Archive for telepathy

T-Phone

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by javedbabar

The farm was hot and full of bugs. Maybe the ecosystem wasn’t quite balanced yet, or the ladybugs were of a lethargic species, and the mosquitoes of a dynamic one, for the latter were winning hands down. The forest was cooler, with widely spaced Arcadian Firs. Their branches captured much of the light, which meant less vegetation on the forest floor, and thus fewer bugs. Bobby dozed in the forest daily from twelve to four.

On days off he’d visit Alan and Patricia, who said they’d lived in the valley for one hundred years. Alan was a prehistoric geek, obsessed by communications. He captured local transmissions via an antenna, many miles long, strung between firs.

“You always seem so happy together,” Bobby said to Patricia as she poured him Lady Grey Tea. She’d said it was a perfectly refreshing afternoon tea, which she preferred to the floral taste of Earl Grey. “What’s your secret? Is it just your time spent together? A hundred years in the forest has surely drawn you closer. Or is it something else?”

“Alan says that we are in tune. We have the same frequency. Do you know the difference between AM and FM radio signals? You don’t? Well, AM means Amplitude Modulation. The size of the waves rises and falls, conveying the information necessary to transmit a message. FM is totally different. It stands for Frequency Modulation. The size of the waves is constant but the distance between them changes, which conveys information. Well, Alan says that he is AM and I am FM, but we’re in tune with each other. It doesn’t really make…”

“Hello again, young man!” said Alan, bursting into the room. “So good to see you. How’s your teatime? You like it? Good, good.”

Patrician poured him a cup too. There was no need for her to ask him, as she was in tune.

“Has she told you about my new invention? I can tell him, can’t I, love?” Patricia nodded. “It’s the T-Phone!” He pulled out a mobile phone as big as a brick. Bobby had last seen one of those in the 1980s. Was Alan that much behind the times?

Alan smiled and said, “I know it’s not much to look at, but wait till I show you what it can do.”

Bobby said, “Please do.”

“I’ve tried various forms of information propagation – AM, FM – I heard Patricia telling you about those – and SSB, TETRA, amateur radio, unlicensed radio, even radio control, but they have never conveyed all the information encoded. There is always loss.” He stopped for a moment. “And digital information is even worse; its binary form removes gradation.”

Alan tinkered with the brick-sized phone. “Do you know Instagram? Well, what that does for your photos, the T-Phone does for your voice. It enriches the frequencies, avoids noise, and prevents fading. It creates a richer sound.”

“Why is it called the T-Phone?” asked Bobby.

“Because the technology it uses is Telepathy. There is no physical transfer, thus there is no resistance and loss. The T-Phone uses silence as a means of communication. Everything is contained within it.”

Bobby noticed that Alan said these last words without his lips moving.

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The Asian Children

Posted in Global Travel, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2012 by javedbabar

I’m used to them now, the little rascals, thought Albert. Much can change in a week! Last Tuesday he’d been doing his school run, same as ever, and there they stood, twenty-four Asian children, by the side of the road. He didn’t know for sure that they were Asian, but that was his and everybody else’s best guess. Even the ethno-linguists and social workers were not certain. “Indo-Tibetan” was their best notion.

Who they were, and how they’d got there, were burning questions. The story however had been kept out of mainstream media, The Authority believing it would inflame the immigration debate. It remained a local, word-of-mouth story.

Albert had stopped for them immediately but then been stumped. Should he pick them up now, or leave them here and seek guidance in town? He was out of cell range so couldn’t call the bus company or cops. Albert made three decisions that day.

First, he decided to pick them all up and take them into town.

Second, he drove right past his usual pick-ups, making some of them cry. Their parents had rung the school to complain. Under the circumstances he felt his actions were warranted. He needed to get these lost kids to a safe place. His usual charges had a safe place already, and it was best they stayed there for now.

His third decision was to take the kids straight to school rather than to the cops. It felt more appropriate. Teachers would know how to handle troubled children; cops would likely frighten them. He’d spent too much time with cops in his life, and never enough time with teachers. His life had been so fucked up from the beginning: his violent family, his mixed-up head, his abused body, everything. It was amazing he was still living and breathing, here and now in Lucerne. Okay he was single and had few friends, but so what?

It was decided to house the Asian children at a local Bed & Breakfast, but many of them began to scream, till they were taken out again. They didn’t like town at all. They preferred rural areas or wilderness. They also hated being separated. Efforts to divide them led to more screaming.

The village council held an emergency meeting, and decided to accommodate them in the old school house in the Upper Valley, twenty kilometres out of town.

The Asian children didn’t mind coming into town for school though. They liked seeing the other children, though they were not yet ready to engage with them. Albert having found them on the Lucerne Valley Road, was asked to drive the Asian children back and forth. They liked to sit together at the back of the bus.

They were silent for the first few days, but then one said hello to Albert while he was driving. Albert said hello back, immediately after which the bus was filled with sniggering. He turned his head and saw that there was no one standing in the aisle or sitting in the front rows of seats. Who had said hello?

“Please keep your eyes on the road, Mr. Driver. You’ve got our twenty-four precious lives in your hands.” There were many more sniggers. “We are telepaths. It is a very useful ability in the mountains where we lived. We didn’t need to cup our hands and shout while climbing.”

“How did you get here?” Albert asked aloud.

“It’s hard for us to explain that. Why don’t you tell us how you got here?”

Albert realized that this is a very hard thing to do.