ACME Ace Detective, Inventor
- Best answers
- Known Aliases
- Tenko(don't ask), Kami Jack, Guy Smart, Tenten
- Color #
Chapter 24Tenchi and Carmen walked down admiring the detailed masonry work and upon reaching the door saw it had an indentation that Carmen’s Moon of Moldavia would fit perfectly. When Carmen inserted the gem the door opened and the floor they were standing on started to move them inside as the door closed behind them. To say they were amazed at what they saw was an understatement. Well-polished stone gave way to surgically machined golden metal adorning the shaft structure. It was clockwork gears, cogs, and springs all around and soon they realized the platform they were on was slowly descending to another lower level.
As it reached the bottom floor they saw the main entrance door before them and they walked towards it causing the door to open automatically. In the main room the floor, walls, and ceilings pulsated golden energy traveling in circuit patterns from one place to another. There was a flat black pedestal in the center with a golden Globe floating and spinning slowly in the air atop it. The center area was surrounded by a walkway that encircled it with a noticeable gap and down below in it, the floor glowed with white energy. As Tenchi and Carmen approached the Globe it was shielded by an energy that came up from the black pedestal. Tenchi adjusting his glasses said, “Well, that’s annoying and we were so close too.”
Carmen’s experience told her it was not a good idea to assume you could touch a wall of energy protecting something. She walked around the walkway and saw wherever she went the shield followed. Across the room, a door appeared, and from it came a man cloaked in white and black on his chest was the symbol for Zalmoxis. He welcomed Tenchi and Carmen saying, “I am Eduard Munteanu and I am the watcher of this place.” Tenchi and Carmen looked at the hooded figure and asked him what the converter was built for. Eduard simply responded, “Which converter do you refer to?” Tenchi replied, “Obviously the only working one left.”
Eduard raised an eyebrow and said, “Oh? Forgive me as I remember when there were many still functioning.” Tenchi with a small laugh replied, “That’s impossible since that would make you 750… 800 years old.” Eduard with a nod said, “Precisely.” Tenchi then stated, “Well your lookin' good for your age.” Eduard told them they had to choose, but choose wisely for the prophecy of the chosen one must be fulfilled. The watcher then activated a system that caused a hologram to appear.
It said it was Pythagoras Fieraru and they must prove their worth by claiming the Globe. How it responds will determine how the guardians of the chosen one must act. Carmen asked Pythagoras, “How are we supposed to get the Globe when it is shielded?” Leading Pythagoras to say you must use your power together. The two then used their energy of light and dark to disable the shield. The Globe then decreased in size and divided into two copies that were palm-sized. Carmen asked what this meant and Pythagoras told them the Globe has divided because you are divided.
A holographic image of past scenes started to play out in front of them as Pythagoras continued, “Long ago it was not so people walked in harmony with the light and dark of yin and yang, for neither is of evil origin. Those who use the energy for evil gave it that illusion. Using their understanding of energy they could achieve great things in science. But their civilization was not meant to last fate sees that nothing does and in time it was forgotten. But their knowledge lived on and my student became its greatest legacy. You came to know him as Zalmoxis but when I first met him he was older than I was. The converter I made is the one you are standing inside of now its power is the true power of a converter from ancient times. With its power, I made him young again, and then I made myself immortal as the ancients did. But Zalmoxis advanced the power and ability of the machine and so it came to pass that he ascended to the Elysian Mainframe. But he was misguided in his pursuit of paradise believing if it was not real he would simply make it.”
Tenchi was starting to wrap his head around the “fantasy techno-babble” as he would call it if he said it out loud. The language patterns of the times and limited understanding of technology the general population held made the way Pythagoras spoke make sense. It was structured to be spoken to the masses by those who had mastered the technology. Tenchi realized the prophecy was most likely a calculation program using mathematical concepts to predict outcomes using statistical probability. Tenchi was realizing given the highly mechanical structure that the prophecy was a calculation of some kind while Carmen was more interested in what happened to Zalmoxis. She didn’t have to wonder long as Pythagoras told them what happened after the mainframe was built.
The holographic images showed a silhouette of a body as he began to explain the process Zalmoxis and he had used. “I using my knowledge of the old ways ascended to “The Grey” a world created by the converter system program. Some ancients considered this process unnatural but it was done by me to guard against Zalmoxis. As he left his land of Thrace he created this underground chamber and in it developed his method of immortality. The converters powered by the red gems would duplicate anything; even life energy. Not only did Zalmoxis ascend to his own paradise realm, but his body lived on and returned to his followers. But it was the body as the vessel of the Elysian Fields and thus he truly brought paradise back to his people, and so they called him a god.”
The images then showed a stadium filled with followers and regular Thracians a man walked and as he did the crowd erupted in thunderous applause. This man stopped in the center of the stage and began to speak. Pythagoras Fieraru, the famously lauded Wiseman and very much a Greek, was known to copy jewels for use in goldsmithing. When asked by a man after copying jewels one time to reveal his trick, how was he able to replicate rare precious stones as doing so made them less rare. He answered the man saying, “By not minding they become less rare.”
As the crowd laughed at this opening joke the man continued speaking. The power that created the jewels that came from the converter, was a gift from the gods of old. A gift his enemies claimed he stole from the gods and was not meant for our mortal kind. When Pythagoras was accused of heresy he was ordered to not use the converter again and so he left and came here. All because of the powers of the converter and as his knowledge grew he created more wondrous things. And so after teaching me this technology such a very long time ago, what have I done with it?”
“40 years ago my converters, 30 years ago my red gems, 20 years ago my chamber, 10 years ago the Elysian mainframe. Today I have achieved things unheard of just a century ago, I have identified the secret to life and death; effectively defeating it. I can make images of people and places so real people cannot tell the difference. This leads us to an obvious conclusion… I am a god now. I have the power to transform, to destroy, and to create again. The question is what am I supposed to do with this power? The answer is nothing! Rules that were made by others who were afraid of what would happen if someone like me came along are useless to me. I am not afraid! And those who know me know I will settle for nothing but greatness, or I will die trying. For those of you who do not yet know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Zalmoxis Zamfir and if you’ll indulge me; I would like to change the world.”
The crowd applauded loudly and the images ended then Pythagoras told them the prophecy they had to fulfill. Pythagoras said Zalmoxis made a prophecy after he learned that even a god such as him can be humbled. It states that “The balan spring green luminita will bring the balance of harmony when the western song plays on the jewel shore of man.” Your ways of following only the light or dark of yin and yang have caused the Globe to divide itself. Thus as you two have both become keepers of the Globe; so too must you protect the chosen one. Remember the balance of light and dark and join together as you once did. Only then can you defeat the Vessel of Elysian.
Carmen still a little lost said, “Um, okay we’ll beat the vessel or whatever it is.” Tenchi came to her rescue and stated clearly, “What’s happening is simple and remarkable from a scientific standpoint see the ancient peoples misunderstood what was happening with the technology and fitted in their local myths to it. Basically, Pythagoras made a machine based on the original designs and as he finished the systems he gained more capabilities until he was able to transfer his consciousness to the machine entering cyberspace called “The Grey”. Having learned from his master; Zalmoxis did the same but used a more powerful source of energy with the red gems and the system hardware of Elysian Fields Mainframe. Glasses Info scan Zalmoxis!”
As Tenchi’s glasses brought up information on Zalmoxis, Carmen walking closer to Tenchi said, “Well that’s great an inventor with a god delusion transferred his consciousness to a divine computer system. We have what we came for so could we go now? I’m scared of this place.” Tenchi reassured her saying, “Oh it's just philosophies similar to Nietzschean philosophy Zalmoxis wanted to make himself a Superman god-being and rule according to his belief of being above everyone.” Carmen replied, “That’s what scares me.” Tenchi responded to that saying, “Yeah the problem is the vessel part implies the system computer inhabits the body while the life data goes into the mainframe. Which is probably not good as the computer becomes whoever transfers their life data to it giving it away to exist outside in the world.”
Pythagoras annoyed, asked if the two could stop cutting him off and making his words more understandable to a modern audience as if they were characters in a story. After Tenchi and Carmen apologized for doing that, Pythagoras then told them about the vessel bodies saying they were the Elysian mainframe program and were like a hive mind but all acted independently and followed the programming the mainframe was loaded with. All consciousnesses were in the mainframe itself and could be accessed, though they preferred their paradise simulation. Tenchi and Carmen quickly figured out that there should only be one vessel as Pythagoras and Eduard had used the original machine. Zalmoxis had his body out there somewhere doing the bidding of the Elysian Mainframe A.I. and all they had to do was find out what happened to it. But their main goal was still the priority and they having gotten all they needed bid Pythagoras and Eduard farewell.
On the return to the surface, Carmen had no idea where to start looking next though Tenchi suggested her name itself was a clue. Carmen’s father must have learned information about the converters and created House Sandiego to point Carmen in the right direction. He had to have known or suspected that the Moon of Moldavia was special. Though because he was such a great figure in the secret world the name gained prominence among thieves from his accomplishments. This oddly was because the companies in the public and secret world requested security testers and there were no better candidates than members of VILE. This picked up greatly however as wanting to test new security technology, he began openly challenging security groups to create systems he could not get past. As a result, VILE became highly respected security consultants in the secret world. Since VILE did not steal money, regular jewelry, or other financial assets banks and security facilities could use VILE to test systems against other thieves who would and of course keep it a secret from law enforcement.
“But why Sandiego?”, Carmen said aloud I was an orphan I don’t know where my parents are. Everyone thinks the leader is my dad the Council won’t say because they don’t know or aren’t sure. Carmen covered her face with her hands as this was one of the only issues that would cause her to get emotional. The current situation only made matters worse but at least Carmen knew her surname beforehand. This however meant her parents wanted to protect her which she had always hoped was the reason. But why dump her on ACME she thought just to forcibly correct herself. Why not ACME they take care of orphans even now and any criminals trying to come after her would be easily dealt with.
Tenchi took Carmen's hands and told her he would find out what happened to her parents and the Moon of Moldavia. Carmen said, “Speaking off which I can’t stand being without my necklace any longer and since we are between clues let's go get the rest of it shall we?” Carmen called Merey to tell her what they were going to do and Merey happy Carmen was taking a stand asked, Buffy, try to be careful, you shouldn’t have to beat their entire force to get the necklace back now you hear? And even better it should be arriving at its obvious destination by now.” That destination was Koga Shuko Industries and Tenchi and Carmen while accepting the prophecy to be a mere calculation, found it a bit unnerving that it took them straight to the state where San Diego city was. Tenchi realizing this too asked Carmen, “Buff- ahem I mean Carmen San Diego is 110 miles south of Los Angeles where Koga Shuko’s headquarters are. We could take care of things here in Europe first.”
Carmen thought about it and it made sense she didn’t want to fax all over the world anyway. When she was in ACME Suhara used conventional means to travel and she preferred it as well. Carmen with a sigh then said, “Patience is a virtue and I know you're trying to make me feel better, but you're holding my hands on a grassy windswept hill. Do you have something you want to tell me?” Tenchi gazed into Carmen’s big beautiful eyes and asked, “…Don’t you leave clues because know all this stuff already?” Carmen freed one of her hands just to knock Tenchi to the floor. She then said, “I am NOT an encyclopedia! I RESEARCH these things; THEN I leave clues!” Tenchi rightly apologized for thinking she was a know-it-all which she did however find flattering.
Knowing they needed to wrap up the European side quest they info scanned Sandiego and came up with the Patron saint of Spain; James the Great. Tenchi picking himself up off the ground said, “Well I guess we’re going to Galicia, Spain, and straight to Santiago de Compostela. You see the irony here I hope.” Carmen was well aware of the “irony” and with an eye roll they headed off to a phone to fax away to Galicia.