The Legends 3

The Legends

Chapter 3 - The Lonely Woman

Snapshot_007.jpgA girl dies and is resurrected 80 years later, in a divided world. Her ghostly body has incredible powers, including the power to transform others' bodies. Nobody knows who she is or what her reasons are, except the few that are worth to know the truth.

My name is Astana. I grew-up from a very young age as a library mouse or a book grinder. This is the only thing I knew to do all my life: to learn and to read. I graduated the Literature University with the best marks from all students. This is why I was chosen to world's largest library, known as Byblos. This is where all humanity's knowledge is stored, on the memory of a supercomputer. All books ever wrote, all drawings, all paintings, all sounds, songs and music recordings, all videos, all 3D simulations, all digital articles, everything is stored here. It is an amazing place. Since I got here, nothing else ever matter to me. I work here as much time as I can.

Want to know more about me? There really is nothing. I am about 30 years old, woman, natural black hair, black eyes. I am small and skinny. I never use make-up and never did. I just wear all the time a small white dress and white flip-flops. Nothing else, ever. I eat as fast as I can and always in front of a computer, reading a digital book. I sleep only when I am too tired to do anything. All day, I do nothing then library work, sorting books and other creations. When I am free, I read whatever I find.

I never had a boyfriend, never had a kiss and I never will. I was never interested in anything else then books and other creations. I never had even the slightest sexual desire. I am a perfect asexual. So perfect, that when I was 20, I ordered a medical treatment to stop my genital period forever, to get more time for books. So, my body produces almost no hormones at all.

The library is on a remote and large island in the Arctic Ocean, where climate changes, wars, nukes and tsunamis will never reach. I've never been out from the library and I don't wish to. Since I am here, I am very lonely, but never feel that way. I am friendly with all workers in the library, but usually they leave me alone in my room, in front of my computer. All creations made by humanity are stored on a server that is only the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is amazing what diverted matter can do! It can organize at subatomic level computers and devices that, with conventional matter, will require the size of the Great Pyramid. We also have two backup servers, that store data in case the main server is damaged.

Our library was founded 50 years ago, by one of the former empires, now it is a free state. We get our money from commercial add-ons. Well, that is not my problem. I usually am so focused on what I do, that someone else needs to come, bring me food and clean the room. Usually, nobody disturbs me in the remaining time.

I do have something that many people find strange: I smoke. I started this on my own, when I was in the University. Nobody told me to. It was my personal decision. Since then, I have been smoking almost only slim cigarettes. All day long, as I sit in front of my computer and work or read, I have a slim cigarette in my mouth or in my hand. Those who bring me food, also bring me what I need to smoke. When I finish one, it doesn't take more then five minutes and I light another one.

On rare occasions, people come to me, usually for help, to find something or to find their ways in life. I am friendly to them and try to help, even if this means I need to stop my work. Usually, they come to me when they exhausted all other options. I can spend a whole day trying to help someone, but this happens usually once in a few weeks. All the rest of time, I spend alone. Anyway, given how difficult is to reach the Arctic islands, not many people dare to go here. If you want to talk to me, I don't accept an internet account. Come here and see me face to face.

To increase my working power, I made many brain implants. I have a lot of computer hardware in me. This does not affect my personality, but increases my brain power and memory storage. Sometimes, I disconnect the add-ons, to remember how it is to be human.

***********

Today, I finished my work, sorting music that computer automated systems could not sort. I finished my work and take a fast look to see what is going on in the world. I read the news. All looks ok to me. I light a cigarette and read about the human colonies that rich people are building in the Solar System. Rich people are going away, letting all of us here. Maybe the world will be safer without them.

I see a strange green light in the room. I look and something is entering through the wall. Some sort of hologram, but it doesn't look like one. I got it! Diverted matter, the only thing that can do such a thing. I see the silhouette of a woman around 20 years old. She is all green, dressed with a short blouse and a skirt. She has green hair, horns and wings. Around her and above her head, I see some sort of green fire. As she comes closer to me, I see that all her body, except for the hands and the head, is covered with a fine textured tight body suit, partially transparent, that resembles pantyhose. Her skin is in fact white, glowing. She has green lipstick and green eyes. She has green, transparent shoes with high heels, but she seems to be more flying then walking. And all the time, she wears a green cigarette and is smoking. Smoke is also green and glowing.

"If you are a hologram, I will not answer to you", I say. "Come directly yourself and talk to me".

"Astana", she says, "I need your help".

She comes and touches me on a shoulder. I feel her touch. It is a bit cold and her hands get inside me. No hologram can do that.

"Who are you?" I ask.

"I am The Legend", she says.

I immediately check on my computer. I've seen in the news, rumors about a flying green object. Some people say it is an alien, others say it is a goddess from the past, a ghost, a hologram or a drone. Is she really the legend?

"Prove me that you are not a hologram", I say. "If you really are The Legend, you can do things no hologram can do. Take a cigarette from my pack!"

I see the pack opening and a cigarette coming out in the air. Then, my lighter moves and lights it. Then, the cigarette goes to my hand and sticks between two fingers, at my hand.

"Is that prove enough?" she asks.

"Yes, it is", I say. "How did you find me?"

"I've seen a guy working on a computer and saying that you have all the knowledge in the world at your disposal. So, I came to you".

"In fact, not me. The library has all this".

I am still in very amazed of this. I did read books and articles about ghosts and spirits. It is not that I don't believe them or I do. As long as there is not a clear scientific prove, I question these things until further research is done. But now, seeing this creature near me, is really shocking. Anyway, I am not afraid. She doesn't seem scary at all.

I look at her, taking the newly lighted cigarette to my mouth and inhaling. I touch her and feel her body. It is like touching a cloud of smoke, only that it does not move. My hand gets inside her body. Inside, I feel a little cold. I even blow smoke to her and see it is going through her body, even if somehow it is slowed down. In a form, diverted matter interacts with conventional matter. Seeing this, she also blows a cloud of smoke to me... and I feel it, a bit cold, as it passes through my body and vanishes.

I feel a bit when touching her. It is amazing. I touch her arms, her feet, then even the green fire above her head. It is not a fire, actually it is cold.

"Do you know what happened to me?" she asks.

"It appears you are made of diverted matter", I say, still very amazed. "It is the form of matter that remains when you extract almost all energy from conventional matter. It only has one trillionth the energy left. Diverted matter can be found in tiny amounts around plasma, like fires, but in far larger amounts in the cores of stars, in neutron stars and around black holes".

"That is what I am made of?" she asks.

"I think so", I answer. "Nothing else can work like this. Diverted matter is almost weightless and can organize in incredibly complex structures".

"I was a girl".

She was a human? What is this?

"And how did you become like this?" I ask.

"Astana, please, I am not ready to tell you all. In fact, I don't remember everything. I was a girl, in the mountains. I was kidnapped... then raped, tortured"...

She makes a break. I understand it is hard for her to say.

"Don't, if you feel you cannot say more", I say. "Just tell me what you feel you can say".

"They almost killed me!"

I try to touch her, to help, but how can you touch diverted matter? She is shaking and I see tears in her eyes. She takes a puff from her cigarette, then says:

"Then, they took me to other guys".

She takes another inhale and lets a cloud of smoke out through her green lips.

"Those guys started to do strange things on me. They pierced me with needles. I don't know what for. They injected a lot of glowing staff in me. They pierced me from one side to the other, not caring that it was so painful. There was a lot of machinery, a lot of computers around. Some people looked like scientists, but a few... well a few, looked like drug dealers. I don't know, Astana, what they did to me".

I look at her, thinking about what can that be. She then says:

"I am sorry, I cannot say more. After that, I don't remember clearly what happened to me. I remember being in something like a big jar, while other people were looking at me and talking about me. All is scrambled in my mind. I remember that I waked-up in a small container, where I was held tight. I think I stayed for years in there, until a street girl opened it".

"Poor little you", I say.

As I say this, I take a last drag from my cigarette and put it in the ashtray. She moves at some distance from me and seem to not see me clearly. I light another slim cigarette, as she comes back to where she were. How that she is connected with smoking like this?

"Since then, I traveled through many places. It seems I know all languages and a lot of science, even if I never were good at school. I have strange powers and from the moment I left the container, I knew how to use them. It is like I was trained for something. I don't know for what. I know that my name is The Legend, but I remember my name to be a different one".

I show her a research paper on the computer, with what I think might happened to her.

"Look at this", I say. "Robots of diverted matter. During the Debt Crisis, there was a secret research facility in what is now The Free State Of Lijiang. They tried to make spying robots of diverted matter, but failed, because nobody could organize a computer so powerful to handle the complex structure diverted matter has. Later, they experimented with humans, trying to copy the brains into diverted matter. The experiments failed, because, no matter what they tried, they could not counter desires and addictions from humans. They thought that the human soul gets trapped into diverted matter, just like in conventional matter. The experiments were brutal and only a few survived in thousands of people. However, all was lost during the Environmental Crisis. If this is what happened to you, it means you are very old, maybe over 50 years".

She reads the article and looks very surprised.

"My memories are really scrambled", she says. "I remember the faces of my parents, but I have no idea where I lived. Only that it is in the mountains. What I do remember is that I have a name and that name is Abidet".

"Well, that can help", I say, searching on the computer, on People Database. "Abidet is used by a hundred of thousand people. Almost all speak the same language and are located mainly in two places, two free states in the Land Of Mountains. But, I cannot find out who is you... or who of them were you. Do you remember anything else, like an important event in your childhood?"

"Not much", she says. "I do!" she then says, surprised. "I remember I went with my parents to Mecca and just at that time a terrorist attack blown the airport and closed all planes. We had to travel by bus to another city and take an airplane from there".

I search a few minute and find it.

"Good, Abidet, this is really helpful", I say, searching through the data. "Here you are! That occurred exactly 88 years ago. Can you remember how old were you at that time?"

"I think I was between 10 and 15, don't know exactly", she says. Well, I know I am 17... or I were. I also remember a big earthquake that made a big dam collapse. I seen it on the news. I had that in my mind, when I was kidnapped".

"Have you any idea where?" I ask her.

"It was on TV. I don't know. It flooded a big city, with sky-scrappers".

I search the data. What major events occurred in the coming years after the terrorist attack in Mecca airport? As I finish my cigarette, I instantly light another one, so she will not go. Soon the correct data appears on the screen:

"Here you are, Abidet", I say. "Yellow River. A massive dam collapses after an earthquake, about a million people died and much more remained homeless".

"I remember the image!" she screams. "That's it!"

"This occurred 83 years ago", I explain.

"This is why nothing looks like the world I got used to. Almost a century passed. Astana, what happened to this world?"

"Abidet, the world we live in is very different from the world you knew", I say. "We passed three crisis in these 80 years: Debt Crisis, Environmental Crisis and Nuke Crisis. You must know that 30 years ago, the world was divided between three superpowers, who were ruled by dictators. How it ended, might be considered as the third world war, but it wasn't so violent. The remaining rogue states, to survive, developed atomic weapons. When two of them felt threatened, they used their nukes and destroyed capital cities of the three empires. Of course, the two states were destroyed. We call this the Nuke Crisis. Not many atomic bombs have fallen, but they killed the dictators and their royal courts. What remained are regional leaders, governors and generals, who were greedy and willing to take part of the former states. All empires and large states got divided into endless smaller units. Basically, every region, province, county, territory or oblast, wanted to be free. Also, people were moving freely in every direction. Ethnic groups returned to their homeland, but also many immigrants moved freely. This continued until a new equilibrium was achieved".

"Thank you for the crash-course of History", she says.

"The world now is divided into over 2000 states. The largest are at maximum 1500 km long or wide, while the smallest is about a square km. There are successful democracies and ruthless dictatorships, there are places where people are very happy and where people are starving. The major difference from your time is that globalization no longer exists. Almost every state has nukes. If one state interferes into another in any way, its neighbors will use the atomics against it. This happened twice. This keeps a global peace in place".

She sits down near me on the floor, listening me. I move my chair a bit further away and sit near her. As we sit, I touch one of her feet with mine. My toes are touching her transparent shoes.

"Is there something I can do for you?" she says.

"No", I say. "I don't know what you could do for me".

"I don't have any friends. I lost all when I... died, if I can say so".

"I have no friends and never had", I answer. "I am a very lonely person and I love being so".

"I have the power to change things inside a living organism. I changed gender to a few people. What is more strange, is that I knew how to do it, even if I never did this before. I can stop objects from moving and many things. Still, I don't know all what this body can do. I can throw heat waves like fire or absorb heat. I think my body feeds with heat and radiation. Sometimes this frightens me, Astana".

"Don't worry! I will try to do some research about this. Maybe I can find more. Feel welcome to come anytime I am awake".

"Astana", she says, "there is something I can do for you. Let me check if you are healthy".

"I think I am ok", I answer. "Except for a few cavities in my teeth, of course".

"I can repair them too".

"If you can, feel welcome".

She moves her hands inside my body. I feel a bit cold as she does so. She moves inside my mouth too. Will she cure my teeth? I think she is doing this right now. Next, she works around my chest.

"Smoking did something to you", she said. "Let me repair you and make you stronger, so you can smoke all your life without problems".

I feel her working inside me. Then, she moves down.

"Your ovaries are atrophied", she says.

"Don't repair them", I say. "I am an asexual".

"Ok, I understand you very well, Astana. I seen in your eyes that you have no sinful desires. Don't worry, I will not touch them".

Then, she moves to my feet and gently works inside them, all the way to my toes.

"Done. Your body will strengthen a bit, so that you can live to an advanced age without any problems".

"Thank you, Abidet!" I say.

She then opens her wings and says:

"No. I thank you".

Then, she flies through the walls and gets out of the library.

***********

The next day, I feel a bit dizzy for a while. Amazed, I see my teeth are repaired and seem to be much stronger. I also feel my body more strong then before. What else is different, is that from that day I never seen hair growing on my feet, on my arms or my body, anywhere else then the head. Also, my voice changed a bit.

In the coming days, I tried to learn whatever I could about the experiments on humans with diverted matter. What I see is that most of people died during the experiments. Most who survived, in fact ended with huge psychological problems. There is little official data, since the site was destroyed, when people found out the cruelty of the experiments.

However, there is something unofficial, the diary of a worker from that facility. He comes with some strange comments:

Today, we programmed a target to look like a baseball player. As he became awake, he changed into a Buddhist monk, as he were before. However, when we programmed him to look like a Christian monk, he did not change. I think it is something in the target's personality that influences its behavior. It is not just what he were in its life, but also its desires, wishes, passions and addictions.

We can upload as much data as we want, it all gets assimilated. However, some data, even if it was assimilated, never is accessed. For example, we learned one subject the language of its enemy, but it refused to speak in that language. On the other hand, data that corresponds to their interests, passions and addictions, is very fast shown. The best example is a target who was an alcoholic and is focusing all its energies on this purpose.

It looks like younger targets and targets with less education are more suitable for this. This is what I thought, but there is one target that shows the opposite. It is a girl that we acquired from a poor rural mountain region. Whatever we do, she returns to the same green clothes, green hair, wings and horns. Also, she is so addicted to smoking, more then anyone I knew. She has the most complex personality and behavior from all targets.

I think we should better focus on developing a computer able to handle diverted matter, then trying to make a human soul work with it. Even if we gain partial control over them, through their passions and interests, it is highly probable that at some point they will riot against us.

Maybe the most surprising of all, is if you try to transform a transgender or someone belonging to a sexual minority. A transgender will behave like the gender it tries to fit into, never like the original gender. Also, we have a gay target, which becomes a woman. But, such targets are rare to find. As for now, the best targets are young children.

Well, now I know what happened to Abidet. Sometimes I wonder how she could handle all this. How hard should it be for someone to wake-up and find that you are a ghost and all the world you knew is now gone? If she returns to me, I will do my best to help her.

***********

Author's note: I try to avoid giving real names to places, because some readers might be from there. In the original project for The Legends Of Abidet, I used a whole chapter to describe the alternate history, with names for many states and empires. Also, in every chapter, my plan was to pinpoint a clear Geographic location and a fast historical description.



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