James swiftly moved in circles around the room, like the chalk in the drawings of the magic officers, looking from one painting to another. “This is language,” James thought. “It’s almost as if they’re talking to each other. These aren’t paintings. This is a conversation.” “And James, you will learn their stories, their language,” came a voice. James turned around to see who was speaking. In the open door stood Claire, resting her shoulder against the wall of the door. “I told you there were no goodbyes,” Claire said.
The light hit the leaves of the canopy into bright shafts of radiant light, and R76-8723 walked in the clearing until arriving at the specific location. There was the work at hand. Her sensory vision called up the temporal display unit divider, she activated the visual display from a grid of images, from previous experiments. The data indicated that the green lower canopy had yet to be analyzed. Her reverse silver auxiliary six-armed grappling mechanism swung her to the lower branches: each arm grasped at the branches in the higher unit. Not that she could tell the differences between the facility and positive or negative aberrations. After all, she was a cybernetic being with little regard, if any, for any sense of fatigue, with the exception of what might require system maintenance. If she ever had any instances of disruption of the mobility mechanisms, she wouldn’t be able to repair them and would need to return immediately to the central repair unit, and she was very careful not to overload the system.
James looked up at the door, took a deep breath, and walked inside. The hallway was enormous. It’s white halls softly lit by the sun of the afternoon, through two windows above the door, and on the right side of the wall, leading to a large opening, to where James did not know. James stood in the hallway for a moment, and then walked up a small flight of stairs to where a door was open, leading to a small room. James walked inside. Inside, there was a small kitchen, a screen, and four windows, with yellow window blinds, through which a warm glow passed through into the room, creating an almost sunset haze in the glowing environment. There was a bed, with brown bed coverings, and a small desk. James put down his things and sat on the bed, looking up, and then he saw it.
The canopy had a light wind, her sensory mechanisms informed her. Taking samples of the plant forms at the green canopy form, in places, she could see through the leaves to the floor of the forest. It was a far drop, as tall as a deep canyon. If she fell she would break her system, and shut down from the power unit disruption, her memory databank informed her in a lower visual system. It was designed to assist her.
I spent the entire night in a raptured daze as I worked on each of the paintings, fall, winter, spring summer, and I remember this exactly because of what happened when I finished the last one. My phone went off, the alarm bell set for the time I had programmed to be how I would wake up every day. The phone started playing a music piece that sounded like the sunrise, and I watched this moment pass as the waking sounds allowed me to see that the last piece I was working on was an abstraction of the sun, which I chose for summer.
James may have stood in front of it for hours, he just didn’t know, and then turning around he looked at the rest of the room. He didn’t notice before that directly across from the orange figure, on the wall, was another painting, seated like the one he was looking at, yet this time, this color was blue. He knew this one. This was one of the images of the constellations, the color of the night sky, for healing, as night often does, at the end of the day. The room was completely silent. At least he thought it was. He may have just imagined it was, but either way, there was nothing blocking him from being lost in thought, of these images.
The cybernetic beings of the science and ecology division relied on the visual system to process information data. It wasn’t visual, necessarily, but the original designers devised a system that would reflect the reality of the visual world. Since the identification of test samples required simultaneous analysis, it was imperative that the data would be visual. It was a way to compartmentalize and analyze multiple sensory units. R76-8723’s sensory mechanisms and camera unit were almost impossibly detailed. Simultaneously a stereoscopic sub atomic microscope and what, historically, could be called a telescopic lens that could detail the entire atmosphere and the nearest reaches of space, she could constantly see both the most subtle workings of the deepest levels of visual inquiry that could see a holistic view of the universe and the deepest workings of the atomic level.
Focusing on the task at hand, R76-8723 focused on one part of one leaf in the canopy that had alarmed the science division. There was a strange colouration reflected in the morning light. The effect of the reflection of the transparent view across the green surface, with areas of gentle light from the light reflectors above the atmosphere of Gaia, was in a way, it’s own atmosphere. Cloud forms moved across the interior. She focused on that area, and the display recognition system shifted into subatomic mode. She was, in human terms, surprised. The data that came back indicated that there was a strange consistency within the cloud forms within the green and yellow color form reality. There was nothing there, and then it happened. A soft wind parted the ceiling of branches, and the reflector light shone directly, brightly onto the deepest reaches of the plant extensions deepest unit. It was a limitless sky. She had never indicated in any tests, as she rapidly searched all visual databases in a matter of less than a second, that there was any record of such an occurrence.
Central informed her across the atmospheric communications system for her to retrieve a sample; she removed the sample from the branches and then it happened. The leaf immediately became a sky of colours, and then shattered in her hands, but there, in the interior what was left was like a subatomic glowing sun. This is what we came for, her division informed her in her communications system. Placing the sample in her storage compartment on her back, she swung across each branch until she was at the forest basin, and headed back toward the science division center. There was a soft blue colouration of the forest floor, like an impossibly clear visual indication system of the reflected light from the forest’s arching branches of soft, impenetrable light.
Heading back over the forest basin and back into the central system, the life forms gave way to the chrome and pale white city as it reached toward the distances. It was so familiar that R76-8723 shut down the auxiliary visual systems and allowed the automatic drive systems to begin. The next moment R76 was awakened was in one of the storage and retrieval libraries, moving the compartment from her back, she placed the enclosure on a table.
“What did you find?,” came a voice. R76 turned around. An identical unit walked toward the room, and R76 recognized that this was one of the interior scientist aberrationists, AB-782, and she opened the container. “I was surprised, I have no idea what I found. It was like a shattering glass of energy stored within one of the canopies. It was encapsulated into a kind of circular form. Could you take a look?” The aberrationist looked inside for the sample. “There’s nothing here,” the scientist said. R76 looked inside. “Maybe it was lost?” she said. “Maybe”, said AB-782 “Or possibly it didn’t exist.”.
A small painting was on the wall across from him. He gazed into it deeply, until time stood still. At the center of the painting was a seated, orange figure, framed in yellow, blue, and brown, appearing on the surface, yet seeming to exist in real space. James expected them to move, but they were silent, seemingly for infinite time. He got up and walked toward it.
Lets shut you down for system repairs and I’ll look inside. The visual sensory displays went into a low hum, and within moments she fell asleep. When she regained visual system activation, and she realized she was inside the central systems consciousness. She heard a voice. “R76,” came the voice, “We’re temporarily gaining control of your consciousness simulator took look at the data you may have obtained,” this wont take long. Luckily you won’t be bored, we’ve removed the time simulation from your generation of science units. “Thanks, but the impatience simulation was left on by mistake,” she said. “No it hasn’t,” said central consciousness. “We just activated your sense of the absurd. You may find you need it.”
In what seemed like moments, her eyes opened, and she saw the room around her. “We have your report,” said one of the assistant drones. “Central has detected an aberration of your power systems. You may not believe this, but you may never need to be recharged. Something has happened that has altered your electromagnetic sources. What was the sample you were retrieving? Central couldn’t detect a record of it in any of your auxilliary system controls.” “It was a bright light,” R76 replied. “From what we can tell,” said the assistant, “That may have been a source of pure energy. We don’t know where it came from. It’s not one of ours. It’s changed you.” “But what happened to it?”
“Ok,” Claire said. “We’re here.” James and Claire stepped off the caterpillar and onto the broken pavement. The Caterpillar making a sound like a stream of air, as it lifted up and curled up in its first motions to its next destination. As always, James was distracted examining the lines of each break in the ground, until he finally noticed how close they were to the door. James had been to the magic officers center before, but only in dreams, and, physically, in the remote viewing systems within the Research facility where they worked. “They taught me everything,” Claire said. “This is a new moment for you, James. I think you’re ready for this.” James smiled, “I hope you’re right Claire, and by the way, you never told me why you thought we were in danger.” “James, I don’t know,” Claire said. “I only know fragments. They may want the solar research we’ve been working on, but I don’t know. I’ve thought about it over and over for days, in stolen moments in the research center, which I will never get back.” “I always wondered what you were working on,” said James “No one ever gave you any assignments.” “There’s so much I can’t say, though I’ve told you everything,” Claire said. “Not in words, but in the moment I fell apart, and you put me back together. In your reflected light.”
R76 asked. “R76,” said the assistant. “That light is you.”
As it is in each of us, inside of all of us. A limitless, open sky.