Maiden Gods

eso9845dThe Universe is new. Really new!

And what if you knew with absolute certainty that no other sentient race existed. That you were completely alone in a vast Universe.

That knowledge would be dangerous.

 

 

 

Available Soon!

Here’s a sample:

Chapter 1

‘Run. Quickly. Run!’ A voice whispered urgently. Daxx turned his head wondering if the message was for him. He was surrounded by fellow commuters. It was impossible to tell.

The act of turning saved his life. A projectile barely missed him and embedded itself in the head of a man squeezed close to him in the crowd. The man silently slumped. His dead body rebounded from one horrified, retreating, commuter to another.

‘Yes. I mean you, Daxx. Run. Now!’

Daxx pushed frantically through the crowd as two more commuters died where he had been standing.

A large man, hurrying home from work, blocked his way. The same voice yelled from some distance behind him.

‘Left.’

Daxx turned sharply as the man died, a projectile embedded in his skull.

Daxx used his arms and pushed with all his strength to make his way through the densely packed crowd. It thinned, he broke into a run. He dodged and weaved, running against the inflow of commuters. He ran with no thought other than obeying that urgent voice.

The inflow of commuters thinned further. He risked a glance behind. People had stopped. Their faces staring at him, curious and annoyed. Further back, following in his wake, people were flung out of the way by movement within the crowd. He ran faster.

‘This doesn’t happen to scientists,’ he thought, bewildered and frantic.

His pulse raced. The exertion only a small part of the cause. He did not know what to do other than run. He panicked.

Someone grabbed at him, believing he was a fugitive. He pushed the man violently away and ran on.

‘Someone’s really trying to kill me,’ he thought. He could not believe it. It was illogical. He slowed. No sane person would try to kill someone like him, an ordinary scientist. He decided to stop and reason with his pursuers.

He turned to look back again. They were closer. One of them raised an arm and Daxx instinctively ducked his head as another projectile whistled passed him.

He understood. Although it must be a mistake, he would have no chance to explain. He would be killed if he did not escape.

He ran, keeping close to the pedestrians, brushing shoulders as he veered left and right. He hoped it would be difficult for the attackers to kill him while he was close to others.

Someone stood in the middle of the roadway ahead of him, oblivious to the vehicles that swerved to miss him. The figure stared at Daxx intently, malevolently. He raised his arm.

Daxx felt a hand on his shoulder as he was pushed violently to the ground to evade a missile. Then yanked, just as violently, to his feet.

‘In here.’

It was that voice again.

Daxx was pushed through a doorway and fell. The door was slammed shut behind him then shuddered under the weight of attack from outside.

‘Follow me. Run.’

Daxx regained his feet. His helper moved away quickly.

‘Who are you?’ Daxx asked.

‘Just run.’ The man broke into a run. Daxx ran as fast as he could.

They ran down a corridor, ignoring doorways on both sides. The man halted before an open door on the left and cocked his head as if listening and waiting. The front door burst open after a sustained attack. The man half-smiled as if remembering something. He looked at Daxx and saw his fear. His smile broadened.

‘It will be OK,’ he said softly. ‘I know. I remember.’

He pushed Daxx in the back and through the open door, then followed and quietly shut the door behind  them. He put one finger across his lips to signify silence must be kept then walked across the room to an open window and looked out and up. He returned and made Daxx take off his coat, then threw it out the window to land on the fire escape steps. He inclined his head towards a cupboard and the two of them hid inside.

I seemed an odd, childish method to avoid discovery by people intent on murder.

The door to the room opened and Daxx heard at least two men enter.

‘He must have climbed up the fire escape.’ Daxx heard one man say.

‘Who was helping him?’ another man said.

‘No idea.’

Daxx, from his hiding place, heard the men leave then call to others. He looked expectantly at his savior who shook his head. After a moment Daxx heard more men walking quickly along the corridor.

‘OK,’ the man said then opened the cupboard door.

‘Are we safe now?’ Daxx asked.

‘You’ve always been safe,’ the other man said. ‘But you’ve got to keep moving.’

The man stepped outside the room and looked up and down the corridor. He muttered to himself, ‘I don’t know why I looked.’

The man produced a sheet of paper from his pocket and glanced through it, like he was reading a script.

‘Is this real?’ Daxx asked.

The man looked at Daxx then down at the paper and smiled.

‘I’d forgotten that,’ he said.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘It’s real. You have go quickly out the back. And you’ll have to run. I’m going this way.’ He indicated he was about to go back the way they had come.

The man grabbed Daxx’s arm. ‘Be brave. Go. Quickly.’

He pushed Daxx down the corridor.

‘Where are you going?’ Daxx asked.

The man again glanced at the paper in his hand before returning it to his pocket.

‘I’m going to kill those men.’

He turned his back on Daxx and strode down the corridor and out the smashed front doorway onto the street.

Daxx did as he was told. He turned away and jogged to the end of the corridor. He opened a door that led outside. A man stood there, momentarily as surprised as Daxx, believing he had been pointlessly set on guard. Daxx recovered first and smashed him in the face with his elbow then sprinted away as the stunned man crumpled to the ground.

He rounded a corner. The man who had saved him was waiting.

Daxx turned his head to look behind him, he expected the stunned man to be following.

‘We should keep moving, I hit a man but he should be coming right behind me.’

‘No. He’s dead.’

‘What?’ Daxx said. He was surprised. Firstly, how could the man possibly know and secondly, Daxx had not hit hard enough.

‘I know you’re confused. But your first helper will kill him,’ the man said.

‘First helper?’ Daxx said with annoyance. ‘And who are you then?’

‘I can’t tell you that.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because I never did.’

‘Who’s trying to kill me? It has to be a mistake right?’ Daxx asked.

The man was not looking at Daxx as he asked his questions. He stared at the sky and between buildings at distant mountains.

‘This planet was beautiful,’ the man said.

Daxx shook his head in frustration.

‘I’m sorry,’ the man said. His nostalgia gone. ‘The Revisionists want you dead. There’s no mistaken identity.’

‘The Revisionists?’ Daxx asked.

‘Their reach is extensive, Daxx, although they deflect mainstream attention’

‘I’ve nearly completed a paper proving them wrong.’

‘Exactly,’ the man exclaimed. ‘Confirming theories on life in the Universe, sentient or not, is dangerous. Power and money is involved.’

Daxx stared at the man, unable to fathom that he was to be killed for an unpublished scientific paper.

‘Submit your draft today. There will be repercussions but that’s inevitable.’

‘You sound like you know what’s going to happen.’

‘Daxx,’ the man’s voice became gentle, like talking to an intelligent child. ‘The laws of planetary motion and gravity are one of the greatest achievements in Physics, right?’

Daxx wondered what the point was.

‘And then they were found inadequate. The concept of space-time was developed by, perhaps, the greatest genius of all time.’

‘What are you talking about?’ Daxx said. He was annoyed. This was under-graduate stuff.

‘What I am telling you, is that your name will be the first spoken when people talk of science. Ahead of all others that have been, and all others that will ever come.’

Daxx stared at the man. He must be a fool.

The man smiled. ‘I am no fool,’ he said.

‘Just three things Daxx,’ the man said, ‘just three little things to work on.’ The man laughed. ‘Find the true nature of space; find the true nature of time; and harness and channel external powers sources through organic structures.’

The man silently stared at Daxx.

‘And keep that layman’s introduction. The one you’re thinking of removing,’ the man continued. ‘It will get you media attention and save your life.’

The man walked quickly away and turned a corner. Daxx followed but the man was nowhere to be seen.

Daxx sat before his computer that evening and re-read the introduction he had decided to remove. It wasn’t completely bad, he thought. Although inappropriate for a scientific discussion. But he did as the man suggested and uploaded the draft to a public location.

The draft paper went viral overnight and the public media published his introduction under a contentious headline. Daxx upset many powerful people. He would never work in a paid, public position again.

Chapter 2

This is the introduction that was published:

The universe began with space and time rushing in all directions, creating themselves as they went. It cooled and the fundamental particles of matter emerged. They coalesced into the simplest elements. Turbulence and gravity clumped the pockets of matter that spiraled and squeezed until the first stars were born. Light, energy and subatomic matter thrown out from those first furnaces raced angrily through the young universe adding to the turbulence. The universe was alive with cause and effect.

Matter acted on matter and galaxies were formed. Only the simplest elements existed.

A sequence of events of infinitesimal probability caused a cluster of those first stars, in one galaxy only, to mingle close together and then violently explode, all reaching the ends of their lifetimes within a million years of each other. An improbable instantaneity.

A single smallish star was born out of the deaths of those first stars. A group of planets formed around it from the spiraling dust and gas. In a small volume of the universe all the elements existed to sustain carbon-based life and rocky, icy planets.

Life evolved on one of those planets. Sentient life emerged. Technologically aware life arose. Nowhere else have conditions existed long enough. The universe is impossibly young. It is less than five billion years old.

That star is our star. That planet is our planet. We are the first sentient race in the Universe. This paper proves that we are truly alone.

Our responsibility is enormous.

End of ‘Maiden Gods’ Sample.

 

 

Posted December 17, 2011 by Mark