Like I said this morning, publishing it in it’s entirety right here might be counterproductive, but I’m sure my publisher won’t mind me giving you guys and gals a little teaser. Here are some chapters straight from the novel, as it is to appear in september with http://www.freemusketeers.nl:
4444AD, Day 225, 06:12, Workshop
To the sound of Rush’s Red Barchetta, I cherish the lines of the old lady standing right here in my workshop: she’s a two-tone Bugatti Veyron, a car from the apogee of the 21st century automotive industry. We haven’t outlawed them, like the Rush song hinted at, but instead some of us, like me, worship selected samples as a token of our appreciation for that era. Combustion engine or not, the beauty in a machine like the Bugatti Veyron is beyond compare.
I’ve rescued this one from a colossal pile-up on the German autobahn, by replacing it with an equivalent mass of scrap right before the impact in 2022.
Or what to think of the fiery red Snaefell-Laverda sidecar? I was proud as a peacock to have been able to rescue that from the wrecker’s cruncher. It’s is a one of, handcrafted by a guy with a lot of love for high technology. Although it is a motorbike with a sidecar, it looks more like a successful hybrid of the two: a kick-ass Laverda motorcycle, and a very compact Lamborghini-like sports car.
Although running combustion engines would be unwise in this environment, I’ve retro-fitted my Bugatti with twin torque generators, which just about fit the space that the crank shafts used to rotate in. Since these generators make hardly any noise, I’ve had to rig something to arrive at the typical engine sounds of machines from that era. It took me a while, but I managed to acquired sound samples for my toys. From that, it is quite doable to have a synthesizer punch up a realistic replica op the revving of the engine based on the movements of the accelerator.
Today, the upholstery of the Veyron is in dire need of restoration. I’ve been putting that off for far too long, but soon I want to take these two ladies to an AncientTech event down in Hamburg. With my extra strength fingers I loosen the bolts that attach the driver’s seat to the floor, and take it out. It isn’t damaged very much, just a few patches of wear around the part where the backside of my upper legs rub against the leather. So, just redoing the upholstery on the seat will suffice.
Of course I wouldn’t have access to cream-colored leather, since livestock are no longer slaughtered for such products, but I have a better plan: I pick up the surface scanner from it’s cradle, and place it on the part of the seat that’s still in prime condition. It buzzes for a few seconds, then beeps to inform me it’s made a high resolution 3D surface scan of the Bugatti’s leather seat covering.
Armed with the pattern, I head on over to the fabric weaver. This marvelous piece of nano-production machinery can take a pattern like the one from the scanner, and make it into a perfect copy. The only drawback is that the pattern repeats with the size of the scan, but detecting that is made extra difficult by first of all using a hexagonal pattern surface, and secondly softening the edges to lessen any transitions that might occur in between the patterns.
Having uncovered the seat, I figure I’m going to need about a square meter of the fabric. I set the machine to produce it for me, and then head back into the kitchen because perfection takes patience (not time).
Since my love is apparently sleeping in today, I gather the belongings for my breakfast myself: Fruit salad today, for I feel in a light mood. Peaches, bananas and pineapple, all cut by hand, and sprinkled with sirup. With my bowl of fruit I head to the living room, to pass the time towards completion of the fabric with a good book…..
‘a New Friend…’
Mayra takes us to one of the workshops on the first floor, while Sinan and Kayim go to pick up an extra floater for our trip that is to start tomorrow. Meanwhile, she will be helping us to fabricate our swimming attire for this afternoon. My two girls totally dig the approach to designing the swim wear: they step onto the scanner pad fully clothed, so the system can take their measurements to produce a scale model of them. Mayra hands them their models, and tells them to paint on their desired ‘cover’. After they’ve finished, Mayra sets up the first of the two scale models for production. We see a full scale model of Valerie appear on the pad, clothed exactly as my daughter painted the bathing suit just minutes earlier. Mayra invites Valerie to select a material for her outfit, and the system alters the mannequin accordingly. Once we are done, the mannequin dissolves and the bathing suit drops onto the scanner pad. Jane’s suit is next, and materializes in much the same fashion. Since they seem to have so much fun using the system, Gina and I allow them to design our bathing suits as well.
Just as we finish producing our swimsuits, Sinan and Kayim enter again. They have our transport for tomorrow parked downstairs. After lunch we all climb in, to have it take us to the swimming pool. No hassle with tickets, because the swimming pool (like everything else here) is free. We get shown to our dressing rooms, and change into our newly acquired bathing suits. I feel slightly odd, because the girls went all out when they designed my swimming gear: I look like something that dropped in straight from a Marvel comic, but without the super powers.
We enter the large dome, where the swimming pools are located. It is crowded, but surprisingly tranquil. It seems the Inner Earth people make far less noise when swimming. Valerie and Jane go off into the pool, being their normal, noisy selves. I expect them to attract lots of attention, but strangely enough, nobody seems to really care about their ecstatic cries. They are spotted by one other person however: a girl, around nineteen years of age, quickly befriends them. From the looks I’d say she wasn’t one of the Inner Earth people, and I turn out to be right: as we get together later, the girl introduces herself as Kim, and when I ask her if she’s from the outside, she tells us her story.
She apparently came here through the same elevator as we did, having visited the big pyramid with her husband in nineteen-hundred and twenty-nine. After they became separated, and she discovered the way down, she’d decided to stay below, wanting to escape her marriage and the empty society life she was trapped in. Actually, she’d been around thirty when she came here, and some quick calculating on my part reveals her true age as being one hundred and eight. I can’t help but be amazed: over a hundred years old, but looking like nineteen. Kim, being a ‘normal’ human, has obviously acquired the same agelessness as the Inner Earth people. For a moment there, I consider also staying below, but then I can not possibly deny the girls’ mother the pleasure of seeing her girls grow up. So I guess I’ll have to return sometime. Luckily for us, we are on a four week vacation, and I’ve told Joyce we will contact her when we get back. That seems a bit weird, but she herself is on holiday with her new flame, somewhere in the Caribbean, totally away from civilization.
When the young girls go back to the swimming pool, Gina and I decide to try the weird water for ourselves. I first try floating on my back, which is a weird sensation indeed: my body is only halfway in the water, even when I fully exhale to reduce my buoyancy. Trying to dive in is somewhat of a no-no: you are immediately pushed back to the surface, so it is hardly possible to hit your head in shallow water. Once I narrowly escaped breaking my neck that way, but at least here it won’t happen. Now that we’re used to the remarkable water, we turn our attention to the kids. There, we find that they’ve split up: Jane is chasing after Kim, while Valerie and Kayim are in the opposite end of the pool, deeply engaged in talking. We attach ourselves to the group that’s obviously engaged in playing tag, and I’m immediately caught. I spend about half an hour chasing Jane, Kim and Gina through the bath, but my lousy condition catches up with me here: Even though I feel exceptionally great today, I can’t succeed in catching any of them. Finally, Jane ‘fails’ to avoid me, and I can go to the edge of the bath, to rest and recover.
After a while, Kim joins me on the bench. She tells me, that Kayim has invited her to come along on the trip around Inner Earth. I agree to Kayim’s invitation, because it will be nice to have somebody there who’s been through the experience of adapting to life here in Inner Earth. We chat along, only to be interrupted by Jane, who takes another snapshot of the two of us, and then goes off to find Valerie and Kayim. Out loud I wonder about the state of the camera’s batteries, because she’s been taking a lot of pictures. Kim reassures me: “batteries last much longer down here, because there are far less devices that draw energy from them. She mentions the cell phone towers, and radio towers not as sources of information, but as sinks for energy, that also affect humans. I look surprised, because how in Earth can Kim possibly know about cell phone towers, when she’s come down here around 1930? She appears to have read my mind, and quickly explains that she is part of the task force that keeps abreast of surface developments, to determine when (if ever) it will be safe to hook up with the surface population. “Will that ever happen?”, I ask rather skeptical. Kim sees things far more sunny: “Consciousness up there is now rapidly evolving, mainly thanks to the Web. I can’t be quite sure, but my guess is that it’s going to happen before 2012”.
Thinking back to her remark about the cell phone towers, I suddenly figure out why I was so well rested this morning. It wasn’t just a good night’s sleep, but also the absence of these energy-draining devices that made me feel like a million. “Besides, if the batteries really do run out, Kayim can probably materialize you a replacement that lasts for years”, Kim concludes with a smile.
At the end of the afternoon, the girls seem exhausted. Eight in number now, we walk outside to the floater. As there are only seven seats, Jane will have to ride on my lap back to the ‘mansion’. It only takes a few minutes, before the well-rounded structure appears before us. We get out, and ride the disc to the top floor. Kayim gathers us around the large table, while his mother and father retreat into the kitchen area to prepare dinner. Like always, it will be entirely vegetarian, but nevertheless I will enjoy it immensely. On the large table, Kayim has materialized a section of the Inner Earth that we will be visiting tomorrow. It is Shamballah the Lesser, the capital of Inner Earth. I already heard a little about it from the Elders this morning, about the giants that dwell there. I think I will have to get used to them. Finally some people that I can literally look up to: back home, my one hundred and ninety-seven centimeters and my lack of temper got me the nickname ‘the Big Friendly Giant’, but out there I will definitely have to look up to possibly even Bigger, Friendlier Giants…
Kayim agrees with me: the people there are very friendly, and we will have no problem at all to find accommodations there. In fact, they seem to exist merely for the purpose of helping others, an outlook in life that not everybody on the surface of the planet shares. While Kayim is telling my ladies about the coming visit, Kim attracts my attention. She wants to tell me about Valerie and Kayim. I did notice a rather unusual attraction between the two, but thought nothing of it. I know Valerie to be a level-headed lady, who can take care of herself. I gently break the news to Kim, but she responds in a remarkable way: “I wish I’d had a dad like you!” As we break off our dialog, the others move away from the table, towards the elevator disc. Apparently, they have something planned. When I ask Valerie, she replies that we will go for a walk, and invites me and Kim along.
4444AD, Day 225, 09:08, Workshop
As I walk back into the workshop, the soothing voice of the fabric weaver notifies me of its completion of the job. One square meter of the simulated creamy leather is lying on my work area, in front of the machine. Today I work on my own gems, but jobs for others happen just as often. And unlike my 2007 counterpart, I never worry about what I’ll get back for it. Once you are convinced that everything will be taken care of, trivialities like that are no longer worth worrying about.
I finish taking apart the original leather seating, and meticulously unfasten the stitches that held it together all these years. I spread the old pieces of leather onto the new fabric, and find my square meter estimate to be totally on the mark: several centimeters separate the various parts, so the automated cutter will have no problem finding the outlines.
I switch it on, and the directed low-intensity laser beam scans past the surface. It’s sensors pick up the height difference between the new material and the old parts on top of it, and quickly settle into their perceived outline proposition. I inspect, and correct a few minor misreads, by simply touching the outlines and redrawing parts of them with my finger. When it’s perfect, I take off the old parts, and let the high-powered cutting beam take over: presto, four new pieces of ‘leather’, ready to be sown. The cutting laser even punctured the holes that the needle left in the original material.
Like the tailors from days of old, I sit on the table with my legs crossed, to sow the parts together. I remember having struggled with the orientation of stuff like that when doing similar work in my distant past, but not anymore: now, I pick up the pieces one by one, and calmly stitch them together with a needle. There’s no technical substitute for needlework, at least not if you want to use pre-punched holes. So manual labor it is. And I’m not even disliking it: I know the love spent on it will show itself in the end result!
As I attach the final thread, Selina walks into the shop. She drapes herself seductively over the 1916 Twindian, and flashes her dark and mysterious eyes at me. “Care to go for a walk with me?” she asks. “What did you have in mind?” I counter. “Lake Watchatanabee in winter” my lovely twin answers. She gets off the ancient bike, and grabs my hand.
Like the guy in Genesis’ “the Lady Lies”, I follow her lead, knowing full well I’d follow her into the depths of hell, had it existed.
We punch our destination into the transporter pad, preferring the experience of manual input to the more intuitive method of addressing it with thought. One small step for two ‘droids, a great leap forward into the wild and still largely untamed forests of what used to be Alaska. Lake Watchatanabee recovered nicely, after the HAARP facility was destroyed with help of a few friends from beyond the stars.
They don’t really interfere normally, but when human consciousness uttered its outrage at HAARP’s actions against Holland, it was obvious that it no longer could be allowed to exist despite the fact that a small faction actually wanted it as leverage. I’m not sure what our friends did to it, but within minutes all HAARP personnel found themselves a mile and a half from where they had previously been working, standing there looking at a huge hole in the ground where previously the extended antenna arrays of the facility had been. Nobody felt the need to build there anymore, and Nature was left in charge, to do what she does best: Grow and Flourish!
We materialize on the pad at the location where the personnel was taken to all these years ago. In front of us stretches the square mile of lake surface, which isn’t actually square, but in fact perfectly round. We know from earlier walks that frequent visitors from all over the planet and beyond have worn out a nice path all the way around the lake: A perfect 5678 meter walk, with forest on one side, and the lake on the other!
“I have tabs on the shoreline” my lady smiles. As a result, we both know we’re going to do the walk clockwise this time, during the evening hours here at lake Watchatanabee: it’ll be dark by the time we complete the tour.
Rather than disturb a perfect walk, I’ll just quickly explain HAARP to those who haven’t heard of it before:
The High frequency Active Auroral Research Project, as it was called, purportedly researched the effects of radio waves upon the atmosphere. Since much lower intensity experiments displayed effects even on solid matter, soon the idea surfaced that HAARP was in fact used to trigger earthquakes all over the world. And let’s face it, the officially reported 3.6 Megawatts of the facility could do quite some damage.
One only needed to Google for it back around the start of the twenty-first century, to find stories about how they blew a hole in Earth’s atmosphere repeatedly, resulting in several human casualties, from deformed babies to completely fried Eskimos.
Depressing stuff like that kept people down for quite some time. But anger, often portrayed to be a negative emotion, eventually proved quite positive: it got people to realize they had no room in their world for allowing such gross suppression of millions of their fellow men and women.
The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was the military’s involvement with the 2028 Summer Olympics, which were organized by Rotterdam, the Netherlands’ largest port city. Wanting to get the newly voted in Dutch government to fall in line with New World Order, they commanded the crew at the HAARP facility to disturb the opening ceremony of the Olympics with a well-targeted jolt of energy designed to make the low lands by the sea part of the North Sea forever. Most of the world’s population watching the event live on TV never knew what hit them: they figured the rainbow-colored excitation of the sky above the Olympic stadium was part of the show, and thus thought nothing of it. The few spectators that did know the precursors to HAARP attacks were barely fast enough to make it out of there alive: the following quake, nine point one on the Richter scale, was powerful enough to damage or obliterate many of the dikes that guarded the south of the lovely country, thus leading to the flooding of many square miles of heavily populated country. Amsterdam and Rotterdam were turned into scenes like the ManHattan at the end of Spielberg’s AI, and many casualties both temporary and permanent were to be deplored.
Of course the Olympics that year were canceled, for the sixth time in history. The rumor mill that was the Web ran overtime, and pretty soon, the voices of discontent gathered there cut clear across the media conglomerates’ ‘official’ explanation. People went out into the streets everywhere, demanding the dismantlement of HAARP and similar facilities worldwide.
Since it was then painfully obvious that the majority of humanity did not want to maintain these doomsday machines, but the powers that be did not wish to relinquish control, our friends from beyond the stars were called in. When they leveled the main HAARP facility with minimum effort and a zero fatality count, no further show of strength was needed: within a month, the remaining similar sites were abandoned, and demolition crews had been called in to dispose of these relics.
But enough on that, I’ve got a lovely being walking beside me, and I don’t want to waste all of my time on you readers instead of on her.
Selina looks up at me and smiles. Naturally, she’s pegged in to my RSS feed, and so knows about anything I write just as soon as I do write it. Furthermore, our synced feelings always show us each others’ moods, so she knew I was in teaching mode just now. “Finished?” she asks. I extend my right arm, and gently pull her in beside me. The moment I do, she freezes, and her eyes focus somewhere to our left.
I follow her gaze, and see a red fox carefully snooping around the treeline. It hasn’t noticed us yet, but is deeply involved in stalking a small rabbit or a hare foraging nearby. I momentarily engage my zoom function to check that the prey indeed is a rabbit, just as the fox pounces and gets its evening dinner! At the same moment there is a barely perceptible shiver on my right side: Selina never could get used to one being killing another, even if it is for its own survival.
Sunday, March 13th, 2010, 14:41
As it seems, the interconnectedness of things tends to become more intense, more widespread. Where ideas in my youth were separate gems that stood by themselves, there happens to be a sort of binding force at work, intent on stitching it all together.
Having run into a block of sorts, I figured I’d do the website early, partly as a distraction, and partly as a possible source of inspiration. Because that I’ve learned by now: if I relax and trust the process that delivers, it will deliver, no doubts about it!
And again it worked: my very last addition of today spoke of manifestation being an act of trust. Quite in line with my earlier remark that I didn’t quite understand that mechanism yet, the Cosmos provided me with the most clear-cut example of how it works: trust first, then doubt about your wishes arriving becomes futile, like resistance against Borgs!
Being in a multi-timeline environment like this novel gives one a distinct perspective on reality. Is thought cause or effect, does it precede or follow reality? Looking back upon our lives, I’m quite certain we’ve all encountered events in our minds, that later became ‘reality’. Most of us are aware that what we plan has a certain tendency to become reality. But usually we expect realization to take a certain amount of physical action to complete. Now if you’re lucky, you’ve already encountered some thoughts that required zero physical action on your part, to manifest in a way that seemed unexpected to say the least. Now that is manifestation 101: by leveraging these wild realizations, you begin to embrace the idea that physical activity is not always required to make something become a reality in your life. Sure, it may help, just as I’m writing this novel to shape my reality, but by now I’m quite convinced I could very well trash the novel, lie flat on my back, and just wait for the love of a lifetime to miraculously appear on my doorstep. But then again, that wouldn’t be half as satisfying as doing what I’m doing right now. And frankly, I doubt which would be faster….
My most remarkable results in this arena were ‘fire and forget’: Think it once, forget all about it, and just continue with whatever takes your fancy. That’s how I landed the ‘Portraits of a Lady’, twice in a row, and several other things not mentioned here: why else do I live a mere three hundred meters from where my kids live?
So, do our thoughts cause reality, or does reality cause thoughts? Or are they, like everything, so intricately intertwined that no such assessment can be made with absolute certainty? Does my writing dictate what will happen, predict it, or does it merely describe things as they have already happened? In the same token, does writing this novel work to realize wild ideas from my ever expanding mind, where singular ideas about my future are rapidly forming themselves into coherent webs of meaningful coincidence?
Suffice it to say, that the web of Knowledge in my mind is vastly larger than the limited subset of what will be a three hundred page novel by the time it is finished. An image says more than a thousand words, and the movies inside my mind are extremely high definition masterpieces……
4444AD, Day 225, 19:28, Lake Watchatanabee
The snow creaks under our strolling feet. It has freshly fallen, with the snowfall just now subsiding. Selina has gotten over the fox and his somewhat offensive choice of a dinner partner, and is happily chatting away. I walk beside her, my right hand with hers in her right coat pocket. Her left is in her own pocket, for her arms cannot comfortably reach across my broad back, and into my coat pocket.
An eagle flies overhead, its outstretched wings measuring almost seven feet. We both look up, imagining for a moment how it would be to fly that high. Heck, why even imagine? A quick nod, and together we engage remote viewing, temporarily picking up whatever the eagle overhead is viewing. Very synchronistically, it is just at that moment observing us…..
Awesome, to soar that high, over the snow covered trees of the Alaskan outback. We could stay with it, to watch it reach its nest, probably in this very secluded location. “Let’s”, I hear my lady say. Her pretty mouth hasn’t actually formed a word, but the intention is there nevertheless. Amused we watch as the eagle flies out of visual range, towards the more densely populated forest areas. Then, all of a sudden, it dives down, apparently spotting a prey. I sense the disconnect as Selina drops out of remote viewing, and I decide that that takes precedence. I too disconnect, just in time to catch her looking up at me. We both know which trace of the past caused this fearful reaction: in a previous incarnation, my twin was a young child, with a pet cat whom she adored. One day, while playing with miss Kitty in the garden, little Marion got terrified when a large Doberman jumped the fence and attacked the white Persian. A flurry of white hair and splotches of red, and the attacker left behind one completely ravaged cat, and its almost catatonic owner.
Sure enough, Marion seemed to recover quite fast, as children are said to do, but the scars of the attack stayed with her, even across the boundaries of several incarnations. And thus my darling Selina still quivers when seeing one animal slay another.
With the night swiftly falling, as far as the location of the lake will allow, we walk the remaining half mile or so in the eerie half-darkness of the midsummer night. The seasons are such, that the sun just about dips beneath the horizon, before coming back up again. As we reach the transporter pad, its last rays light up the mountain top across the lake. The familiar feeling of being spread out into an unbearable lightness ceases, and the two of us crash on the soft silkfoam couch that means home to us…
“I could stomach it when the fox got the rabbit”, Selina begins. “But watching it first-person up close and personal was just a bit too much!” On the other hand, the knowledge that the eagle probably had a nest full of young nearby did make a difference for my lovely lady friend. So much so in fact, that she is glad that despite my checking out also, I’d been able to record the dive of the eagle right until the end of the following flight home, where the prey indeed proved to become food for her young.
We watch it together, Selina snugly seated on my lap, embraced by two long and very loving arms. After that display of motherly love on the large living room wall, we retire to bed, not because we need the rest, but because love can not be made, only experienced…..