Archive for the Unknown Category

Thousand Names

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba had said, “This is a very special gathering so please remember the thousand names.”

Sami had spent an hour a day memorizing the names. After a week, he knew them all in order.

It wasn’t as hard as he’d imagined. With a combination of the favourite place/person method – where you imagine persons embodying specific qualities, sitting in spots around your house – acronyms, and rhyming, he was set.

He imagined Marilyn Monroe soaping herself in his shower, Groucho Marx pacing about in his garden shed, Boris Karloff lumbering around his cellar, and Barack Obama mowing his lawn, making the names fun to remember. These attributes of the Divine Creator were now unforgettable. The official list began with:

The Great – The Not So Great – The Funny (Groucho) – The Pretty – The Clever – The Cultured – The Spiritual…

The Great Gathering in Lucerne’s Transparent Temple was progressing well. There had been an issue with external crowd management, then a problem with internal crowd control, but both were resolved. There was a steady flow of people performing darshan – holy viewing – whilst the holy names were chanted continuously by a group on stage, accompanied by banjo, bongos and harmonium.

“There is no point in being too serious,” Guru Baba had said. “People should enjoy singing holy things.”

People who hadn’t memorized the names tapped their feet if they were Westerners, and nodded their heads if they were Easterners. They eventually picked up the names; by the fourth round they could anticipate the next one. Sami was right to not project them on screen, which would have changed the aural dynamic to visual, diluting the names’ holy vibrations. The chanting grew louder:

The Brave – The Scared – The Powerful (Obama) – The Powerless – The Beaten…

Sami saw people he knew – Sophie, Shama, Bobby, Dimpy and others – looking different somehow. Their faces were brighter. Their voices were lighter. Their postures were straighter. Their heads held higher.

Were they absorbing the names?

Joining with the names?

Becoming the names?

Sami had a flashback to the film HUMANITY; he had acted as local project manager for its global launch. It was filled with eye-popping visuals transporting you to ethereal realms, but being at this gathering was the real thing – the cameras, lights and action!

`           The Friendly – The Open – The Loving – The Nervous – The Monster (Boris) – The Murdered – The Killer…

An agitated marshall approached him and said, “All these names. Some of them are pretty fearsome. Do we need to be careful with them?”

“Sorry, I can’t hear you,” said Sami. “Can you repeat?”

“Do we need to be careful with these names? They could be dangerous.”

“Let’s go backstage. It will be easier to talk there.”

As soon as they were behind the curtain, Sami grabbed the marshall around the neck and wrestled him to the ground, shouting, “What’s your name? What’s your name? Tell me!”

The marshall struggled and grunted. He tried to break free but failed. He gave up and said, “Astra.”

Sami shouted, “Astra, be gone from here, and never come back!”

The marshall fainted, and a wisp of smoke blew from his nose.

Demons sometimes inhabited humans, filling them with negative energies. You had to be tough with demons. They were always trying to diminish God’s names and never wanted to reveal their own names, because once they were known to you, you could command them to be gone.

The Beautiful (Marilyn) – The Regal – The Legal – The Buyer – The Seller – The Three – The Two – The One.

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Fossilicious

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Sacred Geometry, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2012 by javedbabar

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” Sami shouted. The truck didn’t stop, and continued reversing towards the compost area. He ran towards it, waving his arms, and shouted up to the cab, “Where are you going?”

The driver stopped.

“You’ve got bulk building waste, it doesn’t go there. Can you please put it in the bin over there?” He pointed to a double-height yellow steel container.

Maybe it was an honest mistake, thought Sami, a new driver backing up to the wrong bin. Or was it deliberate, a trick to reduce costs?

Dumping compost was free, but building waste was $200 per truck load. Why didn’t he go to the commercial facility, which was cheaper and better suited to bulk waste? Coming to Lucerne’s Transfer Station was a soft option, especially with the regular guy off today and Sami managing the 3D Unit and waste facility. The driver thought he’d get away with it.

“It’s quite tight here. Shall I help you back up? No? You’re okay? Then go ahead.” Sami kept an eye on his manoeuvres. Truckers were always the best drivers on the road, but they were careless here. He didn’t want any more bins bashed.

As the trucker tipped his building waste, Sami saw it was mainly red, but with cream flashes. Had they demolished a clay brick structure, held together by mortar? Who built like that around here?

When the trucker handed over the cash Sami said, “Where is this waste coming from?”

“The Taxila area, up towards Mt Negra. They’re digging out an old water channel. It’s a long way to haul it here, but there are tough regulations for heritage areas.”

“Was there a structure? Why is the waste red?”

“I don’t know, pal. I just bring it here.”

The trucker drove off. Sami was curious about the waste, and walked to the bin. He saw one of the cream objects, and another one, and more. Though it broke regulations, he climbed into the bin and poked around. The cream flashes were bones, huge bones, bigger than cows and horses. More like elephants. But no, Guru Baba had an elephant’s foot stool as a reminder of man’s brutality to beasts, and Sami knew the scale of elephants. These bones were bigger.

Sami hauled them out, one by one, and lay them on the ground. The red material fell away. Some bones were bigger than he was. He treated them like pieces of a puzzle, but he couldn’t fit them together successfully. Then he had an idea.

He scanned the bones individually with the hand-held scanner, and then modelled the form on his computer. It was the strangest beast he had ever seen – like a triceratops, but with six legs, and horns all along its spine. He looked the creature up online but found no references.

He scaled it down 1:50 and printed out a model in red. It was the first Samisaurus seen in Lucerne for two million years. Sami took it for a “walk” in the yard on a trolley, and said to the creature, “Look, there’s Mt Alba, and over there, Mt Negra. Imagine them smoking, like they were when you were alive.”

Beautiful Baby

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami was closing up for the day. There had been a trickle of customers coming to the 3D Unit, mainly single mums working as designers and who needed prototypes fabricated, builders and plumbers wanting small components printed, and people who wished to create unusual gifts. There weren’t that many of them though. People were still confused and a little scared of 3D printing. Every new technology takes time to catch on.

However things were shifting in the right direction. The rest of the Transfer Station was busier than ever. There was less trash and more recycling. The next step was material recovery, where the stuff people bought that they had no further use for could be transformed into something else immediately.

A small black car was speeding through the Industrial Park. He watched it take quick sharp turns as it came towards the Transfer Station. He had unbolted one gate already, and could race to pull both gates closed, but he decided to wait and see who it was.

A young woman lowered her window and said, “Hello, are you still open?”

“Well, it’s six o’ clock and I was just closing.”

“Dr Bungawalla sent me. He said I should see you.”

Sami favourite recent project had been modelling the doctor’s brain. He pulled open the gates and said, “Come on in, let’s see what we can do.”

The woman was distracted and kept looking away from Sami. She bumped her head on the door frame and almost fell out of her car. She had an awkward shape. Was she pregnant beneath her big coat? Sami dare not ask for fear of getting it wrong, which he knew was the ultimate faux pas.

She said “I’m not sure. I’m not sure if I should do this.” She looked weak, about to fall down. Sami felt he should do something.

He said “Would you like to come into the office and sit down? I’ll make you some tea.”

He checked his phone while the kettle boiled. No word from his pal, Shama, who was driving him to Strattus tonight. Cell reception at the Transfer Station was terrible.

After taking a few sips of tea, she said, “I’ve seen my baby in a scan. She’s beautiful, so beautiful, but I really want to hold her now. I want to see her in the nursery, to see if she will like what I have done for her. To see if she likes all the toys and colours.”

Sami’s previous job as Guru Baba’s assistant had brought him into contact with troubled people. This woman was really hurting about something. Sami was an expert listener, and where possible, a helper.

He said, “I am sure you have made a beautiful nursery. What colour is it?”

“It’s mainly pink and yellow. Pink because it’s such a soft colour, it reminds me of buds and petals, and yellow is like sunshine, so happy, so happy always.”

“It sounds really lovely. I’m sure your baby will adore it. When is she due to grace our world?”

The woman handed Sami her ultrasound scans, both as pictures and on disk. “Can you please make a model of her for me?”

“It would be better to wait till she is born. We can scan her then. Right now the spatial resolution and image depth of the embryo scans are…”

“She’s not an embryo! She’s a baby! Scale her up! I don’t care about spatial resolution or imaging depth. I don’t care about anything.” She began crying and said, “I do care. I do care. I do care. Please make her for me.”

Five messages came through on Sami’s cell phone. Dr Bungawalla had been trying to call him all day, to tell him about his patient whose baby had just died inside her.

Sami realized that this model was the only baby she would ever hold. He decided to work all night to deliver her baby the next morning.

Executive Functions

Posted in Lucerne Village, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2012 by javedbabar

Dr Bungawalla was waiting already when Sami opened the Transfer Station. Why was he so early? What was the hurry?

Lucerne’s veteran doctor drove to the trash area first, disposed of a few bags, on to the recycling bins, ceremonially depositing paper, card, metal, glass, and cartons in appropriate receptacles, and then came over to the new 3D Unit, called 3DU.

“Hello Sami, how are you? Good, good. I didn’t know you were running the Transfer Station.”

“Well, only for today. I am officially in charge of 3DU, but the other guy is attending a family funeral, so I am managing waste and recycling operations too. It’s mostly automated, pretty straightforward. Anyway, Doctor, what can I do for you?”

Dr Bungawalla shifted and smiled. This motion had put his patients at ease for forty years. He had discovered that moving his head from side to side whilst holding a fixed grin amused infant patients, and then he tried it with adult patients. Now it provided a gentle reassurance to all.

“I wanted to develop a project with AMP Co., something of great personal interest. Alfred said The Authority has declared his lab a National Strategic Asset, and nationalized his business. He told me to come here instead; he said you would help me.”

Sami had visited the Doctor’s office a couple of times this year but never got past the fearsome receptionist, who had given him practical advice and sent him home. It was great to finally meet Dr Bungawalla. What a sweet man. Why are the nicest people always surrounded by the fiercest? Maybe they require protection.

“What’s the project, Doctor?”

“Well, I have some brain scans from the MRI machine. They are all on this data stick. Can you please model them for me?”

“Sure, I’ll put them through the CAD systems and send them on to the 3D printer. Please tell me the key aspects, facets and dynamics involved, so I can highlight them in the system parameters.”

Dr Bungawalla handed over the stick. The file stated Confidential: file not to be removed from lab.

Dr Bungawalla looked embarrassed. “I am the confidante in question. You are allowed to proceed.” He pulled out a pen. “I will write some key concepts down for you.”

He wrote:

Lateralisation (left and right brain dominant functions)

Protection (thick skull bones, cerebrospinal fluid, blood-brain barrier)

4 lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital)

Functional divisions – cytoarchitecture – topography – cognition – weight – language – pathology – metabolism

Executive functions (self control – planning – reasoning – abstract thought)

Functional vs. anatomical definition

Encephalization Quotient

Neural tissue (closed head injuries, poisoning, infection, psychiatric conditions, degenerative disorders)

48 hours later, Dr Bungawalla picked up his brain model. Sami had added special circuitry as requested, powered by lithium cells. Flickering lights within the transparent model made it seem like a lamp.

Alone at night, Dr Bungawalla watched it crackle with activity as his own brain and body declined. His life had changed since he had self-diagnosed Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases. Every spark of life was now more precious.

He watched his thoughts.

Healing Hands

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by javedbabar

Sophie was feeling unsettled. There were crises at work, family members demanding money, her landlord had given her one month’s notice, and she was about to hit forty and was still single. Left on the shelf. Many of her friends were single too, but at least they’d had a go, married, and failed. Some had wonderful children as awards for trying.

Why hadn’t she ever taken the plunge? There had been opportunities. Maybe she had been too fussy when younger.

“Will you marry me?” Adam had asked her, long ago, at Blackwater Lake. Her response was to run off. It’s right to not settle for second best, but what she’d then thought of as second best, was upon reflection first best, and those who had later won her heart turned out to be last worst.

She wandered across the park after work. The sky was glowing like there were two suns setting, golden and purple. TJ, the Lucerne Valley Hotel’s receptionist, said, “Welcome back.” She was a daily customer. She’d been there at lunchtime for a beer and burger, but now wanted something more and stronger.

The manager had found a clever way of getting around The Authority’s prohibition on cheap drinks. He promoted Happy Hour as a heritage event, harkening back to its nautical origins. There were wrestling, boxing, singing and drinking bouts, often all together. It was a barrel of laughs.

A buxom wench like Sophie was well appreciated aboard HMS Hotel Bar. Its sailors bought her endless rounds, and she was constantly engaged in jigs and reels. She danced with a small, dark guy with a great body. He didn’t talk much. He was either drunk or shy. He had a bright face which seemed to shine everywhere, and Sophie didn’t want to be without its glow. At the end of a reel, she grabbed his hand and pulled him outside. They smooched a little and then she asked him to walk her home.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “Is that a good idea?”

“What kind of man are you?” she said. “Not a gentleman at all. I should have made you walk the plank!”

“Okay, I’ll walk you home,” he said immediately. Nobody likes to be called a barbarian.

When they reached her home, Sophie opened the door and pulled him in. He made an unconvincing attempt to resist and then gave up. He was not much heavier than Sophie but with extra muscle instead of extra curves. He leaned back on the sofa.

Sophie played some ambient tunes and pulled him up to dance. Despite the music being unsuitable for nautical antics, she forced her guest to engage in further jigs and reels. He was a really good dancer and somehow made them work.

His moves were great, jumping, skipping and twirling around the lounge. Her body pulled along with his, her heart was in tune with his, their hands joined together, and now their lips…

“Ouch!” she said, breaking off and pulling away. “Your hands are so hot!” She looked at them. They seemed to be glowing.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “Maybe I should go now.”

“No, wait.” She didn’t know why she said it. There was something about him, about his hands. He looked at them in shock too. They were glowing faintly, golden purple.

He looked up at her and said, “I am from a family of healers going back to Pharaonic Egypt. I thought the gift had passed me by. My grandmother said that it would come to me when I met the one I must heal.”

Sophie’s head now reeled.

The Prophet

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2012 by javedbabar

The Prophet was a well-structured text. Sophie had read it many times. There were twenty-six poetry essays on topics concerning the tribulations of human existence. It was early inspirational fiction that had lasted in a way that recent over-hyped junk just wouldn’t.

The topics could run sequentially, she thought, starting with love and ending with death. Or somehow concurrently, infused with the essence of the work, which could be described as enhanced awareness.

“It starts and ends with the sea,” said Danny, QARY’s chief technician. He had started as a regular crew member when the old quarry was converted into a multimedia venue, and had proved himself over the past two seasons. He was now Sophie’s right hand man.

“Yes, it does,” she said, “Would that work as a theme?”

“I think it would. At the beginning, Almustafa is waiting for his ship to come after twelve years in Orphalese. Then he stands before a sea of people and runs through the journey of life. Later he bids them farewell and sets sail for home, with a promise of return, like a tide.”

“I need to watch you,” said Sophie. “I think you are after my job.”

Danny smiled and reddened. He didn’t know how to deal with Sophie since she had spurned his advances. They had a comfortable working relationship, but an uncomfortable personal one.

They decided to retain the book’s structure, but split the essays into sections. The quarry’s chambers would each show one third of the work: nine, nine, and eight chapters respectively. Each chapter was self-contained and didn’t need to be seen in sequence. There was a benefit in seeing some sections together, such as love, marriage and children, and these would be kept in their original order.

The finished show was good, though not their best production. There weren’t enough of Kahlil Gibran’s’ mystical drawings to illustrate the performance, and the new ones they created lacked his magic. Digital media will take you so far but cannot replace nuanced genius.

They did the best they could. Sophie loved hearing the Prophet’s profound words. Her favourite parts were those about love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, and joy and sorrow.

“When love beckons you, follow him; Though his ways are hard and steep.”

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness; And let the winds of heaven dance between you.”

“Your children are not your children; They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.”

“All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.”

“Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”

“Work is love made visible.”

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.”

The words were beautiful, spiritual, meaningful, but something wasn’t right with the show. Sophie wondered what it was. The performance felt empty and a little contrived.

The QARY computer had been given the role of HAL in the 2001: A Space Odyssey show. The computer had enjoyed this role and not relinquished control. All images, words, sounds and actions were now part of a programme continuing forever. The crew and audience were part of the programme too.

Big machines had once hollowed the quarry and violated Mother Earth. Now one of their number, gazing into the past, attempted to make amends. QARY had transcended physical karma and manifested virtual karma. This empty space was now filled forever.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by javedbabar

QARY’s production of The Time Machine was voted a top ten show by Arcadia’s critics. They said it rang true, and the time travel sequences had exceeded even Sophie’s expectations. Danny and the technical team had done an amazing job.

It was incredible to think that just eighteen months ago this had been an abandoned quarry. Now there was a world famous multimedia show here. No visitor to Arcadia’s west coast would miss it.

Danny had wanted to produce 2001: A Space Odyssey rather than The Time Machine, but when outvoted, he had accepted gracefully, and given 100% to the new show. Maybe he was right in a sense, thought Sophie; not that 2001 was better than The Time Machine, but in saying that it would make a good show in its own right. They needed something spectacular to kick off the third season. They could look at it now. She mentioned this to the crew.

“Really! You want to do Two Thousand and One! That’s fantastic!” said Danny. “I can’t wait to get working on the light tunnel sequence. That will be awesome!”

One of the new girls said, “Sorry, I am not familiar with Two Thousand and One. What is it?”

“It is a confusing story,” said Sophie. “There are bits I don’t understand myself. Danny, could you please explain it in a user-friendly way?”

“Sure, the film was a collaboration between the director Stanley Kubrick and writer Arthur C. Clarke. They played around with the idea for years before settling on the final version. It consists of four parts, each driven by a black monolith that appears mysteriously.”

“What do you mean by monolith?” asked the new girl. “A big stone like at Stonehenge?”

“Kind of, but in the film it’s more like a flat panel. The first part is about the dawn of man. A monolith inspires an ape to use a bone as a tool and then as a weapon, which sets him apart from other animals. The second part is about Tycho-Magnetic Anomaly One, TMA-1, a monolith found buried on the moon. The third part is a voyage to Jupiter, following a radio signal sent by TMA-1, in a ship controlled by a powerful computer named HAL, who takes over the ship, kills most of the crew, but is eventually switched off. The fourth part is the best part, where the only surviving astronaut, Bowman, is pulled into a tunnel of coloured light. He sees himself as a dying man, and then as a child in a ball of light, gazing at the world.”

The new girl looked dazed. “You want us to cover all of that in a one hour show?”

It sounds crazy, thought Sophie, but manageable. They’d produced epic myths like Gilgamesh and Beowulf, and cosmic texts like Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching. 2001 was no more difficult than those.

Danny had some ideas. “We can save cash by painting some old doors black; they will make great monoliths. I can rent a special lens to make blinking eye footage, which will save on film rights. The QARY computer can double as HAL; it’s just a matter of programming some audio files.”

The team produced a show true to the film. It had minimal dialogue and explanations. The imagery was ambiguous and open-ended. It was cryptic and enigmatic.

Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. The light tunnel sequence was amazing. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. The audience was destabilized and then disorientated. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. Things got weirder and weirder. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. It felt like they were actually moving. Blink. Flash. Blink. Flash. People began to sway and fall. Many were sick and shrieking.

Danny tried in vain to control the QARY computer. Sophie pulled rank and threw the mains switch. Everything went dark, and then a dark shape appeared from the darkness. She hoped this was one of Danny’s special effects.