(The story begins here.)
The giant smiled beneficently, and Darren only just noticed something in the recesses of the eyes that did not fit the smile. “Ah, Victor! You have brought me some new friends—interesting specimens.”
Darren merely nodded acknowledgement; Dr. Fleming’s voice wavered almost imperceptibly in reply. “Mr. Henry Lassiter, the man on my left, has picked up the disquieting habit of changing form. He also seems to be connected to some other world in a way I can’t readily define. Since you research similar ideas, I wondered what advice you could give us.”
Dr. Newman turned his attention to Lassiter, swiftly absorbing him in his gaze. “There are other worlds within us all, worlds of darkness and light, of past, present, and future. This man has encountered a dark, primal world within, and it has changed him.”
“He has encountered a dark world without that has aggravated the dark, primal world within,” Darren retorted. “We’ve encountered it too, just not as invasively.”
“Of course you have: as I said, we all have such worlds inside us, and when one is activated strongly enough, a gestalt harmonization occurs with the others, and the inner world is then perceived as external reality. But it’s important to realize that the only reality is inside.”
“Because it is futile to strive against a non-existent outer world.”
“Do we exist, then, or are we just extensions of your reality? That could make the question academic as well.”
“There is only one reality, and we are all alike reflections of it. There is only one evil, and it is to turn away from that reality—from the continuous evolution to higher consciousness.”
“But Lassiter can transform?” Dr. Fleming interrupted.
“Of course. Inward change governs outward appearance. You must have noticed, Victor, that I have changed form over our brief acquaintance: evolution used to proceed slowly over generations, but once consciousness asserts itself, a given organism can progress infinitely toward original light.”
“That’s not quite the translation we’ve encountered.”
“That’s because the darkness runs contrary to normal progress, producing a violent contradiction.”
“Then what should we do with him?”
“Just leave him with me. I’ve dealt with such cases before, though this supposed outside world is an intriguing detail I’d like to investigate further. Otherwise it’s simply an instance of powerful, misdirected PA—my specialty.”
“What’s PA?” Darren asked.
“Psychic Acceleration—change of appearance and even environment by directed mental force. It’s the evolutionary power I just mentioned that lets men become gods.”
“Sounds more like Peccatum Adae to me.”
“Your misgivings about the ‘Sin of Adam’ are merely subconscious fears and even awe before the sublime greatness of our destiny.” Dr. Newman paused. “Leave him to me. I know how to deal with his problem.”
Darren prayed furiously and silently, yet he could not believe that what happened next was God’s answer.
“I think the specimen should have a say in that,” Lassiter said, and his hair stirred in a breeze Darren could not feel.
Next: The Specimen Speaks
1 year ago