gary. Why not retire? One of these days I’ll put you out of business. Why not bow out while you are ahead?”
“It’s a chance I have to take.” Gary notices Jarrah make eye contact across the lounge area with two other passengers. “For now you have System Authority on your side, but how much longer can you hide on the Moon? The age of Observation is ending.”
Rupert follows the line of Gary’s sight. “Observation never ends. When the Moon base is closed, we will have new means of carrying out Observations.”
Gary knows that one of these new methods will be increased reliance on robotic devices and less use of human Observers on Earth. Just as Gary thinks about robots, he sees the robot he has been waiting for. The robot is wearing an airport maintenance uniform. Knowing that Rupert is watching him closely, Gary does not look directly at the robot. Out of the corner of his eye, Gary sees the robot enter the Men’s room. He has no need to look or even speak the robot; they have been in frequent radio contact for the past three days, ever since Gary first learned that this would be the day of four hijackings by Al-Qaeda. Gary asks, “How did you know to look for me here?”
Rupert grins, “Lucky guess. I know how you think, Gary. I knew you would have to try to do something to stop what is happening today.”
Gary asks, “What is happening today? I only learned of the plot three days ago and I have not been able to learn many details.”
The ticket agent uses the loud speaker system again. “Flight 93 to San Francisco now boarding. All rows can now board.”
Rupert shakes his head, “Sorry, but you’ll just have to watch along with the rest of the world. This day has been in the works for years. Relax. There is nothing you can do now.”
Gary suggests, “One phone call is all it would take.”
Rupert offers a challenge, “Go for it, Gary. Leave a public trail of your Interference. You’ll get your ass kicked out-system so fast that I won’t even have time to say goodbye.”
Gary knows that Rupert is correct about that. He speaks with disgust and bitterness, “You win this one, Rupert. Another badge of honor.” Gary turns away from Rupert and goes into the men’s room. The robot is waiting just inside, now dressed in conventional street clothes. Gary hands his ticket to the robot. The robot leaves the Men’s room and gets into the short line of passengers going through the gate to board Flight 93.
When Gary comes out of the men’s room, he ignores the fact that Rupert follows him out of the terminal. Gary decides that he can now risk breaking radio silence between himself and the rest of his team. He uses his built-in radio to contact Isis and confirms that both Isis and Roberta were intercepted by Rupert’s brothers. Roberta had been unable to pass tickets to the robot who was to have been on United Airlines Flight 175, but the robot on American Flight 11 has already reported that that flight had been hijacked and was changing course over the state of New York. Gary suddenly thinks of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Updates from the robot on Flight 11 track the flight to New York City. One last time, Gary thinks about calling NORAD. Would it be worth being removed from Earth in order to stop mass murder?
Gary is driving away from the airport and towards Manhattan when the radio channel to the robot on Flight 11 goes dead. A few minutes later, Isis sends, “Turn on your car radio. The WTC was hit.”
Gary transmits the information to the two remaining robots on Flights 77 and 93, “Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center. Take all possible actions to protect human life.” As if they would do otherwise, even without that order. Gary curses in frustration at his helplessness. Gary mutters, “Good work, Rupert.”
FBI Special Agent Monica Reyes is on her way to the Moon, again. Unlike her first space trip, this time she is awake and alert, mostly recovered from being hit by an odd projectile fired into her belly by Gary Seven. Reyes has no clear memory of how she got into this luxuriously appointed space craft. Her last undisrupted memory is of the frantic trip from San Diego, across the border, and down to San Felipe on the shore of the Gulf of California.
Reyes and her partner, Special Agent John Doggett, had been led to San Felipe by a mysterious phone call from Dana Scully. Doctor Scully had been unable to explain where she was, but by tracing the origin of the call, the FBI was able to confirm the rumor that Dana was back on Earth after having been abducted. Fellow abductees such as Reyes had reported that Scully was last seen on the Moon in May. Reyes had been thrilled to finally hear Dana’s voice again after all those months of wondering what had happened to Dana.
On the trip to San Felipe, Monica had plenty of time to worry about the meaning of Dana’s sudden termination of their phone conversation. Monica feared that Dana would be moved before she and Doggett could get to San Felipe. Working from Washington, Skinner made arrangements for the INS to fly Reyes and Doggett to the San Felipe airport. Theoretically this should have saved them time getting to Scully, but there had been a delay getting the small INS plane off the ground. It was a slow propeller aircraft, and worst, there was no ground transportation readily available at the San Felipe airport when they arrived. After half an hour, a local car rental company brought Doggett and Reyes a car, then they still had a 25 mile drive out to the marine research field station where Scully’s phone call had originated.
Skinner had also tried to get the Mexican Federal Judicial Police to send a surveillance team to the marine research field station in San Felipe, but he had been told that since there had been no crime committed in Mexico, there would be no emergency action by the Mexican authorities. Skinner was also warned that any actions in Mexico by law enforcement from the United States had to be approved by Mexico before they took place. Skinner easily ignored that warning by rationalizing that Reyes and Doggett could be viewed as visiting Mexico as private citizens.
Inside the space ship with Agent Reyes is one of the clones that originally abducted both Dana and Monica back in May. Rupert, the leader of the cell of Observer clones, is nominally in control of the ship, but it is actually Gary Seven’s space ship. Under the police-like emergency authority of the Observers, Rupert has taken control of the ship and is intent on bringing Gary Seven to justice for unlawful intervention into the affairs of Earth.
Also on board is Roberta Lincoln, Gary Seven’s partner in crime. Monica suspects that Roberta and Gary could regain control of the space ship at any time, and she is interested to learn what kind of trick they are playing on the clones. As Monica watches events unfold, her memories of her previous interactions with the clones on the Moon are gradually returning to her in fragments and dream-like images.
Rupert would like to bring Dana Scully back to the Moon, so just before lifting off from Earth, he left the ship in an unsuccessful attempt to get Scully to come aboard the ship. Through remote sensing devices that communicate by radio signals directly into microscopic devices inside his brain, Gary Seven is very much aware of what is going on outside of the spacecraft and that Rupert has given up trying to convince Dana to go back to the Moon. Gary would also like Scully to return to the Moon, so he decides to try to phone Dana and talk her into coming aboard before Rupert launches the ship off of Earth.
Rupert’s brother, Gary, Monica and Roberta are all in the control room of the spacecraft. The clone is on guard duty, but is unwittingly under Gary’s control through the agency of a nanodevice implant that is swarming its array of components inside the clone’s brain. Gary Seven takes Monica Reyes’ cell phone and walks out of the control room towards the crew compartments. Just as Gary exits the control room, Rupert enters through the hatch from outside. Rupert goes to the main command consol and starts to activate the flight control system. Speaking over his shoulder, Rupert asks his brother, “Where is Gary?”
The other clone responds mechanically, “He went into the living quarters.”
Rupert initiates the automated lift-off flight systems. Rupert is suspicious of his brother’s rather bland facial expression, but Rupert is busy watching the flight controls for signs of security interlocks that Gary might have installed. “That sounds like a good idea.” He looks up from the consol and says to Roberta and Monica, “Why don’t you two leave the control room. It makes me nervous to have Roberta looking over my shoulder.”
Roberta asks, “Where is Doctor Scully?”
Rupert replies, “Unfortunately, she will not be joining us.”
Reyes asks, “What about my partner, Agent Doggett?”
Rupert cannot suppress a grin, “Doggett is taking another nap.” In fact, Doggett is lying just outside the spacecraft, having been rendered unconscious by Rupert. “There is no need to take him with us.”
During a normal Observer mission to Earth, Rupert would have simply abducted Scully and anyone else with her. However, since Scully was already under the control of a neurological nanodevice implant, it did not violate the Rules of Observation to leave her on Earth. The drug used to incapacitate Doggett would also erase all his memories of the past 30-60 minutes.
Rupert had been surprised when Fox Mulder arrived at the marine science field station just when Rupert was trying to talk Scully into voluntarily coming back to the Moon. Mulder had been abducted by Rupert and his brothers many times and his memory had been adjusted so many times that he was a well-known special case for the Observers. Rupert had come to fear that the Lone Gunmen might be nearby whenever Mulder showed up someplace. Rather than take a risk, Rupert had decided to immediately depart from Earth as soon as he saw Mulder. Rupert felt he could safely rely on Mulder’s previous mind conditioning and nanodevice brain implant to keep him from revealing anything damaging about what had gone on in San Felipe.
Anyhow, Gary was the real prize, and Rupert was gleeful at finally having caught Gary in the act of committing an illegal intervention into the development of Earth’s technosphere. The fact that it was Gary who had brought Scully to Earth made it Gary’s responsibility if Scully revealed anything about her time on the Moon or her interactions with Gary and Roberta.
Roberta knows that it is important that it appear to the Observers on the Moon that Rupert has accomplished his mission. Roberta is quite happy to leave Rupert to the task of trying to figure out how to pilot Gary’s space ship. She shrugs and leads Monica out of the control room and into the lounge. The door to the control room slides shut behind them.
Roberta and Monica enter the crew lounge. The lounge contains some oddly shaped soft chairs and some nearly conventional dinning room furniture. Monica asks, “Are you just going to let Rupert do whatever he wants?”
Roberta goes to an alcove in one wall of the lounge and comes back with two soft bottles of liquid. The two women sit down at the dinning table. Roberta wonders if it is worth telling Reyes anything. Why bother if it will just be erased from her memory so she can be released back to Earth? Roberta is vaguely aware that Reyes works on X-file cases for the FBI in the same capacity that Dana used to serve. Before Roberta can decide what to say, Gary enters the lounge through a door opposite from the control room door. Gary speaks to Roberta, “Something spooked Rupert. We lost the chance to bring Scully along.” Gary sits down at the table and pushes Monica’s phone across to her. “Thanks.”
Roberta asks, “What are your plans for Agent Reyes? Why did you bring her aboard?”
Gary Seven looks speculatively at Reyes. “I’m sure Rupert intends a mind washing and a quick return to Earth, just like the last time. However, I have other plans.” Gary sends Roberta a message via their radio implants, -I don’t want to discuss this in front of Reyes.-
Roberta has worked with Gary long enough to not be inhibited about working around his evasions. Roberta is having doubts about the ethics of the way Rupert made use of Scully, and she fears that he has similar plans for Reyes. “You did not have to bring her aboard. You must have had a reason, why not share it?”
Even after nearly 40 years, Gary has still not grown totally accustomed to working with Roberta. But what is a man to do when his emotions take control? Gary smiles at Roberta and tries to explain as much as he can without saying things that Reyes should not hear. “I’d much rather have Scully, if only to make sure that Rupert cannot use her again.” Gary knows that Roberta is not easily deflected. He knows he has to make smoke, a lot of smoke, in order to obscure his plans. Gary asks Monica, “I believe you worked with Dana before she left the FBI, right?”
Roberta is in no mood to put up with Gary’s games. Through the years, she has come to trust Gary to protect her, but she has to wonder if Rupert and the Observers are right about some things. Is Gary too eager to interfere with events on Earth? She interrupts before Monica can reply. “Do you plan a trade? Scully for Reyes?”
Gary radios to Roberta, -I’m not worried about Dana, I’m worried about Skinner.- With the mental agility provided by his own nanodevice implants, he holds up a hand, palm towards Roberta as if to deflect her questions and speaks at the same time to Monica, “Agent Reyes, how well do you know Dr. Scully? Have you remained close friends?”
Monica is shocked by the idea that she might gain her freedom as part of a deal to deprive Dana of her freedom. She puzzles at the relationship between Gary and Roberta. They seem like a long-married couple not ashamed to argue in public. Monica replies, “Dana is a good friend. I’m glad she escaped from you.”
Gary’s eyebrows rise. “Escaped? She was free to leave San Felipe at any time. She did good work, voluntarily, on a project that will do much to limit human-induced global warming. She could continue to be of much use. It is unfortunate that Rupert chickened out and let Mulder scare him off.”
Monica had initially been surprised to hear Gary mention Mulder. “How did Mulder do that?”
Gary is pleased that it is so easy to distract Earthlings. He knows that the drugs and nanodevices in Monica’s bottle of tea will make her susceptible to his suggestions. He should easily be able to guide her thinking in safe directions. “Mulder showed up at the marine science research field station shortly after you and Doggett. He must have been following you.”
Monica’s initial shock at learning Mulder had come to San Felipe has worn off. As her mind continues to clear and reassemble linear memory traces, she realizes that Mulder had admitted to being at National airport just as she and Doggett were departing for San Diego. She realizes now why Mulder had called John just as they were getting on their plane! Monica mutters to her self, “That sneak!” But as she adjusts to the idea, she is not really surprised that Mulder would do everything possible to try to find Scully, including following FBI agents working the case. Still, Monica is puzzled about how Mulder could have found his way to San Felipe. Could someone inside the FBI have been providing Mulder with updates on the FBI search for Dana?
Monica snaps back from her search of her memories of Mulder and feels an odd sensation under the gaze of Gary. She experiences a slight shudder as she detects something not quite human in his eyes. Monica struggles to remember reaching the field station, but has only odd, disjointed flashes of memories. “It was Fox who saved Dana?”
Roberta reports to Gary what Rupert had said, “After shooting you, Rupert left the ship with the intent to get Scully to return with him to the Moon.”
"Yes, I was able to deduce that as soon as I woke up." Gary speculates, “When Rupert saw Mulder, he probably decided not to risk staying on Earth a second longer. Rupert would not risk losing me in exchange for Dr. Scully.” Gary curses the failure of his improvised plan to bring Scully back to the Moon. Well, nobody can think of everything. Fox Mulder is well known to Interventionists on Earth as the human who has been memory adjusted by Observers more than anyone else in all of human history. In Gary’s mind, Mulder represents the human spirit struggling to break the chains of the Observer quarantine of Earth. Having it be Mulder that has prevented Scully from returning to the Moon almost makes this unintended course of events go down easy for Gary.
Reyes decides that she has nothing to loose by being blunt. She demands of Gary, “Who are you? Why are you playing games with the clones? What is your interest in me?”
Having provoked Monica to stand up to Gary, Roberta is a bit alarmed at her aggressiveness. Roberta adopts her ditsy cheerleader personality and giggles. “Slow down, girl! There’s a whole big universe out here. It takes a while to get used to it all. It took me years to adjust.”
Reyes looks in horror at Roberta. Is Gary surrounded by changelings? Isis the morphing cat woman and what about Roberta? Her moods seem to shift like a fickle breeze; one moment the avenging warrior princess and the next, a giggling teenager. Reyes had assumed that Gary and Roberta were both aliens or at least alien agents. She now instantly realizes that if Roberta was born on Earth, then she might be seeing her own future: does Gary intend to make me his tool? Reyes asks Roberta, “You were abducted from Earth? And now you work for the abductors?”
Roberta is impressed by Monica's power of intuition. She shrugs. “Its not a bad life. Gary really does work hard to help the people of Earth. There just is not much that we can do with Rupert and the Observers always watching our every step.” Roberta barely notices the paradox of her own desire that she and Gary be allowed to do more on Earth while she also doubts that Gary can be trusted to operate freely on Earth.
Monica resolves to get Roberta alone and find out the full story of how she got involved with Gary. She senses that Roberts would speak more freely away from Gary. Monica is instinctively distrustful of Gary and wonders if he is an alien.
Gary can see that Reyes has a nimble mind. Some abducted humans have a hard time adjusting to their predicament, but Reyes' experience with the X-files has prepared her well for her current predicament. Gary decides that he can be more open with Monica. “Both Rupert and I are human."
Monica has the horrible sensation that Gary can read her mind.
Gary continues, "Our ancestors were taken off of Earth a long time ago. It is Rupert’s job to monitor the development of life on Earth, particularly human life. I have a different goal. I think it is immoral to make Earth humans suffer through all of the errors that are typical of developing cultures. Why not lend a hand and help them over the rough spots?”
Roberta explains why not. “Observers like Rupert enforce their Rules of Observation, which are a version of the Rules of Intervention. The Observers believe that Earth humans must be allowed to make errors and learn from their mistakes.”
Reyes is still confused about how aliens come into the matter. “So where are the aliens? All I see are humans. Or what looks like humans. Is Isis a human?”
Gary realizes that Reyes must have seen Isis morphing. “Isis is a robotic construct, every bit as alive as a human. Her body is composed of nanites rather than cells, allowing her to change her shape at will.” Gary morphs his face into the features of Isis as a woman. “Is this the form you saw Isis take?” Reyes nods. “This is one of her favorite forms. In my case, I have a nanite prosthetic that allow me to change my face as well as my retinal and finger print patterns," He begins to speak like a woman, “and my vocal cords, too. Otherwise, I am fully human, only a few thousand years removed from Earth.” He morphs back to his usual form.
Reyes looks at Roberta and asks, “How about you? Do you carry these nanites?”
Roberta replies, “Yes, I can change my superficial features. But you must realize…” At this point Gary sends a radio warning to Roberta, -Careful!-
Roberta has no intention of telling Monica EVEYTHING. “Monica, even you carry nanites in your body.”
Reyes is not surprised. She has been intensely curious about what has been exercising control over her ability to discuss things that she knows about the clones and her previous trip (she wonders, or trips? How would I know?) to the Moon. “I don’t like the idea that you can control my brain, turn me into your puppet.”
Gary tries to weasel his way around Reyes’ resentments. “No doubt you have been suffering some ill effects of Rupert’s inept memory adjustment methods. I have no control over that. It is part of the stupid rules that he is forced to operate under that only certain primitive memory control methods can be used on Earth humans. The Observers have an extreme aversion to sending advanced technology to Earth, so they continually flirt with the danger of having too little of a technological edge over Earth humans. Rupert knows this well, he recently lost one of his brothers to a primitive hand gun.”
Reyes has been worried that there might be revenge taken against either Doggett or even herself for the shooting death of Rupert’s brother. She states a perfectly rational position, “Rupert can hardly expect to come to Earth and abduct people and not have law enforcement take action.”
Gary shrugs. “Rupert knows the risks he takes as an Observer. He is sworn to acceptance of the doctrine he operates under. But the point is, it would be trivial to equip every Observer sent to Earth with medical nanites that could automatically repair gun shot wounds. You saw the device that Roberta used to repair the wounds in my back? That was just a way of applying medical nanites to my body. Can you believe it? We are not allowed to carry medical nanites in our bodies while we are on Earth. It is an incredibly stupid rule that costs lives.”
Roberta rolls her eyes, “Oh, grow up, Gary. People on Earth would freak if they saw a gun shot wound healing in seconds right before their eyes.”
Gary will not abandon his pet peeves so easily, “Not if the nanite technology was introduced to Earth. People would soon become quite comfortable with automated healing. It is criminal to make Earth humans suffer when such cures are at hand.”
Reyes realizes that she still has not learned how aliens come into any of this. She asks, “So this nanite technology is alien technology?”
Roberta laughs. “You must watch too much science fiction, my dear girl.” Reyes wonders just how old Roberta is. With a morphing face, what woman would choose to show wrinkles and other signs of aging? Roberta continues to explain the situation, “Do you think the aliens go around handing out advanced technology like lollypops? Every bit of what we humans have, we have earned through our own sweat and ingenuity.”
Gary adds, “It is true that those who were first taken off of Earth by aliens got a boost. Just being relieved of the struggle for survival and placed in a protected environment allowed cultural advances to speed ahead. My own world is a good example.”
Reyes raises her eye brows. “Your world?”
Roberta explains, “Gary comes from another star system.”
Reyes is impressed and a bit dazed. “Interstellar travel? So it is all true.”
“Our star ship propulsion methods are still primitive, but yes, we are able to travel between stars. Some people from my home world felt it was our obligation to come back to Earth and do what we can to help.” Gary gets up and goes to the food dispenser. “I’m going to eat. Can I get something for you two?”
For a while they discuss the food sources, storage mechanisms and food preparation processes used on the ship. Reyes is impressed by the food’s appearance, smell, and taste but skeptical of Roberta’s claims about how low calorie it is. As Roberta continues to eat portion after portion, Reyes suspects that Roberta could never maintain her girlish figure unless the food actually was extremely low calorie.
While Roberta continues spooning huge dollops of what looks like an ice cream-containing pastry into her mouth, Reyes returns their conversation to aliens. “So, I am guessing, but is your home world also the world of the aliens?”
Gary is impressed by her persistence in asking about aliens and wonders if his nanites are in some sort of conflict with Rupert’s. He signals to Isis for her to collect the medical nanites that migrated from his body to Reyes. Gary shakes his head. “No. The world where I was produced has never known alien contact. As far as I know, nobody on Earth knows the origin of the aliens. Some say it was beyond this galaxy and that the aliens came to this galaxy over a billion years ago.”
Isis, in cat form, enters and jumps into Reyes’ lap. Reyes is surprised that the cat does not weigh as much as a human. She asks, “How can a tiny, light weight cat transform into a human? What happens to conservation of mass?”
Roberta replies, “Its all done with mirrors.”
Reyes laughs nervously and wonders what is within the powers of these strange people and the morphing robot, Isis. Isis curls up in Reye’s lap and seems to enjoy having her ears scratched.
Gary tries to explain the morphing trick. “Did you notice the appearance of this ship from outside?”
Reyes tries to remember. “I was just waking up, but it seemed like we were going through a door to nowhere.”
Gary nods. “The surface of this ship is like a chameleon. Its electronic skin creates an image of what is behind the ship. Isis can transform into near invisibility.” Reyes watches as Gary’s face becomes a transparent view into his brain.
Reyes says, “Ew!”.
Gary shifts his facial features back to normal. “I can turn my face into any image I want. Isis can do the same for her entire body and she can easily split her body into pieces.” Gary stands up from the table and looks around the room. He points into a corner. “There! In the corner, that is part of Isis. See that blurry lump in the corner? No?” He goes to the corner of the room and bends over, reaching towards the ground. “Um, it’s a bigger chunk than I expected.”
Suddenly, growing up from the floor like sprouting seedling, a tall thin girl materializes in the corner. Gary steps back, giving Reyes a view of what looks like a teenaged version of Isis. She speaks, “Gary, do you have to reveal all my secrets?”
Gary shrugs. “Sorry, but Reyes asked. We might as well make her feel comfortable, and I sense she would become very unhappy if we do not explain things.”
The young Isis saunters over to Reyes and holds out her hand. “We did not have a chance to say hello. I’m Isis.”
Reyes takes the robot’s hand. “And this purring hair ball in my lap is….Isis?”
Isis the girl grins, “Yes, that is part of me. You saw how becoming a cat allowed me to sneak up on that clone. I have all sorts of tricks.” Her hand dissolves into a dozen large fluttering butterflies. “Sometimes insects are more useful.” The butterflies form a single file and circle around the room, finally returning to reconstitute Isis’s hand.
Reyes is impressed. “If this is the sort of technology we are up against, we Earthlings really do not have a chance, do we?”
Isis flops down in one of the puffy lounge chairs. “Well, a sophisticated robot like me is not technically allowed on Earth. Of course, Gary lets me bend the rules when there is an emergency. When I am on Earth, I have to maintain the form of actual Earth objects. But here on the ship I can do anything I like.”
Reyes challenges that claim. “Anything, even take on the function of medical nanites?”
The young Isis concedes the point to Reyes. “Very good. You are quick.” While the girl component is speaking, the cat part of Isis transmits an analysis of the nanites inside Reyes. –Rupert’s new nanites are modified from what we have seen before. I’d guess that Rupert is hoping to use Reyes and probably other abductees to get….hmmm….its hard to tell, these nanite instructions have an encryption that we have not broken.-
The girl component continues, “Rupert’s nanites are constantly scanning Earth for other nanites. If we introduced something as sophisticated as medical nanites to Earth, that would be a Class One violation of the Rules of Intervention and the aliens would be forced to exert their authority. We'd be permanently removed from Earth.”
Reyes feels like she is finally making some progress. “So there are aliens on Earth.”
Gary Seven cuts off Isis, annoyed at her for giving Reyes such information. “Isis does not know what she is talking about. It is certain that there are no aliens on Earth. For that matter, it is not clear that there are actually any aliens in the whole planetary system. If they are nearby, they exert their influence indirectly, through layers of Genesaunts.”
Reyes suddenly has the feeling of each step towards understanding being followed by two steps back into confusion. “Genesaunts?”
Roberta giggles at the perplexed look on Reyes’ face. “Gary, Isis, Rupert and his brothers; they are all Genesaunts. It is a general term for life forms that are derived from Earth, but that no longer reside on Earth.”
Reyes asks, “So all of you Genesaunts work for the aliens?”
Gary, Roberta and Isis all laugh. Isis replies, “Rupert and his brothers are in the line of control that extends from the aliens to Earth. We three are outsiders, doing our best to work around the restrictions imposed by the Rules of Intervention. When aliens are directly involves, these rules are often called the Rules of Alien Contact.”
Reyes had assumed that the Rules of Intervention guide aliens and Genesaunts in what they can do in their interactions with humans on Earth. “What exactly are these rules?”
Gary replies, “Nobody knows for sure. The Rules of Alien Contact are for the Aliens. The Observers have their own set of self-imposed rules. The basic idea is that observations of primitive cultures are allowed, but developing cultures must be left to develop at their own pace.”
Reyes is catching on to the system. “I see. So the Observers do the Observing and they also do the police work to keep people like you from interfering in Earth’s development?”
Gary sneers, “The Observers are Observers. Sometimes, like Rupert, they try to function like police, but they are hopelessly incompetent.”
Isis says, “The Observers are like bait in a sting operation. They are thrown into close contacts with Earthlings in the hope that they will come into contact with Interventionists. That’s usually when the police throw the net over everyone.”
Reyes rubs her temples and wishes she had a printed program, or at least her laptop for note taking. “Okay, so you three are Interventionists.” Roberta nods. “And Rupert thinks he has you in custody for violation of the Rules of Alien Contact. But as you say, and from what I have seen, you are playing some game of letting Rupert think he has you, while you could actually easily escape from him. Right?”
Isis chuckles. “Very good, Sherlock.”