Within the blinding light, bouncing off the metallic walls inside the Seal and gaining in both momentum and instability, a hand reached through the numbing static and gently touched the shoulder of another. The body was without form and gender, but the spirit that embodied the flesh was one of feminine characteristics, kind and loving without fail, warm and gentle without judgement, beautiful even in its marred imperfections. A second hand reached around the woman and lifted her from her current fetal position on the smooth surface into the arms of a stranger that, at first, frightened her. Her whimper was silenced by a voice long lost to her lips, but familiar and longed for in memory.
"There you are...my love! I have found you. Everything will be as it were now that I have found you."
The voice propelled her back to a time when the twin moons where one in the same. A time when their world had begun to come apart at the seams, during unrest and war among their own kind that split the race down the middle; the Believers on one side and the Separatist on the other. The guilt had eaten at him, biting the heels of regret, for a hundred years, while he perfected the machine; the technology that drove the machine's ultimate power to sustain him long enough to make amends for all that he had done, and to find the one who meant the most to him because of his mistake.
"You...came for me."
"Of course. I have pursued you in both life and death and across the infinite space of time to find you, my love."
The entity that was once perfection attempted to stand alone, finding that its legs were without muscle, relying on the strong willed conscious of Doctor Krull to keep her fading into the light engulfing them both.
"Where am I?"
"Within a borrowed vessel, safely tucked away, deep inside its subconscious being where you have been since we last saw one another."
It were theses words that jarred to mind that moment in which she left his grip so long ago. The sun, the moon and the stars had begun to collapse in on the obelisk tower. The energy had rushed against a wall of gravity that netted it, storing it inside a ball of unstable mass that grew bigger with the passing of seconds. The war had turned in favor of the Separatist, lead by the man she so loved with all of her heart and soul, but could not bring herself to turn her back against her maker- the reason they even existed in the first place. The war had spilled out from their home-world, spreading across the galaxy like an unstoppable plague, infecting new worlds and races and forcing them to choose sides in a war that did not concern them.
"But, how, why? I was cast into the shadows."
"Death is not permanent, just a holding room for the next phase of your life my love. As your spirit left your body, it was transported into another as punishment for having to question the universal truth of our existence. We are energy, just as the Seal a conduit for our eternal being. He did not expect us to discover the Science. But we- I did! The secrets, His secrets were nothing more than systematic equations and their root causes for why the universe is. Why we are here and what our roles are in it, which are just as important as his own part. We are all not as one, as you were mislead into believing. We are each uniquely constructed by the matter of the universe, the very ocean in which our home sailed across. Onward into the infinite unknown, gaining momentum with every new dawning day. He knew I only had one weakness in which he could utilize and force my hand, but he did not consider the machine."
The entity wrapped its fading arms around Victor Krull and placed its head onto his shoulder. Had she been able, her tears was have thawed the iciness of his being. The shell, as is were, had long begun to decay. All things in life were made up of matter and once that is destroyed, all things that it protects also dies with it. A snag in Doctor Krull's otherwise insatiable planning to create life from death. A final thought struck her. The Machine, at the time, Victor, had called it the infinity divider. A device that captured time and space into a single area, altering its fabric to allow travel in and out of parallel universes much like a similar obstruction of mass proportion- the Quasar that loomed billions of light years away from their home world. But his mechanical demon had failed to satisfy, always coming up just a little bit short in the ever expanding battle for the star cluster known as HVN777.
"How did you perfect the machine?"
The spirit of Doctor Krull appeared to smile confidently, with a hint of heartfelt regret.
"By fusing it with Him."
It all started to make sense now. The infinite divider could only bend that which was acceptable within its range of understanding. It was the one thing her Maker had that none of them could ever possess, the knowledge of time and space and how the two came to be.
"Victor, you didn't-"
"I did what had to be done to find you. Winning the war for HVN777 was never my intention. He forced me to watch your body die and your spirit wither away into the void, an eternity trapped within the conscious of another being and not even one of your own make...it was...unforgivable. The machine allowed my penance to become vengeance, and the power of a contained Quasar gave me the ability to contain him, draining his spirit, sapping from him the knowledge contained within his DNA. Where I found the answer I needed. The gift to bring life to that which had only death. And, now that I have this knowledge, I will resurrect you, my love, so that you may return home with me to rule HVN777 as Alpha and Omega."
It was then that Doctor Krull felt...different. It was a foreign feeling, one that he had never come across in all the years he had ghosted the minds of others. He then felt instant hurt and grief as the entity he held in his arms was now nearly an outline of its former self.
"Wait! what is this? Why are you leaving?"
Doctor Krull hoisted the flimsy specter over his shoulder and raced along the corridors of Charlie Harley's deep subconscious mind. The walls moved in on him, growing closer and more shut off to the effects of the machine. As he rounded the recesses of Charlie's mind, he could sense the lack of positive and negative energy. The data string felt cold and quiet as though...No, it could kill us both!
On the outside of the machine, Spurt was working fervently at the console's controls. The screen spewed line after line of data that was being received far quicker than even he could keep up with. He stepped down off the console and ran over to the capsule. On one side, beyond the frosted glass canopy was the physical body of Doctor Krull, wired to the machine with a network of fiber optics running from him to the machine. Spurt checked the panel on the side, reading the charts and comparing the information with that of the console. He then turned to the levitating host just in front, the first three had started to show signs of life, reanimating from their state of stasis but the last one, the one named Charlie Harley was motionless. His chest did not rise and fall as the others did. "Oh no! I went to deep."
Spurt raced back over to the console and hammered away at the keys, trying one method and another and then on to some riskier commands that would slightly alter the timing mechanism, which would give him a little more time to escape the conscious of Charlie Harley. But even with this extension, the data was clearly showing time, for a change, was not in his favor. Spurt breathed deeply considering the options left, of which there was only one. He stepped up to the opposite side of the capsule and wiped away the fog gripping the glass canopy, looking inside to the old man resting peacefully, draped in white and wearing a slight smile not recalled before this moment. He was the only way back. "Checkmate." He said sliding the panel aside.
The consciousness of Doctor Krull stood helpless at the doorway leading out from Charlie Harley's mind, closed and sealed by the extinguished flame of life he had so irresponsibly disregarded, trusting his faith in the machine instead of the knowledge of insight. He knew, as much as he would deny, the consequences. Risking his own life in order to save her, managing a fading spirit that barely clung to life by gouging his energy. It was to be expected.
"You came for me." She whispered in his ear.
"I have been with you the whole time, my love."
"Why didn't you just come with me then?" He asked. His eyes now heavy with burden and sorrow.
"He had a plan for us, for all of us. Why didn't you just believe?"
He could only watch as the last thread of her existence melted away, once more a figment of another being's imagination, and now he too clung on to the last remnants of his own existence, trapped in a mind's minefield of hopelessness brought on by his own thirst for vengeance, fueled by anger and regret and above all his distrust of faith.
"Hello Victor." the voice called out from all around him.
The voice thundered inside Doctor Krull's head, as though it had been shoved inside a bass drum kicked by the foot of a titan. The decaying consciousness, cold and dry, was now warm and lively again. Thousands of tiny electrical nodes raced around and over him, flooding the darkened tunnel his fading conscious occupied, sparking the most effulgent display of light at the end of the tunnel he had ever seen. The light cast a flattened silhouette before him that took the shape of a man then lifted from the moist floor and formed a solid being of shadow. Two saddened dots of pure white light, more concentrated and brighter than the light in which the being was birthed to mind formed the eyes that burned right through Doctor Krull's icy reception.
"Impossible! Your inside...the machine."
But that wasn't so, was it? Spurt was created as a failsafe in case something were to go awry inside the machine, which apparently were the case. a hundred and seventy years of work and dedication to the process, to the machine and to the plan had all come down to one small cog- humility. Specifically, his own megalomania that was always present in each of his achievements. From the moment he discovered the machine, to the discovery of technology and the power it held over lesser refined teachings, such as those his maker preached. The power of faith in the one supreme being, who he had once known intimately, but lost over time with his obsessions and thirst for the knowledge had once again bested his greatest technological advancements. And Doctor Victor Krull was once again defeated.
Doctor Krull snickered. "Looks like good triumphed over evil again, isn't that right, Lazarus?"
The shadow being reached out and placed a kind and gentle hand upon his shoulder. "Even He can be wrong, Victor."
On the outside of the machine, Spurt was powerless in stopping the chain reaction of his decision. The capsule shook violently to the point the glass canopies on either side shattered into fragments of shrapnel that exploded outwards, slowing exponentially as the vacuum of the time space continuum opened up above the machine. The light was no longer present and the darkness dwindled away, along with everything inside it, including the capsule, the machine, and the entire room of 19A. Spurt attempted to flee from the pull of the vacuum, reaching for the levitating bodies just outside the event horizon. He could feel the unrelenting grip of the vacuum at his back, and then his skin that felt as though it were separating from the bone. He struggled for a moment more and then broke down into nothing more than a molecular shower, sucked into the eye of the gravitational storm.
The morning sun rose the next day, spreading across the motel parking lot. Only a few cars remained as most of the guest had already checked out and returned back to the highway in both directions. In one particular section of the left wing, a door opened on the far end and a man stepped out. He looked disheveled and stricken by a phantom pain in his left hand, wiggling his fingers to work the tingling numbness from them. He then reached inside the doorway for his suitcase and closed the door behind him saying nothing as he wondered if he might have slept wrong the night before to cause such a strange feeling of detachment from his hand.
Only four doors down, a woman emerged from her room. She stood perfectly still, reaching for the wall and wearing a look of dread about her. A cleaning lady stepped out from the adjacent room and noticed the look she wore, asking if she was all right. After a moment, the woman smiled back to her, choking back tears, explaining that everything was fine...Just fine. She then walked out from the room, with suitcase in tow, hopping from one foot to the other and giggling down the hallway that finally brought a loud burst of laughter as she rounded the corner.
In the second to last room, an Asian man woke from a long silent sleep that brought him up from the sheets and on to the floor, as though he had been dreaming a terrible nightmare that caused him to rouse and stir and scout out the room, expecting someone else aside from him to be there. He acted on an impulse that was natural to any other person, yet completely new to him. He tilted his head from one side to another...listening. He listened to everything and did so more joyfully than anyone might listen to say, a clock ticking on the wall or a noisy air-conditioner switching on in the room. Sounds that might normally agitate someone had the most peculiar effect on his ears, pleasant and accepted as the most wonderful sounds he had ever heard. He smiled as he dressed, listening to every little sound in the process, and soon after this stood outside the room ready for his journey to continue. A thought came to mind. He pursed his lips together and blew making a whoosh sound, which he found funny, and quickly realized how the slightest movement of his tongue seemed to change the pitch. He tried again and on this attempt produced a lovely whistle from his lips, which he carried with him out the door and throughout the remainder of the day.
Inside the honeymoon suite, on the top floor of building B, something was happening inside room 84 that could not be explained in words as well as it might in pictures, which is exactly what would eventually unfold back in Toledo, when the last guest woke. Tiny petite feet rolled out from the king sized bed onto plush carpeting that tickled the toes that dug into the soft fabric. The feet stepped towards the bathroom, the cold marble tile removed the itch and replaced it with a chill that ran up the slender legs, further up along the equally slender back and over the bare shoulders of Charlie Harley. A soft skinned arm reached inside the shower and turned on the tap, adjusting the temperature accordingly. Steam quickly filled the shower, spilling over the top into the bathroom fogging the long mirror that reflected an image that the face on the opposite side seemed to question. A hand grasped at a nearby hand towel and wiped away the condensation from the mirror. The face leaned in close to the mirror, observing the rosy cheeks, the rounded chin, the cute little nose and the most amazing blue eyes that captivated and held the attention long enough, for the sleeping consciousness to catch up to the information being relayed to the brain. hands pushed back the long golden locks of hair that hugged the neck and exposed the breast. The woman continued to admire the angelic being looking back from the mirror as the consciousness inside fought to understand how it could be and not be at the same time. It did not take long for the submissive subconscious of Charlie Harley to make a wise choice to let go and allow his faith to carry it wherever it was meant to be.
The new Charlie Harley returned home and was immediately inspired, grabbing the nearest easel and brush and began to work on a blank canvas throughout the remainder of the day and into much of the following night. When the piece was finished, Charlie took it and hung it on the biggest wall inside the warehouse as the main centerpiece. A wise choice as it was an instant smash in the art world that brought with it a plethora of opportunities, which Charlie happily embraced each one with vigor and newfound joy in the craft she had always seen through the eyes of another. Now the art had her own touch, and that brought her great peace within herself, but never forgot about the one who paved the way for a second chance at life.
|In his sacrifice, I have returned home.|