Life is everywhere you go and life’s in everything you see;
and in everything you can’t see, too.
Reality’s on many levels, working many zillion ways.
There is no such thing as nothing, everywhere is something
old and new.
Heliosa is happy, mingling with so many fellow admirers of Raflex. She is attending the most prominent gathering of Raflexians ever, in the Sacred Swirl over the Well Magnificent.
Thousands are celebrating when a prominence erupts below them.
Beginning the size of a stadium and rapidly expanding capturing hundreds of victims by surprise in its gigantic bubble…
…Rising furiously through the denser guts of the Sun…
,,,Carrying them for a terrifying 13 minutes through the photosphere…
…And ejecting them into space.
The tremendous arc of super plasma rises above the Sun’s surface like a Saturn 5 leaving Cape Canaveral.
This accident propels Heliosa out of the Sun, along with and among the hundreds.
She is able to sense those nearest her as they spin apart in the cold vacuum. They are dying. Helplessly they lose coherence, their shape-swirling radiant forms becoming solidified, crinkling into shriveled scraps, their magnificent magnetic fields gone.
Miraculously, Heliosa survives outside the Sun, shrinking into a tinier form.
Heliosa’s bio-magnetic scaffold has held.
Her senses seek the field of the nearest comparable bio-form so that she can mimic that form for any possible advantages it might provide in this unknown environment.
Something is moving across the Solar System at close to the speed of light.
It is first noticed over Mars. We watch it for over a month go from Mars to Ceres, then to Callisto, Titan, Oberon and Sedna. It now heads for Venus. It’s too small for even the most powerful telescopes, but spectral readings indicate plasma-based propulsion.
Coincidentally, here I am aboard the cruise ship Alexis en route from Earthmoon to Venus. I’m breathless from the transition, from post-apocalyptic Earth to hyper-tech space cruiser overnight. But that’s just how I roll.
All 3,069 passengers and 353 crew are abuzz with anticipation just like the rest of humanity. No one knows what this thing is. Now it’s heading for the same place I am – and due to hit at about the same time!
Still, no noticeable damage has been done at any of the object’s previous stops. How can it stop, then get going again at such fantastic speed? Scientists are dying to find out. Engineers are scrambling for ways to study it. Fanatics are predicting the death of the Sun. Despite my personal problems, I’m actually thrilled and kind of happy to be in on this occasion. The other me is going to be pissed off that he missed it.
I mean, here I am in a place where mankind has achieved routine interplanetary passage, so much so that thousands of tourists at a time can not only go to Venus or Mars, but they can stay there because civilizations are emerging in both places. Turns out that there’s a whole layer of atmosphere around Venus where the air quality and pressure is almost identical to Earth’s, and floating cities have been established. But no one has ever seen anything like what’s headed here now.
In her shifting, shapeless emergency form Heliosa feels her life ebbing away and knows she hasn’t got long. Sensing outward, she searches Mars, then Ceres, then Callisto and Titan, even distant Sedna, but there is no form of life that will sustain Heliosa’s magnetic coherence to be found. Some of them are tantalizingly close, though.
She senses that she has missed opportunities for bio-circuitry matching on four worlds nearest the Sun. She hasn’t the strength left to search everywhere in the Solar System. Unless she finds what she needs soon, Heliosa will perish just as her unlucky fellows did.
Her senses select Venus as the most promising harbor. She heads here barely below light speed. The Alexis is about to enter Venus orbit.
Humans across the System hold their breath as the object nears its first contact with a human-populated planet. I’m standing near the flight officers as the critical moment comes.
“Insane,” laments the Captain of Alexis. “It’s gonna hit us. Brace for impact! Brace!”
Heliosa’s strange senses make contact with our ship, specifically with our engineering officer, Delta Storm. Next to the ship in void space, Heliosa takes on the fiery shape of Delta Storm. The only feeling of impact is experienced by Delta, who faints fast away.
Heliosa vanishes and Delta awakens hours later. Now Delta is an expert on the matter and claims to know the entire story of Heliosa up to this point, although she doesn’t know why she’s able to. Delta is interviewed and here’s what we learn – supposedly.
Heliosa exists with electromagnetic force built into her torso that is released at will when she emits cosmic radiation by mouth, light from her right palm, ultraviolet from her left palm, gamma radiation out of her armpits, radio waves from her nostrils, microwaves out of her anus, or x-rays from her soles. The combined force equals particle beam power producing a pulse that can destroy any matter in its path for six miles under our physical conditions.
Below the Sun’s photosphere and well above its center lies the gigantic realm of the plasma naturals. Heliosa is the descendant of naturally born plasma life. Heliosa’s “people”evolved into compact, coherent individuals from enormous clouds of magnetically formed cells two billion years ago.
The Sun’s photosphere poses a normally impassable barrier between Heliosa’s internal realm and the universe beyond the Sun’s surface. Her people never dream of going beyond their “sky.”
There is no apparent way for Heliosa to return to the Sun’s interior, as she will be ripped apart by the Sun’s magnetic shields upon approach. Separated from home forever, she wonders why she alone survived the expulsion into this cold nightmare of outer space?
Heliosa wants to go home.
And feeling her yearning has prompted my realization. What does the concept of “home” mean for me?
…For someone who is not anchored in a singular world? Someone for whom the yawning pit of the spacetime continuum keeps opening up…to Otherearths?