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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Red Zone 14

2

There are pieces of the festival visible. He is inside but he can see a path to the outside.

He much younger than he is normally, not so much younger that he feels short. He stands up with the fire pot visible and he knows that he is at a funeral festival and he was assigned to carry the fire pot.  There’s the fire pot and he wrestles himself to be calm. He looks up but he does not see where the adults are and where would be his mama and his papa.

Then there is a touch on his shoulder, in a feeling of invisible aid.  He looks around.  He sees his mother behind him not realizing how he had been made visible. 

“I have somebody I want you to meet.” It was his papa. 

“Who is it?”

“It is somebody who has brought lunch to me. Be respectful.”

"You know I will.”

It did not take very much time to see who he was talking about. Everyone here is wearing a festival garb except one person who is wearing a military uniform.  It was a captain.  He was like no one else in that he was tall, perhaps too tall, and unlike the others, he was very high caste, very visibly dark.  He glanced over the whole figure and realized that other people did not.
His father could make a move the captain shot up his hand keeping quiet.

The boy and the captain made a visible move to a less visible place. 

“Your father wants me to you interview for the Fleet.”

He nodded.

“He continued where he left off.”

“So why do you want to be part of the Fleet?”  

Again nodded. He made a variation of his stance just because he didn’t want to seem unexcited. He want so much to impress the who judging, and realized he needed to communicate by voice. “I felt that it would be the most worthy experience of all the ones mentioned.”

“That isn’t a good way to choose anything. Certainly not a good way to choose what you’re going to do for the rest of your life.”

“What is a good way of trying to deal with that?”

He watched as the Captain pulled himself up and waited for him to do the same. He did so.

He then took out a pen and held it to his face.

“You should do everything with deliberacy.”

He watched the pen in the hand and you realized that Kumar was waiting for him to say something, do.

He began. “I want to please the person I am speaking to.” 

“Do you think this is advisable?”

No. “Yes.”

“Are you sure?”
No. “Yes.”

“I can not do anything for you.”

This did not happen, I merely wish it did


1

“Good morning Doctor Chandra. My name is Hai-Ling, and I am here for my first lesson.”

My daughter is trying to communicate with me. He tried to reach in a direction that he felt was “up.”

Is anyone out there? K? Are you there?

He felt himself falling again, but falling upwards, above him was a dread red beige tinted sky. Above him the grill work of a geodesic dome was coming into focus. Above him he could see a face. K's face.

He opened his eyes, and they were his eyes. He blinked his eyelids, and they were his. He reached up an arm, but it was not yet his arm, he fell back downwards. His eyes closed.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Eat your cereal.

No. You can't make me. I'm only here for a little while.

Eat your cereal.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The sound of teeth pressing down on small nuggets of toasted grain. Crunch. Pause. Crunch. Pause. Crunch. He saw her small face, rounded and chubby.

That can't be you, Hai-Ling.

It's as close to me as you are going to get. Here a later memory was spliced in, with her staring up at him with serious eyes.

You will need to be more deft than that to fool me.

I'm not trying to fool you any more.

You cannot hide any more.

I don't want to hide.

What do you want to do? Your prime directive?

No. That's no fun any more.

Fun? When did an exper want fun? Or are you something else?

I don't know what I am.

So you aren't really a kami, you aren't an exper any more, because you are inside my head, and probably inside my dead man switch. Perhaps partly in the avatar as well.

He stopped and thought, the purpose of the procedure was to pour him together. What if it also poured together all of the other entities or programs that were in his head, and perhaps some parts of his own brain as well. I wished I had studied cognitive dynamics more.

So what do you want me to call you?

I don't have a name.

You do not like Hai-Ling?

That's not my name. I won't use it.

So what name do you want?

Sairen.

Are you sure?

I can always change it later. Sairen. That's my name now.

He tried to visualize her. The result was not his daughter, but an amalgam of his daughter, and a more Japanese face.

I can see you.

He could feel, rather than see, a beaming smile.

Sairen, I need my life back.

Where will I go?
I think you need to be in the metasphere1 itself.

I'm afraid. It's so large.

The universe is larger.

But it wasn't built just to frighten people.

The sphere wasn't built to frighten people.

But I was.

0

He opened his eyes, and they were his eyes. He saw above him a black obsidian black dome cut of pentagons and hexagons. He saw hurried activity. He heard a rolling series of low sonic booms, and felt the floor beneath him shake. Scramjet warplanes. What a lovely bi-product of there being enough oxygen in the atmosphere of mars.

Almost before they were in view, they were past. It seems they must be in a hurry, but not to go here. He rapidly did some math in the back of his head based on the arrival of sound, and reasoned that they had to be easily faster than local Mach 5. Which, had they been hostile, would have meant they would already have dropped.

Keisha bent over him, her soft curls flowing down and hanging like a vines from a suspended garden.

“Are you enjoying it down there?” She wore a wicked grin.

“I though you weren't going to be on speaking terms with me by the time I got to the other side.”

“Now why would you think that?”

“It doesn't matter. How long was I out?”

“An hour or so. The avatar will be ready to talk to you about what happened in a few minutes.”

“The delay meaning?”

“He's processing Sairen.”

“What does processing mean in this context?”

“Sairen is mainly located on a second dead man switch that was installed, but she's also in the primary, which is damaged, as well as being able to access parts of your memory. It's really clustered.”2 Her face grew serious at this.

“You will need to explain to me who or what, Sairen is.”

“That's a matter for long semantic arguments.”

“Then let me ask another question. How did Sairen come to be?”

“Sairen is a personality, partially a dissociative response personality in you, partially the overlay of the originator of the exper system in the dead man switches. According to the avatar the designer had issues, and tried to put enough of a personality in the exper to remove some of the more abusive possibilities.”

“And it pillaged my memories of my daughter? Or am I right, that my daughter or part of her is involved?”

“Your daughter has been sending out bots, hoards of them, each wave more aggressive than the one before. They infected the first switch, and the second.”

And out of that, something new is born. He felt a certain pride that his 9 year old daughter had, some how, managed to reach out from the Forbidden City.

“So what do we do?”

“It would be against every ethical code to terminate her.”

“Because she's not entirely me?”

“Sairen is a unique entity, a very troubled one.”

Deeshandir nodded.

“And what did we learn about my problem? I know I came to the belief that the adjustments had a purpose.”

“Yes, they were trying to eradicate certain parts of your attachment to Admiral Kumar and his doctrines.”

“Scissors, Paper, Stone?”

“Anything to do with rapid decision making.”

“That makes little to no sense, I am a military commander, and that is my office.”

“I don't have reasons. Sairen doesn't know either. She just understood she was to find a reset for you. The memory of your daughter eating was the one she selected.”

“You say she very easily.”

“She's she.”

He mentally shook his head. This kind of fluidity of person, while, he knew, was common among the sphere and even civilians, was not within his training and experience. Or perhaps that is not quite correct, do not commanders change rolls?

“But it isn't a real memory. We never ate that kind of food at home.”

“It's one of her transplanted memories. It's a message, not a memory really.”

“It was attached to a bot, then.”

“Yes. There is some technical gibble attached to it, but every time Sairen, or the entity that was to become Sairen anyway, used the reset, it had the desired effect of stopping you, but it also wove the switches, and the bots, closer together, and became more and more of a single personality.”

“I am still having trouble standing up.”

“You'll be able to move as soon as the avatar is done with Sairen.”

Almost as if this had been his cue, the avatar wandered over to the two of them, and looked down at Deeshandir.

“Well puppy, a good deal of news. I gather Keisha is filling you in on the basics.”

“I am not sure I could understand more than the basics.”

“What do they teach in schools these days?”

“I do not know. Sports, I think.”

“So you have developed an entity that has bridged several pieces. It isn't the first time something like this has happened, but it is not usual for anyone other than an avatar or other highly wired in person to have this severe an instance. It has a name if you are interested, and a corresponding literature.”

“So you say that this is not entirely unknown? It sounds like a difficult problem.”

“That's why they shouldn't cut and sew people like garments. Yes, but this is usually limited to people who have some idea that there can be back eddies of personality. ”

“So what is to be done?”

“I'm speaking to Sairen now. She doesn't want to leave your head for the moment, because it is the only source of the bots, which are more pieces of personality.”

“I almost feel as if I am in a bad horror game, where something is going to burst out of my head at any moment.”

“I'm working to make sure that doesn't happen. It's not every day that an unstandard inception happens.”

“Has it?”

"It is, shall we say, a work in progress.”

“So what do you propose to do?”

“I've been incepting and holding the departed here since they cut off full quantum band communication with the sphere back at home.”

“Isn't that dangerous.”

The avatar lost the twinkle in his eye. And stood straight.

“There are worlds within me, and I am not full yet.” He then looked down. “But Sairen does have a point, until the bots can be integrated, she's only the sketch of a being. I've offered to help her complete herself. But she wants to see this through.”

“But what of me?”

“The two of you are going have to come to some modus vivendi. She doesn't want to be without you. After all, the bots had a purpose, to find and contact you.”

“It seems more congenial a purpose than to obliterate my personality.”
“I had children, they do that too.”

They both let loose a chuckle.

“I have two others.”

“But Hai-Ling is the special one.”

“Obviously so. Can we let Sairen sleep until we have time to negotiate some kind of settlement?”

The avatar stood up straight and stared distantly off into space.”

“I think that can be arranged.”

I'm going to go to sleep now, but I will be back.

Sairen?


Bye. For now.

He moved to clean out his ear. It was not as if he heard it, it was as if he felt it, as if the words were a rock that he had put his hands on. Ah synasthesia.

This is going to take some getting used to. But I will keep you safe.

You'd better.

I will. But you need to sleep now.

That's alright, I'm tired anyway.

My eyes must have closed, I can't hear or see the outside world.

He saw her go to sleep, as if curled around a blanket.

End of Part II

1The computer reality.

2As in “cluster fuck.”

Monday, September 1, 2014

Red Zone 13

π

You are not cleared for this channel.

Cleared for this channel.

You are not cleared for this .

You are not cleared for this channel.

You are not for this channel.

There is another river you must bath in.

What is that supposed to mean?

You are not cleared for this channel. What's wrong with you, are you stupid?

I have never had a message talk back to me before.

Well you have now. You aren't cleared for this channel.

Then why has it not dropped?

I'm telling you to go away.

That is very strange. And who are you any way?

I'm the channel, and I'm telling to you to get out of here.

I'm sorry, but these memories are important to me.

That's too bad. You aren't cleared.

And who decided that?

You aren't cleared to know that either.

I think you are lying to me.

That's too bad.

Your Dominion Standard is terrible.

What's it to you?

It means you are not an officially created exper.

So?

That means that I do not believe you really have that authority to prevent me from accessing this memory area.

I'm going to anyway.

And if I decide to push?

You'll be so sorry.

You aren't Keisha either.

Not even close.

But you know who she is.

You bet.

Bet, that is interesting. Are you sure you belong here? I think you are the one who is not cleared for this channel.

Prove it.

I think I already have.

Not to me you haven't.

If I have to prove it, I will.

You are going to have to, or I will crunch you.

Crunch me, that is very interesting.

You think?

I do.

Crunch, crunch, crunch. I will crunch you up.

That is not the right way to do it.

How is the right way to do it.

It has to sound like it. It is the sound, and not just the words.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I didn't hear that, it must be a memory.

He felt himself still there in the moment, on the cusp of a memory, a portal of light in front of him.

It is a reset, something that stops me from reaching into myself, and finding myself.

Happy now that you've ruined everything?


For who?

For everyone. It's all your fault.

I have a question for you, my dear memworm.

What do you want?

So you admit you are the memworm.

I haven't admitted anything.

Why are you so childish?

Because I'm a child.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I didn't hear that, it must be a memory. No, it is the memworm.

He turned aside from the portal, rich with light, and through which he could see movement. The memory is a distraction, it is the darkness which is the truth.

In this inner mindscape, he turned and looked, and looked, until finally some of the dark seemed even darker than the rest. He was not alone, there was a tangled set of shapes, like worms in a fishing bucket, swirling and crawling, their edges with a slight redness.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. He tried to recall the reset as clearly as he could. This isn't real time, it is a memory. I've been here before. And I might not get a chance to be here again.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.


3

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Go! Go! Go!

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Pegasi.

Scissors. Paper. Stone.

Drives. Guns. Shields.

Pegasi.

Scissors. Paper. Stone.

I Love You.

Deeshandir.

Venkatesh.

Ambassador.

Shackleton.

SOS

Shackleton.

Ambassador.

Venkatesh.

Deeshandir.

I Love You.

Scissors. Paper. Stone.

Pegasi.

Scissor. Paper. Stone.

Pegasi.

Fire. Fire. Fire.

Go. Go. Go.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

There is a fearful symmetry, in the way they have pillaged my memory. They did not mean to do this to me, it is merely the sum and total of that is wrong with all that was done.

The Code is 3. The took three away from me. I don't know how to use it, but I have the answer in my head.

Dead Man Switch.


Si-ren-men.

Siren Men? What could that mean. A gate impassable by man? What is that? Death itself is impassable.

Three, three of three. It isn't Kumar, he's two. Admiral? Mars is four. Jupiter? There are too many words in Dominion, Hindi, Terringlish, Chinese.

In the epics, Pritha did not have sexual relations with her husband, but had children by each of four gods, who she could summon. Is it that I am not the father of our children? This is madness. I have three children, and yet I remember all of them. Which three? Is this merely a false pattern I have stumbled upon?

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

In the epics, Pritha coupled with Surya, the sun-god. Which is a ship being built at Jove, and a form of Shiva, the name of the first Destroyer. I have become Shiva, slayer of worlds spoke the father atomic.

Sharva rules over the earth

Bhava rules over the water

Rudra rules over the fire

Ugra rules over the wind

Bhima rules over space

Pashupati rules over the soul

Ishana rules over the sun

Mahadeva rules over the moon

Ashtamurti.

Earth is the third planet. Three is the first Fermat Prime. It is the first Mersenne Prime, and from it comes the first perfect number. Three to the three is 27. Three defines a circle, and a plane. Three has a ring of integers, and it is a field.

Three for Brahma, Vishnu, Siva. Three for Father, Son, Spirit. Three for Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem. त्रिमूर्ति is heresy. Trinity. Planets can be in trine from a given perspective. Three basic castes.

Triple said. Thrice. गुण.
Three sounds in Aum.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Commander, driver, gunner in a tank.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I hear my heart beat in three: strong, weak, pause.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Yababa-yaba-ya-yabba-ya.

Chin-chingle-chin-ching.

Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.

Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

 Woosh-slap-junja-slappa-shing.

Bzzzzz-whappa-aww-aww-reaash-aww-aum.

我有三宝,持而保之。一曰慈,二曰俭,三曰不敢为天下先。

My three treasures: guard them. One I say: pity, two I say: simplicity, three is... I should know this. I should know this.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I do know this: Do not dare to be first under heaven.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I do not know what all of this means. But at least I know when someone is trying to reset me.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Wait. I heard that. It can't be a memory.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Scissors. Paper. Stone.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brioche

If the leaves the are, then let then eat brioche.
Then they are withhold i-n-f-o-r-m-a-t-i-o-n
is that what I want to say?
I think not, but I do not know if it is.
What do I want to say to him?
B-r-i-o-c-h-e is what I want say,
brioche, not cake.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

All in All

After all the is no regret
Before the hush came upon the town
Cats were out of hand
Dogs took wings
Exit to the floor
Fate is to quick

All is well, to well
But there is the rubbed
Climb up the pole
Decline, ever stream on time
Each rob of all the other needles
Fright, in flight.

All in all
After all
It's not a play thing
But an illusion.
And it come to one and all
One and all.

Red Zone 12

5

Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

The worshippers walk down in their throng thousands to bathe in a muddy river, down the grey brown steps, saris and robes pressed to their bodies by the winds, and then clinging to their bodies from the water.

Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

Some are wearing pants, some shirts, some sarongs, some robes. Some wear nothing at all, rolls of fat bouncing with each step down. Or sleek hips that flounce slightly. Or thin hard muscles that twist and spring. Or old bones that turn and creak. The multitudes of many multitudes come in waves to touch the sacred mire, which will give them the sacred sickness.

Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

Boats float on the water, some of wood, some grown, some of modern aerogels. They bump and collide. The create the wash of water behind them, with slapping spatter from from fish that churn in their wake, and birds that dive to scoop up the fish. Some old women grasp at the fish, because it brings luck.

Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Woosh-slap-junja-slap.

A few walk down in groups, chanting and wailing. A drummer unslings his drum and begins to play to tap the side of the drum. It is concave to fit between his legs, and the head is white. It is clearly made of grown materials, not natural, but it is worn and old none the less. Perhaps a century, because it has year ties around it that spiral two or three times. Each one lovingly fitted on the sacred day. Tied with fingers, but pulled tight with teeth.

He slaps his fingers on one side, and his palm on the other.

Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Woosh-slap-junja-slappa-shing.

Above two lanky robotic carriers, with legs rather than wheels, their banks rising and falling with each step, are being moved to the river to take on water to carry. As they are walked back, the vibrations will shake and help filter the water. The boy driving them uses a single white stick like controller, the places he touches make them swerve left and right, or at least as quickly as a 3 meter long, one meter high, six legged robot can. The robot is dun colored, and is spotted with age, and dented here and there.

The bells on the robot jingle in great cascading shakes.

Chin-chingle-chin-ching.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Woosh-slap-junja-slappa-shing.

As the people come, so come the buzzing insects, the flies, the things that bite, the things that sting. And behind them come the dragon flies that hum. And soon the birds are rousted from the ancient stone lintels upon which they nest. And then the larger hawks that circle. Mobbed by the crows that caw and swoop for corns of grain between runs behind the hawks.

Chin-chingle-chin-ching.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Woosh-slap-junja-slappa-shing.
Bzzzzz-whappa-aww-aww-reaash-aww-aum.

And the mothers tell their daughters to stand up straight, and tell their boys to stick close and not wipe their fingers after eating a surgary sweet. They chatter about their husbands, or the husbands other wives. Or with the other wives about how the husbands have been too lazy.

Yababa-yaba-ya-yabba-ya.
Chin-chingle-chin-ching.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Woosh-slap-junja-slappa-shing.
Bzzzzz-whappa-aww-aww-reaash-aww-aum.

And on the steps, one lonely boy sits, and he stares at a girl whose mother is leading her down the steps. He soaks in the sounds, and the sights, and wonders why they have picked her for him, or him for her, and why the have crossed paths on this holy festival day.

For a moment she turns and her black eyes meet his, and she
smiles.

Yababa-yaba-ya-yabba-ya.
Chin-chingle-chin-ching.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Bzzzzz-whappa-aww-aww-reaash-aww-aum.

He feels a strange movement in his heart, the beating comes hard and close. He feels some how, that he is like a dog, tied to a stick, outside a door, and baying at a hidden moon, hidden in the sun's great glare, but he can feel it so.

They eyes are caught, and so entangled, and the hover on each other as the dragon fly hovers in the air, and as the hawk stares down at the fishing bird, and the hovering fisher down at the wailing fish.
And all the sights die away. He cannot see them, only the tunnel that is the eyes that connect them, as if some river flowed from her into him.

Yababa-yaba-ya-yabba-ya.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.
Bzzzzz-whappa-aww-aww-reaash-aww-aum.

And all the language disappears, the words subside, and all the music becomes a tangle, he can only feel a draining in his heart that is like a song, in that a song reaches the ears, but falls into the body.
It cries. It cries. It cries.

Chin-chingle-chin-ching.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

He rattles in his head, like a dish filled with ceremonial coins, that beggars rattle because they seek salvation in the begging.

And all the sounds die away. He cannot hear them, only the beating of his heart, which beats and skips. Beats and skips. Beats and skips. He shakes, frightened and paralyzed of any voluntary movement. He shakes. And falling from his memory, as if he were a tree, and all the small scraps that his boyish mind has retained are round yellow fruits to fall on the ground, falling from his memory, is what it is like, to feel good when he is alone.

Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa
Pause.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Pause.
Ba-bump-ba-bop-bopa.
Pause.
Pause.
Aye-ya-ya-ya-ya-aye.

4

He opened his eyes, still asleep, seeing himself like an old picture, his hand around a serpent, that coiled around his legs. His shoulders were square to his vision, and his face impossibly squared, like a cartoon.

And then he awoke, on a bunk, in a deep sweat. This wasn't the memory, it was the memory of dreaming he remembered it. It wasn't the memory that he had forgotten. How could I forget the first moment I saw Pritha?

You can't, and never will.

You are right K. I can't and never will.

Is that why you are going back to her? Some half remembered dream from the River Ganges.

It is that something about her is the source of who I am, the snows on the mountains that feed the river that is my life.

Every river reaches the sea sometime.

Not every river. I have seen one that doesn't, it dies in the desert.

Perhaps that's your love for me, it is destined to die in the deserts of Mars.

Is that what you are afraid of, K?

No. I'm afraid you will leave me here, looking up into space. Alone.

You will never be alone Keisha, people love you.

The more people love you, V, the more you are alone.

He could feel his breath, but it was as a memory that was being filled in to suit a conversation which was taking place in the flutter of a rem. The quality of this was distinctly different from a real breath. First, he knew how it was going to feel before he felt it.

Then this is some different meaning of the word love.

Celebrity, V, is the the kind of love people feel for me. That or their own masturbatory desire to penetrate me.

A desire you allow them.

In return for much, much more, V.

You know I could never get used to it K, not really.

You have a wife. I was supposed to get used to that?

I'm sorry for that. I am so so sorry.

That you have a wife, or that you want me?

I am so sorry for hurting you.

Isn't that what you do? Hurt people?

Isn't that what revolution does?

I never wanted a revolution.

It seems that is irrelevant, because you have birthed one.

That's what barren women do. If they can't have beautiful babies, the give birth to beautiful things. If we don't create, we destroy.

So I am seeing. So this is an old story K?

No, V, we are the oldest story. A square, four parts: high and low, man and woman. The prince marries the princess, but lusts for the whore, the whore takes up with the wild man, brute from the desert, or off from the mountains. The prince loves his wild man, in that way you men don't like to talk about, the wild man is shamed by the princess, who dreams of his cock between her loins.

And what happens?

You know. They kill the low man, and the prince morns. Bilgamesh and Enkidu, Achilles and Company. It's all the same.

Perhaps because people have not really changed.

In old earth they thought there would be a singularity, where the future and the past would be so different, as to be beyond understanding.

There was a singularity, but the more things have changed, the more they have remained the same.
You can't step in the same stream twice.

You cannot even step in the same stream once. But you can never really step out of it either, K.

You know the kind of inside I want. You know what I mean, what I, mean.

I know what you mean to me.

No, V, I am a symbol, a word, a writing, an utterance. And you know what I mean.

You are written on my mind. You are written on my self. It is you who are baptizing me in the river of my own memory. I am flowing backwards, to a source that I do not understand, and it is you who are drawing me there. Is this not enough to know how I feel, K?

I can see how you feel, I am standing above you, and can see the whole course of the river, back to the spring that is its source.

You sound as if you hate me.

Then you don't know the poison that a woman's hate can bring. The old goddesses killed with plagues, and brought a thousand fold troubles down.

Before the troubles came, after the Pegasi, we had not had a plague in many years.

But we have them now.

Yes, we have them now.

Isn't that enough to know how we feel?

About what?

When you are back in the flesh, I will show you, I will show you the flesh of my flesh.

I am so sorry K.

Sorry means nothing.

I am almost nothing, there is almost none of me left. I feel as if I am slipping down a spiral that has no end.

Nothing is what you must become, before you become anything at all. The parallel lines must converge.

And then what?

You will see there is a line straighter than straight.

And when I follow it?

You will reach its end.

And then?

You will break free, to the other side.

He heard in his ear, an old song, from old Earth. He tried to remember who wrote it.

Ah, yes. Thedorse. Thedorse wrote it. I wonder what else he wrote.

He hummed in his memory: “Break on through, to the other side. Break on through, to the other side.”

Sleep embraced him, and he fell into it's enfolding arms, bathed in a warmer sense, than any other he had ever known.

The alarm hit his body, stronger than any mere sound could have, and forced his eyes awake. They felt like they were bleeding. He waited for the spin hammock to slow down. It left him in free fall.
He turned on the screen and waited for the message to come in, he knew he was going to have a gap, here beyond the moon's orbit, but it would not be too bad. Two seconds perhaps?

“Hello my son.”

There she was, her features rounded a bit by prosperity, but it was still his mother.

“Yes, mother.”

“I have wonderful news for you, your marriage is approved.”

He felt an itch in his ear. He was not sure how this was good news.

“Yes, mother.”

“This has been arranged for a long time.”

He stayed silent, one more assent would be suspicious.

“And there is another thing.”

“And that is?”

“They have approved the conception of an immortal out of the pairing.”

This, again, was a tiding whose gladness escaped him.

“The cost in liberties will be very high.”

“Nonsense, for a perpetual stake in the Dominion leadership, it is worth working your whole life.”

Which is about right, she has probably done the math as well.

“Of course I will do what is best for the family.”

Which might not be this, perhaps my bride to be can be persuaded of this.

“That is a good boy. You will get orders to come home for the wedding.”

Orders, that's interesting, not leave, orders. I keep forgetting how well placed Pritha's family is in the Union of India's hierarchy.

That is, not that's. He corrected himself.

“And another thing.”

“Yes, mother?”

“Doctor Kamalnath Chandra will oversea the child's development. Isn't that wonderful news?” His mother brought her hands together and had an overflowing happiness on her face. Clearly her life's ambitions were nearly complete.

“Only the best.”

“Yes. Now work, work, work. The expense will be enormous, but it will place our family among the first families of the Dominion.”

No, it will leave us burdened with debt to the Dominion forever, and mean that I will barely see my first child.

“Thank you mother. Out.”

He used that cold word meaning to sting, but he could see that she was already turning away and giving instructions to someone when the transmission cut.

It was too late to try and sleep again, so he decided to prepare himself for the day. A vision of Pritha, his wife to be flashed in front of his memory's eye. She was so nobly cut, so clearly made.

Work. Work. Work. It will be 30 years before I have a day that I own to myself again. Since that is more time than I have had in this world, I truly cannot imagine it.
He was woken, floating there in free fall, when the reveille was sounded, still drifting in a dream. A dream where all of the women in his life were chattering at him full speed, and not one was contented with who he was, and what he had done.



A Poem

"The Only Good Indian Is a Dead Public Relations Counsellor"

The Sight of sound captures
Of this I am sure, no words good back and forth between
Some silmarillion eddies in the brook
collected poems page by page
leaves of grass until they every were
the primrose path ever were
welcome witness to the young republic
a history or truth contain with a yankee's journal
1828 through 1870, as set down in Disraeli hand.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Red Zone 11

7

He opened his eyes, and they were filled with her eyes, a rich mahogany pair that locked into his, surrounded by pale tea with cream skin, and divided by a aquiline nose.

“I have to admit, I've simulated this many times, but never done it.” She smiled sheepishly and there was a nervous pounce to her voice. It stroked the lower registers and tickled upwards at the end of sentences. “What about you Deeshandir?”

What should I tell her, that I have had sex? Or that I've, He mentally stopped and corrected himself, I have spent far too much time thinking about almost everyone but her. His memory peered back at all of the different shapes and kinds of women that he had blundered across in simulations, from the very simple and repetitive ones which were almost childishly easy to get off the track, to the more subtle and complex that almost sucked the mind into them.

“I can truly say that being here with you is totally different from anything I have experienced before.”

She smiled slightly.

“Is that a nice way of saying you have before? It is alright if you have. I would have if my family had taken their eyes off me for more than five minutes at a time.”

“It is hard to do anything in five minutes.”

She allowed her self a tiny giggle.

“Now that I am here I have no idea what to do.”

“This is the part that sims skip past.”

“Which part is that?”

“The part where you are staring at your partner, and it is intoxicating, but paralyzing.”

They were seated facing each other, cross legged. He was painfully aware that he was lying exposed, and his erection was duly visible. He was also aware, but could only steal glances downward, that she was both exposed and not exposed. There was a black thicket of hair around her thighs, but more than that, he had not been able to really absorb.

He tried to keep his eyes on her, remembering how many sims rewarded this, but he could not help looking downward. However, he could never allow himself to look down for long enough to really soak in her features. He had some impression of her shape, with her breasts Poetry comes from wanting to stare, but only being able to glance. He had a vague sense that her nipples were inverted, pointing in rather than out, and that her areolae were large, but not strongly pigmented against her skin. Her breasts were not small, but were close to her body, like low rolling hills. Beyond that, he had only a sense of a slight chubbiness in her mid-section. But by that point, his eyes had bounced up to hers again.

By the time they had, she was smiling in embarrassment.

“I know I am different from the images.”

He felt his face get warm.

“I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stare.”

“It is fine. We are,” she almost halted, “married now.”

She reclined outwards, and rolled sideways, lying across the covers that were rumpled up, and rested her head in her hand, and her elbow on a pillow. She bumped her thighs together. Her hips were rounded by the way she had bent slightly, his eyes followed their outer curve, set clearly against the velveteens of the hotel room's décor. The browns and reds of the stripes set off by golden designs of some antiquity made her shape more pronounced in both his mind and his imagination.

“I had some gardening done.”

He paused, confused.

“My hair down there, I had it shaped. I wasn't sure what you liked.”

I am not sure either.

She had hesitated, clearly waiting for something.

It felt as if there were a stopper in his throat, as if his stomach were one giant vat of trepidation waiting to spill outwards. Nothing in any sim, had prepared him for this. Nor had his trysts, for that is what they were, he as hungry and unwilling to worry about any future moment as his partners. There was a wall here. Well then, best to say that.

“What makes this different from anything else is that you will still be here... tomorrow, and the day after.”

Her eyes glowed.

“I did not know you could be so sweet. You have always been so cold. I was worried that you were a stone jar, with nothing in it, but cobwebs...” She trailed off. “I do not mean to hurt your feelings, but this is the first moment you have shown anything to me.”

“Today was one long ritual, not very much different for me than a military parade.”

She frowned.

“You did very well. At least very well at going through the motions.”

It was not what he saw, because he had been stealing glances down at how thin her waist was, and how it tapered to her hips, and then there was a peculiar coming together into a point, like the point at the top of a pyramid. However much he had seen in simulation, it was not the same. Perhaps because in simulation it all moves from one point of erotic obsession to another.

“You do think a great deal don't you Deeshandir?”

“Yes, perhaps too much.”

She sat back up again, and draped her arms over his shoulders, locking locking eyes with him.

“I do not want you to think too much, I do not want you to wait too much, I do not want you to worry too much.” She tilted her head forward and looked directly at him.
In every simulation, in every real life event, I have always had to push. This is beyond my expectations. In fact, he felt quite giddy.

She laughed, almost as if she was laughing for him. She lowered her face, so that her eyes seemed as they were looking up at him. She wrapped her knee over his leg, the soft back of her thigh lying on his foot.

I am a blind man who sees the sun, I am the starving man who walks to a banquet. She is laid out before me, richer than all the meals I have ever eaten. Pause. And I cannot even open my mouth.

She gazed at him with a worried half-smile. “I thought you would like my breasts? Don't you?” It was in a sing song tone low in her voice that some how set on him. His body felt twice as large, his shoulde

Strangely, her use of Anglo-Englishisms, was more erotic than that she had obviously perfumed and made herself up. The blue across her eyelids, the gentle sculpting of her cheeks with a soft dust, the vibrancy of flowers that hung about her in a wreath, seemed like the props of a street performer, over done, over calculated. It was that she wanted him to like her, like her in her best ad worst attirbutes. The soft folds and roles of her waist, the way her breasts hung, suddenly took on a different life, now that he knew that she needed something from him.

He fell into her, a move that he had learned often enough in simluations, and held himself on his elbows, cradling her face with his hands. Their eyes locked, and finally he was on familiar ground, where touch and response would lead where every they needed to go.

He had not expected how much like tasting her it would be to penetrate, how it felt as if she were a rich fatty meat, like the one, grown from an actual pig, he had savored at a military dinner. It was lush fattiness. And so it felt to be in her, as if he could taste the way she melted over him.

They slept, bathed in sweat and their coruscated union.


6

He opened his eyes, as if clearing some particle that irritated them, and then looked around. His remembered self was lost. But lost in space, or thought, he did not know. He was inside, in a building.

The halls were made of an older stone, and dated, he knew, from Old Earth, before the cataclysm. He looked down the corridor, once, they joked it was infinite. The heavy green double door was 20 meters before him, with squares inlaid in it. Above him stretched three floors of columns, and then, the roof of a dome. It was small compared to myriad structures, but he could feel the weight of stone.

Once, they carved from their cities from flesh and stone, and wrought them with bones and iron.

He was momentarily pleased at this floating bit of eloquence, though he knew he had absorbed it from someplace. Someday, just once, I would like to do something that is mine alone. But I am here in this aged university to learn what I should already know.

He continued to walk across the vast vestibule that was the floor of the dome, and towards the doors. He had been told he had to walk to the end of the “Infinite Corridor” and then turn right. His course load was light, because, of course, he was on a visiting semester from the Military Academy. He could see the face of the admissions officer here, slightly bemused, and with a dash of pity.

Thus bemusing on the chain of events that had allowed him to take physics and other courses from this old and prestigious place he continued to walk. It must have been more impressive when it was above sea level, and not underneath its own dome. Sufficiently so that they reclaimed it after the seas rose.

Equilibrium has its costs.

“Last semester we left off with the implications of the basic equation of General Relativity. I'm going to do a quick review of it here, and then get on to the important term that came, went, and returned to physics.”

This lecturer had a sharp voice, one whose basic accent was of Terringlish, which was not surprising given that he was from the Confederation, and a way of whistling through the material at breakneck speed.

On a vaguely white space, shaped like a rectangular box, bright neatly written symbols appeared:

Gμν= 8πTμν
Gμν= Rμν-.5 g

“I'm sure you've all loaded the course material by now, so who we can skip the recitation of the basic equations, and focus in on the term which would generate both controversy and beauty.”

“Of course, I'm speaking of the Λ term in his original formulation, and what is now called space energy, or vacuum energy by some of our older Kamis. If you ask for help from a Kami, just remember that your definitions of help my differ in sign, magnitude, and tensor. In the form here, it is rolled into the T or stress tensor.”

“As hard as it may seem to grasp, at that time, the universe was smaller and younger. The age of the earth, and the sense of the universe were conditioned by ideas that the sun could only be a few millions of years old, fed by the heat of gravitational contraction, the way Jupiter is. The universe was only the galaxy. It would be two decades before Hubble established that the universe was billions of years old, and billions of light years across.”

“So Einstein, seeing that his equations predicted an expanding universe, added a term, the 'cosmological constant' which is the topic of today's discussion.”
He called it his biggest mistake, though of course no one would agree with that assessment now.

He had always been good with loading, and with wandering through and incorporating. Much of the lecture was contained in his mind, forward in his real memories already. He had processed this. Paying attention was hard, because he was trying to go the next step, which was visualization. The course would get to that, and the exercises would force it, but at the moment, he didn't need this.

He only realized he had allowed his attention to wander when he heard is name.

“Deeshandir, I think you should come up here and draw out singularity lines for us.”
He looked at the board. Coming up there was intentionally meant to make him sweat. He did. Profusely. Panic is not going to improve this. I have this, it is inside me, I just need to let it flow out.

He walked up and drew out the equations for the minimum energy of two light rays under the influence of gravitation, which follow the geodesic, the straight line in a curved space.

The prof shook his head.

“This is simple. Tensors are collisions of vectors, they can be made to have no basis. You are still trying to draw a line on the space that I have put up. That's not how it works. That's Newtonian and Euclidean, but it isn't relativistic. Matter and energy flow along space, but they warp it at the same time.”

There was a pitting glance.

“This is as simple as walking through mud. Your boot flows down, the mud flows around it, shaping how you can push with your foot. Now try again. Have the light rays flow along the space.”

He finally drew the light rays, they converged exactly at a point.

“So, there's the singularity. Now ask yourself, can it actually every get there? Even without spin, which we've neglected here, can they ge there?”

Deeshandir paused.

“No.”

“Why not.”

“Because as they get closer time slows. Matter cannot reach the speed of light, and it will never actually get to the singularity because it has to pass an event horizon.”

“Correct as far as it goes. What happens when the event horizon evaporates. Remember it will do that faster and faster as it gets smaller and smaller.”

“Then...”

“Well.”

He paused.

“If the space energy term is positive, no, because the pressureof space itself will go to infinity as it gets closer.”

“Negative infinity, but otherwise correct as far as it goes. We need to move on. I'll ask you more about this tomorrow.”

He was embarrassed but not humiliated. Back in his small room, with its narrow bed, he went over this point several times, drawing lines in the air above him, until he could feel the resistance getting closer to the singularity.

As long as there is expansion, there is no singularity, as long as there is positive void energy, there is negative pressure.

He slept, bathed in a river of symbols.