Today, I feel urged to to reveal a little of the novel I’m currently writing. Not sure what it will accomplish, but the urge is there, and it feels good. "Make It Real" is a so-called braided tale weaving three timelines into a timeless piece of reflection:
- My 2007 past self, in the form of the novel Going Within, which I wrote back then. It’s name turned out to be aptly appropriate, for it is now Going Within the new Make It Real novel.
- My 2010 now self, which comments on things as I write this novel.
- My 4444 future self, an android, who addly enough bears the name of ‘Sander R.B.E. Beals’, the ‘author’ of this book for those who don’t know any better….
Comment I got from a fifteen year old as I told him the outline of the story: "This book is going to change a lot" and me, daft as I am, said "Why?, it is almost half finished" Turned out he meant that it would change many of those reading it…. And you know what they say about kids. And no, he wasn’t one of my kids…….
Love your Light,
P.S. I still come up short on my list of E-mail addresses to present to the publisher as receivers of the mailing about that book. Especially since I do not specifically wish to invite my colleagues to join. This story might be a bit too close to home to involve them. However, if they pass the barriers I will be putting up, then their knowledge of it is apparently what should happen.
4444AD, Day 223, 12:34, Home
I’m flat on my back, relaxing as I’m working. The two by two meter vidcloth on the ceiling displays various windows, from various eras. Top left is my vision feed of March 12th, 2010. I have the accompanying audio on the speakers, and “Day sixteen: Loser” plays, not interfered by anything else in the vicinity. I just love seeing myself be busy creating. The video feed gets interrupted by the screen saver kicking in: photos of an intimately familiar lady fill that top left corner. I leave it be, and switch to another, apparently me in a train. Nobody in view, just empty seats opposite me.
I remember how I felt back then, being busy with the idea of the neural network I’d envisioned seeing myself create. I know I can’t actually make myself achieve anything better back then, but I can make myself feel better about it. I flip open the plans of the quadrionic mind in my mind’s eye, and study them for the next few minutes. By focusing the energy of that activity on my past incarnation, I can strengthen his belief in the fact that he will, in due time, achieve his goal. Just as I eventually did in 2042….
Seda steps into the bedroom, seeing me enjoy myself. She bounces onto the bed next to me, and immediately succeeds in getting my mind off myself. Hey, some people have that effect on me, what can I say? “And, where has my most favorite girl in all the world been hanging around?” I ask her. She tells me she’s been walking around town, collecting interesting things from an antiques shop she frequents on a regular basis. Roberto, the antiquarian, told her he had some really nice needlework from around the turn of the second millennium. She jumps off the bed, and steps into the corridor, only to return with four almost square frames. They depict four angels, delicately embroidered on white linen. Two are relatively colorful, a third is done in distinct autumn-like colors. The forth and final one apparently depicts wintertime. A quick reference to the vidcloth on the ceiling gives the game away: the design is indeed a quartet, and these are called the Four Seasons. My vision enhancer highlights a slightly off-colored patch in the corners of the needle works. In icy blue, nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding whiteness, some sort of code is embroidered: MS2000. I now begin to appreciate the weird familiarity of the female foursome: I have seen them before! Rather than letting the raw power of the Google vision search loose on it, I’d rather let my mind do the work involved. The vision search is a descendant of the Google image search, which searches for imagery based on text. Vision Search does quite the opposite: based on a single image, it retrieves images of the same subject, or similar ones, to enable the user to gather context data on something they’ve only seen once.
And then it hits me: around 2000, my dad in that life embroidered these ladies, proud to have done it in only 555 hours! I flip over the frames, and indeed: one of them has a small label on it, specifying the name of the works, the period they were made in, and the telltale 555 hours.
It is always nice to find stuff from your own past. It reminds you of the timelessness and the interconnectedness of things, which reminds me:
While Seda goes down to the kitchen to make her famous macaroni with synthetic (but no less tasty) chicken and sweet & sour, I go with her and read some more in my manuscript, so attentively sent to me by Denisa…..
‘From one marvel to the next’
Thinking back, I wonder why our hosts arrived on foot when they could just as easily have flown right to where we were standing. When asked, Mayra gives a simple explanation: “Two beings on foot pose much less of a threat than a flying saucer carrying the same two people. Hence our preference for walking the extra distance”. Now there’s a train of thought I can wholeheartedly agree with. I thank her for the explanation, and go back to my own thoughts, that wander to the design of the floater that we are in. Sure, its mind-controlled interface is spectacular enough, but otherwise it’s very minimalist in design: a large metal disc-shaped object, with a depression at the center. Around it, seven seats are placed. Come to think of it, it looks suspiciously like the wild water rides that we use on the outside of the globe. Only this one floats on air instead of water, and it’s a much smoother ride. It has no apparent roof structure, so I ask Kayim about it. He explains that inside, the weather does not have its ups and downs like outside, for there are no seasons. There is occasional rain, but the people here don’t really mind that, and the same force field that floats the floater also keeps out the excess water. As we approach the city, I take a closer look at it: it consists almost entirely of spheres of various sizes, some buried halfway in the surface. Lots of green in between, making it a great place to live in, I imagine. The spheres are different shades of color, giving the impression of soap bubbles from afar.
We land on the edge of the city, next to a modest globe. I can now spot an entirely glass surface surrounding it, which can be seen to be divided into six distinct levels. The top level seems to have no real ceiling, more like a greenhouse. We enter the structure at ground level, and step onto a disc that’s in the core of the building. You can look up and see all the floors, just like an elevator that has no walls. The disc starts to rise, and I see Melanie trying to scare me to death: she holds out her arm, and steps to the side of the platform to allow the next floor to chop it off. Her plan is foiled, because of some unseen barrier that won’t allow anything to cross the edge of the platform as long as it is moving. Mayra notices also, and laughs at my youngest.
We stop on the next floor, and find it divided into four quarter-circle rooms. “These are the working areas,” Mayra explains: “They are on the lower levels because of the frequent transporting of goods in and out of them. Because of their being on the lower half of the sphere, they are usually lit by artificial means”. I see what she means, but for the life of me cannot discover any source of internal light. Still, the rooms seem better lit than any I’ve seen on the surface. We get onto the disc again, only to stop briefly at the next level, which is divided into six pie-shaped rooms.
Each one has two discs on the floor, and two discs on the ceiling directly above them. One of the rooms clearly demonstrates the purpose of the discs: another Inner Earth person is suspended in between two discs. As we approach, he effortlessly swings into an upright position, and steps forward to meet us. “I’ve been waiting for you since I finished preparing our meal. My name is Sinan.” Further talking reveals that he is the mate of Mayra, and Kayim is their son. They live together in this house, which seems somewhat large for the three of them. Mayra explains that they have been appointed hosts of the access point that we came through, so they sometimes have guests from the surface, hence the six bedrooms. The seven of us step onto the central disc again, and ascend to the next level, which also has six pie-shaped rooms. “These are for various activities,”, Mayra explains: “Kayim has his musical studio in one of these”. Laura can’t wait to hear her new friend: “Will you please play us something?”, she asks in her sweetest voice. Kayim obliges, and takes the seat behind a desk that features various colored crystals. They light up the moment he sits down, and his hands above the array of crystalline light start making subtle movements. The end result is one of the sweetest compositions I’ve ever heard. All of us stand there and listen intently, until the spontaneous concert is finished. When it does, we outsiders all applaud Kayim, with Laura cheering as well. “Who wrote that marvelous piece?”, she wants to know. Kayim smiles, taking a bow: “I just improvised a little, so you could say I ‘wrote’ it…”, he says.
We go up another level, and come to another set of four rooms, with large, tilted windows all around the circumference of the building. Three of the four rooms are home to various plants, growing in shallow tanks containing a greenish, luminous substance. “This is our hydroponics area. It grows all of the fruits and vegetables we consume.”, Mayra explains. She goes on to tell us that the plants that thrive best on real sunlight are closest to the windows, whereas the more rugged plants get by on artificial light. Finally, the ones that don’t require light, like mushrooms, are grown in a subterranean level at the base of the sphere. The one remaining room on this level is the kitchen, which has its own dedicated access to the dining table above, which we will see shortly. Sinan gestures towards the central disc again, to introduce us to the final level of the structure: the living area.
The four of us stand in awe of the sight we behold: a large circular floor, that is topped by an equally large glass dome. Basically, this dome is the top sixth part of the sphere, leaving the entire floor permanently lit by the smoky central sun. We can see the entire city, and the landscape that surrounds it. ”That’s something different from the street view you get from your average city home.”, I say to Gea. She looks at me, and just smiles quietly. Mayra calls our attention to a round table, with a big gaping hole in the middle. As we look on, a plateau displaying the most delicious dishes surfaces, inviting us to the table. Around it we find simple but adequate stools, that automatically adjust their height to the size of the person sitting on them. We all sit down, when Sinan invites us to quietly contemplate the origins of the food we are about to eat. I look over the dishes, and realize that no matter how different they are from the foods of the outer world, their origins are the same: it is all part of the All, just as we are.
Sinan wishes us a healthy meal, and puts some food on his plate. As I ask him to hand me one of the green eggs that are in his vicinity, the central plateau of the table rotates, so I can easily take one myself. “How did you do that?”, I ask. Mayra explains that it is the same mechanism that controls the floater outside. She invites me to try it myself, because it isn’t that hard. I notice a delicious piece of fruit across the table, and decide to give it a go. I concentrate on choosing the fruit, and the plateau revolves to the point where I can reach in and get it. Of course the girls can’t wait to perform their own experiments on it. Unfortunately, they both formulate their requests at the same time, and the end result is that the table voices its objection against this conflict by a short somewhat irritated sound. Kayim laughs, and tells Laura to let her sister go first. Melanie, seated right next to me, chooses her food with care, and then mentions to me that Laura has already learnt her first words of Solara Maru, from Kayim. I look across the table, and see the two of them exchanging meaningful looks.
I ponder the apparent design choices of the Inner Earth people: their homes seem built for maximum efficiency. Distinguishing them from the houses of neighbors appears to be totally irrelevant. Mayra explains that the spherical shape has been chosen because it leaves a minimal surface for a maximal content, thus minimizing the exchange of energy with the environment. Not that they really need it of course, because the season-less weather keeps the outdoor temperature always around twenty degrees centigrade. “We prefer the beauty of optimal solutions to the aesthetics.” Sinan says. I state that even though aesthetics is not their main concern, they haven’t lost their eye for beauty. When everybody seems to have had enough, the plateau slowly sinks back to the kitchen level. Mayra points out that the remains of our copious meal will be recycled into the substance that feeds the hydroponics area.
As we stand up, Sinan again draws our attention to the table. The plateau has returned, and the large circular surface becomes the scene where a scale model of the city appears. Even my untrained eye recognizes the configuration of spheres, some large and some small. But the differences between big and small are much smaller than between houses and office buildings up top. Mayra explains that massive office buildings are not needed here, as most of the people work from their homes. In fact, most won’t call it work, because basically it is just doing what they love to do. The only reason things seem so out of proportion on the outside, is because there everything is controlled instead of trusting that nature will find the right way. “Call me an anarchist, but that reasoning doesn’t sound half bad”, I thought. Since consumption here is on a much lower level than outside, big stores are also not needed. Life inside isn’t all about money, certainly not. The necessities of life are provided for all, and to acquire luxury items, people trade instead of spending their days doing things they don’t like.
With the model, Sinan wants to show us which sights we will be visiting tomorrow. On the left, he points to a fairly large globe, half buried in the forest. This is the city’s swimming pool, that has been chosen as an item on our trip because it is markedly different from the surface swimming pools: you simply cannot drown there, because the “water” is far denser, causing you to float easier. “Like the Red Sea!” Melanie interjects. “But it isn’t that salty” Kayim asks her. “Help, I didn’t bring my swim gear!” Laura utters with panic in her voice. “Don’t worry” Mayra says: “We can pretty much make you any apparel you find suitable.” So apparently, there’s nothing to stop us from having a nice swim tomorrow. Sinan points out that this will happen tomorrow afternoon. The morning will be spent with the Elders, who will give us a bit of a history lesson.
I ask Sinan if there is a possibility to access the Web on the outside. I would very much like to update my site with a story of our exploits on the inside. Sinan leads me to a round seat, which envelops me with a spherical ‘screen’ the moment I sit down. It is projected around the seat, and is pressure sensitive. On the edge of the seat is a keyboard, which can be augmented by use of the dictation unit. It doesn’t take me long to get the hang of it. Once Sinan has shown me how to get to the outer web, I quickly find my own site, and am somewhat hesitantly typing and talking away to let our readers know how exciting it is down here.
As I finish, I notify Linda and Carlo. They are on holiday themselves, so I mail them, and send SMS-es to both their cellphones. I tell them something like “no matter what you hear, we’re OK”. That ought to cover any rash actions by the hotel staff, or other people. Gea is up next, and takes the seat.
An hour or two later, even though the internal Sun is still high in the sky, it is the moment of sleep. Mayra leads us to the bedrooms a little lower, and gets us something to wear while in ‘bed’. I am very curious about the force field that acts as a mattress, will it be easy to lie on? We first go into the room designated to the girls. Mayra demonstrates how you can just walk onto the lower disc, after which you will be slightly lifted up to the levitation center of the field. After that, it is easy to position your body any way you like. The kids get into their nightly attire, step onto the pads, and immediately start doing rolls, and other tricks. I wonder how long they will be doing that before falling asleep. As for the lack of night, the windows have their own mechanism to remedy that: they slowly fade from transparent to dark gray, creating a great nightly look. Mayra, Gea and me leave the kids to their tricks, and go into two other rooms, one for Gea and one for me. After I’ve dressed for the night, it is my turn to try the ‘bed’. I step onto it, and feel myself being slightly lifted. It is a weird sensation, because there seems to be no extra pressure from below, like when you’re sitting on a bed. It is more the absence of weight, without the lack of oxygen normally found in outer space. But it also does not seem to be quite like normal weightlessness, for there is a certain friction between the force field and my body, that makes it easy to move around. I experiment a little, but it doesn’t take much time to find my optimum position. I doze off quickly, forgetting all about my peculiar surroundings.
But it doesn’t last long. Not seven minutes later, I wake up terrified, because I just realize that I forgot my pills! I get dressed again, and think about why oh why I don’t keep the bottle in my pocket at all times. Since our trip to the pyramids was only supposed to last a few hours, I’d plain forgotten about it, since I didn’t need them till bedtime anyway.
I step onto the landing, and almost bump into Mayra. She sees the worried look on my face, and asks what is wrong. I explain the predicament of missing medication to her, and she looks me into the eyes: “Fortunately, we do have a remedy, a permanent one even”, she smiles. She leads me to the lower level, speaks some words I haven’t heard yet, and grabs what seems like a futuristic motorcycle helmet from a closed container. “Here, put this on”.
I do, and Mayra pushes the shiny red button that is now on my forehead. A weird sensation, a tingling starts right below the button, inside my skull. “What is it doing,” I ask. Not that I’m scared or anything, because during my manic episodes I’ve felt similar sensations. “Basically, it does what you would call a defragmentation of your neural net.” Mayra volunteers. She goes on to say that where I come from, the Lithium would be used by the brain to perform a similar function itself. This just is more thorough, and will last me about a year. If needed, she can even have me taken to see a doctor, who will cure it permanently…. After that, I have no problem getting back to sleep.