Oppressed by the weight of the universe, Karlin mourned. Yet, at the same time he would not give up the search for his son. It had been months since Khu had disobeyed him and taken off on what Karlin knew would be a suicide mission. What had this earth dimension girl done to him? Khu had known her for less than one of their spacial days. Still he risked his life to save the girl from a galactic catastrophe.
Karlin reached out with his mind as far as he could into the blackness of the space he had come to know as well as anyone. With his hand-held spacial converter he scanned for the tiny nodes that make up all of space. The converter took those tiny nodes and combined them to form sub-atomic particles, which in turn constructed all sorts of matter. They also held clues to anyone who might have passed through this part of space. He looked with hope at the screen of the convertor but saw no evidence that anyone had passed through this region of space.
He could not be reached by his wife’s mind so far away from the inter-dimensional space between this near void he navigated and the planet that had always been the nemesis of his species. It was just as well that he could not hear his wife. The feel of her anguish and the depth of her sorrow would be magnified by his own grief and the vast emptiness that stretched before him.
Something was gently probing his mind, though. When he tried to capture it and center it in his consciousness it would fade away. There were the prison bubbles that floated in this region of space. Perhaps it was one of them attempting a plea for help. Hoping, he thought it might be Khu seeking any mind with which he could communicate. If Khu’s spacial converter was still functional and had not been completely destroyed by that rogue planet’s senseless experiment, then perhaps his son could have created enough life supporting matter to have survived.
Always disciplined and mind-centered, Karlin remained focused on the search. He projected an image of his son, Khu, on the surface of his spatial bubble and spoke to it as if his son were there. I love you, Khu. You are in my heart and mind. My being longs to see you again. As tears clouded his vision there was a flash beyond the surface of the bubble. It was gone before Karlin could center it. There it was again. This time Karlin caught its origin with his spacial converter and guided the spacial bubble to intercept it.
It would take him a spacial day to reach the source, but he would soon be able to magnify it on the screen of the spacial bubble. It was another SB. The SB appeared to be empty. As he traveled closer to the source of the flash, he could make out two bodies floating within.
Karlin extended his mind as far as he could, but could not reach another sentient mind. Filled with hope he raced toward the SB, becoming more and more certain that it had to be Khu and the girl from the earth dimension; despite knowing that it could just as well be a prison cell that floated hapless in the darkness of space.
The Black Sea
The disappointment nearly crushed his spirit. As his SB floated in front of the source of the faint flash that he had been sure was another SB containing his son and the earth-girl he was paralyzed at first with dread and then overcome by anger that these prisoners survived while his son was probably dead. Mind to mind contact with prisoners was strictly against the law. But out here in the region of space known as the The Black Sea, no one would know, no one would care.
Karlin, centering himself to control his anger and disappointment, reached out with his mind. The prisoners, a man and a woman, were either asleep or dead. If they were asleep he could probe their minds. Maybe they had seen Khu. When Karlin made contact with the mind of the man in the SB he was surprised to find that the man’s mind was at peace, even hopeful. He could not detect any information that the man had encountered anyone.
He entered the mind of the woman whose mind was even more peaceful with a subtle euphoria. What could be making these two prisoners so peaceful, almost happy as they slept? Karlin began to see bits and pieces of the source of the woman’s peacefulness. He detached from her mind and began a visual scan of the bubble. His breath shortened, his eyes widened as his heart pounded. There in the left hand of the woman was a spatial converter. It was Khu’s. It had the unmistakable emblem of his family name on it.
Mind to mind contact with prisoners was one thing, physical contact could lead to his execution. It was worth the risk. He had to get the spatial converter. He was faced with an even greater problem. An eversion, the merging of the two SB’s would be the only way he could make contact. Prison bubbles were made to never be opened. Khu’s experience with eversion during the escape of the earth-girl must have led him to understand how to get the converter to the prisoner. But why? Why would his son give his converter, his lifeline to this woman? It must have been the earth-girls influence. After all, she had used eversion to escape. It wasn’t Khu. Such thoughts were as waste of time.
Again he centered his mind and concentrated on the woman whose eyes flew open and stood in the midst of the bubble with a quickness that belied her condition. A side effect of Black Sea imprisonment was the development of a strong mind. It was a survival skill and Karlin was not prepared for the sudden resistance to his probing of this woman’s mind. To add to his challenge, this was no ordinary woman. This woman was Marla. She had been imprisoned twenty earth-dimension years earlier along with her husband for exploring the possibility of uniting the earth-dimension and inter-dimensional space.
As strong as her mind had become, she was no match for Karlin who soon regained his advantage. Marla, for her part relaxed her mind and instead held up Khu’s spacial converter as if to taunt Karlin. What she really wanted to do was communicate breath to breath instead of mind to mind.
“Karlin, my old nemesis and son.”
Karlin narrowed his eyes, and furrowed his brow. “There has never been and nor will there ever be a familia relationship between us. How did you get my son’s spatial converter. Tell me where he is immediately and I won’t mention all of the laws you are violating, even as a prisoner. You could be put to death.”
“Ah, death. You would never be so kind as to grant me such freedom.”
“Don’t tempt my anger. I could burst your bubble and your wish would be granted.”
“Yes, and at the same time lose the spatial converter and any chance of finding your son.”
Realizing he had no advantage, really, Karlin softened his approach. “Okay, Marla. You must be able to sense that I am desperate to find my son. It is all that matters. Please, help me. Tell me, is he alive?”
“He is indeed alive, thanks to my husband who nearly lost his life saving your son and the earth-girl. He has been unconscious ever since the failed eversion attempt by your brave if not foolish son.”
“Where is Khu? I don’t have time to spar with you. I must find him.”
Marla’s brow furrowed. Her eyes narrowed and her lips began to tremble. What she was about to do was not only an act of desperation, it was cowardly and cold.
“I will give you information about how to find Khu, but not the spatial converter. Your father and I have only one chance at freedom. If you want your son, you will have to pardon both of us and and restore our minds to complete spatial functionality.”
With unexpected calm and speed, Karlin spoke. “Anything you wish. How do I find my son?”
“First, program our spatial converter from your bubble to guide us home and with information necessary to set us free. And don’t leave out anything, including how you manipulated the original trial that resulted in our conviction.”
“It is done,” Karlin said. “Now where is my son?”
“It seems you have learned little patience, son. Before you continue on your search, you’d better listen to what I have to tell you. You may not survive without this knowledge.”
Marla could not see the tension in Karlin’s clinched fists. But, she could sense the heat burning as the neurons fired within his brain. Karlin spoke, “I have been more than patient. I only need the information you promised. I have given you your freedom and a full pardon. WHERE IS MY SON!?”
“Despite it all, I still find that I love you, Karlin. So what I am about to tell you may save your life and protect Khu and the earth girl. There are sub-quantum fields in this region of space. Instead of the familiar disturbances in the fields that manifest as particles that we use to construct our material world, these particles feed off of other particles. They are a kind of particle cannibal. Their easier prey are other particles that arise from the fields surrounding our minds that allow us to communicate. Your father is not just unconscious because of his attempts to help Khu, the particles have ravaged his mind. It has been worse for him because he has used his mind to keep me from becoming infected.”
Karlin was not surprised by what his mother told him. The scientific community had long speculated that such particles existed. The many field theories of quantum mechanics had even predicted such particles. He knew that the only way to combat what the scientists called quisons was to limit or totally cut off mind to mind communication.
“I understand, Marla. Now please. My son. Where is he?”
“I’m sending you the coordinates to the spatial dimension where we left him. Your converter should be able to find him. The space is full of quisons. He may not have survived their effect. Despite all we have been through, I wish you luck in finding him.
I know what it is like to lose a son.”
“Losing Simon during one of your ill-fated attempts to give birth inter-dimensionally just to prove a theory is not the same as my possible loss of Khu.”
Marla sighed, a tear close to forming. She said, “I was not talking about Simon.”
Karlin made no response. He looked at the data on his spacial converter and began to drift away.
THE COUNCIL OF NINE
“The earth would not be a threat to our space had we not followed the ill conceived policy of mind manipulation of those having enhanced cognitive ability. Nearly all of the seven billion inhabitants of earth are dead or dying; and now we are just months away from a breach of inter-dimensional-space(IDS) by the earth planet,” Laven, interim chair of the council was saying.
There were nine council members present for the long awaited report on the consequences of the emergence experiment that had gone wrong. Professor Perry, along with Paul Price and his daughter Allie had successfully prevented a galactic disaster by redirecting the experimental emergence gravity wave back toward the earth. But no one could have predicted that the redirected wave would have torn the fabric of space, while at the same time changing the EM polarization of the planet and slightly altering its orbit.
After his brief introduction, Laven turned to Raja, all be it reluctantly, and said, “Raja, you can begin your report to the council.” He looked at Raja with a warning in his eyes. Raja, was given to both humor and hyperbole to make his points. He was both entertaining and irritating.
Raja bowed to the audience of council members and began, “Distinguished members of the council and germs. And by germs I mean we who are and were the germinators of the plan that contributed to this disaster.”
The members of the council, used to Raja’s hyperbole and sad attempts at humor, remained silent. Only Laven shook his mind in disapproval, and more sternly sent him a mental message that he was to stick to the report.
Raja continued, “Here is a summary of the current condition of our space and the condition of the earth dimension. So far our space remains in tact, though there has been a minor overlap between our space and the earth dimension. Minor being about a .5% overlap. There has been no interruption of normal life in our space, however the projections are that this overlap will increase over time and may have unknown consequence for our way of life. How much time I hear some of you asking? At the present rate we project a .5% to 1% overlap per earth dimension year.”
Laven, sensing the distress in the council spoke, “Can you be more specific about these unknown consequences?”
“If they are unknown, Laven, how can I possibly be more specific. Perhaps I should have said that there may be consequences which we can not predict. We won’t know what they are until they are upon us. We do know that our spacial dimensions are linked. With the earth now shifted from its orbit prior to the experiment to its current orbit, our space is not as stable as it was. As all of you know we have been experiencing vibrations in the fabric of space here. So far the vibrations have been minor. Our space engineers are making adjustments and the vibrations should abate.”
Raja was a true man of his space. There being no planetary surface as in the earth dimension, all of the so-called alt-species were of slight build, rather long and stringy looking. Through the centuries they had lost all melanin in their skin and so were albino with a shimmering silver appearance. Raja’s eyes were large and colorless. He made no attempt, like some of his colleagues did, to alter his natural appearance. Others, however, were masters at using the tiny components that made up all of space, to reconstruct their appearance. Laven, for example, was as human looking as anyone in the earth dimension. His family had kept records of their descendants all the way back to their earth origins, carefully preserving their appearance even as the species evolved. Some of the alt-species looked human, like any other homo sapiens, but they were very far from human. Purists, like Raja, felt no connection to their human progenitors.
Nevertheless, they all maintained a level of respect for the varying views on appearance and ancestry. However, there was a wide gulf between those who believed in contact with the earth dimension and those who hated the thought of ever being in contact with what they called a renegade species. It was clear to them that homo sapiens had persecuted those with enhanced cognitive ability or ECA that allowed the possessor to perceive space as it really was and even travel inter-dimensionally. They were eventually driven from the earth as demons and evil sprits to inter-dimensional space where through great effort and determination they learned to engineer space and make a home for themselves. It wasn’t easy.
Those who first ventured into inter-dimensional space assumed they were still somewhere on the earth. It soon became clear that there was no earth. There was no surface, no sky, no atmosphere, there was only space. But it was not space as they had perceived it while on earth. There was a discreetness to this space; and it could be manipulated and controlled. It could be molded into whatever one with ECA wanted. Breathing was made natural by the interaction of ECA with the discreet units of this space autonomically. The body still needed oxygen for respiration and as a body inhaled the discreet units of space converted to oxygen. It was as if the discreet units of space knew what they needed to become. It was the same with food, or more accurately, sustenance in the form of molecules made from units of space that matched the metabolism of the body. In the beginning, a feeling or euphoria, like an endorphin induced runner’s high, took over the early inhabitants; sometimes to the point where their only desire was the new feeling. But this soon faded into a normal state of being.
The first explorers of IDS learned that to navigate the space they had to think about where they wanted to be. There were no landmarks or stars to guide them. This was not the universe they had known. What they had discovered was a pocket of space that had piled up when the endless cycle of space creation had temporarily stopped and caused a pile-up of the discreet units of space that created most universes. Inter-dimensional space is not a space filled with stars, planets and galaxies. Oh no, this is a universe of space itself with all of its creative potential. Over the millennia, the space engineers, the early pioneers from the earth dimension, began experimenting with constructing a new world.
It was a frustrating and daunting task until one of the earliest of the pioneers realized that the problem was their fixation on the earth dimension. They were trying to recreate the earth dimension, which while possible in theory, was also limiting. The realization that they could create whatever they could conceive freed their thinking. The first thing they did was to create a new coordinate system to navigate by. It was very simple really. They chose a point in IDS, called it the central point and began to both create and map new points. A serious complication arose, however, when they realized that the discreet units of space were not static. All of IDS was a roiling sea of space that changed constantly. They needed an anchor. So they created one from the very fabric of space and tied it to the earth dimension. Imagine a spider’s web. The center is the central point of IDS and strands of space radiated from the central point and anchor at various coordinates in the earth dimension just like a spider’s web anchors to stationary objects like tree branches, or the corner of a house. In this case the anchors were portals that led in and out to the earth dimension. There are hundreds of thousands of such anchor points.
In extreme secrecy, over hundreds of years those with ECA traveled between the earth dimension and IDS. At first small colonies were established in IDS with those who had more advanced ECA and could manipulate the discreet units of space. They and their apprentices became the space engineers, master builders using only their minds and the very substance of creation.
The engineers were only good at construction. They were not artists. The space they were able to manipulate and make habitable was nothing like the earth dimension with its sky above and earth below; running rivers and vast oceans. Not only was IDS nothing like the earth dimension, in the beginning it was nothing. Not the absence of something, rather nothing, which turned out to be everything. So the space engineers had to learn to become artists and creators. Soon, musicians joined in and a guild was formed to create a new world that was aesthetically pleasing, livable and every bit as comfortable and natural as the earth dimension. It was not easy.
Raja’s family history is full of tales of how early possessors of ECA emerged from Africa well before the diaspora that spread all of humanity across the face of the earth. At first, these early humans did migrate to what is now Egypt; but they are not early Egyptians. They are not related to Pharaohs or even any known pre-Egyptian group. They were wanderers, seeking refuge from the persecution by early human tribes who could not understand their cognitive abilities. But as for many generations of humans after them, the Nile delta proved a safe and hospitable area, well before recorded history. They used the area as a base to travel between the earth and inter-dimensional space. For hundreds of years they travelled back and forth constructing the world that would ultimately become their home. Many perished, however, before it became clear that life in two separate dimensions was not possible. This along with the ultimate invasion of other early humans drove those with ECA permanently into IDS, where they have been for several millennia.
The first invading humans that finally drove those with ECA permanently from the earth, destroyed any vestige of those with ECA. Fear of the unknown and of a people who could “disappear” into the air led to the establishment of myths and even religions. What one does not understand is often explained by myth and story telling. Some of the myths and stories persist on what is left of the earth to this day. Stories of ancient alien civilizations; stories of giants that inhabited the earth prior to homo sapiens; stories of unexplained disappearances often attributed to abductions by visitors from the spirit world; and a plethora of science fiction yarns that came no where near the truth. The truth in this case being an almost incomprehensible reality. Incomprehensible that is until the work of professor Perry and emergence theory. It was on this subject that Raja had veered in his oral report.
“As you know, we could not have predicted that professor Perry would have made the breakthroughs in emergence theory in such a short period; nor could we have predicted that his research would have been commandeered for this tragic experiment-though I believe our illustrious leaders are partially to blame for communicating with some of the earth species. Be that as it may, professor Perry remains in the chrysalis, regenerating at a rate that could keep him in a sleep for years. We don’t really know. The space here should have already regenerated him, but his physical state of deterioration prior to entering the chrysalis may be slowing the regeneration process. In addition, this is our first attempt to regenerate an earth species. Who knows what will happen to him.
“What we do know is that it would be helpful to have professor Perry alive and well so that he could travel back to the earth dimension and report directly on the conditions there. None of our scientists are willing to take the risk.”
At this point Laven interrupted and asked, “What about Dr. Price. He was with professor Perry when the experiment ended. In fact he and professor Perry and the little girl prevented galactic disaster. Where is he?”
“Well, before you interrupted me I was coming to that. He is, as the earth species would say, crazy. His mind is lost, out there somewhere in his own dimension. He can be of no help to us.”
Paul Price was one of the original modern travelers within IDS. He had been recruited early on to explore inter-dimensional space. In the beginning he had no knowledge that the space was inhabited. He and others used the space to travel from one point on the earth to another for both scientific and nefarious purposes. His young daughter, Allie, had followed him out of childish curiosity. Their enhanced cognitive ability, an extreme genetic rarity in modern humans, allowed them to navigate IDS until finally they discovered that they were not alone. Allie, however, was different. Her ECA was equal to that of the alt-species who have lived in IDS all of their lives. She had sacrificed herself to prevent the emergence experiment from destroying their galaxy. Now, along with Khu, she was lost somewhere between IDS and the earth dimension, floating in a bubble made of inter-dimensional space.
As Raja was about to begin the technical part of his report, a young woman came into the room. Her countenance was dimmed, her long, dangly arms trembled giving her entire body a shimmering appearance. She approached Laven, but could not control the information within her mind. The council knew that Marla had returned.
Marla pressed the center of the spacial converter and dissolved the prison sphere that had held her and her husband captive for more than ten years. Most of it spent in total darkness. She sat down next to her husband and cradled his head in her lap. Marla wept. Her best friend and co-conspirator for open relations with the earth dimension was dead. She blamed herself. She had passionately pursued Wron because of his spatial navigation genius. She had needed him for her plans to secretly travel between IDS and the earth dimension. She did love him, though it had taken time for that love to grow. Wron knew that Marla needed him more than loved him. He was a willing victim.
In front of her stood a line of officers who administered IDS justice to those who violated the carefully framed laws that governed IDS. Marla had led the illegal effort to reestablish contact with the earth dimension. Not just contact, rather diplomatic relations that would have exposed all of IDS to those on the earth. Surveillance of the earth was ongoing for thousands of years, but no one had ever suggested or tried to establish relations with such a dangerous and unpredictable people. Marla had been the first along with her husband and the terephiles as they called themselves.
It was her husband that had inspired her to lead the movement to establish relations with the earth-dimension. He was a recent arrival, relatively speaking, to IDS. Wron was born with exceptional ECA and had disappeared into IDS as a child. Marla’s family found and hid him. He adapted to IDS as if he had been born there. Marla and Wron were raised as brother and sister. They never really fell in love. Rather, they became partners in everything. But Marla was always the leader. Wron depended upon her guidance to learn how to live in IDS. Marla discovered that she had tremendous control over Wron and before they reached the age of eight earth years, Marla was using Wron to get what she wanted. What she had wanted more than anything was to travel secretly and at will between IDS and the earth-dimension. Wron was her key.
Despite his submission to Marla’s dominance, Wron knew that she needed him. What she needed was Wron’s unprecedented ability to travel within IDS and the earth-dimension not only at will, but without being detected. He could manipulate space the way a virtuoso violinist could manipulated the strings of a violin. He could see the individual quantum nodes that make up the fabric of space. What is more, he could change the positions of the individual nodes with his mind; bending and folding space to create pathways from one dimension to another as easily as strolling the streets of any city.
As children, they would enter the earth-dimension and play among children at the many parks they chose to explore. They would stay all day sometimes, until all of the children gradually began to leave and they too would leave, fading back into another dimension their play mates could not begin to imagine. Except for a special few.
The special few were those with varying degrees of ECA, who unknowingly caused a slight vibration in the fabric of space. They usually played alone on the playgrounds, often singing to themselves; lost in daydreams; or playing with imaginary friends. However, it was not in a playground that Marla and Wron came across a child near their age with exceptional ECA.
Wron had felt a strong tremor in the fabric of space that took both of them to a buoy in Louisiana where they encountered Paul Price sitting in a stinking, small wooden shack, staring out into space. Had Paul simply turned his head to his left and looked where the clearing for his house merged with the dense brush of the buoy, where lightening bugs usually flashed in a mating frenzy, he would have seen two figures huddled near the ground, staring in his direction. But he was fixated on the heavens, pledging to himself that someday he would figure everything out. He would know why there was something rather than nothing.
Wron and Marla felt drawn to Paul. They both wanted to walk up and tell him all about IDS and inter-dimensional travel. They resisted the temptation, staring at one another; knowing the others thoughts. Paul would eventually discover the gift of ECA. When he did, they would be waiting for him.
It never happened. By the time Paul began exploring IDS on his own, the IDS council had restricted any unauthorized inter-dimensional travel. As skilled as Wron was in the manipulation of the fabric of space, he was no match for the space guards who scanned for unauthorized travel. Though most of them were not as naturally skilled as Wron, they possessed technology, spacial sensors, that could detect changes in the fabric of space; and there was at least one among them rumored to be the master of inter-dimensional space. It was he, who years later, captured Wron, Marla and many of their followers, which eventually led to their banishment.
Now Marla was free and about to learn more of what had happened to the earth-dimension she had longed to join.