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Some where someone or everyone discovered everything and learned everything except one thing and they named it God. God could think and that led to the following tale.

Fred was on his way to work, talking with everyone on the way. Hello, he'd yell, as he sped by on his wheels. He was quite the charmer in his eccentric way. No one knew for sure if he lived alone and although he was friendly, no one we ever saw, stopped by to visit. However, we all have seen the lights go on and off and shadows move about when he is at work. I suppose someone should or could have asked him about it, but, I guess, we all had our own lives to worry about. This wasn't the best place to choose to live. We all eke out a living doing favors for those passing through. Getting things and giving things was about all there was to do. Our houses have been here forever. The only change is when you come passing through. As you might image we know pretty much everything there is to know about anything and everything connected to here. We don't grow old nor do we age. Stuck here in a frame of time disconnected from common shared reality time. Well maybe stuck is a bit too strong. Marooned here, or condemned here, but certainly not a vacation here. No one knows how we got here and we all know there's no way to leave. Well, we're pretty sure anyway.

Seems to be a way station of some sort based upon all the Travelers that pass through here. Why are you here? Are you passing through or staying? If you're passing through, where are you going? We know where you came from. We probably even have met your atoms and molecules before, with the toasty glow that keeps you warm. What is most interesting of course is what you know that we don't know yet. However, you'll have to explain it to us in a language we can understand with metaphors and allegories we can comprehend. Have you ever said that with a straight face to a pile of molecules, even if they're cleverly arranged into a human form? Well I have and the best blank stare so far was from a wizard who said I have better things to do and passed on through the second gate. I was puzzled once upon a time by such a response. Now it almost makes me laugh. Imagine if you would someone who might change our lives by the gift of knowledge. That gift could only be given through intelligence and any intelligence greater than us would be delighted to share, or is that just my lack of intelligence talking?

Fred was different in many ways. For instance, he had a name unlike the rest of us and a job of some sort, unlike the rest of us. We could or should have been jealous but that would not have changed anything other than our attitudes. Which by the way, we have fashioned through our interactions with the Travelers. We seldom change and never grow, forever the same, except our perceptions and attitudes and Fred. Everyday is new to him, or so it seams. He was and still is an enigma, although a jolly one. With the arrival of a Traveler, we would all gather round and offer our gifts for their journey, seeking information about their destiny and perhaps something that might give us a clue about how we got here and whether we could leave here in some fashion. Unfortunately when there is perfection there is no motivation or is that when there is chaos there is no motivation? It's always so hard to differentiate especially when the questions are rhetorical. The bottom line is: we are not motivated to grow because we are already grown. We are not seeking to become better as we are already perfectly complete. We are only interested in how/why we got here because, we can not imagine that this is where we have always been and will always be. Damn Travelers LOL Clearly they arrive and leave, we can see the evidence and even describe the mathematics of their passage. However, the conundrum we face is not knowing where they are going as we can not (apparently) leave here and our mathematics fail to converge to a solution, rather diverging exponentially within seconds of passing through the second gate. It's not like we haven't tried going through the gate ourselves. On the other side of the gate is just that, the other side. Nothing special or different than this side. As far as we could tell, there is nothing beyond the gate. The Arrival Gate is very different although we can not go through it either. Well, we sorta can go through it but it seems rather purposeless to do so. Passing through drops you into a reality that is basically alien and downright weird. Perhaps it is possible to get used to it but there is near total loss of memory and sense of self. It's difficult to imagine the Travelers arising from such chaos, yet our mathematics not only defined the likely forms, but also the molecular building blocks. Most strange that such an alien place was so easily defined with mathematics. Probably no more strange than our own existence which our mathematics describes perfectly.

Fred on the other hand is beyond description. He passes everyday through the Departure Gate and returns through the Arrival Gate. Strangely enough, when we look on the other side, he's no where to be found. Of course we didn't expect to see Fred on the other side based upon our previous tests, it was however a bit strange. Come to think of it, we never saw any Travelers on the other side either. As far as we could tell the gate was either incinerating the Travelers or teleporting them. Obviously Fred wasn't getting incinerated since he made his rounds everyday like he has since we became aware. However we have yet to meet the same Traveler and believe me, we have seen more Travelers then there are atoms in a typical universe. Like a snowflake, every Traveler is different. Fred isn't a Traveler I suppose but he does arrive and depart like all Travelers. The few who have joined us apparently can go through the Departure Gate but as far as we can determine there is nothing on the other side. Same with the Arrival Gate, nothing on the other side or inside I should say. It's a cave and the tunnels twist and wind and intersect in such a confusing and chaotic way as to make navigation nearly impossible. Odd, but not strange, is the hill in which the cave is found. It is quite small and rather plain. We often hold our gatherings there. The Departure Gate is like a trellis formed out of rock with moss and ivy covering its surface. It can't be more than a few feet thick and less that ten feet tall and four feet across. There is a well worn path between them, straight and narrow. Of course, there are detours from those who stepped out and took our gifts and the ones who stayed.

Far from the gates was our town or village. It has many homes where we dwell and enjoy the basic comforts of home, living as we did. Our sense of being, our daily bread. Those who have joined us come in two types. Those who can't leave like us, when they go through the Departure Gate nothing happens and those who have never tried to go through. Some of them have been here forever, or so it seems, not knowing how long forever is but guessing its less than a billion years. For us, time is static, just perceptions change. For those who joined us time still counts away. Fred seems to be like us, in that he (or it) has always been here but all we know about him is his name. Until now, that is. One of the Travelers was talking to Fred and is now headed our way.

We gave them names, those who stayed with us. We gave them a place in our homes to stay. The village was near one of the Great Dams, constantly available material, leaked out and in our way, we fashioned the material into gifts. Especially suited for the Travelers each day on their way to only god knows where and maybe Fred. Of all the Travelers who stayed with us only one, Ipsitaluri, hasn't tried to go through the Gate and her story of existence is fantastic as well as her reasons for staying but never ask her what or where the Departure Gate leads to, because you'll be there for an eternity listening to her response. The rest seem to be like us here living in the now but they are some how independent and do not create gifts for the Travelers like ours. They exist without merit, mere presence suffices. Their contributions to our existence is notable however as we extracted their information and now use it in our world.

The first to join us was Edreg and Agnatevda (Agnat for short). They came joined together like Siamese twins back to back with toes facing both directions and two faces on the head. I didn't like them at first but grew to appreciate their muddle ling attention grabbing behaviors. By the time Ipsitaluri joined us, Arawe, Enpartt, and Ephemtor had been with us forever. Athm, Atr, Umcis, Oryst, and Ecencis all joined the same day arriving within moments of each other, looking all quite the same. All claiming to be the true love of Ipsitaluri (also known as Ipsi) or at least lover then when Urtimlas (aka Urtim) arrived Ipsi could see no other. Ocsinocus (we called him Ocsi) was our favorite of all the Travelers, different than the others in some intangible way. Fred actually talks with him. When he arrived, he smiled at us, refused our gifts, but thanked us for our graciousness and hospitality, and headed through the second gate. He was sure headed somewhere and nothing happened. He was stuck here like the rest of us except for Ipsi, maybe. He seemed disappointed at first, spending most of his time investigating the Arrival Gate cave and its many tunnels. Ipsi really liked Ocsi but was wary of his ways. She also found his curiosity about the tunnels unhealthy and obscene. We were entertained by them and grew to love and know them as one of us. Icmanhe (Icman) and Ultonimasi (Ulton) were the last to join us. They had little interest in the gates and were more fascinated with the dams. First thing they did was clean up everything and fixed all the leaks. Before long we ran out of material for our gifts. Fred was clearly bothered despite his pleasant greeting. No one seemed able to do anything. We introduced Icmane and Ulton to Edreg and Agnat. Before long the leaks were back and everything was back to normal mostly. They were meant for each other I thought as I watched them playing on the hill. Stopping now and then to attend to cleaning the dam and surroundings but never so much as to loose the nature of being, incompleteness.

The gang of five, Athm, Atr, Umcis, Oryst, and Ecencis set up their home along the straight and narrow path. They and Icman built devices to deliver material directly to their place. Their gifts were different than ours and were for sale. They also helped in the village plying their crafts, fixing and arranging the many aspects of our existence. They even fortified the Great Dams, fixed the leaks but made a device that allowed us to get material whenever we wanted. They also subdued Icman and Ulton and Edreg and Agnat. No longer would they occasionally loose control and destroy everything, well everything but us and the gates and the dams. We had forever to rebuild, but why we used to wonder. Ulton was very odd even by our standards. He had no need for anything. Nothing to desire, nothing to want, nothing to love until he met Ipsi who would have nothing to do with him. She appeared to hold something none of the rest of us had. Something magical or at least mysterious. She had many lovers but just one love and Ulton would never be the one. Ocsi and the gang of five proposed sending Ipsi through the Departure Gate. Ulton complained, suggesting that she was like us and nothing would happen. We didn't have an interest either way laving it up to them. The gang of three Arawe, Enpartt, and Ephemtor were unusually quiet. Normally the have an opinion about everything. They can be rather obnoxious and short. To the point and biting. Their blunt perspectives softened only by Ephemtor who tried to pretend nothing mattered. All three of them lived near the Great Hill. They greeted every Traveler and pointed out the straight and narrow path. They also offered advice as to what gifts were better than others and what to expect along the way. They always had something to say but not today concerning Ipsi. Urtim normally the quiet one, was asking anyone how long before Ipsi would go. He offered her his cloak and glasses made of stone. She hugged him when Fred came by with a look of despair on his face and started talking to Ocsi, who immediately headed our way.

Fred has been everywhere and probably done everything. We are glad he is here but do not know why considering what his options might be. What he does is beyond us as well. Probably doesn't matter anyway. Ocsi said Fred was concerned Ipsi would go. That is when God came into the mix. Ipsi invoked God and disappeared. Fred said this might happen and it does not bode well. It took a few days but soon we discovered what he meant. Travelers began to stay without even trying the second gate. They built a city atop the Great Hill and a church at the Arrival Gate for all Travelers to pass through. Before long our gifts were everywhere with no Travelers to take them. The city was growing and our little village just a spot in one of their parks. We could not even see the straight and narrow path because of all their construction. We tried invoking God but nothing happened. The other Travelers who had stayed with us now all lived in the city. Urtim and Ulton were devastated by Ipsi's disappearance and sought refuge in the church, praying to God for her return. Before long the path to the Departure Gate was overgrown and nearly invisible, so few Travelers trod upon the path, often times going through the gate by accident because of play or work. We asked Ocsi to talk with Fred. What can we do? I don't know exactly why we can't talk to Fred. Perhaps its a language barrier, or perceptual, like most everything? We never dreamed of asking Fred. Now our reality was altered beyond recognition and our mathematics had not predicted this, nor offered any solutions. The problem was clear, unless things returned to 'normal' soon, this reality will surely burst, already they have begun to demolish the Great Dams and re-use the building blocks for their cities and highways. from the Great Dams. Icman and the gang of five constructed a barrier to prevent the Travelers from dismantling the dams any further. They attempted to patch the demolished areas but without Urtim's help, the patches would eventually fail.

After what seemed to be eons, we wondered what happened to Ocsi. We asked the gang of three to search and find Ocsi. Sometime later we heard a painful wailing. A sound so sad, that even the rocks would cry and feel the sorrow. Ocsi had fallen asleep under the tree outside the church. That wasn't a problem but it appears he can not be awakened. Oryst stood over Ocsi and began to go into a trance. As her form began to shimmer and reshape, a voice like no other ever heard spoke to us all. “I am and you are not.” “Until true love is found, Ocsi will dream the way of maybe.” “You and yours will be forgotten.” “The City is mine.” “The church belongs to the Travelers.” “You can not change reality, only I can.” With that Oryst slumped beside Ocsi and began to dream. The rest of the gang of five was soon asleep beside her. Their attempts to rescue her, caused them all to slump and begin to sleep. We weren't affected but our perceptions were. And because that is all we have, it was uncomfortably disturbing. Fred obviously knew something about God and now who would talk to him?

Ephemtor and Icman were busy building true love while Arawe and Enpartt found the parts and pieces used in the construction. The found the plans where Ulton was working unfortunately only eight of the nine pages could be found. Still is was better than doing nothing. The church, actually more a cathedral, had windows now and peering inside we could observe some sort of ritual being performed. It always involved two or more Travelers. As far as we could tell, they were selected because only certain ones became bound together. They used a cord constructed of dam material to encircle and cover the pair or group. It even seemed like the Travelers involved were not willing. We could see the struggle and striving once the cord was in place. What has happened to our reality? How could such a thing exist? Who or what is God and where is Fred when you need him? Interesting questions perhaps but were they meaningful or just redundant?

To be COntinued



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