Chapter 8: A Stitch in Time

Cadmus opened his right eye just a slit. He saw a tall blue woman bending over him. A slice of sharp pain slashed through his chest and stomach. He winced and lost consciousness.

Sometime later, he couldn’t tell how long, he heard a detached voice asking someone, “how do you feel?”

He opened his right eye and then his left. The young Rational couple he had seen at the park was standing near him. He hadn’t realized before how tall they were.

“Where’s … Lonesome?” he asked with obvious concern.

“If you mean the dagu,” the blue man answered, “he’s right here beside your bed.”

Cadmus tried to move his head to the right to see for himself but the pain in his neck was intense. He inched his right hand toward the side of his bed and felt Lonesome’s cool damp nose and warm breath nuzzle his hand.

The words came to him slowly, as if from a great distance. “What … happened … to … me?” he asked.

They looked at each other and the woman softly explained, “You entered a place you shouldn’t have entered, failed to see the hyper-bridge, and fell down a worm hole.”

“We have so many of these holes around here and I’ve told the others we should put doors over them or plug them up,” the young man interrupted. “This one isn’t good for much besides providing a local gravitational lens vector to view the surface of the planet 3 below.”

“Galen,” she stopped her partner, “he is not concerned about that. Turning back to Cadmus she continued, “and you died.”

Cadmus turned pale and stuttered, “Do … you … mean I’m dead?”

“No,” she corrected him, “I said you died. Nothing is forever and nothing is immutable. Death is just another state that organic molecules can transition to or from at the cellular level.”

“I … don’t understand,” Cadmus began to find his voice.

She went on, “Galen and I picked you up from where you fell and carried you back to our cave, as it was closer than the hospital …”

Galen interrupted again, “… and, besides that, Remi here is just as good as any of our hospital doctors.”

Remi went on modestly, “it’s a simple enough procedure. Everything natural in the universe exists symmetrically in all dimensions, the ones you know about and can sense as well as all the higher dimensions. Only Sapien-made things are three dimensional because you can’t make what you don’t know, but your natural Sapien bodies are all-dimensional.”

“I still don’t follow you,” Cadmus confessed. “I don’t know much about this higher dimensional stuff. Most of us just know how to use the hyper-space vectors that you and the robots created. None of us have the technology to build this.”

Remi said, “The fact is you were in pretty bad shape when we found you. We had to take you home, reprint some of your internal organs, get your cells to stop dying off and start living again, and insert a codec or two and a few transducers … oh, yes, and stitch up the rupture in your local temporal dimensions.”

“I thought of it,” Galen said proudly.

“Sounds really simple,” Cadmus said somewhat sarcastically.

Remi smiled at Cadmus. “I was joking about stitching up your time. There’s no such thing as time. So how do you feel?” she asked once more.

“Like I fell off a cliff,” he smiled back. “I guess Lonesome and I will pay better attention to the signs from now on. What about the hotel?” he asked.

Galen answered, “We called them, told them what had happened, and that you would be staying with us until you felt better, Cadmus.”

“Would you prefer us to take you to a hospital?” Remi asked. “You and your dagu are welcome to stay with us until you recover.”

Cadmus wasn’t really sure what he should do under the circumstances. Should he politely refuse them? On the other hand, it might be an interesting experience in his otherwise inconsequential life. “If it’s really not too much trouble,” he tried to remember to smile, “I’d prefer to stay with you here until I can get back on my feet and get around a little.”

from Out of Time

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Filed under Prose, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Stories and Novels, Uncategorized

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