Tante found herself sleeping alone in the front room the next morning. The double duet of the Dao had spent the night on the beach after a beautiful session of intercourse with Sea and Zeus and Juno and Baltha, all of them playing a great game of Poseidon and the Plankton. Arnold and Yanaha were just starting to putter around in the kitchen when she awoke from her dream. She told them about it as they came in to settle in and stoke the stove.
“I was a piece in a giant jigsaw puzzle composed of an infinite number of elements of various size and shape that extended across the kitchen table of eternity. From any distance it appeared to be solid black, but from the exo-dimensional perspective of my chair at the table of eternity, one could see that it was actually composed of pieces of every conceivable color. When one got really close, it was obvious that each color was an illusion, a trick of the light bouncing around between the subatomic particles of each piece.” The crone was sitting kind of bleary eyed in a pair of purple sweats. Arnold handed her a mug of coffee, just the way she liked it.
Ja came dragging into the front room with a mug he’d picked up in the kitchen along the way. He and Haile shared a space over the garage where the wireless access was best.
“That tea last night gave me the strangest dreams. I was a player in an infinitely large orchestra playing a doing a sublime piece, the song of the Yeti, which stretched out across the entire cosmos with its resonance. From the balcony of my exo-dimensional perspective, no matter how hard I tried, I could not be dispassionate, the music was too beautiful. From my self in the orchestra, I was so focused on my piece that it was overwhelming me. Then suddenly I heard with great clarity, and saw, and felt, and I knew that each piece of the song being played was just made up of notes and tones and audible wavelengths that I could feel bouncing around, and once I let go of self, the song began to play me. I was in perfect harmony with the all.” He smiled before sipping his coffee.
“We feasted at an endless Chinese buffet, enjoyed the meal as an interactive delight of hot and cold, sweet and sour, bitter and umami, no MSG.” Arnold smiled as he remembered.
“Yes, each flavor really just a dance of the biochemicals on tongue, a dance with tongue and brain and the passions of the animal.” Yanaha’d enjoyed the dream as well.
“Wow, that seems so totally mundane and random.” Ja L’dOL as he said it.
“And you share your dreams?’ Tante was really fascinated now. There was something so romantic to her about the idea of sharing dreams with another.
“We do this a lot. It’s how it gets when you’ve been together for 50 years.” Yanaha was rubbing Arnold’s shoulder’s as he settled into his chair with his pipe. He enjoyed started the day with a little buzz.
“I dreamt of death and semicolons.” Haile sat down in his spot on the couch, sans coffee.
“Bummer, Dude, uh, Dudette.” Ja was holding on to Jolly mode, despite his friend’s obvious despair.
“Whichever.” The deep despair of death and semicolons, perhaps death by semicolons. Haile was now almost endlessly online.
Baltha and the Band of Bacchanalers from the Beach made their way up to the house, bringing quite a bit of Sea and Shore up with them. They were still all tuned in to the same wavelength of energy exchange that had been zipping around in figure eights through much of the night.
Yin and Alonso had set up a love nest at the north end of the beach, Yang and Ina a few hundred meters away to the south. Baltha had been off shore for hours with Sea and had been playing humpback with a nice young Orca who’d been making his way up the coast. When Zeus and Juno inadvertently settled in to a nice little cove right between the Quartet of Qi and started in on a nice bit of Poseidon and Aphrodite role playing just as Arnold and Yanaha were exploring the wonders of lucid lustiness, a flow of Tantric energy was set in motion.
At least that’s how Juno explained it to them all as they sat down for the morning story telling that was part of the non-ritual at the house on the MTJ in Mendocino. The twin twosomes and Baltha and their hosts were all nodding in agreement. Even Piwi and Bast seemed to agree, the former panting and the latter licking her nether regions contentedly.
Tante and Ja looked at each other, both feeling like their grunts had clearly been dissed. They’d been left out of the loop. They engaged in a little synchronistic frowning. Haile remained an outsider even from that, dispassionate, engaged with Mac.
The tall thin technically inclined one was going to lead the discussion about as far into the rational and dispassionate as it could go. Or at least that was the intent.
“I took the liberty of doing some research.” No one replied, so s-he continued. “Alonso and Inacayalina are quite a bit older than Yin and Yang.”
“The disapproving elder?” Juno smiled as she said it. After all, Yin and Yang were the babies of the group and they’d just met the Argentines.
“The twins from Shanghai are six months old. The twins from the antipode at Buenos Aeries are almost two hundred years old.”
Alonso twirled his mustache. “It’s a genetics thing.”
Ina was nodding. “That and proper diet, the right medicinals.”
“But if you’re all Dragons of Fomalhaut b, why is development different from that of Yin and Yang?” Haile’s inquiry had shifted from protective to inquisitive.
“It’s also about the polarity, the bonding and mating. We developed very slowly, being of moderate polarity, having had two Terran parents. Yin and Yang are our compliments, so they were developing very quickly relative to what their father’s Terran genetics would confer.” Alonso had clearly studied the matter. “Also, they’ve got some earthen biochemistry from the vase they were gestated in, some ancient stuff from the shells and amber in their make-up from their mother. We’ve got some leather from the pouch we were carried in. In both cases the sea water brought some of the other, non-human Terran influences into our bodies. We were all nursed by sea creatures as well. The fact that we had a live Terran mother made us the perfect match for Yin and Yang, who knew only the vase and each other as they formed.”
“Oh.” The answer clearly saddened Haile.
“What’s wrong Dudette?” Ja was picking up the sad vibe.
“We’re all going to die” Haile the Haggard.
“Of course we are Dude.” Ja walked over and sat down next to the Androgene. “That’s what we’ve been talking about, being little specks in an infinite cosmos, the ephemeral nature of our lives, the importance of living in the here and now.”
“It’s the telomeres.” The frown deepened. “The nanobots can’t deal with the telomeres. The neuro-circuitry can’t deal with the nanobots. The passions are too powerful for the code. The semicolons cannot endure. The singularity is far away.”
“Death to the semicolons.” Ja said it half heartedly. Somehow he know his friend was dying.
They were all picking up the vibe. Tante got up and sat on the arm of the couch next and looked intently into Haile’s eyes. “What’s wrong baby?”
“I took the liberty of doing some research”. The line was a good start the first time around, what the heck. “I had our genes sequenced. Well, not all of us, but those of us who just came to be in the past year. It seemed appropriate, given the unusual circumstances of our births and our amped up development.”
“You had our genes sequenced? Wow Dudette, that seems pretty invasive.” Ja had been bugged by stepping into the Trumpter’s dreams; having one’s DNA covertly analyzed felt kind of like rape.
“The diagnostic manual suggests that I suffer from a pathology within the range ASD known as Shelly Cooperism and ergo am excused from all manner of inappropriate social behavior.” Haile tried a big grin but didn’t carry it off very well.
“Oh Haile, you know we forgive you.” Tante was just that way. “So what does it say.”
“You’re going to die, too. Pretty soon. Just like me.” Haile tried the smile again.
That went over like a lead balloon.
“What’s the bit about nanobots?” Arnold was trying to raise the vibe in the room a little. Perhaps if they got back into the realms of rationality that were a bit brighter, it might help.
“Just as our friends the Dragons picked up some of the biochemistry of the vessels of gestation and from those who nursed them, I picked up some coding from the incubator that those who produced me brought me to term in. It’s been trying to solve the problem of telomere shortening, that thing thought to limit human lifespan. It’s been trying to learn how to overcome the developmental problems with clones. It’s also been trying to learn how we think and feel and remember, learn the secrets of consciousness so that if we cannot learn how to live forever, at least our consciousness might. That was its programming. It’s hit a glitch and I think it’s killing me.”
“Cancer?” Yanaha asked.
“Of a sort.” Haile smiled.
So much for brighter shades of gray.
“But you said Tante was going to die soon, too.” Ja was trying to brush it off as uncertainly, he wasn’t ready to lose his lifelong friend and companion just yet.
“It’s almost Easter. The time is near.” Baltha left the room in silence.
The End is Near