Clockwork 3

LANTERN TIMEGLASS JOURNAL

Jim Lantern

time-space

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

Clockwork 1Clockwork 2

Clockwork 3

“When you get to the end of all the light you know and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.” ― Edward Teller.

We walked until we came to another T junction, being another spoke of the wheel connected to the outer concourse from the center hub to our left. We were stopped there by another triangel. It remained in the form of a sphere. It was enveloped in a glowing red light, instead of blue like Architritia.

“Greetings, Falycia.” Architritia said to the Trinity Angel, “This soul is Mutarus Tempus Omnia. I’m taking him to meet with the Ambassador to Mirandus, as requested.”

“Mirandus? You mean…” it paused, then said, “No, Architritia. Your assignment has just been changed by Magister Navarchus dux Princeps of the Caeruli Lumen Ordo.” Falycia announced with a scratchy, hissing, feminine kind of voice. “You are to immediately return to the Viridi souls receiving port to be a guide for expected important arrivals. Their identities are not known to me.” the red triangel informed the blue triangel.

“I’ll have to confirm—” Architritia began.

“The order.” Falycia said, and delivered a card to Architritia by means of some kind of force that was invisible.

“I see.” Architritia confirmed after reading the order on the card.

Falycia turned to me then and said, “The Ambassador to Mirandus is no longer on Terrantus Station. He has just been sent on an emergency mission down to Mirandus. You are to meet with the Ambassador on Mirandus in your present form. I must take you to a special departure port for that.”

“Very well.” I agreed.

“Farewell, MOT.” Architritia said to me. Then she turned back into a glowing sphere of blue light, and moved back around the long curving concourse in the direction we just came from.

“Have you your passport ID card?” Falycia asked me.

“Yes.” I answered, “Lead the way.”

The red triangel began gliding fast in the direction Architritia and I had been walking in. I hurried to catch up and follow Falycia, who remained in the form of a sphere, rather than to take a form with legs and walk.

“What kind of a soul produces a red triangel?” I inquired.

“A soul in the spectrum of red light.” Falycia gave me the idiot’s answer, and then added, “I’m a Cimexiren.” As if that explained everything.

I was just about to ask her what in buffer-space a Cimexiren is, and what part of the galaxy they hail from, when we came to another junction. I wondered why Falycia, as a triangel, referred to being a Cimexiren in the present tense, instead of her past, as I looked around the corner.

“I was a Sanguis Lactan of the Sanguis Empire, from the home world known to my kind as Sanguis-terre. Names and terms you would not have been familiar with during your time as a Landor from planet Langenth.” Falycia surprised me with the answer, as if she could read my mind. “Mercatorians did not know our language.” she explained, and then glided on around the corner to my left. “Many things you do not know, or remember yet.”

I could see that the junction did not lead to one of the primary spokes of the Terrantus Station wheel . . . being too short, narrow, and sloped up at an angle of about 30 degrees. Next to the opening, to the left as I looked into the corridor, I noticed a short pillar, and a slot on top of it. I guessed it to be another passport terminal. The departure ports apparently do not have terminals with sensors for the matching of eyes to data in the ID system, I concluded. Only a passport card is needed.

“Give me your passport.” Falycia requested.

“Here.” I said. She received it and handled it with some kind of an invisible limb and hand or force I was not familiar with. Then Falycia inserted the card into the slot on top of the terminal pillar.

“Home is rarely what we remember.” she remarked. “Are you ready?”

I found her odd remark to be somewhat disturbing. In answer to being ready, I replied, “Yes.” Then in reply to her remark, I said, “But that planet, Mirandus, is not my home, anyway.”

She made no further comment on that subject.

I asked, “What do I do now?”

“Proceed up this junction. Walk in the middle of the ramp. Do not touch the sidewalls of the corridor. Proceed to the window at the end. There a SlipField wave will pick you up and carry you to your destination.” Falycia told me.

I took a few steps into the junction corridor. Then I felt a force upon me, pulling me up the ramp toward the window. It was larger than a normal Mercatorian Landor or Mirandian door or window, about 12 feet by 12 feet. No glass in the so-called window. Where glass would have been, I could see a barely visible shimmering force field of some kind. Beyond the window, I could see stars, as viewed from within buffer-space. As I moved up the ramp, closer to the window, changing my angle of perspective, a brilliant light became visible, apparently coming from something below the horizon of the bottom window frame even with the top of the ramp. As I walked on further, the light source took on the shape of flames! As that certainly frightened me, just a bit, I began to wonder where Falycia intended to send me.

“This doesn’t look like the way to Mirandus!” I shouted, as I tried to resist the force pulling me toward the window. “Is that the Lake of Fire?” I remembered its description from a book about the Common Faith of Mercatorians.

Falycia did not reply, but I thought I sensed a brief smirk.

“Wait! MOT!” someone shouted to me, “Don’t go that way!”

As I tried to resist the pulling force, I tried to see who had called to me. Just then, Falycia was shoved out of the way. I could see the voice belonged to a Caeruli soul, creating the image illusion of having been part Aviacael from planet Skylor, and part Landor from planet Langenth . . . a man who has wings on his back, but none on his legs. Full-blooded Aviacaels have both, you know. His face looked familiar, but for that brief moment I didn’t recall his name, or from where and when I knew him.

“Who are you?” I asked him, “What’s happening?”

“Vixere Navis Atern.” he told me his full Landor name.

That caused an instant memory flash. “I remember you now.” An old friend, and he was like an older brother to Marea Amor although not related. “Do you know the present location of Marea Amor?” I wanted to know.

“Approximately.” Vixere answered, as he removed my passport ID card from the terminal, deactivating the force pulling me toward the window.

“Can you take me to her?” I asked him.

“She has just been reincarnated on Earth for one final life in human form.” Vixere told me. “The only way you can see her now is if you are also reincarnated again on Mirandus.”

“Earth? Human? I only remember that planet as Mercatorian. I don’t have memories of any past Mirandian lives. I was told my indwelling spirit took those memories to be reviewed by the Most High Judges.” I reported. “I expected to go down to Mirandus to meet with the Ambassador to Mirandus, in present form, and then be reincarnated. I don’t believe I should have to go through flames to get there.” I said and waved toward the window behind me.

“Right.” Vixere confirmed, “That’s not the way to Mirandus. Not the way to Earth. It is known as Earth by its present human inhabitants. As for the Ambassador to Earth from the Realm of Heaven…”

I turned to Falycia and asked, “Where were you sending me?”

She remained silent, and in the form of a glowing red sphere, but shifted to a darker shade of red and a position closer to the deck.

“It was trying to trick you.” Vixere said. “It remains in the form of a sphere so you’ll not recognize what it is . . . a demon Teznite!”

“Not true!” Falycia protested, “My spirit has been redeemed and born again! I’m a Trinity Angel now!”

“Lucifer and Satan were Trinity Angels.” Vixere remarked, “And, yes, I do know that some Teznite spirits have joined the Realm of Heaven. I see, however, you are not escorted, which is still not lawful, as the probation on Teznite spirits has not yet been lifted. I’m well informed about evil spiritual forces planning to revive the old Lucifer Revolt. I assure you, any attempt they make will fail.”

Before Falycia could reply, another Caeruli soul came running fast around the corner from the main concourse. A Landor, like me. I walked down the ramp, and stood at the passport terminal. When Falycia looked at the new arrival, she backed off a few feet toward the ramp, as if significantly frightened by someone she recognized and had a really bad encounter with at some point in the past.

This is Proximus Etiam Orbis, who was a Landor from Langenth.” Vixere introduced him to me. I barely remembered him. I recalled we shared an interest in architecture, and he worked with me as his apprentice in electronics repair aboard Star Ship Providence.

Using his fin—frontier initial name, Vixere asked him, “What happened, POE?”

“I couldn’t recover our passports.” POE answered. “Station security spirits are about to take a strong interest in our activities.”

“What are you doing?” Falycia demanded to know.

“Silence!” POE shouted, and knocked Falycia up the ramp a few feet, like hitting a large beach ball. “Greetings, MOT.” he said to me. Then he asked Vixere, “Can we use MOT’s passport to get us off of Terrantus?”

“Perhaps . . . if we pass through the exit port to Earth at exactly the same moment. Very critical clockwork.” Vixere answered. “There is a way we can find out if his passport can be used for other souls, or spirits, or triangels.”

“Understood.” POE replied, as Vixere looked toward Falycia and then began to put the card back into the terminal.

You will not get away with this!” Falycia shouted.

POE rushed forward and slammed his superphysical soul into the superphysical red sphere of the triangel, knocking it halfway up the ramp. Then, with the card in the terminal, the activated exit force pulled Falycia the rest of the way up the ramp, then on out through the window. Her spirit vanished into the flickering light.

“Appears to work.” POE observed. “Let’s go.”

“What happened to your passports?” I asked them, as I followed them around into the main concourse corridor curving to our right.

“Long story.” Vixere replied. “No time to explain right now.”

We ran back to the Mirandian corridor control area. I mean . . . the Earth corridor.

Architritia, and the Viridi souls who had arrived from Mirandus—Earth, were no longer in the Mirandian—human corridor receiving area. The dirigen angels were still at their workstations. Some new Viridi souls, apparently having just arrived on Terrantus Station from their creation in the Realm of Heaven, brought in through the hub port, had lined up at the departure port exit door to the Earth corridor. They were about to be born into Mirandian—Earth human life for the first time. The dirigen angels were then focused on preparing to send the souls of green light to Earth. Thus, they didn’t at first notice POE, Vixere, and me, as we entered the area.

“Here.” Vixere said as he handed me my passport. “Best if you use it. Just walk over to the exit port terminal, and put your card into the slot on top. POE and I will handle the rest of the escape plan.”

“I know why I’m going back.” I said, and then asked, “What interest do you have on Mirandus—Earth I mean, that would cause you to want to go back there, instead of ascending into the Realm of Heaven?”

“Ascending into the spiritual heaven—returning to the place where our souls were created—is of course the ultimate goal.” Vixere answered for both of them. “But we want to see our home worlds in the physical universe again, and we don’t want to leave our people behind on Earth. I will explain more later.”

Later?” I replied. “Very well.” I walked past the new souls and over to the terminal. Janitus turned and looked at me just as I inserted my card into the slot. Then Archaltus turned and looked in our direction as the door’s locking mechanism was released. Quickly, Vixere ran to the door and pulled it open, as POE rushed forward and shoved a few of the waiting souls out of the way—in part to create a disturbance to distract the dirigen angels from pursuing us. I heard POE remark to Vixere about having shoved the new souls, “That should give them a taste of what they will experience down there.”

‘Right. Never easy down there.” he replied to POE. “Now, MOT! We have to go together!” Vixere shouted to me.

“The stairs are activated! Hurry!” POE shouted.

I jumped to my right, joining Vixere and POE. Then, the three of us stepped out of Terrantus Station and onto the departure port stairway going down to Earth. As we began to run down the stairs, I asked, “Why did you draw attention to our escape?”

“You’ll see. Just run!” Vixere answered.

“Why would new souls need stairs?” I asked as I ran.

“They don’t.” POE answered, and explained, “These stairs are not really stairs, anyway. For departures from Earth, or from any inhabited planet’s corridor to Terrantus Station, they serve as a kind of recognizable reference point. For departures from Terrantus, they serve as a means to control where new souls are sent. We’ll still have enough aetherian energy gas to breathe en route when the stairs are turned off.”

Turned off?” I shouted to POE, “What do you mean?”

Behind us, I could hear Archaltus at the doorway shout over at Janitus to stop us. Then Janitus apparently flipped a switch on the console panel, resulting in the stairs being turned off. Abruptly, the stairway vanished beneath us, and we began to fall toward Mirandus.

“That did them a lot of good!” I heard POE say, as his fall remained close to mine. “Turning off the stairs will not stop us from reaching Earth and being reincarnated. Without the stairs, they can’t track us to our reincarnation points to retrieve us. I figured they would make that mistake.”

“And we’ll get there much quicker this way!” Vixere shouted, as the speed of his fall increased and took him below me and to my right.

POE, Vixere, and I were like falling stars upon the night side of Earth. We were without flesh to be burned by the SlipField waves in the realm of buffer-space, and then in the atmosphere of Earth our souls did not burn. I doubt that our fall was visible to any living person on the surface of that planet, unless any ghosts down there happened to look up right then.

Vixere was the first to fall beyond my visual range. I did not see where he went, but I now know his fall took him down to London in England.

POE remained near me for a while. As I fell toward the area of the central plains of the northern continent, POE drifted away a few degrees to my left. I watched him vanish into the region of land below, which I did not then know to be the State of Kansas. His fall placed him in Wichita. My fall took me toward the northeast corner to Kansas City—Kansas—not Missouri. Of course I could not see those state boundaries, but I could see the city lights. It was a clear night in Tornado Alley, and I was not returning from the Land of OZ.

Small shooting stars suddenly appeared all around me, coming up from the land below, exploding into bright colorful patterns. Fireworks displays were familiar to me on my home world—Langenth, and thus I considered that to be a good sign regarding my destination.

A black hole appeared in the center of my vision as I looked down. The opening of the final passageway between buffer-space and the physical world. I fell into it. Abruptly, I was enveloped in a vast darkness that was absolutely black.

Now, I know that was Independence Day, of the year 1955. Not my birthday, but when Jean Anne Harrow was about one month pregnant with her second child, a son, as I would become and be named Thomas Jefferson Harrow, about eight months later. Through the looking glass, MOT became Tom…

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