Updated: Jul 12, 2021
It had always been this way, this animosity between them. Well, except for that one brief summer. They had met nearly ten years previously at the Deckard Academy, London’s pre-eminent Universities for the Cosmic Arts. Both of them were Science majors, off-the-scale smart and fiercely competitive.
At first it had been healthy to have someone to pit herself against. But Michael’s ego was boundless, his challenges relentless. After four years of academic sparring and one-upmanship they both graduated summa cum laude in Astrophysics and Spatial Nanotechnics .
The summer that followed was sublime. Egos appeased, mutual respect forged, fission now become fusion. They became lovers. Then, one afternoon, following a balmy Channel Islands morning lazing on the beach, they’d both received a 3D-em. One that was to change their lives and, as it turned out, the course of history. The digital mailbot beamed the message from the Tyrrel Corporation.
They had issued a challenge to the Academy’s two brightest alumni:- One year to Research, Develop and submit a commercially lucrative use of the Tanhauser Gate. The winner would secure a six figure HSBCredit and a coveted position on the Akira R&D board.
The Tanhauser Gate was a midpoint where two, normally-distant points in space sit on a fault line in the space-time continuum. The science of the ‘gate’ had been unravelled many years earlier, but a practical use or application had yet to be found. Arianna saw the spark in Michael's eyes and with it the summer of love faded. Michael and Ariana again in competition, when they should have been in co-operation dammit!
They had initially discussed both of their ideas with each other, Michael pointing out some serious flaws in her formulas. To cut a long, harrowing horrendous year short. Michael’s submission:- a deep space high-value mineral retrieval bot. High-cost; high reward; niche-market. Ariana’s:- a high-energy high-accelerant device. Lower cost production, smaller per unit price and the potential for huge mass-market numbers. The components of the original prototype comprised a core of rare meteorite, high quality precious gems, facets cut to refract the C-line-starlight. The Energy Alchemy of the refracted light from the star nurseries creating a physical fold in the force field around the bearer. The ability to travel to different points in space and time, so called `’science fictions” now made reality.
Before The Corporation could seize exclusivity Ariana published the coding on Wiki. Michael had been aghast at her forfeiting the position at The Corp that he so deeply coveted. The Directors of The Corporation were beyond incandescent. They had issued a legal writ for her arrest for retrieval of the initial development costs they had stumped up and for what was effectively corporate theft. The code went open source and within a year the masses were queuing out the doors to get their hands on an i-EA. A personal i-Energy Alchemy travel device. The mass produced i-EA’s were the economy class version of Ariana’s original. Hers effectively one of only seven “first class” versions that facilitated a far more advanced interface. And it was this that Michael had just rent asunder, and it was for this irreplaceable loss that she now raged in anger.
Suddenly, and inexplicably, Michael was gone. It must have been something to do with the time field. She knew he would be back, here, or somewhere. She made her way back to the warmth of the monastery.
Arianna stood for a while gathering her thoughts. As usual when in a think mode her left hand on her hip and her right foot resting in the hollow behind her left knee. She stood like this for a while, Buddhist monks passing her bowing with hands held together as if acknowledging the female Buddha in repose. Eventually she sighed going over to the sundial in the centre of the courtyard feet crunching in the two day old snow, slipping now and then with a bit of a futuristic curse that nobody in this era would know what the hell she was saying.
Studying the sundial she did a quick calculation what the time was at this moment and therefore what the time was at home a good couple of centuries ahead. Mmmm, according to her arithmetic she had two hours to get home and do what she had to do. The money was there, the opportunity was there and she was here. Problem. The only way was to get back to her time and the only way that could happen is if she had a time remote and who would have a remote? Some dozy chick in the chanting hall who had forgotten to take off her fake diamond zirconium ring. She wiped her feet at the entrance to the hall, bowed to the Happy Buddha and slowly walked in head straight and eyes swivelling like a baboon with it’s paw in a beehive looking for Eldorado. Gottcha she smiled to herself as she looked at a plump thirty year old, two brats and a rather resigned looking spouse. She could see the outline of the remote in the man”s brown smock in his underpants. Who wore underpants in this century. Idiot. She knelt beside him and picked up the chant putting on her sexiest voice. The guy next to her hesitated and looked sideways at her. Never fails as she blew him a kiss. She followed this with a modern English “ Is that a remote in your pants or are you just glad to see me?” It took about twenty minutes to get him out of there, ditching his wife and kids and back to one of the cloister rooms off the main dining hall. She looked at him, amusement on her face. He was totally different from Michael, but what to do with him now.
This was a sign of pure desperation to get back home as she wasn't very confident around men and had never, in her life, used her womanly wiles to get something from a man. This one was quite short and skinny, completely opposite to his wife, his greying ginger hair faded, his face sombre though now curious as to her advances.
"Well, this is a pleasant surprise" he sneered. It wasn't very in keeping with his appearance and it actually took her a while to respond. How had all those movie stars done it in the films? She ran her hand through her hair and smiled at him in, what she hoped, looked seductive and alluring.
"Didn't look like you were having much fun." She stepped closer to him, her lips parted slightly. He grinned again like a boy in a room full of his favourite toys. She was unsure the whole time of what she was going to do but wouldn't let it show in her face. Her robe slipped down one of her shoulders accidentally on purpose with a gentle shrug. He noticed immediately and his thin bony hand instantly went to the bare flesh she had exposed. She could feel how soft it was, despite the boniness, which obviously showed that he did no hard labour at all. She gave him a smile before placing her lips gently upon his, lifting his robe gingerly. He took this as a green light and pushed his body harder against hers, the i-EA digging in her hip; she could tell due to the sharp sides in the individual gems and oval shape compared to what would be the shape of his shaft. He quickly disrobed and revealed how thin he was, no muscle at all lay anywhere on his body,
Arianna saw the i-EA rearing above the top of his white y-fronts at his hip, paying no attention to the excitement he was beginning to show. He went to help lift her dress but she took his hand away gently, beginning to kneel as if she were about to perform an act of fellatio. She lifted the i-EA saying "You don't need that right now do you?" in a suggestive manner, but instead of carrying on with her forward motion she jumped back whilst twisting a gem and leaving him alone in the room while she span out and away to an unfamiliar place.