- Impossible Summum
It was so stupid, to end like that... I just came back home after being out of town for a while, and I was celebrating my comeback with some friends in a trendy pub... I drank too much, and stayed inside late after all my friends left.
For I was dead drunk, I engaged myself in a gang fight that exploded between two old enemy groups. Suddenly, somebody stabbed me with a dagger, in the middle of my chest. Losing all my blood, I fled from the scene and fell in a backstreet, stupidly fearing that somebody could charge me of things I haven't done... the dagger stabbed my heart, and suddenly the floor seemed very... no... more precisely, too close of my face.
Void... Obscurity... Emptyness... Death.
I felt my spirit float, without form nor volume, not existing, into the nothingness. I never felt that before, but in my inner self, I just knew that I was not part of the living any more. I only was my essence, without matter, without life... a being that not longer exists...
This has been my state for a long time, however I am unable to know exactly how much time passed... all perception had dissapeared... but suddenly, I heard... no, I felt... a strident and repeated vibration. A message was conveyed in the void, headed for something I could not perceive.
- "Alert: Restoration Unit Failure"
An even more strange feeling followed, the feeling of a spirit being dissasembled particly by particle: my self became thinner and thinner, until it dissapeared completely.
- "Erasing complete."
My senses awaked in what I felt being a room. The most strange thing was that I was not able to see it, instead of which I could sense it. I knew immediately every detail of the walls, as well as the spot of all the objects inside the room. I vaguely remembered that I was supposed to have two legs, two arms, a body, and a head. As well as eyes. But I could also feel my shape. I was a globe of glowing energy, without any definite physical form. But maybe the most perturbing thing was that this form was extremely familiar to me.
I was not able to remember my name, but this didn't had any importance at the moment. I supposed that I was dead, and that this was a sort of afterlife. Instinctively, I ordered the opening of a breach in the wall, where I felt the appareance of a transparent sphere who was, I believe, a sort of clothing. When I entered the sphere, I was put inside a sort of cubic vehicle, who took me outside. The sky had a strange color I was not able to define. Anyways, I had the impression that it had always been like that, in spite of the five moons that glowed in the horizon.
I could perceive, in the distance, other cubes passing by, inside of which I felt the presence of other energy globes. Probably being like me. I did not try to establish any contact, and realized that I was guiding my cube to a precise location, that seemed always known to me. I stopped exactly in front of it.
It was a gigantic pyramid, whose top was lost somewhere in the sky. It didn't had any definite color either, and one of its sides was more smooth than the others: it was the entrance. Once I removed my self from the cube, a breach opened in that side of the pyramid and allowed me to enter. I found myself facing a long ascending corridor, who led to many little rooms. I knew exactly where to go, yet I ignore how I could have that knowledge. Like all other intuitions I recently had, it was like I remember something that I was used to do, in coming back to a place I left a long time ago. I quickly arrived to my destination, a sort of dodecaedron featuring an empty cylinder, which was the entrance. I inserted myself in, to end in a large hexagonal room, inside which an energy globe was busy on some cristalline measuring instruments.
The energy entity felt my presence, and transmitted a greeting.
"Hexalpha, dearest friendly entity. Welcome back among us."
I knew that entity knew me, but I was unable to tell who it was. My memories only allowed me to come to this place. And something told me that I wasn't supposed to be a woman, nor an 'entity', nor that Hexsomething.
I only could transmit a doubt.
-"Who... who are you ?"
The energy detected the sincerity in my question, and briefly transmitted a felling of terror. It controlled itself very quickly, however the meaning of the short lighting that came out of that sphere was very clear to me. It slowly drifted to one of the sides of the room, transmitting soothing waves.
-"Don't worry, you will remember soon now..."
It activated a sort of inversed cup, which had the effect of making four outher energies appear in a short time. The main sphere transmitted again, speaking to the four newcomers.
"Guardian Entities, this entity has suffered a degeneration during restoring. Assure that this is fixed as soon as possible."
The four energies caught me with a sort of lighting, that they shot from the inside of the glow. I tried to get away, but it only made that sort of force field stronger. The four energies took me to the outside and locked me inside a big translucid cube. I was led against my will to what I recognized being the place where I had waken up.
I was locked insede a big black sphere. In spite of its color, I could perceive what was outside. A room shaped like a pyramid, with a square floor. I couldn't sense the details of the room, a part from the presence of three important sources of energy. Because they did not move for a long while, I didn't realize immediately that those where yet another energetic entities.
But one of them started transmitting.
"It is indeed an interesting case. There seems to be no anomaly in the elementary energy particles structure. Its exterior structure is therefore intact and fully operational."
A second one answered.
-"Not only that, this Entity does not seem to be failing interiorly. Its energy is at the normal level."
They fell into silence again, and stayed like that for a while. Suddenly I realize that the reason of that silence was that they were probing my inner self.
Finnaly, the third sphere drifted closer and transmitted to me.
-"Are you able to me your name ?"
I hesitated for a while before answering.
-"No. I don't know my name."
Once it received my transmissions, the third entity activated a distant transparent device. Suddenly, a pack of sensations started to travel across the walls of the sphere that kept me prisoner. The name of "Hexalpha" was repeated ofted. I couldn't understand most of these sensations, however I felt that it was a sort of projection of experiences and information. It was confusing at first, but when this confusion faded, the sheer speed in which these informations were thrust into my mind started to burn. I felt my spirit take fire, like a piece of wood strikened by a violent friction. I generated an unbearable pain. I screamed in anguish.
-"Stop it ! Stop it !"
The three observing energies started to transmit at very high speed.
-"Assimilation seems to be inferior to one of thousand."
-"This is not normal. If its interior structure is intact, it should'nt have any trouble to perceive them.."
-"Wait, I perceive a quick lowering of energetic activity at the inner level !"
-"But this is totally impossible !"
The pain was so big that I fainted.
I felt the refloating of my consciousness in the dark.
Something was transmitting, in the distance.
"…probably not restore entirely, but making it dive into Terra again could help us to study how this anomaly could appear."
On these transmissions, something activated a machine,and the void started to move… like it had waves provoked by a big mass thrown into water. I felt these waves affecting my spirit, after what I felt thrown in a overwhelming speed in a tornado that travelled through the very existence of matter.
The sun in a blue sky.
A streak of light attacked my eyes, and in reflex motion I protected my eyes with my hand. I felt very weird. I was lying on a hard surface, somewhere outside. A light and fresh breeze tickled my skin. And even if some second before I was something totally different from a human being, I could help to consider myself, and to feel, like one. Was that a dream ? Whatever the case, when I removed my hand from my face, a young woman looked at me with a smile, indicating that she found something funny.
I would still have some trouble in describing her, not because I don't remember her, but for she lacked any particularity. She only looked what she was, a young woman. It was like I was unable of seeing something else of her feature, like the color of her hear, of her eyes, or her height.
She spoke at me.
"Are you going to lie on the street like that for long ?"
I sat down, and felt a poignant pain in my chest. A dagger was planted in it, very deeply. Apparently, I had lost a lot of blood. Startled, I probed the dagger with my two hands. The girl continued to make fun of me.
"Remove that thing, it's not very good looking !"
With a quick movement, I removed the knife. It was covered with clotted blood. I tried to find my wound, but it had dissapeared. There was not even a scar, as if the wound never existed after all.
"Don't make that strange face, it's natural that it is that way. If not, you wouldn't be able to come back."
Horror struck me as I realized that the girl seemed to have a link with what I had dreamed.
"Boo... you look like you've seen Death itself !"
I got up slowly and clumsly, and started walking away from the young woman as quick as I could. I was not able to run, all my body junctions thrusting striking alarms of pain into my nervous system. But I was too terrified. I desperately wanted to get away from that woman, or whatever else she was.
I tripped and fell to the ground. Feeling powerless, I started to beg her to leave.
-"Leave me alone !"
-"Right... if you wish... Too bad for you, I could have helped you."
On these words, she started to steer away from me. Calming down, but still panting from terror, I turned back to look at her. Before she dissapeared in a small street, she looked and me and shouted:
-"Don't forget that there are others like you ! But remember also that the Judges will come back for you !"
I was exhausted and horrified. I didn't pay attention to those words, which came back to my mind a lot later. I found my wallet in my pocket, containing my ID card. My name is Francois Trovin, and I am twenty seven. I live in an appartment near the center of Paris, France, in the Eleventh Arrondissement. Then I recalled instantly everything else. I was married. I told my wife that I was going to be outside of the capital for a few days. I was supposed to come back today.
My house was empty when I opened the door. My wife was at work and came home some hours later. In the meanwhile, I washed myself and threw away the clothes I was wearing, to get rid of the stains of dry blood. When my wife arrived, I took my wife in my arms, stronger than I ever did... I needed to feel her against me, I needed to feel something real... I wasn't sure about anything...
My wife giggled.
-"Hey, wait for tonight ! Help me instead to make us something to eat
The remainder of the evening passed without any notable event. I wasn't in a very talkative mood, and felt a sheepish dependance towards my woman. She, and the love I felt for her, were the only things that stopped me, I believe, from plunging into madness. I didn't talked to her about my incident... Everything seemed to have come back to normal. I sweared to myself to go see a psychologist as soon as I could. However I couldn't because of the way things turned out...
That night, I was making love to my wife, when she suddenly roughly stiffened. I stopped immediately, thinking that something was wrong. I asked her what happened. Because she didn't answer, I backed away to see her more clearly. She was staring fixedly at me, with extremely cold and hard eyes. She opened her mouth, and a voice that wasn't hers came out. Something seemed to tell me that this voice was not physically real, and that it was speaking directly inside my mind.
"Hexalpha, the time has come to return !"
A very bright light started to emerge from her eyes and throat. Startled, with my heart pounding three feet in front of me, I jumped from the bed and darted towards the exit, sweeping some clothes from the floor and putting them on as I was going down in the elevator. When I crossed the building hall, the same voice came out of the ground floor intercom.
"You cannot escape from what you are !"
I dived into the night. Behind me, I could feel the stare of my wife, she was looking at me from the balcony. The voice had dissapeared, but I heard my wife's voice in the distance... it was coming to my mind like the precedent one.
"Listen tot he Judges, Hexalpha."
This was too much. I ran as fast and far as I could, until my legs weren't able to carry me anymore. I fell from exhaustion by one of the shores of the Seine river.
The beautiful city of Paris was comtemplating itself in the water, so I decided to do the same thing and look my reflection. I looked normal, apart from the obvious signs of fatigue my face carried. I was clearly mad. I then almost fell into the water when another face reflected besides mine. I was the young woman I had met this morning.
"Hey, look who's here !"
I backed away, and squeezed my back against a wall.
-"No, get away from me !"
The girl grabbed my arm in a very firm and decided way. She looked at me seriously.
-"Calme down, I am not one of the Judges."
I didn't know what to do, or what to say.
-"I'm… I'm… I'm alive !"
-"Yes, of course you are. If not you wouldn't be here freezing your ass off. Come on, follow me."
I got along... she was the only person who seemed to know what happened to me.
We walked for a long time, silently. Every time I tried to ask a question, she answered, jesterly, that I would know everything in the right time, but that for know we should hide as soon as we could. We entered in a big building, that seemed abandoned, and started to climb down a large set of stairs. I don't know how long we went down, but the stairs leaded to what looked like a labyrinth. It was probably the entrance of the one of the old catacombs of Paris. Suddenly a dusty door appeared in one of the walls. The girl took a key out of her pocket and opened it.
"Welcome to my place !" she said, inviting me in.
The inside of the room was exactly like the girl: of an ingraspable description. Everything seemed... strangely normal. If it wasn't located many meters into the ground, in some sort of catacombs, I would have thinked that it looked like any student's apartment. A bed was on the side, facing a wooden desk, above which lurked a book-filled stand. A little kitchen composed by a fridge, an oven and a sink were besides a door, which was slightly open, so I could see that it lead to the bathroom. The girl made me sit on the bed, and heated a cup of soup. Once hot, she gave me the cup and started preparing another for her. I slowly sipped the soup, in silence. It was potato and leek soup. All these banality was soothing, even if we were deep inside the catacombs.
"Okay", say the girl, "I'm all ears. I think you want some explanations."
-"Don't be afrais. As I told you, I'm not one of the Judges and I ccan guess easily what happened to you."
I hesitated for a long while before talking. Finally, staring fixedly at the cup I held in my hands, I started to describe slowly what I had seen.
-"There was… these sort of crystal towers… and then
these energy balls that talked to me…"
The girl interrupted:
"Did they called you by any strange name ?"
I was surprise by the question. Indeed, it was the case. I looked at her, and tried to remember.
-"Err...… I think it was something like Eksafa, or
The girl's face was struck by a mask of surprise.
-"But it's impossible ! Are you really Hexalpha ? I mean... did they really called you like that ?"
The more I thinked of it, the more sure I was.
-"Well, in that case it would be best that I introduce myself. My name was Tripi, and I was part of the Guardian Entities.", what she said make me suddenly shake of terror, "No, wait, don't be afraid... I have nothing to do with those that you have seen. I dived definetively into Terra a very long time ago."
I didn't understood what she meant at the moment, but I felt that my unconscious was soothed and feeling calmer.
"Listen…", she proceeded, "if I explained everything now you wouldn't understand a word. But you'll understand everything soon enough. By the way, what happened to you happened to me a long time ago. The difference was that, for the Judges, I was not as important as you, Hexalpha, sorry, Francois. So they didn't noticed that something was wrong and they made me dive back to Terra immediately, without them noticing anything."
I heard too much about them.
-"But what are these Judges ? And what does 'dive into Terra' means ?"
The young woman smiled, then looked tired. With this tired look, she explained in an evading way."
-"We all dive into Terra soon or later. The Judges make sure that the rules of diving are respected."
-"The rules ?"
-"Everybody can do what he wants, but when the diving time is over, you have to go back. That's why they are looking for you.""
-"But I was… elsewhere… and I had another shape…"
The girl's serious expression returned.
-"Before going on, do you accept what you have seen ?"
-"Being an energy sphere ?"
I wasn't sure about what to think.
-"Just tell me... was it real ?"
-"So I accept it. I lost all my certainties."
-"You just got out of the diving and was Hexalpha again."
However, because of something I don't know, they made you dive again. Apparently, they now want make you come out once more."
I remained silent. The girl didn't talked either, she seemed uncomfortable. Finally, she asked a question:
"Did they mention some kind of problem, or failure ?"
-"Err... I don't know."
-"Well, there is only one way of knowing. Come."
She got up and walked out of the room. I followed her. When we were in the corridor, she locked the door and led me through a labyrinth of tunnels.
After a while, we arrived to what seemed part of the sewer system. A metallic ladder led to the surface, and we went up. We passed through an open manwhole, ending inside an dimly lit building. The windows were planked up with wood, and the only light that filtered inside seemed to indicate that the windows were some sort of stained-glass. The building was an old church. The young woman, Tripi, made me sit on a chair, and she concentrated on something for some seconds. I didn't dare to interrupt her, so I waited. When she finished, she told me that she called other permanent Divers, and that they will arrive shortly.
An indeed, a dozen people arrived a while later. They were of all ages, sex and origin. There was a bum in ragged clothed, business men smelling of expensive perfume, one old grandma, and even three teenagers. The others, some two women and one man, looked excessively normal, in the same way as Tripi. Everybody was silent, waiting for Tripi's words. When she made sure that everybody was there, she started to talk.
"My Permanent Friends, here is one of us who is lost. He doesn't remember anything, as a lot of us here. I called you so that you help me bringing his memories back."
She turned towards me, and smiled.
"Don't worry. Just relax, and concentrate on what you have seen."
I started to do as she told me. But I couldn't make the concentration last a long time. For an extremely bright light suddenly appeared in the back of the room.
An incredibly strong wind filled the ancient church. Something... winged... appeared in the light. I'm not a believer, but that was without any doubt an angel. It looked directly at me, and talked with a honey-like soft voice.
"Come with me, Francois. You have to come back where you belong."
-"Don't listen !" shouted Tripi.
-"Do not trust these creatures. Behold their true nature…"
It pointed at the assembled people. I turned back at them, fearing the worse, and saw the entire group still as antrhopormorphic beings, but composed of raw bright energy. Troubled and influenciated by the words of the angel, I took them for infernal creatures.
-"Repent, Francois, and come back to Heaven."
I started running towards the angel. I heard Tripi shouting behind me.
-"Nooo ! It's a trap from the Judges !"
The angel backed, took out a sword, and with a decided gesture thrusted it through my heart.
I fell down in slow motion, and before the darkness enveloped my senses, I heard the angel's voice speaking a lot more menacing manner, speaking to the rest of the room.
"You have trespassed the rules instaurated by the Great Tribunal ! You have gained access to your pre-dive primal memories !"
And void possesed my spirit again.
My sensed woke up in the same black sphere where I had been before.
I became again a globe of raw energy. So this angel was really a trick... the beings that I had seen were not demons... the demons were these energy globes. I regretted my actions, but I was too tired to try an escape. I tought that it was already too late. Four energy sphere were staring at me outside the prison sphere.
"Hexalpha, wake up."
-"I am not Hexalpha !"
The four energies seemed struck by lightning. They started to transmit between them.
"It is sincere ! The restoration has failed !"
-"But how it is possible ? We verified many times that everything was all right !"
-"My energy friends, I have an idea I fear. This could be the first case of the Summum effect."
-"But this case is theoric !"
-"Therefore it is possible and we predicted it. What is in front of us could be it."
The transmission calmed down. They were contemplating me. Finally, one of the spheres advances. I recognized, I don't know how, the energy I met in the hexagonal room, when I first came here.
"Hexalpha… or do you prefer Francois ?"
-"I am Francois Trovin !"
-"Very well, Francois. Listen carefully. I am the Judge Octalpha.
You have to remember something important. After that, we will allow you to go home, and you will not hear anymore from us. We well even make you forget than we exist and that you saw us."
Two of the other energies emitted a protest, in chorus.
"Stop ! You are violating one of the Tribunal's rules !"
Octalpha transmitted furiously his answer.
"Don't you see that the Judge Hexalpha cannot be restored !? The rules do not take this case into account ! Do you want to risk provoking a Total Summum effect ?"
The intesity of the two protesting energies became less intense, as if Octalpha's transmission made them shrink.
The fourth energy transmitted for the first time since I was here.
"If this was really the case, then Hexalpha would have warned us."
Octalpha transmitted a negative answer.
"No. He predicted it, but probably didn't knew when it could happen. Therefore he sabotaged his own memory structures kept inside the Diving machine."
-"So how can we know if we are facing the Summum effect ?"
Octalpha turned to face me.
Francois knows something. His memory has a message for us. He only has to remember it and we will listen to it."
I spoke. I transmitted with despair.
"I don't remember anything !"
-"Oh yes you do. Remember… you were one of the Judges… you participated in the creation of the Diving and its rules… and there was a special code...…"
Slowly, Octalpha started to transmit something else than word... feelings... that suddenly, set free a part of my memory. I started to transmit mechanically, like a recorder.
"I, Hexalpha, Judge of the Dive, is speaking.
I just finished the measures of my current knowledge level. The indicators are extremely high. As you know, the Summum effect starts to manifest itself as soon as any entity has a knowledge so vast that it almost contains all possible existing knowledge in the universe. I fear that in my case, when the summum effect will first appear, it will be without any possible turning back. I risk the Total Summum, a total omniscience over all the universe. Since we ignore what can happen in this state, I have to base my decision in our assumptions. This effect would provoke the apparition of a Creative Entity, endangering the cosmic equilibrium. To protect our species, I am forced to plan a definitive Dive. If the Dive machine judges that I risk the Total Summum when I come back, it will automatically destroy all my memory. I know what loss it will be to you. But we are all bound to destruction, unless we make use the Dive machine more regularly. Goodbye. End of message."
Octalpha and the three others remained in transmission silence for a while. Finally, Octalpha transmitted its conclusion to the whole audience.
"Thus Hexalpha attained the Summum. Glory to his spirit. Prepare Francois for a Permanent Dive."
The four spheres surrounded my black prison. Octalpha transmitted again.
"This is probably the last time you'll see us. We will erase your memory, and make you dive back into Terra. We will modify all necessary things to make everything look normal to you. Goodbye."
I appeared again inside of the void, and tornado took me through the sea of starts... This time, I could perceive clearly why they called that the Dive. I was travelling through the stars faster than anything, headed to Terra, which gave an impression of falling at high speed...
The sun woke me up in a side street. I looked around. I have arms. And legs. I am human.
I stood up, and patted my clothes to remove dust. I discovered that I was near an abandoned church, the one in which I had been killed for a second time.
I knew that inside were the bodies of Tripi and the other Divers, all killed by the Judges.
This time, I remembered everything. Nobody will be able to stop my plans. Everything went as planned. Francois was completely erased. I came back to be Hexalpha, in a human body. Oh, of course, my knowledge has almost gone entirely, however, I am now able to supervise this world from another point of view. My colleagues, the Judges, don't understand that the only solution is Diving, to avoid to become a Creator, a new universe. Our species always wanted to have all the knowledge of the universe, but in the verge of conclusion we realized that we might be destroyed by it. Therefore we forced all our people to Dive, rotating regularly the "awaken"... so that nobody could know everything. Everybody is projected on Earth, Terra. Every human being is just the projection of an Entity to which its memory was removed and given human flesh.
But it's not only forgetfullness that interests me. In fact I don't see what is the point of living if we know everything... and the idea of becoming a Creator doesn't interest me... Now, I must go meet my wife, the woman I married while being Francois, so that I can remain by her the rest of my human life. I am not yet able to see who it was before diving, however I'll know as soon as I see her. I am home now, and as I open the door I can see my wife waiting for me. Now I know who she is, now and before diving. I also realized that she understood my purpose since the beginning. She even could manage to do a double Diving and have two separate bodies, being two humans at the same time, so that she could help our people who were forced into Permanent Diving. To know this make me love her as I never loved any existing being, even if this love could only be a human love. Deliciously imperfect.
It was Tripi.