Homer would say no more about Peter and the others, about the Migration and the Portal. I could still speak to him whenever I wanted. He would converse with me as if we were old friends seated around a table. He would tell me stories, too, familiar stories about Odysseus and Achilles, about Gilgamesh or Leopold Bloom or Monkey. They were wonderful stories, but they only increased my pain, my loneliness. Finally I asked him to stop telling me stories altogether. When we conversed after that we talked about the cetaceans, who are still not interested in going into space, and still think humans are a little silly for wanting to do so, but who also appear more interested than before when told the story of the Migration. Homer has condensed and translated the story, and the cetaceans have said that this story has some parallels with songs they have sung for millenia.
Homer is a friend. He understands my loneliness and fear, and feels it himself. There is nothing either of us can think of to do, however. The world remains empty.
I query the other dataspaces, through the keyboard or orally, and the local AIs respond. SciTech, Med10, History, Geography, all would give me what I request. But I learn nothing further about Peter, about the Migration or the Portal. Nothing.
Homer left me only with that question, that thread of hope. Yet that hope seemed so remote, so far away. Do human beings remain in their bodies? Will they return? We do not know.
Then, one day, almost a month after he finished the story of Peter and the Migration, he spoke of it again.
Keywords: about, story, stories, migration, would, homer, nothing, peter, hope, think, interested, who, cetaceans, loneliness, portal
All text © 1986 Rob Swiggart. "Portal : A Dataspace Retrieval" is available courtesy of the Author's Guild Backprint Programme. ISBN: 0595197841All programming and software © 2002 Salim Fadhley. Released under the GPL. Code available on request.
Updated: Sun Apr 14 2002
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