“There was a signal before the breakage. Not a random pattern as something from nature, or even one of the recognized regular natural events, but a signal with an artificial pattern that obviously came from some kind of tech source. I saw the reports — it was regular, and repeated at regular intervals. It left ion traces like an old-fashioned tractor beam. Reska synthesized it on an old harmonizer that they have in the eating hall — they use it for parties,” he broke off to explain.
“Go on,” Estin said impatiently.
“Anyway, just to see what would happen, Reska tapped out the readings on the harmonizer, and… the power went out in the entire building. The system crashed entirely, as if the shields didn’t even exist. It wasn’t the sonics, though, it was something about the pattern. They had to replace the entire power unit; the original was inoperative, though no one could figure out why. Nothing was damaged — there were no shorts, no physical damage of any sort.”
“The highups must have been enraged.” Estin sounded almost… happy? when he said that.
Kai said, keeping his own voice neutral, “They were very concerned. Also — they had more tests done on the non-working power unit. Kavad wanted to know just what went wrong… well…”
“Well, what did they find?”
“They sealed the results in a black file and mindwiped the researchers.”