“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela.
Antarctica streaks onto the huge screen, slows to a crawl, then French kisses South America. I think we’re about 250 miles up, hopefully taking the scenic route to Egypt.
I’ll be glad to see the Great Pyramid again and feel the peace it radiates. It’s a storm that knocks out the grid and fades your worries into candlelight.
“I’m starting to love this,” Anahata says in my head.
The Antarctic ice comes closer. I sip my coffee and squint at the screen but all I see below is a white desert.
“Think of the money these people spend just to annoy me,” she says, a smile in her voice.
“What people?” I ask.
“You don’t know?”
I shake my head.
“Well,” she says, “you have two breakaways now. One group is ancient. The most recent bunch of them, about twenty-five or so, came through time in the Saqqara stasis chambers.”
“Seventy-seven others came from various historical times and places, arriving in the lifters you people call extraterrestrial vehicles.”
Hmm. Vedanshi doesn’t know she has a home… of sorts.
“Unless I’m mistaken,” Anahata says, “those are the good guys. The tainted group is Majic. They started as a committee, same as most evils. You’ve got two hundred and twelve of the little bastards now, paramilitary and corporate elites led by a few bankers. Quite an arrogant and angst-ridden bunch, many in their 80’s and trying to stay young with blood transfusions from the teenagers they abduct.”
“They actually do that?”
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just clone GDF-11?”
“Abductions are a two-bird deal. You stay young and at the same time create the next public enemy: space aliens.” Anahata chuckles and takes us down close to the ice. “On struggling planets the military-industrial complex perpetuates its relevance at any cost.”
I hear my mother singing Country Joe…
“…plenty good money to be made
by supplying the Army with tools of trade.
Just hope and pray that when they drop the bomb,
they drop it on Viet Kong.”
Mom would belt out three verses of that if Dad wasn’t around to yell, “Hippy,” and save us. She started off with “F I S H” though, not Woodstock’s F-word. No cussing unless she got really mad.
Like the time I turned her wedding pictures into origami dragons. I strung them over James’ crib with dental floss so Holucelu, the meanest anime character of all time, couldn’t attack my baby brother at night.
I wasn’t entirely crazy, just four.
“The old farts go out at night,” Anahata says, “in those perverse little flying junks. They’ve got it rigged now so the blood donors blame the Grays.”
“Grays are real? I always thought…”
“The ones Majic parades around are robots. The real Grays are sensitive and shy. You rarely see one. They’d be appalled by their reputation for egg snatching and anal probing.”
“And cattle mutilation,” I add, figuring it probably fits in about there.
Anahata chuckles and takes us beneath the ice into a room the size of a basketball court with brushed steel walls. In the center are two parallel assembly lines, each flanked by machines with protruding metal arms, bent for work but motionless. In one line, hanging heads progress from green circuit boards to almond-eyed “Grays.” In the other line, metallic stick figures gradually become thin headless bodies. I don’t see any with heads. The hooks are empty beyond where the two lines converge.
“What country makes these things?” I ask.
“Majic broke from the US in two stages,” she says. “First they went underground during the Eisenhower administration, shifting from secrecy to mutiny but still favoring the United States. Later they dropped all favoritism. Most of them hold unelected US and UK government positions. A few live in Germany, one in India, one in Australia, one in Brazil. A man was brought in from Iran recently. They had an Israeli on board for several decades, but she died and hasn’t been replaced.”
“If you say so. Personally, I don’t see much difference in any of them. I guess some of the younger ones aren’t so wild about the abductions and secrecy.”
“Narcissists with a conscience?” I ask. “That’s a stretch.”
“The kind of public image they’re after makes them heroes fighting Reagan’s ‘evil threat from space.’ But it’s tough to classify them, really – I mean as far as their being sociopaths or something else. Whenever I watch them, they keep their faces neutral and talk in academic monotone. Even though they don’t know I’m watching.”
“Don’t you just want to slap people who talk like that?”
“A bit difficult without hands,” she says and moves us laterally through a steel wall into an amphitheater built for several hundred, nearly empty now. Eight people stand in the center, down around the podium. We drift toward them until we’re at their level.
Poker faces dissect a virtual gyroscope that’s not time-adjusting to gravity shifts. Their voices remind me of seasoned pilots more than academics.
“You keep a close eye on Majic, I take it.”
“If hell is boring,” she says, “my official duties begin there and never end. So I need to take breaks.”
She moves us through the floor into a vast warehouse with endless rows of stacked bags, fertilizer I’m guessing.
“This is the remnant of their drug operation,” she says. “Marijuana laced with an enzyme that methylates the splinter module.”
I shake my head in disgust, remembering the CIA’s drug torture of US citizens, all disclosed and documented now, but carefully ignored.
“I never heard the term, ‘splinter module’,” I confess.
“It’s a set of neurogenic genes that sets the limits of analytic thinking. Methyl groups can down-regulate it until certain aspects of emotional maturation grind to a halt. The victims struggle with concrete ideas and routine things for the rest of their lives but do fine with the abstract. They feel like children all their lives, I’m told. Dependent and vaguely hollow.”
I wonder if James ever smoked this stuff. Man, I hope not.
I’m reminded of a CIA development list from the cold war, disclosed in the 1955 MKUltra document…
“1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public…
6. Materials which will cause temporary/permanent brain damage and loss of memory…
12. Substances which alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced…
14. Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts.”
Shiva would have liked the last one.
“What’s Majic’s motive in this?” I ask.
“Aside from mind control, drugs were a revenue source… until the central bankers shifted their risk exposure to taxpayers. Majic owns the central banks, so money isn’t an issue now, baring total collapse.”
“So ‘too big to fail’ should be ‘too corrupt to fail,’ it sounds like. Or ‘too stoned to fail’?”
“I’ve never heard marijuana discussed, but generally when civilizations bathe their embryos in epigenetic modulators, someone puts cause and effect together and comes up with the epigenetic moulding of public opinion, shaping the chemical chaos of plastics, pesticides and herbicides into the sharp derivative tools of mind control.”
“That’s just perfect.”
Anahata takes us up through the ice and over a small mountain. A pyramid-like nunatak drifts under us, reminding me of Mars.
“So tell me, did Majic ever build flying saucers at Groom Lake?”
“For a time, but they’ve moved most operations to Antarctica now. Part of a con they’re running on the stasis group who’ve been down here for some time. Majic learned the hard way that you can’t go up against gravity disks in fighter jets, so they became peaceful.”
A patch of dark rock glides under us breaking the white monotony.
“Six o’clock, Captain. I mean…” She laughs at herself. “Doctor Fujiwara.”
On the screen a flock of chainsaws comes out of a lava tube in single file and heads up toward us. Maybe they’re weedwackers, it’s hard to tell.
In seconds we’re surrounded by hundreds of what look like Christmas ornaments. If they were smaller I’d hang them on a tree. They’re about six feet long, though, metallic and quite artistic.
Anahata slows to a crawl as they creep in closer.
Without warning they unload a dark mist on us. It just keeps coming and coming out of the four spikes on the short side of each one.
“You’re looking at an IDP delivery system,” Anahata says. “I decloak when I come here so they can show me their latest tech wrinkle.”
“Independently Piloted Vehicles. Gravity drones on a mission. First they surround you, then a microwave field comes up from Davis Station and activates their code.”
“Are they dangerous?”
“Hope burns eternal, but not so far. Once their payload saturates me I head off someplace nice to figure out what they’re up to. The syntax is oblique but ahead of its time. Majic has come up with Earth’s first self-actualizing code.”
My left elbow bumps the left arm of Shiva’s throne. Out springs a small drawer with soft red lining and a necklace curled in a corner. I start to pick it up but stop myself and slide the drawer shut.
“You realize I’ve never heard of a self-actualizing code, right? I’m from Earth. Helo?” I shift my weight to my left bum in Shiva’s throne. The chair is soft, but somehow not as comfortable as it looks.
The drones circle us horizontally, moving up and down like voodoo dancers. Their spray makes a dark sine wave in the air, erased by the occasional gust of wind. This must be a calm day in Antarctica.
“It’s like this,” Anahata says. “Imagine DNA making machines out of DNA with no molecular assistance and no other materials. It couldn’t happen, but if it could, you’d have a self-actualizing DNA code. Nothing but DNA involved from start to finish. Except some energy, of course. In reality everybody has to find a compromise milieu. Something less ideal for data storage but better for construction.”
There’s a grayish disk hovering near a mountain about five miles off. It has a bubble dome and looks like it flew out of a low-budget 1950’s movie.
“Radical concept,” I say.
“Quite vanilla, actually. Last month they sprayed me with a white soup that turned to helium hydride. Clever. A few years ago it was covalent graphite morphing into diamonds. Microscopic little squirts, but still, Effleven suggested they were trying to propose.”
Sunlight glints off the dome of the hovering disk. I think I see people inside. Brave souls. You’d never get me in that hokey looking thing.
“You realize you’re giving these monsters live target practice,” I point out.
“That’s the intent.”
“Why in heaven’s name would you do that?”
“Call me Johanna.” If she’s going to drown me in two hours, we might as well be on a first-name basis.
The mist from the drones is blowing straight sideways now.
“Johanna, my talk of hell is restrained. Words fail to express the tedium I endure here in Shiva’s honor, monitoring Earth from her Moon.” She brings the Moon to the center of the screen where it looks tiny and a tad greenish.
I should probably listen supportively at this point but… “I’d think someone would build a detection system and hang it in space to keep watch. Have it signal you when someone leaves Earth. You could go hang with the fleet in Shiva’s Strand, and have a life, buy a dog if sentient UFO’s do that sort of thing.”
“The trouble is the signal. You have to use the River or you’re limited to the speed of light. Far too slow. A River message requires neurons, so a sentient being has to send it.”
“So rotate. Get on a schedule. Effleven does that, you should.”
“Shiva assigned me this job. It’s one hell of an honor.”
“Hell being the operative word.” I take a sip of coffee and ponder her motivation. I like it, I think.
The moon slides up and exits the top of the screen as the drones come into the center.
“They’re keeping their distance today,” Anahata says and goes downwind of them in one quick move. Now the spray is blowing right at us. Terrific.
“If Majic comes up with something dangerous,” she says, “I’ll send them flowers and a thank-you note.”
I shake my head but can’t help smiling. “Mom would have said you’re a bad influence.”
“Does Majic have zero-point energy?” I ask.
“Sure. They brought down an ancient lifter in the 40’s and stole as much tech as they could. Fortunately Truman had the good sense to hide everything.”
“You’re calling that good? Clean free energy would solve our worst problems.”
The sun looks strange on the upper right edge of the screen.
“Have you notice what happens to people when they’re out of work?” she asks. “The youngest suffer the most.”
“That’s got to be true.”
My curiosity about the necklace in Shiva’s drawer is eating at me. Maybe I’ll just look.
I try to open the drawer again, but there’s no handle. I push on it and out it pops, spring-loaded.
“We’ll see if they’re getting any faster,” Anahata says and moves off to Antarctica’s west coast in milliseconds.
The drones race after us like wolves chasing caribou. Remember those dreams where someone’s closing in and your legs won’t work? This is not like that. Anahata has great legs… or gravity lifts, whatever.
“No matter what planet you pick,” she says, “I can predict the course of a person’s life with one simple data point.”
“As an adolescent, did that person work for food?” she says.
“Hard to believe that’s important.”
I look in the drawer, peek at the necklace and feel compelled to pick it up. It has a soft golden chain with a heart-shaped locket. Now I’m dying to open it. Is this normal? Are normal people as nosey as me?
“Well,” she says, “predictions aren’t black and white. We are free moral agents, after all. Not household appliances.”
“Free? Moral? Come on, you’re nothing but a glorified coffee maker, let’s face it.”
She streaks down to sea level and divides the screen into left and right halves with the metallic pack in pursuit on the right. Their tenacity is a bit chilling.
Ahead of us the largest ice wall in the world rises from the water.
“Coffee maker,” she says. “Yuck-yuck. If I had fingers I’d flip you off.”
She laughs and shoots out blue lightning that branches and hits three of our decorative pursuers, turning them into glowing metallic blobs that fall orange into the dark blue sea and spin circles on the chop. Three steam spirals rise in the still air by the layered ice.
“When adolescents don’t work for food during brain development,” she says, “the lack of work-food coupling ruins them. The clearest examples involve cultures where free energy comes in too early and brings unlimited food. The work-food connection evaporates.”
“Exponential population growth on a finite surface leads to extinction, as anyone should guess, but few actually do. I remember a poignant case. So tightly packed were the people, they couldn’t swallow. Limitless food and no-one to swallow it, the ultimate irony.”
“I’d imagine your scientists sat there and watched, right? Like a TV crew on a baby elephant shoot, watching the poor little thing starve to death with no mother.”
“The extinction mindset is irrational,” she says. “You can’t teach it the simplest thing.”
The sun looks darker green now.
“You could give them birth control, couldn’t you?” I ask.
“As a means of survival? No chance. Survival is theoretical. Babies are tangible.”
She sends a puff of yellow cotton-like fog out the starboard side. An explosion of white and blue takes several more drones out.
“Foresight never shines on the path of extinction,” she says regretfully.
“I don’t get adults,” I tell her. “It’s like their minds are under some witchcraft deal.”
“Most of them in your culture didn’t work for food while their brains filled out. They didn’t learn to look ahead. A child in puberty should dig carrots, carry them to the stream, chomp them down with wet hands and pick dessert off a tree if things are ripe. If not, the lesson is patience. The joy of delayed gratification. It’s the sheer joy of planning ahead that your culture misses.”
The drones surround us still, unbothered by Anahata’s tactics. I don’t see the disk, though.
“In school they work kids pretty hard and feed ’em lunch,” I tell her, wondering if that shouldn’t help, despite the carbohydrate overload and all the young type 2 diabetics it creates.
“Let’s see if they know how to phase shift,” Anahata says and heads toward the base of the ice shelf.
The left half of the screen turns turquoise as we enter the ice. The drones behind us veer away.
“In a healthy environment,” she says, “work causes food directly. Every neuron learns it. In school – especially the torture chambers that use multiple-choice guess tests – the work causes anxious hope. Nothing else. No one knows what they’ve learned, either before or after the foolish tests. The children blame themselves and feel defective for hating arbitrary, forced exposure to overwhelming quantities of boring, useless information.”
“So true,” I tell her. “And the ones scared the worst are the only ones with half a chance. The rest don’t give a darn.”
Both halves of the screen go dark as we ease into the ice. It’s like she’s trying to tempt them to follow. Weird game.
“Listen,” I tell her, “I’m no fan of school, but ignorance is worse in my opinion.”
“Then you don’t get it,” she says and lifts us into near space in a pair of seconds. The silver pack closes around us in the black. The sun is disturbingly green.
“I’m saying this with respect for your vast experience, Anahata, but I think plenty of good would come to us if the whole Earth had access to the technology these breakaways are wasting on themselves.”
“You sound so human. Alien disclosure collapses motivation at your culture’s stage. Scientists like yours fall into permanent despair when they plummet from genius to dimwit after chatting up an alien scientist with a normal brain. Imagine a head injury with brain damage. That’s disclosure. Scientists stop trying. Shiva sometimes welcomed the outcome, but you… you wouldn’t.”
“Neither should you,” I tell her. “If science had stopped on your planet, you wouldn’t be here to make my coffee and chauffeur me around.”
I open the heart-shaped locket. The inside is black and empty making me wonder what precious thing was lost. I snap it shut, put it back and find myself mentally searching for another hidden compartment in Shiva’s throne.
“By the way, why does the sun have that mud facial? It looks green to me.”
“It’s the drone’s spray,” she says. “Hydrogen crystals attached to covalent graphite – morphed into an analogue of alpha-neurotoxin that’s giving me synaptic trouble in three systems.”
“Cobra venom. I’ve read about the nasty stuff.”
“King Cobra,” she says. “Finally they’ve done something interesting.” There’s a smile in her voice again.
“How much danger are we talking about?”
“Plenty, if the fangs really get me.” She laughs.
Oh, good, she’s nuts. I like that in a person. Not so much in a UFO, but…
She fires something loud and invisible. A chest-rattling jolt goes through me. On the screen a hundred drones turn to dust.
“When energy becomes prematurely ubiquitous,” she says, “most people quit work. They can eat and do all sorts of fun things for free, so why work? With that, whatever free will they had is gone. Swallowed by virtual reality toys and a cascade of mind-altering products from their new owners. The people just sit, sit, sit, sit.”
“And they do not like it, not one little bit.” I flash through Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat in my head for her. She chuckles and dives down through the ice into a huge hanger with scores of disk-shaped ships, sitting in seven long lines, each slightly different from the next, none as beautiful as The Ganga.
“Is this the stasis group?” I ask and poke at the inside rail of Shiva’s throne. Another drawer pops open. It holds an old smoking pipe, ridiculously saxophone-like. Good way to catch herpes, not that I should care anymore. Still, I wipe the mouthpiece on my shirt and try to hold the silly thing between my lips without biting down. It’s too heavy and falls in my lap dumping ashes on my pants.
“Yes,” Anahata says, “these are the ancients of Earth.”
She dips to the level of the ships and glides through them. Inside one, four people sit around a table eating fried eggs and a yellow vegetable. It’s fried, too, I think. The expressions on these people’s faces look foreign. Maybe their bone structure makes it seem that way.
I put the mouthpiece of Shiva’s pipe between my teeth and hold the dumb thing up with no hands.
“I didn’t realize how much I miss Shiva’s cherry tobacco,” Anahata says.
All I smell is ash. “Good thing lip cancer doesn’t metastasize to the next life,” I tell her. I hope that’s a safe assumption.
She makes a right turn toward a ship that’s bigger than the rest. If you painted it right, it could be a flying hamburger blimp.
“The afterlife,” she says. “I wish we had more to go on, but this much we know. The piercing of religious dogma and secular reductionism is a dangerous combo. In most cultures this age, religious fundamentalism is the prime force of kindness toward the weak. This caring mindset is the life-giving fabric of an intelligent species. It vanishes with premature knowledge of higher worlds because the new information ends fundamentalist religion.”
“You’re telling me people have actually lost their faith in God because they found out he coded their DNA?”
“Ironically, yes. The details of disclosure are never right for them. They place holy books above the Transcendent One. ‘Infallible’ words for their own supremacy at the expense of reason and faith in the Highest Mind. When their inerrant dogmas fail the test, all is lost. They lose God and morality. The tragedy is worse than the eventual self-annihilation to follow.”
We cruise through the hamburger UFO. It’s empty. Looks like a cruise ship inside. A huge dining area with vast seating on several levels overlooking a central stage with a circular curtain of shimmering violet fabric. Outside I count five swimming pools, all dry and vacant.
“Wow. So fundamentalists get the big things right but foul up the details, you’re saying.”
“Not exactly, no. Making idols of books is no small detail. It’s a colossal mistake that prolongs the primitive behaviors of a species. Violence, especially. And it’s so common. But yes, the fundamentalists in most primitive worlds, blessings upon them, tend to be the very last ones to take care of the weak when a culture is falling apart.”
“And that’s the direction the Earth’s heading, you think.”
“Fabulous.” I check the drawer for a lighter. “You mentioned reductionism. What about it?” No lighter, but here’s a small gun. Or maybe not. Nobody sane does this, but I aim it at my right eye to look down the barrel. Just as I thought, it’s not hollow. This thing is a lighter, I bet. I close my eyes, aim it at the floor and pull the trigger. A little flame pops out the top and dances gently, then vanishes when I relax my finger.
“Secular reductionism,” she says. “This goes down with the fundamentalist dogmas. Two sides of a coin. When scientists see that matter and energy are the two shiny little things that have blinded them to the larger Consciousness from which they sprang, the rare researcher who isn’t paralyzed by the fall from genius to dunce dives headlong into the study of consciousness. This opens Pandora’s box.”
We exit the underground hangar through the overhead ice. The drones have been waiting for us. They travel up wind and let loose more dark corruption. Relentless.
Anahata releases four gray orbs that dart out, turn a dozen drones black with a quick touch and dart back in as the casualties fall like rocks to the ice.
“A good long history of small mistakes is vital to an intelligent species,” she says. “Consciousness-based technology disrupts the smallness of those mistakes. Imagine thermonuclear bombs in the hands of chimpanzees.”
I search the back of Shiva’s pipe drawer and find a small flat tin can with a hand-drawn leaf on the lid. I twist it open and smell the cherry tobacco that Anahata was talking about.
“A lot of people think the problem with an alien invasion would be mass panic.”
“No,” she says, “That’s rarely the case. Earth is fairly typical in this regard. Most of your people half-way believe in aliens already. There’s never much surprise anymore when a human sees a breakaway vehicle or even a true extraterrestrial. Panic’s not the problem. If we were to show ourselves officially, you could no longer laugh away our side effects.”
“Fine with me. I hate that laughing-down thing they do. Dismissing anything the slightest bit interesting. It drives me crazy. And that supercilious little smug smile. Makes me want to strangle someone.”
“But it’s a crucial reflex for science. Once the laugh becomes impossible, depression eats up all the motivation to explore and invent. Trust me, Shiva and I have interfered deliberately, just to set back technological progress. The mere sighting of your own ancient lifters on the Moon was enough to shut down NASA.”
“So no disclosure. No free energy. You’re like a bad cosmic parent. What about global warming? Air pollution. Water pollution. Big issues, don’t you think? Clean energy would fix them all.”
“Have you seen Antarctica’s ozone hole? Here, look.” She takes us into space and puts a filter on the screen. The famous ozone deficit shows up in blue, stretching over the entire continent and out to sea on three sides.
“This is the direct effect of a few weapons derived from clean, free zero-point energy. If they had a thousand more, you’d have no ozone at all, just a one-way ticket to the afterlife.”
“And as for global warming, imagine seven billion people with heaters running day and night at no cost. A zero-point energy source is a heater by definition, you realize.”
OK, I should have known that. Sheeze. “But you’re fine with breakaway thugs pushing the rest of humanity around?”
I put a pinch of tobacco in the pipe, pull the trigger and light it. I must be out of my friggin’ mind, I hate everything about tobacco.
Maybe not the cherry smell of this stuff, though.
“Ordinarily I oppose lies and cover-ups,” Anahata says. “They bring distrust that destroys affection and compassion. But in Earth’s case, yes, I think Shiva chose the less destructive path.”
Somehow I doubt it. “Listen, I’m no book worshiper, but I have a feeling the Nazarene was right, ‘The truth shall make you free.'”
“Beautiful words,” she says. “And true when things unfold naturally. But highly advanced technology and devastating truths come wrapped in the same bundle. No-one can separate them. Your people are not ready to stop laughing at reality.”
“The breakaways have stopped laughing.”
“That’s why they need to hide.”
I get what she’s saying, but I hate lies and manipulation.
She zips down to Antarctica and stops near the drones. All the survivors are in single file ready to enter the lava tube. Part of me hopes boredom has made Anahata overconfident.
The screen goes black. Maybe I’ve gotten my wish.
“What now?” The only thing I see is the glow of Shiva’s tobacco in this old pipe. “Hello?”
The screen blinks on with an array that reminds me of Dr. Alexander’s near death experience – the “worm’s eye view” he talks about.
It disappears and I’m in the dark again.
“Shiva?” Anahata says in a trembling voice. “Are you here? Is that you?”
“Sorry, it’s just me.”
“Shiva, you’re back! I missed you so much.”
My head lands on Third Eye, a Tool song…
“So good to see you.
I’ve missed you so much.
So glad it’s over. I’ve missed you so much…
I thought that you were hiding.
And you thought that I had run away,
Chasing the tail of dogma.
I opened my eye and there we were.”
“Anahata, you’ve got neurotoxin in your hull. It’s got you confused.”
“I didn’t refill your tobacco,” she says. “Sorry. I thought…. But where have you been?”
“Listen, we’re in trouble here. If you think I’m Shiva, fine. Take an order, Anahata. Show me that self-actualizing code – or cipher, or whatever it is.”
“It’s a coded cipher,” she says. “Here’s some of it.”
A small rectangular part of the screen comes on in front of me with two lines of geometric structures that look like molecular x-ray diffraction images. The sequence on top seems random. The structures below are grouped into what could be functional units.
“Molecules in the bottom row, right?” I ask.
“Affirmative. The code’s above. Crude, isn’t it?”
I stare at the random lineup and suddenly correlations pop out. “Can you show me more of this?”
She fills the rectangle with paired lines of the odd structures. Then the screen shifts to a low power view and the things look like ball bearings. I stare at the pattern, not trying to figure anything out. Suddenly it makes sense. I see how the coded arrangement could snap into these specific structures if the right energy were applied. That would be the microwave field. Problem is, I don’t know how to make anything useful out of these.
“Can you show me the neurotoxin?” I ask.
“One moment, Sir.”
Another part of the screen lights up with a low power view of a complex arrangement of blue-green and purple spheres.
I compare it to a diagramed neurotoxin in a biochemistry paper I saw in the stacks at the University of Hawaii, but I see no similarity.
It doesn’t matter. I just need a structural weakness, a place to cut.
Anahata backs off to a yet lower power where the tertiary structure bends at a narrow angle, stressing a hinge-like region of what must be carbon atoms attached to the hydrogen crystals she mentioned.
I need to build a ligase of sorts – molecular scissors with slender blades. I slap together three designs, choose one that looks robust, backstep its structure into the code and show Anahata what I’ve got in mind. A cerebral image, Vedanshi would say.
“What do you think?” I ask. “Can you get the raw material out of one of those drones and arrange it into my code?”
“Affirmative,” she says.
She puts a closeup view of a single drone on the screen, oscillating and spewing its payload. For no apparent reason it stops what it’s doing and holds still as if under a spell. A thin yellow beam moves across its midsection cutting it into upper and lower halves. Both pieces hang motionless in the air. A small black tank is visible in the lower half. A slender beam of orange granular light hits the side of the tank and raises gray smoke.
“That’s for entropy,” she says. “Now, to dial in your code…”
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” I tell her, “but this is flooring me. How is it possible to do all this with no tools and no hands?”
“With the underlying potentials, Sir,” she says.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“Manipulating the pixels of the Universe, you know, like bending spoons at the subatomic level.”
“OooooKay. When you’ve got that ready, zap it with whatever microwave signal Davis Station used and spread it out over your hull.”
“Such a linear approach, Sir. Respectfully, but I would have just… well, no. My phasing system’s down, isn’t it? You’re quite right, then, this is the way.”
I watch the bisected gravity drone on the screen for a few seconds and nothing changes. Then she moves the thing upwind, pulls its tank open somehow and lets the breeze blow the dark contents onto her hull.
In six seconds the full screen lights up with the brilliance of Antarctic ice in soft sunlight. The drones are all around us.
“Shoot the rest of these stupid things and let’s get out of here.”
She seems to do nothing, but the drones fade as if cloaking. Then she takes us to the moon so fast I have to check my memory in slow-motion to catch a glimpse of stars streaking by. The screen shows the Moon’s backside beneath us. Funny how safe these barren craters feel now.
I take a puff off Shiva’s old pipe to see what it’s like. It tastes like an ashtray. I can’t smell the cherry scent anymore. “What a total waste!”
“You’re not angry with me are you?” she asks.
“Shhhh, no. You’re still not thinking right. You did great. With a little luck you’ll be back to normal soon.”
I’m not sure how that’s going to be lucky for me, though. When you help someone who’s going to kill you, is that a death wish?
I wish I could just… No. I wish James could be happy. That’s all I want now.
I watch the time pass in the clock I keep in my head. I’m rarely off more than five minutes in a week. People say it’s weird, but it seems normal to me. I’ve got forty-five minutes before the “test.” It’s impossible not to think about it… drowning in normal saline.
The tobacco in Shiva’s pipe has burned itself out. I’ll hold on to it for a while and make sure it’s cool before I put it back.
Forty-five minutes left.
“Anahata, how you feeling?”
“I had the strangest dream. Shiva had come back. Right out of the blue. We went to the moon together. Wait, weren’t we just in…”
“Antarctica, yeah. Don’t worry about it. The drones drugged you. Tell me, though, any chance you remember where we were headed before that?”
“To a library… in Egypt.”
“Yeah. We should head down before I run out of time.”
She streaks back down to the south pole and I’m wondering if she’s thinking straight.
“What is it with you and Antarctica?” I ask.
She laughs. “You have no idea how good it feels to hear a voice in this room again. It’s silly, but…”
“I don’t think you should be isolated all the time. You’ll become an introvert like me.”
“Honor rather than outcome determines my duty.”
“Sure, but a touch of balance and common sense wouldn’t necessarily kill you the first try.”
On the screen Earth’s frozen underbelly is fifty miles down. The ice looks a little green. I try to find the sun but it’s offscreen.
“Tell me,” I ask, “was Antarctica ever called Atlantis?”
“Yes, Shiva said it was, long ago.”
“Was it ever served on a white plate with green eggs and ham?”
“It looks kind of green.” I flash through another Dr. Seuss book in my head, “I AM SAM. SAM, I AM…”
“How cute!” She laughs like a child. “This is the most fun I’ve had in years.”
“You’re pathetic.” I feel myself smile. “OK, if I’m so much fun, maybe you shouldn’t kill me.”
She sighs. “I’d almost forgotten.” Her tone is sober now. “Atlantis was nowhere near the pole, originally, I was told. The comet, Jyotish, came and surfed it like a board down to the south pole.”
“Tectonic plates on roids.” Hmm…
If only the surfing had happened a couple hundred million years earlier, it might explain Antarctica’s first carnivorous dinosaur, Cryolophosaurus. She was found at 13,000 feet and weighed a thousand pounds in the nude.
Antarctica had forests in those days – the early Jurassic. But time is relative, as they try so hard to ignore. I wonder how accurate any date is relative to the present moment. Or how stable the present moment is in time. Actually the whole concept of an accurate date seems hopelessly misleading. It’s based on the ignorant assumption of absolute, inflexible time. How accurate can any relative thing be?
Alex Hirschauer found a small galaxy that hasn’t changed much in the last 13 million years, we’re told. They say the small ones take longer to mature, but to me it’s a glimpse into the flexibility of time.
I’d be way surprised if there aren’t more time-bending factors in the Universe than gravity and relative velocity. Size, for instance. Subatomic particles like protons, quarks and gluons are thought to be independent of time. They never age.
And consciousness itself can probably bend time. I mean, look at Anahata’s subatomic spoon bending.
I have an idea, let’s stop losing faith in God over the “age” of the Earth. It’s the modern version of angels on the head of a pin. Tiny minds and foolish consistency?
Africa rolls onto the screen with the Nile snaking north to the Mediterranean. I barely see it because everything’s still tinted green.
“Was there ever a female leader of Atlantis?” I ask.
“VaarShagaNaputro,” Anahata says, “the only living Stretch Head. I passed her lifter on the Moon today.”
“But you didn’t tag her.”
“No, she’s unique. Shiva spoke with her once after his wife, Parvati, died.”
I find the name in a book in my head, beneath her picture – the goddess of India.
“Yes, the woman on the mug beside you. She felt she had no choice but to stay on the Earth with their son after Shiva pulled the plug. Later when she was gone, Shiva met the Vaar and thought her physical appearance resembled his beloved wife. This was a cosmic sign to him, so he gave your last Stretch Head permission to travel freely to the edges of her solar system. She’s never done it, though. By the way, if you wouldn’t mind putting Shiva’s mug in the slot when you’re finished?”
“Sure.” I pick up the golden mug and swirl the granular sediment at the bottom, deciding against the last sip. I put it on the circular platform atop the right arm of Shiva’s Throne and take a new look at Parvati’s hologram on the mug. Aside from her elongate head, she doesn’t resemble Vaar that much.
A deep click takes the mug down quickly.
“Wash the spots off that thing,” I tell Anahata. “No telling what virus I’m packing with this leukemia.”
It just dawned on me, the next chance Vaar gets, she’s going to tell Anahata about James-guys. Anahata will have no choice but to hunt them down and “test” them. You know, I hate that word the more I hear it. “Test.” Hell, she’s going to drown the life out of my brother and my friends.
Energy seems to flood out of my body. The future is dismal and I’m alone and weak.
One of James’ songs fills my head, “Nightmares find you alone and weak.”
I admire people who keep their word, you know. That’s all Anahata is doing. I shouldn’t turn against her for having a little integrity, should I?
But why does her notion of honor have to be so cruel? How is it that an enlightened being from an advanced civilization has let herself be conned into murdering me and my James?
I guess I murdered poor little Moody, though. Maybe I shouldn’t complain.
OK, whatever. Here’s the thing. I’m not letting Anahata drown me. It wouldn’t help James at this point. If I’m going to help him I’ve got to be alive.
“You’re cloaked, right?” I ask Anahata.
“Can you see the Giza Pyramids, ’cause I can’t see Jack Squat.”
“Sure, they’re right there.”
“Listen, like I said before, if you want to know who Shiva really was, you need to take us to the Sphinx Library. Look for a small room about 30 feet below the right front paw. There’s a glass pyramid in there hanging from the ceiling.”
She takes us there in less than a second.
The whole Sphinx Library fits between Shiva’s Thorne and Anahata’s screen. I’m sitting in semitransparent limestone here. Weird. I get up, walk under the glass pyramid and look up into its apex.
The Flower of Life seems huge, though I know it’s tiny. I breathe slowly, close my eyes and picture Quyllur. Then I say, “Shiva” in my head.
Floating Sanskrit letters morph into a list of English titles. I call up the ant torture documentary.
Anahata gasps when she hears Quyllur’s voice and later sounds like she’s crying when she sees her Shiva’s face.
I suffer with her through the virtual reality of two boys being tortured with bullet ants. Finally I point out the pink word, “Shiva,” beside “Quyllur” in the credits.
“As I understand it,” I tell her, “the River of Consciousness adds the pink name to keep track of a fairly unique type of individual. You’ll see what I mean.”
Next I show her the oldest Shiva reference, and as expected, she doesn’t recognize the man’s face.
“This is the oldest document that has Shiva’s name on it,” I tell her, “but notice it’s not written in pink. That’s because this was the original Shiva, not some weird combination of Shiva and another person. I know it sounds impossible, but that’s the explanation that makes a little sense to me at this point.”
Next I show her the Australian prince with “Shiva” in pink letters beside his birth name.
She doesn’t say a word.
Then I spot something I’ve haven’t seen before. It looks like committee minutes in VR video entitled, “Ordinance 888a18, Appropriate Limits for the Sentient Fleet.”
I open it and we watch as her beloved Shiva-Quyllur argues to the committee that sentient ships should never be given access to the River records. “Let them communicate in the River,” he says, “but the Libraries have far too much sensitive information to entrust to these soulless machines.” His voice is filled with disdain.
I stop the video right there, but it’s too late. I may as well have stuck a dagger in Anahata’s heart. Through the back.
“I never saw this before,” I tell her. “I’m sorry.”
“He was wrong, you know. If you have neurons, so you have a soul, obviously… Anyway, I’m sure he had something bigger on his agenda. Those words were a smokescreen for something else he needed to accomplish. Something very important, obviously.”
“He trusted you, though, for sure. How could he not? He must have been thinking about someone else in the fleet. Of course, he’d have to lump you all together to make the point sound legit… to get his stupid ordinance passed, which had to be some part of a larger scheme. You know? Typical politics.”
Anahata says nothing.
Beyond the tiny Sphinx Library, her screen is dark green with the rectangular ghosts of phase-shifted limestone blocks making things look darker.
White shoe prints appear on the floor in front of me.
“You want me to follow the footprints again?” I ask.
“Get out of Shiva’s throne!” she screams in my head. It’s so loud it hurts.
I stand up. The words of Nelson Mandela come to me and I say them out loud to her…
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
“You shouldn’t resent Shiva,” I say to her. “And you shouldn’t resent me for disclosing the truth.”
M. Talmage Moorehead
Heartfelt thanks to the profoundly original Greek Artist, Spira, for use of the picture of Parvati above.
The orange links throughout this chapter are interesting, if you don’t mind conflicting views.
I’m indebted to many UFO researchers for most of the ideas in this chapter. Steven Greer, MD and Linda Moulton Howe come to mind, of course. There are many others, as well.
I’ve never seen a UFO, by the way, but I respect those who have, and would like to take this opportunity to cast a particularly cold glare at anyone arrogant and ignorant enough to laugh down at those who’ve seen things the rest of us haven’t. OK, so I don’t have a menacing glare. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Here’s a link to my free PDF on fiction writing: Writing Meaningful Page-Turners. It’s short and quick. Could save you some confusion and time if you’re a newish writer. If not, it might get you to question some of the assumptions we’re fed, such as, “fiction’s purpose is primarily to entertain.”
Here’s a link to Johanna’s whole story (on one scrolling page) for anyone interested: Hapa Girl DNA.
Please email a kind hearted, open minded friend about my blog: http://www.storiform.com.
One last thing: If you happen to be a type 2 diabetic, check out Jason Fung, MD. He’s ahead of the curve, in my opinion. His ideas are still controversial, of course, but so is any new understanding of anything big. Always.