Tag Archives: Remi

Out of Time

Just a heads-up here. I’m starting on the third and final part of my fourth science fiction novel in the Rational Series. It’s called “Out of Time”. If you like sci-fi, especially from an author who does his homework, I think you’ll really like this one.

Like my other books, you can read the book “over my shoulders” while I’m working on it but, once I finish and publish it, all you’ll see are the links to purchase the book.

So take a look, over my shoulder, and let me know what you think of it. Just click the following link: Out of Time.

Mike Stone

Raanana, Israel

 

 

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Chapter 12: Departure

Lonesome was lying in the corner of his room, conserving his energy, while Cadmus was getting the few contents of his backpack together for the trip back home. He had enjoyed his recuperation with Remi and Galen, it had been most interesting, but now he was ready to return to Kaly’s memories on his home moon of 4g, a little wiser but also a little humbler about what knew and what he didn’t know.

“We called ahead at your hotel to tell them you’d be checking out today. They said you’d only be charged for the one day,” Remi said when Cadmus walked into the kitchen with his backpack. “We also called the terminal to let them know you’d be departing and that you’d need a tug to retrieve your ship from long-term parking.”

“Thanks Remi,” he said.

“Do you want anything to eat or drink before you go,” Galen asked.

“No.”

“We’re just a few moments’ walk from the garden and the hotel.”

Cadmus whistled to Lonesome who came bounding into the kitchen looking for his water bowl.

They left the cave and strolled up the path to the stand of trees on the ledge overlooking the valley and backing into the public garden between the two hotels. Cadmus never realized just how close the cave had been to the garden and hotels. Perhaps their cave had been in a higher—order dimension and he hadn’t been aware of it.

They stopped at the trees and looked out over the valley below. They felt a pleasant breeze wend through their clothing.

“I almost forgot to ask you both about a dark moon I passed on my way into the 3 system, 3b I think,” Cadmus broke the silence among them. “Can you tell me any more about it than the little I remember from what we were taught in our schools?”

“What were you taught?”

“That 3b had been inhabited by humans who had destroyed their moon, turning it into a cinder and that there were no artifacts or evidence of their existence.”

“Actually there were.”

“What do you mean?”

“We were there,” Remi answered. “Well, not Galen and I. My great grandparents, Lem and Yani, were born there.” Remi told Cadmus about the Lem’s and Yani’s Sapien parents, about the mutation, caused by working in the cobalt mines, that caused their amygdalae to disappear and their neurons to reroute directly into their prefrontal cortexes. The mutation also turned their skins blue.

The Sapiens on 3b believed the blue babies were abominations in the eyes of their god and killed all the ones they could get their hands on. A few Sapien parents, like Evanor and Thort, Lem’s parents, and Kivo and Thana, Yani’s parents, tried to protect their children from the hatred of the others. As it turned out, the children had certain attributes that proved advantageous so that the children ended up protecting their parents.

“The Sapiens called us Rats, for Rationals,” Remi continued. “My great grandmother, Yani, called the Sapiens Saps, probably a childish means of dealing with their hateful name calling, but the names caught on and stuck.

The Rationals tried to get away from the Sapiens, made their way to an uncharted area of 3b, and created a refuge for themselves in a fertile area with many natural defenses. The Sapiens organized an army with rifles, canons, and balloons and tried their best to exterminate the Rationals.

“After failing to crush us and losing many soldiers in the process,” Remi said, “they developed a cobalt bomb and shot it from a magnetic canon into the Refuge.”

Lem and the rest of the Rationals at the refuge saw it coming long before it was even built and they built a hyper-space tunnel between their Refuge on 3b and the unpopulated moon of 3a. It was rather primitive but effective. By the time the bomb was launched at the Refuge, the last Rational had left 3b, sealing the tunnel door shut.

As the Rationals had predicted, or seen depending on who was telling the story, the cobalt bomb set off a chain reaction of explosions that burnt the atmosphere and the surface of 3b, along with all the Sapiens.

“So apparently you and I have common roots,” Cadmus said after a while. “Do either of you have any idea where our common species came from?”

Galen had been quiet all this time but now he spoke up. “That’s a bit of a problem. As you might well know, Sapiens weren’t very reliable historians so much of the history predating the earliest Church records was attributed to stories and myths, but it is rumored that the Sapiens were deposited in this part of the Draco galaxy by robots who brought them along with them from a planet called Earth2 somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy. The robots called them humans. The robots kept very good records but unfortunately they were written in a language called ML1, which nobody living today can decipher.”

Cadmus asked, “What happened to the robots?”

“They were all destroyed by some sort of digital virus,” Galen answered.

“And if there was an Earth2, what happened to Earth?”

“There may or may not have been a planet called Earth in a galaxy called the Milky Way that collided with Andromeda a long time ago,” Galen suggested.

Cadmus had no more questions he wanted to ask.

They walked through the park, Lonesome getting in some last-minute sniffing. Remi held his arm as they negotiated the hyper-bridge over the chasm near the entrance gate.

At the hotel entrance, Cadmus hugged Galen and Remi, and thanked them for saving his life and taking such good care of Lonesome and him. They wished him a safe journey back home. He turned to the door but then something made him stop and turn around quickly, but they were gone already.

He walked through the doors with Lonesome up to the desk.

“I trust your time with us was interesting,” the clerk at the check-out counter asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “it certainly was.”

“Please take your seats in those chairs over there and make sure to buckle your seatbelts and those of your dagu,” she said as though he were an experienced interdimensional traveler. “When you are ready, just press the button on your arm rest.”

After buckling Lonesome into his chair and then buckling himself in, he pressed the button, closing his eyes. Cadmus felt his body lurching backwards.

He opened his eyes and saw the shuttle through the trees. He unbuckled himself and then Lonesome who jumped down and started barking at a flutterby that had landed on his nose.

They walked through the trees toward the shuttle. An attendant asked him whether he had a reservation for the flight to the terminal.

Cadmus said yes he thought so and fumbled around in his backpack looking for the papers.

“Don’t worry sir,” the attendant said kindly, “somebody called ahead and made arrangements for you both.”

Cadmus thanked her and they climbed into the shuttle, taking their seats. He checked to make sure there were no passengers sitting next to Lonesome. He fastened his dagu’s seatbelt and then his own, looking around the shuttle cabin and then looked at each of the safety signs. Some were written in Draco.763 Standard and some were written in what he assumed to be ML1. They all had MASER audio streams directed at anyone who looked directly at a sign. They’d get their safety message to you one way or another.

The steps retracted back up into the shuttle underside and locked down. There was a faint whistle of air and a sense of pressure against his eardrums. A female voice told the passengers the shuttle would be taking off momentarily.

Lonesome barked twice but before Cadmus could shush him, the shuttle’s engines began their own roaring and the shuttle lifted above the tree line. The ground beneath slowly became a lush green quilt of beauty interspersed by wisps of clouds. Soon the blue canopy of 3a darkened into a black night studded with stars. He looked out the window and saw the lovely blue-green moon roll to the side. A small point became brighter and larger, turning slowly into Draco.763.3 Terminal.

The shuttle adjusted attitude and approached its assigned docking port. He barely felt the press-relax-lock between the shuttle and the Terminal port. A few moments later there was a sound of air exchanged between the shuttle and the Terminal port and then the portal door opened. The Terminal air smelled slightly stale. He frowned without thinking about it and unlocked his seatbelt and that of Lonesome who jumped off his seat and waited for Cadmus to follow him.

They came out through Gate 138A and followed the arrows as did their fellow shuttle passengers and the merging passengers from other shuttles arriving from other sectors on 3a.

Cadmus followed the arrow to the long-term parking pick-up spoke. When he arrived, he stopped in front of a vacant screen. A pleasant looking Rational avatar appeared on the screen and asked how she could be of assistance.

“I want to go back home to Draco.763.4g. I need my ship.”

“Please prepare for DNA spectral analysis flash identification.”

After the flash the avatar told him his ship was waiting for him at Gate 28M. He thanked the avatar who smiled and then the screen was blank again. He followed the arrows to Gate 28M.

When Cadmus and Lonesome arrived at the gate he was flashed again. The gate portal opened and they stepped into their ship, humble but home for the next two hundred and seventy days. Lonesome ran to his favorite corner beside the rocking chair.

He checked the consoles and saw that his ship had been topped up and restocked, even Lonesome’s favorite synthetic meats.

The rocker and folding table were where he left them, next to the picture window. The calendar and checklist were still taped to the wall. Most importantly the photo of Kaly was still there on the window ledge. He picked it up, lost in thought, still married to her memory, in spite of his imaginary transgression during the shock of seeing Remi naked that one time.

He put the photograph back on the window ledge. He walked over to the consoles, sat down, and clicked the engine warm-up sequence. The mechanical joints tensed up and the portal lock released them. The ship floated back and the engines whirred with a soft throbbing sound. The ship was now moving steadily backward in a straight line. The Terminal moved away, still looming large in front of them, but a little less so than before.

When the ship had reached a safe distance from the Terminal, it turned away slowly, and then stopped, waiting for permission to proceed. After a few moments the command feed started to display on the running log and the ship’s auto-response answered back.

His ship began to move, slowly at first, then picking up speed, maneuvering around the terminal until it had a clear vector to his home planet Draco.763.4, at which point it adjusted attitude once more.

He felt the expected mechanical shiver of his craft as the massive solar sails unfolded and spread out to catch the faint radiation from Draco.763. The engines quieted down somewhat.

Cadmus settled down for the long trip home. He looked at his checklist to check what there was to do.

Lonesome was snoring beside him.

from Out of Time

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

 

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Chapter 11: Possibly Inevitable

They went on many walks together over the coming days and weeks, sometimes with Galen and sometimes with Remi. Lonesome would lead the way with his meandering path. Cadmus felt like the paths and sites around their cave, the hills, and valleys were becoming more and more familiar to him, but he was warned that the local topology could change without warning and his sense of space and time couldn’t deal with it.

He took their word for it and let them walk him around like a blind man being helped across a busy street. Remi had told him that all of his senses were limited, not just his vision. His perceptors, that was what she called his eyes, ears, tactiles, taste buds, and olefactors, were capable of perceiving in all dimensions but the higher order conceptors were only capable of creating a worldview of three spatial dimensions and a linear temporal dimension. Those were Remi’s words as he remembered them afterwards. He might have gotten some of the terminology mixed up but he thought he understood the idea.

“How do you and Galen see things?” Cadmus asked Remi one day in the kitchen over a cup of tea.

“Would you be able to explain what it’s like to see color to someone who has never seen color before?” she asked. “Or what it’s like to see at all for someone who has never seen? Or to imagine the second-order spaces of a hypercube perpendicular to its first-order space?”

“You lost me at the last example.”

“I’ll try to explain it to you with an analogy more familiar to you.”

“This ought to be good,” Galen walked into the kitchen, poured himself a cup of tea, and sat down at the table.

“When we focus our conceptors on a particular volume of space we conceive it like you do, but when we unfocus we conceive it differently.”

“How so?” Cadmus asked. When he unfocused, things just got blurry.

“Our unfocused conception allows us to see the inside of you like we and you see the outside of each other. We see where you’ve been and who you were all the way to the beginning of you and where you’ll be and who you’ll be all the way to your end. We hear everything you think and say, everything you’ve thought and said, and everything you’ll think and say.”

“But how do you know what I’m going to say or think before I know it?” he asked.

“Because that is how you think and speak, all at once. That is how you act, all at once. You think everything happens in linear time, one thing at a time. That’s your worldview.”

“So what is your worldview?”

“Everything that is possible is inevitable and everything that exists existed since the beginning and will exist until the end.”

Cadmus couldn’t really understand how a worldview like that was possible, but Remi’s words somehow gave him comfort that Kaly and Lonesome might be around in one form or another until the end of the universe. Maybe Cadmus too.

from Out of Time

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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Chapter 10: Succubus

Kalyra stood naked in front of the mirror of their bedroom brushing her thick long black hair while he lay on their bed watching her intently. He loved when she would do that just before she’d lay down next to him. He wondered whether there was a mathematical function that expressed the exquisiteness of her geometry. Cadmus shivered in anticipation. She would brush slowly, repeatedly, until the soft light danced and shimmered in the blackness of her hair. When she was done she put the brush in its place on the table in front of the mirror and turned around to face him. He looked up at her dark brown eyes, the pronounced cheek bones, and her inviting lips puckered up in a kiss. He couldn’t breathe, she was so proudly beautiful. He made a space for her to lie down. She turned off the light and lay down beside him carefully, tentatively. He felt the full and warm volume of her breasts against his chest. He kissed her mouth, then her cheeks, and then her eye lids, her ear lobes, and neck. He kissed her breasts, first one and then the other. He kissed her soft belly. The room was now bathed in some sort of ambient light. Her skin was so blue it was almost black. Kaly’s face had changed into Remi’s face. When he entered her they were so entangled, legs and legs, arms and arms, that he had no sense of where his body ended and hers began, that he was inside her and she was inside him, that he was obliterated in an explosion of …

He woke up. He felt the wetness between his legs. Lonesome was snoring in his sleep on the floor beside his bed. He got up and walked into shower to clean himself and clear his head of the dream that made him wince in guilt when he remembered it. Is this how I repay the generosity of my hosts? He thought to himself. Is this how I honor Kaly’s memory?

Cadmus tried to shake the thoughts and memories from his head. He dried himself and dressed.

He walked out of the room, keeping his eyes straight ahead of him until he reached the kitchen. Galen was sitting at the table sipping a cup of tea and reading the morning news as it flashed across the table surface. He looked up and saw Cadmus standing there.

“Would you like a cup tea?” he asked.

“Yes, that would be nice.”

“Would you like some fruit with that? It is fresh from our garden and will just take a moment to prepare.”

“I’d like that as well, thank you.”

Cadmus ate and sipped his tea while Galen continued reading the news.

Lonesome came into the kitchen, walked over to his food bowl, and began nibbling at it. Then he licked at the water bowl.

When Cadmus had finished his tea and fruit, Galen asked him whether he felt up for a walk with Lonesome and him. He said yes, he’d enjoy that.

They walked down the path to where the steps led down the valley into the fields. The sky above them was dark blue almost to the point of being violet. The sun was warm but the air was cool and refreshing in the shade of the orchard they were walking through.

Galen broke the silence. “Don’t feel so guilty about that dream you had last night. We don’t have doors in any of the rooms and we’re not very modest when we are at home. Remi is beautiful, isn’t she?”

“How do you know what I dreamt?” Cadmus asked. His knees began to shake. “Do you know my thoughts?”

“As a matter of fact, yes,” he laughed. “How do you think we’ve been communicating together? We project our thoughts into your mind and you think of how you want to respond and speak. We sense all they ways you think of responding and hear what you decide to say.”

“I feel so embarrassed about what I dreamt of Remi.”

“You can’t direct your thoughts any more than you might put a rope around the wind. Your mind will think whatever is possible for you to think. Consciousness is quantum after all. It’s what you do about your thoughts that is important.”

Lonesome sniffed a bush beside the path and lifted his hind leg to release his water.

“Remi reminded me of my wife, Kaly, I guess.”

“I know.”

from Out of Time

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel

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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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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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