Later we discussed solutions to the issues during the mission. It was decided not to do anything about the launching process from Qeba-9 since we'd be launching spacecraft from the spaceport being built on Lumino at the moment. It was however decided to make a jetpack for moon and spacewalks in order to avoid drifting out in space. A new model of the Phoecon was to be built in a new moon lab as well. The new Phoecon was to have body-stasis for long journeys in space, warping to overcome the speed of light, energy weapons and shields in case of hostile spacecrafts. I also presented my idea for a hyperspace jump engine. It took some explaining but my suggestion was recieved well.
When the meeting neared its end I thought what happened in the break room wasn't going to be mentioned. But then Noroom asked everyone but me, Mecolo, Gemoc and Quala to leave the room.
"Do you know what you're here for?" asked Noroom, looking at me like he expected me to answer. I looked at the others and it didn't seem like they knew. But as I was about to say something, Quala suddenly said:
"It's about what happened in the break room before launch." Noroom looked stunned. Quala was a quite the insightful Plimox. That's probably why she's a technician here, even being able to repair new equipment made by me.
Noroom finally came over the initial shock and continued: "How you figured that out is a mystery to me, because you should have experienced memory loss from that event. When our biolab created Dr. Launch fifteen years ago we didn't create him especially for the space program, although he proved to have excellent cognitive abilities making him perfect for it."
This came as a shock to me. I knew I had special augmentations, but not that I was made in a lab.
In disbelief I asked Noroom: "So you're saying I was some kind of lab experiment?" Noroom looked a bit surprised over my reaction. "That's a very harsh way to put it. You're just as much a Plimox as these three", he said while making a gesture with his hand in the direction of Quala, Mecolo and Gemoc. "I'd rather say that your augmentations were given lots of care by the finest biological laboratory on Qeba-9. We did however try to put as many augmentations in your genes as possible".
I felt more comfortable about it now. Basically I had gone trough the same process as other augmented Plimoxes, with a fertilized egg cell getting gene modifications before it was put back to grow naturally.
So I had to ask: "So that halicunation thingy I had in the break room was one of the augmentations, right?" "Yes. It's called the NIC or nerve impulse controller. It makes brain impulses go crazy. Specifically in the vision and fear centres. It works on all lifeforms with brains that use electronic impulses. They start hallucinating inverted colors and become extremely scared. So what happened before your NIC got activated, Dr. Launch?"
Noroom seemed to want something he knew confirmed.
"Well. I was waiting for the launch and got really nervous. Then suddenly black turned white and white turned black. Everything had the wrong colors. I thought I had become so scared that I halucinated. And then I saw Mecolo, Gemoc and Quala trip over stuff in the room, while running for the door. Mecolo even hit the wall before finding his way to the door."
The others looked quite puzzled. It was almost like they didn't remember. Norom clearified: "Basically, subjects with NIC will trigger it when they're very scared. They'll start to halucinate and emit a special electromagnetic field. This electromagnetic field will induce fear and a inverted colors halucination. Another effect of the NIC is memory loss during its effect. The NIC going off is one of the problems we predicted could happened if we let Dr. Launch work with other engineers", Noroom said while playing with his neckwhisker. "But we figured it was worth it because of the possible benefits to Qeba-9".
"So basically, you need us to keep quiet about this", Gemoc said in a monotonous tone suggesting he knew the routine that was coming. Gemoc really hated that he had to agree to the lab security clearance for some reason. Noroom was quick to answer: "If society found out we could have some of them demanding this augmentation for their children. And when there's demand there's service. And it's really not something we want random plimoxes to be able to do." Noroom had to have long discussions with Gemoc when he was hired to make him agree to the lab security clearance. "Basically, your current security clearance allow you to handle information used in the space engineering projects you've been working on. However, information about Dr. Launch' special augmentations require top level security clearance."
Noroom transmitted the agreements and each of us played them back. Gemoc was clearly not happy but he finally submitted the agreement back as well.
"This is so you can keep working with Dr. Launch. And I might have some new work for you later that require this clearance. This concludes this meeting. You can go back to work. I'm looking forward to our work in the future."
Gemox went to to train in the flight simulator, Mecolo to work on the Phoecon computer systems, and Quala went to do maintenance on the lab after our work before the last launch. I went to work on the new plans for the Phoecon.
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