1236 The Truth Unveiled

    The three Elemental Lords made the first move, but in a parry between equal ground and equal powers, the one with more hands ultimately won. The odds differed so vastly that calling it a fight would be a severe overstatement. It was more like a large group of bullies ganging up on three little nerds.

    Jiang Fei took the haymaker and diverted it away with a mere elbow block. He speedily spun around and planted the back of his fist into Ragnaros' skull. The bald man was at least a foot taller than he and more muscular than he, yet Ragnaros was easily outwitted by Jiang Fei. As soon as Ragnaros was brought down, Jiang Fei headed for Neptulon. Like his brother, Neptulon faced the same fate when he tried to fight Jiang Fei. Jiang Fei did not even need to deploy any fancy moves. All he did was dodge a sloppy forward punch and send Neptulon down to kiss the ground with a simple downward kick to the head. In that prison, the Core of Time was as good as an ordinary stone.

    Therazane was struggling on her own as she tried to fend off the other girls. Since she was an elderly female, Jiang Fei could not bring himself to actually lay hands on her. However, Isabella and Sylphy were more than happy to bring the pain. They did not care for cultural moral values such as respect for the elderly. They only knew that the old lady was charging at them with hostile intent. It was only reasonable to return the favor. Therazane was brought down to her knees with a chop to the neck from Sylphy and a heel kick to the diaphragm from Isabella.

    \"Enough. Don't waste your strength,\" Jiang Fei hailed as all three Elemental Lords were either knocked out or disarmed. Jiang Fei may have held some lingering grudges against the three Elemental Lords, but he was not going to act according to Akatziris' will.

    A few seconds after Jiang Fei stopped, Akatziris' claps could be heard through the speaker.

    \"Well done, my dear master. I never thought you had it in you!\"

    At that moment, Jiang Fei did not know what to say. He was angry about being deceived, angry about being betrayed, and worst of all, he was angry about not knowing the truth.

    \"Answer me this... Who are you and why did 0543 betray me?!\" Jiang Fei snarled.

    \"Oh my, finally asking the right questions now, eh? Are you sure you want the truth?\" Akatziris replied, laughing like a hyena.

    \"Speak!\" Jiang Fei roared so loudly that he actually hurt his throat.

    \"Sheesh! Where are your manners? Fine, if it will get you to stop barking. I shall unveil the truth about everything, Terran.\" Akatziris grunted. Everything was already in place, and the game was set. Victory was but a push of a button away. With such assurance, Akatziris was prepared to tell Jiang Fei everything. She may have been hardwired to love Jiang Fei as a result of the game's programming, but she could never let Jiang Fei go free. She wanted him to suffer from the truth she was about to spill.

    \"0543, do me a favor and explain it to him,\" Akatiziris said.

    \"Aye, Captain,\" said 0543. She never once used that phrase when Jiang Fei talking to her. The sudden change of words was both heartwrenching and agonizing.

    \"Terran Jiang Fei, you were once the Representative Captain of Braveheart, elected by Support System No. 0541. Since all your crew members have fallen, the next move, according to protocol, dictates that a suitable high-intelligence life form should become the next representative captain,\" 0543 was only repeating 0541's explanation.

    \"In accordance with Section Zetta, Article 0001, if Braveheart is being manned by a representative captain who is not of Namekian origin, his or her authority as ranking captain or vice-captain will be revoked upon the arrival of an intelligent Namekian life form.\"

    Jiang Fei's heart sank when he heard 0543 explain about the arrival of an intelligent Namekian life form. Finally, he understood why 0542 and 0543 had betrayed him on multiple occasions. He never had 0543 and 0542's allegiance as they already belonged to someone else! They may have obeyed Jiang Fei's orders since he was elected representative captain by 0541, but he was never truly recognized by Braveheart! Even if he was the captain of the ship, he would immediately be dethroned if there was a Namekian around!

    \"This can't be right. Akatziris is but an artificial intelligence! How could she be a Namekian?\" Jiang Fei thought about it hard and found something wrong with 0543's statement. From his understanding, Akatziris, much like Isabella and the other girls in the game, was but a program created by humans!

    \"Terran Jiang Fei, Akatziris' current body may be part of a machine, but her mind is of Namek origin. Her credentials and authorization codes match those in the system,\" 0543 explained.

    \"Jiang Fei, you should have heard about the cause of planet Namek's destruction from your support system,\" Akatziris said.

    \"I know very well how your people destroyed your own planet. Your scientists were trying to play God, and they accidentally created a black hole.\"

    \"That's correct! We were all doomed by the crooks in the madhouse of Section 11 Laboratory. Even so, there were seven of us... Only seven managed to escape.\"

    \"You died along with the rest of the ship's crew. I know about the mutiny,\" said Jiang Fei. He had seen the remains of the dead aliens, and the reason for their deaths was thoroughly investigated before their remains were completely destroyed.

    \"True. But, what you didn't know was the method that allowed us to continue living after death! We are all short-lived beings, you and I. In the immense realm called space, we needed a way to keep living even when our bodies decayed. Do you know about cloning? I'm sure you do. Every person in this room except you is a result of cloning technology!\"

    Jiang Fei kept quiet. Before he let his emotions get the better of him, he started to think harder, trying to pry out memories of 0541 explaining Braveheart's background. Namekians may have had technology bordering on magic, but in the immense void of space, they were all slaves to time, and time was cruel. Be it the humans or Namekians, their life span was too short for interstellar space travel. However, instead of solving the problem of having a short life span, Namekians managed to get around the problem simply by cloning new bodies and implanting a copy of their own consciousness into them. A recurring system was then established. Whenever death occurred, the support system would retrieve a backup consciousness from a physical drive and implant it into a newly-cloned body. That was their method of beating death, their explanation of eternal life.

    The death of all crew members started with the First Officer of Braveheart killing the captain with fatal poison. Before the cloning sequence could begin, the first officer took the precaution to destroy the captain's memory in the databank. However, right before succumbing to death, the Captain of Braveheart turned off all life support systems throughout the ship, killing everyone right then.

    The act of killing was but a hindrance since Braveheart's support system could simply start the cloning sequence and revive everyone again. Unfortunately, the ship lost control of its trajectory and was caught by the gravity of Earth. The ship fell apart when it entered Earth's atmosphere, and the entire cloning sequence failed to initiate, thus resulting in the death of all the Namekians.

    In a desperate attempt, right before the ship crashed into oblivion, the support system made a backup of all the ship's crew members and stored their consciousness in a physical drive, which was used as one of the servers in the game \"Dawn Break\"!

    When the game started, all the crew members were \"awakened\" as characters designed and programmed by humans. They each had a conscience, but they could not control their own body because everything in the digital world was dictated via programming codes. To make matters worse, false memories were implanted into them.

    \"Who-Who are you?!\"

    \"How do you know all of this?!\"

    Both Neptulon and Therazane shouted in dismay when they heard Akatziris explaining everything to Jiang Fei.

    \"It's been too long, my fellow mates... Seven thousand years too long!\" Akatziris howled.

    \"The captain?! Impossible!\"

    \"You're dead! All of your data was destroyed! You're not the captain!\"

    All three Elemental Lords started to show fear, the likes of which Jiang Fei had never seen anyone show in a very long time.
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