“The spiral in a snail’s shell is the same mathematically as the spiral in the Milky Way galaxy, and it’s also the same mathematically as the spirals in our DNA. It’s the same ratio that you’ll find in very basic music that transcends cultures all over the world.”
– Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The cluster of homes was along a forest-ridden ridge, crowded with trees except for the flattened hovercraft pads that had been put in when the lot trackers had been put in. As the hovercraft landed, the edge of the pads went from a dim red glow to a soft yellow light.
Stepping out, I notice a faint silhouette of curves – like someone had drawn circles along the horizon – amongst the trees. A few feet away, Mason got out of his hovercraft.
“Oofta.” He exclaimed, looking at the surrounding forest. In the light of the landing pads, his red hair was a dusky orange shade and his triangular face seemed spattered in pale freckles. For just turning fourteen, he was fairly tall and there was the hint of growing muscles that could be seen since he was wearing short sleeves, “These trees sure are big!”
I look at the nearest one, moving off the landing pad carefully and placing my hand on the bark. Trees weren’t uncommon in A-Utili, they were planted and cared for all over in rings around the cities, but I couldn’t recall any that were as tall as this one, “Yeah, do you think those are our homes?” I point to the silhouettes in the distance.
“Good as guess as any.” Mason shrugged, adjusting a couple backpacks on each shoulder, “Don’t you have any belongings?”
“No…” I realized I hadn’t packed at all, “I didn’t.” Did dad not remind me because he thought I’d be coming home with him?
A stretch of silence later, Mason cleared his throat and lighting up his bracer with a cool white, he led through the forest towards the houses.
“This is already so great. I’ve never been allowed out this late before.” He said as we got closer, the light of launchpads fading.
I watch as circular orbs begin to glow a gentle gold color as we approach. The gold highlights the smoothly curved, spiral homes that sit only a few feet away from each other and connected by a bridge.
As we get closer, I see that there are bridges on the other side as well, connecting them to another home – all the way into a circle. “No wonder the dots were so clustered together, they’re connected!” He exclaims excitedly.
“So, you’re safe and sound now?” My father leaned in close to the screen, peering at me like he was about to travel right through the wall.
“Yes, I’m safe… I think.” I look around my new home, surveying the electronics room, “I don’t know why there are only electronics in one room though. That’s weird, isn’t that weird?” I look at him and smile weakly.
“It’s kind of weird.” He smirks, resting his elbows on something unseen, “Well, thank you for calling me, dear, I’m sorry I left so soon, but I had the feeling you wouldn’t be coming back with me.”
I dryly laugh, “Well, your feeling was right.”
“Usually is. Call me after you get some rest and learn more about your new life, okay?” He glances briefly to the side before looking to make sure I’m listening.
“Will do, dad.” I nod, “Love you.”
“I love you too, sweetie.” With that, the call ended and a screen of a rolling ocean appeared. Glancing around the themed room, I shake my head and walk out to the main room. In the domehome, there were three ground floor rooms, then a staircase descended lower down into a number of levels that were waiting to be built into actual living spaces.
The ground floor rooms – the electronics hub, the bedroom, and the main room – were already furnished. In the bedroom, there was a small closet where a toilet was tucked away. In the main room, on a circular table that was etched with the Flower of Life symbol, sat the home’s manual. I would read it later, after some sleep.
Mason was sitting at the table and he stands as I come back in, “I should get going.” He says, “We both should rest, figure out what we’re doing in our own thing. Your call with your dad go alright?” He gestured to the electronics room.
“Huh? Oh,” I nod, sitting down with a mighty exhale, “Yeah.” I smile wearily, “I’ll see you tomorrow then.” I don’t bother to watch him leave as I rest my head in my folded arms. For a few minutes, I might have slept, but hunger woke me up as my stomach growled loudly.
Looking around, I noticed a food reserve sitting next to the counter. Box-shaped and humming with self-generating power, I wondered if it would be empty or full – one never knew with food reserves – it depended on if the last person had stocked it or took from it.
Opening the reserve, it hissed and a bounty of food and drink greeted me. My mouth fell open and I stared a good, whole minute at the wealth of produce inside. Grabbing a bunch of radishes, I wondered where they came from. They only looked days old, if not picked that morning. My question was answered as I notice a pamphlet taped to the inside of the door.
‘Transcendi Food Reserve – Area 234SV3 – Connecting Gardens…’ a list of address codes followed, some written by hand, others printed with the copy. At the end were a few numbers of neighbors and locals willing to help out with various tasks or emergencies. On the bottom, in the center was the Transcendi nation symbol stamped and to the side, written in delicate black ink ‘We are One’.
Closing the door, I walk to the clay sink and rinse the radishes. As I eat them, I search for a juicer. There is one hiding in the lower shelves. The detail that went into this home astounds me and I’m amazed that it looks so different from the houses back in A-Utili.
After I finish all of the radishes, I take off my clothes, use a clean cloth from the bathroom to wipe the makeup off my face, and settle into my new bed. It is softer than my old one, which strikes me as weird too. This whole place was weird, but in a way, it was also comforting. The blanket is extremely soft and I wonder what it is made of as I drift to sleep.
I have a dream about an alien space camel that travels through hyperspace wormholes to save galaxies.
Briefly, in this dream, I argue with the camel about the name of our galaxy.
Camel says, “Lovestar.”
I say, “Milky Way.”
“It’s all relative,” the camel says before fading away.
When I awake, I realize that none of the dream made any sense at all and toss it away from my mind. No need to remember such nonsense. Sunlight streams through the green-tinted windows, creating a celestial map pattern over the bedroom.
With a sigh, I recall the past day with reluctance. I hear water rippling in the distance, and a number of animal sounds – birds chirping, dogs barking in the far distance, and other noises that I knew less about. There were few wild animals in A-Utili, that didn’t seem to be the case with Transcendi.
Slipping out of bed, I find a simple hemp robe to wear as I walk out through the main room and onto the bridge that connects Mason and I’s house. The sun is bright, streaming through the tree tops and it instantly warms me.
Relaxing, I notice Mason is in the center of the ring of houses, where a bubbling geyser has been centralized as a fountain. Built into the fountain’s edge are power-generators that led to the homes with carefully constructed wires.
“Happy day.” I greet, rubbing my eyes and realizing I haven’t put make-up on yet. Somehow, I don’t feel embarrassed about it with Mason. He’s already so plain and coming from R-Utilit, he must be used to it.
“Good morning.” He nods in a calm-fashion, sitting on a flat, smoothed stone. There are as many stones as there are houses, circling the fountain. I take a seat on the one next to his. He is wearing the same clothes as yesterday.
“Did you sleep okay?” I ask.
“Very well, actually. Though I had to check on my hovercraft a couple times.” He stretched out his legs, “Do you think there is a security system here?”
“I would assume so,” I shrug, “They wouldn’t just throw us out here in the wilderness without one… right?”
He doesn’t say anything.
“I can make breakfast.” I offer, simply to break the approaching awkward silence. Standing, I secure my robe.
“I’ll help.” He stands as well.
As we make our way back towards my home, I stop as I notice someone walking out from the trees, “Who’s that?” I ask.
“How should I know?” Mason retorts, passing by me and waving to the stranger, “Hello there!”
The stranger waves, hiking up the slope, “Merry meet, newcomers!” Holding a carved walking stick in one hand and a satchel of carefully wrapped packages in the other, the portly man hobbled closer “Enjoying the electromagnetic storm today?”
I stifle a giggle. I’d never heard electromagnetic storms used in such context before, only as part of the data list when global catastrophe predictions were made. Now that I think more about it, I realize that it was the Transcendi Nation that made the discoveries of the cosmic electromagnetic influence upon the planet and how it often resulted in scientific patterns depending on the Matrix frame of the Earth’s plates. I didn’t understand it fully, but I didn’t need to yet.
“I’m Mason, this is Avery.” Mason reaches out to shake the man’s hand. Resting the walking stick against his body, the strange man returned the hand shake. His body was stocky, with round limbs and a dwarfish face that looked like it had been hit with a shovel. Despite this, his skin was a radiant bronze and his blue eyes gleamed with crystal-like clarity. His black hair was thick and forced into a long braid that went to his thighs. He must have shaved though, since he had no facial hair.
“Mason, Avery,” He greets both of us with a crooked smile, “You can call me Ara. Welcome to Transcendi and welcome to the Fibonacci Forest.” Taking up the walking stick, he began towards Mason’s home, “Are you enjoying your new home?”
“Yes, very much so.” Mason quickly follows, “Though we were both just wondering, does this land have a security system of some sort?”
I follow as they exchange words because there wasn’t a whole lot else to do. If this was to be my home, I would have plenty of time to watch the water bubble.
“Wonderful,” Ara said simply, leading them into Mason’s main room. He sets the parcel on the table – an identical copy to the one in my home, in fact, the entire home is an exact copy – except for the pillows on the chairs, which are different types of colors and patterns.
His blue eyes squint as he smiles, “And yes, actually, Fibonacci Forest has seven security scanners that patrol the entire area with on-command emergency filming and by-request deletion rights for all citizens. If you want anything more specialized to your home beyond the launchpad U.N. protocol drones, you will have to see to it yourself.” As Ara talks, he unwraps the parcel to reveal a thick set of books.
“Books?!” Mason exclaims, instantly sidetracked by them. Leaning down, he peered at the hard covers, opening the top one and flipping through the pages, “Actual books?!”
I laugh, “Don’t you have an USB?”
“Here, in Transcendi,” Ara explains patiently, sitting down at the table, “we value all of humanity’s creations as the creations of Source and do not place judgement on better or worse.”
“But efficiency,” I blurt out before I can stop myself, my father’s voice ringing in my head, “That has nothing to do with morality.”
Ara smiles at me, then pats the table edge as he prepares to stand again, “Well, whether they are efficient or not, they exist and I’d like for you both to read them some time.” Stretching his arms out, he added, “No rush though. Get to them in your own time and if you’re really interested, you can scan them or transcribe them into a digital format for the rest of us, if you care to, that is.”
I cross my arms, knowing I can’t disagree with that logic, but also feeling cheated somehow. Taking the top book off the stack, I nod to them both, “Nice chatting, but I need to get dressed now.”
“What about breakfast?” Mason asks.
“You haven’t eaten yet?” Ara interrupts, “There is food in the reserves right? I had asked Yona to fill them the other night, you’ll get to meet her later today probably.” He points at me as I try to slip out of the house, “Oh, you’ll want to be prepared for a bunch of visitors tonight. We always have a Lunar party at new citizen homes to bless the area and guide you to your purpose.”
“That sounds awesome!” Mason exclaims, “Should I wear something special?”
Ara laughs, placing a hand on the redhead’s shoulder, “You should always wear something special, always!” He gestures to his own finely sewn robes, woven with cloth and silk, and oddly tailored to his body.
“It looks like you’re missing a hat.” I tell him, then flee.
I hear Ara tell Mason, “You know I think she’s right.”
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