Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 14
Ch.14

Dr. Chen watched recordings from the hidden surveillance system monitoring Bio-Machina. In droves, his employees were murdered. “They were all ghosts anyways.” The replacement generation of the Ascending was down to two members. “…now there is just one left.” 

He sat at the head of a long table, the gathering point for the few in power.

The Dr. watched his enemies carefully. Nanotechnology enhanced adversaries were a lethal force. He ran numbers in his head on their probable success over the lower half of Ascending. This was the first real time that the Ascending were given the opportunity to display all of their talents.

“They can kill the rest of them. It wouldn't change anything,” he said.

There was a variable in the equation that did not sit right with Chen. “The Ben.” There was no expectation of Benjamin getting this far in the tower, “but this should be the last tie needing cut.” Video captions of Ben’s progress slid across the tablet’s face that Chen held. “Even when he grew up in an environment that did not nurture telekinetic growth… he’s nothing more than a loose fire.” He lay the tablet on the table and took his glasses off. Rubbing his eyes felt like a relief. “Damn computer screen.” He replaced his glasses on the bridge of his fleshy nose then brushed what little hair he had left on his balding head. He could see his wrinkled reflection on the table’s top, another reminder of how his body has aged.

“Yes, Dr. Chen?” Baal said.

The Dr. picked the tablet back up and continued to watch the feedback. “Why is it such a trend to sneak up on people? Where are your brethren?”

“Baal took his seat to Chen’s left. “I cannot say. I know Lilith is not feeling like herself so it might take her longer to get here. Shax should be-”

The doors to the conference room nearly ripped off the hinges as Shax kicked his way in. “So what’s popping off down stairs?”

“Take your seat and we will wait for Lilith,” Chen ordered. “I see you have put some jewelry on for the occasion.

Shax knew the doctor hated his nose ring, but all the more reason to add to the old man’s stress as he sat in a random chair at the table. “Why wait? She’s been acting broken since her visit with the humans.”

“We will wait, Shax. Do not question Dr. Chen.”

Ass kisser, Shax telepathically said to Baal.

“Will there be all of the Ascending joining us today?” Baal said.

“Just the Demons.”

“You mean the ones that actually matter,” Shax said.

Chen gave Shax a glance of disapproval then looked back at the recordings. He pushed the camera feed aside for now and checked his e-mails. An endless row of bold message subjects popped out of the screen. The sender was kept secret, only a row of capital Xs filled the display space, and he could tell the messages were designed to delete themselves after a period of time. Their constant messages only proved the fact that, “The Bio-Machina’s benefactors are uneasy, and seem to have sent our competition.” Their weapons were strong, “but there is plenty of time left in this game. It would have been an insult if I had not run into such dilemmas.”

Lilly walked into the room, blatantly standing out from her brethren. Baal and Shax gave her a look over and didn’t need to say anything.

On cue, Dr. Chen glanced from his tablet and locked onto Lilly’s attire. “Feel free to wear what you wish on your down time, but you must wear your uniform in times like these, Lilith. Take your seat, and welcome.”

The few were now about to affect the lives of the many.

“Take in to account the times we live in,” Dr. Chen began. “The outside world is kept in the shadows. Mainly the shadows cast on them by their own fear. The public demands that human augmentation by any means be outlawed and is deemed unethical. They want the evolution of man to come to a halt. Since you have Ascended, do you even remember what it was like to be human, Shax?”

“It's something that's not worth remembering,” Shax said.

“Good. And you Baal, how is your live now?”

“I wouldn't want it any other way. To be the patriarch of your dream, gives me purpose,” Baal said.

“You still have a long ways to go. Lilith, what do you think?”

She thought about Ben. “It's been a long time since I've felt human.”

Dr. Chen brought his hands together and smiled. “So it is imperative that we must protect the higher reaches of the Tower. I'm sure all of you are aware of the visitors that walk our halls?”

“There's some sort of swat team that's been knocking off Ascending members,” Shax said.

“They're more than that. They have some sort of hardware to them. Shall I go down there and take care of them?” Baal questioned.

Dr. Chen shook his head. “No need to get on the ground to squish a bug. They are a part of a group that utilizes advanced nanotechnology.”

Lilly sat in her chair and drifted off with her own thoughts. Right now, she could see Ben and Trisha walking through a library. It's unlike her to be so friendly to someone she doesn’t know, she thought, as her own cognition seeped out of the walls of her mind. Potential Ascending members learned this to be the bleeding effect.

Baal concealed a smile and said, “Lilith, are you thinking of that boy?”

Lilly’s mind snapped shut.

“Baal, do you remember him?” Dr. Chen said.

A fire burned behind Baal's eyes. “I remember, but he doesn't. I can tell.”

“I wonder what he would have become had he lived here,” Chen contemplated.

The fire evolved into a blaze.

Lilly leaned forward and put her hands on the table. “Don't you think we have bigger problems than Ben?”

“Oh so you address him by name? He must have given you a pearl necklace. You know, the one that involves jizz,” Shax said.

“Enough of that. Shax, contain yourself. Lilith, if I'm not mistaken you are the one that originally reported he was unable to tap into any advanced form of telekinesis. You also said he could not detect the slightest use of telekinetic energy, a technique that is taught at the lowest levels in the Tower. I'm going to excuse your query.”

“Very well,” Lilly said. She sat back in her chair and resigned to neutrality. If Baal is going to be the one to take care of Ben, then I would rather fight him. Poor Ben, I really do think he doesn’t remember, Lilly thought.

“The other Ascending members have been warned and are told to stay alert and ready for an attack. Their deaths will not be fruitless. If anything, they will slow the progression of our enemies and if they pass the lower half, Styx will be deployed. No matter what happens beyond that, we will hold the top level off with our lives.”

Shax raised his hand. “Styx? Are you sure you want to use the rejects?”

“They will be of use. I cannot bear to see them cooped up in their cells while they could finally give us a helping hand.”

Shax and Baal nodded their heads. Lilly sat there thinking, poor Ben, repeatedly in her head.

“Meeting adjourned,” Dr. Chen said.

Shax strolled out of the Conference room, without a care in the world. Chen walked to an elevator in the far side of the room and pushed the up arrow. Baal sat in his seat across from Lilly. He could tell she was off in her own thoughts.

“Poor Ben,” he said.

 

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