Arlo presented herself to him and reported that everyone was ready for the journey back to Enoch, but that wasn’t an accurate statement. He knew he needed to guarantee the safety of the Meka and their legacy before everything else.
“I need to… do something first” he told her.
“I mean no offence, dear friend, but we’re running out of time. The battle will surely start before we arrive, so we need to hurry as it is…”
“Go on ahead then,” Tesla said confidently. “There’s no need to wait for me – I will catch up with you, don’t worry.”
“How will you do that?”
“I’ll find a way. Go now! Lead them back to Enoch! I will meet you there.”
Arlo took a knee and looked the small metallic creature in those giant eyes of his. Hers would show concern, but she put on a brave face and hugged him tightly.
“Don’t worry” she whispered. “We will win this. I promise I will do my best not to harm your brethren.”
He bobbed his head in agreement and returned in the belly of the mountain. The shadows and silence felt discouraging but he pushed on, going through the mazes and tunnels and circular passageways that led deeper and deeper inside Genesis. As he descended, the blue stripe of light illuminating the way and leading him to the heart of the city became thinner and thinner, until nothing but a string remained that slid under a vault door. Tesla triggered the mechanism and four iridescent crystals came out of the walls on both sides. He thought for a moment and then ran his three-fingered hand over them in a chaotic pattern. Something clicked, then the motors behind the locks activated and the door slid up into the ceiling, revealing a dark room. The thin light was not enough to show anything that may have been hiding in the darkness.
“State your name” a metallic voice demanded when Tesla entered the room.
“Tesla the Seeker” he answered.
“State your position” another voice asked, in a melodic way.
“Tolgarim of Enoch” the answer came again.
There was a pause and then four massive diamond-shaped crystals started glowing powerfully enough to reveal every detail of the steel chamber. Between crystals was a large metal egg with cables and pipes leading upwards into a convex ceiling. The room was oval and the walls were polished to perfection, reflecting everything like mirrors.
“You should not be here” hummed a third crystal in a deep voice.
“I am aware of that, great Ohm. Yet I had no choice. Our race faces extinction and I had to come.”
“Extinction you say?” the first crystal asked. “Explain this to us, Tesla the Seeker.”
“There is no time. Scan the city yourself and you will find no trace of Meka. Something has happened in my absence; the Galileo Council is no more and someone is manipulating our people into war against the High Nephalem.”
“He is right” the second crystal sang. “There is no Meka in Genesis.”
“How can this come to pass?” the third asked. “Can you tell us?”
“There is no time!” Tesla repeated. “I came to activate… the Epsylon function.”
“Preposterous!” Ohm boomed. “You do not possess even half the wisdom a Galileo Councilman would require for such a thing!”
“True. Which is why I am suggesting an alternative approach.”
“And what is that, youngling?” the first crystal asked.
“I would require access and control over a single project of my own. One that would ensure the safety of Genesis and our race from now on. I seek no other influence over your area of activity, noble Amper.”
“Even if we were to consider such a proposition, who is to say that you are correct? Our people may overcome these complications. Assuming your analysis is right, our purpose is to learn and evolve. Considering that the Meka will perish, our conscience will go on and-“ the second crystal said.
“You are wrong!” Tesla finally snapped, not able to contain his feelings any longer. “This city has been breached, our brethren have been slain! And you continue this futile argument with no reason whatsoever! We NEED the Epsylon activated now, Morse!”
“Your time among the Nephalem has altered you, Tesla the Seeker” Ohm replied. “You are no longer capable of cold logical thought. You are not being rational, but emotional… This was not your purpose in the city of Light.”
“To hell with your rational thinking! Do you think the ones seeking to destroy us care if we’re logical or not? The issue is a simple one: accept my request or wait for the inevitable outcome!”
“We will ignore this outburst” Amper said and paused for a second then continued as all three crystals seemed to glow at the same time much brighter. “…And your request. This is a matter that needs to be analysed in depth. Probabilities must be calculated before we could consider such a bold suggestion.”
“Then analyse yourselves to death!” Tesla replied bitterly. “I’ll go and try to save what’s left of our people!” he added and turned to walk away, but a fourth voice spoke in a female tone.
“Stop! Tesla the Seeker will be permitted to take a place among us!”
“Gamma, we can’t grant such an honour to one so young. Be him a Tolgarim…” Morse said.
“Young or not, he is right. We will deal with eventual functionality issues along the way if we must. For now, we must ensure that the Meka survive. That is and always was our priority, or have you forgotten, brothers?”
“No, you are right, Gamma” Amper agreed. “Very well, we shall honour your demand, Tesla. What is the name of your project?”
The mechanical creature turned and looked at the crystal and stared in awe as the metal-shaped egg opened in half, releasing a cloud of steam. He bowed his head towards the fourth crystal and answered to Amper:
“My project is called Defender. And I am ready to submit it.”
“Then step inside and be welcome among us” Gamma said.
“Thank you, wise one” Tesla answered as he walked inside the machine.
All light in Genesis died that instant. And a new one was born, more powerful than any of the physical creations of the Meka.