Thursday, April 08, 2010

i was on some outpost in andromeda on a desert planet no one had even bothered name, there was not much out there, just a couple of bars and a hotel for the black market dealers and gangsters who trade with the outer section, a few families but mostly a barman and his murky customers who kept to themselves. i'd been hanging out in the bar all week, my contact had not shown up, i figured they may have been in transit still, flights are unpredictable and it's quite common for pilots to factor in the wrong decimal point and phase into space that is millions of light years away from their destination.
i had lost a wife this way, grace was somewhere in deep space with twenty other girls who were on a night out, with a bunch of male strippers, the ship transported somewhere into deep space instead of earth. i hadn't seen her for 9 years, they had probably landed on a habitable planet and formed a community by now, these things happen.
the bartender handed me another bottle, 'hey i heard there's a ship arriving tonight.'
'may be worthwhile, your waiting for someone right?
'yeah, you know something i don't.'
'it's a small universe, news travels.'
'it's a big universe, news don't travel this far. you must know something?'
'let's just say it would be in your interests to be there.'
i take the bottle and return to my room, the hotel is falling apart, my room has a bed a table and a telephone, the cupboard door is falling off and the window is so dirty i can't see out. it has a great shower though.
i sleep through the afternoon and after a long hot shower grab my gun and wander down to the main communication port on the top floor of the building.
i ask the receptionist where the ship is due, she says it's coming in on the western pad and that i can catch a shuttle out there in about an hour. i sit down and wait.
the shuttle ride takes two hours, the red sun sinks behind the horizon, i gaze at the desert through the tinted windows. there's no one else on the shuttle, not even a driver, it's all automatic. later i see the lights in the sky, the ship is small, which is unusual i was expecting a freighter this far out, i watch it's gravity suppression as it glides down to the pad, just as we dock.
moments later my door slides open and a woman enters, it's her dr. newton, my contact.
'jesus christ newton, nice of you to show up.'
'i had considerations, i'm just glad you waited.'
'waiting is all there is here, seems like everyone on this planet is waiting.'
'yes i know, i have been here once before, it probably has not changed.'
she sits opposite me.
'someone knew you were coming, the barman told me.'
'news has a strange way of travelling.'
'it's supposed to be confidential.'
'mmm, yes well there is no confidential anymore, it only takes a good hacker and all communication systems are exposed. even confidential ones.'
'no secrets.'
'well have you got it.'
'later, i need a drink first, i've been travelling for, six years.'
we walk into the bar, i nod to the bartender who offers us a bottle.
'whiskey okay?'
'yes perfect.'
i catch up on news back home, wars, politics, tensions, and gossip, nothings really changed.
the lights are low, we've been drinking a long time, dr.newton is flirting with me, resistance is low, we amble up to the room, she showers i look at some feeds on her pdr.
before we have sex we both take a complementary bliss bomb, the universal standard aphrodisiac heightens sexual response in the brains neuro- pathways and increases dopamine circuits.
later we lay on the bed sharing a joint.
'so you want to discuss what you have.'
'yes but i need my money and i need a slot for take off, you arrange that and i'll give you the package.'
'well where does that leave me if it don't work.'
'it's not going to happen. i have the goods.'
'yes but what if you don't.'
'then you can radio the authority and have me picked up.'
'mmm, and risk myself being picked up to.'
'look it's trust and a bit of faith. i'm not going to rip you off.'
she pulls her pdr out and punches in her codes,then she passes it to me. she wants ten million credits. i look into the eye piece and the pdr runs a scan. then i punch in my codes and press transmit. i throw the machine to her.
'okay well i have time for another bliss bomb, there's no need to rush.'
'it usually doesn't cost so much,' i say wryly as i slip back under the sheet.
we head back out on the shuttle transit, she's looking out the window as the sun comes up,'looks like a desolate wasteland.'
'that's cos it is.'
'it's so barren.'
'yeah but it's strangely familiar to me, i've come to like it, it's home.'
'you know that they found some sculptures out here about 200 years ago when they first landed. build by aliens they said.'
'the archaeologists.'
'there are no aliens.'
'well some one made those sculptures and it wasn't us.'
'check the records.'
we sit in silence for a moment. then i decide to speak, it's an awkward silence.
'so what's next for you?'
'i'm disappearing somewhere nice, where they have trees.'
we dock and she hands me a small package, 'thank you. bon voyage,' i whisper.
i ride the shuttle back and open the package, it's a pdr. i activate it.
it's a video of her, 'in 3023 a small research team working on genetic plasma reproduction and nuclear medicine discovered quite by accident a way to travel through time. using a genetic coded hydra that was injected into the blood supply the recipient could travel down the genome time line on it's mothers or fathers side depending upon the sex of the recipent. that is if you wanted to go back to ancient rome you would basically follow the dna strand back to your great grandparent x 1000. while inhabiting the body your consciousness would be dominant while the host would lay dormant. the hydra lasts about 24 hours and then returns along the dna path to the present, the distance travelled depends upon the strength of the hydra. the hydra dose per incarnation is 2cc.
it's not a one way journey but one cannot travel forwards in time.
the hydra is a complex radiated protein, a hybrid pattern of molecules and viral agents. the host body remains preserved in a comatose state until the hybrid exhausts itself.'
there's a lot more, i flick through the screen, pages and pages of technical information, diagrams and charts, there's biological, chemical and neurological sections, then a massive phycological section i scan, the usual warnings and repercussions, carefully read the paradox laws of time travel.
i put the pdr down and look into the rest of the package, there it is a small sealed container, the size of a postage stamp, inside is a tiny syringe device.
upstairs i did some yoga, smoked a joint and opened the sealed container, i took out the injection tab and the dose pack attached the full 2000mg dose to the tab and placed it upon my chest.
there was a moments hesitation, 24 hours as far back as i can get, this was a small prick for me but a giant one for my kind. i plunged the needle, lay back on the bed and closed my eyes, the last thought i had was 'don't fuck the locals.'

when my eyes opened i was covered in hair, laying in what appeared to be a nest, i looked out across the horizon, i was standing high up in a canopy of trees, an old growth forest, birds flew past, the sun filtered through the branches and leaves, i was naked. 'what the fuck am i doing in a nest?' i said to no one in particular.
i climbed down, my body was about 7ft tall, my arms and legs very long and i had no fat anywhere but i also possessed a tail which seemed to swing around like a counterbalance,, it was very long and although was quite useful would take to long for me to master.
once on the surface i walked along following a trail, until i came to a clearing where a crowd of these beasts seemed to congregate. they were all rolling around laughing and some seemed to just be laying on the floor sleeping like giant sloths. i watched three or four other beasts arrive at the clearing, they ambled in and took some large purple fruit like orbs from what could be a female beast. then with a primitive straw they punctured the fruit and sucked up the fluid lat lay within, some mixed the liquid from the purple fruit with the liquid from a smaller yellow one, like a cocktail. the effect was instant, they seemed to be experiencing some form of drunkenness but their faces all smiling and looking happy. a beast approached me from behind, his arm grabbed me and pulled me into the circle, together we walked up to the female beast who offered us a purple fruit. my new friend took both of them and mixed the liquid with the yellow fruit, then he handed me the shell filled fluid. he smiled and drunk his. within seconds the eyes in his head rolled back and he swooned, falling on the floor and remaining there smiling. i took a sip, it was wonderful, i gulped it down.
there was an explosion of light, i was traveling through time, space on what appeared to be a multicoloured river of quanta, i knew everything, all memory was available, all information at my fingertips but the desire to know was non existent, i was in bliss. the river carried me, us all of us, the beasts along, we floated effortlessly and i felt at peace and in awe. i knew this was no longer time that i was in, sure i had travelled back as far as the hybrid would take me on a full dose, it must be well before the dawn of mankind, before known history, but here i had taken some other substance that had taken me out of time. an ethogenic or psychedelic experience. yet here i knew everything, i reached out for dr. newton, she seemed very close and we seemed to be able to share our thoughts.
'it's beautiful isn't it?' her voice was a soft whisper, she was not in my head but it felt like that.
'what is this?'
'it's reality, the end of time, the beginning and end of everything.'
'that's cryptic newton but i know what you mean.'
'everything you need to know is here, all the answers but here is perfect so there is no real desire to know anything.'
'heaven is a place where nothing ever happens.'
we drift in silence for a while,then on impulse i ask the quanta,' who built the structures, was it aliens.'
'no, there are no aliens, just humans.'
'did humans build them.'
'yes an early version of humanity, there's been quite a few and probably more to come.'
'evolution has no end, energy cannot be destroyed, consciousness has a velocity.'
i'm no longer interested, i'm content not to know, the answers don't mean anything anymore, i close my eyes and enjoy the silence and the bliss of perfection.
i must have stayed there for the rest of the hydra, the next thing i know i'm back in my room.
my body feels feverish, i think it may just be the residual effects of the hydra leaving my body.
i get up and head to the shower, but as i walk through the bathroom door i catch myself in the mirror.
'fuck' i scream, i 'm looking at my host body, covered in hair and with tail.'what the fuck!'
i grab the pdr and scan for side effects but there is nothing, something has gone wrong.
my tail swings from side to side and it takes me a moment to bring it to a standstill.
i search my bag for some sort of shaver but there's nothing, i know there's nothing, i know that there's nothing i can do, i know that i am trapped in this body, an ancient human prototype that is long extinct and now it's my body and i have to live the rest of my life in it.

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