Times had changed. The streets and airways were no longer safe. With roving bands of Na’crim hanging around every subcenter, filth seeping into the deepest parts of the city, and corrupt admins rendering the secureBots useless; Larikaya was no longer the paradise it was created to be.
Haon hurried home to his family, glancing furtively at the setting suns behind him, and sent a quick burst transmission to Benefactor, requesting confirmation of safe passage. The response Haon received slowed his step, then stopped him cold despite the danger surrounding the old man. The thought of leaving his planet, though the center of greed, filth, and all manners of lascivious behaviour; it was still his home. This bore further communication, however, the sounds of the city bring the old man back to the present, and he continued homeward.
Further talks with Benefactor revealed that Haon and his family were to leave Larikaya and their beloved planet, but it was not to be permanent, and that after a dramatic and very permanent restructuring of the entire planet, the old man was to return with a library of genetic and coded material to reboot Larikaya. A blue rinse. Destroying all biological materials without leaving a trace. Haon shut down the scrolling data on his glasses, and set them on the table, rubbing the bridge of his nose. This was big news, and quite a big chunk to digest. A blue rinse of Huytoken, the planet on which Larikaya existed, with Haon and his family the only survivors. Was Benefactor losing his mind? Surely the whole of Huytoken wasn’t as bad as Larikaya! Nevertheless, the relationship between Benefactor and Haon was that of trust and complete obedience, so the task began.
The next decade was a tough and touchy one for the Haon family, as they made preparations for the extended stay in the outer realms. The Na’crim were getting bolder in their affronts of the justice system as it was, and materials for the spacecraft that Haon was building were getting harder to obtain without attracting attention. Which was something that the old man had quite anticipated.
What was this old man doing? Building a spacecraft to just up and leave for no reason? Maybe the heat of the two suns had gotten to him. Who was this “Benefactor”, and why would he tell Haon to just leave? Blue rinse? Yeah right! The other residents of Larikaya didn’t miss a chance to ridicule Haon and his project. Holograms were passed around freely of clips of Haons “antics”, like some sort of smear campaign. But no matter. Finally, it was complete. Renovatio. It was the name Benefactor had attributed to the craft and project, and with that, shipments began arriving at Haon’s temporary podHome set up near the craft.
Intrigued, the old man opened up one of the StorTek crates, and was greeted by rows and rows of vials, packets, and bottles. With a start, Haon realized that this crate contained the data and genetic material of an entire species and habitat. Looking over the crates that were still arriving in a stream of hover platforms, the old man was struck by Benefactor’s immense resources. Benefactor really did mean to have Haon reboot the planet. Breathtaking. The jeers of onlookers faded in his ears as the old man signaled his family and they began to load the craft. When everyone was on board, everything loaded and secure, Benefactor activated the hatch, and the Renovatio began its warmup.
The mocking and laughing of the onlookers grew in volume as the local residents hurried over on their Koboi Hoverboys and SimTex ion bikes to watch the apparent departure of the crazy old man known as Haon and his family. Several groups of Na’crim were even there with their recording eyepieces catching it all for their later amusement. The mood was even waxing festive when a muffled boom echoed in the distance.
“What was that?”
“Who cares, what an old fool Haon is!”
“No seriously, look at that!”
The crowd turned to see a cloud of blue rushing towards them and with a mutual feeling of sinking dread, they realized the crazy old man was right, and this Benefactor character had released a Blue rinse on Huytoken. They were going to die. As one they advanced on the spacecraft, screaming for Haon to open the hatch and take them with him and his family. But it was too late, Benefactor alone had the encrypted keycode for the hatches. The Renovatio fired the engines and took off, heading for the void outside Huytoken.
Out in the void, Haon watched his home slowly become enveloped in a cloud of blue. “Quite the picture,” he thought. Cleansing and deadly, the cloud permeated the planet and its atmosphere for several months during which time the old man was busy constructing several probes to check Huytoken for WA73R levels; the chemical compound that composed the Blue rinse. Soon he released one, but it came back with levels too high for any biological life. Several more weeks, and the probes were coming back with reports that the WA73R levels had decreased to the point that it was safe to return.
With that, Haon set coordinates for Larikaya, Huytoken, and they were home again. The shell of their home. With no plant matter, no animals, no Na’crim, Huytoken was a planet in need of a jump start. Removing the crates from the ship, the old man again received a transmission from one of his probes. A multi-colored, solid arc of photons had presented themselves to the sensors but for a moment. Puzzled by this strange phenomenon, Haon again sent out a quick burst transmission to Benefactor, inquiring about this occurrence. The answer came back that the colors came from the natural gases in Huytoken’s atmosphere reacting with the last traces of the Blue rinse, and that while it wasn’t harmful, Benefactor intended to leave that property enabled as a flag that future Blue rinses would never again completely obliterate the planet. If WA73R levels were ever heightened, the flag would show itself, and the people would be reminded. Reminded of the Larikaya of old, and that evil can’t be stood by all.