JENNA’S MUT

 

by



Larry Martines




 


A

Multiple Universe Theory

Leads to visits

by an

Extraterrestrial


 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

            With no notice of the destructive capacity of its human population, planet earth continues its timeless rotation around its life supporting sun. By the year 2038, as reckoned by its modern day calender, planet earth approaches a major life altering situation – not for the first time in its several billion year existence.

            This time, however, it is one in which the earth’s latest inhabitants bear direct responsibility for what takes place. Other extraterrestrial considerations, unknown to the myopic inhabitants of planet earth, remain beyond consideration by leading astrophysicists. Jenna, a highly respected member of that esoteric world, submits her Multiple Universe Theory and becomes a pariah in the eyes of her colleagues.

            A unique group of people come to believe in Jenna’s profound revelations.


 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Late fall, 2038 – on a warm sunny day

            Barefoot, Jenna walked alone along the water’s edge on the beach behind her waterfront home. The coolness of the wet sand contrasted with the hot, sun-baked sand beyond the water’s reach. Tall, seductively attractive, lithesome with long radiant blond hair, and wearing the appropriate sun-glasses, she could easily have been mistaken for a movie star out for a secluded stroll on an otherwise empty beach in one of the more exclusive south shore areas of Long Island.

            She missed the companionship of her dearest friend Celeste, another free spirit like herself. Celeste, the pragmatic one, five years older than Jenna’s twenty-six years, and a no nonsense trial lawyer, gave stabilizing succor to the many sorrows that managed to crowd their way into her good friend’s young life.

            Jenna’s emotional balance was buoyed by these walks with her friend and neighbor, as much a surrogate older sister as a friend, but Celeste had gone out east for the day to visit her mother. It was just as well, no stranger to solitude, Jenna was content to withdraw into an inner space and spend some quality time in quiet contemplation of her controversial theory.

            Jenna had embraced the philosophical concept of the existence of other universes as eminently plausible and had developed new mathematics to define her Multiple Universe Theory. However, her ideas were too disruptive to be accepted by her colleagues. She based her supporting new math on generally regarded unacceptable assumptions, and unfavorable peer review followed.

            Her theory was held in dispute by some, rejected outright by others, and derisively referred to by most as, Jenna’s MUT.

            In spite of feeling ostracized by her colleagues, she managed to persevere even in the aftermath of the sudden simultaneous deaths of her parents under inexplicable and mysterious circumstances. These events took their inevitable toll on her psyche, and she retreated into the deeply despairing and lonely worlds of bereavement and professional rejection.

            She walked along the water’s edge and occasionally kicked at a shell or some flotsam washed up on the beach. She shared her outspoken thoughts with the cool air flowing around her and surely with the spirits of her deceased parents and any others interested enough to listen in.

            Strong late autumn sunlight glistened off an object bobbing on an incoming wave. It caught her eye each time it surfaced and reflected the sun’s rays in spectacular, vivid red, monochromatic bursts of light. The sparkling intensity of the intermittent reflections held her gaze in a near hypnotic state as she continued tracking its unerring progress toward where she stood. With no conscious consideration of her actions, she stepped into the cold water and retrieved the glistening object.

            “It’s a bottle! There, I got it. How beautiful? I’ve never seen such deep intense red color! And what a strange shape – trapezoidal – with a cork!”

            She removed the cork, held the bottle up to the sun, turned it, examined it, and finally looked inside it, where the only thing to see was an even more intense display of the vivid red color.

            “Well, there’s no message, so I suppose there’s no ship in distress or someone languishing on a deserted island somewhere out there.” She said as she gestured out toward the vast ocean that defined the Long Island shoreline. She held the bottle up to the light, admired it again and said, “Celeste will be surprised when I show her this.”

             She placed the cork back in the top of the odd shaped bottle, put it in her pocket and continued walking along the beach.

            That night Jenna experienced a strange dream.

 

------------------------------------------

 

            “What’s happening? Where’s my body? Where am I? How strange. I’m frightened! I must get back in my body! Oh! Someone’s calling me.”

            “It is I, Nodemos. We are between dimensions. You will rejoin your body soon.”

            “Between dimensions! Where? How?”

            “Between our planets. There’s much to tell.”

            “What?”

            “You are the first in your world to experience mathematical resonance with other dimensions. The surrounding dark matter contains space, time, matter, and dimensions presently unknown to you. What you see, is not all that exists. Your world is a small part of the multi-dimensional continuum. Other dimensions are not visible to you. They exist in differently ordered quantum priorities.”

            Jenna’s initial distress yielded to a pervading sense of harmony, induced by soothing, pure musical sounds, while new levels of understanding flowed seamlessly into place. Her comprehension made a quantum jump to a higher plateau as Nodemos communicated directly into her spiritual presence.

            “Your work must be developed carefully to avoid conflicts with other worlds. Maintenance of interdependent spatial stability is fundamental. Dwell on what you now know. We shall meet again.”

 

----------------------------

 

            Jenna woke, floating motionless in her universal free-form, as she often did when she spent many comfortable hours at her work station. Her mind, still in the solid grip of her dream, conflicted with visual images of normal reality around her. She dared not move a muscle, uncertain and frightened for the first time since a long-ago nightmare had wakened her when she was four years old. This new dream left behind a pervasive perception that she had been in another dimension.

            Jenna lay back in the secure embrace of her freeform and watched a majestic, silver hued, full moon float high above the large sloping skylight. Penetrating, bright, moon-light moved across the floor and up the wall where in passing it illuminated her cherished family picture. Then as her head cleared, and in clear recognition of being in her normal world, she wished her parents were there to comfort her again as they did so long ago after that scary childhood dream.

            Sleep became an elusive escape from conscious deliberation of the dream that had been indelibly printed in her mind.

            “Such a strange dream! I must be more careful. My work, it has to turn itself off. It’s almost if – yes, that must be it – hallucinating! But there’s something about dark matter and quantum priorities that I must think more about. That’s what the dream said. Dwell on what you now know. Get a grip, Jenna old girl, it’s only a natural dream-jump from what I already know, but another dimension . . . hmm.”

            Intense cool moon rays continued up the wall opposite her communication center, before they slipped silently back into the night to leave in their absence a deep black sky punctured by thousands of stars. Jenna stared at the surrounding dark matter. Her thoughts swirled with possibilities and went to places she had never before contemplated.

            “Could it be that somewhere in nearby space, perhaps in another dimension, intelligent beings may be monitoring life on earth? They must be more advanced!

            “Could it be that while we’re searching for others out there – they’re watching us? It’s difficult to comprehend. I’m really dreaming. Why would they contact me? And while I’m asleep? Very strange, but not comforting. But yet, somewhere out there in all that mysterious space, some sort of entities might be watching what’s happening on Earth. In my dream they said they’re aware of my work. Strange indeed.”

 

                        ---------------------------------

 

            Several weeks passed, and the impact of the dream faded far enough back into the recesses of memory such that she relegated the entire matter to an aberration of the mind that could easily occur in her dream space. 

             But again, as she and Celeste walked along the beach, another bottle washed in. Jenna gasped, “Look, Celeste, it’s another bottle!” She splashed into the water and picked it up. “It looks identical to the other, only this one is orange. Look how it glistens in the sun!”

            “It’s beautiful! I wonder where it came from?”

            “You know what else, this is about the same spot where I found the other one.”

            “That’s interesting, but it’s probably just a coincidence.”

            “Right! Anyway, I’ll take it home and put it with the other one. Maybe they could be bookends.”

            That night she had another strange dream.

 

-----------------------------------

 

            Several weeks later, on a cold, clear morning, Jenna and Celeste set out to enjoy another of their regular pleasant walks on the beach. They strolled along engaged in casual conversation until they reached the general area of the beach where the two bottles had washed in. Jenna, more sensitive to the possibility of other bottles showing up there, kept her eyes on the water. As if her predisposition toward such a happening was prescient, another bottle glistened brightly in the sun and floated in on the incoming surf.

            Jenna waded into the surf and picked it up. “Look, Celeste, it’s another bottle! This one’s yellow! And look how vivid the color is.”

            “So it is. What do you suppose is going on? That’s the third one you’ve found.”

            “Yes, and coincidentally each of them floated in right about here.”

            Celeste examined the bottle and said, “Aside from it being a different color, it looks just like the other two. Do you suppose someone farther down the beach threw them in the ocean, and the currents simply carried them here?”

            “That’s possible, but they’re pleasant to look at. Their unique trapezoidal shape and vivid colors set them apart from any others I’ve ever seen. I’ll just put this one with the other two, on the shelf opposite my communication center.”

 

------------------------------

 

            During each of the next several days, Jenna and Celeste made their daily trek along the beach. Their interest piqued, each of them kept a sharp eye out for any more bottles that might float in.

            Celeste, a dark haired Mediterranean beauty, had been Jenna’s neighbor for many years and had known her parents as friends and clients. She had felt the loss of Jenna’s parents nearly as much as Jenna. Since their deaths, Celeste had provided much needed close personal support to Jenna. Together, they related to each other like sisters.

            To Celeste’s legal mind, Jenna’s far out astrophysics’ mathematical deliberations were beyond comprehension. But she knew that genius truly ran in Jenna’s family, and that Jenna marched alone to a different drummer. So if Jenna said, ‘We’re surrounded by multiple universes’ that was good enough for her. She had even once told Jenna, “Hey, if you need a good lawyer to defend you with your doubting associates, just let me have at ‘em.”

            No bottles had shown up for a few weeks, and the expectation of finding another one diminished. Then, much to their surprise, on two successive days two more floated in, in the same location. Celeste said, “This is too much, Jenna. Something real weird is happening here.”

            “These last two, their colors are significant.” Jenna said. “They represent decreasing chromatic wavelengths. The fourth and fifth of the six primary colors. All that’s needed is a violet one and we would have a complete set.”

            Celeste raised a quizzical eyebrow and said, “Now it’s getting weirder! You sound as if you really expect a violet colored one to come floating in next.”

            “I admit, it does seem to me to be a very likely possibility, but I sure don’t know what to make of it.”

            Jenna took them home and placed them on the shelf with the others, where they stood directly in the path of any passing moon rays that could flow in through the rooftop skylight.

            Unknown to her, while she slept, the bottles reacting to the moonlight, opened a connection between another dimension and her mind. As each new bottle was added, it expanded the following dream revelation and provided more information about the new dimension. When she awoke, she wrote detailed descriptions in her journal. Finally, as the persistence of the dreams intensified, she began to consciously analyze them.

            Jenna spoke out loud with no one other than her faithful robot, Zelda, to listen to her. Zelda had unique conversational skills programmed into her system, but engaging in inductive type discussions was beyond her capability. Jenna often used her as a sounding board and really didn’t expect any meaningful response.

             “This is the fourth time I dreamt this way. So coherent, un-dreamlike – such beauty of form – like well-structured music – even rhapsodic. Each building symphonic-like on the one before it as they combine and rise to a crescendo. But in another dimension? Each dream seems to want to carry my mind along toward another place. What could it all mean? Is it possible to dream that way? Maybe my subconscious mind is telling me things I’ve yet to become aware of. But in each dream, the same Nodemos speaks to me. The mind is a strange place indeed. I’m glad I made these notes. Perhaps there’s something to learn from all this. I wonder what Celeste might make of these strange dreams?”

            Zelda, as expected, made no response since it had not been given a command that it could recognize.

             Jenna sat up in her freeform and directed it toward the front of her media center where she kept a journal in her personal super-computer. Its primary use was for advanced analysis, and the data it contained was only accessible by using her inner eye retina pattern. Relentless application of Moore’s Law had made super computers ubiquitous as the number of transistor angels made to dance on the head of a carbon-nanotube pin continued to increase exponentially.

            She looked back through her chronological entries and noted, “Hmm . . . each of these episodes occurred at roughly twenty-eight day intervals coinciding with a full moon. And look at this! The bottles arrived on the day of each new dimension dream. That has to be a coincidence, after all, they’re just glass bottles. A little strange looking – but not all that unusual. Anyway, I’ll do a search on them, it’s bound to turn up a source for their manufacture. Let’s see, I’ll need a description of their geometry, a digital picture, and what else? Maybe their weight. Well at least that might tell me something and put my mind to rest about any connection between the bottles and my dreams. Now that I think more about it, it’s really quite a stretch to make that connection. All the more reason to keep this between me and my private journal.”

            However, her preoccupation with the bottles persisted and she began to consider, “What possible connection could there be between their arrivals and these strange revelations?”

            She floated back on her universal free-form, a technological triumph rivaling the famed flying carpets of ancient fables. It adjusted immediately to her new position, and she could now easily see and examine the bottles.

            “Just look at them! They’re like five trapezoidal soldiers standing side by side, waiting for their marching orders – at least they appear to wait.”

            Their order of position was the order in which they were found, with each color advancing in accordance with its diminishing chromatic wavelength.

            She stared at them for a while and then decided to have a closer look. The coincidental relationship between their arrivals and her dreams was too great to be ignored. She stepped out of the freeform, reached for the end bottle in the parade, and inadvertently pushed it off the shelf that stood six feet above the floor. It banged against the hardened quarry tile floor, bounced a few times and then just lay there. Instead of smashing to pieces, each time the bottle bounced it gave off a pure musical tone. Jenna recovered the bottle and was surprised it was still in one piece, given its mass and the height from which it fell.

            “Oh darn! How clumsy of me. Well look at that! I can’t believe it! It cracked the floor tile. Amazing! That quarry tile is at least an inch thick.”

            The mystery of the bottles deepened.

            Mindful of the tone the bottle had produced when it struck the floor, Jenna picked up a small metal letter opener and used it to tap on the bottle.

            “My, what a beautiful tone? I wonder if the others sound the same? Oh, each one gives a different tone. Listen to that! Each one’s sound moves up the scale but not evenly! Whatever could be the significance of that?”

            Zelda stood by and remained inscrutable. Like the Sphinx, it saw all, heard all, and said nothing.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

             The next day, with Celeste as company, they walked down the beach and stopped at the area where the bottles had washed in. They stood there gazing into the ocean as if they expected it by some magic to provide another bottle. Neither of them questioned why they stopped there. Jenna turned and looked at Celeste and said, “There’s a strange happening that I want to talk to you about. It’s really different, and I don’t know what to make of it. There’s no way I can talk to my associates about it. I’m in enough trouble with them as it is.”

            “Well, Jenna, you will enjoy my very best lawyer-client confidentiality relationship. No one will ever know of what we speak.”

            “I know, Celeste. You’re the best. Anyway, ever since these bottles came into my life, I’ve been experiencing some strange dreams. They involve melodic revelations, induced by a mysterious intelligent force that invades my brain at will. Actually, in my dreams I seem to be contacted by a person, a man from another dimension. He calls himself Nodemos, and he knows about my work, and that it’s predictive of recognizing that his world exists.”

            Celeste listened in her best lawyers’ manner, and in her normal inscrutable way just gathered in what she was being told.

            “It’s enough for me to deal with this phenomenon while struggling to maintain a sane grip on reality. I don’t want to subject myself to ridicule, or more likely, an appointment with a straight jacket in a padded cell, or maybe even a lobotomy. Oddly enough, on one level, I know that I really can’t talk to anyone I work with about all this, they’re having a hard enough time just dealing with my theoretical stuff. But, on another level, there’s no need to discuss this with any of them. I have to deal with it myself. To begin with, I’ve got to figure out why this information is showing up in my mind and for what purpose? Can these bottles be involved, but how? The full moon may be a factor too. Oh my! I can just imagine what my esteemed associates would make out of that.”

            Celeste, out of total respect for her dearest friend, didn’t interrupt, but just let Jenna spill it all out, without giving any indication that she was concerned.

            “Hmm, as grandpa often said,” Jenna went on, “ when people are comfortable with their beliefs and what they think they know, any change that may disrupt their mental comfort becomes their enemy. I wonder why that is? Well, for the moment there doesn’t appear to be a rational explanation for these strange nocturnal experiences, so I guess I’ll put them aside and just wait and see what happens next.”

            Celeste nodded and said, “I can’t wait.”

 

                                                       ----------------------------------

 

            Jenna was an only child. Her parents had been well-known members of the scientific community who, working as a team, had moved the dimensions of the known universe outward many orders of magnitude. They had looked forward to the time when Jenna would join them in their work to redefine the space-time energy continuum. Were it not for their untimely and strangely coincidental deaths, they would still have been major players. How they suddenly died while working in their lab was never adequately explained and has since remained a mystery.

            John and Gilda Martin, Jenna’s parents, familiarly known as Jack and Jill, had recognized early that Jenna was sprinkled with stardust. They lovingly nurtured their gifted progeny who joined in complex discussions with them from her earliest days and progressively reached and even surpassed the brilliance of her famous parents. They watched in awed appreciation as their daughter developed ability to reason beyond inherent limits of axiomatic logic. They saw it as a rare and necessary precursor to advance the frontiers of understanding.

            Jenna enjoyed her parents ability to accept her reasoning and, when necessary, counter it with their own. Together their explorations of fundamental truths to build on, filled them with a nearly spiritual reverence for one another. The entire scientific world grieved the loss of these two well-loved people – but none more so than Jenna.

            Less than a month after the funeral, her ninety-five year old grandfather, her only living relative, and Celeste, her dearest friend, both watched proudly as Jenna stoically accepted a doctorate of astro-physics. Many eyes glistened as they witnessed this gift of highest academic achievement bestowed on Jenna in the absence of her loving parents, who would have appreciated it the most.

             Grandpa Joe, her father’s father, a formidable intellect and a no nonsense type of scientific interrogator, investigated every detail of the circumstances relating to the deaths of his son and daughter-in-law. As unsatisfactory as it was, in the final analysis, cause of death was listed as spontaneous myocardial infarction that had produced nearly simultaneous heart attacks in two otherwise normal, healthy adults.

            He had taken no satisfaction in knowing he shared his disbelief of that conclusion with the investigating authorities, but no other definitive solution could be had. All agreed that, yes, heart-attacks were what killed these two fine people, but what, or possibly who, caused them remained unresolved.

 

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            Since joining the elite world of astrophysics, Jenna had become deeply involved in research activities related to mathematical precepts supporting the expanding universe concept. She explored the outer limits of the prevailing logic base that the world of astrophysics was built on, adding small logical refinements that were not difficult for her colleagues to absorb. These activities endeared her to the scientific community, happy to see her following in her parents’ footsteps, but Jenna could see the dead ends in the logic trail. This lead her away from the accepted base of understanding as her restless, inquiring mind looked at other possibilities.

            Building on her PhD thesis, she formally presented her unprecedented, ground shaking theory on multiple universes. As things stood, this was as near to scientific heresy as one could get. Therefore, Jenna’s MUT was perceived as unprincipled, disruptive, and highly irrelevant.

            Those who bothered to examine her theory saw that her supporting technical work was first class, but it required acceptance of a set of initial assumptions that led directly to modeling several universes in different time based dimensions that used new mathematics originated by Jenna.

            Regardless of what anyone thought of her proposals, conclusions, or new mathematics, they all had to admit to the elegance of the presentations – they were almost of another world. What scared them most was the solid, predicated proofs she offered that should have motivated them to bridge the gaps to currently accepted theory posed by her work. No, it was much easier to dismiss it all out of hand and not shake things up.

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             In the days following her latest dream, in spite of its compelling grip on her thoughts, Jenna managed to push them aside because the world of information as she had always perceived it was neatly divided into two parts. That which related to her scientific pursuit of knowledge – and all else. This dichotomy served its purpose well in keeping matters focused in their respective orbits. Jenna also had an almost universal understanding of history and the arts, and she was as comfortable peering through Palomar’s telescopes as she was looking through her opera glasses.

            Several months prior to her dream escapades she had accepted a research consulting position with Computer Generated Design, a prestigious firm generally referred to as CGD.

            At first she didn’t recognize an extra-terrestrial force had periodically invaded her highly ordered mental makeup. Therefore she had convinced herself that these experiences had been hallucinations stemming from the intensity of her new CGD research activities.

            After several of the dream episodes, each a nocturnal occurrence, she further rationalized these strange dreams into subconscious continuations of her theoretical work, albeit along a different plane. But still later, she began to think that maybe she really was on the receiving end of a conduit connected to another dimension that implanted new and unusual lines of thought. Thoughts that upon further consideration could only be characterized as revelations standing well apart from any reasonable association with normal three-dimensional understanding.

            As this idea took hold, she continued her dialogue with Celeste. “These revelations, if that’s what they are, certainly are leading me in a strange direction. I was thinking in terms of universes beyond space and time as we know it. This Nodemos is saying that other dimensions occupy the same space the known universe occupies, and there’s a nearby planet in another dimension. How strange? ”

            Celeste listened, hardly knowing what to say, but she recognized the importance of providing her good friend with a sounding board. “Yes, I agree.” She said. “It’s very strange. Where do you suppose these thoughts are going?”

            “I really don’t know, but there’s a surrealistic persistency to them that’s nearly impossible to ignore.”

            “Well, Jenna, knowing you, there’s little chance for that. So, I think the best thing to do, is to pursue it to whatever ‘logical’ conclusions it might produce.”

            “Thanks, Celeste. But I think we may be dealing with some new, or different, logic.”

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            Immediately after she had experienced each episode, she woke, and watched the full moon move past her skylight. She stared into space and pondered these peculiar experiences. She contemplated the developing synthesis of a strange new world in the dark matter – a world she came to refer to as a new dimension revelation, which, in her notes, she abbreviated as NDR.

            Finally, one morning after her latest dream, she began to consider other possibilities. “While Celeste has been wonderful and lets me ramble on, I really do need to speak to someone in my world about this new dimension. Whom do I know that would listen and try to help understand what it all means? None of my associates would, without ridiculing what I have to tell them. There’s Bradley, though – not a good idea. While he’s probably the best of them, he might let it get around. Perhaps Grandpa, but he’s impossible to contact when he’s off on one of his adventures. Maybe he’ll call soon. In the meantime, I’ll just have to step up my conflict handling mode to adjust to this. It’s real spooky stuff though. Well at least I have Celeste. I wonder what she really thinks?”

            Jenna gave a voice command to her communication center, and listened for a moment, after which she heard the pleasant voice of her dear friend. “Well, good morning, Jenna! Did you sleep well?”

            “It’s funny that you should ask. My sleep has become a strange phenomena lately – as you already know. I really need to discuss this some more.”

            “No problem, sweetheart. I’m ready to hit the beach. See you out there in five.”

            Celeste met Jenna down by the water’s edge. After affectionately greeting each other with their ritual hugs and kisses, they walked along in silence for a several minutes. This was not unusual for them. It was a continuation of their meeting ritual. Each of them always experienced a communion with the magnificence of a new day on such occasions.

            On this day, like so many others, the sun glistened on the water and warmed them in spite of a freshening cool breeze. They just enjoyed that special thrill of being lucky to be alive and where they were. Then as their silent epiphany’s, induced by the never-ending wonders of the beautiful world that surrounded them, especially on their beach, concluded, Jenna began to speak.

            “I think you and I are no strangers to information conflict. I think I always knew it existed at all levels of learning that I’ve ever experienced, but this new dimension goes beyond all that. It isn’t the clearly recognized conflict between what I know and what these NDRs seem to mean, but rather, there’s fear of an unknown that stems from a vague uneasy sense of foreboding.

            “While contemplating the possible existence of other dimensions, it’s one thing to consider them academically, but it’s quite another to seriously entertain the idea of encountering one, or at least a representative of one. Development of analytical and mathematical justifications to reach out toward new discovery is far different from suddenly becoming the object of attention of an intelligence from outside one’s own dimension.”

 

Celeste listened carefully as she attempted to pick her way through Jenna’s reasoning, made all the more difficult by having to deal with an abstraction as monumental as the existence of other coexisting dimensions. As a good practicing attorney, she normally had to deal with complex briefing matters that often took her far afield. So, adopting that mental posture, she entered into the discussion in her best discovery mode.

             “Then, it comes down to accepting an unknown as a given and working toward effecting some logical, or in your world a mathematical, justification for defining it.”

 

Jenna, more than ever realized how big a treasure she possessed in the friendship and wise counsel in having Celeste as a fiend and confidant. Buoyed by Celeste’s indulgent consideration of this way-out matter, Jenna revealed more of her thoughts.

            “This new dimension revelation could shine new light on everything. All that we’ve learned before could just be a subset of information that is bounded by its dimensional limitations. If there are other coexisting dimensions they must be parts of a still larger system – each a subsystem that in each case is bounded by its own dimension’s limits. To be sure, all these considerations pose intriguing possibilities for further research and mathematical justification, but, Celeste, what I need to know is, how is this information getting into my brain? Why?”

 

“As a practical matter, my considered thoughts on that, come down squarely on the idea that you’ve been working too hard.” Celeste watched Jenna’s face as it started to register an objection, as she knew her response would, but she continued to speak without allowing her to interrupt.

            “However, there seems to be some circumstantial evidence that perhaps some heretofore unknown mental forces are in play. I have had no formal psychiatric training, but I have learned to expect unusual things from the human brain. Admittedly, in most instances that I deal with, they involve mental aberrations related to convoluted schemes to circumvent the law. So moving to some thinking that’s far afield for me, I would hazard a guess that your inner brain has gotten way ahead of your conscious thinking. The net result of that being, when you’re asleep and your defensive walls of conscious understanding are unmanned, your inner brain floods your mind with new stuff.

            “ So maybe the bottles are a factor, or maybe they’re not, but for the moment I recommend you go with the idea that your new dimension revelations are self generated. Assuming they are the stuff of a new scientific breakthrough, Jenna my dear, I would certainly expect nothing less from that cranium full of magnificent grey matter that you have sitting inside that beautiful head of yours.”

 

Jenna stopped walking, reached out and wrapped her arms around Celeste and said, “I’m so lucky to have you as a friend. I truly love you. Thank you so much for listening and giving me the benefit of your understanding.”

            Celeste returned the embrace and said. “Jenna, it’s my pleasure to know you, and enjoy your precious company, and I love you too.”

            They continued on in silence and to all outward appearances just enjoyed the rest of their pleasant walk along the water’s edge. 

 

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            As much as Jenna appreciated and respected Celeste’s assessment of what was happening in her nocturnal world, she remained steadfast in her belief that unknown forces were involved. She believed there was some undefined mechanism that linked her mind to another mind in another dimension. However, Celeste had given her plausible reason for concern, so she adjusted her thinking about her relationship to all others.

            If Jenna had naturally become a mind apart before experiencing the NDRs, she now wisely avoided any reference to them in her interactions with other members of the astrophysics community. Therefore, she proceeded privately to further define her radical Multiple Universe Theory.

            Further, to keep her work well away from any curious others, she buried the NDR information in randomly segmented secure files that could only be reassembled using a special program. Jenna kept this program on a separate disk that she inserted into the CGD super computer network when she wanted to work on the NDRs. Even with this disk, a password and other physical identification was required to read it.

            Like Alice, only Jenna could step through this later day maze of silicon-fiber-optic looking glass into the potential new dimension wonderland.

            CGD, a company that used computers to design and build computer-driven robotic devices, also conducted cutting edge cosmology research analysis. There, in the CGD lab, Jenna enjoyed an atmosphere among very gifted and creative minds that defined tasks for the CGD computers to work on. As her parents did before her, Jenna appreciated the unbounded research opportunities that access to the CGD intellectual environment provided.

            With her thoughts dominated by possible extraterrestrial encounters, she looked forward to the distraction of getting involved in her work. She spoke out loud as she drove the short distance from her home to the lab.

            “It’s good I have to spend some time at CGD helping Bradley. He’s always good for a technical challenge. Maybe I might be able to confide in him. No, not a good idea. Things get spread around in that bee hive too easily. But he’s certainly one smart person, and he’s awfully good looking.” Jenna surprised herself as she added that personal assessment to her thoughts.

 

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            Well up on the knee of the technology curve, computational power was on the verge of exceeding the complexity of a human brain. Massive analog neural arrays, assembled from palladium and aluminum transistors attached to carbon nano-tubes, were doing more and more of the work of their slower digital-based micro-chip counterparts.

            Everyone on the cutting edge of the technology asymptote knew it was just a matter of time before the relentless expansion of technology would produce enough computational power that might very well cause a self-sustaining logical chain-reaction and generate new logic paths of its own. The tantalizing avant guard thought of the day was, how far from thinking would this be, and where might it lead? As paradigms go, would this be the ultimate one – the dominant paradigm as it was?

             As she arrived, she thought about her task this day at CGD to assist Bradley Zorn in defining a complex set of instructions to program into CGD’s computers. The end result of this effort would be a computer-generated robotic-device capable of conceiving, designing and building new analog neural-based computational structures that would displace hybrid digital devices as the fundamental building blocks of computer processors. She mused over that a bit and said, “What will it be called . . . a neuralog chip?”

            If Bradley heard her, as she approached, he didn’t take notice and said, “Ah, Jenna, I’m glad you’re here. There’s much I have to go over with you.”

            Jenna liked the way Bradley always greeted her. It came over as a genuine happiness to be with her. She wasn’t sure if it was because of their simpatico intellects or possibly a chemical basis to the attraction. However, she related well on an intellectual level with Bradley but was uncertain if the attraction went beyond that. As sure footed as she was intellectually, she had not yet developed any certainties regarding amorous relationships. Jenna was pretty much a loner, but she detected no bad vibrations where Bradley was concerned.

            “I’m glad to be here. What have you been up to since our last meeting?”

            “Lots and lots of good stuff. Sit here near me. I want to go over these notes with you without being overheard.”

            “Oh, this sounds ominous.”

            “It might very well be. I’m not sure, but if what I think is happening, things might get completely out of hand.”

            “Out of hand? You mean, out of control. What could possibly get out of control?

            “That’s just it, I don’t really know. I think there’s a new phenomenon. I don’t know if it’s reproducible. I haven’t mentioned a word of this to anyone. They’ll all think I’ve gone around the bend.”

            “And I won’t?”

            “No, not you, you least of all.”

            “I’m not sure I like the sound of that. Are you coming around the bend to meet me?”

            “No, no, heavens no. What I mean is, you’re about the only person I know, who not only will understand what I have to say but will keep an open mind while I’m saying it.”

            “That’s better.” Jenna said, knowing all the while what Bradley meant, but she loved to tease him. She wondered why she did that.

 

Bradley looked straight into Jenna’s deep blue eyes and hoped to see a glimmer of acceptance. When she responded with a smile, he felt reassured that he hadn’t fractured the fragile relationship he wanted desperately to maintain. He felt better about her reaction and decided to get on with what he wanted to tell her.

            “A very startling thing happened. I still can’t believe I saw it, but I have documentation to show that it did. Look at this.” Bradley laid out a printout, typical of those that the CGD neural network processors produce at the completion of a logical design run.

            Jenna studied it and said, “This appears to be a normal result, so I’m sure you have more to show me.”

            “Right, now look at this.”

            Jenna read the first few words, “Correction, discard earlier results, superior algorithm has been developed. The following results provide a better prediction.” She turned to look at Bradley.

            He read her expression. “No, no one is playing tricks. This came out of the computer about a minute after I retrieved the first results.”

            “On the face of it . . . what this is saying is the computer somehow re-computed its results and produced a better answer.”

            “That’s exactly the way I see it also.”

            “And it only happened that one time.’

            “Exactly, I fed the same requirements in several more times with no changes, and always got the second answer. The computer didn’t reproduce the first result again.”

            “Is it possible the computer was reset to rerun the data?”

            “That’s what I thought might have happened, but I was standing right next to it looking at the results when I heard the drives start running and saw the processor lights flashing. I couldn’t imagine what got it started again, so I stayed right there until it finished and printed out the new result. Personally, I never encountered anything like this before, and if it’s happened to anyone else, I’ve never heard about it. Maybe for the same reason that I haven’t mentioned it to anyone other than you.”

            “This is all very interesting. Perhaps we should go off somewhere where we can talk about this privately. It may have something to do with another phenomenon I’ve experienced.”

 

 

Chapter Three

 

            They drove to the shore on the eastern end of Long Island not far from Jenna’s home, parked in a lesser used area, and walked down to the water’s edge. The sun glistened on the surf rolling in pushed by steady onshore breezes not quite strong enough to produce crashing waves and wind-blown sea-spray. A cloudless blue sky overhead reflected in a sea that got bluer as it disappeared into a blurred horizon. The day was made even more pleasant for a stroll on the beach as winter’s cold blasts were already giving way to the inevitable arrival of spring weather.

            Aside from the overwhelming seriousness of what Jenna was about to confide with Bradley, they could have been any two young people taking advantage of a beautiful pre-spring day, as has happened millions of times before on this same stretch of ocean beach.

            They walked in silence for a while, each deeply engrossed in their own deliberations concerning what was presumed to be the natural order of things. Jenna had more cause than Bradley to suspect that all is not what it appears to be.

 

Aside from the asymptotic expansion of processing technology to where it may have developed human brain characteristics, Bradley’s primary concerns were with the chaos type, multiple processor computers currently operational and what they might be capable of. He thought about how the evolution of computer technology was breaking new ground. Computers designing computers were rapidly becoming the buzz of the day.

 

 Jenna’s mind however, was centered on another dimension.

 

The sea air was invigorating, and Bradley, although pre-occupied with his self correcting processor, took notice of Jenna’s long blond hair moving in the breeze that held her clothes close to her body. Unlike his hands in pockets, slumped over movements, hers were derived from a straight up posture with eyes fixed firmly on the horizon, as though she was following a distant homing signal. He was reluctant to disturb her, sensing that her mind was in another place.

 

However, she was aware that he had emerged out of his own solitude, and it was she who broke the silence as she said, “We’re not alone.”

            Bradley looked surprised, but before he could process what he heard and form a response, she continued.

             “Somehow, I have been receiving information that transcends by orders of magnitude what is known and understood about our universe. I’ve used it to re-postulate my theory.”

 

Bradley listened intently. He had implicit faith in her technical achievements most of which were beyond normal comprehension. He knew that her logic and mathematical determinations were beyond attack. Many of their colleagues would give their eyeteeth to show her the error of her ways, but they were unable to. Bradley, more than anyone else in their community of astrophysicists, working with advanced neural network computers, accepted Jenna as one apart from the crowd.

            Had Bradley not just had his own private universe jolted by a computer that re-vised its own answer, he might have been less receptive to what he just heard. However, with this sudden elevation to a new plateau of possibilities, plus not being capable of understanding where he was at, he found his mind being forced open to still another revelation.

            “Jenna, I’m overwhelmed. This is too much to absorb. If what I think you’re telling me, and what I think is going on in the CGD computer, are so, then I think we may be entering a new phase of human experience.”

 

Jenna understood the logical traps that Bradley’s mind could succumb to, and though she had considered confiding in Bradley, she held back until now.

            “Thank you Bradley. I hoped you’d react that way. I understand what a mental leap it is to seriously consider these possibilities, especially extra-terrestrial communications. I was sure for the longest time I was hallucinating. It took a lot of self analysis to get to the point where I was sure of what I just told you. Your experience in the lab seems tame by comparison, but it’s indicative of where computer intelligence might be headed. Those CGD computers are only the beginnings of the capability they represent. An extrapolation of Moore’s law applied to neural network evolution is scary to contemplate.”

            They stopped as Jenna saw something bobbing a few feet out in the surf. “Look, it’s a bottle. The next wave will push it close enough to . . . there I got it.” Jenna was more pleased than surprised and was beginning to expect to see them wash in. However, she decided not to mention the others, preferring to see Bradley’s reaction to the uniquely shaped bottle and said, “That’s interesting, it’s corked but empty.”

            “Here let me pull the cork out so we can have a better look inside.”

            With that, Bradley pulled out the cork and turned the bottle upside down and indeed it was empty.

            Jenna took the bottle, caressed it for a moment, rubbed it and said, “I’m really not surprised, the genie is already out of the bottle. Well Genie or no Genie, it’s a handsome bottle but an odd shaped one. It doesn’t seem to have any manufacturing markings on it. I suspect it was handmade. I wonder how far it has traveled in the sea? I’ll take it home and put it on the shelf with the others.”

            “Others?”

            “Oh yes, there are others, also without Genies – I’m sorry to say.”

            “Why do you refer to them as others? It sounds as if you see them as more than bottles.”

            “Simple, they also washed ashore along this beach. I found them on some of my long walks while trying to understand the MUT and why I’ve been receiving those nocturnal communications.”

 

Bradley was beginning to get interested in the bottles that Jenna referred to as others. He knew her well enough to know she didn’t choose her words lightly. “How many ‘others’ are there?’

 

“Five.” Jenna answered, hoping to draw Bradley further into the intrigue she was generating.

            “And you found each of them along this beach? Are they all unusual, say like this one?”

            “Yes, as a matter of fact they all have the same shape as this one, and were it not that each is a different color they would all be identical.”

            “So this makes a total of six. How long have you been collecting bottles?”

            “You mean, when did I find the first one?”

            “Well, no. I just assumed you collected odd shaped bottles. Lots of people do, I believe.”

            “No, Bradley. I’m not a bottle collector, and I don’t really know why I decided to keep the first one I found. After picking it up and examining it, I held onto it while I continued to walk along and thinking that my friend Celeste might like to see it, I brought it home with me. When I realized I still had it, I decided to give it a very close inspection.”

            Then holding the new, and not surprising, violet-colored bottle in front of her, she said, “Their trapezoidal shapes have no conventional neck but instead have an opening for a cork in their short side. That made me think they might have been specially made for some kind of promotion, such as for a fine perfume for example.”

            “I assume you have other thoughts about them now.”

            “Yes, these bottles don’t seem to have come into existence for any commercial enterprise covered in the world wide data-base of special purpose containers, and I’ve made it a point to search the on line stores for any type of product that might feature them. For the moment I have to conclude they were privately made for some purpose that didn’t work out, and someone just disposed of them in the ocean.”

            Bradley examined this latest bottle, holding it up to the light to get a better look at the glass. “This color, a deep violet, is remarkable in its brilliance. Look at the way it glimmers and glows in the sun. If the rest of them have true colors like this one, they might make beautiful sun catchers. I would imagine if you arranged them in a strategic way they could make a dazzling presentation, either in the sun or in the right lighting conditions.”

            “I have placed them in direct sunlight and the effects of the different colors are mesmerizing, especially when I arrange them in ascending order relative to the wavelengths of their colors. In fact this bottle represents the higher end of the visible light spectrum and the last of its six monochromatic colors. It’s interesting that the other five floated ashore in the order of their place in the spectrum and that this one completes the set.”

            “Do you suppose there have been others? Perhaps other people have found some of these bottles. It’s kind of hard to believe that they have only shown up when you’re walking the beach.”

            “I agree. However, I don’t know anyone else getting extra-terrestrial messages either. Do you know anyone else whose computer can change its answers?”

            “Touche! Unique events seem to be the order of the day. Okay, then, given that, what do you suppose these bottles are all about?”

            “I don’t know, but I think it’s time to look at them very carefully. Oh, by the way, there’s one more salient bit of information about these bottles. They appear to be un-breakable. I managed to knock one off the shelf onto the quarry tile floor and it didn’t break.”

            “So, that by itself doesn’t mean that it’s unbreakable.”

            “That’s what I thought at the time, but the tile it hit cracked, and the bottle seemed none the worse for the experience. I assumed it was a fluke, so I decided to give the bottle the hammer test, which you can try if you like. I know glass can be made very strong, but why would anyone use that kind of expensive technology to make these bottles?”

            “You know, Jenna, I’d like to have a look at these bottles if I may.”

            “Good, I want you to. How about meeting at my place later this evening, and if you don’t mind pot-luck, I’m sure Zelda can rustle up something digestible.”

 

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            When Bradley arrived at Jenna’s contemporary home, located on one of the higher elevated stretches of ocean-front land on the south shore, the last light of day was fading but still afforded a magnificent view of the ocean. The sun dropping rapidly in the west reflected off the speckled sea surface where it shimmered in its lingering final embrace to one more of the endless chain of days on earth.

            Bradley entered the house unattended, since the entry was programmed to accept his aura via a command set into it earlier by Jenna. As he stepped inside, he looked through the sliding glass doors and saw Jenna’s lithe figure in silhouette standing on the deck looking out at the sea. She was not surprised when he appeared on the deck. A visitor presence announcer had transmitted a silent mind message to her small, un-noticeable ear mounted processor that made a weak field transmission into her brain’s neuron structure. It told her that Bradley Zorn had arrived.

            Without turning away from the view, she greeted him, “I’m so glad you came in time to watch the beautiful sunset. It will only last a few more golden moments.”

            As both of them watched, they saw a multicolored sky in the west painted with magnificent rich hues ranging from the deepest reds, closest to the setting sun, to intense purple bands that streaked across the sky above them.

            He moved close and stood beside her with his eyes focused on the spectacular display offered up by the evening sunset over the ocean. They watched the unparalleled beauty before them slowly give way to deeper and deeper shades of darkness until Bradley broke the silence as he said, “What a magnificent sight! You have a beautiful view here. It makes me think about how just watching a natural sunset over the sea, puts everything else in perspective. Like, what’s all our technology showing us to rival this?”

            Jenna mused over that for a moment, appreciating the sensitive side of Bradley’s persona, and answered, “There’s a lot of truth in the old adage that says ‘Beauty is in the eye’s of the beholders’ – at least the human ones.”

            “Yes, we pose an interesting dilemma to ourselves with human intelligence that seems capable of evolving a new machine type of intelligence. That makes one wonder where the beauty might be in that?”

            “Hmm . . . that’s a good question. If it runs amok there’s no telling what may happen, but we as creatures of nature occupy a natural place in the order of things. What would be the natural order of a non-human intelligence that we might create? Wouldn’t it be our responsibility to see to that order? After all we’d be responsible for it coming into existence in the first place.”

            “But, for one thing, it’s not clear where human intelligence ends and non-human intelligence begins. Experiments with scanning human intelligence into neural network machines have produced startling results. With some reservations, a brain-load of data has been down-loaded into a machine and has been observed to emulate the person whose brain was used.”

            Jenna was aware of this recent development and had an instant reaction, “Ego driven sensationalism, creating self worshiping echo chambers, nothing more. Why would we want to muck up a neural network capability with all the inconsistencies that have been programmed into a human brain in what amounts to a random process? Let’s hope the wrong people don’t get control of that technology and decide to perpetuate their own ideas in the path of increasing computer power. If a neural network’s emulation of thinking demonstrates a potential logical reasoning capability, when given information to reason with, then why not just give it all the data we can, with no a priori personality, and let it do with it what it will? Then stand back and read out the results.”

            “Perhaps there might be some valid psychiatric purpose for scanning a human brain into a machine and let its host talk to it.”

            “About all that would create is two crazies that in its worst case would have them agreeing with one another reinforcing their collective nonsense. No, I think we had better use that technology for better purposes, and learn how to control it so that we humans stay a vital part of the evolving intelligence. In fact, we may benefit it ways that would bypass the human congenital reaction to perceived threats. A computer reaction could presumably question the validity of any perceived threat prior to reacting to it. The human experience could certainly benefit from rational assessment before it mobilizes its resources. ”

            The afterglow of the sunset was now giving way to a darkened and star-filled night that carried a chill with it onto the deck where they watched the last traces of daylight fade away.

            Jenna was attired in a thin jump suit that wasn’t up to the drop in temperature. She decided not to activate the near-space electromagnetic warmer that would produce a stabilizing temperature around her body through the jump suit. Instead, she said, “Brrr, I’m getting cold. I think it’s time to see how Zelda is doing with supper.”

 

They found Zelda in the kitchen buzzing about between the micro-computer controlled electric ovens and the table set for two. Zelda, a Mark II production version of the latest robotic household technology, was the perfect companion for the working family that had little time for domestic chores such as shopping, cooking, and kitchen clean-up activities.

            As they entered the kitchen area, Zelda sensed Bradley’s added presence, having learned of his earlier arrival via the aura detection system. In spite of the robot’s pronounced, computer generated staccato voice, it produced a gracious welcome. “Good evening, Mr. Zorn. I hope you enjoy my simple preparation.”

 

Bradley was impressed. His life style didn’t include this luxury since he still lived at home with his mother who was adamantly opposed to having such a thing in her house. She was old fashioned and didn’t think a machine could do things better than she could.

            “Thank you, Zelda,” adding politely and somewhat formally, “I’m sure I will enjoy it.”

            “Very good, Mr. Zorn. Supper can now be served, Miss Jenna, if you wish.”

            “Yes, the candles are a nice touch.”

            Bradley now was more than impressed and said, “If I didn’t know better, I could believe Zelda can think.”

            “Yes, Bradley, sometimes I have the same feeling. However, as robotic devices developed, their programming logic has become so detailed that we’re at the point where almost any command given to one like Zelda, can produce a rational and a polite response to almost any ordinary type statement.”

            “That puts the network in the lab in another perspective. Given the enormous amount of processing power it has by comparison, I guess it’s not so improbable that it can begin to make decisions on its own.”

            Jenna smiled and inwardly appreciated that Bradley seemed to be accepting what is happening in the evolution of computer processing. Maybe he’ll react more positively to other dimensions with rational people living in them.

            They sat at the table with a view looking out at near fully waxed moon rising over the water. It produced a shimmering path that reflected its crystalline glow. Jenna removed the cover from the enzyme protecting, temperature-stabilized carafe that contained the first course, a perfectly blended vegetable soup. She served Bradley and then herself. They relaxed while the individual temperature stabilized bowls adjusted to their personally preferred eating temperatures.

            “I enjoy my mother’s home cooking, but I have to wonder why she can’t accept having a Zelda around to help. She really should relax more.”

            “Perhaps she doesn’t understand that Zelda can produce foods with absolute consistency and perfectly blended to any taste preference desired.”

            “Well, if what we’re eating is an example, I find it very much to my liking.”

            “I have to tell you, Bradley, I depend completely on Zelda’s ability to maintain a proper food inventory based entirely on my personal preferences. She notifies an automated delivery service that dispatches supplies in response to her demands. And she has completely learned my basic diet preferences from several intensive interactive learning sessions. Refinements have been added as we’ve gone along. It’s been a glorious year, and truth be known, I can’t imagine life without her and how I ever managed BZ, before Zelda.”

            “Amazing, I guess I’m gonna have to insist that mom gets into this. I can see a lot of advantages to having a Zelda in the family.”

            Looking around, beyond the glow of the candle light, he saw the six bottles looking like a row of small, shining, colored pyramids on the high shelf opposite Jenna’s interactive media and communication center. They stood out in the surrounding darkness with inordinate clarity, collecting the little light energy available and reflecting back excellent visual images. He identified each bottle’s color in their ascending order red, orange, yellow, green, blue and the latest addition, violet.

            “This soup is delicious! It’s amazing that no human intervention was involved in its preparation.”

            “Actually, there was. The initial procedure was by human direction utilizing the preferred commercial base and then modified with selected condiments in specific proportions. Zelda learned this and is able to repeat the process perfectly each time it’s called for.”

Bradley glanced again in the direction of the colored bottles and thought he saw some sort of interaction between them. “Am I seeing things, or is something happening with those bottles?”