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34 Arrival at Hermes Research Station

 "What are you two whispering about?" Colonel Regiere questioned coldly with a suspicious look on her face.

Ivan looked over at her and replied, "Nothing important. Just discussing counterplans for against the Scalians."

At Ivan's blatant lie, Colonel Regiere merely nodded her head in response, but she still felt something off despite how honest Ivan appeared to speak.

"What does this mean about your theory on elementary particles, and subspace, doesn't this mean-" Ivan whispered to Mazur before the latter cut him off.

"Shut it. I know, it means it was wrong. They may be able to dissolve matter into that energy, but they still can't interact with it, or build four-dimensional energy circuits."

"I certainly hope it won't be a problem. Are you sure they won't be able to contain and harness it?"

"Nonsense!" Mazur hissed, causing Colonel Regiere to spy on them out of the corner of her eye. "This energy makes antimatter look like an ancient alkaline battery, it is several generations ahead of it. They are incapable of even storing it in the first place, it will simply disperse into subspace."

Iris was also interested in the subject and asked several questions, but her general level was not high enough to understand even the simplified explanations from Mazur. Meanwhile, Colonel Regiere had order the autonomous mechanoid squadron, a unique group of 10,000 mechanoids completely controlled by the onboard quantum computer.

The was only possible by the enhanced capabilities of the massive quantum computer that flagships housed. Destroyers and battleships could only autonomously control several hundred before it strained their standard computers and began to lag.

The 10,000 autonomous robots departed from the flagship across two cruisers, both of which descended onto down to the planet's surface, just outside of where the majority of the Scalian invasion was happening.

The screens in the bridge of the Moriarty displayed the battle taking place on the planer's surface. Scalian troops and countless wardolls swept through forest and plain unhindered. Trees were fragmented and torn apart, antimatter weaponry annihilating large swaths of land. The locals were a primitive human tribe who lived in mud huts and relied on wooden barricades and fire to keep wild beasts at bay during the night.

The Scalians spread fear and death wherever they passed, there were only a few survivors in each location who managed to run away in time. The sky was overcast and the sounds of thunder on the horizon only increased the tension enveloping the planet.

This battle turned around rapidly though as the autonomous mechanoids swept through and began targeting the wardolls and Scalian ground troops with precise targeting. The Moriarty and the other ships in the fleet began firing condensed lead rounds from orbit toward the Scalian cruisers on the planet, violently tearing them apart with no quarter for negotiation.

Over several days of chasing down any surviving Scalian troops, the storm over the planet ceased and the Galactic Fleet withdrew. The native human civilisation began to emerge from their hiding places and nervously approached the wardoll wreckages with their stone tools, poking and prodding them to make sure they are truly dead.

It is unsure what effect the wreckages would leave on the natives, but Ivan understood that at the very least, their views on gods and religions would be easily distorted during the early periods of development. The 'battle of the gods' would probably be seen painted on the caves of walls in 30,000 years, depicting a mystery the modern civilisation would depict in its own interpretation.

Colonel Regiere's flagship, the Moriarty, led way as the rest of the fleet jumped into hyperspace and moved back into the heart of federation territory.

"A congress of our greatest minds; physicists, astronomers, biologists, nanotechnologists, material specialists, quantum analysts, are all present on Hermes Research Station awaiting your aid in analysing Scalian technology and their counterplans. 1,000 vessels shall also be left behind to guard you in the station, and you must have an armed escort at all times," Colonel Regiere said while travelling through hyperspace, apparently already aware of the Celestial's issue of becoming immobile when travelling at FTL speeds.

"Armed escorts? Why do we need that?" Ivan asked curiously.

Colonel Regiere gave him a cold stare and bluntly said, "You two are irrefutable criminals, especially Mazur Ral Vendick, who has been charged with nearly every kind of serious offence possible. You are currently required for the sake of humanity, but you are still who you are. We cannon allow you access to the federation's top minds and research without guards."

Mazur snorted and wanted to tell her he couldn't care less about their research or lives, he had already moved up to a greater path of research. Ivan knew this however and shut him up with a glare before he talked about what he shouldn't.

"Very well, it doesn't make a difference to us," Ivan committed nonchalantly to the armed guards.

Hermes Research Station was an enormous space station orbiting a red dwarf star. Its sole purpose was for the research and development for new technologies, many new university graduates hoping to secure a position here. It came with its own biosphere, several supermassive particle accelerators, and all the latest technologies.

From a distance, it looked like a giant snowflake in a snow globe, a monstrous construction of steel and glass floating in space.

The Moriarty floated up to the space station and docked on the outside of its biosphere. Ivan, Mazur, Iris and Valeria were lead into the station. Iris maintained her composure, but Valeria looked at everything full of curiosity. The inside of the biosphere dome was an electronic display which simulated day and night, while trees and multi-colored flowers were ground in open areas and filled the station with a fresh scent.

"Sirs, this is your room," A soldier saluted the four and stood outside the large double door, guarding along with a handful of other soldiers.

Inside was what looked like a penthouse. Ivan chuckled over money abuse when he saw the overly luxurious room built, thinking it was likely there were many like this. The penthouse had five bedrooms in total, more than enough for the four Celestials.

The biosphere outside was growing dim, and they were weary from a long journey, so they decided to sleep early and arrange the meeting with the other researchers early tomorrow morning.

Mazur was interested in catching up on the recent news, so he used a terminal installed in the penthouse to browse through the galactic net. Ivan also had an interest in this, but mainly from a business perspective, so he focused on market trends, popular products, and consumer demand. He already knew what he wanted to build, but constantly paying attention to the public was always an important part of running a business. The more information he had, the more successful he could become.

Tired for the night, Ivan retired into his bed with Iris in tow, who was no longer embarrassed about intimacy. She was a loving wife during the day and supported Ivan from behind, but late at night she was often the person to take the lead.

As Iris was resting her head on Ivan's chest, Valeria walked through the room and squatted against the wall away from the door.

"Valeria?" Iris asked softly, "What are you doing?"

Valeria looked back at Iris and bluntly said, "Protecting."

"What do you mean?"

"I don't trust them. They only need Mazur, so they may attack when we are unprepared."

Ivan propped his head up and said with a smile, "You are overthinking it, Valeria, they won't stoop to such things. They are too set on discipline and the law. But you can stay there if it calms your nerves."

Ivan knew Valeria always had a sense of security when she was near Ivan, and used to force her way into his room when he was sleeping, or almost go beserk when he left to get food. She had grown up from that over time, and although she was physically 18 years old now, the rapid 3 year growth from the four-dimensional transformation process meant she was still a 15 year old girl on the inside.

Iris had this explained to her previously, but still felt sympathy seeing Valeria sit on the ground against the wall, her eyes closed as her head rested on her knees.

"Valeria, why don't you come rest on the bed?" Iris gently prodded Valeria with her enticement, but the latter only shook her head.

Iris looked at Ivan with an aggrieved expression barely visible in the dark.

"Valeria, sleep on the bed," Ivan sighed and simply commanded, secretly thinking to himself, 'She better not pick this up as a habit.'

Unlike before, Valeria stood up and moved over to the bed, hesitating slightly before climbing into it. She lay down beside Ivan as stiff as a board, unable to avoid being nervous.

Iris reached over and pinched the ear that had a large hole punctured in it. "Valeria, does it still bother you?"

"No," Valeria simply shook her head before closing her eyes and forcing herself to go to sleep.

*****

"Grant, are you sure about this?" Everal Argentear, Captain Grant Argentear's father, glanced over at the modified stasis pod, along with all data the Captain had gotten on the Celestials. "You understand you disobeyed a direct military order, and can be seen to have deserted in the face of battle, a serios criminal offence which you must be court martialled for."

Everal was a man both shrewd and strict. He did not allow for any leeway when dealing with others, and was just as strict on himself. At the same time, he was not someone to act blindly, and would apply his strictness in the appropriate ways.

"You don't regret it?"

"No, father. This matter is of the utmost importance, I could not allow it to be lost in battle. Even if I must be incarcerated, I would not regret it."

Everal had a massive grin on his face as he said, "You're a good son, just like this old man. Don't worry, I will make all the arrangements. I also have a personal group of researchers under my employ who should be able to make more sense out of all of this... If the Prime Minister truly is corrupt, it will absolutely destroy his image and force him to step down early."

Captain Argentear nodded his head before leaving the room, retiring back to his ship to rest before appearing before the military court.

Everal looked over the documents again and recorded footage of the Celestials one-sidedly slaughtering his son's troops.

"My son is too naïve, so focused on justice he is blind to see the greater interest," Everal sighed to himself in disappointment. "Who cares about catching these people for Justice, I need to know how they turned humans into invincible weapons. They tore apart those mechanoids like toys. That Prime Minister is also insidious. He obviously rigged the election, but nobody can discover how. It is possible he is interested in this technology of human weapons as well."