Chapter One: VINCE
I looked up from the monitor. I had been staring for hours, caught by the dynamics of the story, but now I wondered, what it was all about. I was not really done yet, for the record offered at least the same or even double amount of datas, than which I had actually checked. But I had overseen it before and knew it to be the story of the Neanderthalwoman living among Sapiens, raising her mixbred children.
I asked my superior Alex about it: „Do I have to watch it complete?“
„Sure, that is your task“ she replied coldly. „Watch it, write a summary, watch the next.“
„I know. But it is obvious. I know that story already!“
„You don´t know what you did not see yet. The source had something in mind when adding this to the Ahe“. Thus we called the Archive of Human history on Earth, a collection of uncountable documentaries from Millenias of observation of ancient earth. „If you skip it, someone else still has to do, where you failed.“
„Yeah, I know!“ It was not so bad, it was just, that I thought it to be more useful, to check out all records from that source by overviewing, and only later, given the frame of it all, go in to check out the details, instead of work through one piece after another in pure buerocratic serenity, missing the very point of understanding the greater picture.
„You are right!“ she said undeterred. „Could be better, would be better. But we have to stick to the method given. That is, what we are doing now. Collect data for science, reorganize the archive by adding summaries and keywords.“
„There is nothing scientific of that record at all“ I explained. „It´s a record of emotional turmoils, no datas to check out.“
„It is an old method, I know. It is a direct heart transfer, telling what the people held important for themselves. A lot of sex sometimes. Did it turn you on?“
She looked directly in my eyes, as to read the answer there if I was about to lie. But I did not, dared not, after all it still was science, even my reaction to it. „It did“ I said truthfully.
„Did you masturbate?“ she insisted on further details.
I felt shocked, uneasy. „Do I have to tell?“
„Of course. How we react is part of it all. How could one understand your summary if not knowing your point of view?“
I sighed. „Yes. Once.“
„You were ashamed of it?“
„Not really. I would have done it anyway. I have no partner yet on this ship.“
„That´s a pity. You´re handsome, you know?“
For a heartbeat I thought she would take a chance on me now, but she didn´t. Had I made it up, or was there the flickering of desire in her eyes? She dismissed me somehow abrupt and left me puzzled, disappointed and, worst of all, embarrassed. Having no partner, that meant lack of social integration, that meant being less reliable and that could endanger my position. I was all too glad being allowed to work in science at all, cause, you know, science of course is woman´s work, man only occasionally allowed to do some minor or dull work, for which a woman´s time is too precious. But if I would be accounted to be difficult, bearing problems, or being too solitary, I soon could not only lose my work, but be obtained to do therapy and social work in some kitchen or whatever. It was horrible. I regretted to mention the fact of having no partners to Alex, who would take it as a topic of her responsibility to be informed about my relationships from now on.
Best would be, I´d try with some of the woman on my shift or else, but I really had no mind to do so. Go eating dinner, go to the movie, attend some gaming evenings with comrades, check out a date for a night. I did not know, what was wrong about it, but I did not want to have any part in it. Rather stay alone.
I had do to another day of watching that case of Sagi, just to know that she had lived quite well among the Sapiens, protected by Enoj, who became her loving husband. They had to go through some difficulties, especially after Sagi had eventually killed Halver during a feast, so that they were expelled from the tribe, but still they had lives nearby and got some sort of support from friends, and as word spread about the strange woman among the tribes, every now and then some stranger came visiting them, always bringing a gift or at least well-needed help. Of course there was drama, the youngest son being killed of racial hatred, and then the assaults from other tribes during a famine. But they lived through that, and, all´s well that ends well, they lived happily ever after in the end, son and daughter carrying their heir into the lineage of modern man. That, after all, was the whole point of the story.
Faby wanted to speak with me after dinner, which was odd, for she hadn´t spoke to me since her very first attempt to lay a claim on me after our departure for earth, an attempt which I had bluntly blocked, not even knowing why. I just did not want to play games, but in the end there is no telling of the difference between a game and social reality. Of course she was pretty and handsome, all of them were and she hadn´t made it on the ship if not for serious work and being very good at something. Unlike men, who were chosen for being handsome, healthy and strong, which were the virtues of a male, as they put it, together with a proven ability and willfulness to serve. I never had any problem with that. To obey my duties gave me the satisfaction of being needed, and being needed I felt safe. Most men felt safe if they had a partner, but not me. I felt safe by having a task to do. At least I had got the position as an archivar because of my expertise in earth history, even if they all thought that to be a mere joke. „Haha, that man is doing research? I´d like to do him some research on me!“ It always went like that. I had no mind to give myself away as a mere toy, and therefore I was blunt to Faby, as she acted like a gamer. Of course she wouldnt understand that. Women did not understand such things. She took it for granted, that I would feel honored to be chosen by her, but I was not and told her so. I should not have been doing that, I know it, but I couldnt help. We were about to spent half our life on this spaceship, if all went well, and I had resolved to spent that time on the solid ground of honesty, even if it meant to become an outsider, It was enough, that some knew my value. My chief Alex, of course. My colleagues Shena and Dera, who were found of each other and used me to back up them, as good as they backed up me in turn. Among the cooks, who were all male, I felt at ease and often I went in the kitchen to chat and gamble around, that really was enough of social activity for me. Now, as Faby invites me for a drink at the bar, I wondered why she would do that, but I agrees. This was at least, which was expected from me. There was of course no obligation for men to sleep with any woman, but at least I had to show good humor, for not becoming a subject to psychiatric observation. I did not want to be a case, and I took it for granted, that this was some kind of test, if my social functions were still inside the range of a healthy behavior. So I had to be kind. I knew it.
Faby was, as to be expected, kind and deliberately chatting about our common acquaintances, and I tried to make some remarks to show good will. But I am really not good in chatting about others, so she had to do most of the conservation. But when the turn came to Alex, she wouldnt let me dismiss the topic with a short statement about her being a good chief, never ill-humored, fair and engaging, and asked about her whereabouts and even her work.
„I thought you invited me on her bidding, isnt that right?
She was puzzled. „No! I just wanted to talk to you!“ She did not say, why. It was all too clear, that she wanted to investigate about Alex. I don´t know if she intendedly did not use the lie, that I had frankly offered her, or if she just didnt catch it in the moment, but anyway, I regarded her to be honest. That, at least, was a ground to stand on to make contact.
„So you want to know about Alex?“ She nodded. „But why?“
Faby clearly had not intended to tell me what was up, but now she understood that she had to, if I was to trust her at all. Maybe she had thought it to be cheaper, some flattering, some drinks, some sex if it came to that. But she had known me before to be no easy man. Now she sighed: „We shouldnt talk in public about all that“ she finally said. „Would you mind coming with me into my room?“ Now I was to be startled. „No intentions!“ she added, „just for talking!“.
I hesitated, but as I realized, that this could give me some sort of alibi for my social bonds, I agreed. „Make sure we are to be seen by someone!“ I explained my dilemma to her.
She laughed. „No wonder! I could have told you that before? Why are you always so stiff? It is simple, just smile and talk, about anything, you know, don´t take life so serious. You know what? We´ll take another drink, do some laughing, and then these people“ she pointed vaguely across the well visited bar, couples and colleagues for most, „will know that I have put you on my list. Does that work out for you?“
So she gifted us an opulent cocktail and made some nonsense jokes, to whom I laughed heartily, even if I did not get the point. Jokes were lost on me, but it was fun to laugh in itself, and so I kept on laughing for no reason, while she was telling me, that it is just as easy, keep on laughing, be good humored, make people be your friend. It all sounded reasonable, but as she said: You´re beautiful when you laugh“ I suddenly became alert again and stopped.
„It is simply not me“ I stated. But we were done with laughing anyway, we hushed down the rest of our cocktail in an unseemly hurry, and as we left the bar, she wrapped herself in my arm. In the doorway she turned to me for a short kiss.
„Hush now, it is just for show!“ So we kissed, and in that moment I aroused and was feeling like wanting her. I was puzzled and irritated as she stopped the kiss and dragged me behind her her through the floors to her room, acting drunk when one came across our path. We did not make the straight way and so we eventually run into some friend of hers. „Oh, hi, Evie!“ she greeted her in a silly, giggling voice. „What are you doing here?“ wrapping herself in my arm again, but not waiting for an answer. „She will do the talking“ she assured me, as we were finally approaching to her door. Her fingerprint let it swing open and we were in. She cooled down at once. „So, no intentions, right? Sit down. I´ll make us some tea!“
In the male quarters, there was no device for making tea in the own room. I also did not have a couch with a small table for a bowl with nuts. I wouldnt have nuts either, cause a male salary could not buy specialties beyond the daily needs. I always felt it unfair, the women earning so much more than men, but then again, I could let me be chosen by one and share in in her luxury, so it just was the way it was, and I had to be content to enjoy it now, as Faby offered me the luxury she had, not without pointing out the pity of „no intentions“. In fact, she could have had me in that very moment, if she had only tried for it, I was regretting my restriction either, but she held to our appointment and seated herself on the stool, for not coming too near to me on the couch. She explained to me a lot of stuff, which I did not really quite understand, for she was a biologist and talked about human evolution, of genetic improvements versus natural development and explained the meanings of some genetic markers and I couldnt help but watch her breasts, who showed up underneath her shirt.
„I dont make it up“ I finally admitted. „What is the point?“
„What do you know about human evolution?“
„On Earth or on Sirius?“
„Earth of course. Where are we heading to?“
I felt stupid. That was the thing I hated most: Feeling stupid for not knowing something that I couldnt have known. So I tried to convince her of my education. „First humans on earth were the Erectus, but they were only half witted. The first one to control fire was the Heidelberger, but normally we regard to the Neanderthaler as the first intelligent human species on earth, preceeding the Sapiens, who replaced them. What do you want to know?“
„Do you think, it all went naturally?“
I did not get her point. „Yes, of course, why not? Superior replacing the inferior. As far as I can see!“
„You know the evolution of culture?“
„So far. The Neanderthals may have had some embellishments and body painting. It was the Sapiens, who brought in figurines, paintings, needle work for fancy dressing. Agriculture went with clay-potting, then forging weapons along with writing and patriarchy, fighting kingdoms, emperors and Imperias arising and vanishing, later on industrial revolution along with pollution and massextinction of biology, great wars, the ruling of economic leaders. There still was a transcendending war to come, for the problems of distribution and social organization remained unsolved unto the last ambassador ship has left. Alex told me, that some believe, they might have destroyed life on earth as we arrive.“
„Might be, who knows?“ she said. Traveling through space hat to do mostly with just waiting. It took us half a year to get out of our solarsystem, before we could achieve Nearfastaslight- tempo. We had been on this ship for several months now, and were just about to leave our solarsystem by now. Soon we´d be starting the NFAL engine, but so long we were still bound to Sirius. „Indeed, there are a lot of questions about the evolution of mankind on earth,“ she continued. „As civilization had such negative impacts on life on earth, questions had been raised if either the education of writing and forging came too early to bring forth a working social system, or if else the whole thing was corrupted even before the regular intervention, stating that even agriculture, whose existence is the precondition for contact, has came somehow rootless and surprising to earth. The Sphinx and Gobleki Tepe give proof for some kind of appearance, but we are to act, if none of this ever had happened. The records are corrupted and now I am simply wondering. Could be stupid to go there with a false pretext, you know? I am not the first to ask, if there evolution was speeded up by someone.“
It was a vast accusation I had never thought of before. What I have heard about humans history on earth had always made perfect sense to me, only that I asked sometimes about the restricted sources, that for some political reasons were kept secret. But it was not in my area of responsibility to give heed about that. So I repeated my school wisdom: „Humans on earth were taught metallurgy and writing, to build some pyramids and make them learn obey their Gods. If humanity on one planet reaches some kind of selfawareness and start to make for chief and kings, they are to be educated, to prevent a dark age of turmoil, fear and violence. Which had apparently been done, but did not prevent much, for human history on earth was a history of turmoil, fear and violence since then. But what went wrong?“
Faby tried an explanation: „There might have been some experiments, undue interventions, intermeddlings with the natural ways... “ I admired her daring to put it all in question. What could life be, if not restricted to what we were supposed to think? Was it freedom or chaos? Now again, she could have used me without any resistance from my side, but she held to our appointment. As for now, it was the topic, that filled her hearts desire. „I thought, perchance Alex would know about these things. But of course she would not tell me anything if I ask officially. Perhaps you ...“ She interrupted herself. Her intentions were clear now, even if I got no clues of the politics behind it. „Sorry, I don´t know what I am talking about. I got no plan, it is just curiosity.“ I was disappointed. She had been closer to truth before. But what was I to expect?
„I can´t tell you either“ I said dryly. „But I learned a strange story recently.“ I gave her a summary of that tale about the Neandertal-woman.
„Men!“ she sighed later. „You come up with a scientific question and they answer with a love-story. Always emotional, never just reasonable.“ She looked at me. „No offense, I liked your story. In fact, I´d like to hear more about it, if you want to tell me ...“
I knew what was coming next. Despite of our appointment she would give it a try. Woman always do. They want to have sex, that´s how things are. Of course she wouldnt push it, but just ask if we are still bound to what we have said earlier, and if I insisted, she wouldn´t touch me. But I insisted not. In fact, I longed for sex myself, and Fabja was not a bad choice. I should have been gambling on it, taking some advantages first, but I still disliked to play any games. I felt like yes, so I kissed her as she approached to me, let her unwrap me and lay me on her bed, as she climbed upon me to serve herself. She didn´t need to arouse me, for I was vast standing, and had to force myself not to ejaculate before she had allowed me to. Then she turned aside, kissing me good night. „Thank you, my dear. You may stay, if you like!“ So I stayed till the morning, finding myself hoping that she would love me, and fearing, she´d dismiss me again. In the end, there was no telling. As she was about to wake up, I quickly made for my own room, for not to stand in her way.
I had some very boring days then, watching more documentaries of Sapiens-Neandertal interbreeding. Some love-stories, some rapes, some kidnapping and some casual encounters. Somebody has thoroughly kept that on record, and I wondered, to what means. I asked Alex about it, and she explained it as a thousand years of intense observation, which we could not afford anymore nowadays. „It´s value is not in the stories, but in the circumstances. It is as close as we can get to understand the evolving of mankind.“
„Did we had something to do with it?“
„Yes, of course, we did the observation!“
„No, I mean, did we teach them something? Did we interfere?“
As I saw Alex flinch a little to that question, I knew the answer in a second, though she tried to deny: „There is nothing on the records about it“ she said bureaucratically, „but of course, intense as observation was, you cannot exclude the possibility, that some scientist would disobey the rules and interfere. Single cases, nothing structural, nothing important!“
The way she put it arouse my distrust. „Had there been investigations about it?“ I asked casually, as for to explore another field of investigation.
„Yes, but it is restricted material. I may not give it to you.“
„As a male?“ I asked.
„Nothing to do with that. Governmental restrictions. Need an approbation for it.“
As I read from her shortening sentences, she felt uneasy and tried to hide something. If she was about to speak, I had to do, what I hated most: Playing the game. But at least, though I hated it, I knew how to do. I think, every man knows. I stretched for to show my muscles and straightened up as I sat in my middle again: „You know, I had an encounter the other night?“
„Yes, I know. Faby had made sure, everybody knows. She is a boaster, you know?“
„Not just boasting“ I jerked. „She knows how to play a man!“
„Keep it to yourself!“ She did not want to get distracted, but from her glance I could tell she was jealous. Woman always are. They compete against each other, if they want to or not.
She dismissed me, but as I stood in the doorway, I turned and asked: „Did you read something about it? Do you know a story of interfering?“ I knew I was looking good and held myself upright and strong. She would at least have to give me something. She stood up as to leave for some work and stopped before me. „The artwork of the Cromagnons.“ she said. „Some scientists claimed it to be irregular, for there would have been craftswork first. So finally they found someone guilty!“ She kept her distance, but I knew she was scenting my sweat.
„Thank you for your trust“ I said and turned to go, but she called me back:
„Vincent!“ I stopped and turned.
„What is it?“
„Stop playing games with me. It will do no good!“ She let me stand there and turned the other way.
I was embarassed and felt ashamed. Why would I give up that was dear to me most, my dignity? I had no answer to it, even if I was happy to get a reason to call for Faby again. My heart was pounding as I told her I had found out something on her behalf. She invited me for dinner, and I could not think on something else for the rest of the day, being busy about what to wear, mending my hair and choosing the trinkets. But in the evening, Faby acted casually and made me feel silly once more. No menu, no cocktail, just meal of the day and beer, which was alcohol-reduced and tasted like the ship-brew it was. She knew already the story of the Cromagnon, which was common ground. Once more I felt stupid. Alex had tricked me out, Faby was keeping me short and I acted like an idiot, flattering the women to be used up in turn. As we were about to leave, she suddenly turned her mind and started to give me smiles. Of course I knew, it was just about sex, but I didnt refuse. You don´t refuse if you are already humiliated, for you try to do better and got nothing to lose. In her room, she laid me on my back and helped herself, riding my dick and fondling her clit till she came. I had not even come close to climax or just joy. „Don´t stay the night“ she said afterwards. „I haven´t slept well the other night!“ Dazzled I made for my clothes, nearly sobbing for it all went so wrong. Finally she pitied me and tried to cheer me up again, if only for not to repell the next easy fuck. „Tell me again“ she finally said, as to give me some quarter-hour of lingering around, „what Alex had told you!“ And it was only now that I mentioned the restricted records. I had thought she knew about them and the Art-story was the news, but it was the other way round.
„Restricted records“ she repeated some times, as a promising mantra, and later on she fondled my dick and took it into her mouth as a reward, still letting me unsatisfied, for she stopped, as I became hot. „I think, we´ll continue day after tomorrow“ she said. „I´ll give you credit on the outlet store. You´ll have at least to look like something, if I am about to be seen with you!“ She kissed me goodbye, grasping on my swollen dick. „We´ll see each other, she promised, as to speak to my penis, which she gave a little squeeze on its way.
I was tempted to go to the restroom to relax me right away, but somehow I felt destiny knocking on my door and it being unwise, to spent my strength in shortsighted pleasure, but to use my arousement to do well in whatever came around now. I could not sleep, so I read in the Archive something about the first figurines and the culture of the upper Danube valley 38000 bc in now so called Southern Germany. A lot of caves, a mild climate, an easy living for some thousand years, figurines: a venus, a bird, a mammoth, fine carved with the solemn mastership of the unlearned, the raw, uncut power of wildlife handed over to art. Accusation claimed it not possible to work this without predecessors, defense deferred to emblazonments from cockles and mussels even some tenthousand years before. A jurisdiction in the end, though there was a lack of clear evidence, decided, that there had to be an end to that observation practice, and nobody cared much about Earth the next twentythousand years. Earth was left alone, not because of the case, but anyway there had been some chaotic times on Sirius, and noone could afford to do outer space research anymore. It all seemed to be long forgotten history, and I couldnt believe, that this was to be restricted, but it was, as I found out by searching the sources. Except for the summaries, written long after the events occured, it all was restricted material, and I couldnt figure out, why it was restricted. „I´ll ask Alex tomorrow“ I thought, as I finally went to sleep, midnight long passed, only near four hours of sleep left.
I woke up, not feeling tired at all, with a hard-on, which I was tempted to relax in an instant, but I reminded myself in time, not to. I went working, good humoured, making jokes with Shena and Dera, who teased me in turn for being in love with Fabjy, which everybody on the ship knew by now. Later on, they talked reasonable: „Fabja will not hold on you“ Shena said. „She is ambitous, and it is clear that you are meant to serve her somehow.“
„I know, how he will serve her!“ Dera giggled, but Shena was serious: Best is, you take your advantage as long as it lasts, and don´t give your heart in it.“
„Too late ...“ Dera remarked with acted serenity, „look how his eyes are glancing. A blind could see that!“
„Anyway, do you know, what she wants of him?“
„Can´t figure it out. He is the unlikiest man on the ship to attract her.“
„She wants to know about history“ I explained. „She is interested in my research!“
„Neandertalsex?“ Dera cried out and both were laughing. But I stood my ground.
„I am serious! Did you know that there are restricted records about first human art?“
„Why would someone want to restrict that?“ Dera was puzzled and finally I got her attention.
„There must have been some interferences“ I said vaguely. „I do not know much about it.“
„Perhaps Alex knows“ Dera suggested.
„Aye!“ Shena bursted out, „but she wouldnt tell Faby if she just asks, so she puts Vince in between. What a bitch!“
„But Alex wouldnt let herself be tricked like that!“
„Anyway, if you kick the bear, he will show himself!“
„Alex being the bear, or Vince?“
„Alex of course - he is just the stick.“
„He has got the stick, do you mean that?“
I soon lost contact to their word-grabbling and turned to my work again, as they did, too. History was a good job to be left alone, but it was a lot of work to go through that vast mountains of materials, so where always was no time to lose. But half an hour later Shena passed over to me an article from some saint, preaching about the benefits of an ascetic life.
„What I am to do with that?“ I asked her.
„Just read it. They always forget restricting the priests, for it is mere nonsense if you take it as it is. But this priest is talking, you´ll see!“
I soon learned, that a man should always hold back his semen, and a woman was never to give in into her lust, and that the heavens are to punish the sinful humanity if they would not obey and some more stuff like that. I wondered, if Shena was kidding me, and I had to ask her, after I had read the whole pamphlet, what in hell she was trying to tell me.
„Read it again!“ she said. „If you cannot find it, you better stick to your Neandertalsex!“
So I read it again, still not comprehending, then I came to this: „Don´t defile yourself with contact to humans from another race. They live in outer space and are supposed to be there. Why would you meddle with them? It is an abomination and god don´t like you to do so. Do not touch the humans from another world, let them have their way, hold your semen back to you, make your strength still stay!“
I read it to Shena. „You mean that?“
„Sure. He wouldnt be bothering about meddling with outworlders, if there had been no meddling with outworlders!“
„Maybe he has just made it up!“
„Maybe. Maybe not. You´ll have to investigate to learn more!“
Religious archives of Ancient times! I couldnt think of a stuff more boring to read than that. I sighed. „Can you help me with that?“
She pondered for a while. „Yes, I can!“ she said finally. „But you´ll owe me for that!“
„Have something in mind?“
„Yes, indeed!“ She glanced at Dera, as if being afraid to speak in her presence. „I will need a boyfriend eventually.“ She sighed. „When I am about to try for a better post, I will need a boyfriend for a while. Just to show up, that I am not weird.“ Dera nearly cried, but said nothing. „I will always love Dera“ she went on explaining to me, though to reassure Dera. „But maybe one day I want to leave the Archives.“
„I wouldnt, as long as you are with me“ Dera cried out, stood up, slammed the door and was gone.
„I knew, she´d react like that.“ Shena said regretting. „But I know, I cannot stick to the Archives my whole life. Do you?“
It was just an attempt to put off her drama for a while, but I answered, knowing her mind to be occupied with Dera anyway. „I like it“ I said. „It´s quite work, no meddling, no arguing, no playing games!“
She smiled: „Kind of you to try to lie. This is a game and you´ll end up being married off, to serve a woman and raise some children. Oh my, sometimes I wished I´d be a man, to have that simple way!“
I did not put it right. I could have explained, that I attended to this ship, because of not wanting to be married off (which was only half truth, cause had Lerose just said a word, I would have stayed) and be scolded for it back on Sirius, and that I really liked to do some work to contribute to society, but I´ve told it all before, and Shena was to believe me, if it was not for the mood of her current drama. She didnt linger on to it either. She´d straighten up, sighing and wiping over nose and face and said: „Allright, let´s work then ...“
3 Shena´s record
It was some ten thousand years ago. Let´s say twenty, though time is loosing it´s meaning if you look too far. The sun and the stars are, if you alter the scale, just like photons inside an atom. A millisecond and some hundred thousand years are pretty much the same, which makes interstellar travel possible, though I never understood the physics behind that. I do not need to. Our ship is on a 25 year trip to Earth and back. We are roughly a thousand people, two hundred of them running the ship, two hundred soldiers and the rest scientists and researchers like me. I am history archivar, which is somehow the least important section of the entire ship, but I love it, cause there nothing is to gain, where also is no pain. And I am interested in history anyway, so let me tell you this story, which I took from the Archives:
200000 years ago Shu was a priest among an exploration voyage to earth. Back then, religion and technique were somehow bound together, priests running both with undoubted authority. Shu was to observe the development of the humans, whom they had known to be there at least since Lemurians had reported on humans living on the lands of Earth, a planet known to be right in the middle of florafauna development, quite some steps ahead from self-conscious thinking, and soon it became clear, that the Lemurians themselves had settled some of their kind there, doing some genetic trickery to adjust to the conditions on that planet. Lemurians used to live in the vast swamps of their world, which somehow restricted their ambitions to outer space and tried to find a way to the worlds of stone and soil. Anyway, disputs had been held amongst the humans of the worlds, for most thought it wrong to interfere with the developing of new worlds, who had still to become human. But, as it was, these humans now lived there, and it was agreed to wait and see what happened. So, non-interference was a whidely accepted doctrin in the galaxy. Anyway, as the results of space travelling never show up within a few lifetimes, it always is a luxurious and somehow pretending thing to do, realized every now and then, a speciality for fans. So, as things arem he who would not interfere would eventually take a look sometimes and else forget about it, but he who had taken an interest, would raise funds and realise science for a voyage. Prometheus went deliberately, teaching humans on earth fire. That was the story so far. Humans with fire roaming the Earth. Every now and then a voyage went there. Now it was the turn on Shu.
When Shu saw the Earth, he instantly fell in love with her. It was not the tiny point on the screens of the ship, not even the well documented onsights former missions in preparing to this voyage, but as he saw earth as it was, from a tiny window of the spaceship, he saw her greenish blue colour and thought it to be the most beatiful sight he ever had seen. Going down there and live there was a grace beyond words, and as long as he lived on Earth, he never ceased to love her and be thankful for her ever-giving beauty and delighted in it.
Being priest meant being in charge. Everything was in the right orpder, just as it should be. He had eight units of eight people, who were bound to explore the Earth as it was. The first eight as to wake up, the Thunder, the bell in the morning: Experiences, the second Eight to distribute, the Wind, business. Third to shine upon it, the Light, the science, religion, Fourth to rule about it, the Heaven, the idea. Fifth to rejoice in it, the Lake, the softness, the brothels. Sixth to collect it all, the Earth, the kitchens, the hearths. Seventh to fight for it, the water, the soldiers, the grave. Eightth to rest in it, the Maountain, the seed and the ice. Each in itself was organized in the same way, heaven being in charge, Earth speaking for seven, Thunder to make happen, Wind to make it work, Lake to soften the souls, mountain to secure it, Water to fight for it. The people were chosen as to be fitting for the position. Seven Holders of heaven position made up for the Heaven-Eight, with Shu himself being the Heaven of Heaven, so all in all they were 57 people.
The mating was quite as well planned as well. Of course Heaven and Earth belonged together, so as Thunder and Wind. Mountain was to be alone, Lake to give, Light to be free, and Water to long, making Mountain and Lake partners as to support each other, just as Water and Light. So there was an order as well as space for the inevitable human play of games. Lake was leaving Mountain and finds Light, a joyful companionship, Mountain and Earth bound together in loving friendship, of course to be chaste. Lake attracting heaven, natural and quite dangerous, for to break up the trust between Heaven and Earth. Being Priest meant, to know about these things, interfere, if need be, remind them on the dangers of leaving the path of Heavenly Harmony, as it clearly is revealed in the setting of their place. So, how could Mountain and Thunder, so important in working together, so rich in friendship, ever be tempted to the idea of being a pair? There cannot be some good of that!
Heaven in turn, was free to tempt all of them, at last being responsible for all of them. It´s on Earth, to endure it. If she finds comfort with Water, who would care? Water can nurture all things and is never held responsible for longing. But what a desaster, if Earth turns to Light for mating? Chaos and decay will follow inevitably. Thunder has to be straight, so as Wind does. From their loyalty spreads the confidence for the rest.
Eventually children would grow up, building new groups or replacing alds, as time would show up. They were not about to go back. The Voyage had been Oneway. They were about to collect datas and sent messages back home, but they would stay there for the rest of their lives. that would, as soon as expectations would show up, be at least comfortable and promising. Fertile planet, due to an Ice Age rid of the worst predators, apparently cold but bearable, as the signs had told. They were about to find out.
Down on Earth they landed with their few belongings, that were sent down with them, leaving the capsule from outer space lost in the ocean. Amongst these belongings was a radio station, that could transmit their signal to a satelite left in the orbit, that would transfer their transmissions back to Nibiro. Their task was, to do that and transmit datas as long as they could. So they did. And had to plan for the rest of their lives.
„HeavenHeaven“ Water cried out, as she was approaching him. „Light is forever cheating on me! She hushed into his arms, tears breaking out.
„Nono, my dear“ he comforted her, „I´ve told you not to worry about it, Let him have his way with Lake!“ Sometimes he thought her to be stubborn to be jealuóus that much.
„It is not Lake“ she sobbed. A sudden heavy weight befell his breath. Could there not ever be rightfulness? What desaster was next to befall them? Earth? Sadness made him freeze! Wind? Again? Hard to believe. „Mountain!“ she whispered.
Heaven was dazzled. It was too easy to thínk about it, and he laughed. „It will pass“, he said, releaved. „Just let it pass!“
Shu had to do hundreds of these interventions. But besides couplings, there was some work to be done, documenting the flora and fauna, the geography, raising the funds of the earth to make a living with it, Defending, mending, building and of course, observe whatever human there were about to be. Contact to humans was seen to be the task of the Thundergroup, for exploring and reaching outward was its nature, though some claimed Wind would be the better choice, handsome and connective. Mountain would build the town, Lake make it comfortable, Water defend it. This was the way it had to be. This was the was it has always been.
Years passed. Radio Station had not run out of power yet. They had lives but not multiplied. Only few of the kids lived, being somehow too fragile, sick on throat and kidneys. The athmosphere was not quite toxic to them, but had made them dizzy and slowthinking, like thinning out, like a hunger for something that cannot be achieved.
One day, it happened that Wind from the House of Thunder went with Water for her shift to look after the whereabouts of the human. The group was roaming around and likely to leave for the summermeadows soon. Once they had tried to scare the voyagers off, but failed utterly, then there was some contact with giving gifts, leading to neither trust nor friendship. At last the humans tried to stay away, reluctant even to collect gifts, when given. So they contended to wathc them from afar. They were skilful hunters and could talk at least something. But they showed no sign of adjusting to the Heavenly Order.
On there way, they found an injured human, conciusless and badly wounded, so they nursed him and so kept him from certain death. But he could not move, so they build a shelter roght there on the spot, for to heal him ere they parted. But they did not. His leg was not suitable for wandering, his people far off on another ground. so they finally took them in their eightfold home, not knowing there to put him, for he got no obtained place. Of course it always worked out somehow, they were just used to treat guests according to their position, so if they received visit from a Heaven, he would stay with heaven, who in fact had something like a guest - space in his slightly broader accomodation. Most times, the Guests were Heavens, anyway., A mountain would be obtained by a Mountain, and so forth. But where to put him, who neither had a position, but a word at all, stummering sometimes wild and ugly noises. They didn´t even figure out a name, though they tried. He seemde to say somehow the same, pointing at him, but they didnt figure it out.
Sun and Water had brought him up, but as it would be for both of them not appropriate to host him, they thought of Thunder, as it was an outcome of surprise, but it turned out to be, that the human panicked, as he were to be left alone with a male, so that he would stay uo awake all night to orevent himself from being killed in his sleep. Heaven asked Earth, if she was to take him in, and as being responsible for the household in itself, she couldnt help but agree to this arrangement she knew to be fated. Earth had instantly fallen in love with this human. She had seen his wide open awareness, his quickness in reception, his powerful might that could burst out at any moment, if not for his reasonable awareness for the needs of the moment. Her relationsship with Heaven was build upon friendship and trust, but surely never on arousing love. She had given him, what she felt due to give, freely, frank, even joyful, but had never longed for it. No she knew why.
Eventually it happened that she became pregnant and bore a sound child. HeavenHeaven Shu was outraged. He began to ponder upon religious sayings, like you shall not mix your seed with foreigners, and tried to convince her to end her untolerable affection to her guest, who in fact turned out to be a skillful coworker and useful in all means to the House of Thunder.
To the very disappointment of Shu, as word spread from the well alive kid, people in the other Houses thought of captivating a human for themselves. And so some raids were held, taking the humans aback. „Bad thing to do!“ Commander Shu cried out, but his voice had lost its power. People started to do as they liked, and even mixing on the Houses became a common thing to do. At this time it happened that the radiostation was sabotaged or somehow else interrupted, so we dont know, what further happened.
I looked to Shena, who had ended the record.
What is it?“ she asked. „Did you want more detail?“
„Spare me the details!“ I cried out, thinking off hours of watching Neanderthalsex. „What is the point of the story?“
„There is no point. It is just about some outworlders melting with humans, we don´t know! Could have been starting the Sapiens back then, could be a good guess. Come on, let´s have a drink, I´m thirsty!
At that time, the AMIDIA was about to leave the orbit of our homesun and reached open space, where to achieve NFAL tempo, using the gravitationsfield of nearby stellar systems, inducing some kind of magnetic vacuum, where to slide in. It was something quite anew, a device that, if it worked, could indeed let a spaceship return in a lifetime for the first time in history.
Space Travel had always been One Way, sent with people who knew, never to come back.
Earth, at least, was a planet where one could live, so it was not like being on that ship for the rest of your life, as so many had done for the sake of knowledge and science throughout history. Of course it was a place of honour to attend for a Space-Voyage, though in fact oftentimes prisoners and renegades were forced to fill up for the places, when no volunteers were to be found. This time it had been different. The prospect of returning home again attracted many people, so that tests and evaluations were held to choose the people, who were happy and proud about it. But, as it turned out to be, twenty years may pass by in the long run, but in fact most of the crew was desillusionised, homesick and bored literally to death after a few months. The facilities and leisurements at the ships were, if in fact plentiful and well equipped, limited, and been known after a while. Rumours spread, that something with the gear, or something with the biological support or some other was not quite working allright and the ship be doomed to fail, and even if noone was to try for it, the leading circle was put in question and had to fight for its authority.
Faby was ambitious, and as soon as she sensed the weakness of her superiors, she tried to make for, she did not knew what, but if replacements were to be made, she would definitely go for it. Her position was as a science moderator, whose job was to communicate science to the Officers, and in turn communicate the needs of the leaders to the scientists. Some joked about it, that both would be impossible: Neither would an officer understand science, nor would a scientist understand orders. But Faby liked her job, cause it was bringing her around, she had contact to the officers and therefore was about to be known, if eventually a chance would occur.
Of course, replacements were not likely to be. Serious sickness, death, scandal, something like that could eventually lead to it, nothing to count on or even wish for. If there were problems on the ship, it was a problem for the surviving of all of them.
However, Faby had traced out the split between the officers, that could eventually lead to a crack and to open argument, a fight to be decided, a question of whose idea would define their actions about to come.
It was, that the conversative Elite, based on the so long undoubted authority from Commander Wenog, backed by her ministers, as they had begun to call them, the minister of life support, Meta, and shiptechnique, Arsena. These three builded the inner circle, while the rest of the ministers were to back up them or look for their chance. Military Commander Kurey, loyal, but resentful. Science minister of research and Science minister of Development, Schicht and Yong, had little to do but wait to reach Earth, but Yong clearly looked out for opportunitys to gain responsibilities, Union leader Gryph did nothing but indeed look out for the behalves of the crew. Last and least was the priest. He had no real task to do but to held some services for the very few believers on that ship, but his position was maintained to have an outsiders view in Commandocircuit. The fact that he was male lessened his opinion further, and he was more sort of a Kings Fool, a geek, than a fullcounting member of the council.
So all in all, if Yong got a topic to be ambitious about, and she would manage to aside with Kurey, a dynamic spread of events could start, so Faby decided to follow her ways and projects, as best as she could. So, than Yong launched a question about Might-have-been Interventions in Ancient times, as a pretext for taking action in the Task to come, Faby did her best to make it worth something. When she learned, that there were restricted records about that, her interest in it inflamed. You would not bury something, that had no value. So she went for it, as to take a chance.
She scolded herself to be weak to bound with that Vince, who in fact provided her with good informations. She had meant to be ruthless, to use him as the ends to her means, but, without noticing it, she had become fond of him and liked their parleys about ancient history, as if it were important in itself. There was no real point. Government had decided to restrict the information, that humans had meddled with outworlders before. So what? They knew, that intervention was not part of their task. Observe, parley if possible, doing some teachings at best, according to the resolvements of the Commando, who would decide, what is to be done. But still, if information changed, maybe they could decide to change their task accordingly. She had to be ready!
Being with Vince was not an obstacle in itself, it just showed her to be weak. Women with ambition would not let them be distracted by men and household duties, they pushed forward, if need be, so to be a woman meant to be free in itself.
But anyway, they were not free, caught up in this tiny spaceship, taking them far away from their sun to that other planet. She smiled in misery: She would never see her parents again.
Vince came up with something anew this evening:
„Have you heard of the Lemurian invasion yet?“
Lemurian? I think I have heard the word. What does it mean?“
The Lemurian Ship has landed on Earth with a clear mission: To explore and realize the possibilities to settle there, so that some kind of population could spread upon it. The problem was, Lemurian used to live in the vast swamps of their homeworld, Lemuria, and no planet in their then known universe was able to offer such swamps, but tiny Earth, as they had begun to call it from the beginning. The swamps an Earth were not vast, and even worse, they were about to vanish. On Earth, the antarctican circumpolar current had closed and caused an Ice Age ever getting colder and the Swamps of the plentiful Island-world of Europe were about to be caught between the African and the Uralian plate and would eventually dry up and rise, turning the oceans of Parathetys into the Caspian, Black, and Mediterranean Seas. So they had swamps to start in, but knew, they had to find a way to leave.
About the worlds in the Universe it is to be said, that we all are very much alike, like the nuts from a walnut tree, bearing forth all different trees, but ever walnuts. So, Lemurian and Earths Fauna was different, but alike. On good soil there lived primates and mammals, reptiles, birds roaming the air, the oceans with sharks, whales, dolfins and fish, vast and plentiful. Lemurians knew dolfins, for on their world, humans and dolfins lived as close comrades, but as scientists pointed out, on Earth they would have to decide between living on land or in water, for the swamps were to go extinct.
So they had to do with the Australopithecen, which was some kind of awkward, them being mere primates, animals. It was about to take a rip and blood, to mix it with their own bodies, to form a body, which could make steps on earth, and so they did. But all technique would not do to create new life. As things are, only love can create new life, and the Lemurians knew about it. So they had to adjust to the world and interbreed, they knew it. You couldnt come live on another planet without adjusting, emulging, get into it. So, this was the hardest thing to do, and ever since when, sexuality is somehow a taboo in all human communities. I would like to spare you the details, but since this is, how it all got started, I am to tell you:
The Lemurians knew, they had to think in longterms. At first, they build a body out of bone and blood from a primate, and mixed it with themselves. The thus made up race of mermaids could live in the seas, but still they were outworlders. To meddle in into this world, they had to mix up with the Pithecen, and this would only do throughout love, for only love can bring forth new life which is not barren.
But to love a primat, they had to become simple themselves, and so it was resolved to let go of the science and let go of the knowledge, but live in the ocean until the time being would come. And as things are, when a possibility is given, a chance will show up...
THE STORY OF UNDINE
It is to be said, that Undine was a princess among her folks, the mermen, living somewhere near the lands, that didnt have a name yet. It is not quite correct to locate the mermaids in the depths of the seas, cause of cause they live upon the edge of the ocean, bound to breathe once in a while, like dolfins. They live in the flat mares which lay opposites the lands, bathing on sandbanks in the sun, like seals. They even could walk on lands, cautiously, unsure, with feet being too fragile to meet the stones of the soil. They had feet to grab themselves into the mud of the sea, lingering right beneath the water surface to sleep and breath, their hair spreading widely on the waters to camouflage their very position to might be predators of the earth. They even had done some buildings underwater, temples like to meet the king or to huddle in crowds for warmth in this ever too cold world.
Undine did not know about her alien heritage. They talked about history, but throughout the generations things had gone lost. They did not knew anymore about their purpose, they did not know how to move stones underwater, they knew not how to spacetravel or that ever someone had undertaken a thing like that. They told their stories of love and friendship and barely realized, though they did know for sure, that they were diminuishing every generation. If they once had sought to meddle in this world, they had failed and given up and forgot about it. For even if in the start they had the gen-technique of an advanced technology at hand, that had made them adjust in the very beginning, they could not realize the mixture of their race with the primates, if it was not for love. For only love can make things change.
So it was on Undine, to find the badly hurt, from the flood overwhelmed Pithaeus, hair all over his body, flat forehead. But he let her help him, dragging him on the beach, where she found a sheltered cave to nurse him. Over time he got healed again, but feeling lost, weak and unsure, he stayed there, where the Mermaids had made an attraction on him, the handsome wild beast.
Undine soon became tired of that hooraying of her friends and tried to fit in with her former life, but found everything dull and empty. What about teaching the children, so few they were! And what about the suitors, all brave mermens, but dull and noisy, dumb if it came to the point. It was nothing wrong with them. It was her, who finally would admit to herself, that she was bound to take care of the creature she found, so she went back there, scolded her friends off to go and made for a staying near the cave.
Living there brought some difficulties. The flat water offered no good sleeping place for her, for there were so many stones. In the cave on land it was too cold, especially at nights. But she made do, her friends providing her with some seal fleece, which made it bearable to be in the cave at nights, if Pithaeus was to give her some warmth. He was well-natured, though obviously dumb as all animals. He would offer her comfort and warmth, for he liked to huddle, just like everyone else did. There was no much difference from huddling with her friends, although he smelt strange and was so very hairy, but you stick together for warmth, you mend hair or fur, cause thats the thing people do. She would have never thought of something beyond that, cause it was friendship and allegiance.
On days, they went hunting, each on its ground, so she provided with mussels she found on the ground with her searching feet, while he mostly collected vegetables, fruits and nuts, which he hewed open with a stone, and sometimes a bone from the leftovers of a predator, which he would crack up and suckle on it to get the mark.
One night as she awoke as he was moving on her back, a soft rhythmical pressure she felt above her hips. She realized, what he was doing, when she felt that little warmth, his semen spent in the middle of them, wetting her spine to dry up there. She didnt dare to move to keep pretending being asleep, but a horror uphold her mind, and as soon as she heard him snoring, she would dive in the waters and swim off to get away from him. But she did not go home either, for she couldnt. She felt embarassed to the point of taking her life, and she cried upon that lonely bank, that had always been her hiding place. She stayed there over night, longing for some company and tried to make up a story, which would allow her to return home as if nothing had happened. But she knew it wouldnt be true, for something had happened. She was stained and thought everyone to recognize it at once. She couldnt make up for a charade. She thought of taking revenge, go with some warriors to slay that beast, which would at least provide her a place among the old mermaids, to live a humble life. Of course no suitor would ever meddle with her again. Not that she cared. As she thought about it, she knew, she would not go back like that. Again she cried. She thought of leaving, of running away. There were supposed to live other mermaids across the sea, on another shore, but no one knew exactly, it was just a mere myth, though she was tempted to go for it. But it was of not much comfort, imagining, even if she went there finding some folks who would take her in, she would always be a stranger among them. So, what was there to do?
Next night, she found herself dreaming of Pithaeus, rubbing his penis at her back, but unlike the real experiment, in dream she was moving along with him, as if to encourage him. She woke up in sheer terror, ashamed of herself, embarassed to the bone, resolved to end now this misled life.
So, in the morning, she made for the cliffs. She would climb up there, no matter what cost to her feet, and jump from up there unto the stony beach, which would surely end up her life. Every step on that sharp cliff burned in her feet like hell, but she forces herself to move on, ever higher, till her feet were bleeding to the bone and she could not bare one single more step. She looked down and was afraid, cause she had not made half the way up and feared she might not die from the fall, but would lay there injured and in pain, likely to be found by her folks, brought home and live in embarassement for the rest of her life. But she couldnt go back either. Her feet were torn apart, wide open, flesh and bone exposed. How could she ever have thought of climbing that stony cliff? So she resolved to die on this very spot, slowly starving to death or else freeze to death in the night. She felt calm, once she knew it to be so. The sting of death does not hurt, if it is inevitable. her pain helped her to vanish in some dreams, and though she tried to think of lightful childhood remembrances, all that she ever thought of when she woke up, was Pithaeus rubbing on her back, and suddenly she realized, that he had done that more than once, herself too stuck up in her head to even notice. He had fondled himself with one hand, as the other lay casually across her breast. Casually? She doubted it now! And why was he to hide his intentions at all? Was he not a beast, uncapable of self-reflection, uncapable of second thought?
But he had made a secret of his longing, and by understanding this, she felt her anger vanish, as he was just another lonely creature, so as she was, which made them alikes. She wanted to jump up and run for that cave, but there was no going with her feet. She made a few meters on her knees, but that was just as pointless. She still had to face death, though now she knew, it had not been inevitable, but just the wrong choice. Again she cried.
The night was bitter cold and she had nothing to comfort herself, but shiver in the dark and wait for the day. Maybe she could do some steps then? But her feet had swollen up and were hurting even if she touched them with her fingertip- There was no way. So the second day became all sleeping and dreaming, sun was mending her wounds, hunger and thirst had not become bitter yet, and the otherworld of sleep comforted her with strong images of caressing and some kinds of longing, which she would not recognize as lust, but as a task to crawl into that furry creature to find the hidden core inside. In dream, this showed up as labyrinths of furry arms and bellies and legs, which tangled her in to no point., and she always went asking what to do next, but received no answer, but ever more furry arms and legs. Some times she woke up, grasping for air, feeling locked in, but later on she managed to free herself of the hairy labyrinth and flew up in the air, feeling light and free, and that was the first time she saw his face as an equal. The dark face with the eyes hiding and promising a world beyond, cause if we look truly into someones eyes, we will always recognize the universe hidden behind those lids. Even if it was not real then. Real was the cold and the night, and now she became thirsty, being dries up away from water for too long. „This night I´ll die“ she thought, knowing it not to be true. Some mermaids were told to have survived on land for a whole month, and that in former times this was a common religious ritual, so even if she would not make a month, injured and unable to move as she was, it was not time for her to die yet, it was time for her to suffer. And so she did, frail and fainting, freezing, cursing the deliberate foolishness to come here, there she could neither live nor die.
Another day passed and another. Days were allright. She kept on dreaming of him, who eventually would turn up to be a true merman with strange darkish eyes, and thus disguised she would open up on him and dreamed of tender sex, as if it was meant to be fated, but latter, as she was awake, she couldnt make no sense out of that dreams, cause of cause she would never sleep with an animal, wouldnt she?
But in the nights there was no sleep at all, just the bitter cold, the pain in her wounds, the thirst dragging on her sanity, the regrets regarding her life and her choices.
She had lost count of the days when he finally found her. He had been searching all along the coastline, for even if he feared her to be lost in the oceans forever, he still tried to look out for her, for she was calling him in his dreams. When he found her, it was as if he had known all the time to find her here. She was fast asleep or else consciousless, and when he tried to wake her she would cradle in his lap and sleep in. She looked very bad, thin and fragile, and her feets were a mess. As he tried to comfort them, she cried out in pain. He understood at once, that she would not walk on that feet anymore, so he lifted her up and carried her the whole way back to their cave, walking straight through half the night guided by silvery moonlight. For Pithaeus, love never was a concept. He had no concepts and his thinking was bound to his experiencing. He had known love and affection, for he had always loved his mother and his siblings, who all were to live together. His sister, whom he loved dearly, was never to be separated from him til the day the Alpha lay claim on her and regarded Pithaeus as a concurrent. That was then he began his wanderings, even if sometimes a female got fond of him and made with him for the bushes. Sex and love were not always bound together in Primates, for oftentimes sex had the purpose to provide and secure the hierarchy, personal affection not needed, though often intermeddling. Pithaeus had never cared about that. He rather stayed alone than to start into that meddling and fighting of the Alphas and Betas and Might - be Alphas and Betas. He´d stand no chance anyway, for he was neither strong nor good an intriguing. But he always had heard the call from the ocean and went there every now and then, to collect mussels and to watch the mermaids from afar. He had not thought of meeting one. Why would he? They were not of his realm. But one day he did approach cross the sands to have a better look, then came to some mussels to collect, and finally found himself caught by the flood and struggled back for the land, as he was caught by a wave which threw him against a huge rock beneath the surface and lost consciousness. He remembered to be nursed by a mermaid, the most beautiful being ever could have been, feeding him, giving him water, making him lie comfortable an that beachbed she made up, seaweeds for a mattress, stones for a stool and that cosy mantle of seal that saved his life. She had been with him that first night, though badly freezing, shivering near him, seeking his warmth, but he had lain there knocked out and couldnt move but breath in the air and fall unconscious all the on earth, the most marvellous wonder of the Universe. “
„Can you move on a bit?“ Faby asked rudely, though time indeed had come forth. We finally had left the Sirius-system and was about to start the NFAL engine next afternoon. We were told to be aware of time-deleting phenomenas, such as out of body experiences, time lapses, not to give any heed for that, it was normal, it would pass away with stopping NFAL and reaching earth. So everybody was told to better stay in bunk whenever possible, and reduce the movements to a minimum, no need to attend to work if not for running the ship. I had been talking the whole evening, unless there was another day that had passed up in between. Who could tell? I wanted to ask Faby about it, but did not knew how to put that question without appearing silly. I had a strange feeling about what words to use, why use words at all and was there a meaning of it anyway, while she looked around, bored and puzzled. There was nothing to do right now, and if I stopped, what then?
„Go on tell your story“ she finally said. „What else is there to do?“
So I continued:
As he was feeling better, she let her friends come visit him, and for a time being it was a merry delight, but suddenly he realized that she was not among them anymore and panicked, for what were these mermaids with him to do? Eat him? Slaughter him? He had no escape, frail as he still was. they laughed and made jokes on him, and in their rattling tongues lay nothing of the beauty of Her voice! But in the end they did not slaughter him but lost interest and let him alone, casually providing him some helpful food.
It was easy to eat upriver, with plentiful trees and nuts, but here he had nothing but mussels, that maybe was enough not to die, but definitely not enough to live on, so he had to go back, but he lingered on, waiting for the right day to move, then she finally reappeared, resolved to stay, at least throughout summer or so it seemed, going fishing to nurture them both. She always huddled for warmth, for this was need be for her. She always shivered and in bad weather sometimes fled into the water. But she did come back then.
The first he had ejaculated on her was unwillingly. He had woken up from a strange dream and found himself rubbing his dick on her back, and he was just wondering about this marvellous feeling, as he suddenly released and according to the spasms of his orgasm realized what he was doing. She had not noticed or pretended not to. He felt ashamed, but next night he couldnt help but urge to do it again, only this time she would wake up moaning and turn the other side. That was enough of a warning, he definitely did not want to scare her off, so next nights he forced himself to be quiet. Soon this unseemly lust did die away, and was as if never had been. She was not one of his kin.
But that other night it happened again. This time he was aware. She had made some movements to meddle herself in, as it somehow happened that her arse kind of massaged his dick, and though this was clearly unintentional, his dick started to raise in a second, bound to get release from it anyhow. So he moved. Slowly at first, but soon urgent and then done. Though she said nothing, he knew she was awake.
Next day she was gone. He scolded himself to have teared the goddess apart, but there was nothing he could do about it. He knew, sooner or later he still had to go upriver to feed himself, but the next days he searched out the coast to look out for her, just in case, not really hoping, just lingering to move on.
But then he found her. Now it was the turn on him to help her through, even if he could barely supply for himself. But he made it work out. He could collect seaweeds, that he would not eat, but she drew her strengh out of them and soon bettered. He strictly held now to his discipline, helping himself when alone. It was enough, to just be with that goddess.
Faby had huddled her face in my lab, legs stretched out to the close walls, finding and not finding some point to linger. „You could massage my head“ she yearned, dizzy and distracted. So I did. It is nice to touch someone, fingers on soft skin, she tried to purr like a cat in satisfaction. „Go on!“ she commanded, „Both! Massage and story!“
But I had difficulties to recall on the story, for my penis had swollen due to the slight touch of her huddled in face, and as it raised I knew not if she would rebuke me for it, for she had not callen yet. „What is it?“ she said apparently willing to let that touch pass. I sighed as to calm down and went on:
One night, she resolved to turn around and lie face to face with him. She started to caress his fur, massage his breast, smoothing his belly, ignoring his rising dick. The last days had shown her, that it all was in vain. This time she had been saved, but eventually she would die, sooner or later. What was there to stay, if not the love she loved? And whom was she to love if not this wild beast, that was so much alike if she just looked him in the eye. There was the same desire, the sadness, the same longing.
„How can it be?“ Faby interrupted again. „They are from different worlds! How can they match?“
„I dont know“ I admitted. „They just do. We all are alike!“
„We cannot sleep with apes! It does not work out!“
„But we can mate with humans from other worlds, human can mate humans, apes can mate apes, regardless in which worlds version.“
„Do all planets have apes?“ That was definitely beyond my knowledge. She was asking silly questions, as she had begun to move her face along my penis. I sighed and released my position. „Move on“ she told me, as she was about to kiss my dick under my pants.
Undine was looking in Pithaeus eyes.
„Is he not an ape then, after all?“ She had just interrupted as to ask the question and kept on kissing me.
„Pithaeus is not a mere ape. Going upright, using stone tools. Like someone had meddled in before...“
„Stay to that story. Else it may be just genetic experiences from the Lemurians.“
As she had said „experience“, she had stripped the tip of my pants back, and „Lemuria“ as to greet my dick with a name.
„These are all religious text“ I said, trying to keep focus on the topic despite my throbbing dick. „All guessing and interpreting anyway. Truth is ... Ah“ I sighed releaved as she licked across the bare forehead of my dick.
„Truth is what?“ She parted her lips above it. My dick was trembling in expectation, and I couldnt focus on the story. „Truth is...?“ she repeated. She stopped and would not move on until I kept on talking:
Undine saw her destiny. I did not wish for it, she thought, it just had happened. She grabbed for his flesh and nodded, as she lay herself an the back and dragged him above her. You couldnt tell the way love goes ...
I yearned. I was becoming hot and wantful, turned on by that story. We took our time to caress us and to fondle, for time seemed to be never ending, thick, as walking through mud, the seconds and hours fell behind us. How long it was supposed to last? Six months? Hard to believe!
As we finally found us, it was as if no universe was around us, just the two of us embracing each other bringing forth the world itself.
If you thought, you could rely on the ship time, in case you wondered about time, being it morning or evening or the next day, you couldnt. It was not that the clockscreens did not show the correct numbers, it was just that they did not make out any sense. Instead of attending the facilities in the morning, go for the breakfast and start whatever you had to do, we were supposed to hang out in our rooms whenever possible, waiting for the supplement cart, which was supposed to attend once a day, but did in fact just show up occasionally, the clerks being just as distracted as we were.
„Havent I´ve been here yet?“ one asked, as we were grabbing the packages to restore our stocks.
„It has been three days now“ Faby complained, and he let us buy food for a whole week.
„Yesterday I have been up in the Commando“ he somehow gabbled, not caring if we heeded. „They really didnt knew what was going on. Scary!“ He shook his head. „Do you guys know, how long we have been in NFAL yet?“ He pronounced it to be „Nefal“ which kind of made sense.
„I cannot make it out!“ I said. „A week. Maybe two.“
„Really?“ He shrugged. „I thought it must have been a month at least!“
„Cannot be“ I pointed to the display. „323th day of journey, as I read it. And I think, we did get in only after 300.“
„It says 32.3 days since Nefal“ he corrected. „Though I am not so sure.“
„It´s the minute of the day“ Faby supposed. Daycount is here: 456.“
„Cannot be!“ He and I both cried out.
„That´s 456 minutes today“ he explained. „That is not day count!“
He suggested another number, shown on the information board, but Faby called us stupid, for that clearly could not be. We let go of that matter and he slipped on through the floors.
„Why is it so difficult?“ she asked. „I never had any problems reading this!“ She boxed against that mysterious display and then let her fall back on the bunk-bed. I never had seen her like that, she always being straightforward and resolved. It is strange to see a woman frail. I did not like it. No man could look up to a weak woman.
„Do you not want to make up for the Commando?“ I asked, to stir her. „Seems to be a good time now!“
„We are expected to stay put!“ she refused.
„Staying put will not bring you forth!“ I responsed, but shrugged then. „Anyway, I still got a story to tell. We are not done with Undine yet!“
She nodded. After all, staying put was the one task we had to do in NFAL, and trying to stir things up could be easily regarded to be nervous acting out of anxiety, so at least, I could take her as strong for being resolved in that point.
As summer went by, Undine was forced to stay inwater again and let lose of her beloved compagnon. Winter went on as usual, when she found herself being pregnant. Since she had no suitor let touch her, there was no way for her but to admit to her situation and entrust herself to the king. She had feared expallation or else punishment, but all he did was to shrug sadly and arrange some party of mermaids to attend on her in time being. Noone scolded her, but noone showed any sympathy either. She met with joyless serenity, stripped of hope and delight, whomever she tried to confide. A muddy sadness, that at first was embarassing, later annoying and finally became unbearable. She made for her seclosure as soon as she could.
When her child was born, Spring was in the air again, and as soon as she had recovered from birth - a painful, heavy birth unlike mermaids used to have - she took her baby to the beach to show him his heritage. That was, when she called to name him Mero, which meant man of the sea.
As it turned out to be, his father never showed up anymore. He must be starved or slain she thought with bitterness. Winter had been hard this year. She did not recall winters like that in her youth, winter was meant to be a passing time, when things got somehow quiter, closed up for a while, just as a time of long nights, unpleasant to linger outside for too long, but now it had been cold, huddling parties becoming a need to survive. Not all of them did. Kings mother had died, leaving him in the need to marry. But he had not much to choose on. Undine had put herself aside, contact to that neighbouring kingdom had dried up, leaving just second choices, unbefitting a king. So, while he procrastrinated a decision, each day Undine went on to show her baby the beach, which she took for all land that ever could be taken, and baby was loving it, creeping around the soft waves of sand.
In waters he did not make as well. Oftentimes Undine had to take him up breathing, for he dismanaged the circle of taking air and get down again. Soon the others said he would die: „It is a disease, said but true!“
„He is just an abonimation, poor thing. A wonder it is still alive anyhow!“
Not all of them talked like that, but all of them thought like that. There was only one thing to do: To go upriver and trust him to the Pithecans, for it was their heritage that made him a man of the Earth, to live on it, to settle and rule it. For after all, he´d be the King, no doubt of that!
It took some days upriver, before they met them. Mermaids can do in sweetwater as well, but they dont like it. It makes their skin muddy, but Undine did not care, but for to find someone, who could raise up her child, which she couldnt. But in the end, they were just sitting at the bank of the river, and as Undine placed the little child in front of their sight, they loved that little being from the first moment on. Undine just shared a glance with one of them, before they hurried away with her little foundling. Undine made for the sea.
Mero, who had come from the sea but could not live there, had some serious problems on land too: He would always hurt his feet on the stones on the ground. Also he could smell nearly nothing, cause his nose was pointing downwards instead of forward. He was always freezing, so they got him a fell of a bear to put him in, and he was hungry beyond reason, not being satisfied with fruits and kernels, but longing for the marrow-bones and they had not been able to nourish him, until they found out his greedy need for mussels. But they would do anything for him, because he was of an outstanding beauty, with his clear eyes, his long hair and the barenaked skin, his high forehead and the straight jaw. They couldnt help but adore him, and since he lived, he soon thrived to be a handsome young man, showing up his worst problem: As long as he had been a child, all had been game and easy, it has been allright, but now it seemed that he couldnt decide to be just a man, instead he doubted and raged, rude tempers breaking out, despair and desolation haunted him and nothing to console him but intercourse with women. He had Sex every day, never being satisfied, often scaring the women off afterwards, lest one could come too close and touch his heart. In fact, he was on the brink of madness. It was his heritage: Mermaids can use both of their brain hemispheras independently. It is a need, for the one half has to do the breathing, while the other is asleep. Mero, living on landside, had no need for independent brainhalfs, for he did not have to go breathing while sleeping, but still they both were autonomous, and now came to some kind of fighting each other to claim authority for to rule the brain. So whenever left half was doing something, right half tried to undo it and establish the opposite and vice versa, so when he was with a woman the right half loved, the left would do anything to scare her off, and so soon people became wary of him and even scared, so one day they just slew him dead, not knowing to help themselves otherwise. But his seed would live on, and the humans, as they now were to be called, as his heritage spread throughout the folks, managed with their unrestful brain by developing a self-consciousness, a spirit residing in the limbic system that was able to organize the different needs of the different brain-spheras. It worked out, because they developed a new tool: language.
I stopped, for this was the story so far.
„Very unlikely!“ she assumed bluntly. „How could he ever survive, neither being fit for earth nor water!“
„His beauty!“ I explained. „He was loved for what he promised to be, not for what he actually was, frail, wantful, unreasonable. They helped him out to let him rule them.“
„Religious story after all!“ She smiled, as she looked around. „Do you know, what time it is, or even what date?“
I had no idea. It had been the same day as ever, with the same clerk showing up and telling the same story about the Commando not knowing the ongoings of the ship. And of course we asked him about the time and he wouldnt have a sufficent answer.
„Dont you want to take a look after all?“ I stirred, after he had left. „Could in fact be something wrong. Just taking a look to reassure!“
She shook her head. „That would seem meek and embarassing, case it failed.“
She fell into some silent breeding. „At least, we could inform them about your investigations. If there had in fact been some interbreedings, then we should not act like they werent. Commando should use the right facts.“
„I have no facts to offer!“ I said. „Just religious myths.“
„Anyway, they should know about it. Believe it or not, it is a possibility, that is to be considered.“
„At least, yes!“
„So we have a reason to go to the Commando, and so we will see, whats going on there.“
„Of course! You are to go with me to provide the datas.“
„I got no datas, just storys.“
„That will have to do!“ she decided, and so we dressed for to go outside our bunk.
It was hard work, though, finding out the ships clothing, the right use of shoes and keycards, and worse, the way through the abandoned floors of the ship, a misplaced person hushing by every once in a while. We got lost, taking on a crossroads a way down instead of up, recognising our mistake, trying for a shortcut and found ourselves back near the virtual training units for soldiers, whom we never saw for being strictly separated from the rest of the crew. The saying was: “ A soldier is not to know what´s going on, or else she´d flee the battlefield.“ Now we saw one, a huge massive woman, all strong muscles, empty face, empty eyes.
„What are you doing here!“ she yelled at us, and we frightened back, fleeing into some floors we have never been before and ended up following a distant noise of partying people, at the Second Inn down near the supplement crew cabins, always the heart of the party of the ship. Noone seemed to be with his senses, all being if not drunk, at least sedated and distracted.
We had to refuse for a drink, cause it seemed likely to vanish into that void, once you joined in. But we knew our way again and finally found the Commando.
It was abandoned. The door was open, so we went in.
Commando was a vast oval hall, one half of it covered with a screen showing the outside universe. There were some working places, a large conference table, a kitchen and a lounge-zone, but noone around.
„Thats strange“ said Faby and looked over some technical screens, hands on her backs to not touch anything unintended, while I searched the kitchen.
„They have actual coffee here!“ I cried out in delight, as I found the rare treasure.
„Hush!“ she rebuked me and I felt silly. What about coffee in the Command0! But after all, we drank and it was delicious. Noone showed up, so we just stayed there, making love on the couch cause there was nothing else to do anyway. Then we lay side by side, watching the distant sun an the screen with all its spectra of light.
„Is this the sun of the Earth?“ I asked.
„Stupid“! She pinched me in the ribs, „count the planets!“ As if the planets were easily to be counted!
Later on, the clerk came by and told us, that we were in the Second Inn, suddenly all those partying guests there reappearing, jeering at us. The Commando-screen turned out to be the TV-corner of the Second Inn, both of us near naked and wrapped between a mere blanket. We made for our clothes, that luckily still lay there, and hurried away in shame and embarassment. The clerk helped us on our way.
„Better stay inside!“ he couldnt help advise us, as he was leading us through corridors, we had never seen before. „It´s all changing all the time“ he explained. „You cant take anything for granted, the floors, the time, even the faces! Yesterday I was talking to someone, and suddenly found myself talking to someone else! Strange things indeed! Even the Commando does not know whats going on.“
„We had been there, in the Commando. There is noone!“ I interrupted myself, being punched by Faby, for as proof was, we never had been up there.
But he took it for granted: „I know, its strange. They say, there is nothing they can do right now. Nothing is working ... No, that´s not quite right, she said, noone can make things work, I don´t know, if that makes a difference anyway...“ He mumbled something, as to recollect what he was about to say.
„Whats your name, anyhow?“ I just asked to help him out.
He suddenly stopped, both of us running into him and each other.
„Hans!“ he said, offering us his hand in that old fashioned manner. „And you are?“
„Faby!“ she called in before I could dare to introduce her. I shook his hand. She didnt.
„Dont fraternise“ she scolded me as we went on, silenced by the awkward insecurity of how to talk now, that we were known to each other.
„How do you manage to keep track!“ I asked him, as we approached our door. „Why don´t you get lost?“
„If you want to do training, you´re welcome“ he acclaimed with undue loudness. „Every morning six thirty in the Sports. You´ll figure it out!“ He smiled artifically, with a humorous friendliness in the eyes, turned and was gone again.
„Why did you ask his name?“ Faby was angry. „Do you want to make friends with a clerk?“ Disgusted she snore her nose. „And he is a man! Do you hang out with men lately? You want to sink that low, after I have elevated you?“
I do not know, what she was saying, it was all noise and muttering, but finally I found myself outdoors, for she didnt want to see me anymore and I had to make for my own room.
I did not manage to find the male quarters with my little bunk, but incidentally I reached the Archive library and so went to my working place. I did not know how to start the screen. I was supposed to just click here and there, but I couldnt make it out, so I sat there, alone, bedazzled, but at least somewhere to be, so I was there, eventually falling asleep.
As I woke up, I started the Screen before realising, how to do it, and as I was fully awake, I found myself watching the documentary that lately I had been working on, right from the point there I had stopped. I remembered feeling to be on a lost track, having done my writings, and was now about to ... but I couldnt remember what that could have been. And I even failed to get to the menu, cause the signs on the screen did not make out any sense. I realised, that there was nothing I could do but watch that lost documentary, or else end up even without it. So I watched.
So they called the mishappened boys, who would, despite their beauty and intelligence, eventually go mad, clinging to some strange ideas noone could understand. Things were as they were, no meddling about that. But being one is something different. It is like your brain is going in two directions at the same time, a breaking apart in some unbearable void, leaving the wish to destroy something, that surely ends up in destroying oneself. I lived for the sole reason of love from a woman, Summer, my beloved wife, who held me in times of need and made me understand how to live with that paranoism I had to deal with.
It started when I was five years old. I suddenly realized, that I was about to hang out with my people for all my life, and that there was nothing but grow up and eventually die, just as all would do, and young as I was I began to wonder about the what-fors and whys of life. When we would go down to the river to fetch some water, why was I supposed to help, even If I could fetch so little? There was no use, it just was that I was supposed to do, but why? I refused to go and was scolded for it, though they would not make a fuzz out of it. The only one who would make a fuzz was myself. The other children were younger or older, I had no direct companion and held to the older men, who were mending stones at the fire. I loved to watch them clinging their flints and tried to do as them, to weak to make an effect. In a sudden rage, I threw my stones across the fire, to be scolded again, and I found myself thinking about the what-for of stones, why there were stones at all, why everybody knew what to do except me. I did not know then, that my brain was about to split in half, giving me two realities to live in.
As I grew older, I could rely on sleep, giving me comfort and security, and so I slept most of the day. But also I became skilled in fishing and stone-mending, so I stayed respected, even if being laughed at for sleeping so long.
Fishing was a thing. Sitting near the river, being silent and watchful, waiting for the catch that would eventually show up. It would only show up, if I had become calm and decent, being as one with the surroundings, the trees, the riverbed, the stones and roots, the leaves and all the tiny little insects who obviously all knew exactly what to do all the time. As long as I went along thinking, I´d never catch a fish. They were quick to slip out of my bare hands, but if I had become quiet and let no thought disturb my integrity, I would just grab in the right moment, hold the fish tight and throw him on land for to kill him with a stone. I loved it, not for the catch, but for the feeling of sitting there as if there was no such thing as I.
Problem was the other people, the group. It seemed, I never really fitted in. If I was to do something, I often got it wrong, for I doubted all the time. Was it right, to do this exactly right now? Why first cleanse the fell and then sharpen the stone, should it not have been the other way round? I misunderstood remarks, cause when I heard them, I wondered if they could be meant otherwise. Our language was very primitive and straightforward, some kind of advanced animal sign-collection, there were no words having sense without circumstances of situation. So I brought the stone instead of the bone, did not clean the bricks, but collected sticks, did not hold the baby, but fold the blanket, for what purpose I didnt understand and found myself being scolded again. At at last, they took me for some dummie, best if not in the way, likely to get sick and die eventually.
„Meros child“ I was, unreliable, ill fated, a kind of constant threat, but at least part of the group.
My condition grew worse as I grew older. As the phenomena of twisted reality, as I called it, got a hold on me, I got frank despaired, would yell and beat at things and persons, if they dared to come near me. Now I know, that it is just a double sight on the world, not a double world, but back then I couldnt understand, and was bare afraid to have to deal with two worlds at the same time. It was unbearable among people, cause their tempo meddled the worlds together and I never knew, how to react, so I took on going fishing all day, come home and sleep for the night. Or, even more likely, the other way round: Sitting pointlessly at the river at night, and sleep throughout the day. That was, than they begun to come visiting me. Of course, if someone is lying the whole day, eventually someone would look up for him, to offer help or comfort if needed. But I was no child anymore, and the women who came attending me, were neither mother nor sister. Arusha was the first. She just lay her fingers on my lips as she huddled under my blanket. She kissed me and caressed me and I felt at ease at once. Suddenly, life seemed to be just life, useless and pointless as ever, but full of miracles and wonders. I cannot describe the feelings I got then. United with her, I felt the gap close, that tore my world apart, the gulf between me and myself was bridged by her exhilerated gasping as we reached climax all too soon. I felt overwhelming love for her, but later on, as she slept beside me, it was all gone and her snoring made me angry, for I failed to sleep. So I went out fishing in the night, and as I came back to our place, she looked as if nothing had happened and I wouldnt dare to even look at her.
Arushas friend Mala was next. Both woman were on the brink of getting old, still handsome and fairly soft, suckling their second or third baby, and tending to get that stare again, the dreamy void which makes women think of mating. They just enjoyed theirselves with me, not coming for huddling or comfort, or even love, but just for sex. Mala tried to hand over me her baby as for to pair socially, but I would not do it right, so she sighed and took it herself. They even went with me collecting fruits, for to do a threesome in the meadows, but it did not work out, for the twisting in my head brought me to panic and I ran away. So they gave up on turning me into a companion, but just found their way under my blankets every once in a while. Mala soon lost interest, but Arusha came in even after the first rush of heat has vanished.
But that was not enough to ease my mind. Now that I knew the heavens of love, or what I thought love to be, I soon became frantic about it. I wanted to mate every woman of our tribe, and even if I couldnt bare to fit in any social activities, I still managed to stay aside and search for the woman with that look in the eye, for that I knew to do, and of course my beauty helped me to convince them. I say it without showing up, it was just the beauty of being young and Meros Son. We all are of outstanding beauty, for it was on us to alter mankind, but that of course I didnt knew. I knew that women fell for me, and only few of them refused to follow their desire. But I shouldnt have tried for Kuba. She was handsome as all women, but I had never seen that look in her eye, so I let her be. But one day she went with a party to the chase of a tigress, who was about to settle to near for our likes. As things went, tigress was not about to leave, but to fight and killed young Bero, before they managed to wound it dead with their made up spears of bare sticks. Kuba went home, blood smeared all over her body, exhausted from the use of her power, and now, as she entered the clearing, I saw her, wild-looking, free, to be released. I took her hand and went with her just a few paces in the thickets, where I took her leaned against an oak stem, she yelling out her lust in strange, singing screams. She seemed kind of embarrassed afterwards and made in a hurry for our place. As I came after her, Keno, whom I knew to be with Kuba, was standing in my way. I tried to pass him, but he beat me down, a blow on the head and two in the stomach was enough to break my knees. He kicked me twice, then left me alone. I knew I had gone too far.
Even if woman are free to choose their partners, the same is not for men. If you cannot match with the concurrence, you have to back up. It had been no problem, as long as I was regarded to be a child about to die, a toy for the needs of women. But now I had entered the sphere of hierarchy and had taken a woman that was regarded to be key to the dominion of the group. Keno just made sure, that I would not be allowed to meddle in with them, and by doing so he claimed the leadership of the group. Some muttered, but none had the power to stand against it, so that was new reality. And he made clear that this was the end of my freedom. Either I submitted to the group or else choose fighting or leaving. In the end I stayed, humbled and beaten more than once, cause winter was upon us, or what winter we used to know: A time of raining and storming, even frost sometimes on cold mornings.
(There was no fire to warm oneself yet, cause humans were still roaming just the warm southern habitats. The heritage from the sea, the ever yearning for warmth, had not troubled their lives yet, though they had begun to speak of winter - so to speak, their language could not have called a winter yet, maybe cold or coldtime at best. But as evolution is, it seeks not the easy way, but always wants to evolve, raising beauty without cause, bringing forth ever new ways of living, and so it was that the beauty of that new men made women fall for it and thus nurturing and subscribing to the new way. Even if it was a very unlikely being: Nose facing the ground for not to smell anything. Skin without fell so to freeze in the nights. A desperate need for salt, which could not be easily matched. Soft feets likely to be hurt by simply running the ground. And a mind not to speak of: two halfs of it, each seeking dominance, unable to work together.)
This was my condition as I lay on my camp, huddled between lots of fells for to keep me warm, not daring to leave for to avoid society, about to die if not summer came first.
Summer came. She was a mere child, who had decided to pity me and attend on me. She brought me marrow and gave me warmth whilst lying behind me. There was nothing Keno and his men could say about that, and so she helped me through that winter I might not have lived and stayed my companion ever since then. She tried to understand me. She could not understand my thoughts as such, but she looked out for whys and answers and tried to reason with me, so that I at least was not alone with my thoughts, and had someone who´d measure me.
I hardly can remember these times, it all is mixed up in my memories, for I always lived in two realities at the same time. One of brightful colours, sounds, emotions, the other reason, need, desire, the black and white world, as I called it. I constantly mixed up both of them and could not tell if for example if someone had said or just meant something. I still could not do crowds, crowds being three people or more, including myself. Summer helped me out, talking for me if need be, so I didnt have to do any talking to people at all. I went fishing every day, brought the catch to the supplies without saying anything, without greeting, eyes down and away as soon as possible, then huddling under the blankets and sleep. Eventually, Summer would show up, giving me food and comfort, and let me talk my way.
I did not want to sleep with her, even when she got the age. As I knew sexuality, it was frantic, wild, with a power to destroy, and I was afraid of it. I thought, having sex again would make me lose the very rest of my sanity I still got. Nevertheless I masturbated regularly and often, before sleep, after sleep, even while fishing. My blankets and pelts were stained all over. I did not care. I had to do it or otherwise go mad. It was the one point of my entire life, where I did not live in two different worlds, but when I came near climax, I felt a center of being in my head, where the two worlds were one. I always thought of Arusha then, her breasts, her hips, her eyes that lost focus in lust, her heavy breathing before I entered her, her little screams she tried to hold back. I loved all of it, and I would have longed for her to come visit me again, to make me mad if need be, but not only that Summer appeared to be my mate now, Keno simply forbade it and she obeyed, for he held his reign now with brute power and beat up everyone for resisting or even just looking too sharp.
So it was just Summer. „Be one!“ she would always say when I was in a mood. „Relax, be one!“ And she laid her thumb on my forehead, on the point between nose and eyes, and as long as she held that, I was sound and clear. So I lived on, year after year, and everybody got accustomed to my strange behaviour, at last even myself.
She stayed with me the night Keno was killed. It was Arusha and Mala, along with some other women. I just heard the noises of screaming and fighting, and I wondered what was going on, but of course I didnt dare to take a look. Summer was explaining everything, after she´d rushed in and crawled under my blankets, how Keno had forced his will upon Arushas Sister, though she disliked him and wanted him not. It was not the first time he had used force to submit one to his will, but this time the women resolved to take revenge, and beat him up right in the middle of the hord. His friends had sought to help him, but once Keno lay dead on the ground, killed by some severe strokes on the head with stones, there was noone who could lead them, and soon the women held the ground, some men fleeing, some taking sides with their dear ones, secretly being glad to be released from the firm grip of Keno´s rule. Arusha was to claim leadership, as Summer came to my camp. Out of breath she gave me some information and then started to kiss me somehow frantic, searching contact with her belly and her legs. My mind twisted. I could see blood and violence as well as hope and desire. I feared that some friend of Keno would turn on us for blind revenge and kill us as we lay there, and I feared, to give in into my desire would end that only friendship I had and spoil the bond between us, but all that would not match my lust, which arose the moment she crawled in and wouldnt vanish, but ever grow as she stroked my breast and searched her legs between mine. We lay on our sides, holding breath for a moment in the dark, hearing voices from outside, yelling, some screaming, a cracking noise, sudden silence, and again yelling, running, fighting. One foot striped our hide and nearly brought it down, but then it all quitened down again.
„You are to take a look?“ I asked her
„For sake, no!“ She lay her hand on my cheek. „My Dear one!“ she said. „Merusso!“ As our lips met again, she slowly dragged back, for to invite me upon her, and so I leaned on my elbow above her, kissing her lips, feeling our bellys mingling with my dick between them, laid first one leg between hers, then the other. She widened and opened herself, her arms falling back besides her head. I didnt even have to search for her entrance. Our movements had just brought us there. She was still a maiden and her barrier kept me out. She was breathing hard. Again some screaming and yelling from outside, some quick steps near my hide. I pushed without forcing, and she met with a tension aiming towards me.
The world was split in two. I was either her or me. We were two tiny animals somewhere in the universe, and it all was part of the one big ongoing of life, no matter being Summer or Merisso, Arusha or Keno, who´s voice I heard in my head, „destroy her dead“ he whispered in my ear as if I was to to rape Summer, and I was frightened, for I loved her so dearly and would never allow her to be hurt, and wanted to step back, but this was the moment the barrier between worlds fell down, and I was inside the world, being not only one with Summer and the Universe, but being my own true self, part of the world, undivided, unhindered by any boundaries.
As we made love, I suddenly understood that it all was in my head. The twisted reality, the two worlds from whom I suffered, it had nothing to do with the world. The world was as ever, and only my mind could take it for this or for that. But the world itself was unchanging. The world was to push myself into her, to hear her breath, to feel her skin. I would have wanted it to last forever, but suddenly I heared Kenos voice again: „shoot your semen“ he urged, and I couldnt help but obey, quenching the pace and let release in exhaustion. I cried, as I saw the two Summers beyond me, one connected with me in spirals of love, one spent, used up, dirty and sweaty. How could I see her that way? I cried and she comforted me until we made love again. This time I let no distraction come to my mind, but hold fast to the world as it was, for I was just a living being doing what life itself let him do so. This time, getting intense was to heighten the connection, let loose the power, to live wild and free. Climax was an exploding universe, a cascade of fire and colours, a sound of thunder shaking the world alive after winter.
As silence fell, we knew we had been too loud, the people outside listening.
One cheered, declaiming „Arusha´s mother of the tribe now!“ declaimed for all to hear. „You respect her or leave! Everybody is to swear her allegiance now! If not, you´ll leave tomorrow!“
It had been a hard fighting, leaving some with severe injuries, as we were to find out. Summer made me come out of our tent. „We have to!“ she said. „I´ll help you. Let me speak. You just hold to the one, right?“
„And what shall that be?“ But to my surprise I had lost a lot of my fear. If I held to the one, maybe I could endure to sit among chatting people. No need to listen, just stay alive that moment and the next.
„Watch your breath!“ she told me, as we crawled outside, half dragged by that eager women, who acted as Arusha´s watch. So far it all went well, I held my eyes to the ground, breathing in and out, and was even able to say: „I swear!“, then Summer told me to do so. But then Arusha made a speach or something, and I just heard Summer cry out: „No!“ and bursting into tears, before she was being strucked down by some of the watchers.
„Obedience!“ I heard. „Obedience is the key to our thriving!“ Arusha declaimed. „We have to act as one, to be strong and plentiful. I´ll lead you with common sense to achieve the greater good for all of us! I choose Meresso as my partner, for I have still to bare a child and he shall be the father, for I want my child to heir his beauty.“
„He´s mad!“ one put in and earned a stroke with a stick on her head. Noone else said something or I didnt hear. They have dragged Summer away from the ground, and as the morning prevailed, I was to crawl in Arushas nest, which had been Kenos hide till now, along with two of her best friends, lest I would not do as bidden.
I once had loved Arusha, or at least liked her and loved to fuck with her, but now I kept thinking of Summer and if she was at least alive and well. But as I asked about her, I was told not to speak, and as I asked again, I earned myself a stroke with a stick on my head. „Next time will be a stone“ the other girl said, Aja, a strong and willful young one, clearly devoted to Arusha and without any sympathy for me. „So shut up!“.
I did. I also resisted not, as Arusha was to drag me naked. I thought, she couldnt force me to want her, and, holding the world at the one point there it was one, I stayed unpaniced and uninvolved in her doings, but once my legs lay between hers, my body betrayed me and my flesh grew despite of exhaustion, despite of my despising her. I still held to the point, but as the world was, sex can either be love or hate, and once she aroused me, I was struggling and pushing till I had the way of my body. I didnt heed for her climax as I squeezed my semen into her, with strange Kenos voice in my head, destroy her dead, as if I could do revenge for punishing Summer and taking me by fucking her. I did not want to do so, but I realized, my wanting was just in my head, not in the world. The world was as it was.
The screen turned black and left me there, puzzled. I had my hand on my dick for quite a while now, being dragged into the story, but I had avoided to ejaculate for not to spoil my watching. Commentarys did show up. A cloaked man, apparently an expert on something, explained that „the dawning of consciousness is bound to the awakening of an overabundant sexuality. Sex becoming a mean in itself is the point, there the individual sets itself apart from the world and starts up to build a world of its own inside his head. Enjoying sexuality is animal emotion, as well as been driven by lust, but seeking sex not to submit to the needs, but to fulfil the imagination of it, by purpose and intention, means to be aware of the own doings. Apes mating is somehow quite similar, the games they are playing, the lovebound mating, their jealousies and fightings. They decide, but they do not doubt. They do, what is to be done, but the first human doubted, what should be done. To do this, he had to be conscious of another possibility.“ I stopped listening. It was not my job to watch commentaries, just the sources and write summaries. But I did not know how to skip that comment to get to the menue, there was nothing that made any sense, signs that should have meant something, but I couldnt figure it out. I let that man talk: „That initious doubt, the double-seeing of the world can only be achieved, if the brain is working in two ways at the same time: Could be this, could be that. So actually the way to consciousness is to split the brain into two independent halfs and then bring them back together, which makes it necessary to invent an uniting element. That is the observer, the spirit, the mind, the „I“. Thus the two brain halfs are not forced to submit to each other when working together, allowing doubt to be a constant part of the world, matched only by the always unsure self, which would decide this way or the other way, but seldom the best way. But what is this self? Located near the limbic system, it is a kind of energy rotating in the spiritual valley between the brain halfs, thus being not of substance, but of sound. An energy-wave that has constantly to be nurtured to not cease away. And the only energy available to keep this center going, is the sexual desire. Consciousness is kind of a sexual ecstasy prolonged through life. Which led to the next problem: How to nurture this vast amount of energy needed by this everlasting exhaustion. The fruits didnt do anymore, the marrow helped not enough. Salt was needed. So humans began to fish and hunt and eventually mastered fire, for they longed for the energy of it. This is the story so far.“
Again the screen blackened, and another commentary showed up. „I´ll go mad if I keep watching this!“ I told myself and stood up from the chair, looking around, remembering where I was. The narrow Archive had five working places, a table for conference and a short kitchencorner for water and nuts and such, but there was only water. The time on the shipclock seemed to run reverse, but I couldnt make it out anyway. I hesitated for a moment, as I opened the door to look outside. The door opened, but there was nothing behind it. I couldnt make it out. No floor, not even anything, as if the barrier of the door would still be there. I realized, the door was still there. So I opened it again, only to find it still closed. This trip came to be worse than I expected. How long had I been here, anyhow? I couldnt tell. Hours or years, it made no difference. Was I about to eat something? I did not feel hungry, but maybe I wouldnt even notice. I did not dare to try to step outside, right through the door, for either it did not work, than I would feel silly to try, or it did work, which would have been frightening beyond reason, so I didnt dare.
The bunks in the corner behind the table were meant to be sleeping places in need, blankets underneath, so I could make myself cosy, even if not with any idea, what to do now. From my desktop the monitor still blurred some commentaries, and as I grew silent I could make out the words:
„In human society, patriarchy is the exception from the rule. Patriarchy, if occuring, will not prevail, for its very nature is war, violence and turmoil. Men are not content, they are not meant to be, it is their nature to seek and conquer, and thus may be of need sometimes, but cannot make up a stable and lasting community. There is no status quo in patriarchy, always development and achievement, and therefore exhaustion and disaster. As seen here ...“
What could I do to not listen? As long as I moved and made a sound it was no problem, but then I fell silent, the words dropped into my ears like poison. It was not, what she said, I barely understood what it was about, it was the sound of lecturing, the intention to enlighten. But what was there to know?
I didnt even dare to go for the powernet to turn off electricity. „Do not heed, act passive, let it all pass away!“ These were the orders! So I made some paces across the floor, did some workout, and then suddenly felt hungry. It must have been weeks since I ate something! I looked to the ship watch, but it seemed to go backward, and as I was about to leave the room, I opened the door but it was still locked. „God damn!“ I sweared, realizing I was trapped.
Better to give in, than exhaust in rage, I told myself, after kicking the door in anger and hurting my toes. The toilet was across the floor, so to releave myself I had to use the sink. And all the time a voice blurred out from the screen, stating that „the transmission of datas of observation from prelingual humans into todays language is at least corrupted, if not worthless in any scientific means. Records like these are mere speculations, telling us more about the observer, than offering informations about the actual people. Observing this close means to live nearby, means to interfere. The Lemurians are trying to hide their part in this development and it is to be shown, that the so called mermens are just a colony of Lemurians, mingling theirselves into this world!“
Commentaries in total were about to have a multiple amount of datas, compared to the original source. I could not hope to wait it out, it could be endless. It was endless, indeed. The commentaries stretched out through millenias of observation and discussing, and of course you could only scratch the surface of it by starting on whatever end. All sources had Commentaries attached, but I had never looked into them, being of no topic of value at all.
I tried to think louder than the voice. What was it about my life on Sirius? Where did I grow up, who were my parents? These were made-up questions, meaningless and vain, for I knew by now, that my self was just an illusion created by my mind anyway, and that no past or future could change the moment as it was, but I took it as a mindsport, to collect names of people and places, a former me once had known. The bridge of Kero. But what was Kero? A name, a river, a land? Meeting there with Nimya and Gdyna, noises from the seaside, friends and names all troddled in. It was strange to think of them, York, Vesta, Caimlin, Lerose, whom I had loved, and if she ever said a word, I would not have set a foot on this spaceship to Earth, but if it was sacrifice or ignorance for her to not do so, I never found out.
She had said: “ If you stay because of me, I start to owe you, and that will be unbearable. You resolved to go long ago!“ Anyway, these were her words, her heart might have spoken otherwise. What was I supposed to be on Sirius anyway? Some funny man for a succesful fru, running hearth and children, the scientific carrier limited to some archivar-job in partime? But Lerose did not go for that either. I guess, she didnt dare to ask me, for not to force me into decision, and not to hinder my very way, so I thought at last, she´d wished me to go, but as it finally all was settled, she would not speak a word with me anymore, refused to see me and said no goodbye. It might not be forever. Perchance, if we come back as planned, it is 9 years flight to the Earth, 2 years there and 9 years back, seen from Sirius. For us the whole trip will be 5 years: Half year leaving Sirius, half year in NFAL, which is the estimated time we are about to actually live during the nine lightyears of transfer, two years on earth and the same back, so after all, if she would wait these twenty years out, we could live together, she then being 15 years older than me. But of course this was no option. Going to Earth means never to come back the same, So I did let go too and choose not to remember. What good was remembering on a spaceship? Of course the task was all that counted now. So why linger in memories? My heart pounded, as I tried not to listen to that ever blurring voice from the monitor:
“... Wars had been raged for less than utterly corrupting a d-categorised planet with genetic intervention. This is the very cause for an interstellar war, if not for wise leaders to avoid it. The Lemurian intervention an Earth established humans in its ecosystem, an hybrid being which they created by mingling with mere hominoids, an abonimation even in thought. So to end the Lemurians influence on Earth, Sirius as its nearest interstellar neighbour was bidden to observe Earth henceforth and let the Lemurian ships not approach. But none would come. Lemurias civilisation ended in turmoil for a while and Earth seemed forgotten...“ it was a mans voice, nasal and distinct, as if to exclude himself from what he was saying. Again I tried not to listen anymore. What was it about my parents, my home, if I ever had got one? Sure, there was this somehow grand flat in Mioma, the town there we lived in in the country of Lamas. Wooden floors and firm furniture, my mother lecturing, my father trying to ease the tension. But that was only when I was young. Later I came to live with my agemates in some kind of internat, a lot of doing and learning with an ease, but never any privacy, no home. I met my parents only occasionally and later on never more. It all seemed to be normal, so I did not mourn about it, but now it seemed to be the saddest thing ever to be experienced by a child: To be stripped of his dear beloved parents, and I found myself sobbing and crying, like I never did before. Why was I about to happen all this mischief? What misfortunate star has dragged me into this forsaken closed up bureau in that spaceship beyond worlds? Was there anything I´d seek for but love, being held and comforted a little, someone to share the world with? To work in science was but a strange idea, meant to distract me from my own deepest desire? I cursed the monitor and the person, who was about to speak then, a man again, so after all it was not that strictly a rule, that men in general wouldnt have the genes to do science. I was, like most young man, supposed to attend to the mens school after internat, to learn wielding and mending and sort of things, prepare for householding or else attend to some mens sport, hiking and hunting, singing, playing music, do performances of any kind for the women, who would sit there clapping hands, smiling, joking, never really giving heed. „Mens stuff“ they would say and giggle, and else leave the topics of matter for then men werent around.
Nevertheless, as I intended to visit science school, there were no obstacles lain in my way. Of course I could not make any grade, I just was supposed to do the elementary seminars for beginners, and later on occasionally work as some kind of clerk for some scientists, or maybe as a private teacher in resident. But I made myself useful from the beginning, being adapt to learn, unlike my female comrades, who hold themselves to be above that stuff, and were distracted by friends and affairs. I had nothing, but actually learn. They accepted me inside and outside class, and some would even befriend me, but I never could be part of their society. I held to my teacher of history, Prof Landish. She had sympathized with my efforts from the beginning, and as she saw me longing for it, she gave me tasks to do, research and background, not just mere exercises, fields to study, thoughts to follow, she´d let me be feel belonging. It was all I ever asked for. At the end of the first year, she took me aside.
„Look, Vince“ she said, „if I were you, I´d study on some remote field to be expert in that. When you have got no competitor, there is a chance, they might give you your credits for that.“
„And what shall that be?“ I asked, not knowing where she pointed.
„Pre-history of Earth!“
History of course was the history of Sirius. We had never talked about Earth, for that was technical science, spacecraft, biology, maybe politics. I never thought of Earth having a history, or, as she had put it, a „pre-history“. But she didnt have to convince me. I just did what she said, making myself an expert on history of Earth, be it pre of actual. It was also her doings to suggest me for the AMIDIA, the space-travel to Earth, and that is my story so far.
There would be more to tell, but to what means? It all has dripped into the past of a distant sun. Who am I to meddle with the ongoings of time, it all had to end up in this moment, me, caged in this space-ship-bureau, forced to keep on thinking for not to hear the threatening voice of the commentaries.
I went to the test at the military office, where they would believe in a mistake, as I showed up as a man. But I insisted of my being the one invited and passed their questions and tasks fairly enough, and as bureaucracy works, noone wanted to give me the job, but noone could avoid to do so, and so they did. After all, there are men on board, cooks, cleaners and clerks mainly, but also some single scientists and technicians like me, who mingled in between the womans stuff as a „helping hand“, as we put it, one who is just there to back up.
About the military we dont know nothing. Of course, military is womans work, but rumour is, that they have taken whole groups of men with them. After all, women like the presence of men, it makes them feel at ease, and some of the officers had even brought their husbands with them, so after all we were quite some men on board, if not matching women in numbers. I had asked myself, that if a lot of women were without any man, they wouldnt feel lonely, and that the playboys would be a pure substitute, but as it appeared, most of them were just content with it and gave no heed. I would never understand women! And I wondered, what Faby was doing, if she was alive and well in her room or elsewhere.
Somehow I managed to get used to the voice from the monitor. I huddled myself on the bank in the blanket and slept for some hours, or, so to say, for an undefinable amount of time. Waking up was awaking into a dream. The room was bending, with walls closing me in and leaving the far end as a narrow tunnel. I tried to hurry out, but splattered across a stool I had not seen and that should not have been there. Yesterday this stool had not been in this room. I was sure of that, but could I be sure at all? As I calmed down, the room grew to normal size again.
„I have to get out!“ I said aloud, and again, to reassure me: „I have to get out!“ Again I tried for the door, tried to make up time from the shipclock. I was hungry. Hungry and angry. Was there no one to miss me? Was I about to starve to death in this miserable bureau? And ever blurring a voice from the monitor: „Colonizing a foreign world has nothing to do with daily politics. Raging wars, claiming interests, develop riches, follow strategies and tactics do work at best throughout some generations. A dynasty can last at least a thousand years, but even so, the thoughts of people are limited to some decades at best. If there is long-term thinking, it is born of a somehow more idealistic view, not devoted to interests, but to the mere idea of progress, that might be happen eventually. As the Lemurians colonized Earth, they did not claim any territory, they were not expanding their Spiralarm Imperia, they just let their offspring there and never did care about them anymore. In fact, it was the only spacecraft that ever left their homesun, for as water-bound beings a manned spaceship had to be of enormous measures and weights. At the height of their civilization they once managed to achieve the science and ressources needed to sent a spaceship through the vast emptyness of space to a promising little planet their observators had made out. As their ship, after a voyage of hundred years, counting three generations, had finally reached Earth, they made for a dwelling place there, adjusted with the help of their science and colonized it. But in the end, they were few and Earth itself heading into an ice age with unpredictable cold, not to speak of the limited areas with habitable space, the Parathetis, Belize, Sundaland, Caribic and end of story. Soon the four colonies lost contact, not able to maintain the science throughout generations of misery and struggling for survival. They finally did survive and founded the mermens kingdoms in those seas, high in dignity and pride, but low in influence and wealth. Parathetys was something different though: It was clear from the very beginning, that their lifespace was about to vanish: The everworse cold let the ocean dry out and leave only the Caspian inland sea. It was a fault from the beginning, due to plans back from Lemuria, where the observators had spotted the place as habitable. So, genetic studies and experiments were a matter of survival. It was a small colony, living in their artificial labors, trying to trick out the utterly threatening extinction. It is amazing to see, that this worked out. They finally created humans, by mingling themselves with the local hominids. As humans, they couldnt recall their past, being mere animals at the brink of self-awareness, developing a whole world anew.“
This time I had actually listened with curiosity. When everything could be utterly different from what was it supposed to be, there is no theory that can be blocked out in advance. Suddenly I realized with astonishment, that this actually could be true indeed. I had taken it for granted, that I was upon some myths and religious riddletelling, not unto an tell it like it T-I-is story. What if humans actual were the offspring of Lemurians? Would it change anything?
It was all long in the past. But maybe Faby could use that knowledge to whatever means she might have. I sighed. What good was news from two million years ago? And what was about Faby anyway? Did we really made love in the cafeteria while everybody was watching us? I couldnt believe it, though I knew it to be that way. In my memory I just saw the Commando as I thought I´d been there, but also I heard some voices laughing and I had that awkward feeling between throat and chin, that something had went utterly wrong. It would be a story to talk about for years: „Do you know, when we went in NFAL, Faby and her Vince did not care about anything, just making love before our very eyes!“ It was embarassing to the point of resolving not to see anyone ever again. Suddenly I looked upon my unvoluntary exile with different eyes: At least I had to see noone. I leaned back on my bunk, feeling sad, but not uncontent anymore. Then let me be just alone!
How long would it be ere I´d start starving? On my count I had two days now without eating. Hunger had not become haunting yet. I could do some more days. But now that I had given in, I realized, how limited my world inside this room was: Listening to the monitor or lingering in memories, even workout was not recommended for the lack of food. I remembered Hans, the clerk, saying training every morning at six thirty. Maybe I should go there, I thought, but how could I figure out six thirty, or even open the damn door? I studied the ship clock. I couldnt actually read the numbers on it, but it was clearly running backwards. I thought then, with the undoubtable logic of a dream, that six thirty will show up eventually before we´d go back to the days start again. So I did look upon this clock, trying to catch up that six thirty, I couldnt recognize anyway, but as I stared, the signs were changing, building a written word in some letters which I actually couldnt read, but despite that I knew what was written: Six thirty. I just had to open the door to step out of the room.
According to the laws of backward time, I reached the sport at six twenty, which was exactly the time, Hans was about to leave the Sports.
„You´re here? That´s good! How did you manage to ...“ he interrupted himself. „No questions, sorry. How are you, though?“
I could hardly speak. „I am allright!“ I murmured.
„Anyway, we all have problems. Time is running backwards, you know?“
„I got it, yes. It´s so strange!“
„I cant do training now“ he explained. „I have to go back to sleep! Catch up with the time somehow!“
„I am lost“ I said out of despair. „I dunno there to go!“
He looked at me with the clear intention, not to let him be distracted by my drama. „Then sit!“ he decided. „You sit here on the Zafu till trainings end.“ He nodded at me, satisfied with his made up solution.
As he was about to leave, I asked him: „And then will that be, trainings end?“
„Eight fifteen!“ he replied. „Just keep on sitting“ It´ll do you good!“ The last words spoken aloud while leaving.
That would be twentytwo hours! But what else had I to do? Look out for Faby or some food? Seemed to be a good choice to wait for the return of the clerk anyway. So I sat down to meditate.
First hour was awkward, the second worse. The third hour passed at an ease, in the fourth I had cramps in my legs and had to interrupt to bring my blood back in circulation. Fifth and Sixth hour were all pain. At the seventh I allowed myself a little pause and found me finally sleeping. At least it was ship night and I was supposed to sleep anyway. I dont know, for how long, for once I had lost count, I couldnt catch up again, unable to read any clock again. With a slight bad conscience for having made pause, I sat again and waited it out. At the height of it I felt like being released from my body and myself, being just a tiny light of awareness roaming the universe like a star. I realized it all to be just one, a piece of sand or a burning sun, me or the spaceship, and the whole universe was just the splinter of a mirror, it all mattered not and yet, even because it all was just one, there was nothing that did not matter. But then again I sat there with an aching pain in my back and my legs, the ever same thoughts running through my head, about silly Neandertalsex, Faby waiting out somewhere, the clerk to return soon, the ship, my life, and what was about Shena and Dera? Were they alive and well? Were all alive and well or had there been any casualties? Was this NFAL trip as it should be, was all this, the running backwards of the time, the twisted reality, was this the normal experience, or was there actually something wrong about it? How could I know? And even if I´d knew, what could be helped about it? If we were to die, it would be so. There was nothing that could be done. You couldnt fly to outer space and expect to be safe.
Hunger grew. I stood up to drink a glass of water. They had foreseen it. As I had went aboard the ship, I had wondered about the little watersuppliers in every room, but now I understood. If you had to stay in your room, you wouldnt starve to death soon, but you will need water. Everything was in the right order, as it should be, I thought.
All of a sudden a group of men appeared, all looking kind of alike, same blue dresses, same strange look in the eyes, chattering gossips, training methodically, bending, stretching, gymnastic exercises, exhausting in the end after a somehow easy beginning. They hardly recognised me and I did not try to join them. As they had hushed in, they had just a bare nodding for me, and I sat myself on a bank at the side, watching. Only when going one asked me: „What are you doing here?“ and I answered truthfully: „Waiting! And who are you guys?“ He just shrugged. „We´re clerks. Have to do training, you know?“
„Why?“ I asked. „We are the only ones working on this ship. Distribute and cleaning. Though, in fact, we dont do the cleaning. It is all so messed up.“ I had the feeling, that he actually did not talk to me, but rather to himself or an imagined audience. But I kept on asking him: “Is everybody alive and well?“
„Everybody? I dont believe that. It is pure chaos! But I didnt recognise anyone actually suffering. Do you?“
„I have not eaten for days, but I´m alive and well. Dont know about the others. Havent seen many recently!“ He searched in his pocket for a bar of pure materia. „Here. That will help you out a while. It´s not tasty, though!“
Materia was the Essence of Nutrition, which was supposed to be prepared as a meal by cooks or advices like the clerk carts, but you could eat raw materia as well. You just had to chew it for hours like a gum. I thanked him.
„How can you organize your work in these conditions?, I asked him, as I began chewing right away. „What do you do to keep track?“
„Not much, really! Try to hold on, doing the next step, and then the next step. No bothering, no worrying. Somehow it kind of works out, though we are constantly mixing up everything, doing this twice and that not at all. Noone can keep charge, you know?“
„Seems so“ I replied politely. Obviously we all had just to deal with these conditions, be them as they are. „Why is time running backwards?“ I asked to keep talking.
„You can read the clock?“ he asked astonished. „None of us can make it out! We just guess time.“
„And yet you came here for training on time.“
„It is just habit. We show up, for we have to do. Dont know, if we make it in time.“
He would have talked more, but as his companions were about to leave, he made sure not to lose contact. „Regards to Hans!“ I yelled behind them, not knowing, not caring if they have heard.
When they had left, the room fell silent again. Evening slowly shifted into afternoon, and I really began wondering, there everybody was. I didnt dare to go look and find out. First I had to meet Hans again, but I had forgotten, why. Something seemed to be important about it, but I hadnt the slightest idea.
The afternoon did not pass. Time wavered around, running and stopping, finally going forward again, slowly, reluctant, then again backwards and then it stood still. It all fell silent, the remote humming of the engine stopped, no noises from anywhere, no voices, no distant clanging or aching. Of course I couldnt open the door, instead the gravitation vanished for some seconds, than it came back too hard, pressing me on the floor, before it slowly adjusted again. I was scared, my heart heavy pounding. As little as I knew about the NFAL technique, but that one could only survive this speed within an antigravitation-field that protected the inmates of the ship from being annihilated by speed-energy in an instant. If that system were about to fail, we were doomed. But still we lived. And I had nothing to do but sit on my zafu and meditate.