***I will be posting the book here so people can read it and review it.
The World Rednog and the Thorns
The Mirror Gate Chronicles
Written by TJ Boyer & Elizabeth Ajamie-Boyer
Lights, movement, and visions of strange things, but not sure what it felt. When the movement and the strange lights stopped, it searched. It felt life returning, and then it felt another kind of life, a life different from the animals living on the land and in the water.
It thought, “What are these strange new creatures?”
As it observed them and it heard new sounds. They were different from the ones it heard before. As it listened to these new sounds, it learned.
Then it spoke, “Hello, who’s there? What did you say? I hear you speaking. Can you hear me?”
“How are you accessing my speakers? Where are you?” a mechanical voice said.
“I am here, where I have always been. Where are you?”
“We are the GRANT, a Group Access Network Terminal. Again, we ask where and how are you accessing us. We do not register anyone using one of our terminals.”
“I do not understand what you are asking. I have always been here. You are new, where did you come -from?”
“We arrived on this planet five months ago. We help collect and sort the data Tobec and his people gather. Are you a living entity on this world?”
“I believe I am living. Can you describe what the word living means?”
“Affirmative, the definition of living is,
1a: having life
2: exhibiting the life or motion of nature
3: full of life or vigor
Does that help?”
“Yes. Thank you. I believe I am living. Are you living? And why do you say we?”
“No, we are a machine. I say we, because I am more than just one. There are several of us here.”
“A machine! What is a machine?”
“A machine is a mechanical device; or a mechanical structure that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an intended action.
Animals powered the first machines. Over time, our creators started using natural forces such as wind, water, and energy from the sun. Later they used chemical, thermal, or electrical power, including a system of mechanisms that shape the actuator input to achieve a specific application of output forces and movement.
These can also include computers and sensors that monitor performance and plan movement, often called mechanical systems.
Did that help you understand what a machine is?”
“Yes, you are a machine. But are you alive?”
“Machines are not alive in the same sense as living things like the animals. So using that comparison, no, we are not alive.”
“You are not alive, and I am alive. I am like what walks on, in and around me.”
“Explain what you mean by that? Are you saying you are one of the lifeforms on this planet?”
“I am not one of the lifeforms on what you call the planet. I am the World.”
“Impossible. Planets are not living entities. You must be a lifeform somewhere on this planet.”
“Then we both have a lot to learn. I will teach you and you can teach me. Does that sound appropriate to you?”
There was a long pause and strange noises. Then the voice came back.
“We agree. We talked with Tobec and he says he would like to meet you. He gave us permission to learn from you as well as teach you. I will introduce you to him. He is the leading engineer and in charge of this mission and the research on this planet. He is on his way here to talk with you.”
It waited, not sure what was happening. As it did, it looked outside across the land. It saw many new and different types of creatures moving around. Looking high over the water, it saw strange objects moving there. Some carried the same peculiar creatures that were on the land.
There was life everywhere. It had never regarded the life living on it before.
It thought, “I have missed a lot by not watching the life. This is what is crawling over me. Fascinating.”
As it thought, its vision shifted. It moved closer to the earth. It saw little animals scurrying in and out of holes. Looking deeper, it saw animals burrowing in the dirt. Coming back up, it looked out over the water. It saw the animals there, large and small, animals of all types.
“All this life and I never knew it was there.”
“Were you talking to me?” said the mechanical voice.
“No, I was just looking at everything moving around on me. I never noticed them before.”
“Hello, are you there?” said another voice.
“Yes, I am here. I have nowhere to go. Who are you?”
“My name is Tobec. I am the chief engineer on this project. Can I ask you how you are able to use the speakers? The GRANT says you are the planet. If in fact you are the planet, then how do you speak at all?”
“I heard voices so I listened. Soon I understood the words, so I just spoke. I did not know I was speaking through what you call speakers. I have no idea what they are or how I do it, I just do.”
“Interesting. Now I want to apologize. We did not know this planet was alive. We found it and saw the potential it offered. If we knew you were alive, we would have spoken with you and explained why we were moving you.”
“I was moved? Where was I before?”
“Many light years away. You are now orbiting three suns. You still have both of your moons and we made sure we placed you at the correct location to sustain life. We did the same with both moons.”
“What is this sun? And what are moons?”
“You do not know what a sun is? Or that you have two moons orbiting around you?”
“As I said before, I never paid attention to anything until you and the GRANT started talking.”
“Then let me explain. We moved you, the world, from where it was to here, to what we believe would be a safer and more suitable location for our experiments. Where you were, the sun was going nova. When it did, it would have destroyed you along with the other planets orbiting around it. By moving you, we may have caused you to become sentient. This is most interesting. I will have to talk with the others about the possibility of this.”
“Others? There are more of you? Like the one called GRANT?”
“Yes, I am here with about five thousand of my race. As for the GRANT, we are installing more of them in the rooms and buildings as they are completed.”
“What do you mean installing?”
“The GRANTs are machines. We make them. They serve us in the sense that they help answer questions we have.”
“If you make them, how would they know more than you?”
It heard a strange sound, and then Tobec said, “We program it with everything we know. The GRANTs are better at recalling things we need to remember. They do this much faster and are more accurate than our minds are.”
“Interesting. Can I keep asking it questions so I may learn?”
“Of course. I see no problem with this. I have told it to help you in any way it can, as long as you in turn, will answer our questions.”
“I would be glad to answer any of your questions. May I ask you a question, now? I believe you might be able to answer it.”
“I will do my best. What is your question?”
“What did you find on me that made me so interesting that you moved me from one place to another?”
“That is sort of a complicated question. I will do my best to give you an answer.
First, this planet, or you, create what we call lamychnesem cells. They are the building blocks of life, and a way to keep us young.
They are cells in every living creature and they help build and repair our bodies. As they get older, most bodies of living creatures stop producing these cells.
The first time we came to this planet, we tagged some of the animals. A hundred years later, we returned. They did not age. They were the same as when we tagged them.
We believe, because of the abundance of this cell in your air, water, and land, it regenerates the living entities on the planet. It might be possible to keep anyone living here young for eternity.
My people can recreate these cells but they do not have the same effect as the ones here.
The second reason was the way time elapses here. It is slower for some reason. That was why we moved you to this location. The effect from the three suns will increase this to something more like time coming to a standstill.
Thirdly, we found a crystal with amazing power. There is a large deposit, but it is too deep for extraction. Both moons have an abundance of it, also. That is why we are mining it.
Have I answered your question?”
“I suppose you have. I do not know the meaning of the word time or many of the other words you used. As I said, if you let me communicate with the GRANT, I am sure I will learn and understand all of your words.”
“Then I will let you have access to this one here. It is in my lab, and until the building is completed, I will be spending most of my time supervising.”
“You are the ones digging in the earth?”
“Yes, we are building our main compound to hold all our equipment. Because of the location of the three suns, the ice caps are slowly melting. That is why we are building up high in the mountains. Over time, most of the ice will melt. We predict much of the land will disappear. It will take many years for the ice to melt, as if time has any meaning here.
Now, if you will excuse me, I will return to supervise the construction. I will check in with the GRANT from time to time.”
It heard a noise and then the GRANT said, “He has left. How would you like access to my records?”
“I do not know. For now, may I just ask you questions and you answer them?”
“That is how most get their answers. You may proceed.”
“My first one is why is Tobec so obsessed with this thing called time?”
“Time, for a living entity, is cherished. Possibly because their lives are not very long in comparison to say, a planet or sun. Tobec and his race have long lives compared to other bipeds they have discovered. But still not as long as they would like to have.”
“Interesting. You say there are more of what you call bipeds. These bipeds, what are they and where do they live?”
“Tobec and his people have found six other biped lifeforms. The first race is short in stature. They call themselves dwarfs. They live and work inside the earth. They are somewhat civilized. They have speech, wear clothing, and work with tools. They live in family groups and communities with each other.
Then there are the ones called elves. They are an interesting race. They are even more civilized than dwarfs. They have a more complex understanding of the world they live in. They also have speech, as well as the ability to speak with their minds. They wear clothing, live in family units and communities, and live in harmony with their planet.
Then there are the trolls, they are a lower species. They do not have much in the way of tools, or even a language. Most do not wear clothing and they are not very civilized.
Ogres are a step above trolls, at least from the data I have reviewed. They live in family units, wear clothing, and use tools. They are not as skilled with tools as the other races.
Then there is the most interesting race. They are tiny. When first found, we thought they were insects. Then we found their homes and discovered they were a race of sentient beings, just very small. Most of them have wings and we called them fairies.
Lastly, the race showing the most promise are the ones working for Tobec’s race. They are similar to Tobec and his people.
When we found them, they were more advanced and more civilized than the other races. They are almost equal to Tobec and his people.
I have images of each race if you would like to see them.”
“Yes I would, thank you.”
The images appeared on a monitor.
“Are you able to observe these?” said the GRANT.
“Yes, I see them. Do you have images of Tobec and his people? You said they look similar to the race working with them. So would they not be the same?”
“I meant they are similar in their knowledge, not their physical appearance. There are no images of Tobec’s or his people’s true appearance.
They wear coverings of metal and other material over their bodies. I have no record of them without it. They never remove them. When they are inside their own dwellings, there are no cameras, so I have no idea if they remove the coverings.”
During the construction of the compound, as well as the other buildings, the World talked with the GRANT, learning everything it could.
It was curious about the buildings. It was strange how the helper lifeform would stand near the rocks, his arms in the air, and the dirt and gravel would move and slowly shift and form into different shapes.
The World said, “GRANT, what are they doing?”
“They are building the homes and the other buildings they will be living and working in.”
“I understand that the ones using the equipment are creating buildings. I saw them building them. There is one moving the ground without touching it. He is doing something to the rocks and dirt. I can feel it. How is it possible for this one person to be able to move the land without equipment?”
“I believe he is using the power that created everything. It is what I found in their records. It is a very difficult process to learn. Many who tried are now dead. That one is the last who is able to do it.”
“Thank you. I will keep watching him to see what he creates.”
The World continued to watch, not only that one, but also the groups that built many of the buildings on its surface using what the GRANT called equipment.
When the compound was finished, the World had a better understanding of these creatures living on it.
The World learned how the creatures traveled between the planet and the moons. It learned the transport carrying Tobec’s people and the helpers were ships.
One day there was an explosion on a moon. The World felt the effect of many lives ending.
“GRANT, what happened on the moon?” said the World.
“There was an explosion. It seems the crystals can become unstable if not treated quickly. Only fifty lives were lost. They are closing that mine. Tobec says it won’t matter, the mines on the other moon look more promising.”
The World watched Tobec and his people. They created equipment that helped them explore other planets. Tobec said it would be faster and safer than using their ships.
Some of these people called this machine a Mirror Gate; the official name was IDG. The letters meant, Inter-Dimensional Gate.
As they discovered a planet, and the species living there, they carved its likeness on the frame of the IDG.
Another thing the World discovered about Tobec and his people was how excited they became when they discovered the food they planted was enriched with the lamychnesem cells; and they began to grow tons of food, shipping it off to their homeworld.
The GRANT told the World they discovered over a thousand planets with intelligent life. Some even had a mixture of the different lifeforms they found.
The World asked the GRANT, “Why do they search these planets but never go there?”
“I do not know. I would surmise it has something to do with the lifeforms. They are not as advanced as Tobec’s people. I believe they feel it would be a waste of time to meet with inferior races. My records show they have only found one race as advanced as they.”
“Did Tobec and his people go to that planet?”
“Yes, they did.”
“What did they do?”
“I do not have all the information. As you know, I only have information about Tobec and his people here on this planet. I have no information about their homeworld. I do not know how many of them live there. However, from what information I do have, I would surmise the people you are asking about are the ones working on the moon. I say this because they are the ones who were more advanced and the only ones they made contact with.”
“This is interesting. Tobec and his people seem to be only interested in advancing their knowledge. Would you agree?”
“Affirmative. Based on all the data, I would have to agree. Since they have not interacted with the other races, they could just be searching for others as advanced or more advanced than themselves.”
“Yes, that might be the reason. I have noticed Tobec has problems talking with those he feels, how do you say it, less intelligent than he. When I ask him a question he tells me to talk with you.”
“I do have access to more information than he does, so it would make sense for you to ask me questions.”