A friend asked me to place all 5 of the Maria segments end to end as a New Years Day post.
Ever compliant, that's what I have done below. It's long. Get a cup of coffee. Maybe just move on if you're not into futuristic tales about nude women making love inside a machine or receiving spiritual guidance from a window.
So here are the 5 Maria segments written in 2005.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Maria and Phoenix
The destination laser signal in the de-robing tube was not functioning properly. It said P-oen-x rather than Phoenix, and the blinking of the green ‘h’ and the ‘i’ were annoying to Maria.
She reached for the blue plastic clothing container as it rolled down the tube’s conveyer belt. It had her name, ‘Maria Sanchez’, written across the side in temporary electronic laser signing. She had already removed her one piece patterned fleece unisuit that was very popular that season in Seattle and now she needed only to remove her underwear and place it in the container.
Maria didn’t like taking the Air Rotate to Phoenix. Her distaste wasn’t so much for Air Rotate as it was for Phoenix. It had become the largest city in the US and it always made her feel insignificant. It was hard not to feel that way in a city of 27 million people. Still, the climate was warm and very much in demand. She did like the warmth, which was the one good thing she could think of about Phoenix.
The de-robing tunnel that led to her transit way was hot and she was anxious to get completely out of her clothes and put the Air Rotate supplied nylon slippers on so she could get to her seat and relax. The family behind her was disorganized and loud. The kids were excited about the trip to their aunt’s and the mother of this rowdy bunch was having trouble getting all of their unisuits removed and in the proper containers.
The husband now decided to take control and ordered their mother to place all of the clothes in one container declaring “the kids can sort it out in Phoenix.”
Maria removed her underwear, placed them in the container, placed it back on the conveyor, slipped on the nylon slippers and padded down the tube toward the Air Rotate.
It was often so cold in Seattle that she had to wear the unisuit all the time when she was outdoors. At least in Phoenix that wouldn’t be true, she could go without it outdoors also, just like now on the Air Rotate. Maria was sure this was the reason for the great increase in the population of Phoenix over the years.
Maria settled into the anti-microbe lined seat of her individual compartment and closed her eyes. It was difficult to imagine a time when people would fly through the air at 30,000 feet above the earth in an airplane. Why did they think they had to fly so high? Her grandmother had told her that these ancient large aircraft sometimes crashed killing everyone aboard. How horrible and primitive was that, thought Maria?
Her grandmother’s soul had been surgically removed from her body and transported to the Konyo in 2127. Maria loved her grandmother and had listened with respectfulness and wonder to the stories of a past America. It seemed an odd and scary world to her. From time to time she wanted more detail so she would still call her on the spine connection and talk with her. However, the spine connection was so expensive that she couldn’t do it too often.
Her grandmother had told her of the time when people all over the world wore clothes all the time. She told her that they had worn them all day and night, constantly. They were nude on very rare and private occasions. Most of them even slept in clothes her grandmother had said.
Some people went without clothes in what were called 'nudie colonies' or something like that, but they were treated badly and made fun of by the other people.
Naturally a curious child like Maria had many questions.
For instance, she had asked “why did they decide to quit wearing them?" Her grandmother said it was at a time when the world still had wars and there wasn’t a safe way to get on the ancient airplanes because very bad people would take explosives on the planes in order to blow the planes up. Maria didn’t understand why they wanted to blow up the airplanes and it seemed like grandma had kind of forgotten too because she only knew about it from history templates herself.
In any case, she learned by asking questions that the owners of the airplanes and the US anti-gravity planners began to make people take off all of their clothes before getting on the airplanes. At first the people wouldn’t fly anymore, but then they realized they had to fly in order to do their jobs. What they learned was that not wearing your clothes all the time was not that important or necessary. Soon it was common to fly on the old planes without clothes.
Other changes started to happen her grandmother told her. After the planners demanded this, the people decided to go without their clothes at other times. Over some years of experimenting they learned that it wasn’t important at all except for protection from the weather.
Then the strangest of things happened. Her grandmother told her that that was when the wars had stopped; after everyone quit wearing clothes. She said the people weren’t afraid of one another anymore. That’s what the history experts had written in the templates.
That was a very strange time, thought Maria. Thank goodness she was born in 2113 and didn’t have to wear clothes all the time and fly on ancient airplanes.
The Air Rotate compartment rotated to a standstill over the gravity reattachment platform. Maria picked up her container off the conveyor as she exited through the transit way. She might need the unisuit outdoors if the Phoenix weather changed. That was unlikely really; it was always very warm and comfortable in Phoenix. She would need her new slippers from Nona's shoe store.
Maria brushed her pubic hair. She had it color treated at Langley’s Studio before she left Seattle. She straightened the blinking multi-color laser bow on her forehead and stepped onto the rotational platform.
The newer structures of Phoenix levitated at 30 degrees from their foundations, facing west, gathering the last of the day's sunshine. Maria's new slippers from Nona's squeeked on the floor as she walked into the gravity managed transport center.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Maria and the Nexus
Maria made her way across the Phoenix Transport Center carrying her unisuit in her carry bag. The bag was a smaller travel version of the mylar long term bag her mother had bought for her.
The transport center guidance system confused her since the frequency of the individual messages preprogrammed for her arrival seemed to skip around, fading in and out on her ear transplant. She dismissed it as sloth on the part of the Transport Center messaging workers.
She did understand that she was to take the Nordus Line and exit the carrier at her hotel on the 7th exit platform. From there she was to take the vertical transport to the lobby of the Nordus Center and she would be shown her room by the autovalet.
Her shoes were still squeaking on the floor and this added to the confusion in her ear.
“Excuse me Maria”, the voice interrupted Maria’s thoughts and as she turned she saw that the man calling after her appeared to be around her age of 30 years.
“Maria, as you can see my name is Marcus and I was observing you from quite a distance, but I have been walking very quickly to catch up.”
Maria recognized him from the Seattle transit way. She had seen him enter individual compartment 377 but she had not seen him exit the rotational platform.
“Very nice to meet you Marcus, are you wanting to trade union codes or something?”
“Well, yes”, said Marcus suddenly feeling a little embarrassed that he had chased Maria across the Center. He was also a little startled by Maria’s straightforwardness. “I just think you are very lovely and we are well sized for one another, but if you don’t want to trade then I understand.”
Maria had been looking forward to reaching her room, entering the union nexus and using her presets to make love with Franklin. His code was good for another eight months, but on the other hand, Marcus offered an interesting and new option.
While she was thinking these things Maria was also scanning Marcus thoroughly. Light brown hair with blue highlights, intelligent green eyes, solid muscle tone, chest hair that ran into a straight line of finer hair that merged with his pubic area in a pleasing way; adorable polyfin ‘Lincoln’ slippers on his feet. He had the self confidence and bearing of a fellow professional.
Maria thought for the quickest of seconds and said “Well Marcus, I have at least three more code swaps available this year, so why not?”
Maria fished in her bag for her union dock. By the time she had found it, Marcus was proudly holding his out for her. Marcus and Maria plugged the socketed ends together, and pressed their individual buttons.
As Maria entered the hotel room at the Nordus Center she was immediately pleased with the arrangements. The layout was comfortable and very acceptable to her. The anti-gravity resting center had several levels of adjustment and the union nexus was practically new.
Maria went into the bath area and freshened herself. She was grateful that she had taken a full day of nutrition in Seattle and wouldn't need more until tomorrow. She wanted to go straight to the union nexus and enjoy herself, but she also wanted to be fresh for Marcus; it was the simple respect she felt everyone should practice.
Laying inside the nexus Maria placed her union dock into the control socket, rotated the dial to Marcus's code and lowered the activation toggle.
When her time in the nexus had ended, Maria was pleased and even satisfied, but somehow Franklin just couldn’t be replaced. Marcus had an odd quirk or two, but maybe she could adjust to them. She prayed Franklin would be available to trade codes with her the next time she was in Savannah.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Maria and the Third Appearance
Maria had come to Phoenix to look at the world history templates once more. They were contained in the huge data bank maintained by the International History Foundation. They had moved to Phoenix from their original home in Vienna in November 2120.
This had been a godsend for Maria. The trips to Vienna for her research were expensive and she had trouble with the interpretative guidance system. The guidance system government workers had said there was nothing wrong with her ear transplant, but she knew better than to believe them with all of the scandals they had been involved in last year.
Maria had been writing her own history template for the past three years and she had reached the turn of the century when the world moved from the late 1900’s into the year 2000.
The work was laborious. The facts were always there if she took time to assemble them, but so much of that time period was difficult to understand and now she labored under a great dread that she would be considered an expert on a piece of world history that she might not fully understand herself.
The blue and green glow of the history templates left her with a slight headache after a few hours and she would have to stop reading and close her eyes. When she did this she would try to think of appropriate and creative ways to describe what she had learned while at the same time remaining true to the facts.
The problem she faced was that the world she was describing was dark and held unimaginable horrors for the people of 1999. Trying to be creative with these facts was demanding even for her considerable writing skills and she would feel overwhelmed. She thought about the need to try and bring some hope and light to the lives of these people that inhabited the templates. The fact that they lived so long ago and had now been gone so long made reaching any of them on the spine connection impossible, so she had no direct access to their individual perspective apart from speeches she would read in the templates. Maybe she could talk about their lives in a way that made their harsh reality seem to have a point to today’s history students.
There was the confusion over Jesus and Mohammed. Nations fought wars over three separate religious ideologies. Not until many years later would carbon science technologies discover that the men were one in the same, the very same son of god writing an identical message in four different languages. The texts had fallen into the hands of interpreters that craved power for material gain, and a different text had emerged from each language. This had lead to generations of destructive wars where they routinely took one another’s lives.
The people of that time had also missed the second coming in the person of Mother Teresa. They thought she was important, but somehow missed the idea altogether on what she actually represented. Her teachings after the third appearance were first fully realized by the people of China, and were now the recognized belief system in the world, but completely unknown to these people.
They were satanized by a disease known as ‘cancer’. It never occurred to them that by eliminating printer’s ink that the problem would go away. Millions of these people had died from this horrible disease with no idea how to stop it.
There were the giant prehistoric airplanes that flew 30,000 feet above the earth in a very strange attempt to escape gravity rather than merely taming it.
They had a curious way with animals. They kept the animals locked in cages, unable to communicate with them using the animal’s language. It was written that they had not a clue what the animals were saying. Research with dolphins and monkeys and the development of the tone integration systems had finally changed the way animals were treated. Only then would they leave their cages.
Maria was tired. She was overly fatigued from the work of her troublesome history template and she was hungry too.
She felt sad now at this moment, alone in Phoenix without her family. She wanted to talk with her grandmother but she knew that the only spine connection would be dominated by others at this hour of the evening.
Maria put her head down on the edge of the glowing reading tray. The beam of its colors reflected off her forehead and highlighted the edges of her hair. Her watch spoke the hour to her inner ear and she realized how late it had become.
She was too tired to go on researching these long ago sad people. She had tried not to cry all day. It was no use now as she could feel the tears wash up behind her eyes in a pressure that demanded release. The first drop from her left eye moved in a steady current across her cheek and dropped with a gentle sound onto the tray below. It glistened back at her eyes seeming to ask permission to return home.
Her ear transplant vibrated the calling signal of her genetic twin Raina. She had picked up Maria’s stress rhythm on her internal sensors and knew Maria was crying. She didn’t know why, but then Maria wasn’t really sure either. “Hello Raina,” she said, “yes, I know but I’m OK really, I just got really sad for a minute, but I’m going to go get some nutrition now and maybe try to call grandmother later. Do you want to call her with me?”
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Maria and Konyo
Maria stared at the ceiling of the Nordus Center lobby. It was constructed in a series of circle forms with intermediate rafters forming spokes within the circles. Beyond the framing she could see the blue sky above Phoenix and small wisps of white clouds that dodged in and out of the rafters as they floated along, creating a constantly changing pattern of shade and shadow on the floor at her feet.
She held the spine connection searching unit in her left hand. It was a new unit which she was glad about, but she had only paid for one hour of time. The initial searches using her grandmothers code had not linked to her and the hour would soon be over.
Maria’s head was filled with a constant clatter of thoughts that collided with one another until she wasn’t really sure what subject her brain actually intended to think about and what it thought better to discard. Maria found herself watching the constant turning of the roof system in its tracking of the sun as it gathered energy for the electrical load on the Center.
She shuffled her feet, her slippers blinked back at her in a programmed musical rhythm. Her grandmother had always teased her about going nude. She told her it was extremely fortunate that she was born when she was because in the older days of earth the people were required to wear their clothes all the time, everywhere they went. Maria had always giggled at her grandmother over this. She thought maybe she was a little senile or something, repeating it over and over, but she did know that it was actually true about the old days. One evening she had tried to get Maria and her girlfriends to dress in unisuits for a party, but they were afraid the boys would make too much fun of them. She had said “Why don’t you try something different to get their attention?”
The countdown timer indicated 17 minutes left when the unit finally vibrated, signaling a connection.
Maria activated the unit to her inner ear frequency and spoke to her grandmother for the first time in over two months.
The sound of her voice always made Maria smile and it did this time as well. The frequency from Konyo, the resting place for her grandmother’s soul after it was surgically removed in 2106 was a little ragged but her grandmother was understandable.
Maria always tried to remember her grandmother’s mannerisms when she talked. That way she could imagine her stories in a more vivid way than was really possible by simply listening to her voice. She called her grandmother ‘Kiki’. It was the grandmother name given her because the adults referred to her often as being ‘coo-coo,’ but the kids had first pronounced it as ‘ki-ki’. The name had stuck.
When Kiki heard Maria’s voice she was as delighted as ever and the pitch of her voice went up as if it were her way of sending a huge hug and kiss down the frequency to Maria.
And just like it always was, Maria asked Kiki what she had been doing. Maria did this because she knew that what she was doing on earth, at least the explanation of it to her grandmother, was counter productive to Maria’s own need to explore other times and places. The historian in Maria always demanded center space and she not only wanted to know about the past on earth, she treasured the information of what life was like in Konyo. It was her window to the world of her future. Kiki knew this about Maria too.
Kiki had decided on the surgery to remove her soul when she felt that her body could no longer achieve the life her soul demanded. The decision had hurt Maria and her sister Raina, they did not want Kiki to go, but in the end their peace was made and she left earth with the unrestrained enthusiasm that never wandered far from her side.
Maria knew she would face the same decision. The time to decide when the body did not synch with her soul would come. Then Konyo would be her home too.
Kiki had begun the explanation of what she had done on this day in Konyo. She told Maria that she had chosen the year 1897 for the day. She had also chosen romance as the theme. She told Maria she wanted to know about romance in 1897 and what it felt like to be wanted by a man in a time she had not known on earth.
According to Kiki her day had begun by having to get the milk out of some cows. Maria wasn’t at all clear on this, but she didn’t interrupt. Then she said a man had come to the house assigned to her and sat on a couch beside her in the house.
After talking with the man, he invited her to go into a boat and ride across the water. Kiki’s voice increased in animation and Maria imagined all of her body language and tried to coordinate her mental images with Kiki’s voice as she told her tale about riding in the water.
She described a very still water with ripples that were created by the boat oars that the man used to propel them through the water. She described the man as having the very same face as her husband on earth, but he wore clothes, a heavy brown textured suit with a white shirt and one of the old time ties around his neck. It was a red and gold tie she said.
Kiki laughed and told Maria that she was just as naked as she ever was, but that the man didn’t seem to notice that he had all of those clothes on and that she didn’t have any at all. She also said she had to sit very still in the boat and that the man kept telling her so.
She said the man had sung a song to her and that it was a happy song about a bluebird on his shoulder. During the song he sang “It’s the truth, it’s actual.” That made her laugh because she knew she had just ordered him up for that day.
When the sun was setting behind the trees on the river, the man had kissed her. She told Maria it was not at all like union nexus kissing, and that it was the best thing that happened all day. She said it made her feel like the man loved her.
Then Kiki began to sing the song the man sang.
What a wonderful feeling
Feeling this way!
Oh, Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual
Everything is satisfactual.
Maria smiled. She knew that song. She was a music history student and she knew it had been written in 1962. How could the man in 1897 know this song?
She decided not to ask Kiki that question. She knew she would find out later when she went to Konyo herself. She just smiled inside and told her grandmother that she loved her.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Maria and the Window
Maria was kneeling on her living room floor and watching the clock’s second hand sweep around the dial. She had returned to Seattle from Phoenix on the Air Rotate the evening before.
She was waiting for the start of the year 2122. It was, for the moment, still December 31, 2121 and it was Maria’s tradition to commune with her spiritual window at the change of the year, a habit she had inherited from her father.
Her spiritual window was programmed to be superimposed over a mountain and lake scene and a historical photograph of her triple great grandfather being baptized in 1972.
She moved her gaze from the clock to the window, a pale yellow image of stained glass with insets of gold and green glass pieces. Through the window she could see the lake and the image of her ancestor in a time long past. She glanced down and realized she had not placed the window’s processing unit onto her head. She giggled at her absentmindedness, picked up the unit and attached it around her forehead, then began to align the codes for her programmed spiritual guide. Maria had constructed her guidance around historical religious wisdom that blended the teachings of many great religions and teachers. There were wisdoms of Jesus, Teresa and Magnus among others that she had blended to attune to her personal spiritual goals.
At the moment the clock chimed the New Year, Maria rotated the toggle to isolate the spiritual sector of her brain. All other areas of her brain except for the emergency alertness centers were being shut down through the processing unit’s electronic waves.
When Maria felt comfortable, she began her tradition of asking her questions. The answers to her questions were always available through the window, but she loved tradition and this was the session that would help carry her all year long. After stabilizing the frequency of the programmed counselor, Maria began her questions.
“Why are there still people that do the wrong thing and yet never suffer a punishment? Why should I not get the things I want by manipulation and deceit, like others often do?”
The familiar and comforting voice of her counselor answered. “Maria, the universe works through a system of natural law that justly rewards and justly punishes even though you may not be immediately aware of the effect of the law. Time can distort the working of the law in a way that causes a person to suffer joy or consequence, but not necessarily immediately in time or in our personal awareness. You need only understand that good is rewarded with good, trust in the principle of this natural law of the universe.”
Are evil acts rewarded with evil as well”, asked Maria?
“No, evil is not rewarded with evil from the central good, as this would be contradictory to the nature of the central good itself. Acts of evil are punishment enough for the individual that chooses the action. Their spiritual development is impeded and their experience of the ultimate good is delayed.”
“How will I know what evil act or thought in my past has set me back?”
“The past is gone forever and cannot be changed by present actions. The possibilities of your history lie only in your awareness of them and the intellectual marriage of detected consequence with your present behavior.”
“I don’t understand that”, thought Maria.
“Your past is behind you. The future and its possibilities lie in front of you. Travel backward only when the present requires knowledge from the past. To remain in the past is not productive to your future. Use your awareness of your past only in correction of a behavior. Use this awareness for growth only, never for punishment.”
“How do I know that what I believe is what I should believe?”
“All truth is inside you. All good is inside you. They have both occupied your soul from its beginning. Your spirit is already united with the central good. Everyone's belief is good insofar as it is in line with natural law and the central good. The presence of misdeed or evil action or thought lies outside the natural law. Understand the natural law that fulfils your soul and you will not know evil.”
Maria rotated the dial to the off position, stood and moved away from the spiritual window. She removed the processing unit and glanced at the clock. It was 15 minutes after midnight, January 1, 2122.
It was also Maria’s tradition to call her dad at 12:15 each New Year. Maria spoke her father’s code into the call unit. She heard his welcoming voice come on frequency in her inner ear.
Her future was in front of her, her past placed behind her and she smiled at the sound of her dad’s voice, knowing he had also visited his spiritual window.
“Welcome to 2122”, her dad said, half laughing and half serious, but delighted as always to know she had remembered to call him.