Being back at the University of Regina so many years later was captivating to say the least. The hall and classrooms, libraries and dining halls, dormitories and recreational facilities full of students from around the world, the province, the country and other places as well.
The number of buildings had doubled since I had first come to call this my home campus back in the year 2000, how naive I was to think it would be a quick four years, then I’d be set for a wonderful career, nope, that just gets you in the door.
Enjoying a cigarette in the courtyard which had once been plain now revealed an extravagance and luxury I had deftly become adapted to over the years.
Watching a grasshopper for a few moments I thought of how normal this place was, then, watched as it jumped into the air and flew away as a butterfly. Had someone not locked down the lab properly? Was a grating in the endless pathways of ductwork loose which had allowed the creature to escape?
I thought back to my studies which had emphasized the importance of foreign organism containment in environmental habitats, that a new species could easily wipe out others and completely upset the balance of an ecosystem.
As I made my way to the Owl for a meal before the lunchtime rush I was shocked to see a lady in her lab coat running by frantically, in tears, her blouse and lab coat open, breasts bouncing in the black lace bra worn by a majority of the cheerleading team. Then from around the corner, several campus security agents followed in pursuit.
I had seen her just a half hour before outside the Riddell Centre eyeing the students and staff evacuated from the College West building in what seemed to be a fire alarm scare. Who was she trying to catch off-guard?
Considering the pursuit of these questions filled my mind for the duration of my wait for my poutine, but I soon dismissed the thought when I saw the lead researchers from the Research and Innovation Centre talking with the EMS and Fire crews which had gathered on the scene, I could not afford the attention though.
Instead, after enjoying my meal with a Starbucks coffee topped with cinnamon and chocolate, I walked briskly as usual to the Ad-Hum building to meet an old friend. From behind the glass in the controlled room, ‘Grendell’ when we had first met, ‘Cadmium’ when I had left; nowadays known as ‘Dextrose’ and ‘Entropy’ - the University of Regina’s super-computer.
I asked several discrete questions of the IT staff gathered there, oblivious to the fact that is was lunchtime as they typed away and read and re-read the computer screen readouts. What temperature was required for optimal calculations? The answer came that it did need lower than room temperature, but not sub-zero temperatures. Was it classified as a quantum computer? To that the answer came that it indeed had some very advanced parts, yet, they were still just classified as a super-computers.
Then, relaxing and realizing they had no clue who I was, I relaxed a bit and asked if it had any AI capabilities yet? The ‘yet’, however, had slipped out. The answer was no.
My thoughts flooded back to the future when Blasar Incorporated was a US- based company and research venture, though that timeline was fading back into miniscule probability.
I pondered a while about the why the main investor had not returned my correspondences; and over the month that followed I fumbled through the business contact list from memory, but none were interested in ideas, only money; no investment, no interest.
The strange things about the correspondences and research were the coincidences in the days which followed them. Having researched the historical significance of the Grail, two quakes in that region; having researched the Gates of Ishtar, two quakes in that region; contacting the governmental research branch into French archives, a lake in southern France turning blood-red; contacting several California based agencies, two further quake incidences. What was going on...
Perhaps that was what had gotten the investor interested the first time around... perhaps the emails were still sitting in some unchecked inbox. It was a mere five and a half months to the memory synchronization, a planet full of possibility, and no one taking the situation seriously.
What I recalled of the Blasar Incorporated computer systems were merely from the use of the systems referred to as “The Interface”, “The Valley”, “The Ubratrap” and “The Core”. I understood the conceptual design, but not the programming. Had the quantum computations memorized, though I did not understand how they had been calculated. Had seen “The Core” devolve and evolve thousands of RNA codes, but was not sure how it did so, other than the protein reduction or synthesis.
The quantum computer had allowed for the manifestation of the Majorana Fermion on the planet, the so-called “God Particle”. The Higgs Boson had captivated the mind of thousands of people around the world, but to me, it was 1/27th of the equation.
In the years spanning 2013 to 2018 thousands of research projects which had spanned continents had been integral to the space programs which had turned the Galaxy into a neighbourhood.
He had a handful of memories from the future, most of them chapters and sections of “The Big Book”.
Gaining access to the Majorana Fermion chamber had taken many years, but I, Asterick Epsiton, had managed to do the impossible. Of course, activation of the micro-particle-accelerators (MPAs) had raised every alarm in Los Angeles, but the Interface had taken over the other systems and raised every possible barrier and obstacle between the security teams and I. My last thought in that timeline was how the Majorana Fermion really brought out the sparkle in my eyes!
Having arrived back from China only hours before, Asterick was already uploading the pictures and sketches from the elaborate room he had stayed in. The main room itself was rug, a deep blue and was like walking on velvet from memory. The bathroom was amazing and was where he had spent a majority of his time; this was because the bathroom had an amazing sauna/ bathtub in fountain design.
It was a three-tier design, overflowing into a nestled outer wall. Steam flowed and circled the room thanks to the ingenious air flow design. It was never too hot, or water too cool; it was the best series of baths he had ever had in a single stay at a hotel. The mirrors were covered in a gold leaf Chinese script, though he did not know what it meant or depicted.
The holographic technologic integration into the Blasar computer systems, “The Interface”, “The Valley”, “The Ubratrap” and “The Core” was by far the greatest achievement since the Interface gloves a month or so earlier.
It was nice being back in the Americas after the short break, it always seemed to bring a sense of optimism with it.
After a week or so reviewing the company sector by sector and fine-tuning the bi-weekly management report for upper management, Asterick sat down in his kitchen of his Blasar Incorporated condominium; his own spanned three levels and included artistic recreations of every artefact of importance to the novel; mostly gold, many in white gold, often adorned with precious stones, gems, jewels and other precious metals.
From the kitchen console he ordered a three-meat jambalaya with cream-sauce, fusilli and baked in “too many cheeses” topped with parsley. It was wonderful, so he typed a memo to the cooks in the kitchen downstairs on the main floor, that he had enjoyed it very much. A few minutes later a mickey of tequila and a container of ice arrived along with his favourite infusions.
Being Thursday and Justin’s visit not until tomorrow, Asterick read and reread the 25 page progress report, deciding on the photos of each sector and chose the top three employees by statistics and recommendation.
The grand-opening and unveiling of “The Core” was in the morning and the final integration of “The Core” to “The Interface”, “The Valley”, and the “Ubratrap”. The RNA analysis processor now perfected, the projects could be carried forth with no doubts.
The decoding of war and disease on the planet would be greatly appreciated... Asterick soon fell asleep soon after the last saves and corporate back-ups to the affiliated countries.
Morning came and the coffee canisters were already on the dumbwaiter. He drank one, then the second as he got ready for the big day. Two quick trips to the rooftop for cigarettes after a breath of fresh air, listening to various music the whole time to psych himself up. Soon he would be off in the company limo to the Computation sector building where the program would be revealed at long last.
After several presentations from several sector managers, the Hologram unit came to life in unison with the program. “The Core” trailer presentation was wonderful, portraying the last 10,000 years of Earth history and how “The Core” would at last decode and prevent any further wars and pandemics.
The crowd applaused, Asterick included, then looking to the reaction of upper management, Tuk, the Quetzal brothers were applauding as well, accepting handshake after handshake, but no Justin anywhere...
Checking his applet, the Interface indicated that Justin had left several minutes into the 20 minute holographic presentation.
The limo was waiting for Asterick, more cigars and champagnes than he could ever want, the “Muchos Gracias’ ” of the others of upper management still echoing in his mind, revelling in the attention.
The ride to the Condo sector was probably the longest in his life, and he had travelled on many buses, trains, planes and boats; the cigars and champagne was good though...
Asterick arrived home and ordered what he liked to call “Four-heads-are-better-than-one”, a mickey of tequila, one of vodka, one of spiced rum and one of whiskey. He set the environmental thermostat to indoor smoking, and then snacked on tortillas and queso, with a side dish of herbed rice and soya sauce, while he drank down the mixtures.
“It was like old lady Dawson reviewing the computer simulation of the Titanic sinking” came the voice of Justin through the Romanesque style door.
“Better late than never, it had to be a 100% accuracy level before proceeding.”
“How long have you known, huh?” Came the yelling. Asterick not sure if he should respond or not.
“In what capacity? The research has been ongoing since...”
“Don’t give me that shit...” Justin started, too angry to finish. Ast got a good slap, and couldn’t help but laughing, he should have clued in with the Titanic reference...
“You think this is funny- huh, punk?” Justin still livid, his anger now turning to resentment; the RNA/Bio-electric field output of “The Core” could have helped many in the long years between 2013 and 2018; Justin had invested millions of dollars into research and had recreated hundreds of artifacts for Blasar Incorporated for the supportive accounts for God’s Kingdom which had been destroyed for ‘insurance purposes’, Asterick had always said.
The silence in the room was overwhelming despite the lull of music, the trickling of the waterfall halfway down the right hand side of the staircase, over the artefact gallery, into the aquarium; the tubular aquarium apertures off the main tank stemming through the three levels; ivy plants waving lightly in the breeze of the environmental modification device, a scaled down version of the original.
“Before or after the outbreaks and attacks of 2013?” he asked.
Asterick finished his drink as Justin left; turning back one last time: “All I wanted was a fucking normal life.” then, slamming the door.
The Imaginary Friend
Justin was troubled by the emails, first one, now numbering in the dozens. He wasn’t sure how to approach this; was it a fan in a circumstantial crisis, or a fanatic trying to get between him and his wonderful, beautiful and gorgeous fiancé?
The fact that the person clearly indicated and acknowledged his concerns from the beginning was what caused his doubts; the anger, the fear, the resentment. “A normal life...” , his life was normal now wasn’t it? Taking in a deep breath of air from the balcony off his condominium was refreshing to say the least, barely any hint of salt in the moisture of the air from far down below.
He could imagine so many ways this might be negative, but even more that should work out better if he was involved, and no matter what he had involved himself in, in the past, he had always considered the good against the bad, the pros and the cons side by side, the risks with the benefits; then, why was this any different. Then the embrace of his fiancé erasing any and every doubt, leaving him with a smile by the time he turned around with: “Hey.” and returned the hug.
The drive to his mother and father’s house would give him enough time to consider the hypothetical future of this Blasar Incorporated. The research would have been funded by him, wouldn’t it? The amount and scope of the projects involved would mean that he had made the choice to trust this person, this Asterick Epsiton.
But, was it Asterick? It was one person and the possibility of a business. What if he did agree and ended up with Quetzalcoatl, Quetzalpapalotl or Tuk, or any other number of Blasar associates...
After saying hello to his father, who was busy as usual with his hobbies, still restless with retirement, even so many years later – a drive he admired every time he recalled.
The fresh baking in the kitchen had beckoned to him the moment he stepped into the house and had urged him to run to the kitchen as he had in younger years, but, through the years he had been taught to be respectful and mindful of his father, even if he didn’t turn to look, or seem not to be paying attention, he was.
After sampling the spread of baking a desserts with a glass of milk he was a little more relaxed, checked the doorway to see if his dad was joining them this time.... coast was clear.
“Umm.” he started, then clearing his throat and starting again, “When I was younger, did I have any imaginary friends?” He had thought about the question for a few months already, and had finally picked the words on the drive over.
She laughed, hands to her hips and sighed like so many times before, impressed with the sentence which would start hours of conversation:
“You don’t mean Asterick do you? The trouble you two used to cause, the grief you caused your father and I that summer...What did you used to call him? Ahh, yes, Ast the Alien from ‘Q’-something.
“Quasartia?” Justin asked and blurted at the same time.
“Yes, that was it.” She comment, more testing his memory than her own. Looking for that mischievous tongue sticking out the side of his mouth, what a long ordeal that was, just to break him out of that habit. If she had a nickel for every time she had corrected him with: “Keep your tongue in your mouth.” The over active imagination, the hyperactive moments, which had required an outlet for his boundless energy, thank God for the entertainment industry. Even mentioning the name “Asterick” to her husband would turn his face beet red with frustration, that poor vehicle he had worked on for so many years... she shook her head.
“So, here’s the thing,” he started, then, again, clearing his throat... but she had already known what to say in this situation:
“Whatever it is, don’t worry about it, focus on the wedding. Your career has been blessed, everything is going in the right direction.”
She smiled warmly, then they made some small talk the rest of his visit, fine-tuning travel itineraries for family and family-friends...normal stuff...
On his way back home he had gotten the call from the ‘fashionista extroidinaire’, the dress was ready. An evening dress, it was just an evening dress he had to keep repeating to himself the rest of the drive there. That the design came from Blasar Incorporated didn’t matter, how she reacted was what mattered.
He expected a smile and a thank you for the flowing rainbow design with bold black accent borders, what he got was playfully tackled onto their bed with: “It’s great!!” then she continued: “Left it on the hanger, I’m cancelling the wedding dress, I’m marrying you in that dress...”
He went to the office then next day on a mission... the wedding present. After twenty or more calls to aquarium designers he finally found one that would be able to work with the extensive details of the waterfall edging along the stairs, the causeway over the art showcase gallery and the final water fall and flow into the main aquarium, the tube extensions to the other levels had to be modified to a square pattern with metallic reinforcements every four feet, but would still be “...the finest artistic work of my career...” or the so the tropical aquarium designer had commented.
He emailed the condo specs to the designer, as well as the idea specifications, but most importantly, her favourite colors for the metallic accents and the fish selection. The construction would take place while they were on their honeymoon and hopefully she would have the same reaction as with the dress.
Deleting the incoming emails from Blasar Incorporated in favour of not worrying, being happy and living a normal life was easy, liberating even. He’d be talking to the web designer about a block address feature during the next overhaul.
Imaginary Friends Continued…
Ast from Quasartia had really gotten on the nerves of many of Justin’s family and friends, he had spoiled dinnertime, upset neighbors, ruined friendships, but overall, The Interface had calculated it to be for the ‘best possible calculated outcome’, which had always been good enough reason for Justin and Asterick.
However, the painting of Justin’s dad’s leather seats in his nice car, Ast had gone too far… Justin explained again and again, that it was Ast from Quasartia and the Interface had calculated for the ‘best possible calculated outcome’; which angered his dad to no end, what possible outcome could come from an oversized symbol in white paint on his new caramel leather seats.
“It was a spaceship design by the Intergalaxy.” Asterick explained to Justin who retold it to his dad, but, his face kept getting redder and redder. Not only that, a prototype computer system from the air force that had been stored in the car was now missing. He would be dishonourably discharged in the morning when he was supposed to be doing the initial report, and not a single excuse that Justin was giving him was going to remedy that situation.
Well, the next day, his dad returned with his box of personal effects from work, moved the car into the garage for ‘fixing’, which was now ‘off-limits’, a term his mother and him would be getting used to over the coming years. Justin was relocated into the basement with a plain bed and bedding; and would be joining a television show one of his dad’s co-workers had found for his young troublemaker and his imaginary friend, Tuk from Gardenetopia. When he had settle with his few personal effects, his mom said to him: “You’re going to make me a rich mommy! A few days and you can fill this room with anything you could imagine… but nothing about space or symbols.”
Every so often though, Justin would mention something about a constellation or planet, after he was 19 of course, and check the reaction of his father, face would still turn red, even after all these years. He had bought a new car for his dad, a spaceship air freshener which immediately got thrown out, to which his dad immediately started in with: “You are a very successful person, and what choices you make are yours to make…”. “Whoa, where did all this come from, it’s a car.”
“Next you’re going to be bringing me a quantum computer template.” His dad said, changing the subject.”
With most of the area at the university taken up by buildings and parking lots, there was two options, up on existing structures, or down into the ground. With the mining industry prevalent in Saskatchewan, machinery and technology was readily available for projects. April 2015 saw the ground breaking in the main courtyard of the University of Regina. Five drills would dig into the ground, four excavators would remove the material and a main conveyor belt system would move the dirt and rock to the vacated Ad Hum parking lot where a fifth excavator would load the material mixture onto trucks and hauled to an empty lot on the other side of the Ring Road.
The five drills would excavate twenty meters for the five floors. Drilling would stop every five meters to install the rebar infrastructure and after every shift, smaller drill teams would carve the shafts for hallways, ductwork, utility tunnels and elevators.
After the vertical drilling was completed, the horizontal excavation would begin. Sub-level five would be dedicated solely to parking and storage: four ramp ways arching outward and upward to merge with the ground level traffic, leaving four of five drills topside.
The fifth drill would remain subterranean for future expansions, while an excavator and conveyor system would be permanently installed into the infrastructure design and extend to the south-east, under the Ring Road and to the empty lot.
With the 50 construction crews working day and night, the grand opening of the Technology and Advancement Centres would be slated to coincide with the Fall 2015 semester. A staggering schedule, but the foremen had ran countless CAD sims and had accounted for any and all problems, from boulders to groundwater from the Wascana leaching into the sub-levels.
Sub-level one would provide extensive living quarters for up to 5000 single students, 250 families and fifty executive suites. Sub-level two would house the Advancement Centre, with the research laboratories, development lecture halls and the implementation session theatres.
Sub-level three and four would contain the Technology Centres: Genetic Research, Temporal Mechanics, Quantum advancement and the headquarters for the sector’s space program. Also, the IT department would be relocated to the Technology Centre where hyper-cooling conditions could be achieved with minimal risk to students, staff, administration or facility workers.
However, the main particle research would remain in the States sectors, the Majorana Fermion behind a twenty-five level access security barrier system with no singular access to anymore than five levels for any one person.
Justin, Quetzalcoatl, Quetzalpapalotl, Tuk and Asterick would each have their five level access criteria: “Password, Keycard, Magnetic Resonance Adapter, Ribonucleic Acid Marker Identifier and one of either “The Interface”, “The Core”, “The Valley” or “The Ubratrap”, for access to the Majorana Fermion Gallery.
The ante-chamber would house the Microparticle Accellerators behind poly-silicate composite arranged around the Fermion itself. Then finally, the door through the polysilicate composite, the Magnetic Resonance Stations, four, and the fifth person would enter.
From the Majorana Fermion, particle extractions could be made for carnation, incarnation, reincarnation or reconstitution. The diamond program reconstituted the essences of the Goddesses; the sapphire project, reconstituted the asynchronous angels of resentful knowledge by the Coatilian Placard Coding System (CPCS); the emerald project reconstituting the asynchronous angels of knowledge which causes envy by CPCS. The amber project reconstituting the angel sects of knowledge which causes fear, and the ruby project reconstituted the asynchronous angels sects of knowledge which causes anger. The Onyx project still only theoretical at this point.
Accounting for the CPSC and RNA field mechanics of the planet utilizing “The Core” would eventually eliminate war and disease, but, the human populace was still at the mercy of Solarian pressures; angel, goddess and alien beings being the only exceptions. If God was not happy, ain’t nobody gonna be happy.
While Asterick had given the majority of the research to the company in return for a life of luxury, prominence and importance; he had left out several key components regarding the application of the Fermion.
The Fermion could manipulate matter, destroy matter; hell, it could create matter. Bur what he had failed to reveal in his reports to management and sector managers was that the Fermion could also manipulate space and time under certain conditions.
Several sector managers were starting to have concerns and had begun to come to this conclusion by their reactions to Asterick, then how Justin was going to react when he found out about the temporal capabilities; presently, by July 3rd of 2018, the Fermion’s phase-shift was off by .001% micron, something the Interface was not able to account for. The Fermion, under the Ubratrap and Valley programs was exact, and Asterick had blamed the non-integrated Core for the phase-shift, according to managerial reports.
Quetzalcoatl, Quetzalpapalotl and Tuk had known Epsiton, his origins, the origins of Astericky Batteries which eventually was renamed Blasar Incorporated. They had full accounts of the Fall of Epsiton; hell, each of them had an ‘Epsiton’ shift while waiting for Asterick to claim Epsiton’s body for his own, time-share they had called it, lol.
Further, that the alien references in every society on which Blasar Incorporated was based in and utilized on an everyday basis somehow Asterick managed to sidestep the issue of such; could probably charm the birds from the trees.
But a Quasartian lying to a Solarian about his extra-terrestrial origins and how he had come by his extensive research bases to get what he wanted for the Keys to Worldly knowledge with God watching, it was no surprise to the Coati that people were flipping their lids for no apparent reason, they had come to the conclusion long ago: “Ohhhh, he’s gonna get it....!”
When “The Core” came online and was fully integrated into the other three programs and that holo-presentation got to the clarifications of alien knowledge bases for the advancement of special dynamics and clarification of three-dimensional planetary physics, there would be no denying his extra-terrestrial perspectives.