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 Life on the Other Side: cp12 (Three Parts of Three)

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PostSubject: Life on the Other Side: cp12 (Three Parts of Three)   May 18th 2013, 1:01 pm

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 Twelve: Part One

(Greg)

Greg entered the Apostle to find Jirdan waiting for him. The Cladastian moved up at a standard pace with the legs showing no agitation. That told Greg that while something important was occurring, or about to occur, it was not considered overly drastic. He did not feel overly stressed, and he had not been gone long enough to be tired, so he calmly waited to be informed.

“Greg, the meeting with the art expert has already started.”

He waved for Jirdan to lead the way while asking about other matters. “The Pranashall Consortium should also have arrived.”

“Yes, many have, and their interest has caused the meeting to occur in one of our theaters.”

Greg actually considered that a good thing. He truthfully found that a discussion in something substantial with historic relevance to help put everyone’s thoughts in a frame of mind to actually discuss diplomatic matters. He thus walked with Jirdan without feeling any stress.

He moved into the room thinking it actually no different than a private theater for small stage productions on Earth. The main activity occurred on an area at the bottom and center of a semi-circular room with the chairs for the audience on risers. If the room had been empty, the only difference between this room and one back on his college campus would be the type of chairs. Being filled, the life forms of those who felt comfortable in the odd seats did the most to declare that this theater was somewhere other than Earth.

Greg had not moved down to take a seat, but found that another also had not settled for comfort as he moved along the back wall to softly make a statement. “Your wife is doing a wonderful job of bringing out details in the painting for the expert to expound upon.”

Vefillaya was indeed down on the stage providing a sounding board for what the expert had to say. With the painting from her world, and the expert also a Dumonistat, he felt she was a wonderful choice for someone to handle the presentation. Greg thus easily spoke in favor of his wife.

“I blamed the depth of her interest on Anne, the muse of History, being the one that brought the painting to her. I however could see nothing wrong with her interest, so supported what she was doing.”

Greg saw movement as someone got out of a chair near the back row and move to him. The theater was dark to put the focus on what was happening on the stage, and the acoustics worked to promote sounds forward. With he and Hubrinostry speaking softly, Greg thus did not consider their voices as bothering anyone. He however looked at the form and considered it humanoid, then noticed the close-cropped white hair on the head. Realizing that this was another Dumonistat, Greg suddenly found himself able to identify the one coming to him.

A hand shot out as he said, “It is good to meet you, Uncle Wenelsa.”

The man smiled, then moved to hug him while saying, “Well, since you said ‘Uncle.’”

One of the reasons for Vefillaya being sent to become Greg’s wife was that she could not have children. The accident that ruined her reproductive organs also destroyed any chance of her having a normal family relationship on her own world. She became what her world called a mepriane, a person who was unable to provide offspring. The word was ancient, but became used as a propaganda tool in their own fight to prevent homosexuals from becoming married. The resulting legislation created different categories of marriage with most accepting that a male and female seeking to have offspring to be the ideal type of marriage. Those unable or unwilling to enter such a style of marriage were not ostracized, but not given the best favorable benefits. To save Vefillaya any shame in her condition, she had been slotted to become the concubine of her uncle, but to help restore some dignity to his sister, the brother of Greg’s wife had sent her to the gathering of his prospective brides. The actions of the uncle told Greg that no hard feelings existed more than his words.

“I came to let you know that our family does accept you, Greg. Vefillaya says that you took her to see your mother.”

“Yes. A good time presented itself, and it seems that the meeting went very well.”

“Tebel forwarded me the message Vefillaya sent to him. I thus read of her speaking well of the visit. Now it is your turn to visit the other side of the family.”

Greg hoped that his expression of being cheerful could be read in the dark room as he replied, “Yes, but she only had to meet my mother.”

“And you met her brother and his family. Now you are meeting me. You have been given the soft touch, but now it is time for you take the plunge and accept what you got yourself into by marrying my niece.”

That comment hit Greg at a deeper level than it was probably intended, because it told him that he had done right by choosing the Dumonistat. There were a lot of women at the gathering of prospective brides, and he had not allowed himself to focus on only those resembling his own form. He actually toyed with having a completely alien wife. Greg felt that it would declare just how accepting he was of this galaxy where he made his home. Calliope had however worked to keep his mind on more practical concerns, so he had ended up with the lady that was most compatible physically with him. Seeing the expressions on the man told him that the compatibility worked in other ways as well, so Greg made a note to choose similar wives in the future.

It was odd to hear Uncle Wenelsa speak of Vefillaya in a sexually attractive manner. The phrasing was not explicit, and if Greg had not been among the people for a length of time he felt that he probably would not have caught certain innuendoes. It actually made him feel good to hear certain references, as it let him know that Vefillaya was considered attractive. He liked her high cheek bones, her nose, and overall felt that she was pretty. She was not human however, and truthfully came to him with a rather low opinion of herself. Greg however felt that those feelings were remnants of her accident, as she displayed a stronger personality beneath her outer actions and words. The words of Wenelsa told Greg that his wife was truly lovely, so he did not mind the references.

Greg suddenly saw eyes turn to him. He really had not been paying attention to the presentation. Not afraid of being put on the spot, he moved to an aisle while wondering what had happened.

Vefillaya said, “Greg, Professor Nevillor has requested a piece of the edge of the painting for study.”

“I believe that I already warned you about that, Vefillaya. The painting was stored among the immortals. It thus has not aged. While the backing material and paints will certainly test to those of the period, they should not date to the period.”

The expert asked, “No aging occurred?”

“None. I have had to recently accept that certain flowers, birds, and even my pet dragon that lives in my room, are probably thousands of years old. That is in spite of my lack of care for their upkeep.”

“A dragon? Those things are quite large.”

Greg smiled in recognizing that those of Dumonistat did have a creature similar to dragons in their mythology, and found the reference to fit the situation perfectly. “This is but a small one, a baby, and it has never aged.”

“Oh. I had read the words of your wife saying such, but I did not consider the circumstances to be so ideal.”

“I am not against your taking a section of the painting for testing, but I have already warned my wife that its relevance should only be in the image, and not in the painting itself.”

“Still, Greg, your word could supply the prominence to date the painting.”

“I appreciate your faith in me. I however am not interested in dating the painting itself. It is your own conclusions about the one in the image that interests me.”

“I need facts, Greg. Please, come down, and relate to us first-hand what you know of the painting.”

He moved down to the stage, although first moved to kiss his wife. She softly apologized for not being at the door to greet him upon his arrival. He told her that she was, as Jirdan brought him to the door of the theater, and her form was the first thing he saw. Seeing her smile, Greg moved to a central location.

He spoke on the circumstance in Peace that resulted in the painting being found. He let it be known that whatever the situation at the beginning, the present activities in Peace had conceivably been duplicated many times before. All that it would take would be a successive series of shallow individuals more interested in being who they were than in learning about what they were that could again cause a loss of the history of Peace. He stressed that there was nothing in Peace or about Peace that promoted a retention of information.

The expert chanced to ask, “Surely there are books?”

“If there is a storeroom of books, possibly old diaries, it has not been found.”

“Would you let us know if it is?”

“Probably not. You cannot imagine the size of the room holding the paintings. Now consider a room equally as large filled with diaries.” Chuckles sounded as Greg had his hands indicate small little notepads. “I don’t have the patience to sift through such a large assortment of texts, and I really doubt that any other of the immortals have that much inclination, not to mention a general lack of time, to do so. It would thus be better for me to simply be mute on the matter.”

The voice of Uncle Wenelsa sounded from the back of the room, “You would not withhold such information from your wife?”

Greg smiled as he answered, “No, I would not withhold the information from Vefillaya. Of course, if knowledge of such a room did leak out, let me stress that there is no way to bring any researchers into Peace. While you thus might learn of a valuable resource existing, it would be inaccessible to you. Be grateful for the painting, and for anything else of my life as an immortal that I present, but note that these are merely benefits of my existence with you, and not the reason for my existence with you.”

“Just as Vefillaya is a benefit of your existence with us.”

Greg could not reason out why that statement had been said, but quickly spoke to correct it. “She is not a benefit of me staying here. She is a reason for me staying here, and given to me for the purpose of keeping me here. She does a fabulous job, and I must say that I am presently quite happy here. Enjoy the painting, and anything else I present.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


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PostSubject: Part Two   May 23rd 2013, 2:44 pm

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 Twelve: Part Two

(Greg)

The presentation closed with the expert promising all that he would be spending time with the painting going over the facts presented and others that he had gathered, or would be gathering, and present a final assessment. Greg told the assembly that there was some reluctance among the immortals to allow the Dumonistat government to have possession of the painting, but that at present all felt that it would be of more benefit with them. He thus termed the painting a loan, although in shaking hands with the expert all understood that there was no immediate desire for the artwork to be returned.

Greg found himself further held up by members of the Pranashall Consortium who wanted to introduce themselves to him. Understanding that the gatherings of the diplomats occurred regularly, he found himself feeling a need to speak with those that came up to him. He thus found himself actually feeling tired when he finally approached the door to his apartment.

Vefillaya was at the door, and after kissing him she turned to a couple that were present while saying, “I told Uncle Wenelsa that his comments about me were inappropriate.”

The man stood while replying, “Ah, Vefillaya, you said that he could handle himself under pressure. He did well, and I want it said that he should have no problems at meeting our larger family.”

The lady beside the man sternly stated, “It was however inappropriate. Still, my husband is not the only member of our family that can be rather rude.”

Greg enjoyed spending time with the man that would have gained the physical possession of Vefillaya. He did have a rather strong personality, but that actually matched the way that she had spoken about him. The feelings of his wife also spoke of a graciousness in not having to share her husband with another, and she patted her belly speaking of the blessing that her time with her husband had presented.

They were enjoying a meal when Vefillaya suddenly made an exclamation and rose. Greg turned in the direction she looked to see a large rotund figure collapse to the floor. The Flame made itself apparent as the intruder was enveloped in a sphere while Greg spoke.

“Chisel, why in the world did you come here?”

The words came out in a broken manner between gasps, “Because… I don’t… want to… die.”

“Captain Negallin!”

While Greg had the monitors of his front room relayed to his own recorders, certain connections in the communication network had been retained. Being a diplomatic vessel, there was a high degree of privacy in what was said, although to assure the safety of all on board there were words that would cause the computer intelligence to override privacy settings. The stressed name of the master of the vessel was one such word, and after speaking it his voice quickly returned over a speaker, to which Greg gave commands.

“I need a stateroom. Send an atmospheric worker, as I cannot really know what type of atmosphere I will need.”

“Of course, Greg. I take it from your voice that a desperate situation has developed. Will you also need medical assistance?”

“Yes. Definitely. We have an old man, but again I cannot presently say more.”

It did help that as the Flame he had control over elemental forces. While gravity was artificial in the ship, he could still overcome the effect to have the body of Chisel lifted from the floor. Greg found himself also able to make some repairs in the body that had the man breathing easier. The exact race of Chisel was however unknown to him, along with specifics of his native world. All that Greg could do was act to try and make him comfortable.

Coming out of his room, the voice of Captain Negallin directed Greg to the chosen stateroom. An atmospheric worker met him along the route. It was a strange feeling knowing that he had created the proper conditions for Chisel, although having no way to relay what he did to the worker. Greg however did have a knowledge of chemistry, so could work with the technician to play with the atmosphere Once the Flame allowed that the air would support the elderly man, the atmospheric worker left to be replaced by a medical team. Greg again found himself unsure what was needed, although did his best to relate what he could.

Chisel did not allow him to leave the apartment, but as the man settled on a bed he shouted to be heard over the medical team around him, “Greg, check on my replacement! I don’t think that he is like Bo Drell. He might be good, but I think that he is part of a corporation.”

Greg knew that the doctors could not understand the man. Jirdan was coming into the room with an environmental suit, so there was a possibility that the translation software would soon help with communications. Greg however wondered if he should stay as he spoke to Chisel.

“I am worried about you. You said that you were an old man, and what I see confirms that. You said that was a strong possibility that I could not replace you the way that we managed for Calliope. I thus don’t know what to do, Chisel.”

“I don’t have family, Greg. I can die here as well as anywhere. I however trust you. Check on things.”

Greg did not like those words, and spoke to let the man know the predicament he felt had resulted. “But you did come to me, Chisel. That is an honor.”

“No, Greg, it is just who you are. You are Life. I came to you because I don’t want to face Calliope. If you see her, tell her not to come to me.”

Greg felt that Chisel should know that Calliope had no way of knowing who called her. She simply felt a signal and responded to it. There was also another fact that Greg felt the old man should have been aware of.

“You don’t need Calliope to die, Chisel.”

“I know that, Greg. I am breathing easy, and the doctors are getting some base-line readings about me. I thus should be all right for the moment. Check on my replacement.”

Greg spoke with Jirdan to relate what he could of the person. While Chisel spoke of his trust in him, Greg felt that they really did not know each other. All that Jirdan could be told was the man’s name, and that he had been the personality for Eternity.

Vefillaya was waiting for him as he left the stateroom. He kissed her, then told her that he would probably be very tired and distraught when he returned. She promised to be waiting for him as he rushed to an elevator.

When Calliope had been replaced, Greg knew what to do to call her replacement to him. He however basically knew nothing of the duties of Eternity. All that he could do was make a call and hope that it would be answered, although he knew from experience that the signals for a new replacement were easily ignored.

“Who are you?”

Hearing the voice brought Greg relief, but it also surprised him. He had actually felt the source of the threat upon Chisel to be from the Suderling Union. The one that had tried to steal the persona of War had been from Greg’s adopted galaxy. The one Greg faced however was not a form that was recognizable, and his curiosity stated that he was not a known threat.

“I am the persona of Life. The one that held your position came to me. He was old when he became Eternity, and has served in that capacity for a long time. Even so, he came to me because he was not yet ready for death. He sent me to check on his replacement.”

“I am well, thank you. What are my duties?”

“I have no way of knowing. Chisel, the one you are replacing, was always there to speak with, but we never really discussed work.”

The creature appeared of a tri-symetric design like the Cladastians, although not as true to the standard. Two tentacles came out of a lower section acting as if two sturdy tails supporting one thick leg. The upper body had three sturdy appendages equally spaced about the body along with three tentacles. The head was strangely flat with the eyes on one side and a single mouth at the base of what Greg could only assume to be a neck was from where it spoke.

“It is nice to meet you.”

“The same here. I guess that I wish you well, as I going to bring back a report to Chisel.”

“Could I speak to him?”

Greg laughed, then said, “Sure, if you can find the way.”

Returning to the Apostle, he went to Chisel’s room first. Captain Negallin was at the door speaking to a medic. Greg stopped glad to hear that Chisel was doing well, although found himself having to answer questions. Hearing that the man had come to Greg so as not to die brought the medic distress, as he claimed no knowledge of the life form while stating that what readings he did gain were not good. The information caused Greg to move on into the room.

“Chisel?”

“Greg?” came a weak voice. “Did you meet him?”

“Yes, Chisel, I did. I didn’t recognize him, Chisel. As I have been studying my new home, I can assure you that he is not from the Suderling Union. He seemed to be nice person, although very unsure what his powers were.”

“You have to be old, Greg, to understand. You cannot understand unless you are old.”

“Well, I am not old, Chisel. Even including my years as the Flame, I am not old at all.”

The man moved a hand to grab Greg’s as he said, “You are a good Life. Keep doing whatever it is that you are doing.”

“You know that you are making a previous Life, Denidroe, into being a liar.”

The laugh sounded more like a cough. “Yes, when I cross over, I will apologize to her. There were three between her and you. They were not good. I cannot say how many Eternities there will be until another stable one will be found.”

“He wanted to meet you, Chisel.”

“What did you tell him?”

“That he would have to find you.”

Greg had hoped for another laugh, but considered the movement of the head with a nod to be a better response. “That was a good answer. You did not know what you were doing. None of us knew what we were to do. There are urges, but no clear direction. We are more personalities than necessities. That is why Calliope is a good Death, and you are a good Life. You have good personalities.”

“I like most of those in Peace. I even like you, Chisel.”

The man gripped the hand tight as he said, “Thank you for using the present tense, Greg.”

“Are you dying on me, Chisel?”

“I told you that I was old, Greg. I also told you that if I was replaced that I would not last for you to replace me.”

Greg could only wonder about things even as he tried to put the situation into some perspective. “But you also told me that you came to me because you did not want to die.”

“I was worried, Greg, that I would have a replacement like Bo Drell. If so, maybe I would have had hope to hold on.”

Both men turned as a female voice said, “Greg?”

Greg did not have to turn to identify the lady, but kept his focus on the one on the bed as he declared, “I did not call her, Chisel. I did not speak to her.”

“No, Greg, it is okay.”

“Chisel, you came to me not to die.”

The hand holding Greg’s released him to move as it to take that of Calliope as Chisel said, “She is a friend as well, Greg.”

“No. Chisel, you have to tell me. You are the oldest of us immortals. You have to tell me if there are answers that you know. Do you know of things in Peace that we have not yet rediscovered?”

“I can tell you, but it will not answer your questions, Greg. It is one of the problems with being Eternity. I know how meaningless it all is. The answers are personal. They may or may not be always there, but their discovery is always something personal. Others can discover the same thing, and may not see, or see something completely different. That is why it is the personalities of the immortals that is what is important. What we do is secondary.” Chisel held up both hands, then said, “Life and Death, it is good that the two of you get along.”

Calliope said, “You are one person that I will refuse to touch, Chisel.”

He pointed at the lady and commanded, “Then you go find my replacement. If you return saying the same, I will suffer without complaint.”

Greg noticed the chill that had came to the room to have suddenly disappeared, and spoke to the elder. “I trust her opinion as well, Chisel. While she is gone to speak to another, let the two of us talk. I have never really spent time talking to you.”

Chisel once had family. He actually had a rather large family. He however became sick, and after splitting his estate found no one to care for him. While alone in a hospital, he turned his attention to other matters. He did not get specific, but Greg assumed that it was something paranormal, as Chisel did admit that he felt the study to have opened him up to become the personality of Eternity. His family had long since died, and he told of his heirs not being careful with their fates. He thus considered other immortals as his family.

Greg learned that there were twenty immortals. Most applied to all, but some really only had applicable work among some of the more esoteric life forms. He spoke of the energy beings that he had recently helped, and Chisel spoke of meeting other really bizarre beings as well. He then mentioned those that had the jobs of the more extreme immortal personalities.

Both stopped talking as the voice of Calliope said, “He is not nearly as old as you, Chisel. He did initiate it, but I don’t believe that he will last at his position.”

“That is all right, Calliope. It is higher powers that then will choose the replacement. Just as in the case of Greg, the choice is bizarre, although generally a good one. Come and kiss me, Calliope.”

Greg felt the lady put a hand on his back as her voice sounded as if she was crying. “I don’t want to, Chisel. I want to stay here and talk with you as well.”

“Unlike Greg, you and I have spoken with each other numerous times. It is time to say good-bye.”

“No, Chisel.”

“I have put off passing over long enough, Calliope. I should have friends, family, and other people to come to know. It is not a bad thing, Calliope.”

“It is, because I am going to miss you.”

“That is why I want you to kiss me. The memory will help me as I deal with missing you as well.”

Greg felt the lady cry on his back for at time, then she brought her form erect. He saw Calliope come before him to approach Chisel. He noted that she appeared in her normal form. She came upon him as a friend, and not as a representation of Death. The embrace and kiss was warm, although she wailed as it quickly turned cold.

After holding Calliope for a time, she finally let go feeling the call of another. Both promised to speak some more later. Greg then left the room to speak to others.

Captain Negallin was outside, and Greg could see that a nearby monitor showed the scene in the room. “I could see and hear what others could not. We did not have him long enough to get a good translation routine established, but I could at least understand Calliope.”

“Well, he was a good man. The universe might seem disrupted until a new Eternity is established. Cremate the body.”

“Of course. I am sorry that we could not do more for him, although it seems that he knew that he was going to die.”

“He did. He came to me simply to assure some things. Calliope actually helped. He went feeling that everything was as it should be. I guess that is the best way to go.”

“I believe so as well. Your wife mentioned that you said that you would be tired upon your return. I told her that I would send you to your room.” As Greg turned, a pseudo-pod from the captain touched him to have him pause while more words were said. “I heard you ask him for answers. What was his reply?”

“He said that it was all personal. He said that whether the answer existed or not, those that found might not see, or see in ways that others would not. What was discovered thus was not important, but the personalities of those that sought was what was truly important.”

“Both you and Calliope accepted that answer.”

Greg shrugged as he said, “Whether or not it is true, the words did fit Chisel’s personality. I thus accepted the answer as being proper for Chisel.”

“Then I will release you to your room, Greg. While I cannot speak of matters concerning the realm of immortals, I can say that for a number of hours I will not have the troubles of the Suderling Union bother you.”

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Part Three   May 28th 2013, 12:27 pm

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 Twelve: Part Three

(Greg)

Vefillaya was at the door when Greg stepped through. He however turned to see another rise from the couch. In a way, he was glad to see that Vefillaya had spent more time visiting with her uncle, but Greg also was in a frame of mind that he had recently visited enough.

“Uncle Wenelsa, I hope that your visit was not overly disrupted.”

“No, Greg. I believe that it will be good conversation in being able to tell others that I actually saw you in action. That was the previous persona of Eternity?” After Greg nodded, the man spoke in a manner indicating that he wanted to ask another question. “I did have your monitor set to show the scene outside the door to the stateroom. It showed Captain Negallin watching the stateroom cameras, but those views were unauthorized.”

Greg looked at his wife. She did not smile, but kept her face looking at her uncle. Greg wondered about what had been occurring in his own room. Vefillaya did know the codes to authorize a view of any camera. Greg was the prime ambassador on board the vessel, and actually had authority over all the ship. He did not throw his weight around, because he really did not want the responsibility, and he found those who did to be good people very capable in their positions. Still, as his wife, Vefillaya could make use of the codes that would have the computer system agree to any request. The fact that she had not caused Greg to wonder at how friendly the visit with the uncle had been.

The man asked another question. “Greg, when you came out, you told the captain that the universe might seem disrupted until a new Eternity is established. How will it seem disrupted?”

“I don’t know, but I have met those that felt the disruption during those years that I studied my identity. I even secluded myself because I sensed myself that a change was coming to the universe because of me, and feared what that meant.”

“So, it probably won’t be apparent to most.”

Greg found himself again trying to read the mind of his wife. She however simply stayed at his side while continuing to politely look at her uncle. Greg thus replied to the man while considering that when he got Vefillaya in their bedroom he would work to get her to reveal more than simply her naked body.

“No, not at all. What is probably worse however is that many that can feel the disturbance will not even be able to comprehend why they feel what they do.”

“There is however someone now representing Eternity?”

Greg found the line of questioning to be rather confusing. He did however feel that it was good for people to consider things larger than their immediate conditions. Greg thus directed his uncle to return to comfortably sitting. While Vefillaya did move to assure that her husband had a cup of tea, he found her to then sit on the arm of his chair as she had done during Labonchy’s visit. Considering that the visitor was family, the act confused Greg, although he tried to keep a relaxed countenance while answering the question.

“Yes, but he is not established in the position. He is in a trial period. There is a period of time where he gets to learn his duties and abilities.”

“How long does this period last?”

“I am unsure. It took years with me, but that was mostly due to me. I get the impression that it usually is only a few weeks or months.”

“And then, the disruption ceases?”

Greg had to pause to consider where the line of questioning was leading. The presence of his wife as being a lovely possession bothered him. For an unseen immortal, the act of sitting in a prominent position next to him seemed proper, as the act clearly stated the rudeness of Labonchy. This person was her relative however, so Greg felt that she should be more relaxed. He however felt that this line of questioning would probably come from others, so answered him just as he felt he would answer others.

“And then one feels a difference in the universal fabric. The best example is Death. Right now there is a sense that death is nothing more than an end to life. Calliope presents a Death that is not frightening. She comes upon people calmly. They might fear what she represents, and might be really scared of what they will face, or not face, after dying, but she herself really does not come across as something vile and threatening. Should we get a Death who is simply out to get a job done, who rushes upon those that call for Death, then I believe that our perspective on dying will change.”

“What perspective do you believe this new Eternity will bring?”

“I have no idea, as I have no idea what exactly Eternity does. Calliope however told Chisel that the new Eternity was too young for the position, so she does not expect him to remain. I know that Chisel told me that only the very old can understand the duties of Eternity, so I have to believe what she said.”

Greg watched as Uncle Wenelsa now showed nervousness. He finished his cup of tea only to have Vefillaya promptly move to provide a refill. She then returned to sitting upon the arm of her husband’s chair. That gave Greg further evidence that there was something suspicious about the conversation.

Uncle Wenelsa finally drank another sip of tea, then asked his next question. “So the present Eternity probably won’t last, so the disturbance in the universe could last for a time as a variety of people gain the position?”

“Yes. Chisel however said that after one fails, that there is a system that activates to choose the next candidate. He said that it actually did a good job, pointing out that I was chosen in that method. I was not seeking to become Life, and did not even know that such a position was available. I was however acting to control certain forces when the position became vacant, so found myself elected to actually have the associated power.”

“So, what would you recommend for someone to be doing right now if they wanted to be Eternity?”

Greg felt relieved that Uncle Wenelsa did not ask him what he was doing that marked him as being acceptable to be in the position of Life. “Once again, I don’t really know what the job of Eternity is. All I can say is that you probably need to be old, like in being close to death old, and probably have your mind set to some really esoteric line of thought.”

“Not really something that one can plan.”

“No. I mean most can plan on becoming old, but it is not something that occurs quickly.”

Greg chuckled along with Uncle Wenelsa. The man then finished his cup of tea and waved away Vefillaya from refilling. He stood, and Greg found his wife again placing herself against his side when he stood as well. Uncle Wenelsa spoke an apology for keeping Greg up even longer, then mentioned needing to return to his own wife. The two spoke kind words as they moved to the door.

After the door shut, Vefillaya said, “Greg, I believe that my uncle was part of the group that caused the attack upon War.”

He thought back along the line of questioning, and considered that the words had merit. He however did not know how to respond. If accused, Uncle Wenelsa could easily deny the association. Greg thus sought his wife for more information.

“What did the two of you speak about while I was with Chisel?”

“He was interested in watching you. He suspected that I had access to the cameras. I however got a little angry when he ordered his wife back to their stateroom, as I saw no reason that we could not continue to speak to one another. When I saw Captain Negallin setting up his own monitors in front of Chisel’s stateroom, I told my uncle that such was the best view I could get.”

Greg felt that the action of the man sending away his wife had put him in a bad light. He had not heard Vefillaya previously speak poorly of her uncle. While it was true that she did not desire to share a life with him and his wife, she had never spoken of the man as being involved with illegal activity. However, realizing that she would not only have been a secondary sexual companion, but then kept apart from certain aspects of his life, surely had her feel that her uncle did not deserve any respect from her. Greg thus gave his wife what he felt was an honest answer to let her know that he had no reluctance to share himself with her.

“Truthfully, that was probably the better view. If you had accessed the stateroom camera, he could not have seen Calliope or understood Chisel anyway.”

She began moving him to the bedroom as she said, “Yes, but Captain Negallin could see Death, and he also seems to be very good at managing to understand others. I thus agree that the view was probably better for Uncle Wenelsa. Still, I got the impression that if he learned that I could access all cameras that he would have had me check those not part of what you were involved in.”

“Well, it is probably best if both of us do not involve ourselves further. If you uncle is doing things that he shouldn’t, let the authorities track him and develop their case against him. For the both of us, he is a relative, and we need to keep a positive attitude about him.”

“I do want you to know that I am much happier as your wife.”

She was undressing. Greg had to admit that she had never hesitated to reveal her naked body to him. He also thought back on her willingness to declare herself as his possession. He had never told her to sit on the arm of his chair, but would either direct both of them to a couch or assure that she had a chair for herself. The action was completely of her choosing. While her undressing could be assumed under her duties as his wife, presenting herself as a prized possession had never been a requirement or even a stated method of behavior.

He had done a little, but mostly watched as she undressed. That was actually what he usually did. As she came to him to have him also remove his clothes, he thought to mention something of his mood and her appearance.

“I am really tired, Vefillaya. There was probably no need for you to undress completely.”

“I am tired as well, Greg, so will probably go to sleep with you and not go back into the other rooms. Also, you hold me after you fall asleep. Most of my body is rough. I thus feel better having softer parts of me to put against you.”

“I really do not find your body rough, Vefillaya.”

“Considering how you hold me, I cannot deny your words. I still prefer you touching my breasts than my legs. I enjoy it more.”

Those words put Greg in a playful mood. Vefillaya responded cheerfully to his actions. They did more than simply perform a certain action together, but by the time they fell asleep in each other arms they were both truly tired.

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