In search of a world
A fast–fast running. Running from all forces. He must escape – he can do no other. Info–scanner supplied him with a solid data about the area surrounding him for thousands meters around, but it still had great shortcoming – it couldn’t provide location of living beings. Only the information of the area – any tilt angle of any hillock and a tree, types of growing plants, land’s relief – shortly saying, lots of useless stuff. But the most important thing he didn’t show – and this became obvious only recently. Certainly, he still had a thermal sensor – a faithful companion of any dimension traveler – but it was useless almost the same way! After all, who could possible imagine that he will be thrown here and in that time period! The only thing that could possibly rescue him were his own feet. His feet and capabilities of own “jet satchel”, working on liquid hydrogen…
The last invention of physical science! Unsurpassed movement possibilities! Travel in an flash of time! Blah, blah, blah… Dunno know what, but modesty definitely wasn’t in the list of other “numerous advantages” of physicists of the Central Institute Of Learning. Everything that this satchel was capable of is a half an hour flight above the ground at 20–30 meters altitude – and afterward it could be safely send to rest in peace in a warehouse waiting for a new recharge. Actually, the root problem was exactly that it had energy enough only for two–three minutes of travel…
Ten thousand meters… nine and a half … five hundred … four … They are getting close. He won’t escape that way.
That’s it – the last chance of survival… He activated his “unsurpassed movement possibility”. The last chance of rescue… Stars in the eyes… dizziness… smack of blood in a mouth… He has to pay something for this possibility too. Whistle and roar behind his back. A throw through space. Up and forward. Whistling of air in ears…
Ten meters … twenty … twenty five … enough. He turned info–scanner on once again. Now you will be of great help to me, buddy! Now we shall quickly locate disposition of our “Wild Boar”. Ten kilometers for a scanner is a pure trifle. And for him ten thousand meters is really not a joke. Not a joke if they must be passed in two–three minutes term… Only to get to it, only to be able to escape. And his beloved “Wild Boar” will welcome him then. He will leave from here – it’s not his place. In this world and in this time.
Oh, what funny creatures he has met! He didn’t recognize them at first … was idly standing, silly staring – has lost lots of precious seconds then… It’s strange, but he has recognized the one whom he has met in this time only already being pursued in a run. Yes, he remembered them. Once in a childhood in a computer base of the spaceship of his father he came across a new fragment of text still unfamiliar to him:
“Information code: 1231256451.
Information type code: 534543254.
Section code: 534535.
Information type: general usage.
Cryptography method: none.
Enciphering: not applied.
Source: information banks of the Central Institute Of Learning.
Title: Prehistories inhabitants of planet Earth. Fauna. Dinosaurs.”
Everything was clear for him by that time … everything except the last three sentences.
Dinosaurs … here’s one of them before his eyes … behind his back, to be exact. He was coming off from him… Two hundred kilometers per hour – a wild roar of air in ears… At least space suit protects him from such “movings”.
He was coming off. Tyrannozaur (for some reason he was confident that it was him) could not run with such a speed to matter what. They were divided by several millions of years – divided yesterday. And today – only by distance – extremely short one.
Forward, forward, forward. He has no time for hesitation. Maximum possible acceleration… Minute–two before the ending of air travel… Sharp peep of a sensor. Ten seconds before the ending of flight… nine… eight… seven… Not it’s time for landing.
Turning off engines. Turned–in feet. Sharp push and collision with a ground. And then he cried from a sharp outbreak of pain in feat and mentally cursed himself with last imaginable words for own nonsense – he still hasn’t learned to land down normally for the last year, but after all was so proud of received rank “Space pioneer. Class : veteran”. At least he operated his “Wild Boar” much better… Not every rookie could be proud of the received on a year–term basis skill class “veteran”, after all!
So, nine kilometers are already behind. Somewhat about five hundred meters still remained. Yes, here it is – accurate and reliable radio signal of a beacon of his vessel on the info–scanner. Five hundred twenty four meters on a straight line. Yes, exactly that way he was going to move – to run, precisely… Only the right foot somewhat badly obeys him… No matter, forward! Quickly moving feet. Periodic short–term jumps of one foot. He was reaching his spaceship…
Battened–down locks. Emergency activation of engines. Dark enormous silhouette which has appeared on a horizon. Quicker, quicker, quicker! Now he is already under the defense of “Wild Boar”, but for this patrol star fighter the beastie that has appeared on sight and was now quickly closing the distance could be a serious opponent. Therefore he has to leave from this planet. To go to another world and another time. More favorable and best for him. He was absolutely sure that such one does exist.
Quicker, quicker, quicker! His hands operated automatically, needing no brain control – more than a time or two performed work. Work of the traveler of dimensions, of the space pioneer.
Here … the analysis of galactic location … Star system Miracle. Planet Stiggs. Here, planetary coordinates of the vessel. I–know–it–all already! Now, further… Calculation of a trajectory and take–off parameters from a planet… Faster, faster, compuer … time presses … Time does not wait.
All done… Preparation of weapons system… No way! Not these pity guns will not help him a lot … a several minutes is required for their activation – only several minutes, which he does not possess. He stirred up his head. Next, next, next!
Flight point – planet’s orbit. Yes, let’s get out into orbit, and then decide what to do next. Finally, the calculation of parameters is completed. Permission for launch? Yes, yes – I give that permission! Launch, launch, launch! Faster! Five hundred meters before the menace … Do it!
Push. Shake–up. Push again. Once more shake–up. Hit. He flown away aside. Hitting of a head. Pain… Oblivion…
* * *
Slowly opened eyes. A terrible headache… Where is he? What’s with him?
He looked around. Habitual terminals … control panels … “Wild Boar” – words came from the depth of his consciousness. Painly familiar word. His vessel. His loyal time, time and again helping him in cosmic spaces. Him, bearing a proud name of the pioneer…
It turns out that he is alive then. He is alive? Alive! Have been rescued?
He slowly rose. It’s necessary to understand of where he is now along with a ship… Lonely though “alive” at the tip of the tongue, steps towards navigation terminal, the head that is being shaken here and there, stream of blood coming from a nose… He input query quickly. Five, ten seconds… He continued to look at the monitor bewildered…
“Inquiry number 1432435623.
Onboard computer of a space starprobe vehicle “Wild Boar” class patrol fighter…
Location. Star system: Miracle. Planet: orbit of planet Stiggs.
Code of orbit’s coordinates 65466456”.
Finally he got it. Orbit, orbit of a planet. Before making such an unsuccessful landing with a head into a wall, he has managed to set a ship’s course. Yes, and the vessel has safely orbited. For how much he has been travelling? He has darted a fleeting glance at time sensors.
Second, two, three… His jaw started drooping slowly… What?? He wiped his eyes. No, gears cannot mislead him– the universal decoder of time flows invented by experts could accurately and reliably detect a time interval in which he was, and therefore his owner as well. But … this?? Plain letters and symbols, which have now gathered into totally senseless lines…
“Type of counting of time flows: zero year of our era on a planet Earth.
8056! Eight thousand fifty sixth year of our era based on Earth time! He departed from Earth into this system and it was two thousand two hundred seventy fifth year … and now … eight thousand? It’s impossible! Or… Collapser of time has been activated?
Collapser of time… distorter of time waves, which allowed to make jumps into the past… The latest development. He was one of few others who has received a right to mount this device into his vessel. He deserved it – but the task, given to him and other same free space rangers by the United Galactic Council for questions of colonization of outer worlds and resource supply of distant systems, was uneasy. But the reward was also great – the war cruiser under own command and such amount of credits that would suffice for ten normal lives.
Time jump … exploration of world in the past… collection of all information into data banks of the vessel, mining of resources… scientists hoped to solve problems of raw exhaustion of star system by transportation of cargoes in time. A grandiose and unpredictable idea at the same time. He was given only a patrol vessel – fast and maneuverable, but totally improper for any other purposes exception for research of star spaces. He had only to collect information, the thing that he has been doing until recent events…
So, the time collapse was activated without precalculations. But … but after all it was designed only to travel into the past … And … and so … in … the future? Through five thousand years? How? But … but devices shouldn’t lie … it turns out that he was carried away forward by five thousand years? He must return back! No one has ever tried to use time collapse to make jumps into thousands of years forward… This mechanism was simply not designed for this purpose… It’s necessary to test the generator.
He sat down at a control panel. Inquiry, second, third – the machine still served him well. What??? D…destroyed? H…how? He became cold…
Then, launching up from a planet, in a hurry he has forgotten to activate atmospheric, dust and asteroid shields, serving as reliable protection to ship’s hull during its space travel. Has forgotten … he has forgotten even to be fastened – that’s why he has hit a head during a take–off. A huge dent on the right side of a ship – just where the collapser is mounted … there was a collision? Bu the vessel didn’t descended from a course … didn’t … probably, onboard computer still guided a ship into an orbit … even after a crash with … what? Asteroid? Can be…
But what difference does it make now?! Now, when his unique possibility to come back home has been literally pulled out of his hands? When he has appeared to be separated from the world by a timeframe of five thousand years! One before the unknown … He … he hardly managed to get safely escape one danger – and here before him is yet another one, even more serious. Terrible for its unpredictability… No, no, no! This is a delusion, unreality, dream!! A veil before the eyes…
Then, weakened and exhausted by recent shocks, he has fallen. Fallen to a floor of the ship and has begun crying…
* * *
Quiet and rhythmical beating of heart. Deep calm breathing. Breath. Exhalation. Breath again. Exhalation. Breath. Exhalation.
Calm down. Only to be quite. Everything is all right. All is good. There are no desperate situations – and he will find solution for this as well. No matter how ridiculous and hopeless it might seem. Maybe, yes, probably it does seem hopeless at first sight, but only as far as that – by sight, full of fear and disbelief. The second sight will be wiser, it will become not a lamentation, but a seeking of a way out instead – a search for a solution. Now he was looking with a second sight.
The time collapse is destroyed. He cannot return to the past. Unable to travel in time at all. He got stuck in this time and the most reasonable thing for him now is to live in it. Keep living there until he finds a find of returning. Whether he can at all? – silly question. Senseless. He doesn’t know answer to it. Maybe – maybe yes, or maybe no. But the most valuable thing he do for now is to start mastering that time. Not for thing, not in vain does he bear a proud name of the pioneer – and he shall become such one in eight thousand and something year.
So, it is decided. Bridges are burned. There is no way to return back and that’s why we shall move forward. And who knows – what is awaiting him behind the horizon?
* * *
Turned off engines of space vessel – he was landing on a planet. Already painfully familiar landscape… Same planetary coordinates. Same planet in the same solar system. Here his such a strange way has begun – and here it will continue. He checked himself. Everything seems to be in place. A space suite is on him, thermal, info sensors and all other electronic tinsel as well. A stock of liquefied food for a month. Weapons? Yes, here it’s hanging on his belt – a faithful laser semi–automatic gun LZ–195. Heart? There is a courage, unshakable determination and awakened passionate thirst of adventures. He prepared well for this campaign – much better than in the last time, for his way is a way to uncertainty.
The sun in the blue–green sky of a planet Stiggs. Miles and miles to go. Where? To a civilization. He truly hoped that such a one does exist here. It cannot be that this planet with so picturesque inundated woods and plains has not been populated and colonized, and hasn’t become a home of other inhabitants of this Universe. He was assured that there is a civilization living here, in the eight thousand fifty six year of the Earth time. He believed and that and went forward, walked through plains of the planet.
* * *
Shot. Somersaults. Shooting again. He didn’t assume at all that such a beautiful by its appearance flora of the jungles of this planet can be so dangerous in a short distance.
Lianas – predators, twisting around his feet and hands, blocking any access and possibility to get the weapon … enormous plants like increased in twenty times sundews, that unmistakably guessed his location and greedy opened wide their “mouths” with full sets of sharp as needles leaves … root of trees, as though purposely clinging to feet, blocking his passage…
These jungles disliked strangers. Or even probably hated them at all. But it became obvious not at once. Much like the danger he has faced that day … five millennium ago?
Breakthrough. Once again lianas braid him from feet to the head, trying to pull out lethal weapon. Nay, you won’t get me so simply! So simply … it means, will get after all? So untimely thoughts … completely untimely … for now both brain and body were working literally reflex – months of trainings in the Academy served him very well.
Somersaults. Turning. Shot. The next liana flows down to the ground in the liquefied form. Here comes the next one … shot – his face was struck by lumps of meanly smelling green substance … Whistle over the head… Down! Something flies over his head. Will see later… Or better not to see at all? To escape? And will he? Anyway he has to try. So … only fraction of a second to make a decision … it’s decided – we’ll break through!
Somersaults on the ground far away from the spot where he sprawled on the ground so untimely… Here he jumps on his feet… Again comes the noise of dissected air… A turn towards new danger… Late! … Too late … he wasn’t in time. Extremely strained in turning of the body muscles … wild pain in joints … greet scale–like mass flowing near his face … something painfully seized his hand, trying to break a space suit … turning … his weapon drops out from hands …
The end, this is the end – a though flashed in mind. Without a weapon he is not much of a fighter… Biting blow on a helmet. Stars in the eyes – but his helmet sustained a strike. Last, desperate breakthrough – an attempt to escape from the web which has braided him … no way! – he was held very firm – with a death grip … That way he may become that very dead one very soon.
Something extremely heavy, which has fallen from above. Bloody haze which has laid eyes… No escape… no escape… no escape… no way out … the end … No, no, no! I will not surrender! I am a warrior, and warriors don’t give up – they either prevail over the enemy, or die on the battlefield. I have to prevail. I must! Must! Must! I must … but how?! He couldn’t even move – carnivorous inhabitants of this planet were holding him as strongly as possible. How? How? How?! His mind were rushing here and there in search of a solution…
Fool! Fool! Fool! And how couldn’t I remember earlier?! Already once, five thousand years ago, rescued him invention … maybe it will help him now? It has to! Jet satchel, completely charged with liquid hydrogen, “unsurpassed movement possibility” is not a joke at all. And absolutely slightest efforts are required for its activation – brain signal, sent to an armored neuro–pulse helmet of a space suit … already familiar roar behind his back … breakthrough … crunch and gnash … here the branches which have braided him are torn apart … some sort of creature flies up from his helmet and is carried away by a wild stream of air … freedom! Ten, twenty meters … Freedom!
Oh, how great is that, when nobody is flattening and pressing you down, so you can breath quietly and freely!
Blue–green sky. Dozens of kilometers of planet’s jungles. Where should he go?
“Home”, – uninvited thought came.
No! He cannot return back home – not now … not yet. His way lies here – under the sun of this world – and on this planet. In this world in search of a better on – in search of worlds. He is eternal space wanderer, roaming through boundless spaces of the Universe. He is a soldier. He is a researcher. He is a fighter. And his path lies here for now. Here.
* * *
Boundless kilometers lying ahead … Far away, as his gaze allowed to see, the same endless sea of jungles was stretching. Woods, which disliked strangers a lot. Well, no … here some sort of gleam appeared far away. His eyes were blinded for a moment. Some enormous plateau … mountains … And once again some sort of sharp pain in the eyes…
Closer … even closer … approximately five dozens of kilometers. He intercepted his breath. City! My God, city! CITY! The planet is manned, its habitable! Brothers by reason, whoever you are, I have found you! – he thirsted to cry out.
This was an incredible feeling – to see – to know! – that you are not lonely in this world. That he is not lonely here even in eight thousand fifty sixth year… Forward! Move one! He must meet with them, inhabitants of this planet! Yes … and now he has got a chance … chance to return back to his time … it’s small … but nevertheless … still …
Something painfully missed a bit in his breast.
Thirty kilometers … twenty five … Once again a flash before his eyes… Rays of light, shining in the face… Consciousness… as if someone’s mind was trying to get into his consciousness. Quiet insinuating voice and – silent contemplation. Eight, ten, twelve seconds… He has taken breath. Strange feeling passed – but some remains of this sensation were nevertheless left…
He was checked … Yes, they tested him. What for? There is no response. Did he pass a trial? Silence.
Anyway, inhabitants of this planet still have not shown themselves and so he quietly continued his flight. Well, once we get there – fly there – we shall know.
Here he is very close – only five kilometers remained. Only now he has seen that what was considered by him as a city didn’t resemble it at all in the true sense of the word. At least it didn’t resemble the city typical for Earth in the third century.
Sparkling domes. There is no sign of either highways or roads. Nothing which could remind him of the terrestrial city. Gardens … Huge areas of gardens … Neither plants, nor mechanized complexes or skyscrapers … nothing like that by which Earth of his time was characterized.
Gardens and parks. Sparkling domes, covering construction of wondrous forms… No sort of parallelepipeds or cylinders of Earth constructions – no, here each and every building was special, original – as if created in beauty. It seemed that times of wooden and stone architecture of his ancestors returned to this planet – have returned in even more enriched form.
Windings, curves, transforms… Buildings – phoenixes. Buildings – freakish spirals sparkling with all colors of rainbows. Buildings – opening buds of flowers. Buildings – giant trees. Nowhere to be seen there were rough geometrical forms, but the beauty of natural forms, decorated with human imagination.
Whether a human? Whether they live on this planet?
Uncertainty. He still didn’t see any inhabitant of a planet, but has been already noticed by many of them. Now many of their sights were attentively focused on him – dozens, and maybe even hundreds. Attentive watching and goodwill. Here it is raising and extending, spreading all around…
He was welcomed – but still didn’t see them. Where, where are they? Where are inhabitants of this world who possess such unusual abilities?
Scientists of his age have already invented devices, allowing to detect mental emanations… but they worked totally unstable and often glitched – there was no talk of reading one’s thoughts. And here – here people (people?) were living without them? Or does he simply not see them?
Ten kilometers … eight … seven … Here they are!
People? Yes, they are very similar to people, so much. But not to the people of third millennium – no, to the Higher people. Pure and as though radiating light faces. As though? Surprisingly, but he has been already starting to feel these rays – ones of which science of their age just guessed and was constructing shy assumptions – beams of human essence, as he would call them. Here these rays were bright and curative – and he, being in this worlds, has started sensating them. What sort of transformation has occurred to him that he has begun feeling them without all unnecessary mechanics, but with all his being instead? Probably, he will even learn this in due time …
His last doubts dissipated – they were washed away as useless ashes when he was beholding this “city” and its inhabitants. This was the world of Higher Beings – Enlightened ones. Yes, people indeed – he had no more doubts in that. A great number of them were standing on the flower square and looking at him, coming nearer. There were smiles on their faces, eyes emitted same rays – were shining with light. “Eyes is a window to the soul”, – somewhere from depth of consciousness came these words. And, apparently, there is so much more hidden in these words, that he at first suspected…
All right, it’s time to land. Ten … five meters to the ground.
“We welcome you, brother”, – strong, ringing and courageous voice sounded in his consciousness. It seems that usual human language was not necessary to these people at all. Here someone from their ranks went forward – probable, the leader. Turned to people standing behind … rose his hand highly, probably calling for silence … then again turned to face him.
“Once again hello to you, space wanderer”, – this time it was common human language. Not a mental addressing – but a living word from lips instead!
And once again come the words – powerful and brave words, full of unshakable confidence and force – the speaking one was inborn leader in the true sense of the word – “From where have you arrived, traveler?” He answered.
People briskly started to exchange words from behind – talking in native language of the tongue. However he couldn’t understand even a single phrase from their speech. The leader rose his hand once more, asking for silence – and everything has abated.
“My colleagues are both surprised and pleased. We have not met the one like you before. And your … equipment looks rather … strange. I cannot remember that somewhere in the worlds of the Great Unity of Planets it’s being either created or used. Especially on … the Earth. Therefore we desire to ask you a question, traveler – where are you from? I have no wish to interfere into your thoughts and memory, even though I could do that. It will be the violation of laws of the Universe – that’s why I shall ask you a question, traveler. Answer truthfully – we will not cause you any harm – last millennia of the wars of our ancestors has taught us much – answer as it is – the lie will give you out – who are you and from where have you arrived to our world?”
Attentive and kind look. The views of people facing it intrigued and full of interest. To tell? Yes – so it will have a chance to come back home … With those possibilities which people of this time possessed, they for certain should have a means of travel in intertime! Only certainly, at first he nevertheless will be late here and will try to learn more about people that live in this surprising world.
“Year two thousand two hundred seventy fifth. Travelled in time by the order of the United Galactic Council. Collapsers of time. Carried out a mission of collecting of resources and information in distant worlds”.
Accurately, like on a military report, sounded words.
He had nothing to hide. His words abated in the instantly reigned silence. Second, two, three… Painful silence was becoming longer and longer. Even the leader, it seems, was surprised by such a turn of events. But – only for an instant. He was certainly get used to the most unexpected circumstances and turns.
“Now everything is clear, Robert. You have answered fully truthfully. Indeed, our far ancestors once were engaged into similar experiments with time waves … but they missed the main thing – the possibilities of spirit, ones given to a human, inborn in his very nature. Earth scientists of the third millennium tried to replace the Higher human nature with some pity mechanics. Certainly almost fruitless. Yes, you are still unaware of one more thing … but I will tell you nevertheless – those collapsers of which you are talking – they didn’t work at all the way it was supposed during their creation. A travel into the past with a seconds fidelity, huh? So they have praised you this invention in the Intergalactic Council? Well – there was no talks of seconds, minutes, hours or even years. Hundreds, and maybe thousands of years – such was the accuracy of these “devices”.
Plus instability in work … time jumps into the future were not predicted, and jumps from the past into the “now” time should occur without hassles. Both the first and the second turned out to be a myth in reality. Hundreds and thousands of travelers who have “got stuck” in the past … several hundreds more who have gone into the future for uncertain number of centuries. Yes, yes, be not surprised – you were not the only one. There were others colleagues by “misfortune”. One such as you arrived in our world about three hundred years ago. Some of my brothers have not met him when he arrived and left our world – our terrestrial life is still limited to a certain timeframe – that’s why that have been so amazed, having seen you. Now they know the truth. How have I already told them this information and where have I learned your name? Wait, wait, oh curious one! You will know everything in due time. You will have plenty of it. Enough of it. Who are these enemies that have assaulted you in the jungles? Genetic weapon of our ancestors, created for waging of wars. We are clearing the planet, but it’s a lengthy process. We cannot simply destroy life – we have to transform it. Follow me now – I invite you into our world – one in a myriads of others in the Universe. Follow me. You will be our guest here, Robert”.
* * *
He learned everything. No, not everything – but yet a lot. What he desired to know. What he was ready to learn and accept – there was no secrets here for him.
Ninth millennium. Colonized and transformed world of the Universe. Ones that have united into the Alliance of Planets. Peace and prosperity. Reduced to necessary minimum industry. Underground production. Ideal technologies of recycling. Human creativity, yielding fruits of beauty.
But all this was on the surface. And deep inside there were people – no, People, – who have reached high heights of spirit. Ones not requiring ridiculous mechanical devices. Ones who have developed their inborn, their higher potential. Capable to treat spiritually and clearly see the essence of a man. To read mind and predict the future. People bringing good. People – brothers and sisters of the uniform world. United with the world High Beings. Ones who have grown to be them in course of their spiritual work. For several thousands of years there were not a single war conflict in any of the star system of the Alliance of Planets – they were simply unnecessary. They have died out like a remnant of a decay, egoism and callousness, like a remain of animalistic rage. Wars were no more – violence was no more – there was one united prospering Universe. Great Alliance of Planets.
Not immediately did he learn all of this. He has spent many days on this planet. Many years. He didn’t throw aside his dream of returning back home – sometimes in evenings his heart was washed by light grief memories of his home world chafed his mind. However this world became a new home for him as well – like each and every planet in the Universe.
He will be able to return back home the time he finishes his spiritual growth here. Will be able to travel in time with no mechanics, but forces of spirit instead. But he has to pass a long way for that, lots of steps.
He believed that this day will come once. And thus he worked.