Reading to Francis

Chester walked into the dimly lit parlour of his home and saw his dear friend laying rather pathetically on a chez. Francis often succumbed to small trifling illnesses that quickly evaporated, usually correlating with his mood. Normally he could fend these off on his own but Chester realized that every now and again he required some encouragement.

Chester walked right up to the edge of the chez and gently tapped Francis’ quilt covered back with his knee. Chester’s mother, it would appear, draped the quilt, over Francis. It was one of his favourite ones. Francis let out a rumbling groan and moved a tad.

“I see… I was hoping you would come out for a walk with me dear boy. It’s a particularly fine day, we may encounter some adventure.”

Nothing in the form of a reply, not even a groan came from Francis. Chester gave out a sigh and gazed about the room.

“I suppose you want me to let you convalesce in peace then? Shall I be off?”

This time there was a slight shifting on the lounge, and a pleading groan that Chester understood to mean, stay.

Chester gazed about the room and was drawn to a bookshelf that contained several volumes his father had collected. He walked over and selected one. The title was simply, “Translations”

“Francis, this is interesting” he said, while opening the book, “I shall read from it then.”

From Francis a tiny mutter of approval. “Ma’ma says you haven’t been sleeping, perhaps this will do the trick. Make some room.”

Chester sat down next to his friend’s lower back and could now see Francis’ face. He used Francis’ hip as though it were the armrest of a chair and opened the volume which contained no table of contents or introduction for that matter, “Translations…hmmm.”

Chester flipped through the pages looking for something to catch his eye. He found a title that appealed to him, “The story of Ceastor! Hmmm, C-e-a-s-t-o-r, sounds like Chester in away doesn’t it?”

Francis, coughed and smiled, then groggily muttered, “It is probably pronounced, Kay-Astor.”

“Such cheek.” He said as he peered over at Francis with amusement and noticed that for the first time there was a semblance of a smile on his face.

“Very well, I shall read this one, lets see…”

Chester cleared his throat and once again read the title out, this time using Francis’ pronunciation of Ceastor.

 

The Story of Ceastor

 

To Nere and Adrastos was born a most gentle and beautiful boy. Nere, a seamstress and Adratos a Shipwright held prominent positions in the city. They named the boy Ceastor as tribute to Castor.

He was adorned in fine garments and Adrastos saw to his education by the greatest tutors.

As the boy grew into a youth, it was noticed by all that his beauty exceeded that of any in the city. His beauty became the subject of many poems and songs. Ceastor was unmoved by this and was often seen reading texts or observing nature. He did not seek the companionship of other youths beyond participation in exercises and games required for education and advancement.

Often, Adrastos encouraged his son to seek companionship, a friend or two, perhaps a lover but Ceastor seemed uninterested and would state, “Father, I have not an equal in this city, I am content to devote myself to study and to you and mother.”

As the years went on and Ceastor grew nearer to adulthood, many suitors tried to catch the brilliant young man. All were met without success. Soon he was known far and wide as an example of unattainable beauty and suitors came from distances to try to win his attention.

Ceastor casually rejected all offers, even some from royalty. One day when Ceastor dismissed an offer from the Greek Princess, Briseis, known for her beauty and strength and cunning, she proclaimed that Ceastor was to be cursed by Zeus himself, ‘For no peasant should think himself or herself so high as to reject an offer from royalty.’

Ceastor was unmoved and though his parents feared the worst, they knew their pleas would not be heard so they prayed for his safety secretly to the household gods.

After a time, nothing terrible seemed to occur and the frequency of proposals had tapered off. Ceastor resumed his simple life of study and observation and frequently walked through the untamed lands near his home.

On one of these walks he encountered a lioness that shimmered with a golden light. He was frozen by its beauty and by his fear that he would be eaten.

“Young man, your beauty is such that I cannot bring myself to devour you, it even outshines my golden radiance, come away with me and live as my consort.”

Surprised by this Ceastor stood up tall and pondered her proposal for a moment. “If you wish to eat me, it is your rite for I cannot accept your offer.”

The lioness roared loudly and paced around him swiftly. Occasionally snapping at him with her mighty teeth bared. Then simply went off into the woods.

– “Francis, can you believe this!”

Francis let out a moan of agreement and managed to utter, “Keep reading.”

Chester was tickled at his friend’s interest, “Very well…”

Ceastor made way back to his home but could not find the trail. Now he faced the danger of being lost in the woods. As he searched for the road out of the forest a beautiful song struck him. He followed it to the edge of a pond where a young woman sat by its edge. Her visage was unlike any he had seen and from her an astral glow illuminated the nearby surroundings.

“Beautiful maiden, I wish not to interrupt your gentle reverie however I am lost and in need of some direction. Would you be so kind as to help me?”

The ethereal beauty stood and seemed to fly toward him. Her radiance was almost overwhelming to Ceastor.

“Never have I seen one as beautiful as I, the forest has led you to me Ceastor and I shall lead you out of it to safety but only as your wife.”

Ceastor thought a moment about her offer, “You shimmer like the moon and stars combined and personified but it is clear I will have to find my own way out of the wood. I bid you farewell.”

The woman seemed to dim as she turned around and walked away, illuminated steps showing her path.

Now deeper into the wood and very lost, he knew that night would soon be here. Determined to find the path, Ceastor walked, seemingly unmoved by fear of the dangers within this forest. Suddenly before him there was a figure, a man whose skin appeared to be made of marble. Never had Ceastor seen a man of such grace and beauty as was standing before him now.

“Please sir, if you are kind, show me the way out of this forest.”

The man came closer and his beauty nearly took Ceastor’s breath away, he did not speak for some time and Ceastor nearly swooned.

“I will show you the path out of these woods, and then you shall become my lover.”

Ceastor composed himself and replied, “Your prowess and beauty are unrivaled but I cannot accept your offer, for my heart is complete and I seek no other to fulfill me. I am complete within myself.”

“You have now rejected me three times and I see that you cannot be moved. Though your words reflect your heart truly, this heart is unique among mortal men and women. Even we gods are not content without companionship. Many who’s hearts have been broken by your beauty have wished for your downfall dearest Ceastor.”

Realizing whom he faced, Ceastor knelt and covered his face and pleaded. “Great Zeus, please kill me swiftly!”

Zeus smiled and continued, “You will not die, but the prayers of so many force my hand and you shall suffer a lesson befitting your character. Since you are complete I will make you incomplete Ceastor. Henceforth you are two, half of the same heart and soul in each, and cursed to desire the other yet be unknown to one another. And even were you to find your heart and soul’s mate, he shall not recognize you.”

And so with a mighty bolt of lightning Ceastor became two and Zeus encased the other in a whirlwind and cast him off to a distant place. Ceastor was only able to see a glimpse of his other half but in that glimpse he fell utterly and completely in love.

Where Zeus once stood now was a clear the path to his home. Ceastor felt a great longing and sadness he had never felt and was now compelled to seek his other half. It is said that for the rest of his days, Ceastor searched for his companion, and prayed for forgiveness and to once more become whole, every night.

On the night of his death, he was compelled to wander out into the fields near his home and there found twin boys clad in shimmering robes waiting for him, smiling.

“May I help you?” he said.

The twins looked at one another and only one stepped forward toward him.

“I am Castor, once mortal son of Tyndareus now immortal for my Twin’s father Zeus.”

Ceastor knelt before them.

“Rise up, we come to you at the end of your life as answer to your prayers and those of your mother and father who still pray for you in the underworld.”

Ceastor stood on his feeble legs and gazed at the radiant twins. “Even in age your beauty, though tainted with sadness has not abated. We cannot undo what has been done by our father but we can amend to his curse.”

Now Pollux stepped forward and stood beside his brother and they spoke in unison, “Never shall you pass into the underworld, nor shall your twin of heart, though all mortals must, instead you shall be reborn time and time again. By this an older prophecy you are now a part of and shall carry out, though never shall you be whole of person as you were in youth, you shall find completeness in the other when after great toil and suffering, you shall be united once more.”

Castor smiled and touched Ceastor on the forehead, “Now sleep dear namesake and be reborn.”

And so ends our story.

Chester, wiped a solitary tear and closed the book. “Francis, are you awake?” he gazed over at his friend who was gently snoring, his face so light and restful, asleep.

He got up carefully and fixed the quilt to cover his shoulders and neck, and then caressed his forehead feeling for a temperature. Only slight. He smiled with a great feeling of peace and comfort.

“It would appear I have found you at last.”

Keystrokes

“Shit, shit, shit!”

“What now Steph?”

“They are trying to close down the power to grid 4 section 15, our section!”

“Crap, what can you…”

“-Already on it. I’m re-routing all the subroutines to the dummy server, they’ll think they’ve – fuck they found it!”

“Shit, do you have time to send a message to France?”

“That’s really far away, I’ll try my best, but there’s no way to know if our contact would receive the message in time.”

“Lets hope he comes through.”

The lights went out and the entire room, which was filled with displays and computers, went quiet. A solitary blue light on a battery remained, and a blinking asterisk on an old CRT monitor that was plugged into a generator. They had approximately 1 hour.

***

Michael sat in his little cave (Dorm Room) at the University of Paris looking through his twitter feed.

The most interesting thing today was his friend in Japan trying a brand new kind of burger made from synthesized dinosaur meat.

“Gross.” he said out loud but then thought about it, “Maybe I’d try that.”

Michael had a habit of talking out loud. Suddenly something very interesting happened. On his computer screen a little message window popped up over all his other apps.

“Red-59* dfc – nhn”

“Crap, they’re under attack!”

Michael immediately began to work; he went into a box in the closet and found the old Atari 830 modem he’d been saving for this occasion.

“Phone line, phone line, phone line…” he found it behind his bed and began connecting all the parts together.

Suddenly he realized there was no phone!

“Fuck.”

Michael bolted out of the dorm room; he knew he only had about 50 minutes or so before it was too late to help. “Why does she do this to me!” he exclaimed.

His French was piss poor, but he thought he’d try anyway, there was a cute RA at the end of the hall that he was hoping to find an excuse to speak to anyhow.

Pierre was reading a book, Oscar Wilde, good sign…

“Excusez-moi, s’il vous plaît, pouvez-vous me montrer où se trouve la poignée de gros vieux téléphone qui ressemble à une vieille salope?”

The boy looked startled, “qu’est-ce que vous dites!”

Michael bit his lower lip and looked slightly panicked.

Pierre spoke, “I speak English.” He looked somewhat annoyed.

Michael nervously smiled, “Thank you so much, I’m doing an experiment for one of my classes, and I need an old fashioned phone, like a land phone, do you know where I can get one?”

Pierre started to think; it felt like a whole minute went before he spoke, “Do you have a hurry?”

Michael tried to be polite, “Yes, a little, I mean yes, a lot, I’m kind of behind.”

“Okay, I thinks that there is a possible one in the basement, but I will have to take you. Lets go.”

They were off, “I prefer to take stairs, okay?”

Michael nodded, looked at his watch, 40 minutes left, he had no idea if he could do this or not, the fate of so many rested on the speed of this very cute French boy.

“So I notice you a lot in the library.”

Michael laughed, slightly nervously, as he was prone to do. He was kind of pleased and surprised to know Pierre noticed him at all. “Yeah, always studying, you know.”

“But you are out running also, I think you are sportif yes?”

“Sport-if, oh yes, I like to run, gets my mind off things.”

“What are your minds getting off on?”

Michael’s eyes widened, “Oh no, no, no not getting off, it helps me to shut my mind down.”

“Okay, I see, well here it is.”

Pierre held an old, Northern Electric, white ‘dawn’ phone made sometime in the 80’s in Canada. Why Michael knew this fact was beyond him, his brain never functioned in a way that made sense to him but he let that go years ago. Michael could scarcely hide his wonder. The phone resembled one he was given to take apart when he was a child.

“Parfait!” he said confidently.

Pierre smiled as he handed it to him with a somewhat suspicious and slightly flirty expression and then said, “You are so, how do you say this, cute.”

Michael didn’t have to look at his watch at all, he knew he was probably past any confortable timeframe, there would already be no room for error; what to do, what to do? Something inside him said, ‘this could be a moment, a kiss perhaps, and perhaps even more…’ but so much more was at stake.

Michael took the phone with a pained look at his face, trying really hard not to make eye contact with Pierre.

“Thank you… I’d better be off then.”

“De Rien…”

Michael and Pierre parted ways at the elevator and for the entire 20 some odd seconds that it took to get to his floor Michael willed his mind to begin thinking of everything he had to do.

As soon as the doors opened it was fifth gear, he darted out before the doors could settle and ran down the hall; time?

30 minutes. ‘Merde’ and then, ‘Why am I thinking in French? – Don’t get distracted.’

Everything was connected, he opened the envelope that had “In case of the event” written on it, there was a phone number, he punched it in, it was the strangest handshake he’d ever heard, he analyzed the whole thing, there were at least 27 bounces, 15 different nodes and 14 sub connections before the connection was complete.

Michael typed code furiously, and then waited.

Right at that moment there was a text message from a friend back home, he glanced at his phone trying to resist. ‘This is just like when you are at the library’

Still nothing on the computer screen, he couldn’t help himself, he unlocked the phone.

Frederick: hi.

Michael: hey, what’s up?

Frederick: nothing, I’m bored. You?

Michael: Studying. Maybe.

Frederick: ok. Lol maybe?

Finally a beep and then a response.

…transmission in progress…

Michael knew the code would scroll very quickly across the screen so he prepared himself to read and process everything. He took a breath. Time seemed to slow down. He thought of Pierre’s reveal. He began to smile and suddenly the screen burst alive as over a thousand lines of information scrolled by at a ridiculous rate.

22 minutes.

He didn’t understand. Michael scrolled through it one more time. He understood everything that was being requested by the server, but there was no location to send the commands to, there was nothing.

Michael paced around his room, he sat down again, he rubbed his eyes, and then he ran his fingers through his hair.

The phone buzzed again.

“Not now Freddy!”

He was screwed, unless he knew the address to send all the commands to there was nothing he could do, he read the code again, slower.

Still nothing and 18 minutes to go.

I need to think, I need to think, I need to be distracted, Freddy.

Michael: Hi again.

Frederick: hullo.

Michael: I just got hit on I think, by the RA in my building, but I think I botched it.

Frederick: What! What happened?

Michael: I don’t know, its too confusing.

He suddenly had an idea. He knew this was programmed in N3wC0de2.o

_ Request$#: request d-dress

_œ Location unavailable

_ Query#: source s/pserve

Frederick: Mikes, don’t be ridiculous! Go find him and make out with him. Text me later let me know what happens.

Michael: Maybe hahah.

Michael smiled. It was an eternity before the computer responded.

_∆Location origin set to All.

“Set to all? 10 minutes. Shit!”

It was worth a shot. He punched in the command and then furiously typed in all the code he had to send. After quickly verifying it, if he made a mistake he would have to type the whole thing over again, he finally clicked enter and it was off.

Michael collapsed to the ground. He’d never been more drained and relieved all at once.

Suddenly the power went off completely. Michael stood and gazed outside the window, the entire city was black.

He looked back at his computer which was now running on battery power, He knew what he was doing was important to save a large group of computer hackers virtually headquartered at MIT from being caught, but He couldn’t help wonder if… “Nah.” he thought and allowed himself to fall unto his bed.

***

The power cut off at the elegant command center. Within milliseconds red light flooded the whole room.

“What happened? Status Report.”

“I don’t now sir, but initial telemetry shows a world-wide power failure.”

“What? That’s impossible.”

Commander Rattler walked over to one of the computer displays that were running on emergency power.

Sure enough there were no energy readings from anywhere. The only things working on the planet right now were battery operated.

“This is crazy, any explanations?”

Lieutenant Argridge seemed completely stumped.

“What were we doing before this happened? It can’t be a coincidence.”

“Nothing sir, just a routine shutdown of a few rogue networks, mainly sector 15.”

“Fucking sector 15!!! They are responsible, I’m sure of it. Get the power back on, get me a trace on the kill command.”

The lieutenant had no idea what to do but he was saved, the power suddenly came back on.

The gigantic screen that took up a whole wall of the room came back on and the Commander suddenly looked at his Lieutenant for news.

“Sir, according to this, all the computer networks, everywhere have been liberated. A complete re-write of the security systems, we no longer have control of information.”

“What?”

“Yes sir, and well the confusing part is, the code that caused this is encrypted on a quantum level, which normally wouldn’t be too difficult to crack, but sir, the stranger thing is, it doesn’t originate from our planet.”

“Impossible! Explain!”

“Sir the transmission that interrupted power on the planet was received from a system that’s 5,000 plus light-years away.”

The room became a buzz of military personal scrambling to take control. Nothing could be monitored anymore, communications, transmissions. It took 100 years to establish the controls they had before. Everything would change now. The world was new.

Jacob.

With whispers, he reached into the darkness, “…mother, is that you?”

“Shhhhh.” came a whisper, back through the unknowable space, “I am your mother, my son… but speak not and move not, for in darkness one knows not what lies ahead, especially in darkness brought on as suddenly as this.”

“What do you suppose happened, mama?” he asked hushed and uncertain.

He heard her footfalls, and more importantly sensed her presence and he was at ease once more. He could hear a tiny hiss as his mother turned the release for the lantern’s fuel and the steady hissing was then followed by a dulled pop and then suddenly as though the sun had risen he was somehow focused right where the lantern would come on and his eyes widened from the shock before they could react, rendering him blind for just a second before they adjusted.

“What do you suppose it was?” he asked again still staring at the brilliant light now the room began to form from the blinding whiteness.

“My darling…” she walked over and held him and with the lantern held up high she took a survey of the living room making sure there was nothing there.

“…You must listen to me, my boy. They are coming for you, they are coming and they will not allow me to stop them, no matter how hard I try. They can stop the clock and I will be rendered powerless to do anything.”

He was extremely frightened, “Mother no. Please…”

“You must promise me, you will always remember you are from the Earth, remember everything i have taught you, remember all my little sayings, they are so important now, more than you can imagine my son. Remember in their language the name for Earth, they call it Arraeluah. Just remember whatever happens, you are from Arraeluah.”

“Mother?” he cried out in fear as he realized the light in the house was much brighter than could possibly be cast by the lantern.

“Say it, Jacob, say the name of the Earth as i just taught you!”

She looked fierce and so strong to him at that moment, there began to be a piercing metallic sound filling the room getting louder and louder.

“Please Jacob, I need to know you understood me.” her voice was louder because of the noise.

He gazed into her big brown eyes and saw tears welling in them, the sound was almost deafening now so he shouted at her, “Arraeluah!”

And then there was darkness once again and he could no longer feel his mother’s presence. There was just cold, and the smell of metal, a vibration corresponding with a distant humming and a new world ahead of him.

The Circle Game

A very long time ago and before our world was known by its name, a family of brothers and sisters gathered together. Téoah had called the meeting. He was usually referred to as eldest and beyond that he held no title or power over his family or his people.

Along with his brothers and sisters, Åmaahris, Düroeriel, Ssájhsca, Raë and Ajheun, Téoah represented a great race of people whose knowledge and arts have been lost to something beyond even legend itself. Perhaps the only way to retrieve such knowledge is to understand and command time itself.

As the asker of this gathering, it was Téoah’s duty to create the rite. When his brothers and sisters arrived, he asked them to gather in a circle and the six stood next to one another and they knew this was to be a powerful rite because none who stood beside another stood alone.

“My brothers and sisters, I have summoned your presence today because we are about to transcend into a new form of existence and I wanted to be with all of you, my beloveds when that happens.”

Åmaahris smiled at his brother, reached out and took Téoah’s hand and said, “Gladly my friend and bloodkind.”

It pleased Téoah that Åmaahris, who tended to be the least attached to the family spoke first in answer and in gesture.

Then, Düroeriel, possessed of indescribable beauty proudly stated as she took Åmaahris’ hand, “There would be no other way I could think of to witness such a state than with my kindred.”

Téoah gazed at his sister admiringly, he thought of how her countenance could at one moment remind him of gentle orchards and at another of grand mountains. He nodded to her to show his pleasure.

Ssájhsca smiled and looked around at all of his brothers and sisters, sometimes he or they would erupt in fits of laughter when a smile was returned and memories exchanged through mere glances.

He then fixed his gaze on Téoah and said, “Revered one, cherished one, though it is you who have brought us to this point of glory, and it is you who we shall follow to become what we will; I wish to take a moment to express that I am so happy that that we have never been alone in this realm and we have experienced all the pleasures it has to offer. It has been the joy of my life to be your friend and your brother.”

Téoah found that water had shed from his eyes; where it had never done before, and so he placed his fingers to his cheek to wipe the water. “Ssájhsca, even now you give us gifts with your words in the form of these tears. It is a true blessing that what we will leave of ourselves is the very water that was given to us when we were born so long ago.”

He allowed his tears to fall to the ground, some of the drops hitting his feet, and his brothers and sisters joined in the new ritual they just formed. It would be known as the shedding of sorrows but even that name may be only what remains of a whisper on the breeze.

Then, Raë, with her eyes closed and her expression serene and luminous uttered, “I see a home for us in my mind, it is unbroken from the land and there is unobstructed view of all the world from every vantage. It is open, it is warm and comforting and all is possible there.”

Almost in unison the family let out a joyful laugh and when they were finished, Téoah addressed to his sister.

“The place you describe, my blessed sister, is the place that will be. All benefit from your mind’s ability to construct what is difficult to see. Thank you.”

She smiled and then she nodded to show her pleasure at Téoah. Raë reached out and took the hand of the youngest, who appeared like the youth that she was with the auspices of wisdom and age. Ajheun spoke gently but with confidence. “Brother who is first, you stand next to me and I see so many beginnings in your gentle eyes. Where there is beginning eldest, so there is end. I take from you the gift of knowledge and I give back to you the gift of understanding. Take my hand now brother and let us end the cycle of first and last, of beginning and ending.” Téoah took his beloved little sister’s hand and from that day forth the legend of his family would be told through out eternity. It would be told over again and in many forms such as in fable, in song, in dance and in love. It is a story, which is familiar to all who hear it, it has so many names and sometimes if you pay notice at schoolyards or in places where children play unfettered, you may hear a glimpse of the story as it is conveyed to them by what remains of it.

Time Machine in a Digital Photograph…

I came across a photograph just recently of a friend who had passed away. In the picture he was standing on the balcony of his apartment holding his SLR camera, thumbing through some photographs he’d taken. I was giving him a few pointers on how to use the camera, as far as photography lessons, he was somewhat of a natural already.

I take my SLR camera practically everywhere with me and I’ll use any excuse to shoot a portrait. Portraits are my favourite form of photographic expression, the moments I like to try to “capture” tend to be centered around people and what they are doing, feeling, thinking and looking like.

Looking at this photograph right now it made me think about pictures. Have you ever gone back through pictures of yourself and wondered, ‘what was I doing at that moment, what was i thinking about?’ As you start to think about that, a lot more pictures start to unfold in your mind as you unlock the memories stored in the brain. If I had to describe this to you, it would be as if the pictures spread out in all directions from the original.

Sometimes that picture turns into a reverie of thoughts and images, and sometimes it can feel as though you are re-living that moment in time and space. I guess that’s one reason why I love photography so much, why I look at so many photographs.

Sometimes, if you try really hard you can go back, like time traveling, I say like it because nothing changes in the end (there are all sorts of theories and ideas that can explain all that), either because you don’t want to or you cannot. But time traveling is fun! You can practice and go back to only happy times if you wanted. I think those are the easiest exercises to start with. You don’t ever have to visit a sad or difficult time if you don’t want to; though we often do when we’ve done something wrong or something happens we wish had not. Sometimes it is important to visit a time surrounding sad or unhappy emotions.

I travelled to a memory that I didn’t think I remembered at all. I went back to a time where I’d just missed the chance to see my friend. Weeks before he died, I walked by his workplace on my way to dinner and I looked in the window and saw him talking to his team. I remember thinking, how amazing it was that they got to work with him and how great and wonderful he looked. It didn’t dawn on me at all that I should even say hello, surely there’d be an opportunity to do that? When I really think about the actual moment, I didn’t even think of that much because I was preoccupied with what I was doing. It was enough to just see him looking happy and looking “good” as they say. The next time I would think of my friend was upon finding out he was dead. All of his friends and family left with only photographs and videos as a record that he even existed at all.

Whatever darkness possesses any of us, it is often something that no one sees, and whatever the reason for that, a big part of it, I think, is that the possessor of that darkness does not wish it to be seen. Thinking of that memory though, begs the question, is the darkness even there, does it even matter if it cannot be seen?

Now my memory took me to that place earlier in the story of the day; hours before I had even arrived there. I knew I should have been someplace different and in fact those events were taking place and yet here I was, standing outside the shop with the shiny glass front and the blazing metallic interior and there he was, walking out towards me. Inside me it felt as though it had been moments after I’d taken that photograph of him on his balcony years before, and it also seemed like I was from the future looking at that old picture of him. The collection of all my experiences was transformed to a brand new moment, a brand new time line.

“Hi Soso!” He saw me and gave me that big smile that was his hallmark greeting to his friends and loved ones.

I smiled back, this was all completely new, it felt like I could do anything I wanted to for a moment; “Hi Jojo! What news?”

“Oh nothing much, same old stuff but look at you! What are you doing all the way up here?”

“Ha, I don’t know, I have to do something later tonight at the movie theatre and so I thought I’d come up early.”

“Well, that’s great! I’m on my break, why don’t you come along, I mean if you have the time?”

I took in a deep breath and looked around at everything, wondering if he knew that this was all brand new. “I have all the time in the world for you.”

He seemed puzzled and gave me a coy sideways glance with a smirk. I knew why he did that; he was so observant about the way people would put things, the way people chose to construct their sentences or words. Meaning was his biggest fascination.

Then he said, “Well, I believe if anyone can turn 15 minutes into forever, its you.”

I wished he were right, but I didn’t try to correct his perception.

Possible Prologue…

If you were a conspiracy theorist living in the great and formidable galactic community of the galaxy known to us as; M104 or NGC 4594, then you would say that the greatest conspiracy theory of your time revolves around a single planet that no one seems to know about or even care exists. But that conspiracy theorist would no doubt assert that it is probably the most important planet that has ever existed in the Universe; and it will be known for this one day but not for any great or big conspiracies rather instead, because of a singular fact, that a most extraordinary young man named Naarähm Faéørdin was born on it. This event and person change the destiny of not just the inhabitants of his galaxy, but the destiny of the entire universe. Before we get to that, lets look at some history though.

As stated, Planet Kyritheäe of the Kynsarthälia system was no extraordinary planet. It was your run of the mill bi-pedal humanoid life-producing planet, just one of 23 like planets in the entire galactic life band. The majority of life forms in galaxy M104, better known in the common tongue as Doäe, we would consider to appear insect like and after them most common were beings that could choose their form. They had the ability to manifest their life-force in almost any form they desired. Sometimes they appeared like giant amoebae, and sometimes like humanoids that looked like cats. They were scattered around the galaxy usually very secretive about their true nature, and usually living among species that had not yet evolved any intelligence. To us this galaxy would be a strange and magical place with little rhyme or reason, but to the inhabitants of Doäe it was commonplace.

In a galaxy this extraordinary, the only thing unique about planet Kyritheäe was that it was discovered late in the history of the Galaxy. Long after the Galactic Wars had ended and every life-bearing planet was a part of the Great Galactic Coalition. War had taught the inhabitants of Doäe that there was a way to coexist with one another without needless death or fighting over resources.

The entire galaxy had evolved through great sacrifices to a state where no being ever wanted. And every civilization lived, as it wanted to. By this point it was thought too that every sentient race had been discovered and catalogued or included into the larger community. But somewhat surprisingly, however not unthinkably, this was not the case. And at the time it seemed as though just for a moment it would probably be important that planet Kyritheäe and it’s system had been discovered, hidden within a great ion cloud harbouring within a humanoid species capable of minor manipulation of energy.

It was called the “Jewel of Existence” a look back to a world before universal awareness. And of course the proper thing was done; the entire system was cordoned off and made into a galactic historical preserve. It was deemed right, that only very strict access would be given to a select group of scientists to explore the planets and to conduct anthropological surveys and that was to be all. One day the people of the Kynsarthälia system would discover space travel and the ability to move out of their solar system and only then would they would be able to join the galactic community protecting them, it was expected that this would take no more than 1,000 of their solar years. But 2,000 years passed and the people of Kyritheäe remain blissfully unaware of what awaits outside their solar system. Why have they been mostly ignored or forgotten and why have they not progressed as was thought? This is what the conspiracists that suspected would ask.  What would make a Galactic Community so great forget about a jewel so precious but the threat of destruction?

In that time threats began to appear to Doäe’s governments and its inhabitants. It was discovered by accident that other galaxies had indeed developed to the same level of power that theirs had, and that some of those galactic civilizations might be capable of intergalactic travel.

The focus of the government shifted a little then. No major armies were created, no great propaganda was delivered, it was instead decided that they needed to create an Intergalactic Task Force that could deal with this threat before it became actual. The Kynsarthälia system was appropriated just as any national park might rightfully be and while the basic preservation efforts were maintained, the kind of scientific work that was being conducted within the system on other planets was groundbreaking to say the least and very secretive. A somewhat dangerous form of Interstellar travel did come about and had been secretly used to explore other galaxies to find civilizations like those that comprised Doäe’s.

Soon all of the secrets led to a clandestine organization born to protect the rest of the Galaxy from threat and the poor inhabitants of Kyritheäe were slowed down in their progress. Though their oppression was blissful and carefully hidden, if the galactic community knew the truth, it would never have been allowed to happen. Because reports had to come in about the planet, there was still an anthropological operation on the planet. Other humanoids lived among the Kyritheäens and reported back to the central authority known as The Majestic Association any of its findings.

And so you see, it was exactly this kind of atmosphere in which everything was lining up just right that an extraordinary being such as Naarähm Faéørdin could find the way to become who he will become.

seven lanexander

A blue light. That was the first thing he saw in over 800 billion years. slowly his eyes became accustomed to the dim light cast by the awakening beacon. So many ages in hibernation could be quite traumatic if it weren’t for the simple solution thought of by the genius designers of this chamber. they knew that if it were successful; if they were able to suspend life for that long, that there would have to be an environment to awaken too that would not cause trauma and allow the sleeper to know that they were safe.

a blue light was their solution and now as seven lanexander woke from his nearly eternal sleep he noticed the blue light brightening and more of his surroundings being revealed to him.

now he remembered everything. he was engineered to remember everything.

seven was completely naked. he was suspended in a tube of what could only be described as amniotic fluid.

“seven, the scan showed you are completely healthy. hibernation was successful, for both of us, i’m activating all the systems now.” he heard the computer’s voice inside his mind. they were psychically connected when he was born. In fact there was nothing the computer didn’t know about what seven was feeling or desired or commanded. The computer taught him everything he needed to know and it followed him wherever he went.

slowly the fluid drained away and the blue light which had now brightened into a white light began to fill more than just the inside of the capsule tube. seven was starting to feel the warmth surging through his body as his blood now flowed freely once more. he felt a rush of excitement and pain as he realized his heart was beating inside his chest. he thought it was amazing to experience body death when they shut everything down to suspend him for the journey but he never thought that being revived would be even more exhilarating.

“They would have loved to hear your thoughts on this process seven, i am sure of it.”

He smiled. His family was a group of scientists that had created him, brought him into existence to be this one thing, to serve out one purpose for all of his kind. his was a journey of love and now that he was most likely the last life form of his kind in existence he would carry out his purpose with complete devotion.

a mechanism, a small whizzing sound could be heard above his head and below his feet and he realized he was able to hear the tiny and precise servos unlocking within the capsule. the glass that contained him slipped away into some part of the room he could not see and he was left standing in a white room that had been completely adjusted to be the perfect temperature for his comfort.

A machine came down and sprayed a kind of paste on his skin which began to turn into a suit that would make him even more comfortable. the suit was completely white and covered his entire body like a glove giving a different perspective to the perfection of his figure. the suit was luminous and different parts of it were blinking to indicate that it was recording telemetry on his body’s functions.

800 billion years ago they gave him the gift of life and they offered him the memory of any one he chose, he could be the exact recreation from anyone in history and he chose seven lanexander. a lonely boy from the northern continent of the first home-world. they were surprised, the scientists who created him, that he would go so far back to the past to chose his personage.

the person he chose, seven, never grew up, he was struck ill by a terrible plague of the time, even with the formidable medical technology of that era they could not fight off this plague. it was one of the many times their race had almost gone completely extinct.

and now a young boy who was killed in a devastating plague, would have the chance to grow up and complete the work of the greatest civilization and possibly save it from the ultimate ending.

seven wondered what he could have been dreaming of the entire time he was suspended. “Its best not to know the images of a so many years of dreams seven.” but the computer knew them, it had every dream, nightmare, abstract journey he went through stored in its memory banks. it had to, it was so important to monitor everything. in a way the computer knew seven in a way ways he could not fathom himself.

finally another light appeared letting him know it was time for the next step. the walls of the room faded away and became transparent, but even more than fade away, they were actually no longer there for they had completely dematerialized and now seven was able to see the length of his space craft unhindered. He thought the design was so elegant and beautiful, yet another testament to his people.

there were no rooms, no quarters, no engine rooms, no halls, no command rooms, it was just one giant room. the walls, ceiling and floor were transparent so that if you were outside the ship all you would see is the thin outline of contour where light hit and refracted against the otherwise clear and invisible rectangular ship. and appearing to be floating was a little figure amidst this grand graceful shape hurtling through the cosmos at matter obliterating speeds, his suit had now turned completely black and all around him was the great darkness. He remembered that there were still stars lit and scattered about when his journey began, even then there were no more theories, for they had become facts, about the fate of Drasyl.

complete death had come to the universe. the old ones named the universe iggdrasyl after the ancient tree myths and it was later referred to simply as drasyl. now drasyl was cold and all the fire gone out of it, there was nothing living anyplace except for seven lanexander.

it was the final darkness, all the stars in the entire universe were predicted to be gone now and it certainly appeared that way;  if the calculations proved correct there was supposed to be at least one star left. but where was it? he could see no source of light anyplace perhaps the calculations were wrong. He waited as the computer searched the nearby cosmos.

“Its not far now, seven, the sensors have found it you will see it in 15 seconds”

and just like that right in front of him was the last star. it looked misty and blue, at first he wasn’t sure if it wasn’t just another light aboard the ship, but as the ship grew nearer and it encompassed the majority of his view, seven knew that it what he was seeing was magnificent and was real.

a star, still burning. the probability that there was another one close by was so astronomical at this stage of the universes life. but one was all he needed to carry out his life’s purpose. inspired, seven finally spoke. his voice so tender and gentle.

“prepare the reaction. set the plan into motion.”

with that command, behind him a small light ignited at the dead center of the space craft and began to grow in intensity.

“your stats are elevated seven. be careful.”

he was excited beyond belief, but he calmed himself down, the next phase could not begin until his mind and body were completely ready.

“good, your training has proven intact. initiating phase two.”

suddenly all around him the walls began to show images in tiny little overlapping rectangles, they were vidoegraphic images in 3 dimensions showing the lives of unbelievably countless individuals. and slowly at first the images floated through the air toward seven and seemed to enter his mind with some kind of luminescent interaction between light and skin. seven was taken aback by the sensation of this interaction; he knew the mechanics of it but wasn’t prepared for the actual sensations both physical and mental.

“You are doing fine seven, i will increase the flow after the first one has fully integrated.”

he was filled with a sense of emotion and with memories of the complete life of an individual, a woman, Jjana, who lived on the first home world. it was the first archived life, using technology and numerous other processes that the first archivers liked to refer to as “meajik”.

seven felt a joyful tear drip down his cheek, it fell to the clear surface just at his feet and he could see that the ship had now moved to a position just above the star and it was rippling a violent and magnificent fiery blue light. He knew that he was viewing the star through a filter that his eyes created in order to see detail in such intense photonic environments and he knew that his eyes would appear like silver plated almonds if he could see himself in a mirror. more and more of the floating rectangles of light began to interact with seven and each one created a strong physical sensation, each memory or lifetime of memories produced another tear until he was overflowing with emotion; laughter, anger, fear, all of the things he had learned to control were now unleashed to him, and no one could comfort him or experience it with him except for that calm voice in his mind, that of his computer when he remembered the computer was watching over him he knew he could let go and accept what was coming.

seven was now within a whirlwind of light and motion and colour as he was in full interaction with the information being given to him. if one could have seen this happen from not to far away, it alone would look like a cosmic event and when the process was complete his suit dimmed slowly to complete black and seven’s eyes adjusted to the ambient light once more. he found he was kneeling on the floor, his knees must’ve buckled during the intensity of full download speeds.

“All your functions are within acceptable ranges seven. Congratulations you have done it.”

he felt alive with all these memories carefully compartmentalized and accessible within him and he could react to what was happening around him from any one of their perspectives and it seemed that all were in agreement as to the beauty of what he was experiencing and of what was about to happen.

“Everything is ready for the final phase seven.”

he felt a blast of warmth from behind him and when he turned he saw the little light at the center of the ship intensify. it had matched the rotation of the star below and was starting to flicker, each time it grew slightly. If this were to work, he had to interact with it and allow the ship to align his energy output frequencies to those of the reaction taking place but it would be painful in the form he chose to take.

Seven walked closer and closer to the bright orb in the center of his craft and he could already feel his skin pulling underneath his suit. The suit was designed to protect him from the most intense parts of the reaction but only for a short time, it was up to seven to stay alert and conscious through out the entire process. the suit now covered his face and his hands and it had turned a reflective red as it began to heat up to unimaginable temperatures.

all he could feel was his mind stretching as far back as it could go, he was struggling to hold together his existence as he was bombarded by so much force from the reaction taking place but he knew he had to get to the center of it. of all the forms he could have chose he chose this one; he wanted to be as true to seven as possible and this was the only way. naturally some enhancements and augmentations could be made to improve the physical form chosen but there were limitations that could not be avoided. skin would still burn and the brain could still shut down if the heart stopped functioning.

as he moved closer still, he felt his brain was at the limit of operation, it must’ve been burning up with activity trying to react to every input of pain it was receiving in the best way possible. seven did everything he could to disconnect the mind from the body but he needed to maintain as much control as he could to reach the center of the reaction.

he had been trained to experience pain and manage it but this was beyond anything he could have imagined and as if it couldn’t get worse he knew that for the first time in his life he would be disconnected from the link to his computer. he would be truly alone and if he survived it was unknown if the link could be re-established. but this was not a time for his personal well-being. the whole of all the people that he carried within him depended on his success. He looked down for a moment and saw the last star blazing as it spread apart and exploded from the reaction his ship was creating, soon the reaction would create forces that were only seen in the universe at its inception and he knew the meaning of his people depended on his strength at this moment.

“Good luck Seven.”