Graham Smith's Science-Fiction Blog
The Love Dart
21st August 2013
They had a new, lethal weapon: the love dart. This cunning creation slipped past SLs and implants for as long as it took to seduce the victim into not wanting rescue. Earlier that evening the management of the auditorium had pleaded with the more responsible Marleeseen to refrain from using the love darts during the evening’s performance ? Meeko did not realize how near she had come to circumventing this. This arrangement, however, did not extend to Rahhoon’s party; the Marleeseen were there with serious and energetic intent.
They flew all over the place, their wings moving rapidly in a frenzy of anticipation, obviously getting the lie of the land before attacking. Many partygoers ran for cover whilst others waited for the inevitable, no one seemed particularly disturbed. ‘Oh bring them on, the little darlings,’ Meeko exclaimed.
Harmony thought she recognized Maleena, her childhood Marleeseen friend. ‘Hey, is that you Maleena? Oh it is, you naughty thing. What are you planning?’
Maleena turned and hovered over Harmony, smiling sweetly.
‘Harmony sweetest thing, do you know what I bring, do not ask me why or who, here is a love dart for you!’
It hit Harmony squarely in the chest. She became thoughtful for a few seconds and then turned to Voreesh who happened to be standing beside her. ‘Vor,’ she said. ‘You have always been the one, you know that don’t you?’
‘What do you mean by the one?’ Voreesh said, backing away.
‘The one I truly love.’
‘But I’ve got Monomay!’
‘I don’t care,’ Harmony said with dreamy acceptance. ‘I will wait, I will wait for as long as it takes, forever if needs be. Hold me, oh Vor, hold me!
‘Help! Monomay help me, Harmony gone crazy!’
‘I’m only crazy for you my love. I’m just a girl crazy for a boy called Voreesh!’ With that, Harmony flung her arms around him.
‘Hey, hands off, that’s my boyfriend you’ve got there.’ Monomay had arrived on the scene.
‘I know, I know,’ Harmony cried. ‘I’ll share him with you, I don’t care, I’m willing to share him, and I don’t care.’
‘Well I do; hands off my man!’ Monomay shouted.
‘But don’t you see I love you too, we can be together always.’
Monomay didn’t see the love dart. It came from above, entering her crown and travelling down her spine. She simply melted into Harmony’s arms. ‘Oh darling, it is you, so beautiful. May I rest forever in your bosom?’
‘Monomay, oh Monomay, words forsake me!’
Harmony and Monomay sank onto the grass gazing into each other’s eyes
‘Voreesh! What’s happening?’ Voreesh spun round. It was Omigali.
‘Omi,’ Voreesh said. ‘I’ve always wanted to tell you about my experience with temporal lag. You are the only one I know who will listen and understand me.’
‘Oh Voreesh, my darling Vor, of course I’ll listen!’
Voreesh and Omigali sat down together on a mound of grass. They looked into each other’s eyes and Voreesh began a long detailed analysis on the nature of temporal lag, touching on quantum mechanics, quantum gravity, and the speculative theory of the Infinity Drive. Omigali understood everything, from time to time stroking his face and saying, ‘you are so clever, so, so clever, dearest Voreesh.’
Meanwhile, Rahhoon was talking to Evangeline over by her horses, checking on safety precautions. When the love darts hit them, it did not have a great effect on Rahhoon; as a Master Teacher of the Song, he tended to take unconditional love in his stride. However, he did allow Evangeline to sit on his knee after they had reached a small seat near the horses.
‘Rahhoon,’ Evangeline said dreamily, stroking his beard and resting her head on his shoulder, ‘can I ask you a personal question? Have you ever thought of having a relationship with someone very much younger than you, someone for example, aged sixteen?’
‘Well, the last time I had a relationship with someone of sixteen was when I was myself sixteen, maybe seventeen,’ Rahhoon replied.
‘Oh Rahhoon, that is such a sweet answer. That’s why I love you so much. It’s answers like that. Oh you are so wonderful!’ Evangeline was in ecstasy. ‘Rahhoon, dearest Rahhoon, can I ask you another question, would you at least be my special grandpa? I don’t mind sharing you with your other grandchildren.’
Rahhoon decided that his best course of action was to say nothing.
‘Look, wondrous Rahhoon, there’s Pol,’ Evangeline said. ‘Did you know that I love Pol.? He’s a bit young for me now, but I’m happy to wait. I’ll even share him with that Rann girl Rakku if I have to. By the way, who’s that girl with blue skin in his arms?’
‘That’s Leelamboo or something like that. She is a friend of Rakku’s and is visiting from Rayneard’s Globular Cluster.’
‘What is it with these girls from Rayneard’s Globular Cluster? They are all so good looking and sexy.’
‘But you are a lovely girl, also. You must not feel inferior to them. You have a most beautiful nature.’
‘I don’t want a beautiful nature, I want to look sexy and gorgeous like Rakku and Raymar and that girl with the blue skin.’
A short distance from Pol and his blue-skinned siren were Rakku and Raymar. They had locked themselves into each other’s arms and were talking softly. Raymar had not been to the Dance performance, as she did not have the patience to sit through hours of dance, but she had a tremendous nose for parties. Rahhoon and Leela had overlooked inviting her, but she had attached herself to someone who had.
‘Raymar,’ Rakku was saying, ‘we should not be in competition, you, and me, because we are the same. I can look past your gorgeous, lovely, and stunning superficial self to your true nature.’
‘And I can see past your sexy, attractive, elegant, self to the real you, which I find so exquisite. Oh Holy Mother I love you so!’
Meeko Mako Ma had collapsed under another pile of kissing Marleeseen as if she were involved in some ancient contact sport. ‘Oh I’ve had enough of this kissing, where’s that gorgeous Limbardin! It’s not fair! Get me out of here someone!’ But no one was there to get her out. She was a victim of her own outspokenness. Try as she might the Marleeseen kissers were like a black hole from which there was no escape.
The party was now quiet as the love experience took complete hold. The Marleeseen spared no one, except the young children who had enormous fun watching their parents and teachers behaving absurdly. Some of the more spiritually developed people, such as His Holiness Hakinadouus, Anakaran and Rahhoon, were able to respond with some degree of dignity, or so they thought. The whole thing would only last a few minutes more. The love darts were not designed to last long, they were purely recreational, a party distraction. Gradually people would emerge, and soon the party would be back to normal with everybody laughing about the whole thing and pretending they couldn’t remember what had happened.
Scenes from a Perfect World Part 3
26th February 2013
People flew out of Rahhoon's outrageously high jump booths, clutching children and glasses, and screaming with delight as the invisible antigrav devices lowered them slowly to the ground. Rahhoon and Leela welcomed all with open arms. An uninvited Marleeseen orchestra was providing euphoric party music. Evangeline, assisted by her friend Macklebrew, had set up a horse riding attraction that enthusiastic children had already discovered. The general atmosphere was as if nobody had seen anybody for at least a hundred years. Chitchat flourished, and enmeshed in this was the eternal gossip and teacher of Dance Meeko Ma and her faithful but lively companion Lal.
'I do like a little indulgence, from time to time,' Meeko was saying.
'From time to time!' Lal said with mock disbelief.
'Well, maybe a bit more than that. My saying is this, excuse the oxymoron, but I do enjoy a bit of moderate excess.' Everybody laughed, except Lal who had heard it hundreds of times before.
'Rahhoon,' Meeko went on. 'Have you not invited those devilish Marleeseen, apart from that little group playing music?'
'No need to, dearest Meeko, they don't need invitations. They consider themselves invited to everything. I must say that they have been quite restrained so far this evening, which means they have something in store for this party. So fear not, and watch out, the Marleeseen are coming.'
'Oh good,' Meeko said. 'I'm so glad, they are such intriguing creatures!'
Omigali, Anakaran, and His Holiness Hakinadouus arrived into a supplementary, extremely high jump booth and required a long descent on an invisible antigrav platform. The platform was completely safe, even for toddlers, but vertigo suffers found that difficult to believe. 'Oh that outrageously naughty Rahhoon! What a party prank!' Anakaran said as they approached the ground. Omigali jumped quickly off the platform and, responding to beckoning from Monomay, rushed over to join her new friends.
Everybody was having a hilarious time being entertained by Pol and Voreesh who were manifesting a sitcom using caricatures of their teachers. They had created this show all by themselves, using a technology housed in two small rectangular objects, which they held in their hands. These rectangular objects, of course, were unnecessary, as the drama they housed was a non-locality programme, which their implants could have controlled. In fact, all the children present had microdot implants which had infinite capacity. From these implants, they were able to project images of people and things, talk to, manifest each other across the other side of Salvation, access information of any kind, and watch entertainment holos. Furthermore, these implants were highly flexible with enormous capacity for innovation. They set up numerous symbiotic relationships with fundamental neurological structures and lined up with intuition, imagination, and creativity, and even shaped telepathy in those who wanted it. They also formed an important function in facilitating the workings of the second level biological functions well developed in the children.
When Pol and Voreesh had perfected their malicious little game, they would either keep it in their implants or discard it. Importantly, on the other hand, there was also pleasure in actually holding a game device in the hand. They could decorate it, attached it to their person as an attractive accessory, and swap it with other games devices. Another attraction was that someone else could play your game in your head, and what is more, two or more people could play each other. This was something immensely enjoyed by people in their teens. Rakku, for example, was highly skilled at this type of play and famous for her intriguing dramas.
Omigali sat down beside Sool who, following her performance had quickly linked up with her friends. During a lull in the teacher-comedy, Omigali turned to Sool and introduced herself.?
'I know you must be tired of compliments, but your dancing was wonderful. I shall never forget it. You dance for all of us!'
'Thank you Omi,' Sool accepted the compliment gracefully. 'From you that is a compliment indeed.'
Suddenly an army of Marleeseen swooped down from the sky like a swarm of insects, their intention to seek out ruthlessly every person at the party. Except for young children, there would be no mercy and no prisoners.
hey had a new, lethal weapon: the love dart.
Scenes from a Perfect World Part 2
7th February 2013
A low hum filled the air, indicating the end of the interval. Gradually, people returned to their seats. It was a slow process. For anyone anxious to see the second half it would have been a time of great frustration. Indeed, anyone of that persuasion would have been advised to stay away from the evening's live performance altogether and watch the whole thing later on holo. This was because the interval was of supreme importance for the audience, for many more important even than the performance itself. Intervals in Glory Town sometimes lasted for hours, in some cases much, much longer - there was even anecdotal evidence of intervals lasting for days, resulting in the complete cancellation of the second half. 'Do you know it was a wonderful show, but we never got passed the interval?' The Marleeseen were often at least partly to blame for this. Not this evening, however, as everyone knew of Rahhoon's party, for which the Marleeseen were saving the happy mayhem they planned to bestow.
Omigali joined her parents who welcomed her back to her seat.
His Holiness Hakinadouus and Anakaran were taking great pleasure in seeing their daughter so happy. They had sometimes been concerned that her precocious spirituality and academic prowess would exclude her from friendships and normal social interactions with other young people. To see that this was not the case was most reassuring, not that they were ever personally concerned with Omigali's social skills. They retained a high opinion of whatever she did, and she had never been a difficult child -- her version of teenage rebellion had been to watch too many holos of The Never Ending Dance. But they knew that she longed to be normal. To be a Voice was a great responsibility, one could almost say a burden. To see that she could relax and enjoy friendships and indulge in teenage activities and pleasures pleased them greatly.
A low hum began to pulse in the air about them and a hush fell over the auditorium. Once again, the lights went out and all was dark. Then, gradually, there emerged a forest scene with accompanying bird songs, the sound of rustling leaves, and the faint smell of flowers and greenery. Soft music began to move and drift like a dream through the audience. It was a new sound, something not heard so far during the evening, an extraordinary keyboard sound. A girl stood amongst the trees, bathed in translucent light. She wore a plain white dress that offset her long, jet-black hair. She began to move, a graceful ensemble of arms, legs and body, enfolded in her flowing hair, movements like the trees that surrounded the auditorium, succumbing to every whim of breeze, yet elastic and tender. Her face, intent, yet enraptured, reflected her own wonder at the inner dance that moved through her. Tears came to the eyes of many as they witnessed this expression of innocence supported by elegant deportment. The Song spoke through her, the Voice that spoke through Omigali, also spoke through her, through dance and movement. This was indeed a prayer of thanksgiving.
When it was over Omigali turned to her parents. 'That's Sool,' she whispered. 'She is the greatest of her generation.'
Scenes from a Perfect World
1st February 2013
As the overture of evocation came to an end complete darkness invaded the auditorium. No one stirred or made a sound. Silence pervaded. Then, after what felt like an eternity, a light appeared centre stage, opaque and fragile to begin with, but gradually growing stronger. Encased in this shimmering light was the figure of a man. It was of extraordinary beauty, of divine and angelic proportions; it was Limbardin. Omigali gasped as her hands went to her face. She was elated, never had she seen such beauty. Rapturous applause now swept the hall in recognition of this great dancer. He began to move, slowly building speed, sweeping from one side of the stage to the other, entwined and complimented by other performers who little by little entered the arena.
The story, played out against a backdrop of stunning, astronomical scenery, was a simple one of love found, lost and found again, although with sadness. An explorer ship had landed on an undeveloped planet somewhere in one of the dwarf satellite galaxies. The second in command, which was the lead male role danced by Limbardin, falls in love with a female being from this planet and the seemingly insurmountable odds against this working form the basis of the story. But the real story was the Dance, the skill of the performers and the breathtaking choreography.
Omigali was spell bound throughout the first half of the performance. Sitting on the edge of her seat, never once did her eyes leave the wondrous form of Limbardin.
When the interval came, she was ready for refreshment and social interaction. Leaving her parents to their own social devices, she grabbed a drink from a passing Marleeseen waitress and made her way down to Monomay and Voreesh.
Monomay came to greet her and gave her a hug. Isn't he gorgeous?
'Thank you very much,' Voreesh said ironically, coming along side.
'Not you, silly,' Monomay told him. Then to Omigali, 'he gets so jealous!'
'Oh, I don't blame him. Limbardin is divine!' Omigali raised her eyes to the heavens as if in prayer. Voreesh was obviously tempted to walk away in disgust at this girl hysteria over the male lead, but managed not to out of courtesy for their new friend.
'Let me introduce you,' Monomay led Omigali to meet her little group. 'Hey you lot, this is Omigali! She is a new friend and - guess what? - it's her birthday!
Monomay's friends, with the exception of one of the girls, came up and crowded round Omigali, wishing her a happy birthday.
'This creature here with the hair is Harmony. This is Pol, the million to one chancer. That is Rakku Pol's dream girl from Rayneard's Globular Cluster; and that is Scarleen from one of the satellite galaxies; and he is a shape shifter.
'We can hear all this whispering you know,' Rakku said, from her seat a few metres away. 'Hi Omigali, I'm Rakku and I'm nobody's dream.'
'But I am a shape shifter, Omigali,' Scarleen kissed Omigali's hand. 'As a birthday present, would you like me to shift to the flavour of the day: Limbardin?'
'Behave Scarleen,' Monomay said. 'Omigali is not used to your peculiar ways.'
'But I am offering a dream come true.'
'He has a strange sense of humour, or whatever,' Monomay said. 'Don't let it put you off. He is harmless.'
'Harmless! What an insult. I would have you know, I am a very dangerous person. People fall in my comet tail.'
Omigali laughed. She was enjoying herself.
Harmony and Pol drew near to Omigali. 'Omi,' Harmony said. 'Will you be at Rahhoon's party after the performance?'
'Yes,' Omigali said. 'My parents and I have been invited.'
They all knew that Omigali was the daughter of His Holiness Hakinadouus, but equally recognized that she wanted people to regard her as a person in her own right. They had heard tales of her spiritual and academic abilities and it was obvious she did not want to show these off in front of them.
'It would be great if you could join us at the party. We plan to have lots of fun and we plan to escape from the adults, maybe visit friends the Zanasareen.'
'Who are the Zanasareen?' Omigali asked.
'Actually...they are an alien species from a distant galaxy that Rahhoon hosts.' Harmony said, importantly. 'I have a special friend amongst them called Wop. She can walk through people. It's awesome. She is very strange but amazing fun, And walkthrough is just for starters. I have special permission of course as an ambassador for Salvationkind to introduce my friends.'
'She took me there two years ago, without permission and got into terrible trouble.' Pol said.
'But it's different now that I'm older,' Harmony lied.
Rakku came and stood beside Pol. Omigali cast an admiring eye over her exotic loveliness. 'Happy birthday, Omigali,' Rakku said.
Of all the youngsters, Rakku was the least likely to be impressed by Omigali. The people from her planet tended to be unimpressed by spiritual matters, and she regarded other girls, as a potential threat to her claim on Pol, not that Omigali with her enormous eyes and her hair in bunches was a threat. Then Rakku regarded the geeky, horse loving Evangeline with suspicion.
To be continued...
Spirituality, Mysticism and the Worlds At Risk Series
18th January 2013
I remember when I saw Ben-Hur how impressed I was by the story of Jesus of Nazareth running quietly alongside the general narrative. Here was an exciting story involving adventure, political intrigue, action, and excitement, yet something came in from different angle, a parallel, transcendent story, a message of peace and hope. Despite the cheesy Hollywood thing, I was moved, not because it was Christian, but because it spoke of another possibility running across the storyline of human suffering and conflict.
I wanted to write a story in which that voice of hope, that non-dualistic vision of love, ran across a narrative of action, adventure, and drama. In At Risk... A Perfect World, the figure of Omigali represents an alternative consciousness that is nevertheless - and this is important - part of the vicissitudes and friendship dynamics of normal life.
One of my favourite writers is Katherine Mansfield. Shortly before her early death in Fontainebleau near Paris, she talked a lot with the writer A. R. Orage and expressed ideas for a new way of approaching writing: to portray virtue and innocence as exciting, daring, attractive, and romantic; and the opposite as dull, conventional and unattractive.
This is what I am after. I do not pretend to be a Katherine Mansfield. All I want to do is to make that vision an ingredient in my own writing, like a secret, background gene that nudges forward and is gently heard.
To do this within a context of high-octane drama is radical. My hope is that there are some with whom it resonates.