Read a sample story from Alien Dimensions #1
If you prefer the audio version, right-click and download it for free here: Interrelations read by Neil A Hogan (36MB)
By Neil A Hogan
From above, the Interreality Support Network was a mass of undulating cables. Initially a spider’s web, it had now grown to resemble millions of centipedes writhing in ecstasy.
The sight made Cyndy visibly sick. She quickly turned from the flyer’s window and reached for the sick bag. It shot out from the back of the seat in front of her and wrapped around her mouth. As she emptied her lunch into the receptacle, calming sprays of peppermint scented liquid washed her mouth before an attbot helped remove the bag for her.
The attbot swivelled its cube head towards her, a pink emoticon smile digitised on its face. The smile moved to make words in her mind. “The jump site can cause nausea,” it said. “The undulation your biological sensors perceive is the shifting between dimensions. The cables are fixed and straight and don’t move in the real world.”
“Thank you,” said Cyndy, coughing the last bit of bile away. “I’ll try not to look at it again!”
The flyer banked left and Cyndy was relieved to see standard buildings that didn’t move.
The attbot hadn’t left.
“Was there something else?” she asked.
The attbot showed a face with a wavy line for a mouth.
“We are about to enter one of those tubes in a few moments,” it said. “The transition may be a bit disconcerting.”
Cyndy indicated the bag. “I’m sure I have nothing left,” she said with a wry smile.
The attbot nodded and slid away.
She wondered what it would feel like to shift between parallel worlds. She was excited and terrified at the same time.
Would it hurt?
The flyer banked right again and lowered onto a moving platform. Clamps held it in place.
A force field filled the cabin, locking Cyndy’s movements. With even her eyes frozen in stasis, only her consciousness was aware of what was happening.
Everything took on an unclear hue, as though reality had been deliberately blurred. Then, just as suddenly, reality snapped back and everything seemed normal again.
The attbot returned. She was sure that it had changed the colour of its face.
“Blue suits you,” she said.
“Thank you,” it replied.
“Does your programming allow you to decide colours, or is it automatic?” asked Cyndy.
The attbot busied itself with health checks, making sure the transition had been safe for Cyndy’s body.
“I have always been blue,” said the attbot.
Okay, thought Cyndy. It was her consciousness that had shifted, not her body. She was already in a parallel universe, one in which her other body already existed. Perhaps her other self had shifted to her previous body.
She reached into the film on her shoulder pocket that hid her life card, and activated the archive. There were more pictures, and some she had never seen before. One of them was with her boss. A hug at a party last week. But she had never hugged him. Certainly, not like that. Otherwise, the pictures were mostly similar to her life.
This would take some getting used to, she thought.
“You can enter,” said the attbot, sliding out of her way.
She deactivated the restraining field and stepped out of the shell seat, making her way down the net steps to a footriver. The buoyant mercury-like path slid her down the main corridor of the flyer and, then spiralled to a waiting pool at the bottom. There were others there.
“P24N3” said a quasi-human, introducing himself. “I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”
Cyndy looked him over but couldn’t tell whether he was a Dayer or Nighter. Nighter’s were a lot more fun. Then she realised that his front was completely flat. A Dayer then.
“Pleased to meet you,” said Cyndy, not so pleased. P24N3 just nodded.
Cyndy decided that keeping quiet was her best option. Afterall, she really had nothing to talk about, and couldn’t reveal her mission here anyway.
Two attbots appeared and took P24N3 one way and Cyndy another. The others in the group were taken away by attbots, medbots, selbots and others. All on their own missions, she guessed.
All were attempting trade with multiple versions of their own worlds.
Or you can read it as part of Issue 1 of Alien Dimensions. Just US$2.99 via Amazon, or free with Kindle Unlimited.