Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Excerpt for 24 September, 2017

For this week's excerpt, I decided to skip Episode 1, Scene 2, as Scene 3 carries on the explanation started in Scene 1. Scene 2 introduces a recurring Antagonist in the story, with the timing coinciding with the events of Scenes 1 and 3, but doesn't add anything necessary for continuity between the two scenes.

Imagining a character of this nature, and how he would view our world, was part of the fun in writing this story. As the story and the character developed, the exercise of seeing our world through his eyes was enlightening in its own way, and I hope that perspective carries through to the reader.

An added bonus to this story, is that the concepts explained here offer me venues for other stories with other characters, and the possibilities are developing in my imagination already. 

The Daedalus Episodes
by Rick Higginson

Episode 1, Scene 3

            Adedeles digested the information before speaking. “Where are we, Nancy? If this is not the world that I knew, then what is it?”

            The van, as Nancy called it, was moving again. It seemed strange to have the sensation of motion, without the awareness of wind moving over his skin. For that matter, to be inside something that was moving was just one more alien facet of his situation.

            “The world you saw in the storm. What you experienced is called a ‘Coincidence Event.’ We knew of them in my world, and had developed a system to predict when a Coincidence Event would occur. We could not predict if it would result in a storm, or if so, where the storm would center. We would send teams to many places around the world, waiting to see if a storm resulted so that we could study it. I was part of one of those teams, and unfortunately was caught by the storm, just as you were.”

            “If there was another world close enough for this to happen, why did we never see it before?”

            “Because, until the Coincidence, it’s not there.”

            “I don’t understand.”

            “I will try to explain it as simply as I can. According to the scientists on my world, at one time there was only one Earth. Something happened that caused a split, leaving the original Earth in one plane of existence, while the new Earth existed in a parallel plane. The scientists call this a ‘Deviation Event.’ At some point, the second Earth also experienced a Deviation Event, resulting in a third Earth on a third plane of existence.”

            “How can you know this?”

            “We have found other individuals, such as you and me, being dropped on our world by Coincidence Storms. When we have them recount as much of the history of their world as they can remember, we find that when they get far enough back, it becomes common with another Earth.”

            “How many of these ‘Earths’ are there?”

            “Before I was cast here, our scientists knew of seventeen. Meeting you, there must be at least eighteen, because we have never seen someone like you from any other Coincidence Events.”

            “Someone like me?”

            “We are not crippled, Adedeles. We have arms and hands instead of wings.” She held up her limb to show him. “On the seventeen other Earths that we know of, this is normal for humans.”

            “Then how do you fly?”

            “With machines on many of the worlds, though in some, they have not yet developed the technology of flight.”

            “If that is the case, then I feel my statement is accurate. You are crippled. You cannot fly.”

            “How do you feed yourself? For that matter, how did your people make the garment you wear, and how did you manage to put it on?”

            “That is a strange question. How would your people do such things?”

            “With our hands, of course, and with fingers that can grasp and hold. Indulge my ignorance, please, and tell me how you do such things.”

            “The same way I pushed you away when you first tried to put the thing in my ear.”

            “You pushed me away?”

            “You must have felt it.”

            “Yes, now that you mention it, I did, but I still don’t know how you did it.”

            “I focused on you, and made you move away.”

            “You can move things with your mind?”

            “Can you not do this?”

            “No, we cannot.” She placed something on the ledge in front of her. “Can you move that from the dashboard?”

            He reached out with his thoughts, taking a moment to explore the item, trying to understand it. “What is this thing? It is very complex for something so small.”

            “It’s a device called a smartphone. We use it to communicate and access information across large distances.”

            He lifted it and brought it close to his face. As he did, one surface of the item suddenly glowed with colorful light. “It produces light. How does it do this?”

            “Electronics. I know what they are, but I can’t explain them, other than they use electricity to make them work.”


            “You have lightning on your world, I assume?”


            “Lightning is electricity. LOTS of electricity.”

            “You capture lightning and make it work for you?”

            “Not the way you’re thinking, but yes, we make electricity work for us.”

            “Does this thing we are in use electricity?”

            “For some things, though the actual motion is from an engine that works on burning gas.”

            “They will not believe any of this when I return home and tell them.”

            “I’m sorry, Adedeles, but you won’t have to worry about that.”

            “You will not allow me to return to my world? You have wonders here, but I just want to go home.”

            “I know. I want to go home, too. The trouble is, Coincidence Events are not that common, and even less so between two particular worlds. It will be many lifetimes before this Earth and your Earth coincide again, and we cannot predict if the coincidence will be close enough to produce a storm. Even then, if we knew that such a coincidence was going to occur sometime soon, we cannot predict where on this world the storm would center, nor do we know how to be sure you would be pulled by it back to your world. We’re stuck here.”

            He returned the device to the dashboard, as Nancy had called it. “I have a family waiting for me. I was soon to take a mate and start a new family. I came here. I must be able to return.”

            “I had a family, too. I had a mate and two small children. I had parents, and siblings. I had friends. Their only consolation is in knowing that the storm itself isn’t fatal, but they have no way of knowing that I have survived here. They had to accept, though, that I was the same as dead for them. I will never see them again. They mourned for me, even as your loved ones will eventually accept they must do for you.”

            “I will find a way to get home.”

            “I hope you do, I honestly do, and I hope when you do, that what you find will work for me as well, but in all the years that the scientists on my world have studied this, they have never found a way to cross at will. This Earth does not even realize the other Earths exist yet, and have not even started to study the phenomenon.”

            “You are crippled. You cannot fly, and you cannot move things without touching them. I will find a way.”

            “Well, until then, you need to know how to get along in this world. There’s a place to stop for the night up ahead, and while I don’t anticipate any trouble, if something happens and we are separated, try to stay away from other humans for now. There is another town a few miles ahead. What we are on is a road, and you should be able to see it from above. Keep it in sight until you see more buildings, and then look for this van. I’ll put the blanket on top of it to make it easier to spot from above. Stay out of sight if you can, and watch. When you see me, come down and we can head out again.”

            She stopped the vehicle. “Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

            While he waited, he reached out with his mind and examined the van. He could sense many different parts, but had no idea what function they all served. Nancy had pulled on something to open the side, and he gently probed about to find the workings. A small stub was recessed into the side, and he wrapped his focus around it. With only the slightest force at first, he found that it was loose at one end and flexed away from the side at the other. With a bit more force, it pivoted out with a click, and a section of the side moved backwards. He shifted his focus to the section, and felt it slide smoothly back a short distance before he stopped it. Satisfied that he now understood how he could escape the van if needed, he reversed his push and slid it back to its original position.

            I can escape this thing if I choose. I will learn how to escape this world as well.

            Nancy returned and moved the van to a different side of the building. “Our room is right here. No one is around at the moment, so let’s get inside before anyone notices and starts asking too many questions.” Once they were inside, she seemed to relax a bit. “Did they give you anything to eat?”


            “What kind of food did you have on your world?”

            “We would get fruit and nuts from the trees, sometimes birds and eggs, and if they were shallow in the high streams, we would pull fish from the water.”

            “You didn’t eat grains or vegetables?”

            “Where do you get those?”

            “They grow in or on the ground.”

            “We avoid the ground. There are creatures on the ground in my world that are dangerous to us. This is the longest I have ever been on the ground.”

            “There is a place nearby where I can get some food for you. I want you to stay here, and if anyone comes to the door, don’t try to answer them – they won’t understand you because they don’t have one of the earpieces. Don’t try to open the door, and don’t look outside. I suspect it won’t be long until the world learns of you anyway, but if you’re lucky, you’ll have a little time to adjust first.”

            When she was gone, he started to explore the room the same way he had explored the van, studying things to try and understand how he might use them if needed. How does one live as the only uncrippled person in a world?

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