Chapter 9: Path to Recovery

Time, rather the illusion of it, lapped at the shores of higher order space, coming tantalizingly close but never quite crossing the threshold. There were no clocks on the walls of his room. Cadmus had forgotten to buy a hyper-dimensional watch at the store where he bought his new clothes and backpack on the orbiting terminal above 3. He was probably still wearing his old 3-D watch but he couldn’t see it or feel it. Time passed or it didn’t pass. He had no way of knowing for sure.

Lonesome seemed to get along just fine with Galen. He took the dagu with him on long walks. Remi put his favorite synthetic meat in a bowl for him to eat every day. They also brought Cadmus his meals and tea when he was strong enough to sit up in bed.

One day the morning sunlight warmed his eyelids and when he opened them he felt strong enough to try getting up without calling for help. He sat up, swung his legs slowly over the side of his bed onto the cool glass floor. He stood up and managed to lock his knees against the wobbliness. He took a few steps toward the doorway, his arms held out at his sides trying to keep his balance. Negotiating the doorway, he turned left and walked slowly down the hallway with his hand sliding along the glass wall. He came to another open doorway and glanced in.

Remi was standing in front of a mirror brushing her long thick blue hair, her naked body wet. Cadmus snapped his eyes around in front of him and continued walking forward, the wobbliness in his knees nearly uncontrollable. He had seen her back and front, and she just kept on brushing her hair. He almost fainted.

He reached another open doorway and saw that it opened onto a kitchen. Cadmus sat down at the table and looked around him. There was no clock in this room either.

Remi walked into the kitchen dressed in her usual one-piece suit, her hair tied in a simple knot from which the rest of it flowed loosely down her back.

There was no way in God’s galaxy that she had not seen him looking at her when he had passed her bedroom in the hallway and yet she behaved as though nothing had happened. “Would you care for some tea?” she asked.

“Yes please,” he said. He watched her run the water into a kettle, place the kettle on a metal square until it began to whistle. Then she spooned some tea leaves from a jar into two glass cups and poured the steaming water into the cups, turning the water brownish green and dissolving the leaves. Cadmus made a mental note on how to make oneself tea in this dimension for future reference. It seemed so quaint but the tea tasted good. She sipped her tea too.

“May I ask you a question?” he broke the silence after a while.

“Certainly,” she answered looking into his eyes.

“How do you know enough about my anatomy to operate on me?”

“We are not so different, you and I. We have the same anatomy as you, except that our skin and hair are blue and we lack amygdalae.”

“I guess you know more about my anatomy than I do. What are my amygdalae for?”

“They are connected to your sensory systems, provide your basic emotional responses, and aggregate and index your long-term memories.”

“Do we need them?”

“Apparently you do.”

“How do you get along without them?”

“Our sensory systems connect directly to our prefrontal cortex, which aggregates and indexes our long- and short-term memories. We have emotions too, but they are processed in our prefrontal cortex.”

“Is that what makes you so smart?”

“I don’t think it makes us smarter than you but it does make us more rational, our motor responses are thirty percent faster than yours, and we are able to see things you can’t see.”

“Like higher order dimensions?”

“Yes, like those.”

“Why is that?”

“Preconceived structures in your brains prevent you from seeing all there is.”

There was a soft swishing sound from the hallway and Lonesome came bounding into the kitchen. He nuzzled Cadmus affectionately and stood up to him with his front paws on his shoulders. Galen walked into the kitchen a few moments later, saying “I’m glad to see you up and about.”

Cadmus swallowed his guilt about seeing Remi naked and asked Galen, “Where did you and Lonesome go?”

“Lonesome led the way. You’ll have to ask him. Anyway you’re welcome to join us whenever you’re up to it.”

Galen ran some water into the kettle, made himself a cup of tea, and sat down at the table with Remi and Cadmus while Lonesome lay at his companion’s feet.

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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