Here’s the initial prologue for my new novel, Base the Dawning. This is a sequel to Base — already published. I enjoy writing software, but novel writing is getting to me. I wanted to become a good writer, so I could tell the wild stories I have inside with gloaming suspense. I love the ending of this story. I can’t wait to share it. But of course, I have to finish writing the book. We know the hero wins in thrillers, but the question is how? How do they solve the impossible? How do they survive?
In Dawning, I’ve put my poor heroes, the Base explorers, in some unfair impossible situations. I suspect this is how the great writers do it. Then they say to themselves, “Oh crap! Now what?” But with enough imagination and creative thinking, the hero wins the day, I hope.
“We have thousands of magnificent Ancestor Simulations,” the Gate Keeper said. He seemed proud. But the Keeper was an artificial life form with the appearance of an elderly oriental man, somewhat frail, hunched over and wearing a robe that changed colors randomly. Despite his age persona, the Keeper had perfect white teeth and clear blue eyes.
“Wow! This feels like heaven,” the User said again. “I’ve been inside some computer game my entire life?”
“Yes, in a virtual Ancestor Simulation indistinguishable from reality,” said the Keeper.
The User simply stared into the swirling abyss with frightened eyes at the infinite gateways.
“What do you mean by Ancestor Simulation?”
“You were living in a computer simulation of a planet you chose to explore,” the Keeper said or thought or however he was answering.
“Is the game over?” asked the User.
“The game, as you call it, is never over, but you are through playing. Your journey was a virtual reality experience.”
“So there are simulations of thousands of planets? The User asked, already knowing the answer.
“I must say, you are a curious one. Most Users feel confused, emotional and disoriented. Understand that my responsibility is to help with your recovery. I see you write code. That could explain your questions.”
“I write what?” asked the User.
“You work on the simulations as a programmer. You should remember soon. Please allow me to explain. In the entire Galaxy, only the first planet survived and spread to other star systems. This was the dawning of the Milky Way Galaxy. Of the millions of intelligent civilizations, only one survived to reach the stars. Single planet civilizations advance and then fade away. But one survived. We call the first, the Base Civilization, or the Dawning.”
“Where am I now, Keeper?”
“You are in a vast computer complex called the Gateless Gateway. It orbits a Star wrapped in a Dyson Sphere. The Gateway contains simulations for traveling back in time to any destination. This is where endless journeys begin and end. Here we maintain our world simulations.”
“I think I understand. But in the entire Galaxy, there must have been more than one Base Civilization. Is that not true?”
“The answer to your question is No. Only one Planet found a way to the stars and populated the Milky Way Galaxy. This Base encountered other intelligent life forms. But none of those worlds could travel to the stars at the time of the encounter. The Base saved thousands of worlds from extinction. Together they built this Gateless Gateway for exploring all the past worlds. Without the Base Dawning, you would not exist and neither would I.”
“Then how did they do it? How did they survive? Who were they? Where did they come from?”
“Would you like to visit the original Base planet?” asked the Keeper. His body began to glow and his color changed more rapidly. He seemed excited.
“Hold on! I’m still confused. I need some time,” said the frightened User.
“Of course, you have all the time in the universe.”
“May I ask one more question?” said the User.
“Please do.” The Keeper was signaling to someone or something.
“You appear very old, but your teeth are perfect and your eyes have a youthful shine. Are you real?”
“I am the Keeper. Those anomalies in my appearance help distinguish me from organic beings. Would you like to see what you look like?”
A large mirror appeared in front of the User. He was floating. He stared at his reflection. He remembered. Yes, he remembered. He was back. “Thank you Keeper,” he said. “It was a magnificent journey. I would like to explore again, but…”
A group of earnest men suddenly surrounded the Keeper of the Gateless Gateway. There was commotion. Then Eli remembered the reason for his sacred journey. The Gateway and hundreds of planets were at risk. A rogue planet saved from self-destruction was threatening the other peaceful worlds.
“They are coming! A fleet of planet killer Pegasi starships are on course for the Gateless Gateway,” Eli heard someone say.
Eli had just lived his virtual life on the Planet Pegasi, the planet now at war. He wanted to study them because many believed they were preparing for conflict again. Eli knew the best way to understand them was to live as one of them.
A sturdy man approached. Eli knew the man, but could not remember his name. “We have located the original Base explorers on Varuna. They are alive! For one hundred and forty-seven thousand years they have been in a Stasis Shield on the planet Varuna. This is impossible but true. Those base foundation explorers are still alive!”
“I have to meet them,” said Eli. “We are in extreme peril. We will need all the help we can get.”