“Looking forward to share information with you. But before Easter comes, let’s kill some time by showing you the surroundings.”
“Easter? In November? Colonel Karpenter said that it was Sunday, October 31st, 2021 when he visited me. On Mars, according to Rivkah.” I look confused because I am.
“Indeed. And today is Monday, November 1st, 2021. Colonel Karpenter was exact. So was Rebecca. And I am not talking about Easter as in holidays but about Easter, the bijou goddess, daughter of Astarte, sister of Saturn.”
“Okay, we’ll meet them when they come. But, Alain, how comes that you have no warning signs, no barriers and no nets of any kind, that would prevent ecstatic skaters, like myself, to run into the pit.”
“Have you fallen down the pit?”
“No. I didn’t.”
“Stars were glowing. And the moon was shining. Too big the shining moon. Way too big.”
“As it snowed?”
“It was a dream. Yes. No clouds. The skies of the night were clear. And snowflakes fell from them. Covering the sands of the desert. No dunes as far as I could see. And a huge moon.”
Early summer of 2024, Korsakov, Sakhalin. Bonnie and Boris—a thirtysomething couple—roam the local market on Sovetskaya Street. In search for fresh and plump strawberries. They do this every other morning. To shock the elders (unintentionally), to startle the fishermen (partially on purpose) and to satisfy themselves (wilfully).
Bonnie, a cute petite with high cheekbones, black short hair and big grey eyes, wearing but her orange sneakers, walks naked on the streets whenever temperatures allow. Today, like on many summer days (and nights), Bonnie needs no clothing. At all.
The internets and tubes are constantly spreading the word, to the most distant corners of the world, about the fashion revolution that radiates out of Paris, the city of so many lights. However, patriarchal societies (such as Russia and Japan) have a hard time processing (not to mention implementing) concepts, ideas and habits that empower women, replace shame with natural expression and encourage individualism to such an extent that collectivism looks like a deadly sin.
The old man occupies a seat near a huge salt lamp. Surrounded by the mild orange light, the resemblance with Santa Claus is difficult to ignore.
“There is no time for the philosophy of science, Viktor. I’m not safe here any more. Can you do me a favor?”
“Anything. Thank God you haven’t launched those atom bombs. You are a true hero. Our children will thank you for what you’ve done today. Tell me, Rolf, you wish for a new Schwalbe?”
“This would be nice, but we both know that it’s impossible. I’m a traitor now. The aircraft are out of your reach and no bureaucrat would put his life in line for me. Besides, I left the base in an aircraft and returned on a motorbike. Where’s the aircraft?, begs the question. If they find me here, together with you, they’ll shoot us both...”
“Not so fast, young man, not so fast. I believe that I can still protect you. They need me. You know that.”
“Not after finding out that you’re accomplice in high treason. I’ve handled the aircraft with two atom bombs under its wings to the enemy. So listen to me. I need a place inside your biggest unmanned repulsin. No one will search for me there and you’ll shoot me out, claiming to be yet another failed experiment.”
“Are you mad? Shoot you out where? To Nirvana? To another galaxy? To certain death?”
“I’d rather die on the altar of science than in dishonor. Do this for me and for my family. Please! Viktor?”
“Come with me!”
The feed walks us through the tunnels of a salt mine, introduces us to a parking lot populated with tens of giant saucers, or giant cups.
Well not giant the way I am but giant for humans. I could use them as a china service if I’d ever consider to invest my time in serving tea. But I have no such intention.
“Come, come closer. Do you think you can fit inside this one?”
Poor Rolf, he is presented with a combination between a tea cup placed reversely at one meter above a facing tea saucer.
“Could be worse. I’ll take it... Thank you, Viktor! You’ve been like a father to me. Gott schütze dich!”
“My dear boy. Wherever you’ll go, pray for us. Will you?”
The old man embracing Rolf, and cutting my entire feed in the process, collects his gorget, his steel helmet, buttons and any object of metal upon him. Crammed like the beef inside a hamburger, Rolf’s eyes offer us less perspective over the action. I focus on his vital signs: all quite high. No wonder given the situation.
“Take care!” Shouts the old man eventually. We can’t see a thing because Rolf closes his eyes often. When they are open, we’re given to watch a black screen. Iron, my girls, just iron... and no lights inside that thing.
Viktor must have pulled some levers somewhere in the vicinity of the repulsin. We can only hear clunking sounds. Then a soft swing. The oscillation tends to achieve resonance but it won’t, instead it turns in circles. Faster and faster.
Rolf opens his eyes to see a blueish glare dewing all over the dark iron in front of his nose. Four hundred and ninety milliseconds later, he can’t see the metal any more, just the blue light surrounding him. The feed turns mute. The image turns white. The end.
Thus concludes the feed from Rolf Radetzky’s records of memory, September 24th, 1944, put on display by Astarte in the afternoon of August 13th, 2021.
Viktor Schauberger, inventor of repulsins and friend of Rolf, had no idea if his device can behave as a slingshot of persons from a world to another. He said “certain death” but was he really convinced about that?
This book sheds some light on the whereabouts of Rolf Radetzky, the first love of Rebecca Johannson, born Rabinovics. Among others.