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22 Meeting Again

 "Can we possibly transform plants and animals the same way we did ourselves?" Esmere, one of the horticulturists, asked Ivan after inspecting the immediate surroundings and finding a lack of wheat or any other staple grain.

"Unfortunately not. Plant cells replicate in a different method than animal ones. They also require a type of sunlight that isn't present in subspace. There are several other reasons, but they were the main ones." Ivan had previously asked this to Mazur, so he already knew it wasn't possible.

"Animals are also impossible. The transformation requires a firm will, while animals are especially prone to fear. Perhaps some of the more aggressive animals would succeed, like lions, but common livestock would naturally perish. We need to find replacements amongst the beasts and plants in the fourth dimension. I understand this will be difficult and may take time, but we will find them."

Esmere sighed as if expecting the answer, but continued her task of examining the local plants. Some of them were found to bear fruit, which as long as was tested to be safe, would be an extra ingredient in their diet.

Ivan was bored as everything was now dependant on everyone else doing their part, so he walked over to Mazur and the scientists and asked, "How are the plans for our development?"

"We have most the technological knowledge needed, so other than a few early steps of creating structures and industrial machinery, we can get started," Mazur's whiskers twitched slightly, the only outward sign of his anticipation. "The greatest hurdles will be turning these three-dimensional equipment into four-dimensional ones, researching a new energy source, and expanding from what we previously considered to be a technological limit of some machines."

"What was our limit?" Ivan was slightly confused.

"Before, we could only create a two-dimensional pictures on a piece of paper, but if it is made from four-dimensional materials, we are capable of creating true three-dimensional pictures on it. Because of this, a printing press was previously at its limit for printing and the technology that it contained. Now, an entire new world of possibilities is open to what it can print."

"And this is just one piece of equipment," Ivan nodded his head in understanding.

"Exactly, we will first reproduce some of these devices, while others need to be improved just to function to our needs."

Ivan, Iris and Valeria ended up joining the craftsmen who were felling several trees, slowly carving them up into usable strips of wood with extremely dense bone blades. Iris' natural charm ended up distracted both the single men and even those who had a family back on the planet, so Ivan could only have her forage for fruits with Valeria, who also acted as her guard.

The trees quickly turned into uneven planks due to no proper equipment to cut them, but the craftsmen still managed to use them to start making large huts in the surroundings.

Even though there was no concept of day and night in subspace, nor could they measure time without any clocks, Ivan and the others like to consider it in times of 24 hour days according to body clock and sleeping cycle.

Half a day passed when the first seven hunting groups returned excitedly with several different loose or broken up minerals along with the carcasses of hunted beasts.

Progress happened a little bit every day, but all these small pieces added up into an enormous amount of work over a month.

Bog iron was first harvested and forged into iron tools, far stronger than anything Ivan or the others had anticipated. But soon large veins of magnetite were found later which provided a constant source of Iron. Clay brick furnaces constantly burned blue flames and would excite the magnetite, melting it down into iron ore.

A large problem occurred as Iron ore was refined from the magnetite. It was discovered that no natural gasses existed in subspace, cutting out a portion of the periodic table. Not even Mazur could understand this at the time, as any gas would naturally transform into energy and disperse throughout subspace as if it couldn't sustain itself as a gas.

"A lot of products require gasses," Ivan sighed heavily as he discussed the problem with Mazur. "If we don't have them that will be a major setback on our plans."

Mazur was thinking about this problem deeply as he scribbled complicated three-dimensional equations and hypothesis onto the sheets of paper that were beginning to fill the room. His dedication to science had astounded Ivan more than once, and it showed the reason why he was called the smartest person in the galaxy.

"It isn't that these gasses can't sustain themselves, four-dimensional matter is so stable that it probably doesn't even have a half-life. Nuclear weapons, unstable isotopes, even radiation itself is non-existent amongst this matter. I need to be able to build a four-dimensional microscope to confirm this, so it is only based off naked observational data at the moment."

"What can we do then?"

"We need to adapt to a new form of energy. Conductivity seems impractical, and even heat itself is non-existent. The universal energy in subspace is the only option at the moment, but I haven't yet figured out how to harness it. The river is the purest form of this energy, it also acts as a state of storage in which we can interact with. We just can't tap into the raw energy that it is made from."

"So, how long will it take you to harness this energy?"

"Impossible to know. It could be tomorrow, or it could be in a hundred years." Mazur sighed in resignation.

Ivan looked at the current downcast mood of Mazur and asked, "Have you ever heard of Thomas Edison?"

"Of course, one of the inventors of electricity. He invented the DC current."

"Yes, he was also the inventor of the light bulb. He had a famous quote, 'I have not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work'. Go and find me 10,000 ways to not harness that energy, by that point I'm sure you'll get it right."

"Do you honestly think someone such as myself will need 10,000 attempts to succeed?" Mazur snorted in derision, but Ivan felt that he was more confident than before.

"You have several scientists under you. Use them."

Ivan left satisfied and left Mazur to continue his research. Mazur also began to use the other scientists more for his experiments, even handing off some of the work to them, so progress increased quickly.

Iris gradually took on not only the role of acting as Ivan's secretary, but even supervising some of the tradesmen and intellectuals when Ivan wasn't present. Her natural beauty and charming smile captured the hearts of the people and caused them to start treating her as a true idol amongst them.

There were many men who were jealous of Ivan having Iris all to himself, and while they admired him greatly, there were still some people who tried to make a move on Iris. She handled these people with surprising tact, and they never dared to be overly forceful in their persuasion after the first one received a small bone dagger through his stomach as Iris was still smiling at him.

The man recovered after a week of rest, but he didn't dare make a move on Iris again.

Valeria was unlike Iris and refused to leave Ivan's side. She accepted it during training as it would allow her to help Ivan better, but now that they were in subspace, she took it upon herself to protect him no matter what.

"Enemy attack!" A cry of a hunter rang out from their small village.

Ivan charged out from his hut in the center of the village and charged toward where the sound was, Valeria following closely in tow.

"President! Please don't put yourself at risk!" One hunter called out and tried to make Ivan return. As the leader of the group, he held an extremely crucial role and couldn't afford to die.

Ivan was agreeable to standing a distance, but upon seeing the beast attacking, his pupils rapidly shrunk into a small cross+shaped slit.

"I'm not sure I can do that right now."

Fighting against the hunters defending the Celestial settlement, halfway in the space between the landmass and the canopy of the trees, was a massive Four-Eyed Devil Lion. This wasn't just any Devil Lion though, but the same one Ivan had fought. It still had the missing eye and scar on its face from when Ivan nearly killed it.

The Devil Lion saw Ivan arrive nearby and glared at him with hatred. This time wasn't like the last, it had already eaten and had more than enough energy to spare. The Devil Lion roared at Ivan furiously and charged at him, intending to settle old grudges here and now.

"Everyone spread out!" Ivan shouted as he rapidly took some distance from the Devil Lion. "Nobody is to directly fight it head on. If it targets you, move back and allow someone else to strike."

Following Ivan's orders, the Devil Lion started to fall into a disadvantage. It roared in anger and struck back at whoever attacked, but that person would immediately fall back and several more spears would come for it.

"ROARR!!!" The Devil Lion's anger reached it's peak and it sent out a defeaning roar that made everyone's ears ring and minds to become dizzy, especially the long fox-eared Celestials, the former Vulpes.

The hairs on the Devil Lion's mane began to sway as if in the wind. Everyone only felt as if the energy content in the air was rapidly draining, but the most surprising thing came next. The tips of hairs of the Devil Lion's mane began to excite at a rapid rate before bursting into a bright blue flame.

The flame was mesmerizing, wrapping around the lion like a ring. As pretty as it was though, Ivan knew it was extremely dangerous. The Devil Lion glared at Ivan while all the fox-eared Celestials were half incapacitated on the ground covering their ear is agony. Ivan needed to do something fast, but he just didn't know what.