THE CITY IN THE SEA
Copyright ©) Victor Darnell Hadnot
"No rays from Holy Heaven come down on the long night-time of that town" Edgar Allen Poe
In memory of Troy Davis
"Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if the devil is in hell, then why was he in Eden?" Sister Mary Sean
It was suppose to be the crown an glory of modern engineering. Something magnificent. Utopia was the very idea of what mankind could do. The example of what the mind of people, when war was no more, could accomplish. Utopia went straight up from the sea, like some image of beauty, onward, towards the sky. Some called it Neo-Babel, because it reached all the way into outer space. Others called it Neo-Atlantis, because it reached all the way to the very depths of the ocean. Never in the history of mankind, had such a project been attempted, yet alone, perfected. It was the tallest city in the world, and it was the deepest city in the world. Utopia stood out as a monument to the achievements that mankind could accomplish. A shining light in the night and a beacon of hope in the day. The city was home to every race of people on the planet. From its depths, ran a maze of underwater tunnels, leading to every part of the world. Mankind had perfected the art of living under the sea as well as the science of living in outer space. The truth of the matter, is that it took a mastery of both technologies, in order to create such a master piece. And the architect that designed and envisioned such a creation, was a Black man, named Dr. R.J. Hodnet. It was in the late 21 Century, when his architecture firm was awarded the bid, to begin what would take nearly a century to complete, and that was using the most advanced technology known to mankind. Humans and robots, worked together, where man could not go, robots went, where robots could not imagine, humans envisioned, and together, such a city as Utopia was born. From the depths of the sea, to the heights of the world, so was such a thing done. It came at a time, when, jobs for humans were all but gone. The world's economy was at a brink. It was then, that a woman, newly elected to the highest office, came upon a brilliant idea, she had been a student of history, and often pondered why such monuments, as the pyramids were ever built. Not convinced that they were solely a work for vain kings, she happened upon the reason, for at their time, they had faced such a crisis as she was facing now. A population on the verge of economic and political collapse. The solution was simple, for the simplest answer, is often the right one. Create a vision, a purpose, a project that would take a century to complete, would be ground breaking in scope, and would employ all the people of the world. Thus, Utopia was conceived. In order to create such a monument, local towns and cities, would be infused, with infra-structure, new business would have to be created, new technology invented. If it could be done, it would give the people, the masses, the one thing that would keep them from revolting against the neo-Aristocrats. To say to the troubled masses, let them eat cake, when in fact, they already were, was an error, that some stupid French-woman made, centuries ago. No, she was a student of history. She studied why and how other civilizations survived for so long. They all had one thing in common, a vision that would out last the ruler, and would have to be passed down, to the next. Work, for work's sake, was the salvation of modern civilization, and the idea came from the ancient of ancients.
Tessa as a young Ukrainian woman, in the early twenties. Born at the turn of the 23nd Century. Utopia was at that point, legend. Children had been born, able to look out onto the sea and see this monument rising out of the ocean towards the Heavens. In college, she had met a professor, a Black man named Dr. Frank Towers. She studied physics under him, and he was her graduate school counselor. One sunny day, the two sat under a cherry tree, on campus.
Frank said, "You only have one more semester. And you'll have your doctors. Have you heard from any of the companies that you sent your resumes too?" He was a goodly old man, Tessa considered him a good friend, as well as her mentor.
"I hear that you have accepted a position at Utopia?" came Tessa's response.
"Hmm. News travels fast around here. I was going to try and keep it a secret until the end of school. But. Yes, I have."
"That is all I really know how to do."
Tessa reached over a kissed him on the lips. It was the first time that she'd ever done something like that. It wasn't that the professor had done anything to encourage such behavior, in fact, he'd been more of a father figure to her. But. For some reason, nearing her graduation, she started to see him in a different light. "Take me with you." she finally uttered, softly.
"Tessa. You are young and pretty. A dozen or so young men on campus would die to be able to call you their girlfriend, don't waste your time on an old man like me."
With her obvious Ukrainian accent she told him. "I've been secretly in love with you since my freshman year, professor. I think it is about time you know."
Frank looked off. "I've been teaching a long time. Longer than you are old. Believe me when I tell you this, it will pass."
Her big eyes met his old wise eyes. "No it won't, professor. We've been friends for how long?"
"Seven or eight years I suppose."
"Seems like a lifetime."
"That is because of the academic environment. It tends to alter perception. But wait until you get into the real world, then you will see." His wise old eyes smiled back at her.
She held his hand briefly, until he gently pulled away. "When Jennie was alive, I couldn't see any hope of us being together. She and I became close friends. She made me promise to watch out after you, before her death. And I intend on keeping that promise. After I graduate, marry me, professor."
Frank grinned. "I loved Jen so much. I miss her everyday. You do remind me of her. But it's like, if we had a daughter. That is how I feel about you, Tessa. You are like the smartest, prettiest, daughter, I never had."
Tessa walked about a large oak, the day was long, one of those sticky hot post summer days. Exams were over, those students on campus were there for other reasons. Some had decided to take extra courses. Others, not having relatives, to go to, or relatives that they wanted to go to, hung around. Others, had odd jobs on campus, to defray scholarships and student loans. Whatever their reason, they were a small community of people, who for lack of a better phrase, didn't have anyplace else to be in the world. Max Foster was one of them, he'd finished with his graduate work, but, for some reason that only a university psychologist might find interesting, failed to launch. He wasn't alone, there was that group of students, that were hell bent on remaining students forever, if they could. Getting PhD's, double degrees, triple degrees. It might seem silly, but, campus life was not the real world.. Once a student was subdued by campus life, some didn't want to leave. Others, couldn't wait to get out there and let the world know what they were made of. Tessa fell into the later, it was just a matter of what she would be doing. That came on that warm summer day. Frank had been gone for well over a year, she was feeling weird without him, it didn't matter to Tessa what Frank thought of her. She was in love with him, it didn't matter that he was older. It didn't matter that she was Ukranian and he was Black. She only knew what her heart wanted. Max stood in front of her, her heart didn't want him. Not that there was anything wrong with Max. He was bright enough, but, like most men her age, she found him to be very immature. Or, was it that stupid, psychology, where she longed for a father figure, one that rejected her, so she wanted him more, or, in Frank's case, one that saw her as his daughter, and could never see her as anything else.
Max said, "We made it."
There was a makeshift rope swing, she swung. "Made what, Max?"
He held the papers in his hands, beaming. "We both have been chosen for positions in Utopia. Can you believe it."
She stopped swing and snatched the papers out of Max's hands. "Sorry about that. These are junior positions, at the university, research lab. Frank is working there..."
Max frowned. "You mean Professor Tower?"
Her eyes were large with excitement. "Yes."
"He's the one who gave his final endorsement. Without him, you and I would have been passed over for some senator's kid. You know how politics goes."
Tessa looked at the young man. "So. He does want me. He just doesn't know it yet..."
Max sounded, "What are you talking about? We both applied for these positions. Dozens of well qualified people had to sign-off on us getting the positions. Professor Tower was just the final person, lots of people had to want us."
Tessa stated, "But, Frank could have derailed the whole thing."
"Did it ever dawn on you that we might actually be qualified?"
"You are, what do you have a double PhD?"
"Triple. Come this Fall. Just awaiting the ceremony."
"Well. You are going to have to take your three graduate, advanced degrees on the run, because we will be in Utopia by then."
"Did you see how much money they are going to be paying us?"
"Please. I'd have done it for free."
"Huh? Not me.
"Sure. Why wouldn't I be?"
"I don't know. You just seem, well, a little funny. Out of it maybe. I think we all have been studying too hard."
"Max, this is the first time in a decade, that you are going to be actually putting that big brain of yours to some use, besides, finishing up some stuffy old professor's theories, so that they can write papers, and get grants."
"That is not what I've been doing all this time." Tessa looked at him. "Okay, so that is what I've been doing all this time. But, yes..."
"Have you eaten?"
"Huh. Matter of fact. I was so excited by the good news, I totally forgot. It is supper time in a few hours?"
"Yeah. Let's go find a spot and drink and eat and celebrate. How does that sound?"
"I don't know..."
"Then it sounds great."
"I want to go change. Get into something better."
"Really? Like we are going on a date?"
The pub was just off campus, though, in reality, the campus sprawled for miles in all directions, so who was to say. There was the regular crowd, and the other. Max and Tessa were in the other category. They came in, but not like the regulars. Without the regular student drunks, the pub would probably be closed. Tessa had it in her mind, that she was going to make it a good night, no matter what.
"You know, you look really good, Tessa."
"Huh? Thanks, over there, an empty booth. That is ours. You go and make sure no one takes it. I'm going to go get us a pitcher."
"What about food? I'm hungry..."
"Okay. Beer and burgers it is."
Max made his way through the festive crowd to the booth. There seemed to be some kind of celebration going on. Truth be told, there seemed to be some kind of celebration going on all the time. So. This one wasn't really any different. What made it different, was that Tessa and Max were there. Usually on a week night, they'd been elsewhere, studying or assisting professors in various experiments. Max's field of expertise was general field physics. Tessa's field was fractal quantum physics. She'd done all of the under graduate and graduate and other work, under the loving and watchful eyes of professor Tower. Damn, why couldn't Frank see her as the vibrant, sensuous woman that she was? She had decided that was going to change when she got to Utopia. The young men at the pub had no problem seeing her for the sexy coed that she was. It was hands off, and watch your manners, all the way to the bar and back to the booth. Nothing vulgar of malicious, just good old college fun. She knew it, and gave them a little flirt, here and there. That was all they wanted, it was just a game.
Finally, food and beer arrived. "Oh good, I'm hungry." Max dug in. After a few massive bites, he looked up at Tessa. "Aren't you going to eat?"
Tessa smiled and took tiny bites. "Um. Good." She poured Max and her some beer. "Are you going to miss it?"
"You know. Here. Are you going to miss it?"
"You mean campus life? Hell yeah. This one, but, where we are going. There is a university, a hundred times better equipped. Utopia has the latest cutting edge technology. It has to. It is the greatest accomplishment of mankind, and we are not going to sit offshore and look at it, with dreamy eyes. We have been chosen to be part of it. No single architectural and engineering feat has even compared to Utopia."
"That is what we are told in elementary school. But. Now we are all grown up. Max do you still believe all the hype?"
Max was killing his burger. "Tessa, it isn't hype. Truth be told, there is no amount of hype that can explain Utopia. One part under the ocean, the other reaches into outer space. It's Atlantis and the Tower of Babel, all in one. Centuries ago, the visionaries that conceived of the dream, couldn't have imagined, what the real thing would be like."
"Not too many centuries ago, mankind enslaved other humans."
"Now we have genpur-robots. They do everything that we don't want to do, and they never bitch about it. That is how Utopia was built, on the backs of general purpose robots."
"Yes. Utopia has the most genpur-robot population in the world.. I mean, everyone makes use of GP's but, the ones on Utopia are suppose to be different. They think different."
"Robots don't think, Tessa. They are programmed."
"We are programmed. It doesn't mean that we don't think."
"Yeah. But that is different."
"Duh. Because we are human. Superior. We made them, we can make better."
"Another thing learned in elementary school."
"Do you ever find yourself question the things that we learn. I mean, we learn terra-bytes about time we finish graduate school. Such vast amounts of information could not have been dreamed of being learned, centuries ago."
"Ah. The old is mankind meant to be programmed like a machine, argument. Tessa, it works. You don't mess with what works. Robots are slaves. There is nothing else to it. We made them, we can..."
Tessa echoed, "Make better..."
"Are you going to eat that?"
"Are you going to eat the rest of your food?"
"You can have it."
"Are you sure?"
Tessa smiled and pushed it over to Max. "Who did you come here with?"
"Then. I'm your date."
"Tessa, you don't have to do this to me. We are friends. I have no illusion of anything else. Truth be told, I'm proud to have you as my friend."
There was much preparation involved in moving to Utopia. It wasn't like anywhere else. Security was said to be so tight, that heads of countries, when visiting, were often overwhelmed. So there were the usual things that had to be done, visa and passport processing. Background checking, that sort of thing. Then, there was the DNA profiling, the battery of psych evaluations. The list seem to go on and on, for Tessa. To her surprise, Max didn't seem to let it bother him. She could never quite figure out Max. Oh, he was a good friend and all that. As complicated or rather, non-complicate, as any guy she knew. Most guys functioned in basic, primal mode, even the really educated ones, they just knew how to put on a facade, the truth be told, they were no better than their kindred brothers: Eat, sleep, sex. That seemed to sum up all the men that Tessa knew. All, but one. Dr. Frank Tower. I will have that man one day, she told herself, often actually. Maybe it was that he didn't seem interested in her in that way. Maybe that is why she wanted him. Maybe it was because he played such an important role in educating her, and she felt some need to express her gratitude, but, if that were true, there were other male professors, that had helped her along the way. Why hadn't she fallen for any of them? The heart wants what the heart wants.
The woman sitting across from Tessa wore glasses that made her face seem awkward, she was part of the Utopia psych evaluation team. "Why do you want to go to Utopia?"
They had already been over this subject twice before, Tessa was tired of the game. "Look. Besides the obvious qualifications I possess, the obvious good job that awaits me...I'm in love."
The psychologist just looked at her, put something down on her pad, then looked up. "Is the person real?"
Tessa looked at the woman for a long moment. "What in the freak are you saying? You think I'd make something like this up? Yes he is real."
"Is he in love with you?"
"It is a simple question. Is the man you are in love with, in love with you?"
"Why yes. Yes he is...he just doesn't know it yet."
"So. You are stocking him?"
"Oh freak you!" Tessa stood to leave.
"If you leave the interview, you forfeit any chance you have of ever living in Utopia. And ever being with the man you profess to be in love with."
Tessa sat back down. "I'm not stocking anyone. In fact, he was instrumental in my being chosen."
"Dr. Tower? You are in love with the famous Fractal Physicist."
"He's been my mentor since I entered university. I've known him. Like, forever."
"Was. He's a widower now. I knew Jennifer. We were close friends."
"So. You befriended the wife of your mentor, so you could be close to the man you were secretly in love with."
"There is no secret! He knows I'm in love with him."
"Is he in love with you?"
"Yes..." Tessa gazed at the cold bitch's face. "No..." Tessa looked off. "Maybe..." She looked sternly back at the woman. "He'll come around in time. You'll see."
"Why not find someone your own age?"
"Oh. Here we go. What does age have to do with love? You are suppose to be a shrink...surely you understand that one. You love who you love. I can't help myself. Believe me, I've tried, told myself all sorts of things. In the end, when I'm with him, I'm happy. It makes me happy to know that he is in the world. Ok?"
"Hmm." More writing in her pad.
"You are kidding? Right? This isn't going to get back to Frank...is it?"
"Frank...Dr. Tower...already knows how you feel...remember?"
"Yes. So. I guess it really doesn't matter, then does it. If he finds out things. Feelings. Things that are non-professional. Have nothing to do with me doing my job. By the way, exactly, what is my job? I know I've been offered a position in Utopia University, but, doing research on what exactly?'
"That is classified."
"But I'm hired? Don't I need to know what I'm hired to do?"
"You are not hired yet...all that has been made is an offer."
"So. If I were to get up..right now...walk out this door. No good job at Utopia. And all the crap about me and my emotions towards Frank, won't matter...right?"
"That is correct."
"Then freak you, bitch! I can find a good job elsewhere!" Tessa stormed out the door. On the other side, as she opened it, stood Dr, Tower.
"Hello, Tessa. It is nice to see you..."
Tessa threw herself into his arms and kissed him on the lips. "Oh, Frank. It's been so long. Oh, I was worried, glad, sad, I don't know." Then, she came to herself. Pulled back, just a bit, "Dr. Tower. Thank you for the recommendation. But. I think under the obvious circumstances, maybe it was a mistake."
They walked along the beach. Out in the open, were rare birds flying. It was a moment that Tessa had forgotten how much she enjoyed with Frank.
Tessa said. "I will take the position, now that you are here."
Frank seemed pensive. "You need to come to Utopia, but, for reasons that I can't explain right now. You just need to trust me. That is why I came here, to convince you to come, even though I know how stubborn you can be at times. It is important."
"Well. I was going to take the job anyway. I just have my own way of going about it."
"You always did."
"It is good to see you, Frank. But, what is so important that you had to come all the way from Utopia? I mean, most people who go there, never want to leave."
"Things are changing rapidly, Tessa. The world is going through some kind of radical change."
"I don't get you?"
"That is because you don't follow political events. You are too wrapped up in your academic processes. As you should be. Things are going to rapidly decay over the next few months and years. The way things are, they can't go on much longer. I decided to try and get you to come where I am, where you will be safe."
"Safe? From what?"
"How long do you think that injustice and greed can prevail in the world?"
"You mean, before the poor and the disenfranchised decide to do something about it? The world has been at the breaking point."
"Sickness and disease affect too many of the world's population. Oh, there is the usual propaganda, the looking the other way, actually, the suffering is so great. That even if you do want to look at it, you find yourself looking away, because it is so horrible to watch."
"You mean, for those who have a conscience. There are a lot of people who just don't give a crap."
"So...what does that have to do with us? You and me?"
"Tessa, you are like a daughter to me."
"Stop it, Frank. We both know, that if I could figure out a way to get you make love to me, I would. You might see me as a daughter. But, I'm not. I'm a woman, who loves you deeply. You use that father daughter thing, in order to try and keep us at a distance. Jen is gone, God bless her soul. But I am still here. And whether you like it or not, I'm in love with you, for all the right reasons. The only way I want to be related to you, is when we are married. Husband and wife."
Frank gazed at her. "Never going to get you to see it my way, am I?"
"I'm a woman who sees it her way, Frank. When I love, I love deep. You know that."
"Yes. I do. I am grateful for the fact that you never tried to come between me and Jen, when she was alive."
"I respected the both of you too much to do something like that."
"Yes. She knew that. She also knew that you had feelings for me."
"Yes. We talked about it."
"Women talk about things, Frank. Things that men don't want to talk about, women, do."
"Hmm. I see. So. It is settled. You are coming to Utopia?"
"With you, I'll come. Though, I'm still puzzled as to the real motivation behind all of it."
"Social unrest. Too many poor. Too many dead. Too many people have had it. And then it gets even worse."
"It gets worse? How?"
"You have to swear not to say anything to anyone."
"Okay. I swear. What is it?"
"The planet is going to die."
"Actually, the entire solar system is got to die."
"What makes you say that?"
Frank cleared his throat. "There is a massive quantum singularity approaching our solar system. We will all be destroyed by it."
"Seriously? You are not joking..."
"No. I'm very serious. The real reason that Utopia was created was to preserve mankind. A small section of the human race. The brightest. The best. The necessary."
"What about the rest of society?"
"We can't save everybody, Tessa."
"So. That is what this whole thing has been about. All this time. Planning for an event that has been kept from the rest of the human race. How long do we have?"
"The quantum effects have been felt for quite some time. It is called the Pluto Effect. Controversy has always shrouded the existence of Pluto in our solar system. The fact of the matter is, if Pluto hadn't been here, we might not have ever known, or discovered the quantum singularity. It is masked by the sun, it is always at the opposite apex, to Earth. Using conventional equipment, we'd never have known. But. There have always been anomalies. Astronomers have always known about them. But. This particular quantum event, crossed over from another dimensional field of existence."
"Are you serious? Just how long has this thing been coming?"
"Almost since the formation of the solar system, this quantum event has been coming. We've known for a long time, that individual planet formation, was caused by small stable black holes, quantum planetary proxies."
"Yes. Small black holes, gather together the cosmic material, pulling everything together in order to form planets and suns and stars."
"We've also known that not all stars, are suns."
"Yes. Dr. Everet T. Pystrum proved that phenomenon. The world renowned physicist proved that while all suns are stars, not all stars are suns."
"We call this quantum singularity, Hades."
"Hmm. An appropriate name for such a devastating phenomenon. When will it be here?"
"That is just the thing. It is a quantum paradox. It is already here."
"It has taken forever to get here. But is has always been here. It is a quantum paradox. But we have just now started to experience the final effects of its presence."
"So. Mankind is going to die."
"Some of us will survive."
"And the rest is going to die..."
"Dammit, Tessa, yes. The majority of the human race is going to be extinct in less than three years."
Tessa froze in her tracks. "We only have three year to live?"
"Maybe less." Frank studied the young fractal physicist, that he had educated and trained. "Now do you understand?"
"I understand that the rest of the world needs to be told."
"All the heads of the world, the important people, they've been knowing. The secret has been with the masses. The little people. They have not been told."
"And never will?"
"No. They will not."
"Will, I'm going to tell them."
"No you won't, because you are coming with me."
"I refuse to go."
"It was the only way that I could protect you. Save you, Tessa."
"Save me? What about everybody else?"
"I don't make the decisions. That has already been done. I convinced the authorities, that you were an asset to Utopia. That your area of expertises was needed for the plan. When it is implemented."
"And exactly, what is the plan?"
"You'll know...when you get to Utopia."
"It is like, all will be revealed, after you die, in the Christian religion, and others."
"Some things are necessary, Tessa."
A government aircar flew over and then landed nearby. "It that for us?"
"Yes. VIP treatment." Frank told her.
"Just what is it that they want us to do?"
"You will find out when we get there. We have to leave now." And on that, Frank took hold of Tessa's hand and led her to the waiting vehicle.
"I don't want to go, Frank. It's not right. We need to let the world know."
"If we tell the entire world. There will be chaos. They are going to die anyway. Let them have there illusion of a tomorrow. There is nothing that any of them can do to change things. These events have been set into motion, since the beginning of time, itself. Since the beginning of the universe."
"So. This is our destiny, the world was always doomed, from the beginning?"
"And I saw the old Heaven and Earth, roll away, like a scroll, and a new Heaven and Earth, coming in their place." Frank uttered, as they entered the vehicle.
"What is that from?"
"The Holy Bible."
"So. That book was right all along."
"It seems like it. While those who saw the visions, were primitive by our standards, reinterpretation, of their prophecies, through the eyes of modern science and philosophy and religion, reveal an astounding truth."
"What is that?"
"The Holy Bible could not have been created in the past."
"What are you saying?"
"It comes from the future. In order to know what it knows, the events would have already have happened."
Tessa said, "There is nothing new under the sun. That is what they mean."
"Everything that we are experiencing, as just happening, has already happened. The past has already been written. We are like the needle on a phonograph, playing in a certain spot, music that has already been recorded."
Tessa settled into the aircar as it took off for Utopia. "That is why they need fractal physics. You are going to try and move the needle on the phonograph."
Frank smiled. "Something like that."
"If not that then what?"
"You are still thinking about how to save everyone on Earth. It is much easier, if only a few are saved."
In the distance, she could see the magnificence of Utopia growing ever nearer. Utopia isn't just a city in the sea, is it?"
"No. It is a quantum vessel. A ship that can travel through dimensional realities. At the right moment, we are going to move the city through quantum space. In order to preserve the human race."
Tessa looked out the window, as they made final approach to Utopia. It was like no city that had ever been built on Earth. In many ways, it was beyond the comprehension of human kind, yet, humans built it, but with the total help, of a robot work force. The new paradigm, robots were the workers, while humans, were the aristocratic elite. As the craft landed and they all got out, for there were others in the aircar with them, a robot came to greet them.
"Hello. I am Way2four, I will be assisting you in your acclamation to your new home. Welcome to Utopia..."
Tessa gazed about the almost unimaginable city area. "This is remarkable, Frank."
"This is just the parking lot." He smiled.
"Please come this way," stated Way2four.
"Way2four, do you greet all guest like this?" asked Tessa.
The robot fixed on her, "Oh no, I am designed to serve you, Tessa."
Frank said, "Every human has a personal robot servant."
Way2four added, "It is how we are able to create Utopia in the time that we did. What man could imagine, machines did. What machines did, mankind could imagine."