Monday, September 12, 2011


With the forth of July falling on a Thursday, the week in Germfask was busier than usual as was the Jolly Bar.  The, I guess you would now say (with the addition of Debra), people of the cloth were all there and early once more. However, with their big table by the window occupied by a group of young canoers, David and Greg, the first arrivers, pushed together three of the smaller tables.

After all the pastors were settled Sharon caught her breath between carrying plates of food to other guests and ran over. As she was going over their orders David was saying, "I frankly think the man is a con artist.  Eventually he'll be asking us for favors.  I'm sure all of you, as pastors, are approached by con men on a weekly basis, trying to swindle money from your church. This man is just far more skilled at it . . . and patient. If he is spending weeks setting us up, he's going to go for the big bucks.  Mark my word!"  He had an intense look on his face. Meanwhile Father Randy looked up at Sharon, smiled and gave her a nod and a wink."

She looked startled and asked, "Oh, anything else this morning?  Will Mr. Hans be joining you?"

"No . . . thank you Sharon."

"He won't?"

"Oh . . . yes, Mr. Hans should be joining us in a few minutes, but there is nothing else we need right now." The Father flashed a big smile. Sharon returned to the counter to drop off their orders and to check customers out.

Mike let out a sigh, "I'm not sure what his angle is.  I'm not sure he's a con man. He's either playing a game with us, he has some type of mental illness or . . .  he may be doing research on a book.  He wouldn't be the first eccentric to take a cabin around here to pen a book . . . and I don't just mean Ernest either."

The Father added, "Speaking of the written word, I did call an Old Testament Hebrew professor at Norte Dame.  Father Kennedy is world renown for his master of the languages.  He actually agreed with what Tom said about the old Hebrew.  He said that the original Hebrew says in Genesis 11 that the people were scattered far AND on the face of the earth, and just like Tom said, the and was removed because it didn't seem to make sense and thought to be a kind of ancient typo."

Greg was leaning way back in his chair in deep contemplation and mumbled, in a barely audible voice, "Or maybe . . . just maybe . . . he is on the level."  Then he raises his eyebrows making his eyes seem big and round.

David let out a laugh so hard that coffee came out his nose. This got Debra laughing too. As she caught her breath, "Now you have to admit that it's a bit eerie that he was able to pigeon-hole us so easily with so little information.  To be candid, and father (then glancing at Randal) I hope you don't mind me saying this (the Father smiled and nodded in the affirmative) . . . he sure nailed us.  Randy and I are much better friends than you know . . . but certainly not romantic, David, if that's what you're thinking."

"I wasn't thinking anything. The notion never crossed my mind."

"So, what about you?" She asked.  "Did he nail you too?"

"Do you mean do I doubt that I'm a Christian at times?  No I don't.  Maybe when I was a new believer, but not now. I have no dirty, little secrets that makes me feel ashamed either. So he was dead wrong about me."

"If anyone should feel ashamed it should be me gentlemen . . . and lady," came the voice from behind them. There stood the tall stranger, but this day without a hat.

"Have a seat," said Greg as he pulled a chair out just between himself and David.  As Tom sat down and slipped his briefcase under his chair he continued to apologize.

"I never thought that I would be saying that I got stuck in traffic coming into Germfask . . . but I did. There was a  . . . I think you call them "RV" cross ways in the road. It was pulling a small car behind and the two of them apparently went sideways into a V."

Michael smiled, "We call it jack-knifing. It happens a lot when these RVs are towing cars and hit the gravel road going too fast."

Tom pulled out his yellow tablet and seemed to be writing and mouthing jaa-ck knif-ing, and he put his tablet down.

David looked to his left directly at Tom, "Speaking of which, how do you even know how to drive an earthling car?"

"Oh, driving your cars is pretty easy . . . extremely dangerous . . . but easy.  I learned the same way you did. But where I'm from we don't really drive cars.  Only one side of our planet is hospitable so we live in dense communities and have what you would call mass transportation.  We do have our personal vehicles for longer, out of the way trips. But we haven't had an accident in decades.  That is one of the things that amazes us about people on earth.  Automobile accidents kills and injures so many people, yet no one does anything about it. Yet, if one person dies from radiation, your whole planet becomes worried and spends billions to correct that. But, as I was saying last time, that is the difference. I'm not speaking from arrogance, but we learned a long time ago to think from reason, making logical choices, but our emotions are for our enjoyment."

David sat up and decided to continue the interrogation, "Explain this Mr. Spock, how did you even get a car and how did you get a license and how did you get a cabin on the lake?"

Tom smiled, "I will address your first comment. I do know who Mr. Spock is.  We are nothing like him. We are full of emotions . . . however, we have learned to separate our emotions and relegate them to their rightful place.  We are a thousand years ahead of your civilizations and one reason is that we never went through the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages were based on emotion, pure emotion with a downward valuation of reason.  We learned a long time ago that decisions must be made on logic. That's why we made a very logical decision to eliminate war. We haven't had one in two thousand years and hardly a murder. No one wins in either. They both are based on pure emotion. Now back to your other question, I got the things I have in the same way that any illegal alien would . . . however our forgers are much superior to yours.  My passport is spotless and my information is pristine in your Social Security data banks. So, getting a driver's license was no problem.  I try hard not to lie, but sometimes there is no way around it."

"Okay," said David shaking his head, "another question for you is how did you get here?" He reaches down and pulls some papers and pencil out of his front pant's pocket, scratching his head with his pencil, he continues, "If my computations are correct, and I wasn't a math major, if you were able to travel near the limit of human physiology, say two hundred thousand miles per hour, it would still take you at least 244 years to get here. So how did you do it?"

Tom smiles, planting his elbows on the table, he rest his chin on his fists. "As you are not a mathematician, nor am I a physicist."

"So you don't have clue how you got here?" fired back David.

"I'm not saying that pastor Smith.  It is very complicated."

"Wormholes," said Greg in a voice that almost surprised himself.

Tom chuckles, "No, not wormholes. Don't misunderstand me, wormholes do exist but we have never found a practical use for them.  I don't know where to begin and I'm really afraid that we will use up our whole time in this conversation before I get to my questions. But I know that you will never trust me enough to answer my questions if I don't at least attempt to answer yours."

Tom looked around the table and everyone seemed to be eating their breakfasts, their heads hovering above their plates and their eyes fixed on him.  Tom looked down at his own plate of fruit and lots of sliced tomatoes. He had never noticed when Sharon had brought them and slipped his plate in front of him. She moves with a stealthy fluidity. But how he loved fresh, red tomatoes. It was the greatest taste he had ever experienced. He was determined to bring seeds back with him to Teyvat and see if they would grow in their arid world. He couldn't resist so he pick up one big slice of tomato and with his fingers and laid it on his tongue, then slowly slide down his throat with just a couple of chews.

Since no one was speaking, he felt obliged to continue. "Okay, I will give you a summary.  Einstein was mostly correct in his understanding of the universe. There are two, two-headed parts to what we know of the physical universe. Think of them as barbells. On one end are the twins, of the fabric of space and time.  On the other end are the twins of the matter/energy realm.  However it is really more simple than that. All that is can be broken down to just space and time because time begets energy and energy begets matter.

Here on earth, you consider gravity as the source of all energy but that is not true. Gravity doesn't even really exist but is just an illusion in the same way that centrifugal force is an illusion. For example, if you were on a fast moving merry-to-round, you would feel this force pulling you outward. But there is no force pulling on you at all. It is simply the momentum of your forward motion being constantly changed along an arc. Does that make sense?"

Michael, who had not disclosed this to anyone, was a physics major in his undergraduate studies had put down his fork and seemed to ponder deeply. "Makes sense to me . . . except I don't follow your gravity point and what that has to do with traveling long distances."

"Well, gravity is the same type of illusion. This is how Einstein was wrong. Gravity is a function of time. Since matter distorts time . . . and of course the fabric space . . . it creates a time gradient. The time at the bottom of your foot is a billionth of a millisecond slower than the time at the top of your head. Therefore it creates what could be described as chron-o-tension, which is felt as gravity."

They all just looked at him.  He looked over at the window, and seeing the canoes on the tops of the Ford Explorer and the Subaru outside and idea seemed to come to Tom.

He continued, "It is like a log thrown into a fast moving stream. Out, towards the middle of the stream where the water moves the fastest, that end of the log will start to move downstream faster than the end of the log near the shore, which of course is moving slower. So the log will turn and start to point downstream. That is how the force of time being different closer to mass than away from it creates a linear tension that is felt as gravity."

Father Randy had been quieter than usual this morning. He preferred to be an observer. Debra, however, did speak up, at least to prove that she wasn't lost in the conversation, "I think I see where you are going with this, you have found a way to do time travel."

"Nope.  We haven't.  But we have found a way to travel in the absence of time . . . or space.  Again, it is hard even for me to understand. But there are transition zones around places where matter distorts the time/space fabric.  These distortions can be accumulative when more than one large density is in the same region. It is what your scientists call constructive interference. In our system, Alpha Centauri, there are actually three massive stars, each causing distortions in the fabric of space."

"Three?" asked Greg.

"I know that most of you think that it is a binary star system, but there is an Alpha Centauri C, a red dwarf type of star, that creates the total triangulation of waves of distorted space/time, in a constructive interference pattern, leading to points of vulnerabilities. So, our scientist have learned how to exploit those points and to create doorways beneath the fabric."

At this point Tom could see that he had lost everyone . . . save Greg, who did seem to still be interested.

"Well, anyway folks, to make a long story short, we travel on the other side of the fabric of space/time where there is no distance, time or what you would call Newtonian Physics. Speaking of time, ours this morning is more than half over. You've asked me a total of six questions and I've asked you none. I haven't even gotten an answer for the one I asked last time. I need to finalize the answer to the question of what, precisely, does it mean to be a Christian?  In other words, who is in the Kingdom of God?  Can we explore that this morning?"

David looked at him, "Tom, you haven't answered our question about how you got here yet."

"I've spent many words trying to and I will come back to that question.  I do ask that you favor me this; that you make my questions a priority because I have traveled over four light years to get here and I have a whole civilization waiting to hear what I find out. This is extremely important, whereas your questions are not so."

David once again responded, "Our questions are huge as well.  I mean, if you really are an alien, then it will be the greatest scientific discovery of all times."

Tom replied, "I only disagree with the fruitfulness of the answers.  I'm confident that when we are done here, that most of you will still seriously doubt my claims thus it will be of limited scientific discovery. I was just a crazy man you met at the Jolly Bar, like ships passing in the night. Whereas on my side, based on my information, which I gleam from you around this humble breakfast table, an entire people will change as will the course of an entire planet. So gentlemen . . . and lady, can we get back to my questions . . . please?"


Anonymous said...

Ha, pretty good stuff. Thanks! Looking forward to the next addition. (No pressure, of course!)

PRS & ALS said...

Just a personal opinion: you lost me in all the scientific stuff.

jmj said...

It wasn't me who lost you, it was Tom. He was starting to loose everyone. After all, I do suspect he is a madman.

PRS & ALS said...

good point. sometimes our characters do things we don't want them to do.

keep the story coming.