Return to Qi

I was back in the large city of Qi. Dirigibles filled the skies. I’d heard the mayor of Qi lived in a dirigible filled with naked boys. The language here was called The Truth, and technopriests in the city belonged to The Order of the Truth. Major buildings in Qi included the Cathedral for the Amber Pope, infallible leader of the technopriests, and the University of Kee.

I met up with some comrades. We were all drinking at Finnegan’s pub and eating Cornish hen, a purplish bird with a grayish sauce that tasted of chicken, apples and happy memories. The other people in the pub were factory workers, still dirty from their labor.

Two unusual characters insisted we move from their table. We learned the short guy with clockwork was Roger Smith and the big guy with armor, a tophat, and red hair was Ian DeHaynus. Soon our new acquaintances were dead, though.

Outside, three of the zhevs – the robots that stunned folks when they tried to climb up to the higher levels of Qi – were outside attacking guy. It was unusual for them to come down to this low a level, and rare for them to use lethal force. But here they were, stabbing and shooting people, following “termination protocol.”

Hugo said the zhevs were being controlled from a central command center. When he described it, I knew right where it was. I took the shortest route – over some rooftops, through some basements – to lead Hugo and my other comrades there. Drugah Voss followed us on his floating disc.

In the central command center, we found a young man, dressed as an Aeon priest, who had plugged himself into the command system. We managed to disconnect him. He begged us to end his life, and we did.



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