Macleod Wayne - Mind capsule


Author : Macleod Wayne
Title : Mind capsule
Year : 2004

Link download : Macleod_Wayne_-_Mind_capsule.zip

There it sat, protruding from the dry soil, just as Boyd said: a thick copper dome over three meters in diameter, corroded and pitted from the ravages of age. Doctor Niemeyer knew the find must have been extraordinary by the tone of the telegram he received, but he thought a mummy, a celestial calendar, nothing so colossal, so absolutely confirming of his theory if it all checked out to be what he dared believe. From the ridge of debris he could see a porthole. Despite his sixty years he lost no time in scrambling into the excavation pit, and resting his thin frame against the shell, thrust his head into the opening. A mellow green light bather the inside of the strange metal bubble, eliminating all interior shadow. An oblong block of indiscernible substance protruded from a flat, metallic floor, placed off center to allow movement under the curved roof. Strange inscriptions surrounded its base, like none the doctor had ever seen. From the block radiated strayed patterns along the floor, that evolved into convolutions of copper thickness up the curved walls. Despite the evident technology, the whole construction was immaculately simple. How old was the shell? How long had it lain with its silent secrets? If he was correct, it was older than the pyramids. "This definitely confirms your theory," shouted a blond, crew cut youth. "It's what we've been looking for." "Let's not jump to conclusions, Sidney.” He tore his gaze from the porthole and worked his way back to Sidney Boyd, who had remained standing at the edge of the rubble. “We can’t say this dome has any historical significance until we determine its age, although judging from the exterior corrosion it looks incredibly old." Another associate, unknown to the doctor, was leaning with his back against their rented jeep, stuffing tobacco into an oversized pipe. "You know, Doctor," the stranger said, "I could swear before that porthole opened there wasn't the slightest cut in that metal. I don't mean just a very close fit. I mean nothing, as if there had never been a cut there." "Ah! You must be Mister Ryan. I understand it was you who made this find." "He's the one, Doctor," Boyd interjected. "Charlie's had a keen interest in your views for years. A real idea man too. You'll find him a valuable addition to our team." The doctor and Ryan exchanged cordialities. "Your observation is certainly strange...incredible, in fact. But first tell me how you found this dome." The request was badly timed for Charlie Ryan had begun lighting his beloved pipe. He gave great heaves to finish the task, then replaced the lighter in his vest pocket. Ryan was heavy set, bald except for a short fringe of greying hair at ear level, and sported a beaked nose that protruded from an otherwise unimpressive face. He took several drags before settling into a short chat: "As you see, Doctor, the region here is quite open, giving us a view of mounds that might arouse our suspicion. We've been looking around this desert for about five weeks, isn't that right, Sidney?" Boyd nodded agreement. "Our method of search has been to scout the countryside to stick probes into mounds that look promising, then decide whether or not to excavate since our funds are so limited we can't dig up everything we'd like. Well, I came across this mound and when I put my few Bolivian hands to work clearing off its top layers of dirt, lo and behold, what emerged was that dome." Ryan paused to replace the curved pipe between his yellow teeth, releasing a puff of smoke that leisurely dissipated in the cool air of the altiplano. "I immediately set my help clearing away every speck of dirt over the find, and what they uncovered were three square indentures arranged in a ninety degree triangle, like Pythagoras' Theorem. When I tapped them they glowed momentarily, very dimly but enough that I could just make out their light. Their arrangement gave me the idea of tapping them in Pythagoras' relationship, three, four, five, because their squares add: nine plus sixteen equals twenty-five. Three taps for the small square, four for the next and five for the hypotenuse square. When I finished tapping, a circular crack appeared in the metal and the whole portion blew in. That's what gave the porthole you were just looking into." The doctor peered at Ryan through thick, frameless glasses, his face flushed and jaw sagged open under his bushy moustache. The more he learned of the dome the more amazed he became. Could it be something other than an artefact left by ancient people? He did not have long to ponder the question as his attention was diverted by two figures, of a youthful man and woman, running from a near-by camp. Both smiled jubilantly as they aggressively closed their hands around the doctor's. "Leslie and Mark Jennings," Boyd said, introducing them. "They arrived today from work at Tiahuanaco. They're very interested in your theory on history." Obviously college people, thought the doctor. At least his ideas had some circulation among the younger generation. Bringing the attention of everyone again to the dome: "I suppose you think it's a tomb." Boyd nodded affirmatively. "Our first job is to open the rectangular object inside, whatever it is; perhaps a sarcophagus. Have you tried?" Ryan answered: "No. We thought it was best to leave everything until you arrived." He paused, with narrowed eyes. "You know, I believe the dome couldn't possibly be a tomb. It's true that tombs are sometimes opened for ceremonial purposes, but this shell was designed to be opened." "You believe it might be an attempt to communicate with the future?" "Not only that," Ryan tore the pipe from his mouth and poked the air with its stub, at the doctor, "it could be an attempt to communicate only with people possessing a degree of technical sophistication. That's the reason for the Pythagorean puzzle. It would be a freak accident if someone opened that porthole who didn't have some knowledge of Mathematics. Since I'm a retired engineer I had little trouble. No, there's a message in this shell. All we have to do is learn to read it." The doctor gazed back at Ryan. A twisted brow deformed his thin face. "Whatever it is, it's fairly empty. I suspect it has been pillaged..." "Not at all!" Ryan responded. "A partial vacuum caused that porthole to blow in. I'm convinced the shell is as intact as the day it was sealed. It contains information its constructors thought too important to give to a non-scientific age." He again jabbed the air with the stub of his pipe. "They wanted some assurance its message wouldn't be passed on as legend, drowned in superstition." The thought of a direct link with the past, a time capsule, caused Doctor Niemeyer's eyes to open wide, to stare excitedly, wonderingly, quizzically. A time capsule would contain objects from one age to give to another. How could a nearly empty shell fulfil that purpose if Ryan was correct? He paced back and forth over the dry soil, head lowered, hands locked behind his back. "Most strange, most strange," he mumbled, then stopped his ambling: "Why this shape, one of the hardest shapes to construct, and why made of copper? Why not use stone, like so many other structures we see from Andean civilization?" "That puzzled me too, Doctor. Of course, the spherical shape gives structural strength to a soft metal, but it still doesn't explain why copper was used in the first place. I think copper has another property we shouldn't overlook: its electrical conductivity, strange as that may seem for a device this old." "It's mind boggling," Boyd interrupted. "But you might be on to something, Charlie. There's obviously a power source for that interior light." "Yes, but I don't mean for lighting. I think the copper could be a shield. Against what? I don't know. The shell was obviously built to protect the 'sarcophagus,' and the electrical properties of copper might add somehow to that protection. It's just another idea we should keep in mind." The day had already grown late and a red sky hung over the western horizon. Boyd suggested: "Let's continue our thoughts about this at camp. It’ll soon be dark." They agreed there was nothing else to accomplish that day. Their work would resume in earnest early next morning. After securing a tarpaulin over the dome, they left the site. Everyone retired early that evening in preparation for the morning, but as the hours ticked by, Doctor Niemeyer found he could not sleep. He lay on his cot with his hands folded beneath his head, gazing up in the blackness at the ceiling of Boyd's tent. He could not get his mind off the events of the afternoon and their significance to him personally. For thirteen years he compiled an extensive list of historical oddities in an effort to prove the existence of a highly developed culture in the distant past, that continued to affect Earth's history long after its disappearance. He knew that legends of 'lost continents' were mythical, yet there was a period when the sciences were advanced much further than modern scholars realized. Those ancient people, whoever they were, passed their learning to the barbarians who developed the civilizations we know. In every case where civilization arose, crude and ignorant peoples emerged from jungles and wilderness with a high degree of technical knowledge, producing accomplishments in massive stone that baffle engineers even today. In every case, the more magnificent structures were built in the beginning of their respective civilizations, not after centuries of technical development. Egypt's pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom, not the later Empire, and architectural development from the earliest stone masonry to the Great Pyramid of Khufu lasted no more than a hundred and twenty-five years. The pattern was the same everywhere, throughout the ages. But if ancient technology wasn't sufficiently convincing, cultural similarities spread over the globe were another thread in his weave of proof. Similar artistic styles were evident between the Maya and Chinese, and the Mayan calendar resembled the Balinese. In both Old and New Worlds people played similar games and musical instruments, danced similar dances, had similar legends like the Flood, and erected stepped mounds, pyramids, pagodas and temples. All the evidence pointed solely to one conclusion: somewhere, long ago, there existed a culture highly developed in scientific thought, that distributed its benefits to the civilizations of history. The whole of Earth's past was connected. A common inheritance ran through it all. Try as he had, with all his amassed facts, he could not enlist the cooperation, or even the friendly endorsement of his views, of any respectable scientist. Whenever he attempted to prove his theory amid the halls of higher learning he was met with amused silence. He made requests from foundations the world over for financial assistance, spoke at universities in every country of the industrialized world, spent his own time and resources on archaeological 'digs'. In the end he only succeeded in making himself look ridiculous to the learned elite, and was able to convince only a limited few, amateurs like Sidney Boyd and Charlie Ryan, who were fired with enough dedication to make up for legions, but were not professionals in the field of archaeology. In that year of 1959, after years of research, his case narrowed to South America and to the Bolivian plateau. Now, he was certain, the tables would be turned. The copper dome somehow held proof that he was correct. The most intransigent faculty member of the most conservative university would have to be convinced. He, Samuel P. Niemeyer, would be hailed as a new Schliemann! But in what way could the almost empty shell hold any secrets? Obviously the answer was in the 'sarcophagus'. The doctor tossed on his cot. Finally he rose, deciding he would never sleep that night. From the opposite side of the tent he could hear the even breathing of Sidney Boyd. Good, he thought, Boyd is asleep. He felt for his glasses, found them, then switched on a flash-light to scan his quarters. In the corner of the tent was a small table supporting a kerosene lamp and dirty coffee cup. His clothes were draped over a chair next to the table. Hastily he put on his trousers, heavy shirt, boots, jacket and cap, then quietly eased himself out of the tent. He was going back, alone, to the site. A moment of doubt rushed over Doctor Niemeyer as he stood in the still darkness; or was it fear to face the unknown? He approached the dome apprehensively, peeled back the tarpaulin and again peered into the mellow interior. Its green luminance ran over his face and shoulders, etching him against the blackness of the star-lit sky. He raised himself on the corroded surface and shoved one leg through the porthole, then supporting his weight from his shoulders, lowered himself through the opening and fell to the side of the peculiar, box-like 'sarcophagus'. He could then clearly see the inscriptions surrounding its base, and knew they were unrelated to any known culture. He examined the puzzling structure - not glass, not plastic, not like any material he had ever seen. The whole sophistication of the find, including its radiance, emphasized a technology completely unfamiliar. A slow realization percolated in his mind, one he had already speculated upon when listening to Ryan's account but did not dare put into words. He firmly believed the ancients were more advanced than historians realized, but they could not have been this advanced. No, he thought, ancient people did not make this marvel. But if they did not, who did? There was only one answer: It came from elsewhere, from some place other than Earth! The beat of his heart was strong in his ears, hairs bristled on his neck, every instinct demanded that he run. His eyes turned automatically up to the porthole. It was still open. The dome was not a trap. Slowly his old composure returned. He was a scientist dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, even if he had to put his life on the line. Here within his grasp was everything he wanted to know, here was the vindication of his theory, his momentous chance to absolve himself from scientific heresy. He wasn't going to throw that away in an instant of panic. Somehow he had to unlock the secret of that pristine block imposing its presence in that circular chamber. A bead of cold sweat trickled down his face as he stared at what he then knew with certainty to be a sarcophagus, but of a type he never thought possible. The blue light beginning to shine inside its translucent structure transfixed his eyes; he could clearly see motion within: swirls of cloud passing through a radiant crystal. The sarcophagus seemed to be coming to life, advertising its intent telepathically. Inside, a circular device materialized, that grew from an interior cloud drifting to the surface. A haze distorted the object as it emerged from the crystal, and when cleared he saw, sitting on the hard surface which only moments before had all appearances of a liquid, a large ring. The peculiar oval was of pure silver and not completely closed. Across the opening was a small disc suspended by two fine fibres. The shape of the ring suggested a tiara. After a thoughtful moment he placed it on his head, and immediately heightened perception exploded in his brain. Billions of cells electrified into fervent activity. His body now seemed lethargic. It floated. Time was speeded up. His mind was racing. The sarcophagus then made sense to him. It was a doorway to the past. The dome was a time capsule, but its constructors were not content merely to leave the trinkets of their world as amusements to people of the future. Those people of the future were to visit them, live as they once lived, see, feel and smell the sights which they had, to discover their ancient world in its entirety. All this was open to the doctor, a highway into time beckoned, and as he gazed into the swirls he felt himself drawn inside, the blue light and swirls encompassing his entire being. Bodily control drained away, in the sense of detachment, not paralysis. His mind and body were no longer joined in a single entity, his mind was floating through space, adrift on a sea of eternity, and everywhere were the swirls that grew heavier, that gradually extinguished all consciousness. Doctor Niemeyer awoke as if from a troubled dream, with a strange sense of age in his limbs. Gradually his clouded mind discerned the old man standing directly in front of him, a man who appeared in his eighties, with white hair and beard, bright eyes only slightly faded from so many years, and faintly stooped shoulders that still hinted at a robust frame in its youth. His clothes were of a style completely unknown, the man being dressed in a sleeved tunic tied at the waist, with a wide sash that trailed down a cleated skirt. His legs were clothed by pants pulled tight at the knees, and on his feet and shins were shinning, tight windings. His whole appearance was one of elegance and importance. Most noticeable of his attire was a silver tiara that held a small disc pressed between his eyes. Greetings to the past. Did the old man speak? Not a trace of movement was evident on his lips. Through the technology of my time you and I, future one, have become the same in mind. My thoughts and emotions are yours, and shortly the most salient portions of my life will be yours as well. My intentions are to give you the occurrences of my life as if you lived them, in the hope of conveying to the future that which has transpired. In them you will learn of a great danger that threatens your world. First, I shall demonstrate. I raise a small hammer and bring it down swiftly before me. There is the smash and tinkle of broken glass. The image of an old man you had before you has disappeared in the crash, and what you see now is the opposite side of this stone room between jagged edges of broken mirror. The old man is you! My mind and body have become your mind and body. Thus it is that I can speak to you without uttering vocal sounds, without knowing your language, and this over a time span of thousands of years. We are one. I am Lucirin, developed twenty-ninth year of the cycle Andra-naudae, rebel Aesir. I am of the same flesh as you, a descendant of Earth, without belonging here. I came into existence in a far-off world. 'Born' is not the proper word for people like me. You may think it strange that people do not have to be born, depending on the level of your science. It matters little. All will be explained shortly. We shall first return to the world of my youth, and from there follow the events of my life consecutively. You will live through them in my person. The device that enables me to do this is the sarcophagus with which you are already familiar. It is a memory transcriber, capable of many wondrous duties, but for my purpose will serve as a thought storage and transfer machine. A person's brain has recorded in its cells every detail of his or her life. Although you may think memories of minor occurrences are lost, a smell, for example, associated with a remote happening, they are not, so a reoccurrence of that same smell much later in life may trigger a whole chain of memories that were thought long forgotten. Every experience is retained by the brain in minute detail, that simply needs reawakening. I have already synchronized the transcriber with my life history. It will search my brain for memories corresponding to periods in my life I have selected, stimulate my memory into a very realistic dream, and record the memory. That memory will then last in a dormant state for millennia, to be passed on to the next person who uses the transcriber. You, of course, are that person, and my memories will be as real to you as they are to me, although thousands of years of this planet will have passed between us. Again I shall live the life of younger times, journey between the stars, visit worlds with strange happenings. And you will be there. In the end you will have lived two lives, your own and mine - mine that has ended millennia before your existence. Remember these experiences, future one, and learn well by them, for although I have been rich and powerful in life it is the memories of my life that are all I have left to give. In these memories you will learn of a danger to your world. Take this knowledge and warn the people of your time, for it is a danger that is world encompassing. If you fail, a curse will descend upon all future generations of Earth, a curse as inevitable as night following day, as implacable as ice over an arctic sea. I shall begin. I prostrate myself upon the transcriber. A billion particles vibrate beneath. My body loosens its grip upon my mind and I begin to float in the timeless swirl. The machine searches my mind. The world becomes dark, I am losing consciousness...Already I sense the strength and vigour of...my youth... ...

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