Tagged: time travel

Albert and Jarvis part 88

a tale in weekly parts

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 88

Alice was determined that her pregnancy was to be as normal as possible, given the unique nature of the foetus she would be nurturing over the coming months. She looked at Alex.

“Listen, Alex. I don’t care what happens during the next forty weeks or whatever, but I plan to stay, literally, in the here and now until this baby is born. What you do is up to you, but this gal ain’t shifting.”

“What if there’s something that only we can deal with, if the Eddies call, or if Albert needs us?”

“If that happens, brother of mine, you’re on your own.”

“But—”

“What part of ‘this gal ain’t shifting’ is giving you trouble? I. Am. Not. Moving.”

“Good for you, Alice,” Madge said, “the health of the baby growing in you must be your only concern. Carrying and giving birth to a healthy child is always a massive responsibility; probably the biggest most women will face in their lives. This one, though? This one is special. From what Albert says, it could be the most important child born on this planet for many years.”

“I know the significance of what’s involved here, Mum. That’s why I’m going to be specially careful.”

Al and Alex said nothing. Truth be told, they were both a little overwhelmed by the situation. Al looked at his son and whispered, “Where’s the old boy now?”

“Not here, Dad. I can’t sense them at all. I think… I hope that he’ll be true to his word and stay away until Alice has had her baby.”


Albert and Jarvis will now take a short break to allow Alice to enjoy her pregnancy in peace. Look out for it again later in the year (or early 2018)

 

Albert and Jarvis part 87

a tale in weekly parts

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 87

Albert reached out and placed his hand on Alice’s shoulder. The two of them shimmered.

“It’s done,” Albert said.

“That was quick,” Madge remarked.

“Not really, Mum,” Alex said, “They could have been gone any length of time. We don’t have any way of knowing.”

“It took about half an hour, by your reckoning,” Albert informed them, “and, in case you’re worried, guys, no-one actually touched your daughter. Jarvis just had to remotely reprogramme a few groups of nanites.”

“How does that work, then?” Al asked.

“You can look at the kids’ nanites as being kind of like stem cells. They can be programmed to emulate whatever cells we choose. We instructed these to behave as sperm cells and migrated them into position to fertilise Alice’s egg.”

“But that’s still a bit hit and miss, isn’t it?” Madge asked.

“Not at all, Madge. Don’t forget that Alice’s eggs are fifty percent bitek, too.”

“And how does that help?”

“Whenever computers communicate, they start by exchanging information about themselves, then agree on a method, a protocol that they both support. That way, communication is certain. Bitek nanites operate on the same principal. The sperm cells know how to approach the egg cell and what they have to do when they get there. The egg cell will be ready to receive them.”

“So what you’re saying, is that Alice is guaranteed to become pregnant.”

“No, Madge. I’m saying that Alice is pregnant.”

“And will her pregnancy be—”

“Absolutely normal.”

“But the baby won’t be human, will it?”

“Madge. This child will be as human as your children are.”

“But—”

“But nothing. Alice should do all the normal ante-natal stuff with the nurses and midwives, and she can give birth either at home or in a hospital maternity unit. No-one will know or even suspect that her child is any different from other children.”

“Normal?”

“Completely.”

“But what about the bitek stuff?”

“None of the baby’s abilities will start to show until about seven or eight years of age., You’ll remember from Alice and Alex, when you didn’t know about their bitek parts, that there was nothing much before puberty. Alice and Alex will be here to bring the child up and make sure that he or she is brought into his or her bitek status at the right time and in the right way, I’ll be here to help, too, and as you and Al have experience of raising part-bitek kids, I expect you’ll want to be involved,as well.”

“So, what next?” Alice asked.

“Next, Jarvis and I will leave you in peace. Enjoy your pregnancy. We’ll be back when the baby’s born.”

Albert faded out of view.

“Is that it?” Alex asked.

“Looks like it, Bro.”

“So, nine months from now, you’ll be a mum, and I’ll be a dad.”

“Yup.”

“And neither of us has had—”

“No, neither of us. Yet.”

“And you should stay like that until these babies are born,” Al said.

“Why?” Alice asked.

“It wouldn’t be right.”

“Says who?”

Like the booming voice of a god, Albert’s disembodied voice filled the room. “Says we,” he said.

“Oh shut up Allbert, you old queen,” Jarvis admonished.

“Okay, guys, point taken,” Alice laughed, “see you in forty weeks.”

Albert and Jarvis part 86

a tale in weekly parts

You can see the full story so far at this link.

Episode 86

“You there, J?” Alice asked aloud.

“Sure am. Still listening.”

“Well don’t. I’ll signal to you by raising my right hand when I need you. Until then, like Greta Garbo, I want to be alone.”

“You’re never alone with the Eddies, Alice.”

“And neither do I want to be. I just want you and Albert to leave me alone to think.”

“But Albert isn’t here.”

“Isn’t he?”

“Do you see him?”

“I don’t need to. Must I quote back to you what he has said in the past?”

“If it makes you feel better…”

“It does. How about ‘I am Jarvis, and Jarvis is me. We are one’ or ‘Even when we are physically separate, we share a single mind’.”

“I remember saying that. So?”

“Leave. Me. Alone.”

“Are you are saying that you don’t value our input into your thought processes?”

“No. I’m saying that I don’t WANT your input into my thought processes.”

“We can’t actually leave you, you know. We’re joined at too deep a level for that.”

“When I was young, I often shut Alex out by sticking my fingers in my ears and singing ‘la la la’. Do that.”

“Sorry, no fingers.”

“Are you trying to tell me that a big, powerful, bitek like you can’t absent yourself long enough for me to think clearly and in private?”

“Well…”

“Weak!”

“What?”

“Weak.”

“♫La la la♫, can’t hear you.”

“Good.”

As soon as Jarvis faded from Alice’s consciousness she started wrestling with the decision she was obliged to take.

On the one hand, her humanity and her instincts told her that although there were many valid ways to have a child, the natural way, the way she felt she wanted to follow, would involve another person – one of the opposite gender. She smiled at that prospect. On the other hand, her purpose in having a child would possibly be served better by following Albert’s proposed route: there’ll be plenty of time for having fun once she has fulfilled what seemed to be her destiny, her purpose.

At its simplest, the question is whether an F3 hybrid formed by splicing pure bitek to an F2 would be more powerful, more likely to achieve its goals than one formed from the union of two F2s. And the only way to know that is to try both and compare the outcomes.

Alice raised her hand and immediately sensed Jarvis’ presence.

“What did you decide?”

“You mean you don’t know?”

“I blocked myself like you asked. Well, insisted.”

“Thank you, J. Thank you for respecting my wishes. Can you take me home now, please?”

“Jump in.”

Alice entered Jarvis and they headed back.

Jarvis spoke to her. “What did you decide?”

“I’ll tell Albert and my family when we get back.”

“You do know that I can access your mind and read your decision, don’t you?”

“Yes, but you also know that I can dismiss you, Albert and the Eddies if you do. I’ve done it before, I’m not afraid to do it again.”

“There’d be a cost to you if you did.”

“I may feel it would be worth whatever the cost was.”

“Okay, you win. Do you want to sleep now?”

“No. I don’t trust you not to act against my wishes if I’m not awake and able to resist.”

They spent the rest of the journey in silence. Once Jarvis landed, Alice phased back into the dining room, to join the others.

“You’re back,” Alex said.

“Good of you to notice. How long was I gone?”

“That’s just it. You went and came back again almost straight away.”

“Good.”

“Have you reached the decision you needed to make?” Albert asked.

“Indeed I have,” Alice replied, “It wasn’t easy, and it goes against every instinct in me, but I think I have to go along with your plan, Albert.”

“Are you sure about that?” Madge asked. “You don’t have to follow his plan. It’s your body and it has to be your decision.”

“It is my decision, Mum. Just this once, I have to put what I have to do ahead of what I want to do. There’ll be plenty of time for me to do what I want to do with my body once this is done.”

“Just take one piece of advice from your old mother, will you?”

“Sure.”

“What you’re talking about; what you want to do…”

“What about it?”“In my experience, it’s a much-overrated pastime,” Madge said. And the look she shot her husband stopped him short before he could open his mouth to comment.