I went to the door, I couldn't think who would be here at 3AM. I was writing, I found early morning a good time to think. I wasn't thinking when I opened the door, I wasn't thinking when I immediately slammed it either.
I took a breath and opened it again. Sure enough, the scene hadn't changed one bit. He stood there and grinned at me, then said, “You're not dreaming, may I come in?” I stepped aside as he came in. “I knew you'd be awake and I knew you'd let me in, but I am not sure if you will understand. My name is Earl Fra..zi..er where yours is Earl Fra..s..er no?” The other me asked after spelling the difference.
I found my voice, “Yes, but how can you...” He cut me off.
“Let me have a cup of coffee and I'll explain, only have about two hours, then I really must get back. I just had to see you, meet you, and thank you.” His smile was as big as you could get.
I went to the kitchen to get the coffee. How can I be here and be sitting in my den too? Not only that it wasn't the real me, it was the book me which was even more confusing, maybe perplexing is a better word. I added the cream and a teaspoon of sugar, I knew exactly how he liked it.
I returned to the den, he'd taken up a position on the divan so I sat back in my chair in front of my computer. He sipped the coffee and was smiling again. “By now I'm sure you know I am the Earl from your book, most likely because of the way I am dressed, am I wrong assuming this?”
“No, you're exactly the way I wrote you, well, except the age, you seem a little older,” I told him.
“Probably because that was over four years ago, you caused a few gray hairs to creep in.” He took another sip of coffee while watching me.
I saw his apparel was exactly as I wrote it. Black, shiny, fake sharkskin top with the four pockets in front and the tube opening across the bottom back. The pants were loose fitting sharkskin as well. He wore the weapons belt and harness and all the weapons seemed to be in place. The duel disruptor's set low on his hips, the small grenades, the knife in its holder, and he wore the glasses as well. I knew, if real, they were a mental link allowing night vision, thermal imaging, telescopic auto ranging, all built in. Of course they couldn't work, he was one of my main characters for a sci-fi war book I wrote for some e-publishing house about 5 years ago. Never sold many copies, but was a fun write and now the main character, just a macho'd up version of me, was sitting in my den sipping coffee?
“Thank you, but I have a lot to tell and little time. You remember the girl, the mind reader, Carmine DeSol, she first intercepted the mental impressions of the Faltac before they invaded?” he asked.
“Vaguely, I wrote that a long time ago. She felt their presence coming for almost a year, getting stronger each day. When she realized what they were she recruited you and five others and trained you to defeat them in space. You almost lost several times, four of you died, and you married the only other team survivor, Desi-Ray, I believe. A she-witch beauty with ungodly cunning and skill with blade weapons. That correct?” I asked.
“Yes, we beat them, tore them up before they could land using your one man ships and the great disruptor's and missiles you thought up. I am here for two reasons. To meet you of course, and we need a sequel, Carmine says you can do it in time.” For some reason he had a rather knowing smile.
“Okay, you have me curious of course, but now you also have me confused,” I told him.
“Good.” He sipped some more from the coffee. “Okay, I'll tell it to you. Your story wasn't, it was real, it was all real and we need your help again.”
I guess my look showed my disbelief.
“Carmine is real, she is two levels down, or up, no real reference. The level in-between is anti-matter, can't go there. She has fantastically strong mental abilities. She not only saw the Faltac coming to our world she saw how to defeat them through you as well.” He was watching me carefully.
“No, it was just a story I thought of one morning sitting here, like most of mine,” I said.
“Yes, but she put it there. She told you of us, your alternates maybe? Some time in the past? Who knows. Our planet, Earth, was in despicable shape. We never developed much past the witches and warlocks stage of history. Carmine says I am actually your first recognizable ancestor in our world, and you made me, how strange is that? We were still hiding behind rock walls of castles, shooting our catapults and crossbows. Stuck in time. Carmine was a young princess, also the most powerful witch on the planet. She saw them coming, 40,000 strong, in their ships. Flesh eaters, destroyers of planets, vile creatures. Their advance invasion group, and we had nothing available to fight them with.”
He finished the coffee and set the cup down. “Anyway, she had visions since birth, images of great things that never were and it took her a long time to realize they were of this here and now, not hers. She feels, though our Earth is an alternate, it may actually be just this one slipped along the fold, or maybe a version where time became hung up. She really isn't sure of anything except we desperately needed the grand things you built, the machines, the wonders. She said to just tell you we are strong of mind and power but we lack something important.”
“Okay, if I was to assume any of this is real, and I am not asleep at my computer dreaming again, why would you need a sequel and what could possibly be lacking?” I stared me, err him, down.
“We need a sequel and in a hurry because the Faltac's main invasion force is about a year away, millions of them this time. Hundreds of ships. Carmine says you are, once again, our only hope.” He sat back and sighed.
“Why? Just expand what I wrote to a bigger scale and take them down, you have time,” I said.
“Time, yes, we have that, but it is what we don't have that will destroy us. You see Earl, for some reason we lack something you call grand imagination on any but the most basic scale. We don't know why but Carmine thinks she may have found a solution now that she knows how to get me here to you.” He again had a weird smile as I realized that is how I looked when I smile too. “You wrote up the idea of blink and making time/space folds to pass through, and how you sense other you's as you pass through, remember?”
“Yes, a logical way to get around the faster than light issue all authors come up against,” I told him.
“Well, she realized you gave her the way and it is simply a matter of jumping off to the other worlds while in blink and here I am!” He said. “She doesn't know if it is a time fold and we are just way back in your past someplace, or an alternate universe thing. We do know that every other layer is anti-matter, instant destruction and insulated by something she calls dark matter.
I looked at him and felt weird. If what he said were true. Na, couldn't happen, still, he was here. I had to ask, “So, what does this Carmine want me to do?”
“Write a sequel, as I said. Give us a new team or something, give us the means, the weapons, all of it. She also says give us some door to walk through, She is holding me here with her mental power, that is why I only had two hours, and they are almost up. Oh, she said send it to the same E-Publishing place, it is a reader she can access easily. You've brought us a long way, but save us again, please? Oops, times up..byeeee..” There was a shimmering, a little clap, like air whooshing in and he was gone.
Strange, I didn't wake up. I sat there staring at the empty divan, the empty cup, and waited, but nothing happen and I wasn't sure what I did expect to happen.
I spent the whole day waiting, touching nothing, doing nothing but sitting and looking at that cup. I gave up, turned off the comp and went to bed. Next morning I fought my way to conciseness and almost ran to the den. “Damn,” I said to no one. The cup still sat there waiting.
I made a fresh pot of coffee and sat down at the comp and started typing the announcement.
The Earth Defense League, lead by Earl Frazier and his wife, the beautiful and deadly Desi-Ray, are once again called forth to battle the main force of the Faltac, pure evil, similar to our lady bugs but they love the taste of human flesh. Join me now as we fight for humanities very existence in this Sequel called, “The Last Stand!” Written by Earl Fraser and available soon for D/L from All Worlds Realm of E-Books.
I started it as follows: The Beautifully vivacious Princess Carmine had woke in the night, she had the fear as of old, she jumped out of bed and hollered to her chambermaid, “They come!”
Over a month I did the research and had problems. The disruptor's were based on microscopic bits of magnetically contained anti-matter. I couldn't build any on a large scale, it could literally tear a world apart at the molecular level. Lasers were out as well. It took me awhile but I developed mental image solidifiers. I think I'd read of them in some old comic once. Mental thought converted to solid form by molecular manipulation and compilation machines hooked to reactors for power. The users could transform their already fantastic mental energies into real items such as ships, projectiles, and shields. Converting energy to matter was in the realm of possibility.
I found myself working day and night and after two months I had it posted on the website. I had even incorporated part of the story of what the other guy told me into it. Now I had to wait and see, and hope.
Almost a year went by. Surprisingly the E-Book actually sold well.
I was in the Den, it was 3AM as a door materialized in the center of the room. I stood as it opened and through it walked Earl, his wife, the deadly Desi-Ray and, I recognized her at once, Princess Carmine DeSol.
Carmine spoke first, I was dumbstruck at her beauty, far more real in person than even I imagined her in my books. “Earl, we won! Thank you again. Had some troubles making the amplifiers work the way you said, but finally we got it. This door idea is nice too. Saves a lot of drain on me.” She smiled and blinked.
I heard her mumble something to Earl and he said, “She wants to know if you really think your solution to our problem, as you wrote it in the book, will in-fact work or not?”
I wasn't surprised this time, I was ready for it. “Yes, I really believe I am correct. Imagination is a function of the mind and clearly much of humanities abilities and shortfalls are a result of our genetic makeup. I think your worlds lack of imagination is simply a lack of genetic code.”
Carmine stepped forward and took both my hands, starring at my eyes and tearing my sole apart. She leaned forward and kissed me. “Come then Earl, I wish to be the first to test your theory.”
I turned the computer off as we all stepped through the door which closed behind us. If it was the past I would know who my great great whatever was. If it was a far future, I again knew where it would start. If it was another place, didn't matter, I wrote this part in the story too.