- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part One
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Two
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Three
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Four
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Five
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Six
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Eight
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Seven
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Nine
When they reached the hotel, Richard tipped the cabbie generously and entered the lobby. When the doorman stepped in front of him, Richard resisted the temptation to test the powers he supposedly now had. Instead, he asked for the concierge who, recognizing Richard as a five star guest, personally showed him to one of the hotel’s best suites. Richard asked for a razor, and to have the hotel’s personal shopper sent to his room in an hour.
As soon as he was alone, he poured himself a stiff drink. After downing it in a single swallow, he picked up the phone to call Nadine. Given the time difference, she’d most likely be at the university so he called her private line there. It rang through to voicemail. So did her cell. Richard couldn’t think of anything he could say in a one-minute message that would make the least bit of sense. He was going to call the university switchboard and have her paged, but decided he’d shower first. After all, as far as his wife knew, he was still in the middle of the Central American jungle. It wasn’t like she’d be worried about him.
Going into the bathroom, he started the water in the shower, stripped down and stepped in. He leaned both hands against the wall and just let the hot, steamy water run over him for a few minutes. He was just beginning to feel something close to normal again when he heard a giggle behind him. Turning, Richard saw Alea Chantal, as naked as he was, standing provocatively in the corner. “Hey,” he exclaimed, suppressing the urge to cover himself with his hands.
Alea Chantal laughed, moved toward him. At which point Richard realized that even though she might be naked, she wasn’t wet. “Very good, Richard,” she said. “I’m simply taking advantage of the mist in the air and the way your eye processes light to create an image of myself.” Then she glanced down, smiling broadly. “But thank you for the compliment.” Richard blushed. A disembodied throat-clearing from Sarsoneth broke the moment, and Alea Chantal continued. “We promised to begin to answer your questions, Richard. When you finish your shower, grab that second drink you wanted and meet us in the grove.” She disappeared.
“Meet you in the grove,” Richard repeated. “How the hell do I do that?”
Alea Chantal’s face reappeared. “Same as before, silly. Only this time, you don’t have to wait for Faloneth to knock you out. Just make yourself comfortable and we’ll do the rest.” She blinked out again.
Richard soaped up, scrubbed down and rinsed off. Stepping out of the shower, he towelled himself dry and put on the hotel-provided bathrobe. As he returned to the suite’s living room, there was a knock on the door. He opened it to find the personal shopper, who he invited in. It only took a few minutes for her to take his measurements and to make a list of the clothes and personal articles Richard wanted. He also asked her to book him on the first available flight back to the US.
After she left, Richard went back to the bar and opened the fridge. There was a decent selection of beer from a number of British and European brewers. He reached for a German brand. “Don’t be ridiculous,” Alea Chantal’s voice complained. “We’re in London. It’s got to be a Guinness.”
Richard picked up the black and gold can. “You do know Guinness is Irish, right?” When Alea Chantal didn’t answer, he shrugged and popped the can open. After taking a swallow, he picked up the phone and tried calling Nadine again, and again got no answer. He still didn’t want to worry her by leaving a message with a London telephone number. Instead, he called Thomas Jackson, his colleague and best friend. Jackson didn’t answer either, but Richard left him the number at the hotel and asked him to call as soon as he could. Richard knew his friend well enough to know that he’d be more curious than worried. Then he walked to the sofa and made himself comfortable. He was just about to ask what to do next when the room faded out and the now-familiar grove took its place.
“Welcome back, Richard,” Alea Chantal said cheerily. Richard noticed that she was holding what seemed to be his can of beer. She saw the direction of his glance. “What? A girl can’t enjoy a good beverage?” she protested. Taking a long pull at the Guinness, she added. “God that tastes good. Not that I don’t appreciate the scotch you usually drink Richard, but there’s just nothin’ like a good stout f’r a gal raised in the pubs, y’know?” She took another swallow, belched; looked sheepish.
“Indeed. The sophistication of your palate is beyond question, my dear. Not to mention that you are French, not English.” Richard turned toward the second voice and saw Sarsoneth for the first time. The man was considerably older than Alea Chantal. She appeared to be in her early twenties. Richard would have guessed Sarsoneth was at least sixty. He was dressed in some sort of loose-fitting robe or toga or something but from what Richard could tell, he appeared to be in excellent physical condition. The most striking thing about him however, was his height. At six foot one, Richard wasn’t accustomed to having to look up to meet someone’s gaze. Sarsoneth, however, had at least six inches on him.
“In the days when we first arrived,” Sarsoneth said, picking up on Richard’s unspoken thought, “the difference was even more striking.”
“I knew it,” Richard exclaimed. “You’re aliens.”
Alea Chantal placed a hand on her hip, struck a pose, and protested, “Not me bud. I am all girl.” After a brief pause, she added, “He’s the bug-eyed monster.”
Sarsoneth sat on a boulder, gave Alea Chantal a long-suffering look, and sighed. Addressing Richard, he said, “Although ‘alien’ would be technically correct in my case, Richard, both Alea Chantal and I, at least the original, living versions of us, are, or were, your ancestors.”
Richard looked from one to the other. “You’re ghosts?”
“More like memories, Richard,” Alea Chantal chipped in. “Very, very vivid memories.”
Richard picked up a stone, threw it into the lake, watched the ripples spread out. “Pretty damn solid memories; especially since I’ve never been to this place before in my life.”
“Not only your memories, Richard; our memories as well. Indeed, the memories of all of your ancestors are available to you. Everything that happened to each of your forebears up to the moment that they passed their genetic material on to the next generation is part of what my people call the d’na’tnek.”
Richard thought about that for a few minutes. He knew a little bit about the theory that memory could be passed from one generation to another just like physical traits such as red hair or a talent for math. “What about lifting the jeep, and fixing my arm? How does that work?”
“As with the ability to access the d’na’tnek,” Sarsoneth replied,” there comes a point in the evolution of a race when they begin to be able to manipulate the power generated by the planet itself. Humanity is reaching that point. It is Awakening.”
Richard had an idea. “Okay, so you’re saying that all the stories about faith healers, or people who had visions, or witches, or whatever … they were all really some kind of mutants?”
Alea Chantal laughed. “Awakening, Richard. Or evolving, if you’d prefer a human term. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but you need to understand what’s going on and where you fit in first.”
“When my people came to Earth, Richard,” Sarsoneth continued, “we were the last, shattered remnants of a once-proud race. Too proud. Our arrogance had led us to turn on each other to our utter destruction. Even the truce that allowed a few of us to reach your planet lasted barely long enough to complete the journey.”
The grove faded out momentarily and Richard saw what was obviously a spaceship descending toward a broad plain. When it had settled to the ground, doors opened and scores of men and women – four hundred and fifty nine, a memory whispered to him – emerged from the ship. Some gathered in the meadow around the landing site while others immediately took to the air and scattered. The scene faded.
“That was over ten thousand years ago, Richard. While those of my faction, the Ethicals, sought to aid mankind’s development, those like Faloneth, the Disaffected, sought only to dominate and control. Though there are only a few left, they still do. They must be stopped before humanity fully Awakens.”
Richard considered. “What about your group? The Ethicals?”
Alea Chantal jumped in before Sarsoneth could answer. “They’re no better, Richard. Their methods are different but they want the same thing.”
“Which is?” Richard asked.
“To control humanity’s Awakening. It’s the only chance they have of rebuilding their race; by using us.”
“How many Ethicals are there? Which side is winning?”
“There are only a handful of either,” replied Alea Chantal. We’re not sure how many. But even one is too many Richard. ”
Remembering what Faloneth had been able to do to, Richard tended to agree. Still ….
He’d been leaning against a tree during most of the discussion. Now he pushed himself off. “It seems like you’ve been at each other’s throats for a long time. Humanity’s still here and the bad guys are dying off. I think I’ll just leave you all to it, and go back to my life. If one of you could just point me at my hotel room, I’ll be on my way.”
Sarsoneth started to say something about destiny and responsibility, but Alea Chantal stepped closer to Richard and put her hand on his arm. “Richard, Faloneth killed Nadine.”
Richard spun toward Alea Chantal in shock when the phone rang and he found himself back on the sofa. Dazedly, he noticed that the can of Guinness was empty.
OBSERVATION PAUSED BY REQUEST
Enquiry Response: The Member is correct. The Sarsoneth Construct is deliberately withholding information from Richard. That it is capable of such action is without precedent. One of the tasks of this Panel is to determine if this is a characteristic to be nurtured, or if it signifies an aberration requiring sterilization.