Day 2: June 2, 2106
I spent the night beside Gyges. What other comfort did I have?
I told her about my experiences below, about Worldnet and Homer.
The night was warm, and very dark. It was odd not having the comforting lights of a city around me, blanching out the sky. Overhead the stars were very bright but infinitely far away. Although I had returned only a few days ago, it felt unreal I should have been out there, lost between them for so long. Memory told me I had lifted into orbit from Alice Springs and been placed into the cryofield only three weeks ago, only to awaken again approaching an earth so swiftly changed.
The curve of the dome loomed near me. Its substance warped the starlight shining through it, but revealed clearly the shadowed rectangles of ancient towers. I was only a few hundred meters from the entrance, and would have expected to see some highlights, reflections from the heavens off its glassy surface, yet it might not have been there but for that distorted starlight shining through.
I dreamed the cryofield pulled me, stretched me along the curving line light made from earth to 61 Cygni. I knew, at the same time, that I was lying on earth, watching my body thin like taffy along that line. I knew that if I completed the line from earth to the double star, I would snap, break in two, and that my two halves would wander forever in search of one another.
The cryofield was a new technology, developed in the late 1990s. Still, it was not supposed to produce such bizarre neural distortions, and I had never been one for hallucinations or even active imaginings. As I said, I've always been a loner, content with myself, concerned with what was real. As an astrophysicist, I was interested in the workings of the universe now, and not so much in questions of its origins and ultimate destiny. Such questions always seemed metaphysical to me; imaginary, even irresponsible.
But in the dream I assumed the cryofield was responsible for this eerie and somehow painful sensation. As I stretched, I screamed, and as I screamed I felt a pull to the side. My body distorted in that direction now, forming a lump or bubble, and I was pulled three ways at once.
Just before I awoke I heard the name Peter Devore.
I found myself sitting upright in full sun. To my right the dome loomed, its wall almost vertical this close.
Keywords: earth, cryofield, line, would, screamed, questions, myself, always, even, such, body, knew, along, stretched, pulled, distorted, shining, starlight, loomed, dome, felt, ago, few, about, night
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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