Clockwork 2


Jim Lantern


Clockwork Series (Category) – See list of this new series on Science Fiction Stories Page

Clockwork 1

Clockwork 2

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8.

The door at the top of the stairs, on the outer side of the wheel’s rim, was about even with one of its long spokes on the inner side. I now recall the size of the door to be about 24 feet tall, 8 feet wide. It appeared to be made of solid steel, a blue-gray in color. No doubt very heavy. I figured it would require a significant amount of strength or force to open it. There was no visible keyhole. Good thing. I had no key.

A handle, located halfway up in the center, was too high for me to reach. I then thought to myself, if I can’t open the door from the outside, maybe someone or some thing on the inside could open it for me. So I looked for a signaling device. Finding none, I tried knocking…

I doubted anyone inside could hear my bony fingers rapping on what appeared to be a solid metal door. I did not yet know that I had been transformed from matter into supermatter, as was the door and station made from supermatter.

With the lower part of my right palm, I hit it harder. Each time I hit the door, it changed . . . material, color, and size. It went through all the colors I knew, and colors I can’t describe with the Anglicus Language, or Latinae—the Mercatorian Standard Language. Apparently changing materials with each knock, the door appeared to go through various woods, stones, metals, plastics, and composite materials. As the door was reduced in size with each knock . . . handles, levers, knobs, and other opening devices appeared in different places on the door. I stopped knocking when it was down to what I figured to be about right for my size . . . and I could easily reach a wheel and lever on the door, and again what appeared to be a blue-gray metal.

I turned the unlocking wheel, then pulled down on the opening lever. There was a brief hissing sound, as if air pressure was being released from inside. Slowly, the door swung soundlessly inwards, and I was nearly blinded by brilliant white light from inside. I shielded my eyes, first with one hand, then both. Carefully, I stepped through the doorway. As I did so, I felt something like a mild electrical static discharge.

Amazingly, my eyes quickly adjusted to the light. I could see some details of things nearby. Further away, the bright light blinded out most details. Almost everything I could see was white, reflecting light.

My attention was drawn to my left by some beeping and clicking sounds. On the curving wall near to my left, the three windows—I first noticed from outside—apparently provide observers with an excellent view of the planet at the bottom of the stairs. A long curving console stood about 3 feet away from the windows. On it, I could see white control panels with many multi-colored buttons, switches, and lights.

Perhaps all an illusion for the benefit of souls coming up from the worlds of physical space, I guessed.

Sitting at the console, two odd-looking individuals pushed buttons and flipped switches, causing the sounds I heard. A third stood behind the two. They wore what appeared to be all-white jumpsuits with hooded ponchos. I was unable to see their faces yet, because of their hoods and my viewpoint. Also, I wasn’t able to determine them to be male or female, living intelligent androids—artificial humans, or perhaps some other kind of life form—physical or spiritual.

I turned around and looked toward the area right of the door through which I entered, or then left as I faced it from inside. It appeared to be a waiting area, but with no chairs. I counted 24 individuals in that area at that time. Each had two eyes of horizontal ovals, and hands with four fingers and only one thumb on each. I was seeing them with an alien memory, missing my human memories, and thus I did not at first recognize them to be humans. Some appeared to be females. Most looked like males. A few I wasn’t sure of. All wore an assortment of colorful clothing styles I wasn’t familiar with right then. Thinking back now, I’d describe them as looking like North American tourists of the early 1950’s, visiting a tropical island beach. Even so, I suspected that their clothing was an illusion, or a projection of some kind. The souls quietly talked with each other . . . a bit too quiet for me to hear. I probably wouldn’t have understood their language then even if I had been close enough to hear them. Certainly, it was not the Mercatorian Standard Language or any known Landor [“LAN-dor”] language of planet Langenth [“LAN-genth”].

As I turned back to look toward the control area, the individual who appeared to be in charge turned to face me. Its glowing orange face had only two dark spots where the eyes should be. Thinking about that now, it reminds me of an unfinished pumpkin head as an apparition for Halloween.

“For tracking arrivals.” it said to me, waving toward the left half of the curving console and the apparition in the chair there. Its hands were almost like mine, having 2 opposing thumbs on each hand, but with 5 long fingers between its thumbs. I only had 3, there, in that form, my Caeruli soul playing a reflection of my past Landor life. I wondered what that apparition had been during its past physical life, if any. “For tracking departures.” it then said, as it waved toward the right half of the console and the attendant in the chair there.

Right then, I noticed a door to the right of the windows, as I faced them from the inside. An exit, I guessed, for a separate stairway going down to the jigsaw planet, although I hadn’t noticed another stairway as I came up the one I was on.

I realized I understood what it said to me through my soul, rather then by sound waves through physical ears. But did I still have physical ears? Does my soul have ears or something like ears in superphysical form? I believe the apparition knew my thoughts a split second before I spoke them as words. I replied. “I just arrived. I do not know this place. What should I do?”

The apparition stared at me in silence a moment, then said, “You are a Caeruli, a soul in the spectrum of blue light. You should know this place very well by now. You have passed this way many times before. Come over here.”

“What is this place? Who are you?” I asked, as I walked toward it.

“This is Terrantus Station. I am known as Archaltus. I am a senior dirigen angel.” It spoke it as “diri-gen” and explained, “I’m a directional controller for souls and spirits passing through buffer-space at this station. Waving again toward the other two, it said, “They are junior dirigen angels. Venire, on the left, oversees arrivals from the planet you just came from. Janitus, on the right, oversees departures of new souls passing through this station to that same planet.”

“Mirandus.” I said.

“No, you mean… Ah yes. The Mirandian timeline.” Archaltus said, as if there were other timelines—alternate histories, and as if the planet is known by other names. “Come over here, closer—right here.” It indicated the area between the left end of the console and the entry door. There, stood a cylindrical-shaped terminal, about a foot in diameter and about four feet tall. I could see a slot on top of the terminal. It was about a quarter inch by four inches. A slightly raised black rectangle, about four by eight inches, was also on top, in front of the slot.

“Look closely into this sensor.” Archaltus requested, using a long finger of its right hand to indicate the black rectangle.

I leaned forward, over the terminal, and looked into the sensor. It apparently had something to do with the eyes of the soul being matched to internal data being used for identification. As I straightened up, a card was halfway ejected out of the slot. It was about three by seven inches, and an eighth of an inch thick, I guessed. The senior dirigen angel removed it, and then silently read it.

“This card identifies you here. It is your passport through this station.” Then it studied the ID card closer, and asked me, “By what name do you now identify yourself?”

“Mutarus Tempus Omnia, originally from the planet named—”

“Langenth. Yes, I see. Is Mutarus Tempus Omnia the last name you remember using?”

“Except for the frontier initial name. My fin was MOT. The family name always being the middle initial. The use of fins were a humorous fad on capital planet Citra. Like nicknames.”

“Do you remember how you died?” Archaltus asked.

“During the Bracatus Mirandus Expedition. After the mutiny aboard Star Ship Providence. After the star ship fell from orbit and was destroyed. Some, who were already at an established land base, before the mutiny, tried to survive there. But supplies would become depleted. Breathing masks used to filter that planet’s pollen out of the air, deadly for Mercatorians, would get used up. And not enough chlorine gas in the atmosphere there to maintain our immune systems. No rescue would come from the home planets of the Mercatorians or any of the colony planets of the Interstar Trading Worlds. I was on a mission with others to deliver the master time capsule to an area of land near the magnetic north pole of the planet, where we were to bury it. The scout craft, a kind of aircraft I was aboard, exploded and crashed into the ice-cold water of a sea before reaching our destination. I don’t know what caused the explosion. I was briefly conscious in the water . . . then . . . ”

“That is when your Mercatorian life ended.” Archaltus said, and then asked, “What happened after that?”

“I awakened on the stairs,” I pointed, “out there.”

“Out there is buffer-space, the Shield of Heaven, sometimes referred to as the hellfield by Mirandians who have Viridi souls—in the spectrum of green light. The organic life forms of the physical worlds cannot pass through it without burning up, unless properly shielded.” Archaltus reminded me.

“Shielded starships . . . and the use of FireEmeralds.” I recalled. “Buffer-space. A much faster route for starships than through normal space. Six hundred and sixty-six times faster. In normal physical space our interstar trading ships and star ships could travel up to one tenth of the speed of light. Multiply that times 666 for the speed through buffer-space.”

“The Mercatorian expedition to that world down there was a very long time ago. You have no memory of where you have been since then?”

“Apparently not.” I answered.

Archaltus walked over to Venire, who handed the senior dirigen angel another card. Archaltus read the card, and then spoke to me. “The door scanned you when you entered Terrantus Station. That, which is you, your superconscious mind, still exist within your Caeruli soul. You also have what is known as an indwelling spirit, which functions apart from your soul and superconscious mind therein. Apparently, it has removed your memories, of the time from when you died as a Landor from Langenth, to the time you awakened upon the stairway in the Mirandian corridor. The memories of when your soul was first incarnated into Mirandian life, and reincarnations since then, are not presently within you.”

“Why not?” I wanted to know.

Archaltus walked over to a panel on the curving console, midway between arrivals and departures. There, the senior dirigen angel inserted my ID card into a slot. A few seconds passed. Then Archaltus removed the card and read on it some new data that had just been added to it.

“Those memories were taken by your indwelling spirit to the Most High Judges for review . . . to determine if you should be reincarnated again, or be allowed to return to your home world to ascend into the Realm of Heaven from there with other Caeruli souls. If you are reincarnated again, then your personal indwelling spirit may return to join with your superconscious mind in your soul for another physical lifetime. If you ascend, then it will merge with you, as the first spiritual evolutionary step toward becoming an angelic being . . . and you certainly will then remember the key points of most of your past lives. If permitted, such memories can and will be allowed to surface during physical life reincarnations. Meantime, you will remain here, until we receive the determination on the communications link from the Most High Judges.” Archaltus explained.

“How long will that be?” I inquired.

“I do not know.” Archaltus answered. “An auxilum angel is coming to help you, and might be able to answer that.”

“What’s an auxilum angel?” I asked.

“An angelic being whose job will be to help you.” Archaltus told me. “Stand over there.” it pointed. “With those Viridi souls.” The senior dirigen angel handed me my ID card, to be used as a passport. “Don’t lose that. You’ll need it for your departure, one way or the other.”

I held the card in my left hand . . . not sure my pockets were real.

I was about to walk over to the waiting area, just as something got the attention of the dirigen angels in the control area for the nearest spoke, as well as the group of Viridi souls in the waiting area. I looked to where everyone else was looking.

A glowing sphere of blue light, about 4 feet in diameter, with a multi-colored fan-like assembly on its apparent backside, floating about 4 feet above the deck, approached us from the archway opening to the nearest spoke concourse. It stopped a few feet away from me.

“Is this a auxilum angel?” I asked Archaltus.

“No. It is a triangel—a Trinity Angel—having elements of the Ma, the Pa, and the Xe [pronounced Ze], the short terms for the Great Maternal Spirit, the Great Paternal Spirit, and the Holy Life Spirit.”

Suddenly, the sphere turned into an almost Mirandian-looking creature in appearance, but was still enveloped in a glowing blue light. “Greetings from the Ambassador to Mirandus from the Realm of Heaven, who has sent me.” the triangel said with a feminine voice I felt more than heard.

“Greetings Architritia.” Archaltus replied.

Its facial features became more feminine, defined by eyes, nose, and mouth, visible through the open hood of its single-piece garment of a light blue material.

“Welcome.” Archaltus added, “How may we serve you?”

“I’m here to collect the Caeruli soul known by the Mercatorian name of Mutarus Tempus Omnia.” Architritia announced.

“Unusual for a Trinity Angel to be sent to collect a soul, even for a Caeruli soul.” Archaltus remarked.

“I’m Mutarus Tempus Omnia.” I said, and took a step forward.

“The Ambassador to Mirandus requests to immediately meet with you, MOT.” the triangel informed me, informally addressing me by my fin. It surprised me that it knew of the popular nickname fad on planet Citra. Using it gave me the impression of a meeting that would be more personal than professional.

“Does this mean I’m going to be sent back to planet Mirandus, or sent home to the Interstar Trading Worlds of the Mercatorian Empire?” I wanted to know.

“Mirandus. Ah yes. The Mirandian timeline. You don’t know…” Architritia paused, then said, “It is my understanding you may have an option.” The triangel paused, then turned to Archaltus and said, “The window of opportunity is limited.” Then to me, “We must hurry.”

“Pray some time for explanation.” Archaltus requested.

“Very well.” Architritia responded. “Marea Amor Exsequor, or Omnia if you prefer.” Architritia spoke to me instead of Archaltus. “Do you understand, MOT?”

“Yes.” I answered, “My wife. Where is she?”

“It is my understanding, that is the subject the Ambassador wishes to speak to you about. Marea was reincarnated on . . . Mirandus . . . for one final life there, just a few hours before you arrived here.” Architritia paused again, glanced toward Archaltus to exchange a kind of look, and then gave me the rest of the news. “I’m informed the Most High Judges have just cleared you for ascension to the First Spirit World for spiritual evolutionary progressions. You may now return to the Interstar Trading Worlds to join and ascend with other Caeruli souls who have also been approved for ascension.”

“Not without Marea Amor.” I said.

“The Ambassador anticipated your words. He informed me, that because of your spiritual marriage to Marea Amor, you may have the option to join your soulmate on  . . . planet Mirandus . . . for one final reincarnation.” Architritia reported. “Even so, the Ambassador has requested to speak to you before you decide to proceed with that option.”

“Very well,” I replied, “But what is there to speak of?”

Archaltus stepped forward to answer for Architritia. “There will be some risk. You might spend a lifetime there, and never find her. You could cross paths with her and not know it is her.”

“I would know.” I disagreed.

“There is a way . . . a mission.” Architritia said.

“Take me to the Ambassador.” I told the triangel.

“This way.” Architritia said to me, and turned toward the primary curving concourse of the station’s wheel.

I said farewell to the dirigen angels. They waved a reply. Archaltus called to me, “You’ll be back this way if you accept a mission.”

I began to follow the blue triangel. We turned to the right, into the primary outer concourse of the station, which curved to our left in the far distance, heading counter-clockwise around the wheel…

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