The significance of her words sinks in.
She will go with me.
In an instant, the world seems a different place. My destiny has changed - I can feel it. I want to climb the highest mountain and shout - she will go with me!
No Tech1 has ever resigned before. There will be fallout from my action. It's notoriously hard to walk away from the intelligence community. With Yal-hune at my side, I know that this will be the exception.
I enter Tech2's office.
"I'm resigning from SDAI."
"I'm resigning, effective the end of today. You're now Tech1."
"You can't be serious! Why on Earth?!"
"You've known me for years. You also know that SDAI is often at conflicts with my own personal beliefs. I've gotten to that point where I must make a decision. An important decision."
"The world needs SDAI - it needs you! You've done so much! You can't just walk away! Not with what's now going on, and what we now have at our disposal! The world needs you more than ever!"
"I used to think that too. I've realized it doesn't. These new discoveries actually crystallize why I can't continue on as Tech1. The stakes are too high and I can no longer compromise my better judgment."
"You know I knew you were going to do something like this! It's Yal-hune, isn't it? She's behind this, isn't she. For someone who believes in non-interference she certainly meddles a lot!"
"It is my decision."
"How can you be sure? Her mind is so powerful she could have you jump off the Empire State building and have you thinking it was your own brilliant idea!"
"She would never do that!"
"How can we be so sure? You know what the Agency thinks - that she is dangerous. And why do they think she's dangerous. It's not so much her abilities that frighten everyone, it's her influence on every one's minds. Her beliefs are contrary to the way life is lived here on Earth. She's in opposition to almost every human instinct."
"Those instincts are probably not human, but Norchan. Humanity has been in decline for thousands of years now, you understand this. One of the reasons they have been successful is by supplanting our true human desires with selfish and self-destructive desires. That has to change. I need to change."
"So what are you going to do? Just walk away from all this? What other job allows you to make the world a better, safer place?"
"It doesn't matter what job I do, so long as I don't compromise myself."
"You built much of SDAI. For all intents and purposes this is your organization. Your direction has molded the various divisions and how they operate. Why now? Right before our first assigned mission since reactivation?"
"That's part of it. I can't play the game anymore. We find out about this group or nation and that information is used to retaliate against them. Tit for tat, endlessly. When faced with a no-win game, the intelligent solution is not to play that game. I'm not playing this game anymore. I quit."
"Ok so enlightened you quits and hands the reigns to unenlightened me. I feel so much better."
"You can quit too."
"Yeah, let's all just quit. We'll all clean out our desks and leave this priceless stuff here out in the desert for some rock collector to find. That's sane. Not."
"Actually, I intend to take the EMF craft and several MIMIR artifacts with me. If SDAI were disbanded the MIMIR artifacts should not be left behind to be inherited by the Agency."
"I can't believe we are even discussing this? Disband SDAI? The nation is falling apart! The economy is never going to recover, our nation has been torpedoed by George Soros and his anti-western colleagues, the nation is projected to hit 20 percent unemployment by spring of next year and this - this is the time to disband SDAI? Are you nuts? My God! We've got a Manchurian Candidate in the Oval Office, Iran is going to be able to strike us with nuclear weapons in 2 years, give or take, and now is the time to walk away?"
"You don't understand. The world is messed up because I haven't walked away until now. Everyone who knows better, yet compromises themselves anyway for whatever justification, creates a huge mess in their wake. I understand this now. I see the bigger picture. When I walk away, I take my energy out of the endless cycle of conflict. That will help everyone and the world. Not playing the no-win game - that's the answer!"
"You're crazy. You know that don't you?"
"Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe this is the first sane move I've made in a long time."
"Well, I know better than to try and change your mind. Any instructions before you leave?"
"Trust your still small voice. That's it."
I look at Tech2 and I see tears in his eyes. We've worked together for over fifteen years now and saved each others lives, and escaped harrowing circumstances many times during this period. He gets up from his chair and we hug. The tears are rolling down his cheeks now and for the first time I realize just how close we have become over this time.
"I love you man. Don't be a stranger."
"I love you too, and don't worry I'm not going to pull a Bill Watterson or something. Yal-hune and I will be in touch."
"You better not! Or now that I'm Tech1 I'll have you located and monitored 24/7 as a potential security threat to national security."
He pulls back.
"Yal-hune and I?"
"Yes, she is going with me."
"Ohhhhh...I see it now. Okay. Well that makes a LOT more sense now. I would quit too if Yal-hune would go with me - in a heartbeat! Why didn't you just say that in the first place?"
"I know. You are one lucky guy. Why the hell don't alien craft land near me? Why the hell do you get all the attention? Is there no alien babe out there watching me?"
"The truth is...there probably is one."
"Yeah, maybe Yal-hune has a cousin..."
"Well, I'm going to be loading up some of my things and selected logs and archival materials. I've got a number of people I want to still say goodbye to before the end of the day."
"Tech7 is going to take this pretty hard. I know the two of you have become distant over the past few years, but she will still take this hard. You know she still loves you."
"Yeah, I know. I think she will actually be happy about it. For years she's tried to tell me it's not my responsibility to save the world and now I'm finally taking her words to heart."
"I don't think that's exactly how she will see this..."
"Well, maybe not. We'll see."
I walk out of Tech2's office and I walk the halls the enormous glass skylights let the afternoon desert sun bathe the halls in light. While this all seems sudden - it also feels so right.