The Worlds of If
The Fractal Universe
By John Pirillo
"Kids!" He lectured to his middle school audience, a mix of Latinos, African Americans, and the minority Caucasians that filled in the gaps, would listen to him in awe. They never knew whether to jump aboard his stories, which were so out there, or just tune him out and do an Angry Birds game or the latest version of Pac Man, or Strike 'Em Dead, a new zombie vampire game.
"When you look at your computer monitors, you have to admit it's just a lot of binary code that's been replaced with pixel dots of RGB. But what's more cool is that the CPU, which should be the heart of the computer, is no longer there for it. GPU is the new calling card of games and science. GPU cards have become so awesome that Cal Tech scientists are using them to calculate paths for future star ships NASA is building, as well as locating Black Holes, White Holes, Dark Matter, Black Matter, White Matter, and Sink Holes...the new phenomenon that astrophysicists believe signals the end of our universe...much like the Yuga stages calculated and predicted by the Hindus in their mythologies."
"Personally, I don't much buy into any of those theories or fantasies. I think God's got a few more tricks up His or Her sleeve...depending on the gender you prefer to think of our Creator...than anyone could ever imagine."
At this point he notices a tall man step into the back of his dark classroom from outside, joined by Principal Marshall, a cute redhead he had been dating for over a year now. He nodded to her, but she didn't nod back, which got him a bit nervous. Who was that guy? A new date? A cop? And if either of the above choices, how could he best get the hell outta that room and discover the true meaning of life somewhere else?
He continued his lecture. "What mankind has ignored and some of our braver scientists have got, and continue to get...is that what is above is also below and what is between is much more important."
He flipped the slide controller in his hand and took the image of a resplendent galaxy and replaced it with a gossamer, threadlike image of whirling colors that entwined and entangled with each other. The man in back sat down and crossed his hands on the desk, leaning forward to eye the slide better. Miss Marshall remained standing. He could see her fretting nervously now, so it wasn't about him and her, now it was about something scarier. They had discovered his secret and wanted to whisk him away to Siberia to rip his mind out and chart its depths for future generations.
"I give you...ta-dum! The Fractal Universe. Clapping and cheers would be appropriate at this moment."
The kids instead booed him and gave him the raspberry. He bowed to the catcalls like a stage actor admiring his fans and enjoying their accolades, then straightened up to his full six foot three height, swept back his black Beatle length hair and drove his stark blue eyes at every face in that room, including that of the stranger, who seemed shock at his ability to do so and shifted uneasily in his chair, if not even considering to get up, but he remained planted.
"Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" He said, eating up the adoration.
"Mister K, what's a fractal?" A girl in the back asked, after raising her hand.
"Quite frankly, my dear, I don't give a ..." He paused and looked back at Miss Marshall, who began shaking her head vigorously. "... A fruit!"
Everyone laughed. They knew what he was about to say.
The man in the back of the room shifted uneasily again, as if the near miss on the word had gotten to him in some way, but leaned forward again, drinking in every word he spoke.
"Well, Evangeline." He replied. "I may call you Evangeline, may I not, cupcake?"
She laughed and nodded her head.
He smiled, cupped his hands to his chin and gave it a Rodin moment, then looked at her.
"Traditional science believes a fractal is merely a scientific formula that is interpreted in terms of binary code to represent ranges of the RGB spectrum. Meaning..." He went on, when he started to see blank faces on his students. "That it's math in a box well painted and designed."
Everyone lit up. They got it.
He showed another fractal, this one even more incredible looking.
"I give you the Fractal Flame...the king and queen of fractals...the lady of diamonds, the joker of spades all in one."
Oohs and ahhs filled the room.
"That's cool; Mister K, but I don't get how that has anything to do with super science." Morris, a football jock snorted.
He eyed the jock, who squirmed uneasily beneath his gaze, as if caught on the point of a poker about to thrust him over a hot fire for toasting. "It's not."
Morris broke into a grin, relieved. He thought he had blown it.
"It's actually...super science!" He explained, keeping up the suspense and anticipation he had been building towards. He was about to play his hidden card. The Ace of Spades that would turn t heir worlds upside down and his own if he didn't watch his wording now his girlfriend, also the Principal of the school, and the stranger were listening and watching.
"Watch the short animation. It's a zoom of a fractal. Pay especially close attention to the last image."
He played the animation. A galaxy of beautiful fractal flames played out, growing more and more intricate and beautiful, more gossamer and threadlike with swirls of radiant colors that wove in and out of each other like angels in love. The last image caused everyone in the room to gasp. He immediately threw on the lights.
At that same moment the doors to all sides of the room were thrust open and very large men, wearing black suits, ear pieces, and bulging breast pockets...undoubtedly loaded with weapons...hurried into the room and surrounded him.
The man in the back stood up and began to clap. At first slowly, then more and more quickly. The men around him stood as still as stone statues, their eyes never leaving him as he looked for exits from the room. His girlfriend looked away when he sought her eyes. This was deep shit! No doubt about it.
So he did the only thing he was unprepared to do. He vanished.
"What the hell!" The tall man spouted.
The children in the classroom let out gasps of horror.
Mrs. Marshall fainted.
Morris snickered. "I always knew he was an alien."
The kids broke into laughter.
The Men in Black exited the way they had come in.
The Tall Man turned to Miss Marshall. "We need to talk. Now!"
She nodded and he led her towards the door. She stopped him, looked at the children. "Stay seated until I can get a Hall Monitor to sit in for Mister K. The moment the two of them exited the room the kids broke into excited discussions. They didn't stop until Mister K appeared again, his clothing dripping wet, his face sun burnt with bruises and scrapes on his hands and face. The kids burst into screams when his body began to flicker on and off like a light bulb about to burn out. The door flung open and the Tall Man dashed inside with a stun gun in his hand.
He didn't have to use it.
Mister K sat down on the floor, leaned over and collapsed.
What no one knew happened was that Mister Chesterton K had taken a side journey.
He fractalized into the nearest flame that had been burning in Neither Space, an area that circumferenced Normal Space and Time, where the laws of physics operated the way we expect them to. He still had the same figure and form, but now he was energized, like a battery that had become supercharged.
And good thing too. Because the moment he materialized he was attacked by a monster so bizarre that biologists wouldn't have begun to know how to classify it. It had eyes on its tail, a mouth on the top of its head and claws growing from its chest. It was an Invert, as he had come to name the strange creatures of this fractal.
Unknown by his girlfriend, Miss Marshall, but suspected by our government, he had learned how to fractalize...it's a method of transforming Normal Space into Neither Space so that you can survive there. He had come across the method quite by accident when he was doing a two week course in meditation with the Osmans, who gave him some insights he hadn't thought could grow in his head. They had helped him unblock his intellect and allow something far greater to shine forth.
The Yogis called it Cosmic Consciousness. Some might call it God Consciousness. But he called it Neither Space. The ability to interject his conscious, physical self into fractals. You see, fractals are all around us. Snowflakes. Mountain ranges. Flower petals. Dandelions. It's infinite. He just happened to unlock the mental key for transitioning to fractals. A method he called fractalizing.
His first experience had been during the course. He had found himself in a crystal world where gigantic beings resembling Norse Gods strode the lands, not even noticing him, they were so gigantic. He had been terrified at first they would spot him and destroy him like the bug he was, but instead they just ignored him.
That was when he realized that fractalizing also created a kind of force field about the consciousness and body of the traveler which made them temporarily invisible to the inhabitants of those worlds. He realized it was temporary when one of the giants about to step over him, suddenly paused and looked down. It had grimaced curiously, and then reached for him. This was a prudent moment for him to return to his Normal Space. He didn't do it conscicously the first time. It was just an automatic response to danger, even as his fractalizing had occured when the Tall Man and his Men in Black had tried to capture him.
"Chesterton. I may call you Chesterton." The Tall Man asked him.
He eyed the restraints on his arms, hands, legs and feet, then gave the Tall Man a grin. "You don't really believe these can hold me, do you?"
"No. But I'd prefer it if you listened to me, so you didn't have to."
"You have stumbled..."
"No, not really."
"As I said, stumbled."
The Tall Man continued sitting, checking his fingernails as klaxons blew loudly about the room and in the building he was at that moment conducting his investigations. A few moments later Chesterton reappeared in the chair, minus the restraints. "I'm listening."
The Klaxons stopped.
"How do you do that?" He asked.
The Tall Man shrugged. "Not my department. I hire egghead Techs to do that."
"I'd love to meet them."
"You will, once you agree to join our program."
"I'm sorry. I don't do programs."
He vanished again.
The Tall Man pressed a buzzer and a Man in Black entered with a coffee pot, silver and two cups, napkins and a plate of sweet rolls. He left. Chesterton reappeared. He looked a bit weary, his hair drooping.
"I've really got to stop going to that fractal, they're really nasty there." He perked up and gave the Tall Man a grin. "Are those cherry centers?"
"Help yourself." The Tall Man ordered.
Chesterton took the whole plate and started eating them and didn't stop until they were all gone. It was then that the Tall Man noticed that Chesterton had a two day shadow.
"You travel in time?"
"No. Neither Space. It's different."
Chesterton leaned closer to the Tall Man, shoving the last sweet roll into his mouth. "Like this!"
Chesterton stretched his arms to reveal a huge gap between them. "Night and day. Day and night. One end of the galaxy to the next."
"What you do is very dangerous, isn't it?"
Chesterton deflated at that question. He leaned back in his chair and sighed. "Quite frankly, my dear..."
"I don't give a damn." The Tall Man completed. "I know. But for the sake of exploration, for helping humanity, would you give a damn?"
"What has humanity ever done for me?" Chesterton asked. "Except to tax what little money I have and leave a pittance, and put people into power that are total idiots!"
The Tall Man leaned closer. "What if I told you that you could make a difference?"
"I'd say you were full of bullshit."
The Tall Man laughed. He put a hand out. "Welcome aboard, Chesterton. I suspect we are going to have many an enlightened conversation."
Chesterton eyed the hand. "Assuming, are we?"
"No." The Tall Man leaned closer, and then shoved a photo of the last image that Chesterton h ad revealed to the class. It was Chesterton himself. Then he shoved a second photo across. This time it was almost the same but looked like the Tall Man.
"You should be." The Tall Man replied with a smile. "I'm your father, Luke."
Chesterton broke into laughter, and then noted that the man was not laughing.
"Where's this going?" Chesterton asked grimly.
"The Worlds of If, Chesterton. The Worlds of If."