Chapter 15

Chapter 15

A Chapter by Johnzo

Trede is nervous about the exhibition for his new invention, but begins to feel he's found a home amongst the Cytechs.


Trede sat near the cliff’s edge as the early sun shone down onto the mountainside.  He was up early as usual, but for a change he had slept well.  Maybe it’s the altitude.  He thought.  Still accustomed with being up with the sun he had wandered out onto the campus from his room in the main barrack hall, when he found that no one else appeared to be awake, he found a place to sit and continue watching the sun slowly rise. 

Partially the reason why he was up so early -if he was honest with himself- was nervousness.  He knew that afternoon he would be giving an exhibition with his gunstaff, and was not looking forward to it.  Though Tenowon’s speech the previous day convinced him there could be some good to come about his stay here with the Cytechs, he still wasn’t thrilled to be there among them. 

What if they ask me too many questions… ones that I can’t answer?  They’ll probably think that I stole it, and then who knows.  The last thing I need is another angry mob chasing after me.  Trede sighed heavily.  He would much prefer for things to go back to the way they were, but he knew that was impossible for now.  Not with Maej out there hunting him.  And he didn’t feel safe going home what with the Outcasts after him, and with Langhorne ready to throw him in jail. 

I don’t really have any options.  He thought in defeat.  I either stay here and try my best with the Cytechs, or take the risk of going out on my own again.  I don’t even think I could get any work with the Merkants, I wouldn’t want to be leaving my name listed anywhere.  Someone would just track me down again…  I guess I’ll have to do it.  I’ve already learned a bit just from a day hanging out in Lab One, maybe I can fake my way through.  Cassidy said one of the biggest things they wanted to see at an exhibition would be the invention in action itself.  If I can impress them enough it what it can do, maybe that will be enough. 

Trede continued looking out at the view from the mountainside complex.  There was light fog hanging over Cytech compound far below on the ground, and the city beyond that was all but obscured.  From here, he could really tell how big Sedenza was.  The outer reaches of the city panned out across further east and west than even the base of the mountain itself.  He could just make out color of some of the stone and wooden buildings here and there through the fog.  The shape of the city itself was surprisingly round, a simple oval that tapered on the edges, and was thinest to the north and south.  He wondered how big the machines were that provided power for the inner-city areas.  For a few moments Trede was content to ponder trivialities of city planning.  He thought it was nice to fill his thoughts with something that wasn’t going to drastically effect his life for a change. 

Such thoughts were interupted by a voice in the distance behind him. 

“Ah, good morning Mr. Traz.  You are up early?”  Tenowon greeted his guest out on the main grounds in front of lab three. 

Trede looked back to see the two of them standing there roughly forty paces away. 

“Well someone’s got to keep an eye him, and I am one with eyes to spare at the moment.”  Traz pointed over towards where Trede was sitting. 

Trede silently rolled his eyes and turned his head back to the ciff side view. 

“Our security detail would be alarmed if anything transpired, but the sentiment can be appreciated.”  Tenowon stated.  He then turned to Trede, “Good morning Mr. Trede!”  He spoke up to cover the larger distance.  “Be sure to come straight to Lab One after the morning meal, we’ve got a little more preparation to do for today’s exhibition.”

“I’ll be there.”  Trede spoke at slightly more than his normal volume. 

“Aren’t you going to the mess hall this morning Tenowon?”  Asked Traz. 

Tenowon looked out at the broad landscape covered in the sun’s early light and breathed a heavy breathe of contentment.  “I’ve had all the nourishment I need for the moment.  Until then Mr. Traz.”  He smiled and then continued on through the campus heading back towards Lab One.  As he did the sun reflected off one of the larger chromed pieces in his metallic hand, shining a spot of light onto Traz’s navy cloak. 

“Until that time.”  Spoke Traz, bowing his head just a little.  He turned and then began walking towards Trede.  He plopped down beside and followed suit by looking out at the grand view.  “High and far places indeed.  I knew I liked the mountains.”  Traz smiled.  “Enjoying the respite here?”

“I’ll enjoy it more when this exhibition is done… but yeah it’s pretty nice.”  Trede replied.

“Lab One is a fascinating place.  The marvels of the human intellect are surely impressive.”  Traz said.  “But I still prefer the simple things in life than the sciences.  Do you plan to stay on indefinitely?”

Trede shifted his weight where he sat and turned his head away from Traz for moment.  “I-  I don’t know yet.  For a while at least.  I just… I’m going to see it out for a while.  We’ll see what happens.” 

“Well the food is fair and free.  Not a bad place to tarry.”  Traz said while he stood up and patted his stomach with both hands.  “I’m quite starved!  Shall we eat?”

“Sure.”  Trede stood up and they began walking. 




Later that day, a group of people gathered outside the door of Lab One.  Cassidy stood there with Nandiel, Traz and Tenowon. 

Tenowon spoke.  “The exhibition will be starting in thirty minutes, do tell Trede to hurry along.  I’ve given him some pointers on how to optimize the charging mechanism, but he should be nearly done.  I’ll be going along to meet with some of the advisors before hand.  See you there, should be a big day for all.  Be sure to close up when you leave!”  He walked down the stone path towards the pavilion at the edge of the mountainside campus. 

“Where is Trede anyway?”  Asked Nandiel. 

“I don’t know.  He said he was making some last minute changes on his gunstaff, but he better hurry up.”  Cassidy tapped her foot.  She was as anxious as anyone to get this exhibition under way.  A success for Trede meant a big chance for her with work with him in Lab One under Tenowon to isolate the energy producing capabilities of the gunstaff.  Though Trede was oblivious, Cassidy had as much or more weighing on the exhibition than he did. 

Traz stood silently using one of his extended claws to pick a bit of remains from the midday meal out of his teeth. 

Several minutes passed by and there was no sign of Trede.  Nandiel and Cassidy continued talking about the days events, and whom they hoped to see and speak to at the exhibition.  Master Gragus would of course be there, but many of the other high ranking inventors from all the regional labs would be present today.  The two young competitive Cytech’s would not miss such an opportunity to converse with as many master inventors as they could. 

Finally Cassidy’s patience wore through.  She turned inside the open door to yell “Tre-!”  But was cutoff.  As she spoke Trede came running around the corner and out the front door.  Cassidy huffed and rolled her eyes. 

“Ok, ready.  Let’s go.”  Trede smiled playfully.  Without waiting for the group, he ran down the stone path the same direction Tenowon had gone. 

“What’s with him?”  Cassidy gesturing towards Trede in a confused manner.

“I guess he’s ready.”  Said Nandiel and began sauntering down the path. 

“A very big day for all it seems.”  Said Traz about Trede’s improved demeanor. 

Cassidy shook her head.  Just don’t mess this up Trede.  You need this.  I need this.





The trio of Nandiel, Cassidy and Traz arrived at at the exhibition site.  It was already buzzing with a fairly large crowd of 50 people, but Cassidy could not spot Trede anywhere.  She panned through scene, finally finding him under the pavilion roof. 

“You guys go find a good spot to watch, I’m going to check in on Trede.”  Said Cassidy and took off walking without waiting to hear a confirmation from her friends. 

She reached Trede who was at the workbench there polishing the blast chamber of his gunstaff. 

“Ok so are you ready?”  Cassidy began her interrogation.

“Yes, just doing a little more polish, like you said.”  Said Trede. 

“Good, really make it shine, it will be more impressive this way when the sun gleams off it during the demonstration.”  She continued.  “And you have all your props ready?” 

“I made sure they were setup this morning. We’re good to go.”  Said Trede. 

Cassidy changed her focus and cocked her head sideways a tad, “You seem confident.  That’s good.  They’ll be able to tell, and the better the impression you make the better the chance we’ll get to continue working together on this project in Lab One.” 

“I don’t know what it is today, but I’m feeling good.  I think this should go really well.”  Said Trede with a grin. 

“Great!  Ok well. There will be some speeches first, probably and Gragus since he was involved in getting you here.  Then Tenowon will come up and facilitate the exhibition.  Then it’s all on you.  Are you nervous?” 

“Nah.  I can do this.”  Said Trede with a nod. 

“Fantastic, ok I’m going to go say ‘hi’ to master Gragus, he’s around here somewhere.  I’ll be back before you get started, ok?” 

“No problem.”  Said Trede. 

Cassidy quickly gave Trede a hug.  “You’ll do great.”  She said and then ran off into the rapidly expanding crowd to find Gragus. 

Without any time to react Trede just stood there with his arms straight down stiff as boards, then she was gone. 

“No problem.”  He repeated quietly. 

Several minutes passed and then master Gragus emerged from the now sizable and cacophonous crowd. 

“Greetings one and all!’  He spoke loudly to break through the wall of sound.  Within a moment the crowd quieted and formed organized groups behind each posted section.  There were cast iron rods in the ground through the grounds, with a decorative rope tying each pair of rods together.  These vantage points were marked off for safety during the exhibition. 

“I want to welcome you all here today for a special event.  Especially, we here at the mountainside laboratories welcome those who traveled in from the regional campuses of Jonin, Fwee and Garar.  It is good to see you all.”  Gragus was a skilled orator, his voiced projected out for all to hear, but he still managed to sound personable and sincere.  “As you know, there has been a limitation in the output and longevity of viable power sources.  In many cases a the common steam engine can provide enough power to run the average machine, but this method does not allow for portability.  This has held us back in the development of new inventions that can be both portable and yet highly productive.  Simple chemical batteries have been a crutch in this matter, but again mass energy production and longevity have eluded us.  Even in the cases of steam power for larger apparati we have hit a ceiling we have hit a limit with how much power we can produce.  My friends and colleagues, mark this day as one of note because… those things are about to change.”  Gragus smiled and there was a decent level of applause. 

Traz yelled out a “Here here!”  But still there others that were unimpressed with mere words.  As scientists and inventors, many would need factual proof before they would as much raise an eyebrow. 

“We first caught rumor of such a device as could revolutionize the very infrastructure of Cytech technological advancements a few years ago, and it’s been a long road to get to this day.  We’ve found the rogue inventor from the northeast, and he is here with us today.  To officially introduce today’s exhibition, I will pass over to master inventor Tenowon!”  Gragus bowed out of view and Tenowon entered scene, the crowd roared in excitement. 

“Thank you Master Gragus.”  Tenowon paused a moment as the applause died down.  “It’s been years since a invention has had so much potential to impact virtually every field of development we Cytech’s pursue.  Allow me to introduce our young Mr. Trede of the northeast town of Smisom.”  Tenowon gestured towards the pavilion where Trede was standing.  An odd mix of mumbling, hushes and applause broke out the crowd.  Many could scarcely believe this average looking young man of nineteen years in a cheap grey jacket and red t-shirt could be of much help to the greatest collective minds on the continent. 

Trede bowed slightly.  “Now?”  He whispered to Cassidy who was standing a few feet behind him.

“No not yet.”  She hushed him. 

“Trede has created a portable gunstaff weapon with energy production capabilities way ahead of anything we’ve every seen.  It weighs a mere seven pounds, but as you will soon see, it’s capable of more explosive power than 50 times that of a common detonation pack.  When we find a method of harnessing this energy for more constructive and dexterous applications, I think you will agree, this is the beginning of a new age of science.”  The more excited attendees cheered wildly, while solemn few remained quiet, but looking intently on.  “Mr Trede, would you take your place.  And ladies and gentlement… prepare to be impressed.”  Tenowon said in a way that wasn’t at all condescending, but merely confident and factual. 

“Ok now!”  Said Cassidy in a harsh whisper.

“Oh-”  Trede hesitated for just a moment, but was met instantly with a light shove forcing him to take a step forward.  He continued walking out of the pavilion and to the marked spot they had set for him to stand. 

“First, we’ll see a control test of the structural durability of the gunstaff.”  Tenowon spoke the initial scripted line of the exhibition he had planned with Trede over the past day and a half. 

Trede squared up to a heavy wooden beam that had been planted a few feet into the ground.  He gripped the staff with both hands near the base handle and swung hard.  It hit the beam with a heavy thud, but it was not much for show, the solid beam barely twitched.  Trede winced a bit, but stayed quiet, waiting for Tenwon to continue. 

“Physically solid, but that’s just the beginning.  We’ll see now what adding a mild energizing charge can do.”

Trede squared up again, this time setting the charge at the base of the blast chamber.  He let it pulse for a few seconds and swung at the beam a second time.  The white energy exited the blast chamber exploding into the wooden beam.  Splinters of wood blew out and a noticeable chunk of it went instantly missing.  Trede leaned back letting the wood and dust clear. 

“And once again.  Mr. Trede if you please, increase the charge by 100 percent.”  Said Tenowon. 

Trede set to work.  He started the charge and let it run for nearly a full ten seconds.  The blast chamber began to hum and the white energy began stringing out in tiny bolts this way and that.  Trede took a step back, getting as far back as he could while still in melee range of the wooden beam.  Bracing, Trede swung and closed his eyes.  A ring of white light emanated out from the impact.  An explosion rocked the ground and mass of white light and dust obscured the view of the crowd, which instantly hushed. 

Chunks of wood slowly began hitting the ground, and as the rubble cleared Trede stood alone, with nothing but a small stump remaining. 

Gasps and cheers emerged from the crowd.  Some of the reserved voices began mumbling and muttering to each other with eyebrows raised. 

“Tactile energy transference.  Such a burst of power cannot be properly calculated in our standard measurements of thermal, kinetic and electrical energy.  In our early investigations we believe Mr. Trede has stumbled upon an entirely new formation of energy, one that has yet to be defined.  But we shall not stop there.  Ready Trede?”  Tenowon called out to Trede who was nearly thirty feet away. 

“Ready!”  Trede replied with a wave.  He clung to his new found confidence as best he could, not letting the pressure of the moment wear him down.  He set the gunstaff to begin charging again. 

Tenowon continued his speech, “We’re all familiar with the concept of arcing currents.  A build up positive or negative energy that dissipates to the nearest available conduit, equalizing the distribution of said energy at that location in time.  Here we can see this taken one step further, the disbursement of energy can be directed and targeted, with great accuracy.”  Tenowon paused and turned back to Trede, “when you are ready Mr. Trede.”

Cassidy looked on as she crossed her fingers and bit her lip.  This is going so well, we’re in!

Trede took aim at a pile of large rocks set about 25 feet away.   There were 5 dusty red tinged stones, each weighing at least 100lbs stacked in a pile.  10… 9… I wonder if I should really push it, I know it can handle a much bigger charge than the one we practiced to blow up those rocks.  6… 5…

Cassidy watched him closely.  Just don’t mess it up!  She thought silently, but was practically yelling on the inside.

I guess there’s no need to over do it.  3… 2… 1… Here we go.  Trede thought. 

Shkroom!  In a flash a beam of pulsating white light shot out of the blast chamber, curling bolts of yellow energy crackled and sparked while swirling around the beam.   As it impacted the rocks there was a brief pause as the rocks themselves began glowing then ruptured into a bright explosion.  Fragments of stone blew backwards from the impact point leaving nothing more than some small smoking pebbles behind. 

The crowd roared again, even the most reserved in attendance applauded heartily. 

Gragus who happened to be standing next to Nandiel and Traz spoke.  “It’s something entirely different to see in action.  Very impressive.”  He said. 

“I don’t think he’s quite done yet.”  Said Traz with a wink.

Ok, now’s the time to show off if ever I guess.  Trede thought.  He set a light charge again and placed the blast chamber directly on the ground, he put his foot on the chamber and counted to 3.  In a blast of light Trede flew up in the air nearly ten feet, he wrapped the gunstaff back around his shoulders and landed on both feet and came down into a low crouch. 

A few more loud cheers came out of the still applauding crowd. 

“Fantastic!”  Traz said in applause.  “Just like I told him.” 

“So that’s what you were off to this morning.”  Said Nandiel giving Traz a nudge on the shoulder. 

“Well, I thought it proper in putting on a suitable show for these fine folks.”  Said Traz beaming. 

As the crowd began quieting, Tenowon continued.  “Under the auspicious of Lab One -and your continued support- I believe we can bring a true technological revolution to our world.  Pending approval from the senior board of Cytechs, the next few years could lead us into a new age.  Ladies and Gentlemen, that concludes the official portion of this exhibition.  Those with pertinent questions about the general construction and history of the device may come to a brief conference under the pavilion.  But remember, we know very little about the physics of this new energy type.  Those such questions will be answered later on in the full prototype R&R report, that’s research and review in this case.  Details forthcoming as soon as they’re documented.  Thank you all for coming!” 


Trede walked back to the pavilion where Cassidy was waiting.  He shrugged with a half smile as if to say I thought that went pretty well, how about you?

“That little move at the end was Traz’s idea wasn’t it?”  She said with partially squinted eyes. 

“Yeah, he said if ever there was a time to show off, this was it.” 

“That’s risky.”  She said, “but it paid off.  Look how many people are coming over here for the post-conference!”

Trede exhaled a bit of stress that had built up from the moment and smiled.  For the first time in perhaps of all time Trede started to feel like he belonged somewhere.  That maybe this was really where he was meant to be, among his friends.  He forgot about the fear and danger that plagued him for the recent weeks.  He forgot about the nightmares and the constant running.  He laid aside the thoughts trying to stay ahead of whatever bad thing might be chasing close behind him.  For once he felt contentment and peace.  And too, he felt gratitude.  “Thanks Cassidy.”  He said as he balance the gunstaff over his shoulder once more.  He wanted to say more, but wasn’t really sure what words to use.  I really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you.  He thought. 

“We’re not done yet!”  She smiled then turned to address the coming crowd.  “The post-conference will begin in a moment!  Please have your questions ready!” 

Things are looking up.  Trede thought. 




© 2010 Johnzo

Author's Note

This was the type of chapter the practically wrote itself, but as I think towards the end of the book, it's really more of a layover in terms of the main plot lines. But I think the character development and interactions make it a good addition to the story overall. All comments welcome!

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just noticed on re-reading...auspicious is an adj (I had to look it up to be sure!) so not sure if you mean to be describing Lab One, as in "auspicious Lab One," or not, but though I'd mention it.

In this chapter, I see Trede in a few different frames of mind.. one moment, confident and playful, another pensive/thoughtful, in one moment, worried, in another relaxed. Kind of neat he seems to develop more here, or maybe rather, we see more of who he is. And almost like he is seeing more of who is too, we are discovering it alongside him.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


just noticed on re-reading...auspicious is an adj (I had to look it up to be sure!) so not sure if you mean to be describing Lab One, as in "auspicious Lab One," or not, but though I'd mention it.

In this chapter, I see Trede in a few different frames of mind.. one moment, confident and playful, another pensive/thoughtful, in one moment, worried, in another relaxed. Kind of neat he seems to develop more here, or maybe rather, we see more of who he is. And almost like he is seeing more of who is too, we are discovering it alongside him.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on August 15, 2010
Last Updated on August 15, 2010



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For more info on my little world, visit: -Latest post: 2nd Draft Preview My favorite stories are usually ones that have a bigger world behind them, a story behind the story that.. more..

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A Chapter by Johnzo