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Terrestrials…. He always knew it would be the Terrestrials that would come for him. He had not, of course, anticipated the details of what appeared to be rapidly turning into a city wide insurrection, but he for some time now suspected hostile attention from the most numerous class of Exalt. As to the uprising, he wondered why the astrologers had not foreseen this. Either they were inept, or the hand of the Sidereal was in this somewhere. What could their intention be?
He disengaged the series of security protocols on the entrance to the lab. The orichalchum pieces shifting into place under his hand as he thought the code-thought, whilst the armoured Erymanthoi to either side of the doorway materialised into being and sharply stood to attention.
“Defend this doorway. With your existence if you must.” He snapped as he walked inside. From somewhere above came the muffled crump of essence batteries discharging. So, those jade warstriders had entered the compound’s internal courtyard then.
The Terrestrials had the most to lose from his project. If the programme to bio-thaumaturgically up-lift the vast majority of humanity to effectively Terrestrial levels of essence channelling succeeded, as he was confident it would without these interruptions, then what place would there be for the Terrestrials? They would have no special status other than a legacy from the Primordial Wars, and there were no longer any Terrestrials alive who had fought those battles.
He had found his personal bodyguard in his chambers, their weapons bloody, standing around the collapsing corpse of the summoned demon that had served as his body-double. He at first suspected the hand of a rival amongst the Deliberative. Perhaps even one of his nominal circle. No, they were occupied elsewhere, campaigns against the dead in the South for example, and the deliberative ignored his experiments.
The deliberative had mocked his choice of field of study. ‘Why not leave science and experimentation to the Twilight, who are so suited to it?’ they had asked. Whilst he swiftly killed his attempted betrayers, he reflected that if the Terrestrials were rising up more broadly, then perhaps his circle-mate's invitation to join her espionage and policing operations might have been a wise one. But no, whilst the Twilight may be paramount innovators, sometimes it took a member of the Night caste to make the difficult choice, the unconscionable one.
He stood before the device, watching the shifting and distorting energy field at its heart. A vortex of potential, one of the protean forces of chaos – a pure field of becoming, and the first stage of a very principle of reality. If the deliberative in any way realised that he had captured in secret and dragged into creation a potential primordial, then they most certainly would have dispatched their own strike teams. The encounter-suit built into his armour engaged as it came into contact with the powerful containment sorcery built into the room as schematics and data flowed across his vision in hieroglyphs. It would have been the power-source behind the Great Enlightenment.
“Disengage safety protocols.” He said, making a series of elaborate mundras with his hands, the bank of hearthstones in front of him blinked as if in recognition.. “Controlled detonation of vortex thirty seconds after my mark. Perimeter – the entire compound and the surrounding ten leagues.”
Thirty seconds. That should be enough to get clear.