The second Blue Flame novel –
There is a wiki database to reference names, although you can certainly ask me questions as well.The Other Side of Life
Chapter Three: Part Two
After speaking with Vabrey, Greg went to Peace. There were no doors. Only colored lights filled the doorway. Even if the light was black, meaning whoever was inside desired privacy, nothing stopped someone from entering. He thus stepped into Calliope’s room without a problem. He took the large scythe from her wall, then went to his room. After setting the great tool where it would not bother anything, he stripped his bed of its finery. Loaded with the sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and the ornamented pillows, he went home.
Vefillaya was again at the door to greet him, but looked concerned at being handed the items. “You slept with Calliope again?”
“No. I am about to sleep with you. I just want you to look at this stuff. I need the same, but for me. I am surprised that these aren’t blue. I would prefer them blue. Not only is it the color of the Flame, but it is usually considered a masculine color.”
She moved into the room and set the stuff on the couch as she asked, “This is from your room in Peace?”
“Yes. The ones that had my position before me were ladies. Of course, I believe that to be obvious.”
They spoke about the color and designs. They both considered it strange that the decorative pillows had lace. Greg mentioned things about his wife, and the other ladies that had tried to become his wife, that were consistent with ladies back on his world. That caused them to wonder if there was some universal standard for the sexes. After looking at what he brought, they then discussed what he would want.
Finally deciding to retire to their bedroom, Vefillaya went to dispose of the sheets. Greg however moved to stop her. He however looked at what she held, then told her to go ahead. She looked at him strangely, although he did not mind explaining.
“I want a hemmed strip of cloth, probably red, about two feet long. I then want Calliope to write on it, ‘With love to Greg from Calliope.’” Understanding that was probably not enough of an explanation, he added, “I stole the great scythe from her room, and I plan to put that cloth around it before hanging it on my wall. Whoever gets my position after me should then realize something about me.”
“Oh. There aren’t even any pictures?”
“No. If you want to give me some, I will see what happens to them.”
“Okay. I will put these requests in, and have some framed pictures. Oh, and bring a camera so you can bring me back some pictures. Your words are nice, but pictures would be appreciated.”
He nodded, then kissed her while making a certain suggestion about what he would appreciate. She smiled, and promised him that she would gladly fulfill any desire. When he asked her how soon, she mentioned that it was available on demand at any time. Greg kissed her again, then carried the lady into the bedroom.
It was nice being able to have a period of intimacy with his wife while still mentally alert. Instead of simply doing an act, he played with his wife. She laughed at the antics, although kept being worried that her rough skin might hurt him. Greg really did not find it abrasive, but considered his face to be worse with a growth of stubble. He did things to let her know that he was not being hurt, and they ended up tired.
Actually being able to sit down and have a meal with Vefillaya he also considered a welcomed treat. He helped her cook a dish from her world. Greg had spent time identifying certain food items that correlated to things that he knew, so had tried his hand at duplicating dishes from his world. This however was the galaxy of his wife, and she could order things from her world. What she cooked was thus not a simulation, but an actual preparation from her culture, and he enjoyed being with her and sharing things from her life.
As she cleared the dishes from the table, a thought came to him. Greg grabbed the hand of Vefillaya. She looked at him without any display of fear, but merely looked into his eyes wondering at the reason for his action. It took some moments before he clearly understood his actions, although he spoke as soon as he understood why he had acted.
“How old are you?”
“You should know.”
She was correct. In the activities as he choose his wife he received a basic fact sheet about each of the ladies. Age was there, but he ignored the information not really able to associate the number with maturity level. Greg however had not kept the pages, not even the one for his wife.
“I probably do, but tell me.”
“I will be seventeen in a few months.” She then looked him and asked, “How old are you? I don’t remember getting any facts sheet about you. I had to come to you to ask some really basics questions about you when attempting to gain you as a husband, but age was not one of them.”
“Twenty…” it bothered him to think of how many years he spent on Earth researching his alternate personality, “four, but I was also close to seventeen when I became the Flame. Physically, I don’t believe that I aged.”
“It really does not matter though, as you won’t get old. I will though.”
“No. That had nothing to do with why I asked. Your accident. You could not marry because of it, but I realized that you had not even dated.”
“Well, I was showing off for some boys when I had the accident. If they had not called for help, I doubt that I would have survived at all.”
“How is the courting process on your world? Would you have been married by now?”
He helped her clean up while listening to her mention things about life on her planet. The signal for him to go into action did not bother him. While she had not finished speaking, he had heard enough to bring up topics the next time they had time together.
It caught him by surprise not to come out upon a world. In looking around, he further considered it strange to find another immortal nearby that he almost never associated with. Not understanding the reason for his presence, he went to the one he hoped could explain.
To be the representative of Eternity, the figure always appeared better fed and truthfully not that wise. Greg thought that he looked more like a monk from a monastery, more of a Friar Tuck. The way that he spoke however did convey a sense of deeper knowledge.
“Greg. Glad to see you. Do you understand what that rock is over there?”
The fact that speeds were relative in space was made apparent as he moved with Chisel to a position motionless in respect to the huge spinning rock. Greg looked at the mass and felt that he could guess certain things, but contacted the mentality of his immortal personality to be certain. Gaining certain knowledge allowed him to confidently reply.
“It is a piece of what was once a planet thriving with life.”
“Yes. Good. Now, it is going in the wrong direction. Send it that way.”
Greg did not mind, but as he had his alternate mentality check some things he went ahead and asked a question. “You could not do this?”
“Well, consider this a test.”
He did not know that Chisel could do those, but felt that all was well as he related some information provided to him. “Okay, so telling you that it needs to be sent more that way should enable me to pass it.”
“I wasn’t going to send it to that planet.”
“But the life forms here developed under hotter conditions. I doubt that they would develop where you were sending it.”
“You are able to tell that much?”
The question did not sound like one Chisel expected answered. It came out more as a statement of disbelief. Greg found himself wondering exactly how he was being tested while supplying an answer.
“It’s not my knowledge, Chisel. I asked, and that was what I was told.”
“Yes. That is why I spent those years in research. I was told that the universe was going to change because of me. I feared being responsible, so sought to find a way to prevent what I felt might be universal doom.”
Greg felt that he needed to be the one asking questions as he blandly replied, “Uh, yeah.”
“I don’t know of any other who actually could communicate with their immortal nature. I know that I cannot.”
Greg had not spoken at length to the other immortals. Calliope did not speak of any second mentality, but all she had to do was touch people and give them release. Shetaile however talked about her work in the same manner that he spoke about his, so felt that she also could sense the mentality that actually performed her desired actions. Wondering how much Chisel had spoken to the others, Greg tried to explain some of his own history.
“Well, it was easy before I found myself in Peace. After that, I feel more in charge of the power. The stuff I do is still far outside my general knowledge, so I need guidance. I thus still seek it out for answers.”
“Oh, well, I might need to try that.” Chisel’s voice regained its strength as he said, “Greg you restored Calliope to her position as Death. I might need you to restore me. I sense that I am about to be replaced, and fear that the person that gains my power will actually bring about the destruction of everything.”
Not wanting to support any claim of impending doom, Greg replied, “I felt that way, Chisel, but it ended up just being the universe adjusting to me holding this status. The same might be all that you are sensing.”
“I hope so, Greg. This is not a job for a young man. Eternity takes a much more mature personality. I felt Death coming for me when I did the thing that I felt marked me for this status. While I enjoy being Eternity, there is also the knowledge that losing this position will mean the end of my days. I thus do not believe that you will have the luxury that you had with Calliope. With me there might be more of a matter of time.”
Still wanting to keep the conversation positive, Greg commented, “We had Bo Drell as Death, Chisel. The man thought he could sit back and simply prevent people from dying. How could things get worse than that?”
“I hope neither one of us ever finds out. Move the rock, Greg. That other direction is fine. And thanks.”