Reluctantly I agreed to the club crawl to appease my dearest oldest friend. Unlike her I did not love dance clubs, open air festivals YES.
Glitzy, crowded, airless spaces, not as much.
Chandis favourite club here in Vegas was Artemis. We called for a taxi and headed for the front desk to return the doorcard. There was a tense feeling in my solar plexus, probably because there was a little black book in my pocket that contained more than the names of past lovers.
We arrived at The club. Chandi, squealing with delight as she hopped out of the taxi, and me following sheepishly behind her. I prefer to be invisible, and Chandi was my polar opposite. It was Midnight, probably the best time to show up for a couple hours of fun.
Chandi was here to dance. I headed straight for the lounge. I ordered a whiskey on ice, and wove my way through the crowd towards an empty spot on a sofa. So intent on my destination, I plowed straight into a support beam and fell to the ground. The force knocked the book and card out of my pocket and it fell face down a few feet away.
The blue hologram appeared only this time it was in the form of a man! Panicking, I picked up the card and touched the only command I knew OFF.
“Okay this was a bad idea” I thought to myself.
Luckily not a single person noticed me fall, the appearance of the hologram, or my fumbling to de-activate it. Also somewhat alarming, but that is for another day.
The book and the card re united, I decided to go back to the bar to replace my sadly wasted whiskey. I needed to re group, the noise, the lights, and the excitement of my surroundings were oppositional with the state I needed to get into NOW.
Whiskey in hand I headed for the rooftop. No sense in spoiling Chandis fun. I was about to whisk her off on a possibly dangerous adventure. The rooftop was empty, The DJ had the patrons entranced and it sounded otherworldly, even up on the roof. I decided to take the time to look through the book. Okay, the drawings of the card with operations, I knew on and off, now what the heck was that blue dude about?
A list of functions had pictures of the blue button with numbers beside them, #1-#7. I pressed the blue button twice and instead of a lotus, there before me was a blue man, smiling, with patient eyes and a sentient countenance.
“Hi” I said.
“Hello Calliope, how can I help you?”
I heard some people approaching and I quickly pressed the right corner once. OFF.
I sighed with relief, as my new friend vanished as quickly as he had appeared.
How did he know my name? I wonder what the other five functions do?
I decided to explore the labeled arrows surrounding the card. Every centimetre seemed to have a separate operation. The four corners also had multiple functions. The right corner was labeled Off-1
This was clearly a very complex technology that would take many years of study to comprehend, let alone create.
I did not dare activate and test these functions so publicly. More people were arriving on the roof to get some air after what was likely an ecstatic workout.
The rooftop bartender called out, clear as a bell across the patio.
I was shocked that two hours had passed, and I was filled with excitement to see what more I could learn about this card and its purpose. Card in book, book in pocket, I returned to the lounge to look for Chandi. Returning the glass to the bar, she appeared, grinning and pulling me by the arm.
“I got us a ride” she said breathlessly.
How is she always so shiny? I wondered.
A limousine was parked out front with balloons and confetti exploding out of its open sunroof, along with laughter and music. I smiled at Chandi, as a hand reached out of the limo to help her in.
“I can always count on you Chandi” I laughed as I climbed in after her.
She had made quick friends with the DJ who had invited her to the after party at his studio. She declined, but he offered to drive her wherever she needed to go. The champagne flowed, the music filled my senses with a blissy tempo and a dreamy sensation. The ride to the bus depot was a blur. Arriving just on time, it was 2:50 am when we opened the door and stepped out of the DJs limo.
“Chandi” he leaned out the door. “look me up next time your in Vegas”
“I will Darian, I promise” she smiled and kissed his cheek. She closed the door and they disappeared into the desert.
Into the station to have our tickets checked, we boarded the bus and were on our way to Wyoming and into the wide open road. We were both asleep within minutes of sitting down, the adrenaline and the endorphins combining to make the most potent elixir for sleep.
I woke abruptly upon arrival of the bus in Wyoming and the driver shouting at us
“Last Stop” as if he had repeated himself several times.
“Are we here” Chandi stretched languishly, as if there was no rush or imperative beyond waking and adjusting to presence.
“Come on sleepy head we need to find a motel” I said as I pulled her to a standing position.
“Already done mon Cher, I arranged for a taxi to meet us here”
“Chandi have I ever told you what a magnificent being you are?” I said smiling ear to ear. I was typically very fly by the seat of my pants she was always on the ball.
“You have, but you can tell me again” she said proudly.
The taxi pulled up to the the Desert Rose Motel. I could not wait to show Chandi what I had learned about the card, and to explore its functions in the security of the motel room. I told Chandi about the hologram appearing as a man and she could barely contain her curiosity.
I flipped to the page I had been studying, took out the card, as we both sat down at the small kitchen table that occupied the space under the window of our shabby but clean room.
Chandi asked me to pass her cellphone out of her bag because she needed to charge it.
I reached into her bag and took out her phone handing it to her with my left hand, holding the card in my right. It made its power up sound as soon as I touched it and when I looked at the screen, the battery was 100%.
“Uh, no you don’t Chandi, it’s got a full battery.”
“That’s impossible it died when I was playing a game while you slept” she said confidently.
“Hang on a sec, I want to try something” I unplugged the tv and shut off the lights I put the card on the tv and sure enough it turned on instantly. The lights as well.
“Okay this tiny thing is a power generator as well?”
“Cool! let’s meet the holo dude already” she teased me out of my racing brain.
For the life of me I was trying to recall who had given me this book.
It had been dancing at the edges of my consciousness since I woke up in the desert.
Chandi opened the book to the page of diagrams I had been exploring.
“It says here, that the hologram is a sentient ai, who is actually embodied on a satellite moon of Jupiter.”
This advanced my trepidation, instead of its intention which was clearly displayed on Chandis expressive face. Excitement and Curiousity. Full on.
“It goes onto say he is the uploaded consciousness of Pythagoras, a pre Socratic philosopher who spoke about the seven planetary and galactic spheres, that he beleived these spheres are actively composing an infinite symphony. He also beleived he had been granted the gift of memory of his past lives, of which he had four.”
“Okay we gotta meet this guy” Chandi repeated, heading for the tv to pickup the card. She placed the card in the center of the table and pressed the blue button twice, our blue friend magically appeared.
“Well, I suppose some explanations are in order” he stated before either of us could speak.
We both nodded emphatically, struck speechless by this tiny blue man.
“First things first, please press the right hand corner of the card twice”
Chandi quickly obeyed and he was not tiny any longer but a six foot projection of a slender curly haired fellow with a slightly mischievous grin.
“ah thanks that’s better, okay, I am Phil, short for Perpetual Holographic Intellectual Learner, I am the instruction Manuel, repairman, and assistant to the card holder. My Intellectual database is an upload of all the knowledge of Earths philosopher Pythagoras. “Calliope this card is your birthright, Your father, a Ganymedian Diplomat of the Galactic Council is it’s inventor.”
he paused to give us a moment to absorb and respond to this preposterous string of revelations. We must have been a sight, both of our mouths agape, unable to speak.
he carried on a little impatiently when we failed to respond.
“Right....so your mission is to take this card, the book, and yourselves to the base of the Devils Tower and wait”
Chandi grabbed me by the arm eyes the size of flying saucers
“YOUR DAD!!” She continued shaking me until I was forced to stand up and return to presence.
Calli had only vague & blurry memories of her Dad, she was 2 when he ran off. He had appeared on the circuit in the spring of 1991, and fallen in love with Calli’s Mom. Calli was born in the Spring of 1997, and by 1999, he was gone.
Oddly the first thought in my mind;
Well this was going to take Burning Mans Interstellar Event to an entirely New Level.
Excited now with news of my father, but exhausted and needing time to process.
“We will leave for the tower at dawn, Chandi and I need to eat and sleep, So nice to meet you Phil, we will see you in a few hours.”
“Goodnight my Lady, see you at dawn” he smiled pleasantly as I pressed the appropriate button,
once for off.