Return

Technically, the return was a simple teleportation from one point in space to another; the immersion was the real challenge. I came back the same day our first astronaut went into space, and there was no fanfare or welcome back committee. Not that I would have expect any of my old friends, or relatives to be alive after so many years. Maybe my grand grandchildren are still alive… but I never tried to find them, a completely new life was waiting for me. I arrived in the railway station of a small, remote town. “There is too much technology around the planet, your own and the one of the watchers,” my friend from space told me. With no cries, my mind already acknowledged the reality from the moment they asked me to return, still a faint hinge of disappointment lingered inside.  To be honest it was more a push than an ask, but in the end, I agreed with their estimation of a black future, without being sure what a sleeper cell like me could do to stop it. There was no one outside the train station building, and a howling wind was carrying my perfect cover – the desert dust – in big waves that shortened the visual range to less than two meters. I appeared from nowhere, in a way that was acceptable for both sides: the people who left me when my old Gate friend, Houston, closed the channel, and the people around the station, who acknowledged my ghostly apparition from a tourbillon of dust. A few minutes later, settled comfortably, inside the old building, I opened my purse, checking my documents, after scanning the folks around – they were already cleaned by a scouting team that was still in the railway station, but old habits die hard. The girl in my identity card was still a stranger to me, and the card too. There were no such cards when I left, no need to attach arid numbers to people. One, six, seven… I am not one-six-seven … I am… No, I am no longer that person. I still am… It looked a bit like my former me; maybe it would even trick some of my old friends, but not me. And of course, I had no friends still alive. They did not want to take any risk, and I had to agree, my former me was a well-known political figure. I am history, I laughed inside, a bitter angry laugh. You are Zina, the name on the card told me. From now on, this is my name: Zina Tiati. And this is my planet again. I just fooled myself; my ‘new’ planet had almost nothing in common with my ‘old’ planet. They just happened to share the same place in space and a common history, before they split apart. Continue reading

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Explosion

A million years ago, one Faction created the first ‘New Field’, to split the universe in two. It failed. Ten billion people died, and the technology was forbidden and forgotten. They are trying again. How many will die now?

I never thought that metal can voice its own fear of destruction – the back wall vanished in flames, wailing like a dying man. Explosion. Howling people. Your own screams suppressing every sound, leaving behind wide-open mouths on grotesque, silent masks that you could never forget. For them, you looked the same. Another explosion. Less howling. A wave wrecked the space ship, cracks running faster than people. All my instincts vanished in that small second, letting behind a human bag pushed by the shock in the opposite side. I had no fear. Now, that is misleading, being paralyzed is a bit different of being fearless. “We lost the engines, start the evacuation,” the captain’s depressing voice filled the speakers. “I repeat, start the evacuation.” As if really needed – debris and human bodies were floating chaotically, some of them still alive, speaking louder than any words. Without thinking, I pushed, pulled, grunted, contortioned like a distressed snake between the flying fragments – some instincts found a way back into the human bag. I do not really know where our instincts reside; from my mind came nothing helpful apart of short flashes shouting at me: run. Maybe that is good enough; you do not need too much philosophy to run. Colorful gases emerged from broken pipes, expanding slowly in the long corridor, mortal and beautiful, and sirens howled a morbid sound. On my left side, a flying bird shape took form. Beautiful. Sometimes my mind is reproducing it: the pouch of gas bursting from the broken pipe, forming a pair of imaginary wings – a surreal dream. Wrong, death is by no mean surreal. That end of the corridor was my unique goal; the escape door was there, almost closed. In a moment, the bird ‘captured’ the girl moving a few meters from me. Having no mask, she stretched desperately, trying to grasp onto something that could take her out. Too late, with a last spasm, she became a body that was still moving by its own inertia, until a flying table interfered, turning her white, frozen face with a knock, her wide, unseeing eyes staring at me: black, black, black. Continue reading

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White wolf dream

First chapter of Io Deceneus Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The white wolf turned his head with animal leisure, until I met his eyes – black pits of charcoal in all that snow – so close, that shades appeared in their darkness. Don’t panic. Don’t… I turned around … only me and the wolf, his tongue hanging out. Where is everybody? A crystal twig cracked under the snow, and three times the raven cawed in a human voice: “Wolf-man! Wolf-man! Wolf-man!” Unimpressed, the wolf howled in my face, and I howled back, to smother his howl, to smother my mind. A howl … another one… In-between, silence flows, and the mind sees all that you are not searching for.

“Duras, no! Stay here.” Whistling between the snowdrifts, the wind carried voices over the ridge.

A small voice, a girl… What is she doing here? I blinked: the lone wolf was backing off, his lips half writhed into a snarl. In the valley, a pack of gray wolves went out from the forest, and split in two wings – ready to hunt.

“Some scared wolves… We can’t go back, young girl; death is waiting there.”

A man’s voice … almost a man’s voice. “Listen to her,” I shouted, and frosted leaves whispered under his small, uneasy steps. “The gray wolves … they split.” … NothingThey can’t hear me. Continue reading

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Time Travel to Egypt (final version)

First chapter of Io Deceneus Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The streets of Amarna: people were different, the smells were different and the noise was different. By appearance, I belonged to that place – white knee-length skirt and sandals, very like the others, even in the way that they looked worn – yet uneasiness grew inside me. “The Nile is reborn,” people cried around me. I understand… I burned from the childish temptation to answer questions raised three thousand years before I was born. Would they find the stranger in me?

The crack came too late, my shoulder burned, pain shot up and down my arm. “Take me back home!” I screamed. With blurred eyes, I noticed the lowered heads and I bowed. The whip stopped; the buzz stopped; my mind regained clarity, clarity arose from panic, unnatural and treacherous.

Two soldiers dragged me away, and sand filled the cuts in my skin. “Once sand enters the scars it burns for days,” the Gate whispered to me.

Bitch! I thrust myself upwards to stand on my feet; the soldier on the left lost his grip on my arm, then pushed my head in the sand, his words coming out in hiccups: “Snake … try to escape now … feel the sand…” Continue reading

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First dream (final version)

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The white wolf turned his head with animal leisure, until I met his eyes – black pits of charcoal in all that snow – so close, that shades appeared in their darkness. Don’t panic. Don’t… I turned around … only me and the wolf, his tongue hanging out. Where is everybody? A crystal twig cracked under the snow, and three times the raven cawed in a human voice: “Wolf-man! Wolf-man! Wolf-man!” Unimpressed, the wolf howled in my face, and I howled back, to smother his howl, to smother my mind. A howl … another one… In-between, silence flows, and the mind sees all that you are not searching for. Fangs…

“Duras, no! Stay here.” Whistling between the snowdrifts, the wind carried voices over the ridge.

A small voice, a girl… What is she doing here? I blinked: the lone wolf was backing off, his lips half writhed into a snarl. In the valley, a pack of gray wolves went out from the forest. With the deep instinct of seeing a prey, where there is one, the pack split in two wings – ready to hunt.

“A few scared wolves… We can’t go back, young girl; death is waiting there.”

A man’s voice … almost a man’s voice. “Listen to her,” I shouted, and frosted leaves whispered under his small, uneasy steps. “The gray wolves … they split.” … NothingThey can’t hear me.

“The white wolf is reborn!” she cried through chattering teeth. “The Hidden Passage will open again. And you are not much older than me.” Higher in pitch, her voice was now more furious than scared, and the wind swept down in cutting blasts, whose whistling cadences echoed around, laughing at her. I turned my head, trying to count the wolves: Ten … and the white one. Where is the white one? Continue reading

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Gone with the wind 2

Added to chapter two of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

The sound of the, now strong, wind changed softly, a subtle perception I did know that I had it until now, maybe because I was never tested this way; the training is changing me, a new regained confidence made me smile, it’s always good to find that you are better than before, a self-reliance building incident.  Some regular patterns were tossed in the air; they protruded with the wind and sand’s hiss. It was more sand lifted up and I sensed four sources of the noisy, sounding like the natural shifting of sand, but it was not the sand itself moving. A large predator – that could the only reason for the sounds I heard, and suddenly all my new self-acquired confidence melted in the wind Continue reading

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DNA (changed)

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

“Afraid? Do you want to run away and stop travelling? Or not? Not just yet? Would you still blame the bait? Or finally you will decide alone?” For the first time there was something wicked in her voice. “Why you don’t simply try to feel this new world? To open your mind and melt into the local field? You haven’t had a real taste of it yet. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be worth it,” she continued, softly this time, like trying hypnosis. “You’re unlikely to learn anything about it now, that time will come later, but maybe about yourself … It is the mind of the seeker that must first be educated, and the body follows. But you must have the will.” The hazy sun had already dropped below the horizon and the
land had melted into an inky wilderness by the time she had finished her scolding. The wind suddenly left off and there was complete silence. I was paralyzed with fear; I moved back instinctively, about to run. It only lasted a mere second before we were back on Earth, in my garden’s domestic assurance. She said nothing about it, and I did not pay attention to “that time will come later”.

Continue reading

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Teaching the Universe

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel. The Living Universe books series.

“The ‘me’ dealing with you was born only several hundred thousand years ago. I am not too old to be an artefact, as you see.” And she smiled at me, the smile of a young and beautiful woman.

“What if he perceives our presence here?”

“He is already aware, as his boundaries are so small, and there is no life yet; he is following us but he recognises me as being of his own structure, even when I come from a future he is not able to figure. There is no Gate yet at this stage.” Continue reading

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I the Robot invasion

With Capek and Asimov robots entered in our lives via science fiction books. Generation
after generation was waiting  for them to arrive also in our life. The usual perception was about humanoid robots interfering in our paths helping people in different way. The robots revolution was, in fact, already started by the apparition of the unspectacular industrial robots. Since the middle of the 20th century, robotics has become an essential
component of the production industry. However, the next major challenge for robotics
concerns applications for domestic environments and personal use, thus involving closer interaction between robots and humans. Continue reading

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The newborn universe

Added to chapter one of Journal of a Time Traveler – a science fiction  and fantasy book about time travel

The lights got brighter, then started to dim till blackness surrounded everything. I was floating in that darkness, in a strange position resembling a man sitting in his chair but the chair was no longer supporting me; it disappeared altogether with the whole restaurant. Her head was floating in a small illuminated sphere – around me. A diffuse scattered light appeared at a distance I was not able to appreciate. Between us and that light there was nothing. Here and there points of turbulence emerged, later their vague movements spread to the entire area in sight. The blackness vanished, chased by glowing yellow, cherry red or ultramarine blue lights. Continue reading

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