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"A Greater Infinity" by Michael McCollum
(c) 1999, All Rights Reserved
Duncan MacElroy was an ordinary engineering student before
he went out for a six-pack of beer one night and never came back. Instead,
he found himself embroiled in a war for the dominance of Paratime, as well as
defending our own particular version of Earth from predators on both sides of
the battle lines. For he quickly discovered that "parallel
universes" aren't, and that a single individual can make all of the
difference in the worlds!
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Infinity! -- An Excerpt
"Come on in, the waterís fine."
The sun was warm on my body as I lay on the
outcropping of ochre granite that overlooked the forest pool. Haret
was a flesh colored streak in a pool of amber green as she kept
herself afloat by treading water and taunted me to return to the icy
I raised my head from my arms, admiring the
way her figure shimmered beneath the surface of the pond. "No
way," I said. "Too cold. You come out."
I grinned. "Sticks and stones will
break my bones ó" My taunt was interrupted by a cloud of icy
spray propelled with unerring accuracy by Haretís strong right
arm. The freezing droplets splashed across my toasty warm back,
sending chills clear down to my toes. I launched myself in a flat
racing dive. Within seconds I had grappled her flailing arms, pinned
them to her body, and pulled her head beneath the miniscule wavelets
of the pond.
We surfaced in a sputtering fit of laughter
and swam leisurely for the shore. I helped her climb up the slippery
mud bank and we stretched out side by side on the outcropping I had
so recently vacated.
Haret Ryland was a native of the Gestetni
Republic, one of the Confederationís three oldest timeliness. She
was on the Academy Staff, and like Jana, an expert in paratime
anthropology. She had asked to interview me about Europo-American my
second day at the Academy. That had been the first of many such
sessions. We had become close friends over the last eighteen months.
Recently, our friendship had drifted into intimacy.
I reached out and idly traced the curve of
Haretís naked spine with a finger, caressing each vertebra in turn
until I had worked my way down to the swell of her hips.
"Stop that," she giggled as she
turned over to allow the sun a chance to dry her front. "It
"I thought you liked being
tickled," I said, reaching out once more.
She intercepted my questing hand with a
playful slap. "Donít you primitive types ever get
I put on my most theatrical leer.
She hoisted herself to one elbow, her violet
tinged eyes staring into mine.
"Whatís the matter?" I asked.
"Is my nose on crooked?"
She fell silent, letting her eyes roam
freely. Her full mouth was pursed in concentration, and her normally
wild mane of silky blonde hair framed her face in a wet tangle.
"Why the sudden quiet?" I asked,
reaching once more to take her in my arms.
"Iím contemplating an enigma."
"Huh? What enigma?"
"You. What brings you to the Time
Watch, Duncan MacElroy?"
"You know damned well what brings me to
the Watch. I was drafted!"
She grinned. "That isnít what I
meant. Donít you ever miss your former life?"
"Sometimes. But if I'd stayed on
Europo-American, I would never have met you." I leaned toward
her as I spoke and brushed her soft lips with mine.
Haret took my cue. She closed her eyes with
a sigh and stretched out on the flat rock as I pressed close, intent
on pursuing the emotion of the moment.
The sky above us lit up with a light
brighter than a thousand suns.
Haretís eyes snapped open in wide-eyed
fright and I began counting softly to myself. "One Mississippi,
two Mississippi, three Mississippi ó"
I was up to fifty when the rumble of
deep-throated thunder rolled over us.
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Michael McCollum, CEO
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Page was last edited on
11/11/10 04:29:02 PM