CAUSE AND EFFECT

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"Sorry I'm late!" Mason exclaimed.

He walked into the lab, and came face to face with a world that was sterile by design. Everything in this room, including the walls were a bright white with no style or flare of any kind. To most, this room would have evoked images of an early twentieth-century sanitorium. For him, this room had all of the comforts of home.

Located within the depths of an office high-rise, this lab was invisible to those who worked and visited this building. The illusion that protected the access to the inner sanctum, was simple and effective. It took a very powerful mind to see past the deception, although that was only the first level of defence.

"About time you showed up," Brett said.

Brett was physically perfect, they all were, because that had been the goal of their genetically designed appearances. Each of them could have walked off the pages of a glamour magazine; Brett a blonde Adonis, Breanna an Irish lass, and Mason the embodiment of Casanova.

"We got an indication on a divergent event that will swing the balance of power our way," Breanna said.

"What are we looking at?" Mason asked.

"The odds are better than a-million-to-one chance that this divergence will result in a step back," Breanna said.

"Seems too good to be true," Mason said. "So how did we come across this gem?"

Brett typed away on his desktop angled at a forty-five degree angle. It resembled a drafting table, and was devoid of any content except for the virtual user interface overlaid onto the surface. From this console, he could interface with any system linked to their network.

"Picked it up an hour ago," Brett replied. "This one was big enough to trigger every sensor we have. The strongest signals were from our listening stations near here, but sensors in Australia also registered it."

"Impressive," Mason said.

"No kidding," Breanna quipped.

There was excitement that permeated the air, it felt like a current was flowing between them. No one said it, and to do so would be tempting fate, but this might be their chance to get off of this primordial ooze covered rock.

"How long have I been here?" Mason wondered.

He had memories of the steam age and Pax Britannia, but little else prior to that. Still, that meant he had been on this backwater planet more than a century. They had been busy manipulating world events, or influencing key players to their benefit. All the while, they posed as a neutral party, one who sold technology to both sides of the conflict.

Every attempt made to shift things in the favour triggered an opposing force that returned the system to an equilibrium. They were responsible for plunging Europe into a continental war, all in an effort to weaken the vampire's power base. Instead, they watched as their corruption spread westward into North America, which created an even stronger power base.

The activation of a gate into the Hunters' stronghold, followed by an attack, only magnified the zealotry of those left behind. They never got the all-out war they hoped for, since the bulk of the hunters remained within the confines of the Tower. Meanwhile one of their best managed to destroy an influential vampire, which struck a serious blow to several projects their group favoured.

That time they had a-thousand-to-one odds in favour of changing balance to favour the Georgians. That had been seen as more than favourable odds, but this? Was this even possible?

"Georgians," Mason said absentmindedly. "What an awful choice of name for our kind."

"What was that?" Breanna asked.

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