11: Premature Release

 

In one of the many log  rooms of a certain tower that hung suspended in the void that lay above Agartha’s surface there sat a choir of blindfolded, winged women. The observers of Agartha who held the duty of observing the realm’s goings ons and the countless instances of the Asphodel system that were networked through every aspect of the world.

They were attended to by aides, who seemed to made up entirely of beautiful gray haired youths. All of them running back and forth, collecting the paperwork and hard copies of the many files that the blindfolded observers  generated as they observed the cascade of data that flowed down the holographic display that took up most of the room.


There was a cry of a claxon that startled the winged women and caused them to momentarily call for a pause of reality.

“It looks like we’ve got an issue in Sector-Alpha Ninety-Two Epsilon, Ma’am.” said one Observer. Standing up and saluting towards the back of the room.

“An Anomaly.” asked a voice from the back of the room.

“No, it looks like one of our set triggers. It normally wouldn’t have been flagged, but the system says that this trigger wasn’t set to go off till the ten thousand year mark. It’s eight thousand years too early.”

“…Is it a misfire?” said the voice.

“No, it looks like it was a proper trigger ma’am.” said the observer.

“Damn…Looks like I have to call this in. Just in case let’s put things on pause.”

“Yes, ma’am.” said all of the observer’s in the room.

Once again the whole world was halted and once again, not a person in the world below would notice.

The Observer in charge of this particular floor’s team looked at the display and then looked at the information on her console. She looked at the display once more and then stood up, leaving her desk to take the print out she’d made of the current situation, over to her direct superior.

Her superior was a beautiful woman made entirely of gold with a tongue made of jade. The woman read the report, her golden eyes scanning the paper in its entirety.


She looked up at the observer in front of her with a front on her flawless, golden face.

“Really? The bosses aren’t going to like this.” said the Supervisor.

 

The Head Observer for Log Team Thirty-Two of the ever-expanding wonderland of Agartha, simply stood there, neither nodding nor shaking her head. Feeling slightly put upon by the other woman’s complaint because despite however much the other woman glared, even the Head Observer could only observe.

Things getting flagged by the observation system wasn’t the Log team’s fault. Their only duties were to monitor and log the happenings of the world below and the system that had been integrated into every facet of it. It was actually against the rules for them to do more.

The golden woman eventually just sighed. Giving the other woman and mumbled thank you before heading to hand the report in to her superior. Who in turn gave the paperwork to his superior. An ominous, dour looking little girl who sat at a glass topped desk her figure lost behind a thick stack of paperwork.

“Ma’am…” said the woman of gold. Looking plainly uncomfortable in the little girl’s presence.

There was no response from the girl, she continued typing into her console. Fingers flying over the keyboard, the clacking of the keys being slightly drowned out by the grinding of the little girl’s teeth.

Though it went unnoticed and unmentioned by the subordinates and the multitude Administrative Managers who worked below her, the air around the girl had changed of late. Slowly shifting from its usual ominous vibe to one of quiet stress and subtle franticness.


The shift in atmosphere bringing about a shift in demeanor and behavior that paradoxically led to the girl being even more feared than before.

“M-…Ma’am? Director Morrigan?” said the Golden Bodied Woman.

“What do you need?” said the girl. Sternly swallowing a sigh that was about to escape her.

“We seem to have situation for Sector-Alpha Ninety-Two Epsilon.”


“Okay? What is it? What’s the situation?” said Morrigan. Her hands halting, hovering over the keyboard as she gave the golden woman her full attention. A turn of events that left the golden faced subordinate more than a little shaken up.  As if she were a rabbit standing at the heart of a wolf’s den.

“*Eep!*….Er, it seems there’s been early trigger for one of our Campaign lines.”

“Is it tied to a system feature?” asked Morrigan.

“Yes, Ma’am. The Calamity King Campaign was supposed to be part of the introduction to the system’s new factional features.” said the golden woman.

Trying not to think of how good she’d had it back when she was a minor goddess in a minor world, in minor realty branch and didn’t have to spend her days working under scary little girls. Ambition was good and all and the pay, benefits and incentives were indeed fairly generous but peace of mind were important too.

“Mhm….How early are we talking?” said the girl.

“Ma’am?”

“ The Campaign, you said it’s been triggered early. How early are we talking? A few years? A few decades? Maybe a century or two?”  

“Um, about ten thousand years ma’am.”


The girl frowned, the heaviness of the atmosphere around her growing thicker and more oppressive. For a few seconds no one said anything as the little girl tried to thank.Then she nodded, moving slowly, as if she were the living statue come to life instead of the woman of gold.

“Alright then, ten thousand years…ten millennia too early got it…got it…got it….Okay, what would Grandp- I mean, his majesty the Chief Director do…Um…Okay…How about this. Let’s just call for a mulligan, kill whoever triggered the campaign and force a reset?….Wait…no nevermind I’m pretty sure Gran-…I mean…the Chief Executive Director, probably wouldn’t like that…” said the girl. Speaking more to herself than to the golden bodied subordinate. Killing the idea she’d uttered aloud, just as soon as it came to mind.


The Gray System Administration, as they called themselves, was only supposed to monitor and police the system and ensure the stability of the Wonderland below. They weren’t supposed to interfere too much or it’d set a bad precedent to all the other cosmic beings watching.

Either that or start a war by giving certain twitchy parties the feeling that the empire was trying to take the rapidly expanding, energy and resource rich wonderland for themselves.

Add to this the fact that the reports seemed show signs that a certain troublesome individual whom the girl’s grandfather was playing favorites with was involved in this.

Add to that the fact that, honestly though the factional feature rollout had been slated for ten thousand years from now, when the level average for the world below was expected to be ready, the features themselves were all good and ready to go, though heaven’s only knew what they’d do to society down there.

Add this and all the many other situations going on in a world that existed like a ticking time bomb for the paradoxically purpose of keeping the universe and several of its neighbors from exploding, and it should be understandable why the girl felt a bit of bile rising up at the back of her throat.

This and many other pressing issues that were arising from below and above the tower, all sat squarely on the girl’s shoulders.


She’d have loved to just kick this issue upstairs to her royal grandfather, but it seemed that a race of realm-jumpers from a higher plane had made the equally foolish and suicidal decision to try and take over one of the universes that were under the Gray Empire’s protection.

It was a bit of issue but not so big an issue that it was worthy of Imperial forces being sent out. Instead her royal grandfather had gone to handle it himself. Not even bothering to create a duplicate to leave behind.

This meant the Emperor would be away for at least the next two weeks which was just a tad too long for a system pause. Which meant the onus for making decisions in times like this would fall on the girl who worked as “his” direct subordinate.

“Okay, you know what? It’s fine.” said Morrigan. Speaking with slightly less tension in her voice after taking a breath to center herself.

“Ma’am?” said the golden bodied woman.

“It’s ten thousand years too early, but this is manageable. We’ll just go with option B for the Calamity King Campaign’s rollout…Make a call to those groups who’ve been trying to get people from “up there” down here. It looks like we’ve just gotten a few new positions open.” said the girl.

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