In a moment of yesterdays, in the twinkling of an eye,
the time capsule of memory opens,
opens ever so slowly, and life goes on.
In a thousand years of searching, in a hurried note good-bye, the breath of consciousness fades—
fades ever so slowly, and life goes on.
In loving just a little and asking the reason why,
a sound is heard, and life,
Eternal life, goes on.
Err, the supreme ruler of the planet Acootulum in the Ziz galaxy and Stolymax universe, finds a beautiful planet in the Milky Way. He is impressed by the evolutionary state of its inhabitants and asks ‘The Universal Council’ to grant them the privilege of Free Will. He hopes that in their evolutionary advancement, he will see evidence of higher intelligence, and a way of development unknown to those already living in the fifth dimension. This could be used towards their, the people of Ziz’s, own benefit.
Permission is granted. He names the planet Icalay, meaning an uncut jewel. The body overseeing Acootulum’s development, The Great Council, sends people to teach the humans, as they are known, writing, number, and geometry. Considerable prog- ress is made until Err discovers Icalay’s leader has reverted to war and slavery.
Disappointed, he appoints a person from a slave tribe imprisoned by Icalay’s leader to train and lead them under his guidance, but again, after a few divisions,* he finds that war is still prevalent. Technical progress has led to global warming, which threatens their future development. To overcome this, Err asks The Great Council for permission to take and train a human to introduce EME (electromagnetic energy), a system to produce a new form of energy using electromagnetic fusion obtained through quantum mechanics.
EME allows large and small objects to be moved at enormous speed without producing pollution. It is the energy source for all interplanetary travel. Another group in the Ziz galaxy, the Sirasusians, has already contacted the human population of Icalay, unbeknown to Err, and offered the human population EME to stop global warming, together with other very advanced forms of technology. They realize global warming will kill thou- sands of evolved species.
The humans gratefully accept the new technology but refuse EME on the basis that this technology, which replaces all other forms of energy, will destroy the planet’s economy. The Sirasusians, dismayed, take the planet’s negotiator, Colonel Armstrong, with them to train him in EME and promise to return him to Icalay when he feels the introduction will not destroy the planet’s economic activity. However, concerned he may not return in time to stop the planet’s global warming, the Sirasusians decide that if EME is not introduced in time, they will take over and remove the population’s Free Will and intro- duce Collective Will—theirs. This will ensure the safety of all evolved species but leave no possibility for the human popula- tion to continue its own evolutionary advancement. When Err discovers what the Sirasusians have done, Jacob, a man who was selected by Err to help humanity, is returned to Icalay, not only to introduce EME but to show the human population a way to maintain their Free Will. All they have to do is change their ways by becoming non-judgmental, compassionate, and forgiving. This will increase their consciousness and move the planet into the fifth dimension to join the other fifth-dimensional planets in The Great Council. Unfortunately, powerful forces trying to conceal the visit of the earlier aliens and the technology given to them, which has made a few selected companies immensely rich and powerful, kill Jacob to obtain a disc he has in his neck enabling him to contact Err. Thinking this disc will allow them to contact the Alphas, they obtain it only to find the technology is too advanced for them to use.
When Err finds that Jacob has been killed, he goes to The Universal Council for one last chance to rectify the situation. He is given permission to bring a youth to Acootulum to be trained and returned to Icalay before it is too late.
Da-vid, a seventeen-year-old youth who has just graduated from the Cannes Academy of Music, has won a prestigious music competition. He has met and fallen deeply in love with Aisha, an American student from Princeton.
He is torn between what he has promised to do for those on Icalay who follow Err, and his love for Aisha. Trying to ignore the inevitable, he gives a concert, where the Goodgamians, Err’s people, whisk him away to their home planet.
In the meantime, the plan left by the Sirasusians (the Alphas) is advancing, and the humans realize that unless they can con- tact Err and gain his help, their Free Will is lost forever.
Erron—The Story So Far
In 2003, at a country property, Weatherly, twelve people video a history-making event. Jacob King has been missing for forty years. A retired detective, Alfred Hill, finds Jacob unconscious
on a cliff ledge in Bondi, Australia. He is taken to St. Vincent’s hospital, suffering from amnesia. A small disc is found inserted in his neck. Doctors are mystified and want to remove the disc to investigate it. Jacob, although not knowing why the disc is there, refuses to allow them to remove it. He causes a sensation because he hasn’t aged in forty years.
He forms a friendship with Scott Mulligan, the son of the owner of Weatherly, a once-destitute rural property now enjoy- ing some success growing grapes. He agrees to go to Weatherly to avoid the publicity surrounding his appearance. Jacob’s mem- ory gradually improves, and at Easter among his friends, he tells them what happened to him during the missing forty years and that a being called Err wants to speak to them.
Err speaks through Jacob, who projects Err’s picture onto a wall.
Err explains that the planet Icalay (Earth) needs to introduce a new energy system based on EME if it wants to control and stop global warming. EME is an advanced energy system derived from electromagnetic fusion. Jacob was taken to the planet
Acootulum in the Stolymax universe and shown how to develop this new energy system. Err also tells him he has been associ- ated with Icalay for a long time and sees great opportunities with the population’s evolutionary development. The population of Icalay has Free Will to allow this evolutionary process to con- tinue, and to increase the population’s consciousness, he wants Jacob to introduce three tenets. The people are to be non-judgmental, compassionate, and forgiving.
In America a very powerful woman, ‘The Lady,’ leads the Organization for Scientific Investigation—the OSI—a secret divi- sion of the CIA established to keep secret an alien contact that happened in 1947 at Rosewell. She is the daughter of Colonel Buddy Armstrong, the commander of the base where the con- tact occurred.
In 1947, Armstrong makes an agreement with the aliens accepting their new technologies in exchange for the return of the bodies of their two dead astronauts. He gladly accepts all the new technologies but refuses EME. They explain this new energy system will stop global warming, something no one has even heard of in 1947. He feels that since such a system will make all other forms of energy obsolete, it will cause the most terri- ble economic depression the world has ever known. EME would replace all forms of fossil fuels. The aliens, whom he names the Alphas, decide to leave and take him with them, promising to train him and return him when he feels he can introduce EME. As a precaution, they arrange for the Earth’s Free Will to be removed, in the event that the Colonel might procrastinate wait- ing until global warming has become too great killing hundreds of evolved species.
Colonel Armstrong, knowing he is to leave with the Alphas, organizes a group of twelve specially selected men and women to form a council to gradually release the new inventions through companies controlled by the OSI. His daughter is to be in charge until he returns. The new inventions make the companies enor- mously rich and powerful. She becomes concerned when she finds out about the disc in Jacob’s neck, the fact that he hasn’t aged in forty years, and fears he has had some contact with the Alphas. She sends operatives to obtain the disc. Jacob refuses to allow anyone to operate or to examine it. To obtain the disc, act- ing under her orders, they kill Jacob. In the operation they also kill Constable David Sommer, the partner of Dr Compostela. On the death of Jacob, his partner and lover, Scott Mulligan, in his despair, marries Maggie O’Brien, his long-time best friend. They have a daughter, Ma-tha.
When she is told about the video of Err’s visit, ‘The Lady’ orders it to be confiscated before it is publicly shown. However, when she sees the video, she realizes she is dealing with different aliens, and, as global warming is now very real, she believes she needs to make contact with Err to undo the deal done by her father with the Alphas.
She manages to keep the two alien visits secret, and five years pass before she is given a pamphlet containing the exact words used by Err. She realizes that someone has another copy of his meeting. ‘The Lady’ then sends the operative Hasheed Viaz back to Australia to obtain the other video/film and to kill all those who could verify Err’s visit. Those who witnessed Err’s visit are evaluated as to their potential for exposing the alien con- tact, and Scott Mulligan is considered the most dangerous. ‘The Lady’ believes that the easiest way to neutralize Scott Mulligan is through his beloved daughter, Ma-tha, who had been taken to America to cure leukaemia, an illness she doesn’t have.
When Hasheed finds the true reason for his mission, which he thought was to stop terrorism, he is appalled. Instead of kill- ing Scott Mulligan, he asks him to forgive him. In the meantime, the Australian government releases Alfred Hill from detention, the detective who found Jacob.
Sebastian de Compostela and his beautiful daughter, Irenee, both witnessed Err’s visit and have been hiding from the OSI in France. Thinking they are no longer being hunted, they decide to release the film Sebastian surreptitiously took, and it is shown on television. Dexter Bradley, the man in charge of the OSI operation, finds out Hasheed has told Scott what they are really about. He fatally shoots Scott and wounds Hasheed, who recov- ers and escapes from those about to extradite him to the United States. Now a fugitive, he seeks to find somewhere to hide.
Hasheed meets and falls in love with Suzie Foster, and when his photo at her funeral appears in the local newspaper, he real- izes it will be seen by the OSI. He contacts them hoping that, as six years have now passed, he might be able to work something out whereby they will not kill him and allow him to contact his daughter, Aisha. ‘The Lady’ agrees, providing he finds Irenee de Compostela for them. He relents.
Irenee feels that the OSI has given up looking for her, and she reassumes her real name and moves to her birth place of Avignon. Hasheed finds Irenee and sees she has a son,
Da-vid, who, like his father, David, is a musical genius. Sebastian, Da-vid’s grandfather, believes Da-vid is the one prophesized by his religious order, the Knights of Compostela, to lead them in difficult times.
Da-vid, having graduated from his musical academy, meets and falls desperately in love with Hasheed’s daughter, Aisha. He reluctantly agrees to be initiated as a knight into the Order of Compostela. Before his initiation, Da-vid is shown the treasures found by the Crusaders and hidden by the monks. The cmost sacred is the Ark of the Covenant, which Sebastian explains must accompany him should he be taken away. He must return to Earth with it and use this to identify who he is.
Da-vid wins a prize for his cello playing and is invited to Australia to receive it. There he meets Ma-tha, Aisha’s best friend. On a horse ride, they stop for a swim and have unintended sex.
Hasheed, who has remained in France, falls in love with Irenee but is captured and commanded to return back to America. News of Da-vid’s award is seen by ‘The Lady.’ Hasheed has not told her of Da-vid’s existence.
Irenee, now a famous doctor in France, appeals to the French president to have Hasheed returned. This is done, but ‘The Lady’ is apoplectic.
Distraught, Da-vid and Ma-tha meet again when he decides to give a concert on the grounds of the monastery at Compostela.
Ma-tha is further distressed when she discovers she is preg- nant. She decides that if the baby is a boy, she will call him Jacob. ‘The Lady,’ now married to the American president, Jed
Baker, an operative of hers, finds Hasheed has been released due to the French president’s protests and is beside herself with rage. When Hasheed arrives back in France, he tells Irenee that he can no longer operate as an agent of ‘The Lady,’ asking Irenee not to judge him and to forgive him. The news of his activities and the fact that he was the one who shot Jacob and her partner, David, are too much for her to bear, and when Irenee refuses to grant forgiveness, Hasheed crushes Irenee against him, impal- ing himself upon his dagger, killing himself.
The American president, now determined to restore his posi- tion and power, tells ‘The Lady’ that he has some news for her. He tells her that Da-vid has not been captured by her operatives as she thought, but taken by aliens. She has been thwarted.
“Oh no!” she replies. “My father has returned and will take over and introduce EME to save our civilization.”
Time Division 275890
‘Ican recognize nothing; everything looks so strange. My memory seems vague. What has happened? I am going to play in the concert. No! I was at the concert with Aisha, and then...what happened? The bonfires all around the perimeter of the grassy area in front of the monastery, large bonfires illu- minating the boundary, throwing sparks into the sky. A thousand
people sitting, listening—no, standing up, looking into the sky. Aisha is standing beside me with her saxophone. A hum...a loud hum. I remember. It grew louder and louder until...where am I? What has happened?
‘I look around. A strange bluish light comes from somewhere. I don’t know where. Am I dead? Why should I be dead? There is not a sound. They say the grave is quiet. Perhaps I am dead! I am lying in a coffin. I have no clothes. I must be dead. Aisha! Aisha! Aisha, where are you? Aisha! I can feel my body. How is it I can feel my body if I am dead? The blue light—my eyes are getting used to it. There is a wall. Oh God! Jacob described it. He told of it. I am in...in a spaceship going somewhere. Oh God! How could this happen?
‘It seems I should have paid more attention to my grand- papa, my grandpapa’s wishes—Grandpapa, who raised me through those early difficult years. It seems that honouring his wishes is the least I can do. But now! All the expectations my grandpapa has lived for, has hoped for, have never really wor- ried me. But now! What has happened? Where is Aisha? What is going to happen to me? What about my concert, my music? What is going to happen? Where is Aisha? Oh! Please, God, let me see Aisha.’
Da-vid lay in a long, oblong silky-grey object rather like a huge open pea shell. He was lying on a soft fabric made of very fine wool, but when he touched it, it didn’t seem like wool. The strands felt like silk but were much thicker. He could move his fingers and toes but couldn’t raise himself from what he now thought of as a pod.
He was completely naked, with a soft light-cream blanket made of a similar but lighter material covering him. There were gadgets attached to his body: a catheter for urine and something going into his anus.
Where was he? What had happened to him? He desperately tried to gather his thoughts. Yes! They had been on the moun- tain—a thousand people sitting in a cleared area in front of the monastery, bonfires, lights, candlelight everywhere, and he was playing his cello. A thousand candles winked and spluttered. Aisha was beside him. Where was she? He again looked around, but there was no sign of a second pod. No sign of Aisha.
Actually, apart from his pod and two medical stands, the room was bare. A bluish light seeped into the corner of the room from somewhere outside, and everything was quiet, completely quiet. There wasn’t a sound. He had seen no one—not that he could remember. Some people had put him here and undressed him, but where were they?
‘I find it difficult to move—as if something is pulling me back against the surface of the pod. Perhaps some form of restraint. I try to rise, but the effort required is too hard, too great for me to lift my body. It’s the silence that’s so strange. Not a sound. Perhaps I just can’t hear. Perhaps I’ve gone deaf! That thought frightens me. My music—not to be able to hear music again. I call out and can hear my voice. I can hear, but no one comes. I can move my toes and my fingers. I wiggle them to confirm this is true. I’m not in any pain, and, providing I don’t try to get up, I am quite comfortable. But where am I?
‘My mind goes to Jacob’s description of his abduction. I recall what I have read, what Alfred Hill has written and about my grandpapa’s beliefs, my initiation, and what they expect me to do. Things I didn’t believe in, things I promised both Aisha and my grandpapa I would do. Aisha feared I would be taken away. I now realize I should have paid more attention to what Err said, for I doubted I would ever be placed in a similar situation to Jacob, despite all the expectations of my grandpapa. Everything he lived for never really worried me. Yes, the prospect of going away was frightening, and despite what I promised when I was initiated into the Order of the Knights of Compostela—despite this, it seemed more like a game, a fantasy rather than a reality. I realize Aisha took grand- papa and the possibility of me following in Jacob’s footsteps seriously. To console her, I spoke of what we should do if I were to be abducted, but now the fantasy has turned into a reality. I feel frightened, worried, and the fear of the unknown sur- rounds me like a huge black shadow seeking the light. And the thought that I might not see Aisha for a long time occupies my concerns. So I find myself lying here waiting—waiting for what?’
He was in a pod, his body fitted with medical instruments on an alien spaceship going to the planet Acootulum, in the Stolymax universe, the home of the Goodgama people, led by Err. He tried to rise, but he seemed glued to the body of the pod. He had seen no one. He called out, but still no one appeared. He fell asleep. When he awoke he looked at his watch. They, whoever they were, hadn’t taken it from him. Previously it had showed nine o’clock, and now it showed six o’clock, but he had no idea whether it was morning or night. All he knew was that he had been immobilized in this strange craft for some time. He had no idea how long he had been there or how long it had been since he was taken from the mountain. His mobility seemed to be returning; he could lift his shoulder from the pod but was still unable to get up. His neck felt sore and itchy, and when he touched it, he felt a scab, a strange cut on the back of his neck.
‘Perhaps I have bumped my neck?’ That was Da-vid’s first thought, until he remembered what grandpapa had told him about the small disc in Jacob’s neck—the disc that brought the agents of the OSI to Australia to obtain it. The thing that led to his father’s and Jacob’s murders when Jacob refused to allow it to be it removed. ‘Well, if any agents want this one, they are welcome to it.’ As these thoughts circled through his brain, a section of the opposite wall opened.
A very tall, lean figure with light—almost silver—skin and a large elongated head and long outstretched arms approached him. He saw the figure smile, and beautiful, large, soft-blue eyes looked down on him. Looking at the alien figure, Da-vid couldn’t help thinking that Hollywood in their depiction of aliens wasn’t so far off the mark. Then the strangest thing happened, for although Da-vid couldn’t hear any sound, he immediately under- stood what the figure was saying to him.
‘Welcome. Welcome, my friend. We are taking you to Acootulum.’
Da-vid was now able to sit up and look at the strange person in front of him. ‘I don’t want to go to Acootulum or any other place you might want to take me. I want to go home. I was quite happy there with Aisha and my music.’
The figure looked surprised and then shocked, and then he moved his long fingers to touch Da-vid. He recoiled; he didn’t know why, for the touch was incredibly soft, and he could see his skin was beautiful, with a soft, fine texture that felt warm and inviting.
‘But we will show you how you can save your human race, as you call yourselves. How you can keep your Free Will.’
Da-vid looked at the strange person but did not reply. He was over two metres tall. The large head reminded him of pictures of statues of the Egyptian pharaohs—a normal human head width but elongated to nearly twice the length. His forehead sloped back into a long cone, and he again thought of photos of ancient Pharaohs. His fine skin was taught and devoid of wrin- kles or lines. The mouth and nose were no different, but the lips were thin. He noticed the ears were smaller and lay as if braced to the side of the head. There was not any sign of hair: no eye- brows, eyelashes, or other facial hair.
Because of the height of the body, the chest appeared nar- row. The arms were longer than a human’s, and the fingers also appeared to be longer and narrower. He, as Da-vid had already determined the person was male from the size of a swelling in his crotch. A tightly stretched shiny silver material formed a type of pants that clung to his body. His form was strange, but his eyes were large, a little elongated, and soft blue, with very dark-blue irises. They were beautiful.
He felt certain the whole thing was nothing but a dream, but he could not wake up.
‘Everything my grandfather had told me in the last few months flooded into my mind. I thought of Aisha! Aisha! I could not do whatever I had to do without her. I had had to make a prom- ise as part of the initiation ceremony, to remember as I woke, the first thing that rose in my mind, and of course it was about Aisha. Every morning when I awoke and every evening before I fell asleep, I had to remember that promise. Now I hoped and hoped the promise would come true.’
The strange figure seemed very sympathetic and moved for- ward and touched me again. The thoughts I was receiving were caring and loving. I tried to get up but there seemed to be a very strong gravitational force, and I fell back onto the lining of the pod.
‘Don’t struggle to get up. We are approaching a galaxy port- hole and the dimensional barrier. There is, as we enter, a strong gravitational pull. However, on Acootulum you will not have this problem, as our gravitational force is a little less than yours. You will be introduced to The Great Council. Any concerns you have should be raised to them. Many in the council want to help you. Those who don’t are the members whom I understand you call the Alphas. They don’t want to harm you. No one wants to harm you, but they, the Alphas, have a different idea of what is to be done to protect your planet. They don’t feel you have any poten- tial. They feel that our experiment has failed.
‘We want to prove, through you, that you do have potential and that your race is worth the privilege of Free Will. But much depends on you. What am I to call you? What is your name? I’m called Erron.’
‘My name is Da-vid, after my father.’
‘Welcome, Da-vid! Welcome! But for now, as we enter the dimensional connection and pass through the barrier, we should all go to sleep.’
Again Da-vid had no idea how long he had been asleep. The light in the room now seemed to be mauve and was flooding into the compartment. Da-vid found he could rise, and all the attach- ments had been removed from his body. His clothes were neatly stacked on a stool that had been placed beside him. He rose and dressed. The room formed a three-metre square. His pod, the stool, and his clothes were all that was in it. He walked in the direction from where the beautiful mauve light was appearing, and a section of the wall suddenly opened. As he walked through the partition, he saw a porthole emitting the strange mauve light, and he gazed down upon clusters of pink and mauve clouds in the distance. Above the clouds he could see thousands of stars and other beautiful celestial objects he could not identify.
Below the clouds, a mauve mist encircled the rim of a planet. Above the circling clouds, he saw a moon, and then another and another. Among the stars, shining, spinning rings showered the adjoining areas with different-coloured sparks. They were mov- ing at great speed until suddenly, without making any noise, the spacecraft stopped, and they just hovered, suspended in the air but now much closer to the surface of the planet, which occu- pied the entire view from the porthole. Confused and overawed, Da-vid felt so disoriented that he found it extremely difficult to stop his thoughts jumping from one thing to another. The mauve light seemed to intensify. Through the porthole, the landscape below showed high mountains and lakes as small dots. He saw approaching the spacecraft a large dark object in the shape of a cigar, and it docked beside the spaceship. He won- dered what was to happen next and wondered where Erron was.
This thought transference was so new to him. He needed to be able to communicate, to ask questions, and he hoped he would be able to use telepathy to do so and to understand what Erron said.
All this was new. How did he do it? He closed his eyes and concentrated on Erron’s name. He immediately received a reply, as if Erron were speaking to him. Erron wasn’t there, but Da-vid clearly heard within his head what he said.
‘Hello, Da-vid. What are your questions? We will have to leave this craft and transfer to the ground ship beside us. I am to be with you to act as your guide on Acootulum and to prepare you for your visit to The Great Council. I don’t know when this will be. We have to wait until all the council members can come together, and Err will personally introduce you to them.
‘Altogether there are six hundred and forty-eight dele- gates representing all the inhabited Free Will planets that have reached the fifth dimension throughout our galaxy. Err is our representative and has championed your cause for eons. There are different opinions as to how we should proceed. A lot will depend on you, but you have nothing to fear. No harm will befall you.’
‘How long will I be here? What do I have to learn?’
‘It appears our greatest difficulty is to determine your time. There is a reason for this, which I will explain later. However, we will try to return you as near as possible to the time when you left.
‘Err wants to impart knowledge. This knowledge will enable you to stop the warming of your planet. If this warming contin- ues, many of your evolved species will die. No one wants this to happen. Evolution over eons has resulted in the development of marvellous species. With the exception of the human race, as you call yourselves, the other evolutionary results were obtained through Collective Will. Your human race was granted the priv- ilege of Free Will. And the Alphas, as you call them, want the human species to return to Collective Will so they can determine conditions that will not destroy other life forms. Err, on the other hand, sees great potential in some areas of the human race— areas that may be of benefit to us in the fifth dimension. He sees that your race living under Free Will could possibly evolve into areas unknown to us or possibly reestablish areas once known but which we have wrongly discarded. He will instruct you while you are in a sleeping state. Others will teach you during the day, in your waking state. It’s like going to an academy, only what Err has to teach you will be done differently. He prefers you to be in a sleeping state, where there are no distractions. EME—electro- magnetic energy, which Err will instruct you about—is the key to end global warming, and it is technically very advanced science. You will be taught quantum physics. He will explain electromag- netic fusion, which is based on quantum mechanics.
‘Apart from his instruction, you have been given a lifeline to connect with him if you should need it. That is what the disc in your neck is for, and it also allows you to understand our thought transference. This is the fastest way we can bring you to the level of consciousness where you can connect with the information we need to transfer to you to achieve things like EME. You’ll just connect, and since you will have been trained, the knowledge will flow through you. This information will save your planet and ensure your human population evolves further.
‘The great disaster before you is the increasing level of carbon and nitrous dioxide in your atmosphere. You must learn how to use electromagnetic energy to fix it. This force will replace all other forms of energy. It can move small and large objects like this craft at speeds approaching the speed of light from your sun. You will learn how to harness this wonderful resource.
‘You won’t spend all your time learning, and I am here to help you adjust to our ways. The Great Council has at the moment suspended all action on Icalay until they see you, but this only plays into the Alphas’ hands—their actions are already gaining support, for they have sown the seeds that, if nurtured by your population, will inevitably lead to you losing your Free Will.’
At this point, Erron entered the room.
Da-vid looked at him. ‘Erron, please tell me how long I will be here. I know when Jacob came, it was forty years before he was returned. Will I be here for forty years?’
‘No, Da-vid. We will try to return you in the same time frame as when you left. We thought we did this with Jacob, but it is so difficult because our time does not correspond to your time. Your time is governed by the speed of light from your star. Each universe is governed by the speed of light from its star or stars. This speed can be affected by what you call black holes—stars that are dying or have died, and when they do this, they with- draw all the matter from their galaxy. And this includes light. Gravitational force sweeps up everything and passes it through the black hole to be reborn. Time, the measurement of the speed of light, is affected in the Great Sweep of all matter being withdrawn. Some of the light is also swept up as the spaceship passes through the dimensional gateway to different galaxies. Here, we are under the influence of two suns, and there is a third major influence: a dead sun, which you call a black hole. Transmissions from this star are irregular, which distorts the time scale. Otherwise, it would be a simple calculation. But unfortunately, these distortions occur at irregular intervals, which changes the calculations. Come! We have to disembark. I will explain what is to happen.’
He took Da-vid’s hand and led him to another compartment. In the corner Da-vid spied his cello. ‘Wait! I would like to take that.’
‘What is it?’
‘My cello and my bow.’
‘But what is it for?’ Erron seemed mystified.
Da-vid looked at him to see whether he was being serious or not. ‘My cello. I play the cello. I was playing the cello when you took me. I was giving a concert.’
‘A concert? What is that?’
‘A concert! A concert is when you play music or sing to people.’ Da-vid had raised his intensity, and he noticed Erron draw back.
Now Erron really appeared confused.
‘Do you mean you don’t know what music is?’ This was thought in a much softer tone.
‘Music! How do you telepath it?’
‘What! Are you telling me you don’t listen to music because it can’t be telepathed?‘We communicate through telepathy. We have to do this to understand the different languages. It works well; otherwise, how could I communicate with you? See how easy it is!’
‘I have a disc in my neck that allows me to understand your thoughts, but aren’t you able to hear music?’
‘If music is vibrational sound, it is causal. We aren’t allowed to hear it. But we can hear. We have ears, which are necessary to hear sounds made by animals or beings who can’t use telepathy.’
‘Oh my God! You have no idea of what you are missing. Music connects with your emotions. It feeds your soul. It is so wonder- ful. Bring me my cello, and I will demonstrate it to you.’
Erron hesitated, wondering whether it would be allowed. But as Da-vid had had the cello with him when he left Icalay and they had taken it with him, he felt it would be all right. Erron picked up the cello and the bow and took Da-vid to a large observation window equipped with some sort of telescope allowing him to see the landscape below.
But Erron immediately held up his hands as Da-vid took the cello. ‘Don’t, Da-vid. I need to speak to Err before you sound it. I’m sorry, but you can bring it with you, as you did have it when we transported you.’
‘What do you mean when you say music is causal?’
‘When I say that, I mean that sound is the cause of everything. Every vibration issuing from sound has an effect. You need to know what that effect will be before you issue it.’
Below, the countryside showed rolling hills with jagged rocky outcrops, and tors of some sort of mineral rose to the sky. It was hard to gauge height not knowing the distance they were from the soil, but Da-vid noticed that what had previously appeared as a small pinprick was now a huge body of crystal-clear water extending until it became shrouded in a mauve mist. A large group of Perspex-like buildings was constructed at one place on the shoreline. These shiny constructions towered into the sky. He looked at a ground ship, similar to the one they were to enter, that had just arrived, tethered to a landing platform in the middle of one of the tallest structures. As far as he could see, the body of water extended into the far-distant mist rising from it, hiding any other shoreline features.
‘Erron, why is the sky mauve rather than blue, as it is on Earth?’
‘Da-vid, the colour comes from a lot of argon in the atmo- sphere. Our argon levels are around five percent. That is five times higher than you have. The rest is mainly nitrogen, hydro- gen, and oxygen. You will not have any difficulty breathing. Not on this planet, anyhow. When you go to The Great Council, the air is different. In the Assembly Building, it is all right, but out- side you will need a space suit.’
‘Do you mean I won’t meet the council here?’
‘Da-vid, we have to prepare you to meet The Great Council, which meets on Hellestrom, a small planet near the middle of our galaxy. It is situated nearly equidistant from each of the main authorities. Come on; attach your landing belt. No! No! It fits over your shoulders, not around your waist. You need to keep your waist clear for your flying belt.’
‘Flying belt? Did you say flying belt?’
‘Of course, Da-vid. How do you think we are going to get around? We use EME, a very scaled-down version. At full strength it can move enormous loads, but we only need a little of it when flying.’
‘Will I fly? Really fly?’
‘Yes, but you have to learn. Jacob was a superb flyer. Everyone loved to watch him fly, and I think you will be the same.’
Da-vid followed Erron into the landing craft. He stopped and asked Erron where his things were. His cello and bow were there, but where was the Ark of the Covenant? This was so important if he were to be returned to Earth at some future time. The Ark of the Covenant was essential as a way of identifying him. If there should be a forty-year time gap, he would be in his late fifties, and he would need the Ark to ensure people remembered who he was. His grandfather had told him how important this was.
Erron had followed these thoughts and asked him to wait until they were in the ground shuttle, and then he would explain everything to him.
Erron escorted Da-vid to a comfortable seat beside a porthole, giving Da-vid an unrestricted view across the landscape, and then he took a similar seat in front of him.
He turned and told him they would have to wait until people and instruments were unloaded from the spaceship. He smiled as he said, ‘We have been told to economize, as things are tight. Da-vid, let me tell you about the Ark of the Covenant. Err will be very pleased to see it returned. He gave it to your people when they wanted to leave what you call Egypt. There was great hope for your race at that time, and we established a communi- cation centre there, where the most brilliant of your race were enslaved, so we arranged for them to be freed. You speak about a forty-year gap in your time before Jacob returned. This wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps a year or so—nothing more than that—but as I explained, it is so difficult to enter in the correct time zone, as conditions are so different here. Look over there. What do you see? Breaking through the mist is a sun. That is our little sun. It is still daylight. However, although it is smaller than its big brother, it is still much larger than your sun.’
The rays of the setting little sun revealed a mountainous land- scape shining through the lower clouds.
‘Remember I told you we have two suns, and our day is longer than yours. Fortunately, the suns rise at different times; other- wise, it would become too hot for our civilization to exist. But as it is, the little sun just complements the length of the day. When night does fall, it only lasts a few of what we call moments, but you should think of them in terms of hours. And at night you will see the most beautiful heavens, with five moons and thou- sands of stars. Wait! You will find it sensational.
‘Ah! We are going to depart. Put your seat harness on. We all must do that.’
They started gliding silently towards the ground until large buildings appeared before them.
‘Da-vid, I will be staying with you to explain what you have to do. As I said, you have to wait until The Great Council is able to see you. While you are waiting, I will show you the wonders of Acootulum and teach you how to use the flying belt. You must know how to use it to get around, but it isn’t difficult. I will get you some new clothes. Those you have won’t do. While you were asleep, we had some clothes made. We had Jacob’s measurements.
‘Our flying gear is quite different. You will wear a different material, and you must always wear a cloak when you are flying. This is to ensure other flyers can see you. Collisions must be avoided, for obvious reasons. Your cloak is also important, as dif- ferent colours represent different areas of responsibility. Robots, for instance, wear yellow cloaks. Your cloak will also protect you against lightning.
‘See over there—that shining building. That is where you will stay until we go to The Great Council. When we arrive, I will let you sleep, as I have to report to the authorities and explain all I have seen and what I have done and justify my expenses. Every trip is recorded for future reference.’
Leaving the ground ship was an anticlimax, as Erron took Da-vid straight to his room. It overlooked the water. There was a comfortable-looking bed, and apart from a chair, the rest of the room was unfurnished. It seemed strange to go to sleep without eating. He didn’t feel hungry, and as far as he could remember, he had eaten nothing since he had left Earth.
‘I will see you in the morning. Have a good sleep.’ Erron quickly left.